Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 11086402

State: Mississippi Year: 1864
Location: Pike Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioners state that their slaves, Mary and Tena, plotted to murder several "helpless" white families and to destroy the property of their masters by setting fire to a store, warehouse and "several dwelling houses." The two women were captured as they sought to "flee to their friends--the Yankees--for protection." The petitioners assert that due to the virtual suspension of the courts and the insecurity of the jails, the two women were hanged without due process of law. The petitioners seek compensation for their losses.

PAR Number 11280406

State: North Carolina Year: 1805
Location: Northampton Location Type: County

Abstract: Widow Charlotte Foorte seeks compensation for her "negro man named Sam, implicated in a charge of the late conspiracy of the negroes." Foorte reports that Sam "was convicted on the testimony of less weight than that" given against others "who escaped the rigor of the Law." Adhering to the "prevailing maxim that in many instances it is right to make an individual sacrifice, for the great & general good of the community at large," she nonetheless "feels the loss of property" along with the "great expense of 20, or 30 Arm'd men, order'd out by the authority of the Maj. General" to capture said Sam. The petitioner therefore prays "for such relief in the premises" as in "wisdom & good conscience may be right."

PAR Number 11280502

State: North Carolina Year: 1805
Location: Wayne Location Type: County

Abstract: Capt. Isaac Hanley seeks compensation for his troops who were called out "on immediate Service for one day at the Execution of some slaves (Criminals).” He reports that "four of his most active troopers" were ordered "to continue in Constant service until discharge ... for the purpose of suppressing a conspiracy of the slaves" in Wayne County; the said men served continually for several days. Noting that "we have not received any pay for the said Service," the petitioner prays "your Honours to allow them such sums as they are in Justice intitled to."

PAR Number 11280512

State: North Carolina Year: 1805
Location: Bertie Location Type: County

Abstract: Kinchen Massengale seeks compensation for his slave Plato, one of the ten or so slaves convicted and executed for their role in the Bertie County "rising or conspiracy of the negroes" in 1802; four or five slaves involved in the incident were convicted and "sent away" and not executed. Massengale submits that Plato was "of considerable value to him, being the only slave he possessed." Noting that the owners of said slaves not executed "have received compensation equal to their value," the petitioner "hopes your Honourable Body will take his hard case under your serious consideration (he being in indigent circumstances) and grant him such relief as you in your wisdom may think proper."

PAR Number 11380304

State: South Carolina Year: 1803
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Ninety-two citizens of St. Luke and St. Peter parishes commend "the patriotic and highly meritorious conduct of a negro man of the name of Abram, the property of Mr William Kirk." They report that the said Abram detected a plan "by a number of blacks" to destroy "the lives of your petitioners, and of all the white people of the low Country" and that they "had appointed the time and place, and actually assembled for the direful purpose of commencing the work of general massacre and devastation." By Abram's actions, "those immediately concerned were easily and speedily apprehended and have undergone the punishment due to the enormity of their crimes." The petitioners recommend that "a suitable reward for his fidelity and services" be afforded Abram and, if "your honorable body should think proper to emancipate the said Abram," they aver the said Kirk should receive "an ample and handsome compensation," as he suffered "by having Three of the only five fellows which belonged to him, executed."

PAR Number 11381102

State: South Carolina Year: 1811
Location: Edgefield Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Thomas Key seeks compensation for his slave Dave, who was tried on the charge "of suspicious caracter and of being concerned and knowing to an insurrection"; Dave was "found guilty and executed pursuant to the sentence of said Court." Arguing that "said negroe man was not taken in actual rebellion," Key prays that "he may be allowed compensation for said negroe."

PAR Number 11381611

State: South Carolina Year: 1816
Location: Kershaw Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Five petitioners represent that "several valuable slaves belonging to your petitioners were executed in July last in Camden on conviction for being concerned in the intended insurrection of the blacks in that place." They therefore pray "that they may be allowed a reasonable compensation for said slaves."

PAR Number 11381612

State: South Carolina Year: 1816
Location: Kershaw Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Sarah Marin represents that "a very valuable negro slave belonging to your petitioner was executed in July last in the town of Camden on conviction for being concerned in the intended insurrection of the blacks in that place." She therefore prays "that she may be allowed such reasonable compensation therefor as your honorable body shall decree adequate."

PAR Number 11382907

State: South Carolina Year: 1829
Location: Georgetown Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Francis Kinlock seeks compensation for his slave Mood, executed on 26 August 1829 for "attempt at Insurrection." He prays that "he be paid for said negroe the amount that is customary in such cases."

PAR Number 11382908

State: South Carolina Year: 1829
Location: Georgetown Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Francis Kinlock seeks compensation for his slave Mood, executed on 26 August 1829 for "attempt at Insurrection." The slave was appraised as the law directs for $122.45, "the highest sum allowed for any negro charged with the crime of which he was convicted."

PAR Number 11382909

State: South Carolina Year: 1829
Location: Georgetown Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Francis Kinlock seeks compensation for his slave Mood, executed on 26 August 1829 for "attempt at Insurrection." He prays that "he be paid for said negro the amount that is customary in such cases."

PAR Number 11382914

State: South Carolina Year: 1829
Location: Georgetown Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Coachman seeks compensation for his slave, Charles Prioleau, who was "tried by a Court of Magistrates & Freeholders for attempting to raise an insurrection among the slaves of this State, and condemned to be hanged." He further notes that "the said Court, subsequent to the passing of sentence on the said negroe, but prior to his execution, appraised and valued him" at $122.45. Coachman therefore prays that he be granted $122.45, "being the amount at which the said Court valued & appraised the said negroe."

PAR Number 11382915

State: South Carolina Year: 1829
Location: Georgetown Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Coachman seeks compensation for his slave, Charles Prioleau, who was "tried by a Court of Magistrates and Freeholders,/ for attempting to raise an insurrection among the slaves of this state, and condemned to be hanged." He further notes that "the said Court subsequent to the passing sentence on the said negroe but prior to his execution, appraised and valued him" at $122.45. Coachman therefore prays that he be granted $122.45, "being the amount at which the said court valued and appraised the said negroe."

PAR Number 11382916

State: South Carolina Year: 1829
Location: Georgetown Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Coachman seeks compensation for his slave, Charles Prioleau, who was "tried by a Court of Magistrates and Freeholders, for attempting to raise an insurrection among the slaves of this State, and condemned to be hanged." He further notes that "the said Court, subsequent to the passing of Sentence on the said Negro, but prior to his Execution, appraised and valued him" at $122.45. Coachman therefore prays that he be granted $122.45, "being the amount at which the said Court valued and appraised the said Negro."

PAR Number 11680004

State: Virginia Year: 1800
Location: Henrico Location Type: County

Abstract: As prosecutor for the Commonwealth of Virginia in the county of Henrico, George William Smith has attended fifty-nine sessions of court beginning in September "upon the trials of negroes or Slaves charged with conspiracy and insurrection." He has also attended five or six trials of people charged with other felonies, for which he has been fairly compensated at a rate fixed by the county court. However, Smith contends, it is "unreasonable and unjust" that the county of Henrico "should contribute more than its proportion, in common with all the other counties of the commonwealth, toward defraying the expenses consequent" incurred in trying slave disturbances. He asks the court to "allow him such compensation for his services in the fifty-nine called courts before mentioned."

PAR Number 11680005

State: Virginia Year: 1800
Location: Gloucester Location Type: County

Abstract: Suspected of being involved in the "late insurrection of the slaves," Jacob was taken up by a magistrate in Gloucester County. As he was being transported in a boat, he stabbed and killed himself. He was, according to his owner, William Wilson, "an honest and inoffensive negro" and "a valuable waterman." William Wilson contends that because Jacob was "in the custody of the law when he Killed himself, " compensation is in order.

PAR Number 11680204

State: Virginia Year: 1802
Location: Nottoway Location Type: County

Abstract: John Royall seeks additional compensation from the court for the loss of his slave Bob, who was convicted "under a charge of conspiracy or insurrection" and executed. Bob was appraised by the court at ninety five pounds, but, Royall protests, this amount was "greatly short of his real value." According to Royall, Bob, who did not exceed age forty, was a good blacksmith, carpenter, and wheelwright, and an "able strong fellow." Royall cautiously represents that he does not "impugn the opinion of the court, but imputes such valuation altogether to a want of that information which ought to have been given relative to" Bob's qualifications. He seeks compensation for the difference between the court's valuation and Bob's "real worth."

PAR Number 11680508

State: Virginia Year: 1805
Location: Mecklenburg Location Type: County

Abstract: Although the petition itself is not available, related documents help reconstruct the prayer of the petitioner, who is assumed to be Thomas Reekes of Mecklenburg County, and the events surrounding his filing suit with the legislature. In 1802, Henry Ashton, a magistrate in Mecklenburg County, issued an arrest warrant for three slaves, Dick, Frank, and Billy, charged with committing "felonious offences." A month after the arrest Frank was taken ill and later died; Dick was found guilty and executed. It appears, from the 1805 affidavit of one Richard Apperson, that Frank and Dick had been charged with plotting to poison Dick's owner, John Gregory; and that several other slaves, presumably including Billy, seemed to have had knowledge of the conspiracy. Dick was convicted but, Frank, while on his way from jail to stand trial, "died a very sudden death," the cause of which "was attributed to be, either the confinement in a wagon or his taking poison" before he left the jail. It appears that sometime between 1802 and 1805 Thomas Reekes, Frank's owner, applied for compensation on the death of his slave in the amount of one hundred thirty pounds.

PAR Number 11680917

State: Virginia Year: 1809
Location: Cumberland Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioners represent to the legislative body that a number of residents of Cumberland County have sustained "great injury" because "vicious negroes" set fire to their houses. If there are strong suspicions that certain blacks were responsible, the petitioners assert, their owners should be compelled to send them out of the state, or dispose of them within three months.

PAR Number 11680924

State: Virginia Year: 1809
Location: Westmoreland Location Type: County

Abstract: Fearing a general insurrection of the slaves, supposedly planned for Christmas Eve 1808, Westmoreland County whites armed themselves and began systematically searching slave cabins on various plantations. Instructions from the officers were to "put to death such as resisted." During the search, a slave named Joe, belonging to the estate of the late William Hutt, for which the petitioner, Samuel Templeman, is the executor, was shot and died of his wounds the next day. Templeman explains that Joe, a "large and likely" young man, whom he expected to sell to pay for the estate debts, had been a runaway before; on the night of the search, he was found in his wife's cabin and when the patrol came to the door "he was alarmed and attempted to escape by flight;" when commanded to stop, he continued and was fired at. Templeman seeks compensation.

PAR Number 20484907

State: District of Columbia Year: 1849
Location: Washington Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-six petitioners assert that on 15 April 1848 seventy-six slaves, the property of various owners, escaped on the Potomac River aboard the schooner, Pearl. The petitioners voluntarily pursued the schooner onboard the steamboat, Salem, and captured the slaves and three white men who were navigating the Pearl. They placed the slaves in a Washington County jail as runaways. The petitioners assert that the owners of the slaves gave Francis Dodge Jr. a sum exceeding $3000 to pay the necessary expenses and to reward the petitioners for their services. The petitioners charge that Dodge has refused to distribute their reward. They ask that Dodge be summoned to answer their complaint and be forced to pay them for their assistance in the capture of the slaves.

PAR Number 20884610

State: Louisiana Year: 1846
Location: West Baton Rouge Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Stephen Smith claims that he performed $117 worth of work for Zéphyrin Blanchard, for which he has "amicably" demanded but never received payment. He prays the court to cite Blanchard to appear and answer the petition within the period prescribed by law and to order him to pay the $117 plus interest, at 5% per annum, from the time the order is issued, plus costs of suit. In a related document, a witness claims that he overheard a conversation between Harry, a slave belonging to Blanchard, and his wife, who belonged to one John D. Thomason, regarding activities in preparation of a purported slave insurrection. According to the witness, the conversation revealed that "barril" powder, powder balls, and other weapons were concealed in the ground under the sugar house coolers and in another's slave "bedtick." He also claims that when the wife expressed concern about the killing of "little children," the husband replied that they would "burn the roofs down on them."

PAR Number 20985921

State: Maryland Year: 1859
Location: Baltimore Location Type: County

Abstract: George H. Carman owns a term slave named Richard Fortie. Earlier in 1859, Carman successfully petitioned to have Fortie's term of service extended by the Orphans Court of Baltimore County for running away. On 24 October 1859, Fortie ran away again "for the purpose of leaving the state of Maryland and to deprive your petitioner of his services." Fortie was arrested in Baltimore and placed in jail. Carman claims that he has "letters and papers which has been found upon the person of the said Negro Boy which clearly shews a conspiracy between the Said Boy and Some other person or persons for the purpose of aiding the Escape of the said Boy." Carman asks the court to extend Fortie's term of service.

PAR Number 21200014

State: North Carolina Year: 9999
Location: Wake Location Type: County

Abstract: In his will, Willie Rogers bequeathed his slave Monday to Lilah Rogers during her natural life, and after her death to several other family members. Following Rogers's death, Lilah and the executors of his estate ask the court to issue freedom papers for Monday, who, they say, saved the life of several "gentlemen" by reporting a conspiracy to kill the slave owners and their slaves on a trip to Georgia. The petitioners further state that they have ample funds to purchase a "younger & more valuable slave for the use of the legatees."

PAR Number 21279202

State: North Carolina Year: 1792
Location: Pasquotank Location Type: County

Abstract: A group of Pasquotank County residents recount how "a number of Negro Slaves" and "Citizens of this State" conspired to convey runaways by boat to "the Northern States." The plan was thwarted when Toney, a slave owned by Samuel White, betrayed the plot. The petitioners ask that Toney be manumitted as a reward for this "highly meritorious service." The list of petitioners is incomplete due to blotting out of ink on the edge of the document.

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