Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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Your subject search returned 12 total results.

PAR Number 11280405

State: North Carolina Year: 1804
Location: Mecklenburg Location Type: County

Abstract: Cassandra Alexander Houston seeks a divorce from her husband James Houston. The couple married 4 January 1803 and lived together until 28 November of the same year when Cassandra left him "owing (as she verily believes) to her Husbands imbecillity or impotency as a man in procreating his species." Depositions from the petitioner's relatives and others state that they suspected from observing him "make water" that James Houston was not a man like other men; that he had expressed anxiety that "he was not as complete as to genitals as other men;" and that he had on several occasions attempted to "ride" other men and "act with [other men] as man would with a Woman." Marshal Alexander, Cassandra's brother, stated in a deposition that he was once the object of such attempts and noticed at the time that Houston had no testicles. With the marriage unconsummated, the evidence suggesting that Houston "had not the genitals for propagation," and the Alexander's believing that Houston married solely to obtain property, Cassandra Alexander asks to retain her property and be granted a divorce.

PAR Number 11381001

State: South Carolina Year: 1810
Location: Pendleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Capt. James Anderson seeks compensation for a sixteen-year-old slave named Wiley, who was "taken in the act" of burglary. Anderson reports that Wiley was "brought to him tied as a prisoner" and that he informed said slave that "he would be tried for his life"; if convicted of "the crime of which he was guilty," Wiley would be executed. The petitioner recounts that, "when the family rose from bed" the next morning, they discovered that "he the sd. Negroe boy had Hanged himself With the Rope he Was tied With When delivered to him." Anderson prays that he be granted "the same compensation as if he had been executed for the above offence." Wiley's appraised value was $400.

PAR Number 11382207

State: South Carolina Year: 1822
Location: Laurens Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Daniel Cook represents that "some time in the month of July in the year 1821, a negro fellow named Phill, the property of your Petitioner, was tried and convicted" of administering poison and was "sentenced to be hanged" the next month. Cook declares, however, "that some days previous to the time appointed for his execution, while he was in the custody of the gaoler ... the said negro put an end to his existence, by hanging himself in the dungeon of the gaol." The petitioner therefore prays that his case be taken into consideration and he be granted relief. Cook attests that said Phill was "appraised by the said Court, at the sum of four hundred dollars."

PAR Number 11382208

State: South Carolina Year: 1822
Location: Laurens Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Daniel Cook represents that "some time in the month of July in the year 1821, a negro fellow named Phill, the property of your Petitioner, was tried and convicted" of administering poison and was "sentenced to be hanged" the next month. Cook declares, however, "that some days previous to the time appointed for his execution, while he was in the custody of the gaoler ... the said negro put an end to his existence, by hanging himself in the dungeon of the gaol." The petitioner therefore prays that his case be taken into consideration and he be granted relief. Cook attests that said Phill was "appraised by the said Court, at the sum of Four hundred Dollars."

PAR Number 11382229

State: South Carolina Year: 1822
Location: Laurens Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Daniel Cook represents that "on the 21st day of July last, a negro fellow, the property of your Petitioner, was convicted of administering to your petitioner's family some poisonous substance, with an intent to destroy their lives, and sentenced to be hanged on the 11th day of August following." Cook declares, however, that "in the interval between the passing of the sentence and time appointed for his execution the said negro, while in gaol, and in the custody of the law, put an end to his own existence." The petitioner therefore prays that his case be taken into consideration and he be granted "such remuneration for the loss of his said slave, as shall be deemed just & equitable."

PAR Number 11678002

State: Virginia Year: 1780

Abstract: Anne Bennet, a minor, asks that the petition for freedom of Will, a slave held by the late Ann Colvin, be rejected. She states that her grandmother made a codicil to her last will and testament whereby she ordained "the said Will, to be free, and not Subject to Slavery in Consideration of the long and faithful Service done to her, by him." Bennet believes "that the Codicil to her grandmothers will was made on account of the fear which she Entertained of receiving some Personal Injury from him, rather than on account of any gratitude for his past Services." The petitioner therefore prays "that this honourable house will reject a petition of the Said will for his freedom now lying before it" so as not "to bestow Liberty on an undeserving man and deprive her of the only Slave to whom She is Entitled."

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 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 20582102

State: Florida Year: 1821
Location: Escambia Location Type: County

Abstract: Sarah McNeil states that, in May 1821, she sent her slave, Harry, out on some business. While conducting that business, Harry met Tom, a slave belonging to Henry Wilson. McNeil avers that Tom "maliciously and without provocation shot" Harry, wounding him mortally. She further represents that Wilson was notified of the shooting and subsequent death of Harry, but refuses to make restitution. McNeil asks the court to compel Wilson to pay $600 in damages.

PAR Number 21084513

State: Mississippi Year: 1845
Location: Lowndes Location Type: County

Abstract: Martha Sappington owns property separate from her husband, Samuel Sappington, and with her own funds she purchased a slave named Rebecca from Sarah E. Pool. Although Rebecca was warranted to be sound, she began displaying signs of mental illness soon after the Sappingtons took possession of her. After a few months, Rebecca "in a frantic mode ... wandered to the river fell or jumped in and was drowned." The Sappingtons charge that Pool knew the slave was unsound when she sold her. They request a refund of the purchase price and an injunction stopping Pool from removing any of her slaves from the state.

PAR Number 21381411

State: South Carolina Year: 1814
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Bastid Delacombe seeks a perpetual injunction against Bernard Pradere and his wife. He recounts that a certain Madame Pradere of Port au Prince, by her husband, Bernard Pradere, assigned him a slave named St. Louis and "that he accordingly got possession of the said boy and brought him out to New York with him and afterwards came to Charleston." He further submits that "he sold the said boy for $235.00 finding him to be a source of trouble and vexation, more especially as he had attempted to hang himself." The petitioner now avers that the said Bernard has "laid claim" to St. Louis, alleging that the "bill of sale tho' absolute and unconditional on its face was only a power of attorney." Asserting that said bill was not a "defeasible instrument," Delacombe notes that the Praderes brought suit and that the court rendered a judgment against him, resulting in the seizure of "a certain Negro boy named J. Baptiste." He therefore prays that an injunction may issue to the Praderes, "commanding and enjoining them ... to desist and refrain from any further proceedings under the aforementioned Judgment and Execution," and that said injunction may be decreed "perpetual."

PAR Number 21482309

State: Tennessee Year: 1823
Location: Rutherford Location Type: County

Abstract: Robert McCombs and Gideon Thompson ask for a "writ of Injunction to stop the execution" of a judgment that orders them to pay the defendant, James Allen, $500 for a slave named Jane. They report that on 2 November 1820 they gave Allen two notes, each for $250, "in consideration of the purchase of a negro woman slave, named Jane." Revealing that Allen represented "that said woman slave had runaway from her master who was about to move out of the state," they further note that "there never was any delivery of said slave, nor was any bill of sale given." They argue that "on the day previous to the purchase of said slave, she was drowned in a mill-pond" and that Allen "artfully concealed from said Complainants such facts and circumstances within his knowledge." The petitioners believe that the day before the sale Allen "made the search, he found not far from the pond the horse tied, which said negro slave had ridden away, and also that he saw distinct impressions or tracts of the said slaves feet on the bank of the pond, going in towards the same." Accusing Allen of "various tricks, devices, falsehoods and subterfuges," they ask that he be summoned to answer their charges.