Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 11381404

State: South Carolina Year: 1814
Location: Sumter Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Robert Bradford seeks compensation in the amount of $18.50 for expenses incurred while apprehending "a certain negro man named Ned," who had been accused of assaulting and robbing Charles Newman of Charleston. Noting that "the Governor of this State Issued a proclamation offering one hundred Dollars" for Ned's capture, Bradford reports that he seized Ned in Sumter District and then transported him to Charleston, "in the month of September to the great hazzard of health & of his life." The petitioner also states that Ned "was tried, convicted, & executed for the offense above named."

PAR Number 11381901

State: South Carolina Year: 1819

Abstract: Martin Peagler states that his "slave named Spencer was executed [in] August 1819 for attempting to take his life." Peagler, "impressed with the high sense of duty which He owed society in not screening him from the hands of justice," hopes "your Honorable body will take his case in consideration & allow him a further compensation than the law at present gives." The petitioner adds that Spencer was "the only fellow to aid him in supporting his Family."

PAR Number 11381902

State: South Carolina Year: 1819

Abstract: Martin Peagler states that his "negro Slave named Spencer was executed [in] August eighteen hundred and nineteen ... for attempting to take his life." Peagler "therefore prays your honorable body to grant him such remuneration as is made and provided in such cases."

PAR Number 11382102

State: South Carolina Year: 1821
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: William Ashley, "a very poor man," discloses that Emanuel, "the only Slave that he possessed," was "found guilty by a magistrate and Jury of our country and was hanged" for making "an assault with an Axe with an intent to kill upon the wife of your petitioner." Noting that said slave was valued at $450, Ashley prays that his case be considered and he be granted "such further relief than the law allows in similar cases."

PAR Number 11382212

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

Abstract: Lewis R. Sams represents that on 27 May 1822 "a negro man slave belonging to your Petitioner named Carolina was tried in the Town of Beaufort ... for the crime of striking a white man and found guilty of the same and by the said Court sentenced to be hung." Certifying that the sentence "was carried into execution on the 2nd day of August following," Sams asserts that said Court neglected "to appraise said slave before passing sentence as the Law in such cases requires" and that he "has been deprived of compensation for said slave.” He therefore prays "that your Honourable Body will grant him the same."

PAR Number 11382611

State: South Carolina Year: 1826

Abstract: David Murray seeks compensation for the slave Sandy, who was tried and convicted of the offense of "grievously beating a white man by the name of Philip Slagle" in December 1825; Sandy was "executed on the 30th of said month." The petitioner therefore prays "your Honorable body to allow him such compensation for the loss of his said slave as to your Honorable body may seem meet."

PAR Number 11382906

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

Abstract: Six Georgetown District residents seek compensation for Ann Paisley of Prince George's Parish, whose slave Henrietta betrayed an insurrection plot. They recount that Henrietta, "on or about 20th of July last," heard "the man Charles one of the Ring leaders in the late conspiracy in their quarter," make "use of some threatening expressions in anticipation of the intended insurrection"; Henrietta immediately informed Paisley and Charles was quickly taken up, confessed, and implicated others. They further report that slaves were "very generally excited" against Henrietta and that she was even attacked by a slave named Joe, who was captured, tried, and executed. The petitioners therefore ask that Henrietta and her child be emancipated. In addition, they insist that Ann Paisley should be granted an annual stipend since she is a woman of little means and Henrietta "constituted at present almost her sole support."

PAR Number 11383011

State: South Carolina Year: 1830
Location: Newberry Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Phillip Sligh represents that his slave Moses was convicted on 17 October 1829 and executed 27 November 1829 for assaulting and attempting to murder a white man named Andrew Cromer. He therefore prays "that he may be compensated for the said negro slave Moses that has been executed as aforesaid." The court cites that "the said negro man slave Moses was worth over the value of one hundred and thirty two dollars and forty cents."

PAR Number 11383104

State: South Carolina Year: 1831
Location: Richland Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John H. Ross charges that "a runaway slave named George the property of a gentleman of Chester District stole two horses, broke open several houses and committed other offences in Richland District, for which a warrant was issued against him." Recounting that he joined in pursuit of George when "he broke from custody," Ross states that he "overtook the fellow, when a contest ensued between them, in which the slave cut out your petitioners eye with a razor blade." Noting that George "has since been tried, convicted and executed," the petitioner "prays that for an injury thus received while he was engaged in furthering public justice such reward may be granted to him."

PAR Number 11383301

State: South Carolina Year: 1833

Abstract: Edward Roche seeks compensation for his slave named Joe, who was convicted on 23 September 1831 of "grievously wounding, maiming and bruising a white man" and who was "executed agreeable to the sentence thereof."

PAR Number 11383402

State: South Carolina Year: 1834
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Charleston resident Edward Carew seeks leniency for his slave Isaac, sentenced to twelve months solitary confinement and three hundred lashes for striking his slave wife in the head with a hoe handle and causing her death. The petitioner believes Isaac will not survive and contends the punishment does not fit the offense. He asserts that "the Case is not distinguishable from many others of conflicts between people of this description -- no such violence was used by the Prisoner as should have excited an apprehension of fatal consequence" and that "the death of Kettura may be regarded in some measure as accidental." Carew further concludes that "the evidence only shews a common instance of a quarrel between a negro and his wife which are of frequent occurrence and not deemed to merit more than moderate correction."

PAR Number 11383701

State: South Carolina Year: 1837
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Mary Douglas, a free woman of color, seeks compensation for her slave, William Irvine, who was "tried and convicted of Stabbing, Bruising and wounding a white man" named John Cramer “and was executed agreeable to Sentence on 17th Augt 1832." The petitioner therefore prays that she be granted "the amount usual on such occasions."

PAR Number 11384901

State: South Carolina Year: 1849
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: A. V. Toomer represents that he "was the owner of a negro slave named John," who was "lodged in the Work House in Charleston for safe keeping." Toomer explains that said slave had been tried and "was convicted, sentenced and publicly executed" for “aggreivously wounding maiming and bruising” three white men in “the outbreak at that Institution which took place during the past summer.” The petitioner therefore prays that "he may be authorized to receive from the Treasury the Sum of Two Hundred Dollars as set forth in the said sentence."

PAR Number 11385001

State: South Carolina Year: 1850
Location: York Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: J. D. Goore seeks compensation for his slave Lewis, who was convicted and hanged for assaulting a white woman, Malinda Pollard, with intent to commit rape. Lewis was tried before a Court of Magistrates and Freeholders on 26 July 1850 and executed 22 August 1850. He was “appraised & valued ... at the sum of two hundred dollars.”

PAR Number 11385002

State: South Carolina Year: 1850
Location: Barnwell Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Samuel Page seeks compensation for a slave, John, who was convicted and hanged "for having committed an assault and battery on a white female with intent to commit a rape"; the Court of Magistrates and Freeholders valued the slave at two hundred dollars. At the trial, Margaret Myer testified that a man stepped behind her about dusk, pulled her bonnet over her face, and "tried to smother me with his hand." Margaret's sister, R. J. Myer, yelled for their father and kicked the assailant with her thick shoes. She testified that the said John "then struck me and called me a devil." R. J. further states that the man "did not interfere with her [sister’s] dress, have no ideas from his motions what were his intentions -- I saw no attempt either by word or action to commit the deed of which he is accused."

PAR Number 11385006

State: South Carolina Year: 1850
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Thomas Bennett seeks a pardon for his slave Peter Blacklock. He represents that an altercation broke out between Peter and another slave named York; the said Peter "inflicted on York a blow that fractured his skull and caused his death in a few hours." Bennett further recounts that Peter was convicted of manslaughter and was sentenced to receive "one Hundred and twenty five Lashes and then to be removed to the Jail of the district" and to "remain imprisoned for two years, the first year of which he should receive monthly Twenty Lashes." He discloses, however, that the said slave is "considerably advanced in years" and that he "became intemperate from the use of ardent spirits -- this habit followed by Epileptic fits." Describing Peter as "a wretched remnant of Humanity -- Prostrate mentally and physically by disease," Bennett fears that his slave "will not probably survive to the termination of his confinement without the interposition of Executive clemency.” The petitioner therefore prays "that Your Excellency would extend to this unfortunate man the Executive prerogative of pardon."

PAR Number 11385401

State: South Carolina Year: 1854
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: J. Malachai Ford recounts that, in July 1853, "two felons, named Thomas Motley & Wm Blacklege, from Richland District, whilst on a visit to Colleton District, committed many outrages, with their ferocious dogs, upon Slaves, in that portion of the district, comparatively uninhabited by white persons, and amongst others, murdered a Slave at Parker's ferry, after inflicting the most outrageous and inhuman barbarities, hitherto without a parallel in a civilized country." Ford further states that, acting as special constable, he pursued said men "through a very Sickly country, day and night, (from which he contracted fever) & eventually succeeded in arresting them ... & delivered them to the Sheriff of Colleton District, in whose custody they remained until their trial & conviction at Fall Term 1853, and subsequent execution." He avows that he "has never yet received a compensation, not even the petty costs of a constable" for the valuable services he "rendered to the State, for the vindication of her laws, for protection of our Slave property," all "at the risk of Petitioner's life, from the malaria of a sickly country, & from desperate armed felons." Ford therefore prays that he be paid "the small sum of two hundred Dollars, which he now respectfully submits, he is at least entitled to."

PAR Number 11482109

State: Tennessee Year: 1821

Abstract: Confessing that her husband David's "treatment became so intolarable that I Could not Stay with him any longer," Mary Logue seeks a divorce. She discloses that "he not only abused my person very frequently by pulling my hair and Draging me about the house by it but [threatened] to take my Life and would go to bed with Negro women." Mary, believing it not safe to stay with him, abandoned "his house and went to my Fathers whare I have Resided Ever Since and Since I have left my husbond ... still Continued in his wickedness as bad as ever." The petitioner therefore prays that she be granted a divorce.

PAR Number 11482911

State: Tennessee Year: 1829
Location: Williamson Location Type: County

Abstract: Martha Smith Green seeks a divorce and the "right of all the Property She may hereafter acquire by honest Industry or donation of friends." Green charges that her husband Thomas abused and beat her and that he accused "your Petitioner of being Intimate and guilty with his Negro man Jim, to the great mortifycation of your Petitioners feelings." She further confesses that her said husband severely beat her "in such a Manner that she carried the markes of his violence on her body for twenty weeks." Green further represents that her husband admitted "that he was Carnally guilty with [a] negro girl." The petitioner therefore prays that an act be passed for her benefit, divorcing her from the said Thomas and securing her right to property she may acquire hereafter.

PAR Number 11483112

State: Tennessee Year: 1831
Location: Lincoln Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty citizens of Lincoln County report that John W. Isaacs, while “considerably intoxicated," shot one of his father's slaves and was indicted for said incident. They further represent that "the said negro has since recovered from the wound ... and is now perfectly sound and well" and Samuel Isaacs "has since become reconciled with his sd son John." They therefore pray "that your honourable body will pass a law to release the said John W. Isaacs from the further prosecution of the sd Indictment."

PAR Number 11484502

State: Tennessee Year: 1845
Location: Anderson Location Type: County

Abstract: Mary Hookins asks for a divorce from her husband William. Hookins confides that said William "was always scolding and faultfinding and frequently disturbed your petitioner's hours of repose and sleep by his certain lectures -- abusing her for merest trifles and not seeming to be satisfied, he soon resorted to whipping her." She further admits that when she "would tell him to quit mistreating her so, he said by the common law a man had a right to whip his wife, and that so long as he was a freeman he would have the right of one, and that he would whip her every day of her life if he wanted to." Mary reveals that her husband has abandoned her "and her babies to this fate and the last rumor She heard of him he had taken up with a mulatto woman and was the father of two children by her." She therefore prays that "now if your Honorable body ... will only set aside, and undue this unfortunate act of your petitioner's youthful folly, and indiscretion; she hopes she will be able to do better in a second marriage than she did in her first; for she knows she could do worse that she did when she [and] Billy Hookins became man and wife."

PAR Number 11484503

State: Tennessee Year: 1845
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: John Mooring represents that "Morrison Artis a free Born person of colour was from his Infancy placed under the care and protection of your petitioner by the mother and binding of the court." He further states that said Artis has been "prosecuted and convicted of malicious Shooting and centenced to confinement in the Jail and Penitentiary of the state of Tennessee to hard Labour for three years which deprives your petitioner of three years service." Noting that the sentence corresponds with "your petitioners term," Mooring asserts that he will suffer "an Entire loss ... unless the Legislature of the state will Reimburse your petitioner by an appropriation adequate to [Morrison's] Labour."

PAR Number 11682408

State: Virginia Year: 1824
Location: King William Location Type: County

Abstract: Evelina Gregory Roane, "a Daughter of affluence," seeks a divorce and custody of her infant son. Evelina represents that her marriage to Newman B. Roane has been wrought with "hardship and cruelty." She confides that "she was quickly reduced to the situation of a Slave who for some unpardonable offense, was constantly under the frowns of its master." Evelina further discloses that the said Newman admitted that "he had two mulatto children then at his Brothers who were much more comely and hansome than any she would ever bear" and shortly thereafter "this negroe woman and two mulatto children were brought upon the plantation." She confesses that "her husband adopted this woman as the more eligible companion & wife," and she reveals that her husband boasted that "if he had not expected a fortune he would never have married her." Having endured and survived multiple violent assaults, she asserts that she "obtained the restraining power of the civil magistrate" to force her husband "to keep the peace toward your Petitioner for the space of twelve months." She therefore prays that "a law may pass this honorable Body Divorcing your Petitioner from her husband ... and provide in the said act of Divorce that your Petitioner may be allowed to keep the said Junius B Roane in her possession until he comes to an age proper for being put to school."

PAR Number 11682708

State: Virginia Year: 1827
Location: Accomack Location Type: County

Abstract: Littleton P. Henderson represents that "the overseers of the Poor of the County of Accomack ... proceeded to sell at public auction many of the free negroes residing in the said county, the proceeds arising from which sale have been paid into the public Treasury to the Credit of the Literary Fund." Henderson further asserts that "amongst the number of free negros thus sold by the said overseers of the Poor, there was a certain Jim Outten who at the time of the sale was in the city of Baltimore, & who had never been in [their] custody." The petitioner, "conceiving the sale to be conducted according to law & knowing the character & worth of the said Jim Outten," admits that he "was induced to bid for him and actually bought him at the price of $50." Henderson reports that the said Jim Outten instituted a freedom suit and "at the last August term of the said Court he recovered a judgement against your petitioner and was restored to his former rights and privileges." Believing "that he has a just and equitable demand against the president & directors of the Literary Fund," the petitioner prays that he be refunded "the purchase money paid by him for the said Jim Outten & legal interest thereon (as he never derived any benefit from the services of the said negro)."

PAR Number 11682716

State: Virginia Year: 1827
Location: Richmond Location Type: City

Abstract: George Crump represents that he has employed William Thomas, a free black man, for many years and that he "became as the bail of said Thomas, in the sum of Two hundred and fifty dollars" when Thomas was arrested for a "malicious Stabbing." Crump reports, however, that Thomas "failed to appear" and he "forfeited his recognizance." The petitioner asserts that Thomas's alleged accomplice was acquitted "upon the very proof relied on to sustain the prosecution against Thomas." Believing "in the perfect innocence of Thomas," Crump "submits to your Honorable body whether in such a case, it is just, that your petitioner should be compelled to pay" said bond.

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