Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 11279513

State: North Carolina Year: 1795
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: Henry Taylor requests compensation for being shot in the shoulder while hunting runaway slaves. Taylor recounts that he endeavored "to put a stop" to the depredations committed by "a number of outlying runaway [that] had collected themselves together" to rob and to kill and destroy the stock of "the Inhabitants of the counties of Brunswick and New Hanover." While on such duty, he explains, a fellow patroller, being suddenly awakened by him, "shot your memorialist through the Shoulder." Unable to pay the surgeon's fee of £60, Taylor asks "your Honorable body to take his case into consideration and grant him such releif as you shall think meet and proper."

PAR Number 11279606

State: North Carolina Year: 1796
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: Henry Taylor requests compensation for being shot in the shoulder while hunting runaway slaves. He recounts that he "thought it his duty to aid and assist" in putting a stop to the "outrages committed by a number of runaway negroes, in the County of New Hanover" as "the safety of the people made it necessary that vigorous and speedy measures should be taken to suppress the various depredations committed by” said outlyers. Taylor explains that, while on such duty, "he was unfortunately shot through the shoulder & has been a cripple ever since." He further asserts that he is unable to pay the surgeon's fee of "one hundred Spanish milled Dollars" and that he is no longer able to continue his trade of blacksmith. Noting that said wound was received "in rendering service to his Country," he prays that "your Honorable body will grant him such releif as in your justice and wisdom may be thought proper."

PAR Number 11280109

State: North Carolina Year: 1801
Location: Montgomery Location Type: County

Abstract: John Davidson "sheweth that he owns a negro man slave Call'd and known by the name of Doctor Wallace who is Desirous of obtaining freedom and suporting himself by his occupation." Davidson declares that "he the said Doctor Wallace is often Time sent for som Times at a very Considerable Distance so that the most of his Time is taken up in Visiting & administering Physic & waiting on those Patients who Choses to Imploy him." This results, according to Davidson, in "his services to me [being] Rendered almost useless." Noting that "a number of the Inhabitants believes him to be very Skilfull and Usefull as a Physician and seems Disirous of his Liberation," the petitioner prays "your Honourable Body to Emancipate the said Doctor Wallace and make him a free Citizen of the Country and that he may for the future be Call'd ... Peter Wallace."

PAR Number 11280110

State: North Carolina Year: 1801
Location: Montgomery Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty-two Montgomery County residents stand in support of John Davidson's "desire to Set free a certin negro man slave Of his own write and property well [known] by the Name of Doctor Wallace." The petitioners believe that said slave "is a very usefull Black man in That branch of business" and is particularly adept at healing sores and ulcers. They therefore humbly pray "your Honorable body to Emancipate the said negro man Wallace and Establish his Name by Law by the name of peter Wallace."

PAR Number 11282206

State: North Carolina Year: 1822
Location: Craven Location Type: County

Abstract: Captain John Rhem, on behalf of himself and fellow members of the Craven County militia, "appeals to the Justice and Gratitude of this Country, for Indemnity against the pecuniary portion of their sufferings" stemming from wounds received while on patrol. During the summer of 1821 "a number of negroes were collected together in arms, and were going about the counties of Craven, Carteret, Onslow, and Jones Counties committing thefts, and alarming the inhabitants of said Counties. The outrages of these villains became so frequent and daring that ... it was thought necessary to adopt measures either to arrest or to disperse them." On 10 August, Craven county officials ordered the militia regiment to patrol the county and to "arrest all negroes whom he should meet armed or traveling under suspicious circumstances." After midnight on 21 August 1821 Rhem and eight of his men encountered five armed men on the Street's Bridge across the Neuse River. Rhem called out to the men to identify themselves. The men responded with gunshots. Rhem was shot through the right lung, and his arm was shattered. Alexander Taylor was shot through the head and his other officers received various wounds. The two armed parties then retreated, waiting for daylight to learn the size of the opposing force. The next morning Rhem discovered that it was not armed blacks whom he had engaged the night before but rather a group of nervous whites who lived in the area and "had turned out to patrol from the same alarm which had brought your petitioners party into service, and who ignorant of your petitioners station had mistaken his party for blacks and had fired under that mistake." Considering they "were on a duty which put at hazard their own lives, to preserve the peace and dignity of the State," the petitioners, "probably disabled for life," seek restitution for medical expenses and financial assistance.

PAR Number 11282712

State: North Carolina Year: 1827
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: Jonathan Bryan seeks a divorce from his wife Ann Jane Anders, who not only attempted to kill him but also incited "an Insurrection" among his slaves. Bryan reports that the said Ann Jane attempted to poison him more than once; that she failed to nurse him when he “was Confined with the Billious fever So that his life was despaired of"; that she "has laid voiolent hands on his person twice;" that she has "treated with Cruelty the Seven Children he has had by a decent and former wife"; that she "took medicine" to induce a miscarriage when she returned from being absent "for the Space of eleven months dureing which time She got herself with Child;" and that he "has not seen the Said Ann Jane and has been for Som time past and at this time She is aliveing in a Negro house With Negros." He therefore prays that the legislature will "interpose and pass a Law Divorcing him from this wife Ann Jane."

PAR Number 11285806

State: North Carolina Year: 1858
Location: Granville Location Type: County

Abstract: William Gilliam represents that he hired his slave named Jacob "to the President of the Raleigh & Gaston Rail Road then the property of the State & under its control, to work on the Shop in the City of Raleigh which had been partly destroyed by fire." Gilliam charges that, while on board the train and en route to Raleigh, his slave "was put by the President of the Road ... to the business of putting wood on ... at the various stations"; when the train lurched, Jacob "was thrown on the track, and the wheels of one of Cars ran over his ankle & foot mashing them very badly." Gilliam reports that Jacob "never recovered" and that "he was rendered for a long time useless to your memorialist, and his death was caused ultimately by said injury." The petitioner therefore prays that he be compensated for the loss of Jacob, since “the death of the said slave was a heavy loss to your memorialist--He was an excellent carpenter- & was worth at least $2,000."

PAR Number 11379802

State: South Carolina Year: 1798
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: James Delaire states that his slave, Paul, alias Figaro, was convicted of sedition and sentenced to be transported from the United States to the Dutch Colony of Surinam and sold. Other slaves involved in the plot were hanged, but Paul testified against them and his life was spared. Paul was turned over to Duncan Hill, owner of the brig Aurora, for transport to Surinam. Owing to the "Intense cold the said Figaro had suffered in the Work House at Charleston & the strong pressure of the Irons on his legs very few days after the Sailing of the Aurora he was taken with a swelling about the ankles which turn'd into a sore & that a mortification of the flesh ensuing his toes rotted & one of his feet drop'd of[f] entirely." As a result, Paul sold for only about $20 though he was worth $350. Delaire seeks compensation.

PAR Number 11379803

State: South Carolina Year: 1798
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: James Delaire states that his slave, Paul, alias Figaro, was convicted of sedition and sentenced to be transported from the United States to the Dutch Colony of Surinam and sold. Other slaves involved in the plot were hanged, but Paul testified against them and his life was spared. Paul was turned over to Duncan Hill, owner of the brig Aurora, for transport to Surinam. Owing to the "Intense cold the said Figaro had suffered in the Work House at Charleston & the strong pressure of the Irons on his legs very few days after the Sailing of the Aurora he was taken with a swelling about the ankles which turn'd into a sore & that a mortification of the flesh ensuing his toes rotted & one of his feet drop'd of[f] entirely." As a result, Paul sold for only about $20 though he was worth $350. Delaire seeks compensation.

PAR Number 11379903

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Henry Martin explains that he was "compelled by the disasters of St. Domingo to repair to the United States of America" in 1793. He further represents that "by his constant exertions to procure a Living for himself & family, he had so far succeeded in his undertakings as to enable him to purchase in the Month of March last a Negroe Man named Figaro," whom he hired "to work at the public works on Sullivan Island." Martin laments, however, that Figaro “was unfortunately hurt by the fall of one of the wheels [of a gun carriage] against his back” and that he died shortly thereafter. The petitioner declares that "by the Loss of the said Slave the only one he possessed, he remains destitute, at the age of 64 Years of the means to provide for the Subsistance of himself, his wife & three small Children." He therefore prays that he be granted "Suitable Compensation for his Loss of said Slave Figaro whose death was occasioned by a wound received whilst employed in the public work."

PAR Number 11379905

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Henry Martin explains that he was "compelled by the disasters of St. Domingo to repair to the United States of America" in 1793. He further represents that "by his constant exertions to procure a Living for himself & family, he had so far succeeded in his undertakings as to enable him to purchase in the Month of March last a Negroe Man named Figaro," whom he hired "to work at the public works on Sullivan Island." Martin laments, however, that Figaro “was unfortunately hurt by the fall of one of the wheels [of a gun carriage] against his back” and that he died shortly thereafter. The petitioner declares that "by the Loss of the said Slave the only one he possessed, he remains destitute, at the age of 64 Years of the means to provide for the Subsistance of himself, his wife & three small Children." He therefore prays that he be granted "Suitable Compensation for his Loss of said Slave Figaro whose death was occasioned by a wound received whilst employed in the public work."

PAR Number 11380007

State: South Carolina Year: 1800

Abstract: Leroy Beuford seeks compensation for a slave named John who was convicted and executed for poisoning. Beuford believes that "he has Not Justice Done Him." Related documents contain the testimony of several slaves that detail John's acts of conjuring and suspected poisoning.

PAR Number 11381205

State: South Carolina Year: 1812
Location: Sumter Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Francis Tisdale recounts that his slave sustained serious injuries "while employed in assisting in opening" a "New Road from Sumter court house to intersect the road leading down the west side of Black River." According to Tisdale, his slave "received a Considerable injury, both his [thighs] and one arm broken by the falling on him of a tree." The petitioner further reports that he has thusly "been put to considerable expence" and that by "the nature of the injury he has been deprived of the labour & Services of Said Slave for a considerable time past"; in addition, "said slave is depreciated in his value in consequence of said injury." Noting that he is "in indigent circumstances," Tisdale appeals for "that releif which has ever been shown to those whose property has been injured or used in the public service."

PAR Number 11381605

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

Abstract: Francis Tisdale recounts that, in 1812, he was "Summoned to Turn out (with all his Slaves liable to work on the Roads) and Assist in Repairing the Public High Way leading from Sumterville to Black River." According to Tisdale, while his slave Peter “was Laboring on the said Public High Way a Tree was unfortunately & accidentally Fallen on him which broke both of his Thighs ... also his Left Wrist, which rendered him forever unable to do much Labor and was entirely Useless and unserviceable to your Petitioner for a long time." He further reports that "it has Cost him a Considerable Sum of Money in getting the said Peter Cured of his Wounds." In that "this Loss and Misfortune took place while the said Peter was Laboring on the Public High Way," the petitioner “Prays your Honourable Body to Grant him a Relief Adequate to the injury he has sustained."

PAR Number 11381606

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

Abstract: Francis Tisdale recounts that, in 1812, he was "Summoned to turn out (with all his Slaves liable to work on the Roads) and Assist in Repairing the Public High way leading from Sumterville to Black River." According to Tisdale, while his slave Peter “was Laboring on the said Public High Way a Tree was unfortunately & accidentally Fallen on him which broke both of his Thighs ... and also his Left Wrist, which rendered him forever unable to do much Labor and was entirely Useless to your Petitioner for a great while." He further reports that "it has Cost him a Considerable Sum of Money in getting the said Peter Cured of the said Wounds." In that "this Misfortune took place while the said Peter was Laboring on the High Way," the petitioner “prays your Honourable Body to Grant him a Relief Adequate to the injury he has sustained."

PAR Number 11381802

State: South Carolina Year: 1818
Location: Greenville Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Archibald Lester joins fourteen other subscribers in seeking payment of a surgeon’s fee. He reports that "a negro man slave" of his was arrested and "charged with a crime of a most [heinous] nature" and that he delivered said slave into the sheriff's custody "to be dealt with by his Country." Lester states that the Court "thought proper from reasons set forth in their certificates to commute the punishment for which cause a surgeon was employed to perform the operation & Inflict the punishment denounced by the Court.” Of the opinion that "the public" should bear responsibility for paying the surgeon's fee, the petitioner prays that a "provision" be made for the discharge of said debt.

PAR Number 11382001

State: South Carolina Year: 1820
Location: Kershaw Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: William Love, the keeper of Kershaw District jail, represents that he committed "a negro man who called himself Jim" to jail on charges of being a runaway. Love recounts that Jim remained in jail "for the space of one hundred and seventy days" and that during said confinement, though efforts were exerted, "no one appeared to claim the said fellow." He further avers that "whilst in Gaol he became so sick as to require medical aid which your petitioner procured" and "notwithstanding the aid of an able physician and the great care of your petitioner the said negro died." Love therefore prays that he be reimbursed for medicine, food, and burial expenses, which he "is now informed are legal." In the account, one of the expenses included the following: "1818 Dec 26th To Boarding a Negro Man who Calld his name Jim and was Committed to goal as a runaway and never told his right owners name he took sick and died in the Goal To 170 days Board at 25 Cents per day $42.50."

PAR Number 11382002

State: South Carolina Year: 1820
Location: Kershaw Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: William Love, the keeper of Kershaw District jail, represents that he committed "a negro man who called himself Jim" to jail on charges of being a runaway. Love recounts that Jim remained in jail "for the space of one hundred and seventy days" and that during said confinement, though efforts were exerted, "no one appeared to claim the said fellow." He further avers that "whilst in Gaol he became so sick as to require medical aid which your petitioner procured" and "notwithstanding the aid of an able physician and the great care of your petitioner the said negro died." Love therefore prays that he be reimbursed for medicine, food, and burial expenses, which he "is now informed are legal."

PAR Number 11382111

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

Abstract: Francis Tisdale recounts that, in 1812, he was "Summoned to turn out with all his Slaves liable to work on the Roades and assist in Repairing the Publick highway leading from Sumterville to Black River." According to Tisdale, while his slave Peter “was Laboring on the said Publick Highway a Tree was unfortunately and accidentally Fallen on him which Broke Both of his Thighs ... also his left wrist, which Rendered him forever unable to do much labor and was entirely useless to your Petitioner for a great while." He further reports that "it has Cost him a Considerable Sum of money in getting the Said Peter Cured of the Said Wounds." In that "this misfortune took place while the Said Peter was laboring on the highway," the petitioner “prays your Honourable Body to grant him a Relief adequate to the injury he has Sustained."

PAR Number 11382113

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

Abstract: Francis Tisdale recounts that, in 1812, he was "Summoned to turn out with all his Slaves liable to work on the Roades and assist in Repairing the Publick highway leading from Sumterville to Black River." According to Tisdale, while his slave Peter “was Laboring on the said Publick Highway a Tree was unfortunately and accidentally Fallen on him which broke both of his Thighs ... also his left wrist, which rendered him forever unable to do much labor and was entirely useless to your Petitioner for a great while." He further reports that "it has Cost him a Considerable Sum of money in getting the Said Peter Cured of the Said wounds." In that "this misfortune took place while the Said Peter was Laboring on the Highway," the petitioner “prays your Honourable body to grant him a Relief adequate to the injury he has Sustained."

PAR Number 11382116

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

Abstract: Francis Tisdale recounts that, in 1812, he was "Summoned to turn out with all his Slaves liable to work on the roads and assist in repairing the Public High way leading from Sumterville to Black River." According to Tisdale, while his slave Peter “was Labouring on the said Public High way a tree was unfortunately and accidentally fallen on him which broke both of his thighs ... and also his left wrist which rendered him forever unable to do much labour and was entirely useless to your Petitioner for a great while." He further reports that "it has cost him a considerable Sum of money in get the Said Peter cured." In that "this misfortune took place while the said Peter was labouring on the High way," the petitioner “prays your Honorable body to grant him a relief adequate to the injury he has sustained."

PAR Number 11382507

State: South Carolina Year: 1825
Location: Union Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Dr. Hugh Davitt asks to be compensated for his attendance "as a surgeon" on Joel Foster, who was arrested "for the crimes of negroe and horse stealing." Davitt recounts that the said Foster, "at the time of his arrest ... attempted to make his escape when he received a dangerous wound from the shot of a gun." The petitioner "further states that his services while attending on the said prisoner amounted to the sum of twenty six dollars, which he prays may be paid." Foster was later executed in Abbeville.

PAR Number 11383103

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

Abstract: John Bradley seeks compensation for a "Prime field hand" named Moses, who was killed on 19 September 1831 when a tree fell on him while he was working on a public road. Moses was nineteen or twenty years old and "of good Character."

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 11383507

State: South Carolina Year: 1835
Location: Sumter Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Bradley seeks compensation for his slave Moses, who was killed by "the falling of a tree" while working on a public road between two plantations in Claremont County, Sumter District. Moses, who was twenty-one or twenty-two years old, was worth five hundred dollars.

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