Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Search Results

Your subject search returned 232 total results.

Displaying 25 results per page.

PAR Number 11383605

State: South Carolina Year: 1836
Location: Sumter Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Bradley seeks compensation for his twenty-year-old slave Moses, who was killed in 1831 while working on a public road. Having "been deprived of a young negro," Bradley surmises that Moses was worth six hundred dollars at the time of his death and "he would now have sold for $1000."

PAR Number 11384001

State: South Carolina Year: 1840
Location: Lexington Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Elizabeth Butler, a widow and mother of four children, seeks compensation for the injuries incurred by her slave, Sam, who broke his leg in 1840 while performing public road work. Butler recounts that she obeyed an order to provide "hands" to "work on the Public highway" and that the said Sam fell while trying to cut "the Branches of a certain Tree overhanging the said public road." Attesting that said slave is "unable to move notwithstanding the best medical treatment," the petitioner "throws herself on the magnanimity & generosity of your Honorable Body for relief" and that "she may be granted compensation for the lost time of said Boy."

PAR Number 11384102

State: South Carolina Year: 1841
Location: Lexington Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Elizabeth Butler seeks compensation for the injuries incurred by her slave, Sam, who broke his leg in 1840 while performing public road work. Butler recounts that she obeyed an order to provide "hands" to "do road work on a public road on which she resides" and that the said Sam fell while trying to cut some of the branches "which overhung the road and obstructed the passage thereof." Butler attests that "her negro is now a cripple and must always remain so" and that his value is "greatly reduced," while she has "incurred very considerable expense in the way of the Doctor's bill." Arguing that said injury occurred "in the discharge of a public duty," she "cannot for a moment doubt of her right to make her claim for compensation to your Honorable bodies, nor for a moment suppose that your justice will withhold it from her."

PAR Number 11384206

State: South Carolina Year: 1842
Location: Lexington Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Elizabeth Butler seeks compensation for the injuries incurred by her slave, Sam, who broke his leg in 1840 while performing public road work. Butler recounts that she obeyed an order to provide "hands" to "do road work on a public road on which she resides" and that the said Sam fell while trying to cut some of the branches "which overhung the road and obstructed the passage." Butler attests that "her negro is now a cripple and must always remain so" and that his value is "greatly reduced," while she has "incurred very considerable expense in the way of the Doctor's bill." Arguing that said injury occurred "in the discharge of a public duty," she "cannot for a moment doubt of her right to make her claim for compensation to your honorable bodies, nor for a moment suppose that your justice will withhold it from her."

PAR Number 11385202

State: South Carolina Year: 1852
Location: Laurens Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Gabriel South represents that his slave Nathan, "of the value of eight hundred dollars, was convicted of a capital felony, and sentenced to suffer death in February 1852." South declares, however, that said Nathan died previous to the day of execution from a "disease contracted in prison." South is concerned that "in consequence of the death of the slave before the execution, he may not be able to collect the amount of the appraizement by the Court that convicted him (towit) the sum of two hundred dollars, without the aid of this Honorable Body." The petitioner therefore prays "that his case may be considered, and relief granted him in the premises."

PAR Number 11385804

State: South Carolina Year: 1858
Location: Laurens Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: William Boyd seeks compensation for an injury he sustained while attempting to overtake three runaway slaves. Seeing the three pass near his house and supposing "from their dress and appearance" that they were runaways, Boyd and several others set out in pursuit. With the aid of dogs, they chased the slaves ten miles. When they finally caught up with the fugitives, a desperate struggle ensued, and Boyd was struck by a rock on his right arm. The runaways were finally subdued by a force of about forty-five or fifty men. Body acknowledges that "the fracture of his right arm ... has given him great pain and rendered the arm almost useless." He therefore prays that "the matter may be taken into consideration by your Honorable body, and such relief granted as the nature of the case may require."

PAR Number 11386003

State: South Carolina Year: 1860
Location: Newberry Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Thirty-eight Newberry District residents represent that Justine Birdie, a free woman of color, is "indebted to various persons Justly for medical Services & and that the law as it now stands affords no compulsory process by which she can be made to labor and thereby Settle her debts." They further submit that "if disposed She could Settle all of her debts, being Stout of body & having Children that are large enough to assist her in her work." The petitioners therefore pray "that an act be passed authorizing the Sale of the aforesaid Free Negroe Woman & children for such time as would be Sufficient to pay up all of her debts."

PAR Number 11483208

State: Tennessee Year: 1832
Location: Maury Location Type: County

Abstract: One hundred twenty-one residents of Maury, Bedford, Giles, Hickman, Williamson, and Lincoln counties ask that the act that "makes it an indictable offence for any owner or other person having charge of any slave or slaves, to permit him or them to go about the country under pretext of practicing medicine or healing the sick" be relaxed in "its general operation so far as to permit a negro man named Jack, the property of Mr. William H. Macon ... to practice." Avowing that the said Jack possesses a "character for honesty and correct deportment," they therefore "ask the passage of this Law, granting permission to this boy to practice, with a firm belief that the public good will be advanced by its passage from our knowledge of the character of this boy, and his practice for several years."

PAR Number 11484302

State: Tennessee Year: 1843

Abstract: One hundred fourteen citizens of Tennessee "request that the Laws of the State may be so changed as to permit 'Doctor Jack' to continue the practice of the healing art." The petitioners represent that "in his disposition he is humble, unobtrusive, peaceable and quiet; and in his morals altogether irreproachable, possessing great medical skill, particularly in obstinate diseases of long standing, and capable of great usefulness to the community in which he may reside." They further aver that "Doctor Jack is about 60 years of age, and has been a public practitioner of medicine 16 years, giving offence to no one, creating no disturbance, and until recently meeting no disturbance in the quiet pursuit of his business."

PAR Number 11484303

State: Tennessee Year: 1843

Abstract: Sixty-seven "Ladies residing in Tennessee respectfully petition the Honourable Legislature of the State to repeal, amend, or so modify the Act of 1831 c. 103. S. 3 which prohibits slaves from practicing medicine as to exempt from its operation a slave named Jack the property of William H. Macon." They "believe 'Doctor Jack' to be honest, honourable & skilful, especially in obstinate cases of long standing; and that the people ought not to be denied the privilege of commanding his services."

PAR Number 11678701

State: Virginia Year: 1787
Location: Westmoreland Location Type: County

Abstract: John Pratt Hungerford seeks compensation for his twenty-five-year-old slave named Loney who died from frostbite contracted while in jail "on suspicion of feloniously and burglariously breaking and entering the storehouse of Alexander Henderson ... and stealing from thence a trunk with money to the value of ten Pounds Current money of Virginia." Hungerford charges that his said slave was committed to jail in February 1785 and was retained there over a month due to his court date being continued "upon account of the inclemency of the weather." When Hungerford went to the jail to take Loney to court for his trial, "he found his said Slave frostbiten in so violent degree whilst he was in Gaol as to be in great danger of loosing his Life." He reports that Loney was "acquitted and discharged & your Petitioner immediately carried him home and used every means for his recovery but to no purpose the said Negro Loney dying soon after of the Injury he received from the frost whilst he was in Gaol." Averring that said slave was "in perfect health & not in the least affected with frost when he was apprehended and that he was frost bitten during his confinement in Gaol," the petitioner prays that "an Allowance for his said Slave adequate to his Value." Hungerford believes “the Court would have valued him at 100 pounds at least he being not more than 25 years of Age & a very well made likely fellow.”

PAR Number 11679901

State: Virginia Year: 1799
Location: Williamsburg Location Type: City

Abstract: Littleton Tazewell writes that a "Negroe Fellow," his property, was charged with a felony and committed to jail. The slave was taken to trial on 13 December 1796, found guilty, and sentenced to be "burned in the hand" for his crime. At the time of the trial, it was determined by a physician that his legs were so badly frost-bitten that only a double amputation could save his life. Tazewell, claiming that he was "anxious to do everything in his power to save the fellows life," authorized the physician to perform the amputation. Contending that his slave, whose name we find out from the physician's testimony is James, alias Blue Jim, was injured while under the authority of the law, Tazewell seeks reimbursement for his "expense and very great trouble."

PAR Number 11681808

State: Virginia Year: 1818
Location: Culpeper Location Type: County

Abstract: In the winter of 1817, a slave belonging to Charles Huffman stabbed another slave and was arrested by the justice of the peace. While in jail, the slave "became grievously frost-bitten," and later died. The owner seeks compensation.

PAR Number 11682406

State: Virginia Year: 1824
Location: Louisa Location Type: County

Abstract: Martin M. Price, the jailer of Louisa County, represents that he committed to his jail a woman of color named Milly as a runaway slave on 31 January 1823. Milly said she was the property of one Mr. Finlay of Richmond, but after sustained inquiries conducted by Price, no Mr. Finlay acknowledging himself as Milly's owner could be found, nor did any one else claimed her as his or her property. Price believes that Milly, an old person afflicted with several disabilities, also suffered from "severe mental derangement." There was also some speculation that Milly had been set free in Richmond and was trying to go back to Alexandria where she had been a slave. Eventually she "disappeard" and most thought she had "strayed off [and] died." No owner "has ever inquired for her." The jailer wants to be reimbursed for expenses incurred during Milly's confinement in his jail.

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 11682807

State: Virginia Year: 1828
Location: Richmond Location Type: City

Abstract: Hetty Jacobs, the widow of Solomon Jacobs, joins the guardian of her three infant children and the administrator of her late husband's estate to request that the eleven slaves belonging to said estate be sold "and the proceeds vested in Bank or Government stock to be held for the benefit of the widow & children." They aver that said slaves consist "exclusively of women & children who are not only wholly unproductive, but if not sold, must become a charge to the estate." Declaring the conduct of said slaves to be “very insolent and every way objectionable," the petitioners therefore pray that a law be passed "authorising the sale of the said slaves."

PAR Number 11683504

State: Virginia Year: 1835
Location: Washington Location Type: County

Abstract: Stephen, a free man of color, who was emancipated after his late owner's death in 1825, explains that he cared for his master during a long illness before the latter's death. The nature of his illness was "an ulcerous disease of the privates." The master's "privates" became so putrefied and so fetid that even his own family "loathed to enter his room." During this lingering illness, Stephen dutifully administered to his master's needs; he even "essayed his rude skill to heal" the wounds "by applications of his own preparation." He has been permitted to live in Virginia since his emancipation but has now been advised that "under the laws of the state, it is safest to make the present application." He seeks permission to remain in Virginia.

PAR Number 11683514

State: Virginia Year: 1835
Location: Brunswick Location Type: County

Abstract: James Haskins's uncle, John Haskins Sr., is insane. His estate consists of a 1046-acre tract of land, thirteen male slaves ages seventeen to fifty, fourteen female slaves ages sixteen to sixty, and eleven slave children ages one to eight. The slaves are unproductive, difficult to manage, and a "nuisance to the neighbourhood." John Haskins, representing a group of relatives, asks that the land and slaves--except the uncle's personal body servant Tom--be sold and the proceeds, perhaps $20,000, be invested at 5 percent, which would be more than enough to maintain his uncle comfortably.

PAR Number 11683806

State: Virginia Year: 1838
Location: Fluvanna Location Type: County

Abstract: William Fontaine represents that his thirty-nine-year-old slave named Davy "absconded and concealed himself" in the fall of 1836, during which time "a most outrageous and murderous attack was made at the late hour of night in and upon the body of one Joseph Wood"; Wood was so "beaten that his life was for a long time despaired of." Fontaine states that said Davy "was suspected of being an accomplice in the attack on said Wood" and that the acting governor offered a $100-reward for his capture. Relating that a young man in a group of pursuers accidentally shot and killed Davy, the petitioner "humbly asks that he may be compensated" for his loss. Fontaine figures that Davy's worth "at the time of his death was between $900 & $1500 -- [he] being a first rate sawyer ... and exceedingly athletic and able."

PAR Number 11684703

State: Virginia Year: 1847
Location: Richmond Location Type: City

Abstract: Oscar Taliaferro explains that, a number of years ago, he was able to accumulate $400 toward the purchase of his freedom. The money was entrusted with his then owner, James Blakey, "to keep for him." But before Blakey could execute a deed of emancipation in favor of Oscar, he "became so embarrassed" with debts that Oscar became "in danger not only of losing" his money, as he did, but of being sold to someone else and "separated from his wife a slave in Richmond." Consequently, with Blakey's permission, he convinced Richmond resident George Taylor to purchase him and to allow him to return the purchase money in installments of "from one to fifty dollars." By 1842, Oscar had reimbursed Taylor and the latter has since that time been "willing & anxious" to "execute the promised deed of manumission." However, Oscar, reluctant to leave his slave wife behind if forced to emigrate as the law requires of emancipated slaves, he continued accumulating funds with the object of purchasing and freeing her. As he was close to "accomplishing the object" of his efforts, he was struck down by illness and forced to use his savings for medical care. He no longer has the money to purchase his wife's freedom. He therefore seeks the "interposition" of the legislature to grant him permission to remain in the state if emancipated, so as to allow him to "enjoy the freedom he has so long struggled from, & the society of the being he cannot abandon."

PAR Number 20183002

State: Alabama Year: 1830
Location: Bibb Location Type: County

Abstract: Harwood Goodwin states that in October 1823 he "did place in the possession of said [Benjamin] Camp a Certain negro man slave named Jim, of the age of sixteen years," as collateral for the one hundred dollars he owed Camp, who is his son-in-law. Goodwin states that Jim was worth six hundred dollars and, as part of the agreement, he stipulated that the first year Camp pay him $60, "at a hire of five dollars per month for the first year, and that the hire was to increase as the boy grew older & became more servisable," continuing until the debt was repaid. Goodwin also borrowed another $250 from Camp, offering a slave, Lucy, worth five hundred dollars, as collateral, with the same conditions of hiring out to repay the debt. Goodwin says that Camp "has been long since reimbursed," and that "during such time of hire & while in his possession or under his control, or by his Improper & cruel Treatment ... Lucy has been greatly injured & her value greatly decreased." The petitioner further states that Lucy has given birth to a child during this time. As Camp refuses to settle accounts, Goodwin asks the court to force Camp to return the three slaves; to pay "all monies with legal interest on the same for the services of said slaves over the amount due respondant from Orator;" and to pay for the injuries sustained by Lucy while in Camp's possession. Goodwin is also suing Camp "for the damages, or injuries sustained in his interest, by causing the death of the mare & colt" belonging to Goodwin as well as for compensation for his son's services while employed by Camp. In his answer, Camp contends that the property was placed and allowed to remain in his possession on his agreeing to financially bail out his father-in-law, whose property was levied on several times. He claims that there never was any talk of his paying hiring fees.

PAR Number 20183107

State: Alabama Year: 1831
Location: Franklin Location Type: County

Abstract: In a previous petition filed in January 1831, Ellis Isbell sought the return and title to the four slaves he claims to have mortgaged to the defendant, Benjamin Hudson. Isbell recounts that, being unable to pay a $530.92 judgment obtained against him, he asked Hudson to pey it on his behalf. He secured the debt to Hudson by mortgaging a family of slaves to him. Isbell, desirous to reclaim his slaves, attempted to repay Hudson the amount owed but Hudson refused to accept the money and continued to hold the slaves in his possession. In the earlier petition, Isbell charged Hudson with fraud and sought title to the four slaves -- either upon payment of the debt or upon payment of the difference between the interest on the debt and the slaves' hire. In his current amended bill, Isbell states that he has reason to believe that Hudson "will dispose of said slaves and place it out of your Orator's power to regain or redeem them even if he succeed in his said Original Bill." Isbell further notes that he has learned that Hudson has drawn up a deed in trust that mortgages "two quarter sections of land and twenty or twenty one negroes including the four which your Orator claims the right to redeem." Isbell alleges that the money to be secured to Hudson's securities "as appears in said Deed in Trust is three thousand one Hundred Dollars and that said property conveyed is amply sufficient to pay the same exclusive of your Orator's said four slaves sought to be redeemed." Isbell points out that the said deed in trust appears to be dated "7 June 1831," which is five months after the date he filed his original petition. The petitioner seeks an injunction "preventing and restraining said Hudson from disposing of said four Slaves or taking them out of the power of the process of this Court untill a final decree is made in the case of the aforesaid Original Bill."

PAR Number 20183403

State: Alabama Year: 1834
Location: Bibb Location Type: County

Abstract: Harwood Goodwin states that there has been no resolution to his original petition, dated 15 September 1830, because of court continuances in the case. The petitioner states that the two slaves in question, Jim and Lucy, "have long since discharged all just claims which deft could have had," and that the slaves "ought to have been restored to your Orator for which and on account the bill prayed." Goodwin notes new circumstances have occurred since he initiated his original suit. He states that Lucy is now the mother of four children and that the defendant "has & does keep them & their mother to the detriment of your Orator." He also states that Camp "sold & disposed of Jim," and that the defendant is now in the process of retrieving Jim from the purchaser. The petitioner believes "that said Defendant intends to prevent the cause from coming to trial," stating that Camp has stated that "your Orator never should have said slaves," giving Goodwin good reason to believe that Camp intends "to run said slaves off." Goodwin therefore asks the court "to award a writ of Attachment, to take said slaves into the possession of the Sheriff."

PAR Number 20183404

State: Alabama Year: 1834
Location: Autauga Location Type: County

Abstract: William W. Mock and Mary Ann E. Wyatt, the legal representatives of the late Peter Wyatt, seek the court's permission to revive a bill originally filed by Peter Wyatt in 1827. Wyatt's petition was initially dismissed, but upon his appeal to the state supreme court, a new ruling cited error in the case, thereby annulling the first verdict and remanding the case to a lower court. The court gave Wyatt leave to amend his bill and continue its prosecution, but Wyatt died before he could accomplish that task. Wyatt's administrators argue that they are "entitled to revive and prosecute said suit in the same manner as if the said Peter Wyatt had not departed his life," and "to this end therefore that the said suit may be fairly prosecuted and full and ample Justice done in the premises." The petitioners seek $2000 in damages as they contend that Greer sold Wyatt a slave of known "bad character."

PAR Number 20183921

State: Alabama Year: 1839
Location: Coosa Location Type: County

Abstract: In December 1836, William Campbell purchased the slave Hardy, thirteen years of age, for $846 from John Dailey Jr. of Henry County, Georgia. As payment, Campbell transferred a note of $896 to Dailey, and Dailey paid Campbell fifty dollars in cash to balance out the transaction. Shortly after the sale, Campbell "discovered that the said negro was wholly unsound and worthless," and in March asked Daily to take back the boy and return the note used to purchase him. But before Dailey could respond, the slave died. The petitioner notes "that he has been greatly injured and endamaged by not having the possession of said note and that by reason of the wrongful acts of said Dailey," and he seeks an injunction against Dailey to prevent him from prosecuting the makers of the note and from collecting the money. In addition, Campbell requests recovery of the note.

Next 25 Results