Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Search Results

Your subject search returned 377 total results.

Displaying 25 results per page.

PAR Number 20184702

State: Alabama Year: 1847
Location: Mobile Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1843, Arnett W. Harrell placed five slaves in trust with Augustus Brooks for the children of the late John F. Everitt. The gift was made "in consideration of the friendship and kindness" Arnett "had experienced at the hands of" John Everitt during his lifetime. The trust also contained real estate and the trustee was instructed to "husband said property for the sole use and benefit" of the children, John Fannin Everitt and his siblings, Margaret, Helen, and Fanny. In 1844, his widow, Ann B. Everitt, died leaving a separate estate, including Slade's Plantation in Washington County and ten slaves. When Brooks resigned and John Rolston was appointed trustee. Now John Fannin Everitt explains that the estate "is not sufficient to maintain and educate him and his sisters in a proper and respectable Manner." He asks that Rolston be removed from his "office of guardian & trustee," that the estate be divided among the minor heirs, and that guardians be appointed for each of them. John Fannin Everitt points out that the slaves are badly managed and, as a result, are insubordinate, and addicted to running away and intemperance.

PAR Number 20184722

State: Alabama Year: 1847
Location: Mobile Location Type: County

Abstract: Margaret Collins, a free woman of color in her eighties, claims that her son, Joseph Collins, had an illegitimate child with his slave, Milly. Joseph gave the boy, named Edward, to Margaret, who in turn entrusted him to her daughter Louisa, wife of Benjamin Laurendine, and referred to as Madam Benjamin. Margaret and other family members treated Edward as a relative, but Louisa hired him out as a slave. After twenty years, Margaret Collins, complaining that she never intended the boy to be a slave, asks that Edward be returned to her and that an accounting of the money made from his hiring out be provided. Louisa Collins Laurendine, who has a sister named Isabel, is referred to as Isabella in parts of the documents.

PAR Number 20185113

State: Alabama Year: 1851
Location: Lowndes Location Type: County

Abstract: Emily Manning, a married woman separated from her husband and suing by her next friend, William Mock, asks that her share in her father's estate be handed over to her rather than to her husband. Emily recounts that she was married on 23 December 1847 to Moses T. Manning, and that she and her new husband lived together for only a short period of time. Arriving as a bride at Moses's house, Emily discovered that her husband had been engaged in "a criminal and adulterous intercourse" with a mulatto girl named Epsey for more than two years. She states that she spoke with Moses about a "conduct so degrading to himself- so regardless of the laws of society- and so abominable in the sight to God," but his response was to threaten to whip her if she said any more. From then on, he "exhibited openly his fondness and partiality" for Epsey. He rose from their bed at night and went to Epsey's house "in the yard," sometimes remaining there "till near day, when he would return to his own bed." In March 1848, he took a separate bedroom so "that he might with less restraint carry on his criminal intercourse." When "all hope had vanished of ever enjoying the affections of her husband," Emily abandoned the home that her husband "had made the theatre of low and degrading debauchery," and "sought refuge from insult in the house of her father." While separated from Moses, Emily also learned about another liaison between her husband and a free mulatto woman named Venus. In this bill of complaint, she accuses her husband of profligacy and intemperance. He is unfit to manage her property, she says, and cannot be trusted to provide for her support and maintenance. Related documents reveal that Emily had petitioned for but was not granted divorce. In his related answer, Moses Manning denies charges of adultery, and accuses his wife of having abandoned him without cause, and of living in adultery with a man named Kelly in Texas.

PAR Number 20185212

State: Alabama Year: 1852
Location: Dallas Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1841, Jane M. Potter, daughter of a prosperous Wilcox County plantation owner, married William Bizzell, an overseer with little means. Jane's father gave the couple a "valuable negro Boy aged about Seven years," a horse, saddle, bedding and other items "Necessary for young persons beginning in life with but little property." During the next decade, Bizzell, described as a man of "great energy & unwearied industry," acquired a number land and a number of slaves. Among the slaves was "a negro woman of light complexion named Mary with whom he was keeping up a criminal connection." He became so infatuated with her and so "open in his intercourse" that in 1844 he vowed he would "never part with this woman." Bizzell and Mary had two mulatto children. Bizzell also had four children by his wife, four of whom had died by the time she filed her petition. In 1845, Jane left and filed for divorce. Fearful of losing some of his property, Bizzell sought to appease his wife by sending the slave Mary to Ohio and promising to reform. But after she dropped her suit and returned home in 1848, he grew increasingly violent and carried on an illicit relationship with another of his slaves named Polly. In order to avoid suspicion, Jane Claims, her husband selected Polly specifically because she had a husband. Jane again left him, and again filed for divorce and alimony. Bizzell, who had sold most of his property, except for eight slaves, fled from the state. He died before a decree was rendered in the case.

PAR Number 20185616

State: Alabama Year: 1856
Location: Randolph Location Type: County

Abstract: During the early 1850s, Ruth Williams, fearful of a twelve or fourteen-year-old male slave named Pickens, whom she had received by division of property given by her mother to her two daughters, asked her husband William Williams to sell or trade the slave and acquire a black woman in the boy's stead. William Williams did so, and in 1852 purchased Nancy, fifty or sixty years of age, with his wife's money, but he also signed an "individual note for a part of the purchase money, which arrangement she states she knew nothing about at the time, nor until long afterwards." Now Ruth Williams, who claims to be illiterate, sues through her next friend William A. B. Falkner, asking the court to prevent her husband's creditors from seizing Nancy, arguing that she could not read the original bill of sale and that she trusted her husband who said he had bought the woman in her behalf.

PAR Number 20185630

State: Alabama Year: 1856
Location: Dallas Location Type: County

Abstract: James L. Evans, guardian of the estate of Margaret T. K. Gayle, a minor, asks to sell a "vicious and dishonest" slave named Watt, who "lately has become so wicked as to tend to corrupt and demoralize the other slaves." Watt is now in jail "to prevent any intercourse between him & said other slaves."

PAR Number 20186303

State: Alabama Year: 1863
Location: Dallas Location Type: County

Abstract: Samuel Webb, the executor of the last will and testament of the late Thomas J. Howell, asks to sell Sarah, Dick and Peter, three slaves, who "belong to and compose a portion of said Estate." Webb asserts that said slaves "are now, and in the opinion of your Petitioner will continue to be a hindrance and expense upon Said Estate." He therefore prays that he be permitted to sell the three slaves. Webb adds that "from their Known bad character, he is unable to hire them out for any thing like their value." He "further asks that with the proceeds of such Sale he may be allowed to purchase other slaves more Suitable."

PAR Number 20186307

State: Alabama Year: 1863
Location: Coosa Location Type: County

Abstract: M. P. Rogers, administratrix of the estate of the late John L. Rogers reports that the decedent "died seized and possessed of ... slaves by the names of Elizabeth aged 15 years and Edmun aged 32 years." Rogers reveals that "said slave Ed is now runaway and affirms that he will not live with your petitioner." Believing "that it will be to the Intrest of the Estate of said deceased to sell said Slaves and with the proceds of sale ... buy or purchase another slave to put in the place of said slaves [sic] Edmund."

PAR Number 20186311

State: Alabama Year: 1863
Location: Mobile Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1841, prior to her marriage, Mary A. Marshall obtained an agreement from her future husband, William Marshall, that a slave she owned named Jeff would be kept for “her sole & separate use.” In 1863, "dissatisfied with the conduct of said negro Jeff, and being desirous to send him away from this section of the country in order that he might avoid his bad influence on the other slaves," William sold Jeff to slave trader Richard Harris, who promised to take him to "some remote part of the Confederacy (east Tennessee or Virginia) so that he would not probably get back to Mobile." Instead, Harris sold him to Jose Antunez of Mobile. Mary Marshall asserts that her husband had no authority to sell the slave. She seeks a subpoena requiring the parties to appear in court and asks for a writ requiring the sheriff to seize "and take into his possession the said negro Jeff."

PAR Number 20285805

State: Arkansas Year: 1858
Location: Pulaski Location Type: County

Abstract: Margaret McDonald, administratrix of the estate of her late husband, Edward McDonald, asks permission to sell a "bad and vicious" slave named John, or Jack, a Negro man age twenty-five or twenty-six. She claims that it is both in her interest and that of the estate that the slave, whom she describes as "almost utterly impossible to govern or control" and who is currently being housed in the county jail to prevent him from running away, be disposed of as soon as possible and the money invested "otherwise." She explains that the slave, having been purchased by her husband with her money, is in fact her separate property. She recognizes, however, that the title issue has been settled, she must account for him as the property of her husband's estate. In any case, she points out, should her claim to title be denied by the court, as her husband's widow she is entitled to a life interest in one half of "said slave." Related documents reveal that John brought $1,100 when he was sold on 1 November 1858. By 1860, Margaret McDonald has remarried; and she and her new husband, Joseph Villerman, have purchased of the other heirs "all their right title and interest" in the estate.

PAR Number 20379001

State: Delaware Year: 1790
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Marinas Haughey explains that his twenty-one-year-old mulatto slave Alexander "is of such a vicious & wicked Disposition, that his present and former Owners have not be able to manage or controul him." The property of his wife prior to their marriage, Haughey asks to sell Alexander out of the state since no one in the neighborhood will purchase him because "his Character is so infamous."

PAR Number 20379004

State: Delaware Year: 1790
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Edward Roche seeks permission to sell a 20-year-old female slave named Sylph out of the state. He asserts that she was determined "to injure him & his family," and that indeed their lives were "in danger from her Wiles and art." Roche is convinced that "she is a compleat Thief and Liar." The Justices of the Peace give Roche a license to export, sell, or carry her out of the state "to any part of the United States of America, or to any other part of the World where he may think proper."

PAR Number 20379101

State: Delaware Year: 1791
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Slave owner Thomas Watson asserts that his twenty-year-old slave George has repeatedly threatened to kill members of his family and "do personal Injury to the Neighbours." According to Watson, George is "of such a wicked & malicious Temper that your Petitioner is not able to controul or manage him." Watson asks to sell George out of the state.

PAR Number 20379102

State: Delaware Year: 1791
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Isaac Stidham seeks a license to export his slave Sam, "a wicked and ungovernable Servant; and from whose Service, but Small advantage or Satisfaction can be derived." Stidham charges that Sam "hath wickedly attempted to murder, a negro woman the Property of your Petitioner; and hath made use of Language purporting to the Same Effect, against Your Petitioner."

PAR Number 20379202

State: Delaware Year: 1792
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Joshua Clarke seeks permission to export and sell his 20-year-old slave Simon, who doth "Refuse to Render Reasonable Service," to "any of The Southern States." Not only has Simon failed to conduct himself as "a Good and faithfull Servant," but Clarke also fears that he and his family are "in Danger of being poisoned or other extraordinary harms."

PAR Number 20379501

State: Delaware Year: 1795
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: John Ham seeks permission to export and sell "Roger a man grown, and Thomas about sixteen years old," slaves who have committed "divers acts of Felony," for which "they have received corporal punishment." Ham informs the court that "in addition to the above circumstance, the said Roger and Thomas are of disorderly and disobedient behaviour to your petitioner, notwithstanding the kind and benevolent treatment of your petitioner."

PAR Number 20379601

State: Delaware Year: 1796
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Richard Clayton states that his slave William is so "turbulent and unruly" that he is unmanageable. Clayton further recounts that William has run away on numerous occasions, has assaulted one of his slaves "heavy with child, and nearly bit off one of her fingers," and has threatened "to beat out my brains if I attempted to correct him." William is now in jail, and, since he cannot be sold in the neighborhood, Clayton asks to sell him out of the state.

PAR Number 20379701

State: Delaware Year: 1797
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: John Stilley Jr. asserts that his slave Philip is "Turbulent and Unruly." Stilley recounts how Philip ran away on several occasions, jumped on him "with great rage and Knocked [him] down with his fist," and threatened to shoot him with his rifle. With Phillip confined to jail, Stilley asks to sell him out of the state.

PAR Number 20379901

State: Delaware Year: 1799
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: William is "a Wicked and ungovernable Servant," slave owner John Cochran Jr. explains; he frequently runs away, steals, and is currently "Confined in the public Jail of this county." Cochran seeks permission to sell William out of the state. Cochran's neighbors attest that the petitioner is "a good master to his servants that he feeds and Cloaths them well and very indulgent in every respect."

PAR Number 20382205

State: Delaware Year: 1822
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Eight residents of Kent County seek authorization to "dispose" of Martin Dehorty to any person in Delaware or elsewhere. They contend that Dehorty is "a negro of infamous character" and "has been a great annoyance to the neighbourhood generally by stealing and seducing the negroes and servants of the neighbours into the commission of crime." Dehorty was sentenced to be sold "as a servant for the term of three years." On 25 May 1822 William Yates paid $206 for Dehorty's term of servitude.

PAR Number 20382217

State: Delaware Year: 1822
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: John and Thomas Clark own a slave named James Dill who is being held in the public jail at Dover "for his bad conduct and threats." The Clarks believe Dill "to be a dangerous boy in the neighbourhood" and that he "was ready to do any thing but take life, Burn houses or any thing." They ask permission to sell Dill either in or out of the state.

PAR Number 20382218

State: Delaware Year: 1822
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Jacob Lowber, a free person of color, states that Jehu and Thomas Clark were granted a permit "to sell a negro boy named James Dill in said petition alleged to be their slave to the highest bidder in or out of the State." Lowber further states that "said James Dill is the son of your petitioner, and at the time of granting said permit was a free negro and was born a free negro." Avowing that the mother of said James "had been manumitted in the City of Philadelphia" before her son's birth, Lowber asks that the permit be rescinded.

PAR Number 20382405

State: Delaware Year: 1824
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Thomas Coombe seeks permission "to make sale of" fourteen-year-old Alexander in Philadelphia. Coombe contends that Alexander, who "will be entitled to his freedom at the age of 25 years," exhibits an "attrocious conduct and ungovernable temper."

PAR Number 20482603

State: District of Columbia Year: 1826
Location: Washington Location Type: County

Abstract: Iris Smethers paid Mary Greenfield, the mistress of Letty Brown, $4 a month for Letty's labor in her laundry business, allowing the slave two or three days a week "to work for herself & raise money" to purchase her freedom. Letty informed Smethers that John Lowe "was about to befriend her" by buying her from Greenfield. Lowe promised Letty he would free her when she paid the balance due of $210, but Smethers contends that Lowe actually bought Letty "to hold as a slave for his own use." Letty has now paid Lowe almost all of the agreed upon sum, but he contends "that said promise was made only to Letty herself, who being a slave at the time, the promise is not binding." Letty has since had a son of whom Lowe "has taken forcible possession," claiming the boy as his slave as well. The petitioner seeks to subpoena Lowe requiring him to answer the charges levied against him and requests that the court require him to manumit Letty and her child, upon her paying any amount that is due for her freedom.

PAR Number 20483704

State: District of Columbia Year: 1837
Location: Washington Location Type: County

Abstract: James Thomas asserts that he sold a slave named Louisa to Michael Simpson in 1833 for a term of seven years. The bill of sale specified that Louisa should be freed at the end of the term. Thomas states that Simpson gave Louisa to his daughter and her husband, Brooke Mackall, who later sold her to Louisa's husband, John, a free person of color. Louisa and John were working for Mackall to pay off the debt from the sale when Thomas was informed that Mackall had placed Louisa in a private jail and was about to sell her as a slave for life. Thomas fears that Louisa will be sold out of the jurisdiction of the court. He charges that Mackall has fraudulently represented Louisa as a slave for life and asks that Mackall be subpoenaed.

Next 25 Results