Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Search Results

Your subject search returned 70 total results.

Displaying 25 results per page.

PAR Number 20784123

State: Kentucky Year: 1841
Location: Barren Location Type: County

Abstract: Joseph claims to be the great-grandson of an American Indian woman from Virginia and therefore asserts that he is free. While this case is being determined, he asks to be taken into the custody of the sheriff and held or hired out, because he fears that he will be removed from the court's jurisdiction.

PAR Number 20784124

State: Kentucky Year: 1841
Location: Barren Location Type: County

Abstract: Clara claims to be the great-granddaughter of an American Indian woman from Virginia and therefore asserts that she is free. While this case is being determined, she asks to be taken into the custody of the sheriff and held or hired out, because she fears that she will be removed from the court's jurisdiction.

PAR Number 20784126

State: Kentucky Year: 1841
Location: Barren Location Type: County

Abstract: Stephen claims to be the great-grandson of an American Indian woman from Virginia and therefore asserts that he is free. While this case is being determined, he asks to be taken into the custody of the sheriff and held or hired out, because he fears that he will be removed from the court's jurisdiction.

PAR Number 20784127

State: Kentucky Year: 1841
Location: Barren Location Type: County

Abstract: Sylvia claims to be the great-granddaughter of an American Indian woman from Virginia and therefore asserts that she is free. While this case is being determined, she asks to be taken into the custody of the sheriff and held or hired out, because she fears that she will be removed from the court's jurisdiction.

PAR Number 20881205

State: Louisiana Year: 1812
Location: Natchitoches Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Betsy maintains that Lewis Latham is illegally detaining her and her three children as slaves. Betsy states that she is "a Cherokee Indian by birth and legally entitled to her freedom." She prays that Latham be ordered to free her and her children, and that he be condemned to pay her $1,000 in damages. In addition, Betsy fears "that She may suffer some personal injury pending this Suit." In consideration of this, she prays that the court appoint a guardian for her and her children until this suit is settled. Related depositions reveal that Betsy and her children have been held as slaves since at least 1810, that they are believed to have always been slaves, and that Latham purchased them from Robert Crawford, who had purchased them from William Crawford [Petition damaged].

PAR Number 20881611

State: Louisiana Year: 1816
Location: East Baton Rouge Location Type: Parish

Abstract: James Morgan asserts that his slave named Ryner and her child are in Fergus Duplantier's "illegal possession." Morgan prays that the slaves be returned and that Duplantier pay $1,500 in damages. Several related documents uncover the circumstances that gave rise to the slave title dispute between Morgan and Duplantier. In 1811, Ryner's owner was a white woman named Milly [Mily] Deal, who at the time was living with her mulatto lover, a man named John Evans. That year, John Evans killed a slave belonging to another man and fled. The murder and Evans's flight from justice triggered a series of events that resulted in Ryner being shunted between Milly Deal and the murdered slave's owner, being transported to the Mississippi Territory, and, after Milly Deal's and John Evans's deaths, being sold and resold a number of times.

PAR Number 20885302

State: Louisiana Year: 1853
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Hosea George, of Arkansas, prays for the annulment of a slave sale and the return of his purchase money. He represents that, in early 1853, he purchased a thirty-three-year old mulatto slave named Jacob from one P. W. West in New Orleans. The slave was fully guaranteed “against all the vices & maladies made redhibitory by law.” George paid the purchased price of $1,500 to West’s agents, Moses Greenwood and Thomas E. Adams. In return, the two men fully guaranteed the terms and conditions of the sale. However, Jacob ran away within two months of the sale. He has never been found. George charges that Jacob was in fact a “habitual” runaway and that West “knew him to be so.” He further charges that Jacob had been introduced into the state of Louisiana “for the purpose of sale within less than eight months prior to the time" of the purchase. George therefore wants to sell back his rights to the slave to West and the sale to be cancelled. He prays that Greenwood and Adams be condemned to return his $1,500 with interest from the time Jacob ran away, plus $150 in damages.

PAR Number 20979204

State: Maryland Year: 1792
Location: Anne Arundel Location Type: County

Abstract: Thomas Carver, also known as Thomas Sampson, sues for his freedom from Samuel Lloyd Chew. Carver argues that he is entitled to his freedom because he is descended "in the female line from a free Indian woman."

PAR Number 20979704

State: Maryland Year: 1797
Location: Baltimore Location Type: County

Abstract: Margaret Creek says that she is "the daughter of Rachel who was the daughter of an Indian woman named Moll or Mary," a free woman. Although Margaret "has been entitled to Freedom from her birth," she is "deprived thereof & held as a Slave by William Wilkins of the Town of Baltimore." Margaret asks the court to subpoena Wilkins and to remedy her situation "as may seem right."

PAR Number 20980003

State: Maryland Year: 1800
Location: Queen Anne's Location Type: County

Abstract: Rachel Baker, her three children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, and Henny Baker and her five children and two grandchildren, declare that "they are descended from an Indian woman named Moll or Mary that the Said Moll or Mary was a free native of America." They represent that "your petitioners have been entitled to their freedom from their birth and are now deprived thereof and held as slaves by John Paca of Queen Ann's County." They ask the court to subpoena John Paca and to free them from bondage.

PAR Number 20980305

State: Maryland Year: 1803
Location: Queen Anne's Location Type: County

Abstract: Robert Moody petitions for his freedom on the grounds that he was born free and "is lineally descended in the female Line from an Indian Woman a Native of America." Moody files transcripts from three earlier freedom suits as evidence in his own suit. Those suits involved the alleged descendants of a free Indian woman named Moll or Mary raised in the family of Philemon Lloyd, a white planter. Moody attests that his mother Betty was the daughter of Rachel Baker, one of the successful plaintiffs in the October 1800 freedom suit.

PAR Number 20981814

State: Maryland Year: 1818
Location: Queen Anne's Location Type: County

Abstract: Alexander Walkup states that "he is descended lineally in the female line from a free woman and he is unjustly deprived of his freedom" by Edwin Pratt. He asks that process be issued against Pratt and he receive further "redress as to your Honours may seem right."

PAR Number 21084212

State: Mississippi Year: 1842
Location: Noxubee Location Type: County

Abstract: Nathaniel Hooe states that he advised his son-in-law, William Harrison, to move from Virginia to "some part of the territory about to be acquired by the U. States from the Choctaw Indians." Since Harrison had little property of his own, Hooe loaned him 16 slaves. Hooe filed paperwork to transfer the slaves to Harrison, but he states that it was understood between them that it was only a loan. After his daughter died, Hooe instituted a suit to regain his slaves. Two of the slaves, Harriet and Dick, left Harrison's possession and went to Hooe's possession. Harrison has filed for a writ of habeas corpus to regain the slaves. Hooe also seeks a writ of injunction to stop Harrison from prosecuting his suit against him.

PAR Number 21180601

State: Missouri Year: 1806
Location: St. Louis

Abstract: Joseph Tayon represents that he is the owner of the slaves named as defendants in this case. Nine of the defendants have run away and Tayon asks that the sheriff of the District of St. Charles seize "the said negroes so running at large" and deliver them into his possession. A related document in the French language indicates that, at least two of the defendants, Marguerite and Catherine, were the descendants of a woman named Scipion, whose mother was an American Indian. The document is in conflict, however, with the petition regarding the relationship of Marguerite to Scipion. It is therefore unclear whether Marguerite is Scipion's daughter or granddaughter. Several related petitions reveal that Scipion, also spelled Scypion, had been a slave of Joseph Tayon.

PAR Number 21182503

State: Missouri Year: 1825
Location: St. Louis Location Type: County

Abstract: Celeste, a woman of color, asserts that she is the daughter "of a certain free Indian woman named Scypion," whom the late Joseph Tayon claimed as his slave; Celeste, however, "verily believes" that "according to the laws and usages of the Spanish Government in upper Louisiana, [now Missouri] and according to the laws of the United States," Scypion was a free woman. Celeste argues that her mother's status entitles her and her children and her grandchildren to freedom, yet Lefrenier Chauvin, administrator of the estate of Helen Chevallier, holds them in slavery, "deprived of their natural freedom, and are subjected entirely to his will and controul." Celeste prays that they may be permitted to sue "for the recovery of their freedom" and that "your Petitioners may be permitted to sue as poor persons."

PAR Number 21182507

State: Missouri Year: 1825
Location: St. Louis Location Type: County

Abstract: Mary, "a free girl of color," states that she is the descendant of Scypion or Marie Scypion, a free Indian woman illegally who was kept in slavery by one Joseph Tayon, now deceased, and "that your petitioner is consequently a free person according to the laws of the land." She further avers that "she is in the custody and possession of the said Pierre Chouteau Senr ... who detains your petitioner under the pretence that she is a slave." Mary "therefore prays to be permitted to bring her action against" Pierre Chouteau and to sue "as a poor person, according to the Statute, to recover her freedom." Related documents reveal that Marie Scypion was taken prisoner during the French and Indian War and was the daughter of an "Indian" woman and a black man also named Scypion.

PAR Number 21182602

State: Missouri Year: 1826
Location: St. Louis Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioners, "free persons of colour," maintain that they are the descendants of a free Indian woman, Marie Scypion, "whose mother was a free native north american Indian; that the father of said Scypion was a negro man, whose name was Scypion." They further recount that Joseph Tayon illegally kept Marie as a slave. Contending that Pierre Chouteau Sr. illegally detains "your petitioners in slavery," they pray that they may be permitted to sue as poor persons for their freedom and that they may be assigned counsel.

PAR Number 21184211

State: Missouri Year: 1842
Location: St. Louis Location Type: County

Abstract: Chesley Evans, the next friend of three-year-old Musa Ben Abel Gazen, asserts that Felix Walker took Musa and his mother Vica to Illinois in 1841, where they lived approximately seven months. Benjamin Dill, Walker's son-in-law, then brought Vica and her children to St. Louis and placed them with John Sparr. Sparr, "pretending to hold and to be entitled" to them, sold them to Lyman Shaw, who sold them to George Charles and Samuel Hobart; George Melody now has custody of the child. Evans charges that Charles has tried to take possession of the child, "to separate him from his mother" and to remove him from the court's jurisdiction. Evans believes that the child "is free and entitled to his freedom." He therefore requests that the infant petitioner be permitted "to sue for his freedom as a poor person." The petition reveals that "the said Vica, is the daughter of a mulatto woman by an Indian man, and that the father of your petitioner is a white man-- so that the proportion of African blood in your petitioner is about one eighth." A related petition also notes that Chesley Evans is “a relation of” Vica.

PAR Number 21184212

State: Missouri Year: 1842
Location: St. Louis Location Type: County

Abstract: Thadeus Alonzo, a ten-month-old boy, petitions by his next friend, Cheslsey Evans, who informs the court that the petitioner's mother Vica resided with her master, Felix Walker, in Illinois for several months before and after Thadeus's birth. He cites that Walker's son-in-law, Benjamin Dill, later brought them to St. Louis and left them with John Sparr. Evans recounts that Sparr, pretending to own Vica and Thadeus, sold them to Lyman B. Shaw, who in turn sold them to Samuel Hobart and George Charles. Noting that George Mellody now holds Thadeus, Evans contends that these multiple transactions are fraudulent and that the said infant is entitled to his freedom. He therefore prays that Thadeus Alonzo be permitted to sue as a poor person to establish his right to freedom. The petition reveals that "the said Vica, is the daughter of a mulatto woman by an Indian man, and that the father of your petitioner is a white man-- so that the proportion of African blood in your petitioner is about one eighth." A related petition also notes that Chesley Evans is “a relation of” Vica.

PAR Number 21184302

State: Missouri Year: 1843
Location: St. Louis Location Type: County

Abstract: Mary Charlotte, a woman of color, petitions on behalf of herself and her four children, Antoine, Augusta, Victorine and Euphrasia. She asserts that she is "entitled to freedom by being born of a Negresse named Rose, who herself was born at Montreal in Canada." She further avers that John Stork, an "Indian Trader," took Rose to Prairie du Chien in the Northwest Territory about 1791; two years later upon Stork's death, a trader named Andrew [Andre] Todd brought Rose to St. Louis and sold her to a priest named Didier. The petitioner submits that Didier later sold Rose to Auguste Chouteau, who has since died, and that Therese Chouteau, widow and executrix of Auguste Chouteau, held Rose and Rose's four children until her death a few months ago. Gabriel S. Chouteau, administrator of Therese Chouteau's estate, now claims them as slaves. Mary Charlotte asks to sue as a poor person for her and her children's freedom. She also asks the court to pass an order that she "have reasonable liberty to attend her Counsel and the Court and that she shall not be subjected to any severity on account of her application for freedom, nor be removed out of the jurisdiction of the Court." When the jury found for the defendant, Mary Charlotte's attorneys filed a motion for a new trial. The court overruled the motion, so Mary Charlotte appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court. In 1848, the Supreme Court reversed the verdict and remanded the case for further proceedings. [A set of documents covering the proceedings in the second phase of the case (1853--1855) is attached to this petition. The circuit court transcript includes copies of this original 1843 petition, the judge's order, the subpoena for Gabriel Chouteau, sheriff's returns, and Chouteau's plea. The rest of the transcript documents the circuit court proceedings through the 1855 judgment of nonsuit. Mary Charlotte appealed the judgment, and the case went to the Missouri Supreme Court for the second time.]

PAR Number 21184709

State: Missouri Year: 1847
Location: St. Louis Location Type: County

Abstract: Nancy, "a dark Mullato," maintains that she was born of a free woman "in the Territory of Florida that her maternal Grandmother was an Indian woman." Nancy reports that she was "obtained" by Captain John Page, who kept her as a free person until his death. Following "the decease of said Page," the petitioner points out that she was taken into the possession of Aeneus McKay and then Enoch Steen, who "now holds & detains her as a slave." The petitioner therefore "prays for leave to sue as a poor person in order to Establish her right to freedom." Bridget Padget alleges in her deposition that Nancy "belonged to the Creek Nation of Indians" and that she became "attached to Captain Page while she lived in Alabama around Fort Mitchell.

PAR Number 21184812

State: Missouri Year: 1848
Location: St. Louis Location Type: County

Abstract: Peggy Perryman, a woman of color, represents that, "while visiting friends in Arkansas in the enjoyment of her freedom and civil rights," she was "suddenly seized ... gaged and transported and finally sold into servitude" by persons to her "before unknown." She avers that her father is a free person of color in Arkansas and her mother is an "Indian of the Black foot Tribe" whose people are "not only free since the memory of man but are distinguished among this Tribe." Perryman, currently restrained by Joseph Philibert, asks for permission to sue as a poor person in order to establish her right to freedom.

PAR Number 21185311

State: Missouri Year: 1853
Location: St. Louis Location Type: County

Abstract: Thornton Kinney seeks a writ of habeas corpus and the opportunity to reestablish his freedom, a state "prized beyond life itself." Kinney, whose father was a slave, explains that his mother, Amy Kinney, was a free woman of color "of Indian descent." After completing an apprenticeship, he obtained freedom papers, which he took to "the Colony of Liberia on the continent of Africa." When they became "worn and mutilated," he threw them away. Kinney returned to his native land and has worked on "divers Steam Boats running on the Ohio & Mississippi" since 1837. While aboard the steamer Caddo, the captain "declared that he intended to hold him as a slave," whereupon he was confined to the jail of a negro trader and "placed" up for sale. Narrowly escaping, he "commenced his old occupation going up and down the Mississippi." Kinney married a former slave, who was able to purchase her freedom, and together they bought her youngest child and are "labouring" to buy others. Rearrested "as a runaway slave" belonging to John F. Hatcher, Kinney assures the court that he can produce "incontrovertible evidence" from his Virginia acquaintances that establishes his right to freedom. He asks the court to protect him from the "chains of slavery, fastened by strangers, who feel not for him, but only desire to 'put money in their purses.' "

PAR Number 21278201

State: North Carolina Year: 1782
Location: Perquimans Location Type: County

Abstract: A group of Perquimans County citizens ask that a manumitted "Servant Man Named Peter (Whose Mother was an Indian & Father a Negroe)" be permitted to "remain Free & unmolested as long as he behaves himself well."

PAR Number 21278502

State: North Carolina Year: 1785
Location: Bertie Location Type: County

Abstract: Jinney [Jenny] Ash claims she is the free born daughter of an Indian woman named Nancy Ash. She asserts that she and her two children are being illegally held as slaves by John Gardner [Gardiner] who plans to "to prevent them from making their Personal appearance before your Worships at the next Court" by taking them to Virginia, perhaps South Carolina. She asks the court to issue a subpoena to prevent Gardner from taking her and her children out of the state; she also seeks freedom for herself and her family.

Next 25 Results