Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Search Results

Your subject search returned 35 total results.

Displaying 25 results per page.

PAR Number 21385955

State: South Carolina Year: 1859
Location: Fairfield Location Type: District

Abstract: Benjamin J. Boulware, trustee of thirteen-year-old John J. Neil, seeks to sell eighteen slaves in the minor's trust estate. Boulware represents that he has assumed the responsibility of raising his young nephew and of managing the slaves, whom the said John inherited from his late mother, Eliza A. Neil. Noting that his young ward has no lands on which to employ said slaves, the petitioner reports that he has had to hire out the slaves. He reveals that hiring out said slaves has become a burden because many are "breeding women with young children." Moreover, he considers it "inhuman to hire [them] out from year to year until the said [John] shall arrive at the age of twenty one years." Describing himself as "a man of feeble health, in the decline of life," Boulware believes he is "illsuited to attend to hiring out these negroes from year to year." He therefore is of the opinion that it is in the said John's best interest "to sell said slaves for the purpose of a change of investment." Benjamin Boulware asks the court to permit him to sell the slaves and to place the proceeds from the sale "in bonds well secured until a guardian should be appointed to take charge of the estate."

PAR Number 21385964

State: South Carolina Year: 1859
Location: Anderson Location Type: District

Abstract: Lewis and John Featherston, executors of John Wesley Featherston, seek a partition of the estate of their late father. They inform the court that their father died in 1858, leaving thirty-two slaves and more than 1100 acres of land to his ten children. His will directed that his executors sell three of his slaves, Drucilla, Sarah and Ceely, and use the proceeds therefrom to pay his debts; the other slaves would be distributed among his children when they reached twenty-one years of age or married. Featherston's will also included provisions to ensure that slave families would not be separated. However, the petitioners claim that they are unable to keep the estate together as their father had directed. They aver that the lands are poor, many of the slaves are old, and "most of the females are barren and unproductive." The petitioners fear that any attempt to carry out the provisions of the will "will prove abortive and disastrous to the interests of the devisees." They conclude that a sale of the land and slaves will be most beneficial to the legatees and ask the court to authorize a partition of the estate. [The petition is missing its fourth page.]

PAR Number 21386414

State: South Carolina Year: 1864
Location: Laurens Location Type: District

Abstract: Willis Wallace joins fifty-seven-year-old Kitty Goodman in seeking leave to sell a female slave and her two children. Wallace recounts that Duke Goodman bequeathed to him "one negro girl named Sarah" to hold "in trust for the use of his sister the aforesaid Kitty Goodman" and that Goodman's administrator delivered said Sarah to him shortly after Duke's death about 1851. Noting that said Sarah "breeds very fast," the petitioners reveal that the said slave "has had three children one of whom died, leaving two still living ... the oldest ... being only about three years of age and the last one ten months old." They report that the said slave "and her children are a heavy expense to your petitioner Kitty Goodman, she having been compelled heretofore to hire her out for her victuals and clothes and pay her taxes and medical bills, and which your petitioners have found it impossible to do the present year." The petitioners therefore pray that "your Honors would consider of the premises and grant them an order to sell the said slaves Sarah and children and keep the funds at interest."

PAR Number 21483002

State: Tennessee Year: 1830
Location: Smith Location Type: County

Abstract: Samuel Overton asks that Dr. Luther Bigelow be summoned to answer his charges of usury and that a slave family be sold to satisfy a debt owed to said Bigelow. He admits that he was "much embarrassed in his circumstances, and greatly in want of money to pay his debts" in 1825 and that he "called on" said Bigelow, seeking a loan to cover his debts. He further reports that Bigelow, purportedly "a man of honesty and fair dealing," agreed to an indenture for $500, which was to be paid off in 3 months, at an interest rate of 25%, "provided also that your Orator would execute a deed of Trust for five negroes." He reveals that he did not pay the note on time and that Bigelow "called on your Orator to renew said note for three months longer, adding 25 per cent interest more on the original sum." Stating he was forced to renew the note a third time, Overton charges that "said Defendant had by fraud, covin and usury, converted his five hundred dollar debt into a claim on your Orator for the sum of nine hundred and fifty dollars." He claims that Bigelow said he would sell the mortgaged slaves in order to "purchase them at a less price," which forced him to convey said slaves. Overton prays that Bigelow account to the court and that "he receive what may be justly due him after said account."

PAR Number 21678907

State: Virginia Year: 1789
Location: Accomack Location Type: County

Abstract: John Moore, executor of the estate of the late Joseph Moore, explains that Joseph was the guardian of James Moore whose estate "consisting in negro slaves, of whom the greater part were breeding women & small children, so that the expences of those far exceeded the profits of the labour of the others." The petitioner further explains that he "was by this worshipful Court appointed Guardian of the sd. James Moore." Citing that James is currently indebted to him "by reason of his board, schooling & maintenance & the expences of his sd Slaves over & beyond the profits thereof," Moore "prays a decree for the sale of such of the sd. negro slaves as may be most convenient to the interest of the sd. James & sufficient to satisfy the sd. debt."

PAR Number 21680712

State: Virginia Year: 1807
Location: Frederick Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1805 Moses Shepherd hired two slaves, a man for £20 and a woman for £5, from Drusilla Ball. He received a guarantee from Ball that the male slave was "sound and well" and that the female slave "would not have a child in the year as she knew she did not breed in such a manner having lately had a child." Shepherd charges that the man "was greivously afflicted with a venereal disorder whereby he was rendered greatly incapable of service," while the woman did indeed give birth to a child. Refusing to pay the full hire price for the two slaves and facing a judgment against him, Shepherd asks for an injunction to halt the proceedings.

PAR Number 21685111

State: Virginia Year: 1851
Location: Lancaster Location Type: County

Abstract: Thadeus Forester, guardian of George W. Walker, seeks to sell an eight-year-old slave belonging to his ward. Forester recounts that his ward recently "recovered three slaves and about seventy five dollars in money" from the settlement of his father's estate. He reveals, however, that he and his ward cannot receive the money until George becomes of age. He further reports that "of the slaves recovered one is an old woman who is chargeable, one a young woman valuable intrinsically, but from the fact of her being a breeding woman she does not hire out, but for a small sum, and one is a child about 8 years of age, who hires for nothing." Noting that his ward "is also indebted to your orator for board, clothing and for his tuition," the petitioner cites that George "is now of the age that he ought to be going to school, but that his income not being sufficient to board him and clothe him, there is no fund out of which either the debts aforesaid can be paid or by which he can in future be sent to school, unless by a sale of one of the said negroes for that purpose." He therefore seeks authority to sell the eight-year-old slave, using the proceeds for George's education.

PAR Number 21685219

State: Virginia Year: 1852
Location: Campbell Location Type: County

Abstract: Fleming Saunders seeks compensation for the care of Martha Watts, his sister-in-law, who is of "unsound mind, being wholly incapable of taking care of herself or of managing her property." He recounts that in 1837 Martha received an allotment of slaves, "which had been held by a certain Mary Watts (then deceased) during her lifetime, under the last will & testament of her husband William Watts." He further relates that the commissioners assigned to Martha in said division "chiefly negroes whose production value or immediate profit was small" and that "your Orator had thrown upon his plantation and under his care & management a number of breeding women with their families," thereby curtailing his ability to hire them out. The petitioner maintains that he "has been put to great trouble, inconvenience, labor and expense" in raising "a large number of young negroes & their mothers," detailing that he has provided them with land, livestock, clothes, and medical care. He also submits that the said Martha "has been fed from his table, and has exclusively occupied one room of his house." Saunders therefore prays that he be given "such compensation & relief in the premises as may appear to be just & proper."

PAR Number 21685624

State: Virginia Year: 1856
Location: Albemarle Location Type: County

Abstract: Alice Smith devised half of her slaves and monies "in trust for the separate use and benefit and for the support and maintenance of her niece Caroline Owens and such of her children as may remain with her during her natural life." During her life, Smith entrusted William Owens, Caroline's husband, "with the cultivation of her land, & the support & rearing of her negroes." He claims that when "he took charge of her business she had no property but 3 breeding negro women with about 12 or 13 children." Owens recounts that at Smith's death in 1851 "she left about fifty valuable slaves," a testament to the success of his "undivided attention." He avers that John Cocke, Caroline's trustee, left the farm and seventeen slaves in his care and that Cocke's only involvement in the trust's management has been the hiring of eight slaves, for whose hire Cocke has collected "annually to a sum ranging between $8 & $900." Owens complains that he has "found it wholly impracticable to raise adequate supplies for this large family - white and black." He cites that his expenses in running the farm have been reasonable, but Cocke refuses to settle the accounts and reimburse him for claims against the trust. He asks that "the correctness of his account; the character of his agency and management, & the value of his services" be validated by the court.

PAR Number 21685821

State: Virginia Year: 1858
Location: Chesterfield Location Type: County

Abstract: William Robinson, trustee for the estate of Martha S. Jewett, seeks to sell a young female slave named Clarisa [Clarissa]. Robinson recalls that in 1852 Martha's father "conveyed to your orator in trust a negro girl named Clarisa and her future increase for the benefit of the said Martha Jewett for and during the term of her natural life and after her death to the heirs of her body to be equally distributed amongst them." He asserts that now "the said negro girl Clarisa is of very little or no value to Mrs Jewett and there is probability that she will continue so, if indeed, she does not become perfectly worthless, on account of her discipated habits." He further claims that "she is perfectly uncontrolable at times being extremely fond of ardent spirits and whenever she can get liquor is apt to drink too much." Citing that she "has had several miscarages and on that account not likely to bear children," Robinson surmises that she "would probably if sold at this time bring between eight hundred and a thousand Dollars." He therefore prays that "the Court will decree a sale of the said negro girl Clarisa & that the proceeds of said sale be invested in another negro or in state stock."