Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 11381903

State: South Carolina Year: 1819
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Edwin Chipman reports that "Judy, a free coloured woman late of the District" died in 1817, "leaving two illegitimate children, namely Trim, who is a Slave, & Isaac Field who is free." Chipman further states that Judy "died possessed of certain personal property, which, by the laws of this State is escheated." The petitioner, who serves as guardian for twenty-five-year-old Isaac, "humbly prays that your honorable body will pass an act to vest in the said Isaac Field the said personal property which was of the said Judy."

PAR Number 11381913

State: South Carolina Year: 1819
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Edwin Chipman reports that "Judy, a free coloured woman late of the District" died in 1817, "leaving two illegitimate children, namely Trim, who is a Slave, and Isaac Field who is free." Chipman further states that Judy "died possessed of certain personal property, which, by the laws of this State is escheated." The petitioner, who serves as guardian for twenty-five-year-old Isaac, "humbly prays that your honorable body will pass an act to enable the said Isaac Field to inherit the said personal property which was of the said Judy."

PAR Number 11382304

State: South Carolina Year: 1823
Location: Richland Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John L. Wilson, the governor of South Carolina and the guardian of Jehu Jones, attests that Jones, a free person of color, "has always borne an irreproachable character" and that "he is respected by all who know him." Wilson explains that Jones’s wife and family are "now abroad and prevented from returning to this State, under the penalty of the late act." The petitioner therefore prays "your honorable body to permit the Said Jehu Jones to visit his family in New York, and to return to this state, by and with the Consent of your honorable body." Wilson "assures your honorable body, that his ward is a fit and proper subject for the exercise of your Clemency."

PAR Number 11382306

State: South Carolina Year: 1823
Location: Richland Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John L. Wilson, the governor of South Carolina and the guardian of Jehu Jones, attests that Jones, a free person of color, "has always borne an irreproachable character" and that "he is respected by all who know him." Wilson explains that Jones’s wife and family are "now abroad and prevented from returning to this State, under the penalty of the late Act." The petitioner therefore prays "your honorable body to permit the Said Jehu Jones to visit his family in New York, and to return to this state, by and with the Consent of your Honorable body." Wilson "assures your honorable body, that his ward is a fit and proper subject for the exercise of your Clemency."

PAR Number 11382311

State: South Carolina Year: 1823
Location: Edgefield Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Ryan, "being far advanced in life," is desirous to emancipate his "aged and faithful female Slave of good Character of the name of Sophia." Ryan reports that Sophia, "the mother of Eleven children nine of whom are at this time field Hands," has performed "faithful Servises" and that he wishes "to provide a Comfortable maintainance for her during the remainder of her life." He further promises to "act as Guardian during his life and will at His Death leave in the hands of his Executors or Some other Trustee a Sufficiency for her Support During her Life."

PAR Number 11382414

State: South Carolina Year: 1824

Abstract: John L. Wilson, the governor of South Carolina and the guardian of Jehu Jones, seeks exemption on behalf of Jones from the 1821 and 1822 laws "restraining the free ingress & egress of persons of color into & from the State of South Carolina." Wilson attests that said law has "been particularly oppressive to the said Jehu Jones, inasmuch, as he was preparing to leave the State as soon as he could make sale of his valuable estate" and that "a great part of his family had already removed & he intended to follow." Representing that "his ward is a man of good moral character, attached to the Laws & Government of this state," the petitioner prays "your honorable Body that the said Jehu Jones may be permitted to leave the State & return to the same as his interests may demand."

PAR Number 11382501

State: South Carolina Year: 1825

Abstract: Joseph Streable states that John Chavis, a free man of color, petitioned in 1823 to secure a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War; said petition was denied "in consequence of his not having appointed a Guardian (which law he was ignorant of) previously to such application." Streable, confident that the next session would grant said Chavis his pension, became "security for the aforesaid poor old veteran to save him from starving." He declares, however, that "in order to save the poor old man," he "has nearly become bankrupt himself." Reporting that Chavis "was killed by the fall of a tree," the petitioner prays your Honble body to remunerate him for his charity to one so deserving your support as the aforesaid John Chavis -- particularly when the sum requisite is so small as one hundred and ten Dollars."

PAR Number 11382513

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

Abstract: Twenty-three citizens, many of whom are guardians of free people of color, complain about taxes imposed in 1822 to raise money to pay the municipal guard. They report that a new tax was levied on all property within the municipality; a ten-dollar-tax was imposed on all houses "inhabited by negroes or persons of color either as Tenants or owners"; and a ten-dollar-tax was required of every free man of color who worked as a mechanic. The petitioners argue that the tax system holds "certain landowners liable who had already paid their General Tax" and is thus inequitable. They therefore pray that "the Tax Collector ... refund to your memorialists the sum exacted from them in the year 1824 as the owners of houses within the said limits held subject to the tax."

PAR Number 11383004

State: South Carolina Year: 1830
Location: Sumter Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Hardy Stuckey, the guardian and administrator of the late James Slanter, a free man of color, states that the said Slanter died possessed of "a small tract of land of about fifty acres and some personal property in value about three hundred dollars." Stuckey reveals that Slanter "wished your petitioner to take the little property he had, and to sell the same, and after indemnifying himself for his trouble and expenses to bestow the rest upon his children who were slaves and owned by Edmund Stuckey the father of your petitioner." The petitioner, having been advised that Slanter's estate "may be subject to and claimed as an Escheat," prays that "all claim to the Estate of the said James both real and personal may be remitted in favour of your petitioner, according to the wishes and for the purposes & intention expressed by the said James."

PAR Number 11385009

State: South Carolina Year: 1850
Location: Fairfield Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Fifty-four residents of Fairfield District ask that the guardianship law be revised to require white guardians to be responsible not only for free adults of color and but for children of color as well. They propose that, when free children of color reach age twelve, the guardian should "have full and ample power to appoint a guardian to such children"; under the authority of said guardian and with approval of a Justice of the Peace, the children should be bound out to a useful trade until they reach age twenty-one. The petitioners charge that it is problematic when "a free colored person may be raising a family; and notwithstanding he may be under the safety and direction of a guardianship, his family may be let run unbound and unguardianed among our slave population to their damage and of consequence to the serious injury of the master." The petitioners, "making this representation of what seems to our apprehensions a deficiency in the existing laws, and presuming to suggest a remedy, pray that the same may be taken into consideration."

PAR Number 11385103

State: South Carolina Year: 1851
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Seventy-two-year-old Ephraim Wilson, a free person of color, seeks title to a house and lot on Henrietta Street in Charleston. He had previously entrusted his marriage certificate and other valuable documents to his guardian, Oliver M. Smith, a lawyer now deceased, but Smith had lost or misplaced them. The documents proved that the last persons who owned the Henrietta Street property were Wilson’s wife, Maria E. Wilson, and his stepson, Felix Bradshaw, both deceased and leaving no heirs at law. Wilson asks that the law concerning escheats "may be remitted and the Title to the lot vested in him."

PAR Number 11385906

State: South Carolina Year: 1859
Location: Horry Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Forty residents of Horry District seek a law forcing free persons of color to leave the state within a given period of about "twelve months”; if they fail to leave within the given period, they should be "subject to Public Sale by the Sheriff of the District, the proceeds of such sale to be placed in the State Treasury.” The petitioners assert that such measures are justifiable since "the social and moral position of the free negroes within our State is fraught with much evil to society without any corresponding good, as a class they are generally, at least so far as our Knowledge extends -- indolent, insolent, and dishonest, occupying a position towards the slave calculated to prove ruinous to him and injurious to his masters interest." To bolster their argument, they cite that "there is now lodged in the Jail of this District and Shortly to suffer the Death penalty a Slave who we believe has been lead to the perpetration of the crime by which he has forfeited his life by a connection with a free Woman of colour, whose business has been the means of his destruction." The petitioners further aver that the free person of color's guardian "in many instances we fear, is the Joint partner with his Ward in Carrying on nefarious traffic with the Slaves who feel themselves protected in their depredations by the Guardian power of the white man over his free Ward."

PAR Number 11482515

State: Tennessee Year: 1825

Abstract: Robert Miller and Burrel G. White "humbly represent that we wish that the free people of colour be restricted in this way That is, that we wish that they be not subject to military duty at all and that they be taxed as high as Slaves and that they be prohibited from voting in any election whatever and that they ought to have a guardian to direct their conduct."

PAR Number 11585302

State: Texas Year: 1853
Location: Dallas Location Type: County

Abstract: Eighty-seven residents of Dallas County ask that Lewis Edmondson, a free man of color, be permitted to remain in Texas. While the slave of Peter Singleton of Tennessee, Edmondson married a slave belonging to William Edmondson; in his will, Singleton emancipated Lewis Edmondson and appointed William Edmondson to be Lewis's guardian. They further report that Edmondson moved to Texas about 1849, bringing with him Lewis and Lewis's family. The petitioners assert that Lewis "is well Known & respected as an honest industrious and a useful man in the Community." In "consideration of the Sacred obligations of honorable pretention to the marriage right, the endearment of wife and children, the hapiness of a human being, the peace of Society, the Security and comfort of the owner of his wife," the petitioners pray that an act be passed "for the relief of said Lewis and permit him to be and remain a Citizen of the State of Texas."

PAR Number 11585311

State: Texas Year: 1853
Location: Guadalupe Location Type: County

Abstract: Nine residents of Guadalupe County ask that Daniel, a free mulatto, be permitted to remain in the state. They report that "Daniel was brought to the county from Mexico, in Peonage, by a Mr. Joseph L. Gould”; when Gould died, Daniel was placed under the guardianship of Dr. T. M. Anderson, the administrator of Gould's estate. The residents concur that Daniel is a "well behaved industrious man & he is desirous of remaining in the state under his present Guardian." They therefore "request that a law be passed granting him permission ... to remain in the State of Texas."

PAR Number 20185851

State: Alabama Year: 1858
Location: Chambers Location Type: County

Abstract: Cora, "a free person of Color, over the age of Fourteen," nominates and requests “the Court to appoint Charles S. Easley, to be the Guardian of her.” Easley has set forth "that the said Cora, resides in this County, and is over the age of fourteen years; and has no guardian." Easley has also filed "his bond ... in the sum of one hundred dollars, Conditioned to perform all the duties which are or may be required of him by law as such Guardian."

PAR Number 20186038

State: Alabama Year: 1860
Location: Chambers Location Type: County

Abstract: Henry Witter, the guardian of Cora, a free woman of color, seeks to be appointed the guardian of Cora's fourteen-month-old son George. Contending that "said minor is two young to be seperated from the mother," the petitioner purports that he "can more sufficiently Guard and protect the interest of said minor." Witter further states that "the mother can have more access to said infant under the guardianship of your petitioner." In a related petition filed the same day, Cora sought to surrender her freedom and prayed to become the slave of Elizabeth Witter, Henry's wife.

PAR Number 20679603

State: Georgia Year: 1796
Location: Chatham Location Type: County

Abstract: Sylvia, a woman of color commonly called Sylvia Mitchell and a native of South Carolina, claims that her late owner, Thomas Mitchell, positively declared "in the presence of several respectable witnesses" his intention to emancipate her. After Mitchell's death, Sylvia therefore considered herself a free woman. Notwithstanding these facts, one Matthew Crannot now "pretends" that she is still a slave. Sylvia therefore asks that D. B. Mitchell be appointed her guardian so she may try "the right she hath to her freedom."

PAR Number 20680002

State: Georgia Year: 1800
Location: Richmond Location Type: County

Abstract: Nicholas Ware prays to be appointed guardian for Sarah and her three children, Jack, Joseph, and Lucy, now in the possession of Martin Caswell. Sarah wishes to sue for her freedom and the freedom of her children. Ware, "being fully impressed with a belief the said negroes are free and entitled to freedom," wishes to assist them in their efforts.

PAR Number 20682304

State: Georgia Year: 1823
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: Betsey Edwin (alias Betsey Riley) is a free woman of color, "upwards" of twenty-one years of age. She asks the court that "a Guardian [be] appointed for the management of her person & property." She asks the court to approve Augustus B. Longstreet as her guardian.

PAR Number 20682403

State: Georgia Year: 1824
Location: Elbert Location Type: County

Abstract: John A. Heard is the guardian of ten free persons of color. William Davis, however, "possessed himself of the above named Persons of Colour." Heard claims that the loss of his wards' services is "against the peace and Dignity of said State." He sues Davis for $10,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20682521

State: Georgia Year: 1825
Location: Richmond Location Type: County

Abstract: Jack Wright, a free man of color, represents that he "is without a Guardian and prays the Court to appoint William Jackson to act as Guardian for him."

PAR Number 20682522

State: Georgia Year: 1825
Location: Richmond Location Type: County

Abstract: Peter Mitchell, a free man of color, states that he is "anxious to have a Guardian appointed and as Mr Jarvis Ballard will consent to act as such I pray your honorable body to appoint him." Mitchell informs the court that he has "no property."

PAR Number 20682523

State: Georgia Year: 1825
Location: Richmond Location Type: County

Abstract: William Harris, a free man of color, "requests your honors to appoint A G Raiford Guardian for your petitioner ... according to the Laws of the State of Georgia."

PAR Number 20682524

State: Georgia Year: 1825
Location: Richmond Location Type: County

Abstract: John Harris represents that "he is a free man of Color according to the Laws of Georgia and therefore requests your honorable body to appoint A G Raiford his Guardian."

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