Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 11281904

State: North Carolina Year: 1819
Location: Johnson Location Type: County

Abstract: Fourteen men ask the governor to grant leniency to John McLeod, a resident of Johnson County who "engaged in a transaction which was supposed to eventuate in the death of a negro man." McLeod's supporters recount that the accused "first gave the fellow a flogging (by the master's permission) with a view of extorting from him a confession of the place of concealment of one of the Said McLeod's negroes, whom he was confidently informed the Said Deceased had harboured." They further explain that "Mr. Sumner, the owner, chastised said deceased (for conduct entirely unconnected with the object of McLeod's whipping) and then committed the offender to prison, where he died in the space of an hour or so." The petitioners insist that McLeod "has sustained from his infancy, a fair unblemished character" and that he could not have anticipated "that the severity of the punishment would be so great as to fix irrevocably the fate of the negroe." They therefore pray that "your Excellency will be pleased ... to stay any further proceedings against him, and permit him to resume that Station in Society which he believes he has not justly forfeited." A witness to the whipping attests that Isom's head was tied "in a fence" and he was "lying over a Barrell" when McLeod whipped him; that he was whipped "with a leather strop chiefly on his buttocks”; that Sumner whipped "the said negro Isom with a cow Skin ... the number of strips given by McLeod & Sumner did not exceed One hundred." The witness then relates that Isom was dragged "on his rump" to the jail. The witness thinks "the said negro was not whipped unmercifully."

PAR Number 11282301

State: North Carolina Year: 1823

Abstract: Jarrad Weaver seeks compensation for his slave David who "without any known ill usage or justifiable cause ran away from the services of your petitioner." Weaver reports that David was armed and "remained lurking about in the neighbourhood, doing & committing divers mischief, and depredations" until "a party of young men" discovered his whereabouts and attempted to apprehend him. He states that David resisted their efforts to seize him and that said men "were compelled to use violence and in so doing, the said David was shot dead." Citing the 1741 law wherein compensation is afforded to the owners "of such runaway slaves as may happen to be killed in the attempt to apprehend them," Weaver asks that he be granted such "suitable allowance" as he may be deemed "fairly entitled to."

PAR Number 11285801

State: North Carolina Year: 1858
Location: Granville Location Type: County

Abstract: William Gilliam represents that he hired his slave named Jacob "to the President of the Raleigh & Gaston Rail Road then the property of the State & under its control, to work on the Shop in the City of Raleigh which had been partly destroyed by fire." Gilliam charges that, while on board the train and en route to Raleigh, his slave "was put by the President of the Road ... to the business of putting wood on ... at the various stations"; when the train lurched, Jacob "was thrown on the track, and the wheels of one of Cars ran over his ankle & foot mashing them very badly." Gilliam reports that Jacob "never recovered" and that "he was rendered for a long time useless to your memorialist, and his death was caused ultimately by said injury." The petitioner therefore prays that he be compensated for the loss of Jacob, since “the death of the said slave was a heavy loss to your memorialist--He was an excellent carpenter- & was worth at least $2,000."

PAR Number 11285806

State: North Carolina Year: 1858
Location: Granville Location Type: County

Abstract: William Gilliam represents that he hired his slave named Jacob "to the President of the Raleigh & Gaston Rail Road then the property of the State & under its control, to work on the Shop in the City of Raleigh which had been partly destroyed by fire." Gilliam charges that, while on board the train and en route to Raleigh, his slave "was put by the President of the Road ... to the business of putting wood on ... at the various stations"; when the train lurched, Jacob "was thrown on the track, and the wheels of one of Cars ran over his ankle & foot mashing them very badly." Gilliam reports that Jacob "never recovered" and that "he was rendered for a long time useless to your memorialist, and his death was caused ultimately by said injury." The petitioner therefore prays that he be compensated for the loss of Jacob, since “the death of the said slave was a heavy loss to your memorialist--He was an excellent carpenter- & was worth at least $2,000."

PAR Number 11378308

State: South Carolina Year: 1783

Abstract: Joshua Lockwood represents that he delivered "a Cargo of Goods to the amount of about Six Thousand Pounds Sterling; which got up Safe to Pon Pon without fee or reward" during the American Revolution in 1782. During his return trip "one of his negroes fell overboard and was unfortunately drown'd, which Slave cannot be replaced for a Hundred Pounds Sterling; which loss your petitioner prays the Honorable House may take into consideration, and allow him what they think mete for his loss."

PAR Number 11378401

State: South Carolina Year: 1784
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Calvert seeks compensation for two young slaves, Jack and Primas, who were killed in 1779 on Easter Sunday. Calvert recounts that "he was directed to prove some Cannon -- belonging to this State (under the direction of Major Thomas Grimball)" and "in performing of which Business One of the Guns an 18 pounder blew of by Accident and Unfortunately wounded Two young Negroe Men by Name Jack & Primas the property of your Petitioner." He further states that they died the next day "in the General Hospital" and that said "Negroes has been Constantly Employed in the Public Services for upwards of 4 years." He therefore prays that he be granted "such Allowance for the said Negroes as in your wisdom shall seem meet."

PAR Number 11378501

State: South Carolina Year: 1785

Abstract: Joshua Lockwood represents that "in 1782 when Powder Ball and Medicine cou’d not be procur'd from other Quarters he did supply your Army from the British Garrison at the risque of life and fortune." Lockwood notes that he also sent his son and "five hands" to deliver "Goods for the Army to the amount of upwards of six Thousand pounds Sterling" and that during that expedition "a negroe fellow of your Petitioners fell overbor'd and was drowned, which slave your Petitioner cannot replace for one Hundred Guineas." Lockwood therefore prays "this Honorable House to take his loss into consideration and grant him such relief as they think meet."

PAR Number 11379203

State: South Carolina Year: 1792
Location: Beaufort Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Lightwood seeks compensation for his slave, Bacchus, "who had absonded from his Service" and who "was killed by a Patrole about twelve months ago." Reporting that he is "advised that he is entitled to some compensation for him," the petitioner submits an appraisal for said slave that values Bacchus at sixty pounds sterling at "the time he was killed." The document also claims that Bacchus was killed "for Robbing Benj Davis of his Fire Arm & Arming himself therewith, havg Davis's Gun in his Hand." Bacchus had "been a Runaway for upwards of Eighteen Months."

PAR Number 11379402

State: South Carolina Year: 1794

Abstract: Peter Horlbeck attests that "on or about the 26th day of August 1794 Thomas Coburn did wantonly and in a most cruel manner beat a negroe slave, the property of your Petitioner, by which the said Negroe died." Horlbeck asserts that he "commenced a prosecution on behalf of the State against the said Thomas Coburn," noting that "the said Coburn was convicted and fined in the Sum of one hundred pounds." The petitioner believes that "he is, by law, entitled to one moiety of the said fine ... as a compensation for his trouble and expenses in attending to the Prosecution, and the great loss he has sustained in being deprived of the services of so valuable a Slave." He asks that "the said moiety be paid him."

PAR Number 11379502

State: South Carolina Year: 1795

Abstract: Peter Horlbeck attests that "in the month of August, last past, a very valuable Negro Man, the property of your petitioner, was murdered by one Thomas Coburn, (a young man lately from Europe).” Horlbeck asserts that he "prosecuted the said Thomas Coburn in the September term to conviction" and that a fine of one hundred pounds was paid to the clerk of court. The petitioner reminds the legislature that he "made application to the Clerk for a moiety of the said fine, which he was led to believe he was entitled to as prosecutor; but without effect." He now prays that "you would order the sum of one hundred pounds, which was paid by the said Thomas, as a fine for the murder of your petitioners negro, to be paid to your petitioner."

PAR Number 11379510

State: South Carolina Year: 1795

Abstract: Peter Horlbeck attests that "on or about the 26th day of August 1794 Thomas Coburn did wantonly and in a most cruel manner beat a negroe slave, the property of your Petitioner, by which the said Negroe died." Horlbeck asserts that he "commenced a prosecution on behalf of the State against the said Thomas Coburn," noting that "the said Coburn was convicted and fined in the Sum of one hundred pounds." The petitioner believes that "he is, by law, entitled to one moiety of the said fine ... as a compensation for his trouble and expenses in attending to the Prosecution, and the great loss he has sustained in being deprived of the services of so valuable a Slave." He asks that "the said moiety be paid him."

PAR Number 11379902

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Williamsburgh Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Isaac Matthews, being "a good Citizen," represents that he obeyed the call of the "Commissioners of the Navigation of Black River to furnish hands as required by law to clear out the said River in the Month of September 1798" and that he sent "his legal Quota of Slaves, to assist in clearing the said River." Matthews reports, however, that "one Prime young negro man Slave named Sam about 23 years of age, of unblemished character, drowned in Said River in the execution of his duty." The petitioner therefore "hopes you will grant him such relief as to you, in your wisdom Shall Seem meet."

PAR Number 11379903

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Henry Martin explains that he was "compelled by the disasters of St. Domingo to repair to the United States of America" in 1793. He further represents that "by his constant exertions to procure a Living for himself & family, he had so far succeeded in his undertakings as to enable him to purchase in the Month of March last a Negroe Man named Figaro," whom he hired "to work at the public works on Sullivan Island." Martin laments, however, that Figaro “was unfortunately hurt by the fall of one of the wheels [of a gun carriage] against his back” and that he died shortly thereafter. The petitioner declares that "by the Loss of the said Slave the only one he possessed, he remains destitute, at the age of 64 Years of the means to provide for the Subsistance of himself, his wife & three small Children." He therefore prays that he be granted "Suitable Compensation for his Loss of said Slave Figaro whose death was occasioned by a wound received whilst employed in the public work."

PAR Number 11379904

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Williamsburgh Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Isaac Matthews, being "a good Citizen," represents that he obeyed the call of the "Commissioners of the Navigation of Black River, to furnish hands, as required by law to clear out the said River in the Month of Sepr. 1798" and that he sent "his legal Quota of Slaves, to assist in clearing the said river." Matthews reports, however, that "one Prime young negro man Slave named Sam, about 23 years of age, of unblemished character, drowned, in Said River, in the execution of his duty." The petitioner therefore "hopes you will grant him such relief as to you, in your Wisdom, Shall Seem meet."

PAR Number 11379905

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Henry Martin explains that he was "compelled by the disasters of St. Domingo to repair to the United States of America" in 1793. He further represents that "by his constant exertions to procure a Living for himself & family, he had so far succeeded in his undertakings as to enable him to purchase in the Month of March last a Negroe Man named Figaro," whom he hired "to work at the public works on Sullivan Island." Martin laments, however, that Figaro “was unfortunately hurt by the fall of one of the wheels [of a gun carriage] against his back” and that he died shortly thereafter. The petitioner declares that "by the Loss of the said Slave the only one he possessed, he remains destitute, at the age of 64 Years of the means to provide for the Subsistance of himself, his wife & three small Children." He therefore prays that he be granted "Suitable Compensation for his Loss of said Slave Figaro whose death was occasioned by a wound received whilst employed in the public work."

PAR Number 11380202

State: South Carolina Year: 1802
Location: Abbeville Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Samuel Harris seeks compensation for his twenty-year-old slave Harry, who was killed 26 March 1802 by "the fall of a tree" while working on the public road from Vienna to Abbeville Courthouse. Harris "entreats your honorable body to take into consideration his unfortunate case and begs that you would allow compensation for the property aforesaid which he has lost in the public service." Harry, "a good field hand and a tolerable good blacksmith," was valued at $600. Several citizens attest that Harry’s accidental death “was not owing to any misconduct on the part of the said Negro or any other person."

PAR Number 11380203

State: South Carolina Year: 1802
Location: Abbeville Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Samuel Harris seeks compensation for his twenty-year-old slave Harry, who was killed 26 March 1802 by "the fall of a tree" while working on the public road from Vienna to Abbeville Courthouse. Harris "entreats your honorable body to take into consideration his unfortunate case and begs that you would allow compensation for the property aforesaid which he has lost in the public service." Harry, "a good field hand and a tolerable good blacksmith," was valued at $600. Several citizens attest that Harry’s accidental death “was not owing to any misconduct on the part of the said Negro or any other person."

PAR Number 11380302

State: South Carolina Year: 1803
Location: Abbeville Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Samuel Harris seeks compensation for his twenty-year-old slave Harry, who was killed 26 March 1802 by "the fall of a tree" while working on the public road from Vienna to Abbeville Courthouse. Harris "entreats your honorable body to take into consideration his unfortunate case and begs that you would allow compensation for the property aforesaid which he has lost in the public service." Harry, "a good field hand and a tolerable good blacksmith," was valued at $600.

PAR Number 11380303

State: South Carolina Year: 1803
Location: Abbeville Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Twenty-one citizens of Abbeville District, "from a knowledge of and sympathy for the situation of Mr. Harris," support the petition of Samuel Harris, whose twenty-year-old slave Harry was accidentally killed on the 26 March 1802 while working on the public road by "the fall of a tree." Harris owned only one slave and "is in such circumstances as renders him verry illy able to sustain a loss of that nature & degree." The petitioners therefore pray that "such a compensation may be allowed & decreed to the said Harris, as may repair the loss he has sustained in the service of the public."

PAR Number 11380701

State: South Carolina Year: 1807
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: William McCants seeks compensation for the slave Daniel, who was killed "by the falling of a tree" while working on a public road. Lamenting that he has sustained "heavy damage in the loss” of said slave," McCants trusts in "the liberality of your honorable body" and prays that he will be granted "such relief as in Your Wisdom Shall be thought proper."

PAR Number 11381103

State: South Carolina Year: 1811
Location: Williamsburgh Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: The executors of the estate of Isaac Mathews represent "that a valuable negro man, belonging to said estate, was drowned in Black River, while at work removing the obstructions & improving the navigation of said river, being thereto called out by legal authority." They further state that "the heirs of said estate are ill able to bear the loss of so faithful & prime a servant as he was" and that “they conceive, as the said negro was performing services for the benefit of the Public, the Public ought to bear the loss of him.” They therefore "pray your honorable Body to take the case into consideration, & to grant compensation to the orphans of said estate for said negro."

PAR Number 11381104

State: South Carolina Year: 1811
Location: Williamsburgh Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Samuel Wilson, administrator of the estate of John Wilson, represents "that a valuable Negro man, belonging to said estate, was drowned, the 31st day of August last, in Black River, while at work removing the obstructions & improving the navigation of said river, being thereto called out by legal authority." He further states that "the Heirs of said estate are ill able to bear the loss of so faithful & prime a servant as he was" and that “he conceives, as the said negro was performing services for the benefit of the Public, the Public ought to bear the loss of him.” He therefore "prays your honorable Body to take the case into consideration, & to grant compensation to the orphans of said estate for said negro."

PAR Number 11381204

State: South Carolina Year: 1812
Location: Williamsburgh Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Mathews and William Lester, executors of the estate of Isaac Mathews, seek compensation for "a valuable young negro man drowned in Black River, on the day the said negro attended to do public work on the said river." The petitioners "Pray that your Honorable body would take this their humble Petition into consideration, and grant to the heirs of the said Isaac Mathews such compensation, for said negro, as in your wisdom and justice shall seem equitable."

PAR Number 11381304

State: South Carolina Year: 1813
Location: Barnwell Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Murphy, approximately fifty-five years old, laments that his two slaves died when rafts carrying timber, which they were conducting for Murphy, were blown from the Ashley River by a wind of "great violence from the Northeast, which drove them to sea." He recounts that "it being in the night they were not able to get any assistance and accordingly perished," adding that "this incident happened on the night of the 11th of December last, when the weather was extremely cold." Murphy notes that said slaves "were seen adrift by a guard Vessel which was stationed near fort Jackson, but who did not attempt" to retrieve them. The petitioner asserts that the value of the timber and rafts to be $500 and that each slave was "worth at least six or seven hundred Dollars." Noting that he is in debt and that "your Honors have always afforded relief to the unfortunate," the petitioner "trusts that you will not in this instance withhold it from him."

PAR Number 11381306

State: South Carolina Year: 1813
Location: Beaufort Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: William Johnson, of St. Helena Parish, attests that "a Negroe Fellow by the name of Abram belonging to your petitioner was by virtue of a Warrant" charged with "stealing Certain articles” from a shop on 27 July 1813. He argues that "upon testimony merely presumptive" the said Abram "was sentenced to receive 70 lashes, to remain one hour in the Stocks, 40 of which were inflicted on the 27th." Johnson recounts that Abram died "on the 28th during the infliction of the remaining 30 lashes." The petitioner "prays that compensation may be allowed for the death" of said slave as if "it was occasioned by the Execution of a Sentence under the Laws of the State."

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