Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 20381804

State: Delaware Year: 1818
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: James Riddle asks to export and sell his slave, William Jones, who has been prosecuted but not convicted of "a Highway Robbery." Riddle tried to reform Jones but discovered it was not possible; shortly after he put him on his farm "to ascertain if he could be reclaimed," Riddle discovered that Jones had stolen a considerable amount of property from one of the neighbors. Citing community pressure for the removal of Jones, the petitioner prays that he be granted "a permit or License to export sell or carry out for sale from this State into the State of Maryland or Virginia the aforesaid negro slave William Jones."

PAR Number 20381906

State: Delaware Year: 1819
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: George Walton seeks permission to export and sell his slave David, who is "habitually guilty of great misconduct and violence." His conduct, including running away, was "so very outrageous" that Walton confined in the Sussex County jail. Walton believes that he "could not dispose of him in this State for anything like his real value, without concealing his character and vices from the purchaser."

PAR Number 20382203

State: Delaware Year: 1822
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Adam Diehl seeks permission to export and sell his female slave Eve, who has "very bad principles, and has been guilty of several atrocious acts." Diehl asserts that she stole $40 from him and "also some time since attempted to poison your Petitioner, but failed in her attempt." Believing that "the peace & security of the neighborhood" are at stake, the petitioner prays that he be granted "a permit authorising him to export into the State of Maryland" the slave Eve. Diehl explains in a letter that he has no real desire to sell Eve out of state; instead, he hopes to use the permit "as a means of coercing her to leave Delaware." He also notes that he is "now at the expence of keeping her in Jail in order to prevent her depredating on the community."

PAR Number 20382306

State: Delaware Year: 1823
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Residents of Kent County ask that James Whitaker Sr. be permitted to sell his slave Luke, an outrageous fellow who has "run his said Master to more than one hundred Dollars Cost and is stealing and trading away his said Masters Property."

PAR Number 20584505

State: Florida Year: 1845
Location: Gadsden Location Type: County

Abstract: Elizabeth McLauchlin, executrix of the last will and testament of Daniel McLauchlin, asks to sell a slave named Fanny. She claims Fanny "is of an obstinate, Self Willed disposition and Cannot be Controlled." The petitioner asserts that "three of her [Fanny's] children were unfortunately burnt to death ... through her Carlessness and neglect, She having left home without permission at a late hour of the night and leaving said children alone in the House in which they were so burned to death." McLauchlin asks "permission to dispose of said Slave Fanny, either at public or private Sale or by Exchange for another."

PAR Number 20585811

State: Florida Year: 1858
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: Dorothy Burgdorff asks the court's permission to sell a slave family deeded to her by her father-in-law after the death of her husband, Charles Burgdorff. At the time of his death, Charles was administrator for the estate of his late brother, John Burgdorff; all of John's estate went to his father, Christopher Burgdorff, who, in turn, gave the slaves of the estate to Dorothy to enable her to "support of herself and family during her life." The petitioner states that the slaves "are of very little present value to her in consequence of the tender years of said negro children and the insolence and disobedience of said woman" and that "they will be a source of constant trouble & perplexity to her & her said children"; the petitioner insists that "said negro woman & her said children received every indulgence & enjoyed as great liberty during the lifetime of the said John Burgdorff as they would have done had they been free white persons." Dorothy Burgdorff seeks permission to sell Dinah and her four children "and either invest the proceeds of the sale in other property or put it out at interest."

PAR Number 20586111

State: Florida Year: 1861
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: Hannah High, widow of Julius High, joins other heirs in asking that an account and division of her late husband's be rendered. Hannah recounts that the said Julius devised to her a life interest in "Sundry negro Slaves many of which are quite young and unable to labor so as to pay there Expenses." She further confesses that she "is now quite aged and unable to look after and take care of said negro Slaves and attend to all there wants" and that due to her "enfeebled State of health, it has become a burden and hardship too heavy for her Strength to attend to said negro children that her own children have all left her and hence the task imposed upon her of caring for Said negroes is the more Onerous." Hannah therefore asks that her life interest in said estate be set aside and that said estate be divided equally among the heirs, with her taking a child's part. The petitioners also ask that the land, which cannot be divided equally, be sold and the proceeds equitably distributed, thereby challenging the executor's claim that debts deem a division of said estate "impossible."

PAR Number 20586302

State: Florida Year: 1863
Location: Jackson Location Type: County

Abstract: Henry C. and Louisa C. King, administrators of the estate of the late John B. Brown, ask the court's permission to sell a fifty-two-year-old slave named Isaac "belonging to said Estate." The Kings charge that Isaac is "a negro of bad character and hard to control and the citizens in the neighborhood do not wish him to be kept in the Country." They further report that the said slave "resisted your petitioner Henry C King to such an extent that your petitioner deemed it necessary to put him Jail where he now is." Citing that Isaac cannot be hired “to anyone,” the petitioners "think the estate would be more benefitted by a sale than to keep in Jail." They therefore pray that they be granted "an order to sell said negro at private or public sale."

PAR Number 20586304

State: Florida Year: 1863
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: Robert Lang and other heirs of Richard Lang ask the court for a settlement and division of the estate. They claim that under the management of Mary J. P. Lang, widow and administratrix of Richard Lang, the "estate has largely depreciated in value ... for want of a proper person to manage the same" and that only with great difficulty has the defendant been able to have "the slaves Kept in Subordination and control." The petitioners also request an accounting of advancements received by various heirs before their father's death so that an equitable division of assets can be made.

PAR Number 20682211

State: Georgia Year: 1822
Location: Pulaski Location Type: County

Abstract: Barbara Thomas, the widow of the late Richard H. Thomas and administratrix his estate, asks the court to place the plantation and slaves under her management. She believes that the estate would fare better under her guidance than if the property and slaves were rented.

PAR Number 20682707

State: Georgia Year: 1827
Location: Chatham Location Type: County

Abstract: Marguerite C. D. Truchelut is the executrix of Joseph Truchelut's estate and guardian of his children. The estate included two slaves, Jim and Jesse. Jim is an elderly slave "and is desirous of being Sold." Jesse was bequeathed to the petitioner's son, but Truchelut explains that "the said Jesse from drunkenness and dishonesty is not only unproductive," but has also become a liability. The petitioner represents "that she is desirous to sell the said slaves and invest the proceeds of such sale in young female or other young slaves." She therefore prays that "she may be ... permitted and ordered to sell said slaves Jim & Jesse and invest their proceeds in Other slaves."

PAR Number 20683116

State: Georgia Year: 1831
Location: Elbert Location Type: County

Abstract: Richard Henry Stokes is the guardian for his minor brother, John Cratin Stokes. Their father, Richard Henry Stokes Sr., died and bequeathed to his two sons a large estate that included slaves. The petitioners assert that the estate's executors "kept the estate together and greatly wasted and mismanaged the same by employing worthless overseers and giving no personal attention to the farm, contracting large & unnecessary debts." Richard further avers that in 1820 Archibald Stokes became guardian of the petitioners and "pretended that the estate was so involved in debts" that property would have to be sold. Having "attained to the age of twenty one," Richard recounts that he has not received "a reasonable allowance for the profits" of said estate. He therefore prays that Stokes "be decreed to pay to your orator a reasonable sum for what the legacies left himself and brother would have yealded if properly managed."

PAR Number 20683406

State: Georgia Year: 1834
Location: Elbert Location Type: County

Abstract: Petitioner Ralph Blackwell alleges that he was the victim of a violent assault by Thomas Black, contending that Black struck him "with a great many violent Blows & Strockes on his Boddy & head." For his part, Black claims "that if ever he assaulted Plaintiff at all, which he in nowise admits, that it was done accidentally as he was dispersing a large collection of Negroes in the Streets ... in Ruckersville in the night & it dark & that he was striking a few blows with a switch, among said negroes, and that the said Plff was amoung said negroes." Blackwell sues for $2,000 in damages.

PAR Number 20683414

State: Georgia Year: 1834
Location: Jones Location Type: County

Abstract: Samuel T. Cook and George W. Cook are minor heirs of Samuel Cook, deceased. They state that their father bequeathed each of them a certain number of slaves. He devised eight slaves, worth $2400, to Samuel, and he willed four other slaves, worth $2700, to George, noting that George would receive the two slaves comprising the widow's life estate upon her death. The petitioners charge that their mother, Sarah E. Cook, has taken possession of their said slaves and that she is mismanaging their productivity. The minor Cooks therefore ask that Sarah E. Cook be relieved of her estate-related responsibilities or give security for the property.

PAR Number 20683507

State: Georgia Year: 1835
Location: Bibb Location Type: County

Abstract: Robert A. Beall and Levi Eckley are trustees for Eliza and Mary Ann Denton, the illegitimate daughters of Sarah Denton, deceased. Sarah Denton, "while in life," conveyed "a considerable Estate in Land negroes and other personal property" to the petitioners, in trust for her daughters. Beall and Eckley "represent that it is impossible that the Land & negroes can be managed so as to make them profitable to the children for whose benefit they are held." The petitioners further cite that their estate is valuable and that “at the present prices of property will command a large price, and that your petitioners are greatly apprehensive that such property will verry shortly depreciate in value." In addition, the petitioners find it desirable "to remove and settle" the girls "in some other Section of the Country where the reproach of their birth may not reach them." They therefore "pray your Honor to pass an order authorizing and directing a sale of said Estate."

PAR Number 20683810

State: Georgia Year: 1838
Location: Richmond Location Type: County

Abstract: Evelina Walton and her children explain that the late Dr. Anderson Watkins bequeathed to the petitioners $5,000 in cash, real estate, and five slaves: Winney, Sarah, Jerry, Rosanna, and Caroline; Watkins also bequeathed to them the "future issue" of Sarah and Caroline. The inheritance from Watkins's estate was conveyed in trust to Robert Walton, Evelina Walton's husband. The petitioners also state that Robert Clarke, through a Deed of Relinquishment, conveyed all his property, including a slave named Patty, and her issue, in trust to Robert Walton for the use and benefit of Evelina Walton and her children. The petitioners assert that the slave, Jane, child of Sarah, is "almost wholly unproductive and valueless to your orator and oratrixes." They also aver that Patty's five children "have produced little or no income to your orators and oratrixes. But to the contrary ... have been and still are a source of Expence and Embarrowsment to said Trustee." The petitioners request that Robert Walton, as trustee, be granted authority to sell Patty's children and Jane and to invest the proceeds "in such property, as he shall deem most advantageous and proffitable to your Orators and Oratrixes."

PAR Number 20684811

State: Georgia Year: 1848
Location: Houston Location Type: County

Abstract: John Powers argues that the careless management of his plantation overseer, William Ingram, caused half of an entire crop of corn and cotton to be lost. He seeks $1,750 in damages.

PAR Number 20685101

State: Georgia Year: 1851
Location: Oglethorpe Location Type: County

Abstract: John Wynne seeks $5,000 in damages for the "false and malicious words" printed and published by Moses Wright concerning the petitioner. The case involves Wynne's slave, Henry, who secretly visited Wright's plantation, after warnings that he was not welcome. On the occasion in question, Henry was seized by Wright's overseer and beaten. Wynne threatened legal action, and Wright retaliated by publishing a lengthy account of the situation, which, according to Wynne, is false and damaging to his reputation. Wynne quotes Wright's statement in the petition: Wright averred that in 1849 he had noticed that Wynne's slave Henry was frequently coming to his house. When he asked his cook about it, she replied that "he wanted her for his wife." Wright asked Henry's young master, William Wynne, about the slave's character and "he said he believed he was as good as any of their negroes." Wright stated that Henry "brought no leave from his master nor asked leave of me, but I tolerated his coming for some months until we detected the Cook (his pretended wife) concealing out doors flour and lard. We asked her where She got it. She Said Mr. Wynnes Henry brought it to her." Wright confronted Henry who "denied all. Said if She was that kind of a woman he would have nothing more to do with her." Wright told the slave not to return unless he was on his master's business. Wright then learned that Henry was secretly coming to the plantation. He told his overseer, Willis Jones, not to allow Henry on the plantation. When Henry was finally caught, Jones "told him to rise and Cross his hands Henry refused and Jones clenched him-Henry being much the largest clenched Jones by the arms and Shoved him back to the wall. Jones told my negro man in the room to lay hold of him. Henry told him if he touched him he would be damned if he did not kill him. Jones then cried out for me.... I found them clenched. Jones asked me to help him tie him. he had a String in his pocket. I got it out. and we tied his hands and bucked him. Jones Sent into the house for a Small Cowskin about 30 inches long. and I thought gave him about Seventy-five lashes and told him he gave him that for trying to run over him. Jones then gave him I thought between thirty and forty lashes for intruding on the premises contrary to orders. He then asked me if I did not want to whip him Some. I told him no. I reckoned he would now Stay away. Jones then untied him and told him to button up and cut out home which he did and I went to bed." The next day, Wynne came to Wright's store and Wright informed him of the incident. Wright asserted, "Wynne went home and examined the boy and I suppose found the Skins considerably fretted, got mad with me, threatened the law. Selected men to examine the place on the negroes butt." Wynne told Wright that they would each choose two men to mediate the dispute. The arbitrators awarded Wright $65. Wright averred that "If Mr Wynne and his two men will come in presence of any twelve respectable men and Say that they believe on their Oaths that the demand is just. I will pay it in one half of a minute. I never told Jones to Strike Wynnes negro one lick nor did I ever Strike him. I have given Jones the discretionary Control over 18 of my negroes for ten months and I have never known him to injure one of them. I did not See the Negroes butt or Know that the Skin was fretted."

PAR Number 20685203

State: Georgia Year: 1852
Location: Richmond Location Type: County

Abstract: William Averet and his wife, Elizabeth, wished to sell their slave, Stephen, because "said Boy Stephen was not of as much value or service to them as a negro woman would be as they were not able to control and manage him." George Schley agreed to trade his slave, Rose, and her child, Margaret, for Stephen and $150. After the exchange, Schley discovered that the slave, Stephen, was conveyed to Averet in trust for his wife for her sole use and benefit. The deed of gift rendered the sale null and void. Schley asks that an exchange may be made whereby he is issued a perfect title to Stephen.

PAR Number 20685312

State: Georgia Year: 1853
Location: Chatham Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1843, three slaves and their increase were entrusted to John Broughton and Jacob Chadburn for Mary E. A. Brown and her heirs. More than a decade passed between the death of the trustees and the appointment of John Guilmartin to take their place. He states here that during that time the slaves were neglected and that now, "many of them are old Sickly and infirm a great majority of them are Small children and instead of being a source of income are an absolute Expense to the trust Estate[.] The few Negroes who might Be profitable are of such Bad character in Consequence of their having been so long without Control that they Cannot Be hired to advantage." He seeks permission to sell the slaves and to invest the profits in other property.

PAR Number 20685402

State: Georgia Year: 1854
Location: Chatham Location Type: County

Abstract: Julia Doon, administratrix of the estate of John G. Doon, seeks permission to sell two slaves, Hester, 18 years of age, and Rosetta, 25, because she is "unable to manage them to advantage."

PAR Number 20685412

State: Georgia Year: 1854
Location: Laurens Location Type: County

Abstract: Andrew Y. Hampton was named executor of the last will and testament of the late John G. Coates. Now William R. Staley charges that Hampton has left the county, "pretending that he has given up his executorship" and neglecting to care for the estate and its slaves. Staley states that the slaves have "not sufficient food to support them," and that they have been "wasted and misapplied." Staley asks the court to compel Hampton to answer these charges and to take the steps necessary to secure the estate.

PAR Number 20685518

State: Georgia Year: 1855
Location: Greene Location Type: County

Abstract: When William Maclellan died, he left two slaves, Davy and Mary, in trust for his daughter Elizabeth Johnson. Her brothers, John, Henry, and James Maclellan, were named trustees. Elizabeth Johnson petitions that the slaves, now numbering ten, are in James's custody, but that she desires "possession of the said slaves or a portion of them that she & family might live & enjoy their personal Services & take the better care of them." She is also concerned that James will hire out the women and children making them "liable to be injured" and, therefore, potentially an "actual expense to the trust property." She asks the court to subpoena James to respond to her request.

PAR Number 20685605

State: Georgia Year: 1856
Location: Jones Location Type: County

Abstract: Taylor F. Gibson, administrator of the trust of Ann A. Hogan and her children, requests permission to sell 100 acres of land from the trust. He explains that proceeds from the sale would be added to other money in the trust to purchase "larger quantities of land" in order to provide a sufficient amount of work for the slaves.

PAR Number 20685919

State: Georgia Year: 1859
Location: Houston Location Type: County

Abstract: Myles L. Green, executor of the estate of the late James A. Everett, states that he lost "a great deal of time from his own business" while administering the estate, particularly while "attending to the negroes in their sickness and looking after their safety & comfort." He states that the regular commission granted an executor will not be sufficient and seeks additional compensation.

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