Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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Your subject search returned 10 total results.

PAR Number 11384205

State: South Carolina Year: 1842
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Strohecker and other South Carolina slave owners seek compensation for "the loss of Seventy or Eighty negro slaves on Board the Schooner Enterprize." He reports that said vessel, "through the stress of weather, was compelled to make a harbour on the Island of Bermuda, from a voyage from the District of Columbia in the United States, to the port of Charleston South Carolina, sometime in the year 1835." He further relates that "the vessel had but barely anchored in the harbour before she was boarded by the constituted authorities of the place, and the slaves, were forcibly seized, detained or set at liberty from their owners, in opposition to the determined efforts of the master and crew of the vessel." Strohecker argues that many of the owners are "Widows and orphans, who feel the loss very severely." Noting that said property had been insured by the Marine and Fire Insurance Company of Charleston, the petitioners "urge upon your honorable body, the justice and equity of your remunerating them for their severe losses."

PAR Number 11685401

State: Virginia Year: 1854
Location: Richmond Location Type: City

Abstract: Thirty-eight residents of Richmond declare that there is "a growing demand for Insurance on the Lives of Slaves, but the premiums on Slave Insurance amount to only a few dollars, as they are seldom insured for more than Six or Eight hundred dollars, therefore the taxes become onerous, and agencies are withdrawn." They therefore "respectfully petition your honorable body for a reduction of the Tax on the Life Insurance companies of other states."

PAR Number 20485503

State: District of Columbia Year: 1855
Location: Washington Location Type: County

Abstract: Edward Lockett, Henry Johnson, and James Berret state that British authorities in Nassau, New Providence Island liberated the slaves aboard the brig Creole, insured by the Merchants Insurance Company. The insurance company reimbursed the slave owners. The petitioners charge that John Pemberton, Liquidator of the Merchants Insurance Company, enlisted their help in prosecuting a claim against the British government for compensation for the slaves. The petitioners inform the court that Pemberton signed a contract promising them one half of any form of indemnity received. They aver that they paid all the expenses for prosecuting the claim, hired special counsel and submitted claims to a commission appointed to settle such disputes between the United States and Britain. Pemberton, however, fraudulently submitted the final claim and prevented the petitioners from transmitting necessary evidence to the commission. As a result, the commission then awarded Pemberton $28,460. The petitioners argue that "without the exertions used by them or those employed by them said award would never have been made to said John Pemberton." The petitioners believe that Pemberton has already received half of the award and fear that unless he is enjoined by the court, he will receive the other half and refuse to pay the petitioners. They seek a subpoena and injunction preventing Pemberton from receiving the remainder of the reward.

PAR Number 20882612

State: Louisiana Year: 1826
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Samuel Spragins seeks to be appointed curator of the estate of Nicholas Wilson. Spragins informs the court that the current administrator, Joseph Erwin, is no longer willing to perform the duties of administrator and has made his formal resignation. Related documents reveal that the late Wilson and his wife, Eliza Erwin, owned eighty-eight slaves.

PAR Number 20884135

State: Louisiana Year: 1841
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Thomas McCargo of Halifax County, Virginia, sues the Merchants Insurance Company of New Orleans for the loss of his slaves. McCargo represents that, on November 17, 1841, he took a $15,200 policy with the Norfolk branch of the Merchants Insurance Company to cover the transportation of his nineteen slaves from Norfolk to New Orleans, aboard a vessel named The Créole. McCargo contends that, during the voyage, a slave insurrection erupted on The Créole, causing it to be diverted to the port of Nassau on the Island of New Providence, where his slaves were seized by the authorities of “her Majesty the Queen of England and Ireland.” McCargo claims that he has already informed the Merchants Insurance Company of his loss, which was squarely under the list of covered risks, made a “full and entire abandonment” of his slaves to the company, and demanded payment. He prays that the court will order the Merchants Insurance Company to pay him $15,200 with interest, at 5% per annum from judicial demand, to compensate him for the loss of his slaves.

PAR Number 20885269

State: Louisiana Year: 1852
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: John Bloodgood of Mobile, Alabama, seeks to rescind his purchase of a female slave and to recover $750, plus interest, from J. M. Wilson of New Orleans. Bloodgood represents that, in 1851, he purchased two female slaves from Wilson, for the price of $650 each. Both slaves "were fully guaranteed against all vices & defects.” Bloodgood now contends that one of the slaves, named Ellen, was in fact “affected with an incurable malady” known as “consumpsion or some kindred disease.” He claims that Ellen was attended by an “eminent physician” and all “proper care and attention” was given to her. Nevertheless, she died on the 16th of October 1851. Bloodgood therefore prays to have the sale rescinded and the purchase price refunded, with interest at the rate of 5% per annum. He also seeks $100 to cover medical expenses and burial costs.

PAR Number 20885724

State: Louisiana Year: 1857
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Henry M. Summers petitions the court for assistance in collecting insurance money for the loss of his slave. On 25 November 1852, Summers “made a policy of insurance” with the United States Insurance Annuity and Trust Company of Philadelphia, in which he insured five slaves "for the term of twelve months." On or about 1 November 1853, one of the slaves named Townley Johnson died, "having been lost overboard, from the Steamboat 'Emperor' in the Mississippi River." Summers complains that the insurance company refuses to pay him $800, the amount for which he insured Johnson. The insurance company argues that Henry Summers insured the five slaves as tobacco warehouse laborers, but employed them on a sugar plantation, a more hazardous occupation in violation of the insurance agreement. The company instructed him to file a suit against the owners of the boat, but that cause was dismissed. Summers prays that the court order the United States Insurance Annuity and Trust Company to pay him the sum of $800 with interest.

PAR Number 21381204

State: South Carolina Year: 1812
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: William Trenholm seeks reimbursement for expenses incurred "to equip a vessel to bring at least 300 Slaves" from Africa. He relates that he and a certain Richard Cunningham in 1810 "agreed to purchase a Sufficient Ship, or other vessel, and to load her with a cargo of Goods, wares & merchandize suitable to the African trade, and to send, and ship her to Havannah, there to have the said vessel put and placed under Spanish Colours according to Law and thence cleared and carried to the coast of Africa where she was to exchange and sell her cargo, and return to Havannah with african Slaves." He reports that he bought a suitable brig and goods in New York, insured the vessel and cargo, and shipped the same to Havana, at a cost of $34,943. He cites that the ship left Havana, "where her colours were regularly changed," but he laments that "she was taken on her voyage ... by the English and carried to Bermuda." The petitioner avers that "the venture, lawful in itself," while "unfortunate in its termination" should "not be turned to his loss altogether." Contending that he has not been justly reimbursed for his bills, Trenholm prays that "your Honors may take your Orators case into consideration, and Decree him to be fully paid & reimbursed in the sum due him."

PAR Number 21384013

State: South Carolina Year: 1840
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: James Simons, assignee of Harris Simons, asks the court to determine how he "should act in reference to the sale" of sixteen slaves belonging to Simons. Simons explains that he and Edward McCrady, Harris's agent and an assignee of the firm of Wragg Simons & Co., have a difference of opinion as to when the sale should occur. McCrady believes the slaves should be "sold at once," while Simons wishes to retain them "until January next," when he thinks they will command prices of better than twenty per cent. He also points out that one of the slaves has just recovered "from an attack of fever" and cannot "bring near her value" if sold at this time. Against the petitioner's consent, McCrady has recently called a meeting with Harris's creditors to gain their advice. Fearing that McCrady's actions will cause "a great sacrifice" of the slaves, he asks the court to intervene.

PAR Number 21385949

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

Abstract: Elizabeth Shaffer and Frederick J. Shaffer, executors of the late Frederick Shaffer, seek the sale of the decedent's plantation. They report that Shaffer's will directed that the 900 acres of land and the 105 slaves in his estate not be sold until his youngest child Decima, currently thirteen years old, attains her majority. Moreover, they assert that none of Shaffer's sons "has been brought up as a planter or is at all acquainted with that business," since the late Shaffer managed said plantation "wholly by himself ... with the assistance of an overseer." Shaffer's executors and heirs both fear that they would undertake such management "with much diffidence and great misgiving of success ... and would with still greater reluctance have its management in the hands of an overseer during the long period which must elapse before a division of the estate." Shaffer's will also directs the executors to pay each child $2000 from the proceeds of the estate, "as it can be spared;" currently, said proceeds amount to "considerably less than seven thousand dollars a year." The petitioners state that they have contracted with Charles Alston Sr. to purchase said plantation for $50,000. They therefore pray the court to confirm said offer and "furthermore to direct a sale at auction of the negroes on the plantation."