Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 11085915

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Holmes Location Type: County

Abstract: Wilson Melton and John Sproles ask that Wesley Moore, "a free man of Yellow Complexion," be exempted from the bill designed to drive free people of color from the state. Moore has lived in Mississippi since 1834, is married to a slave owned by one of the petitioners, and has several children owned by the petitioner. Moore is about forty-six years old. If such exemption cannot be granted, then Moore wishes to enter slavery to be with his family. The petitioners explain that, in anticipation of such eventuality, they will compensate him in the sum of $500, which should be used to pay off his debts, with the residue set aside for his benefit.

PAR Number 11085916

State: Mississippi Year: 1859

Abstract: Joe Bird, a free man of color born of free parents, asks to "elevate himself from his present condition into Slavery." Having lived in the state nearly twenty years, he has a wife and children and wishes to remain with them. He asks to become the slave of Robert Graham.

PAR Number 11085917

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Tippah Location Type: County

Abstract: Free black man William Jackson states that "he is desirous under the late law passed" by the legislature "of going into slavery upon condition that he may elect his owner." The white man he elects to become property of is James T. Craig.

PAR Number 11085918

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Hinds Location Type: County

Abstract: Free man of color Jesse Russell asks the legislature to pass a special act to make him the property of James Tapley of Hinds County.

PAR Number 11085919

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Itawamba Location Type: County

Abstract: Billard Filmore, a free man of color, seeks a special act making him a slave for life to James J. Lindsey, a lawyer in the town of Fulton. At a recent court session, Filmore was charged with the attempted murder of a slave. He was desirous of procuring counsel in his defense and was "looking to the law recently passed by your Honorable body respecting free Mulattos in Said State."

PAR Number 11085920

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Tallahatchie Location Type: County

Abstract: Free born William Webster asks for a special act allowing him to become the slave of a physician in the town of Charleston, Tallahatchie County. Webster is not only indebted to the physician, Dr. Atheral Ball, but he is attached to him and "does not wish to be removed from his possession."

PAR Number 11085921

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Kemper Location Type: County

Abstract: The grandson of a white woman, free man of color Johan Perrot seeks a special act allowing him to become the slave of Reverend Charles Hailey. In 1844, he journeyed with Hailey, who whom he was apprenticed, from Anson County, North Carolina, where he was born, and settled with him in Kemper County, Mississippi. Perrot is now about twenty-three years old and views Hailey as "a Kind Master and friend." For the past two years Perrot has been an invalid. He would "vastly prefer going into Slavery, than to be compelled to leave."

PAR Number 11085928

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Kemper Location Type: County

Abstract: Kemper County citizens most respectfully pray that the petition of free man of color named Johan Perrot be granted as consistent with "good policy." Perrot explains in his petition that he is the grandson of a white woman, that he was born in North Carolina and apprenticed there, while still a small boy, to the Reverend Charles Hailey. He came to Mississippi in 1844 and has since resided in the state. As he is an invalid, he is unable to leave the state and would like to become the property of Reverend Hailey, who has been a kind master to him.

PAR Number 11086003

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Hinds Location Type: County

Abstract: Roseanna, a free woman of color, asks the legislature to pass a law making her the slave of Calvin Bolls.

PAR Number 11086007

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Marshall Location Type: County

Abstract: Free woman of color Ann Archie asks the legislature "to pass an act to empower her & and her infant child [Julia] to become the slaves of Andrew H. Caldwell" rather than be forced to emigrate from the state.

PAR Number 11086010

State: Mississippi Year: 1860
Location: Marshall Location Type: County

Abstract: Emmarilla Jeffries, a free woman of color, requests that the legislature pass an act enabling her and her children to become the slaves of E. W. Ward. Her husband and sister are slaves, and she wants to remain "in the service of a gentleman who has Kindly provided for her wants." With a law about to be passed forcing free blacks out of the state, she asks for permission to remain in Mississippi.

PAR Number 11285001

State: North Carolina Year: 1850
Location: Duplin Location Type: County

Abstract: Seventy-seven Duplin County residents insist "that we should exert every effort in our power to establish and preserve tranquility and decorum among our slaves,” and they are “fully convinced of the fact that the residence of free persons of color in their vicinity has a tendency to foster a spirit of discontent in their midst." They therefore pray "that the Legislature may devise some means by which their removal may be effected." The petitioners suggest a suitable appropriation be authorized "to transport these said free persons of Colour to Liberia, and that all of them be compeled to go except those who prefer to be sold and become slaves." They further "suggest that it be left to their own option either to be transported or remain among us and be sold into slavery."

PAR Number 11285805

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

Abstract: Ninety-three residents of Asheville represent that they, "having seen the manifold evils induced by the free negro population in our midst, not only upon our slaves, but upon society at large, are firmly convinced that something should be done to allenate at least if not entirely remove the injuries occasioned by them." They therefore heartily support the bill "recently introduced into our Legislature" that permits "free persons of African descent to select their own masters & become slaves."

PAR Number 11286101

State: North Carolina Year: 1861
Location: Wayne Location Type: County

Abstract: Abisha Locus, a free man of color, represents "that he is desirous of changing his status and of selling himself for life to Mr D H Bridgers, so as to reduce himself to a state of slavery and that he may have the protection and support of a master." He therefore prays "your honorable body that you would pass some law that would enable him to give legal effect and force to his desire."

PAR Number 11286102

State: North Carolina Year: 1861
Location: Martin Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-five-year-old Eliza Hassel "humbly prays your Honorable body to pass an act authorising your memorialist to bind herself in perpetual slavery to Shephard R. Spruill." Hassel confides that she "is moved to make this application by the fact, that in the service of a kind master, with the claim for support and protection which this relation will give her, her condition will in every respect be greatly bettered."

PAR Number 11286103

State: North Carolina Year: 1861
Location: Pasquotank Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-three-year-old Kissiah Trueblood, a free woman of color borne of free parents, represents that "after mature deliberation, upon her part, uninfluenced by any person, it being of her own free will and accord, she desires to become the slave of the said Dr Ritter," for whom she has worked the past two years "in the capacity of servant, receiving wages for services rendered." Trueblood confesses that "in her present condition she is destitute and without protection, and in the condition of a slave, she would be cared for and have the protection of her Master and to that end she prays your Honorable body to enact such law as to enable said Dr Ritter to hold for all time to come both your petitioner and children should she have any."

PAR Number 11286202

State: North Carolina Year: 1862
Location: Wake Location Type: County

Abstract: Sally Scott, a twenty-two-year-old free woman of color and mother of nine-month-old John, confesses "that she is tired of being free -- that she finds it difficult to support herself and is desirous of having a master." She therefore prays "that by Resolution of this body she and her son shall be enslaved, and that Sidney A. Hinton of Wake County may be declared her master."

PAR Number 11286203

State: North Carolina Year: 1862
Location: Gaston Location Type: County

Abstract: C. A. Featherston represents that "a free negro boy named Wyat about 35 years of age tired out of being buffetted about from place to place with no settled home has made application to me to become my slave." Featherston reports that Wyat "had taken up with my negro girl and lived with me several years in South Carolina" and that, "not knowing it was contrary to law," he brought Wyat to North Carolina; when he realized he "had violated the law in bringing him hither," the petitioner "sent him back to South Carolina." Attesting that Wyat prefers "a life of Slavery with the master of his choice & with the woman he had taken up with & his children to the life of a free negro," Featherston prays "your Honorable Body to take the matter into consideration & allow me to own the said negro and make me a bona fide Deed for the same."

PAR Number 11286301

State: North Carolina Year: 1863
Location: Davidson Location Type: County

Abstract: Percy Ann Martin states that "she belongs to that class of our population called 'free negroes' and has had a husband for the last five years who is a slave." Martin laments that her said husband "has been sold under execution, and she is informed that the marriage and cohabitation between her and her husband is against the law and will be broken off." Confiding that "she is attached to her husband and does not wish to be seperated from him," Martin cites that she is "poor, has no property" and is unsure of how she will support herself "in these time of scarcity of provisions and high prices." Being “fully of the opinion that her Condition as a slave under a good master is greatly to be preferred to her Condition as a houseless and suffering free negro," Martin prays that an act be passed "reducing her to slavery and respectfully solicits that she may be made the slave of Henderson Adams Esqr who is the owner of her husband."

PAR Number 11385806

State: South Carolina Year: 1858
Location: Lancaster Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Sixteen-year-old free mulatto Lucy Andrews, the daughter of a slave and a white woman, seeks to "go voluntarily into Slavery, and select her own Master." Andrews, who is the mother of an infant, is unable to find employment except for brief periods. The petitioner reveals "that she sees, and knows, to her own sorrow, and regret, that Slaves are far more happy, and enjoy themselves far better, than she does, in her present isolated condition of freedom." Admitting that she "prefers Slavery to freedom, in her present condition," Andrews prays that an act be passed "authorizing, and permitting her, to go voluntarily, into Slavery."

PAR Number 11385902

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

Abstract: Rev. W. P. Hill wrote Gen. S. McGowen that a certain Elizabeth Jane Bug, a free woman of color, "has been anxious, apparently, for more than twelve months to become my slave" and is tonight [1 December 1859] "again persuading Mrs Hill & myself to take her as a slave in connection with a child about 11 months old." Hill asks McGowen to "have the kindness to attend to it or inform me what course to pursue." He further states that "you Can Consider this as a petition from her to the above effect."

PAR Number 11386005

State: South Carolina Year: 1860
Location: Laurens Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Charles O. Lamotte represents that Lizzie Jones, a free person of color, "desiring voluntarily to enter into a state of servitude, chose your petitioner as her master." Lamotte is well "aware that he could not hold the said free woman as his slave under said deed unless your honorable body would sanction the will of the said free woman and by an act of the General Assembly perfect his title to her, which your petitioner respectfully prays may be done." The petitioner "believes that such a course would have a salutary effect upon that class of the population, as well as the slave population in whom we are more particularly interested."

PAR Number 11386101

State: South Carolina Year: 1861
Location: Lancaster Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Eighteen-year-old free mulatto Lucy Andrews, the daughter of a slave and a white woman, requests that she and daughter Emily be made the slaves of W. Henry Duncan. She laments that "in her present status of Free person of Color, She is necessarily excluded from the Society, protection, support & direction of the white class, and at the same time she is deprived of all social intercourse with the slave population." Considering her condition to be "an isolated and helpless one," Andrews reports that she has lived "in the family of W. Henry Duncan ... upon his plantation for the last four years enjoying his protection & support & she is satisfied that it would be best for her to become his slave & thus secure to herself the benefit of a Master, protector & friend." The petitioner therefore prays "that she & her child Emily be made the Slaves of the said W. Henry Duncan."

PAR Number 11386302

State: South Carolina Year: 1863
Location: Lancaster Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Twenty-one-year-old Lucy Andrews petitions the legislature to enact a law making her and her two children, Emily and Robbin, the slaves of H. H. Duncan. She reports that she and her children have lived on the plantation for six years, and her husband, Robbin, is a slave belonging to Duncan. Before making her home on the Duncan plantation, Andrews states that she "had no permanent place of abode being necessitated to shift from place to place, and from time to time, in order to procure a livelihood.” The petitioner, “in view of the threatened difficulties in these times of scarcity of provisions and clothing and the consequent high prices of the same," therefore prays that an act be passed “making her (Lucy Andrews) and her two children Emily and Robbin slaves and the property of H. H. Duncan, so that she and her said children may have a permanent Home."

PAR Number 11483303

State: Tennessee Year: 1833
Location: White Location Type: County

Abstract: The executors of Edward Holmes represent that their testator directed in his last will and testament that "a certain negro woman slave named Lydia should be emancipated by your petitioners after his death." They further report that the said Lydia "is between forty and fifty years of age ... and has been a faithful, humble and obedient servant." They acknowledge, however, that "owing to the existing statutory laws of the State they are unable to effectuate his intention and wish in the emancipation of the said slave without sending her beyond the limits of the State of Tennessee." The petitioners declare that said Lydia, "desiring to remain with her children, would prefer a state of slavery to removal." They therefore pray "your Honorable body to pass a law authorising your petitioners as executors aforesaid to carry the will of said Edward into effect so far as relates to the emancipation of said Lydia and her suffered to remain in this State."

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