Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 10379902

State: Delaware Year: 1799
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Curtis Morriss informs the court that his father-in-law, Gowan Wright, is a resident of Maryland and "hath given to your petitioners Daughtor Elen Morriss" a female slave named Ibba, "which your petitioner Desiers to Bring into this State and hold for the yuse of his Said Daughtor on the Same tirms as if She had bin given by a Citizen of this State." Morriss therefore prays that a law be passed enabling him to bring Ibba into the state of Delaware.

PAR Number 10381610

State: Delaware Year: 1816
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: The Orphans Court of Sussex County appointed Sally Adams guardian for Andrew Adams, "minor son of John Adams." Andrew inherited property in Somerset County, Maryland, including the slave Henny and three children. The slaves are currently "under the care of" Andrew Adams Sr., of Somerset County, and are “of no benefit or use whatever to the ward of your petitioner." Adams therefore "prays you Honors to pass a law authorising and impowering your petitioner to bring the aforesaid Negroes from the State of Maryland ... into this State and to hold and retain them as the slaves of the ward of your petitioner."

PAR Number 10382307

State: Delaware Year: 1823

Abstract: Ann Rothwell of New Castle County, Delaware, "did by her last Will and testament leave her Black people to be free the males when they arrived to the age of thirty years and the females when they should arrive to the age of twenty eight years." She bequeathed to her granddaughters one slave each: nine-year-old Rachel to Martha Eliza Pennington and five-year-old Susan to Phebe H. Pennington. Hyland Pennington of Maryland, father of Martha and Susan, purchased twenty-five-year-old Jeremiah, who was also part of the estate of Ann Rothwell. Being desirous to transport said slaves, the petitioner "prays your Honorable body to pass a Law authorising him to bring into the State of Maryland the aforesaid negroes for the use of his said daughters and himself."

PAR Number 10382618

State: Delaware Year: 1826
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: As a minor, Isaac Giles moved from Maryland to Delaware in 1817 and learned the trade of blacksmithing as an apprentice. He states that he owns the slave Arthur, now residing with Giles's guardian in Maryland. The petitioner notes that he tried to bring his slave into Delaware but was denied legislative permission because he was a minor. Now an adult, he again seeks exemption from a Delaware law designed to prevent the importation and exportation of slaves and asks permission to bring Arthur into Delaware.

PAR Number 10382707

State: Delaware Year: 1827
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: As guardian of her son, Sarah Banning of Wilmington, Delaware, "is owner of a female negro girl named Mabel Skinner a Slave aged Eighteen years," who is presently in Talbot County, Maryland. Banning "is desirous of bringing the said slave from the State of Maryland where she was born, into the Sate of Delaware that your Petitioner may have the benefit of her Services." She therefore prays that a law be passed "authorizing her to bring from the State of Maryland into the State of Delaware, the said female slave Mable Skinner to retain her as a slave."

PAR Number 10383907

State: Delaware Year: 1839

Abstract: George T. Martin, the guardian of Catherine and John Robinson of Caroline County in Maryland, explains that his wards inherited two young slaves from their grandfather, Ralph Robinson of Sussex County, Delaware, in 1831. Stating that said slaves "are now in the State of Delaware & are now of little or no service to the legatees," Martin believing "it to be for the interest of the legatees that the above named slaves (Jude & William) should be brought over into the State of Maryland where the legatees reside." He therefore asks that a law be passed "authorising him to bring over into the State of Maryland the slaves mentioned in this petition."

PAR Number 10384510

State: Delaware Year: 1845
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1834, William Lowe sent his son, James, to Somerset County in Maryland to live with Clement Beach, the boy's uncle. In 1844, the uncle died and left James Lowe, now seventeen, two slaves: seven-year-old Isaac and nine-year-old Charlotte. As guardian of his minor son, William Lowe seeks exemption from the Delaware law designed to prevent the importation and exportation of slaves and asks permission bring the slaves from Maryland to Delaware.

PAR Number 10583701

State: Florida Year: 1837

Abstract: The uncle and guardian of a slaveholding minor asks permission to take several slaves belonging to his niece from the Florida Territory to the Republic of Texas. The guardian, James Patterson, was moving there with his family and wished to take his niece with him.

PAR Number 10585501

State: Florida Year: 1855
Location: Gadsden Location Type: County

Abstract: A disinterested third-party seeks to resolve a dispute between the "heirs at law on the father's side" of Charles Henry Longworth, a deceased minor and owner of considerable land, slaves, and money. Charles H. DuPont says that the heirs are minors and that their interests should be "seduously guarded" by their parents. He seeks a bill to that effect and to ensure that future adjustments in any agreement should be made through the chancery court rather than the legislature.

PAR Number 11000001

State: Mississippi
Location: Wilkinson Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioner states that he is the guardian of the three minor siblings of his wife--Amanda, William, and Gillian Mitchell. He asks authorization to move the children with their property, including six slaves, to Louisiana. Among the slaves, only one is an adult. The mother of the minors supports the move, noting that their stepfather is irresponsible and not willing to "take Charge" of her children's slaves.

PAR Number 11000005

State: Mississippi
Location: Hancock Location Type: County

Abstract: William Smith requests emancipation of the slave Bill, who "without direction" protected and supported Smith following the death of his parents. Smith secured an education through the "laborious and unassuming exertions of this humble protector."

PAR Number 11000021

State: Mississippi

Abstract: South Carolina resident William H. Taylor is the uncle and guardian of Thomas, Frances, and William Taylor, minor heirs to an estate "consisting chiefly of negroes." The minors live in South Carolina, but the slaves are in Warren County, Mississippi. Taylor states that he finds it finds it difficult to manage the slaves and hire a suitable overseer from such a distance. He asks the legislature for permission to transport the slaves to South Carolina.

PAR Number 11000023

State: Mississippi
Location: Wilkinson Location Type: County

Abstract: Clarissa Neylans supports the petition of J. Y. Gibson to transport her children's slaves to Louisiana. Gibson is the children's guardian.

PAR Number 11082503

State: Mississippi Year: 1825
Location: Wilkinson Location Type: County

Abstract: Thomas G. Ellis, a minor, states that he is entitled to a considerable estate in land and slaves left him by his father. He asks the legislature to "pass a law declaring him of full and legal Age" to take effect in the winter before his legal age is reached. This would enable him to prepare for the next crop.

PAR Number 11082703

State: Mississippi Year: 1827

Abstract: The guardian of five children who live in Louisiana and Mississippi asks permission to remove thirteen slaves inherited by the minors into Louisiana. The guardian, Thomas H. Chew, had married the widow of the children's father. Chew also asks to be relieved of responsibility for the minor's property in Louisiana.

PAR Number 11082704

State: Mississippi Year: 1827

Abstract: Mary Chew supports her husband's petition requesting the removal of thirteen of her children's inherited slaves from Mississippi to Louisiana. The removal, she argues, would be best for the children.

PAR Number 11082901

State: Mississippi Year: 1829
Location: Wayne Location Type: County

Abstract: Rebecca Jones, a widow and the guardian of her five daughters, Vina, Darling, Polly, Emily, and Catherine, asks permission to take the minors' property to Alabama. The property consists of a few head of cattle and a female slave.

PAR Number 11082902

State: Mississippi Year: 1829
Location: Franklin Location Type: County

Abstract: A resident of West Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dempsey Cain is the guardian of his nephew, whose estate is located in Mississippi. He asks permission to bring "a Number of Valuable Slaves" belonging to his nephew, a minor, into Louisiana, where "he will be able so to manage and transact the business of said Ward as to make his Estate produce a greater profit." In the part of Louisiana where he lived the labor of slaves is, Dempsey claims, "more valuable and productive" than in Mississippi.

PAR Number 11083106

State: Mississippi Year: 1831
Location: Adams Location Type: County

Abstract: Upon the death of her half-brother, Jane Randolph, an infant, inherited forty slaves and about 460 acres of land. Her father and guardian, R. C. Randolph of Natchez, asks permission to sell the property because he does not have time to manage the slaves properly. Rather, he would prefer to sell the land and slaves at one-third cash, the balance on credit of one or two years with interest, and invest in bank stock.

PAR Number 11083307

State: Mississippi Year: 1833
Location: Franklin Location Type: County

Abstract: Micajah Pickett, guardian of his grandson James Knox Pickett and administrator of the estate of James's late father, Hiram S. Pickett, asks permission to sell two slaves from the estate: "one a very old negro man aged about 70 years named Peter - and a negro woman named Christian more than forty years of age." They would be sold to James's maternal uncles, Nathan and James C. Knox, who own Peter's wife and Christian's husband, as partial credit for debts owed to them by Hiram's estate. Nathan and James Knox live in Louisiana.

PAR Number 11085702

State: Mississippi Year: 1857
Location: Claiborne Location Type: County

Abstract: The friends and relatives of William Adams petition the legislature to permit the twenty-year-old slave owner "to take charge and manage" his own affairs. He has the skill and economy to do so, they assert.

PAR Number 11085902

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

Abstract: Albert W. Dunbar, guardian of the estate of Dr. James P. McPheeters of Adams County, purchased in 1858 for the widow and her eight children a plantation on the Black River in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana. He then transported the slaves belonging to the estate to Louisiana and worked them on the plantation. Dunbar is an experienced planter, the petitioners aver, and this was the best way to use the slaves; prior to the purchase of land, the slaves could not be profitably utilized. The widow and her children explain that because of the minor status of five of the children, the removal of the slaves needs an "Enabling Act." They ask the legislature to pass such an act.

PAR Number 11086101

State: Mississippi Year: 1861
Location: Holmes Location Type: County

Abstract: Holmes County citizens write on behalf of William T. Hopson, a minor between the ages of eighteen and nineteen years old who "is the owner of considerable real and personal property" inherited from his mother but now "legally in the possession of an administrator" who lives a considerable distance from the plantation. For the past two years, the petitioners explain, William has been in charge of the plantation and its hands. They request that "he be relieved from the disability of minority by Legislative enactment." This would permit him to take charge of his own business affairs.

PAR Number 11278202

State: North Carolina Year: 1782
Location: Hertford Location Type: County

Abstract: Joseph Benthall, guardian of Susanna Benthall, requests that Joseph Wood, a justice of the peace in Northampton County, be removed from office. Benthall explains that his ward's "Negro Wench named Hagar had been secretly conveyed out of the County near four years ago" and that he searched and found her, now with a child, in Edgecomb County and took her to Northampton. He charges that "James Knight with a general Warrant Signed by Joseph Wood ... did by Violence sieze & carry the said Negroes away, barbarously wounding" Benthall's brother in the process. The petitioner recounts that he questioned Wood's authority, whereupon “Wood ordered your Petitioner to be confined in Hallifax Jail ... to be tryed as he said for Negro Stealing." Benthall, "on behalf of the good Citizens of this State," prays that the legislature may "direct the said Wood to be removed from his Magisterial Seat & be forever disabled from holding a Commission as a Justice of the Peace in future."

PAR Number 11278204

State: North Carolina Year: 1782
Location: Warren Location Type: County

Abstract: John Jones, guardian of Joseph Jonathan Alston, requests reimbursement for having paid taxes on some of his ward's property twice. Jones reports that his ward's slaves, excepting one, live in Halifax County while his land is located in Chatham County. Citing that he paid an estate tax and a tax on the land in both counties in 1781, Jones prays that he be “refunded out of the public Treasury the said Taxes by him paid twice.”

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