Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 20783911

State: Kentucky Year: 1839
Location: Harrison Location Type: County

Abstract: Henry C. Moore died in August 1832, leaving a widow and son, who has since died, as his only heirs. Moore's considerable estate consisted of land, slaves, and personal property. Moore's siblings, who are the petitioners, contest Henry's will. They state that on 24 May 1832, "Henry C. Moore was not of sound mind but was in a state of mental derangement which rendered him totally incapable of disposing of his property by will or of transacting business of any kind." Moore's siblings state that the Justices of the Harrison County Court claim his estate under the pretended will as "Trustees for the poor orphans of Harrison County." The petitioners claim that they are the rightful heirs at law and name twenty-three justices of the peace and others as defendants. The petitioners request a jury trial to determine the validity of the will, and seek a decree to set aside the will and declare it null and void.

PAR Number 20785331

State: Kentucky Year: 1853
Location: Butler Location Type: County

Abstract: James B. Martin, guardian of Judith K., John W., and James W. Martin, states that William J. Moore published his last will and testament in 1837. Moore devised a female slave named Clarcey and her future increase to the children of Judy Martin. The petitioner asserts that his wards are heirs of Judy Martin. Pointing out that Clarcey now has three children, Martin contends that it would be impossible to divide the slaves equally. He asks permission to sell the slaves and divide the proceeds.

PAR Number 20785412

State: Kentucky Year: 1854
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: George and Elizabeth Ghiselin confirm that Elizabeth was appointed the guardian of Caroline R. Taylor, an infant orphan of Reuben O. Taylor, who died intestate. Taylor bequeathed to Caroline "a negro man, slave for life, named Joshua, aged about 43 years. That said slave is unmanageable and dissipated, and beyond the control of the said George R. and Elizabeth H. and frequently absents himself, staying away a long time, paying, and making no hire." The petitioners "believe, & charge that he [Joshua] will run away to a free state, whereby he will be lost to said Caroline R." They seek to sell Joshua and use the proceeds to reinvest in another slave or to pay Caroline.

PAR Number 20882210

State: Louisiana Year: 1822
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Julia Sharp, widow of Etienne Chiasson, requests an inventory of her husband's estate. She informs the court that her five children "are entitled" to half of the estate "by virtue of their rights of inheritance" from their father. Sharp asks that a guardian be appointed for the children and that an inventory be drawn up of the community property. The related inventory reveals that the estate included fifteen slaves.

PAR Number 20882219

State: Louisiana Year: 1822
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Nicholas Tachaud, "born free from free persons on the island of St. Domingue," claims to have been "unjustly & illegally detained" as a slave by Richard Richardson. Tachaud asks to be declared a free person and to be placed "provisionally under the custody of the Sheriff" while his case is being decided.

PAR Number 20882326

State: Louisiana Year: 1823
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Delphine, a free woman of color, claims that she is being held as a slave and deprived of her right to earn a living. She is suing Raymond Deveze, the man who currently holds her in servitude. She presents to the court the following facts that led to her current predicament. While living in Saint Domingue, the French part of the island of Hispaniola, she, her now-deceased mother, Caroline, and her two aunts, Luce and Florence, as well as her grandmother, Marie Catherine, were freed by one Marie Therese Duroc, her great-aunt, who was then their then owner. After her mother's death, Delphine continued to live with Marie Therese. But in 1803, during a period of violent upheaval on the island, the four women, a young male relative named Leger, as well as Marie Therese's companion, Mr. Belzons, were evacuated from Cap Français. Marie Therese died during the voyage and Belzons brought the other women and the young boy to Louisiana. Delphine claims that Belzons treated them well until, "shocking it is to state," he "inhumanly" sold her in spite of her representation that she was free. She is now the property of Deveze, from whom she has "suffered unjust corporal punishments." She prays the court to decree her free and to order Deveze to pay her compensation at the rate of $10 for each day that she has been "detained" in slavery [Original in English and French].

PAR Number 20882507

State: Louisiana Year: 1825
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Frederick Barfield, a resident of Phillips County, Territory of Arkansas, petitions for the return of two slaves and compensation for the death of another slave. Barfield contends that, on 2 May 1823, he entered into an agreement with Herndon Harolson, Jr., whereby Harolson agreed to transport three of Barfield’s slaves to Louisiana for the purpose of hiring them out. Contrary to the agreement, Harolson "fraudulently" sold the slaves to John Hewlett for $750. One of the slaves named Jenny died while in Hewlett’s possession. Barfield prays for compensation in the amount of $600 for the death of Jenny in addition to the return of the other two slaves, named Wilson and John. Likewise, Barfield asks that Hewlett be ordered to pay for the hire of John and Jenny at the rate of $10 per month.

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 20882743

State: Louisiana Year: 1827
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Charlotte Blaise, a free woman of color and the widow of Jacques Jazon [Jason], presents to the court that she has purchased her godchild, a six-year-old orphan girl named Charlotte, with the view to "withdraw" her from the bonds of slavery, and to have a support in her old age. She asks the court to submit her petition to the police jury "according to law."

PAR Number 20882924

State: Louisiana Year: 1829
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Paulin Verret presents to the court that, while he was a resident of the parish of Iberville, he accepted the nomination of "under tutor" of the minor children of the late Maximilien and Marie Louise Clotilde Ricard. However, he has "since removed from the parish" and finds it "very inconvenient to keep the appointment." He therefore prays to be discharged from the position and for the appointment of another "under tutor." Related petitions indicate that Paulin Verret was a free man of color.

PAR Number 20882925

State: Louisiana Year: 1829
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Clotilde Valerie Belly and her husband Augustin Borrie are the petitioners. They present to the court that Clotilde Valerie is the sole surviving grandmother of two minor children "under the age of puberty" named Paulin and Marie Louise Ricard. The children's parents, Maximilien and Marie Louise Clotilde Ricard, are both dead. Clotilde claims that she is "entitled to the tutorship" of her grandchildren and, thus, asks the court to be appointed their tutrix. The Borries and the Ricards are free people of color.

PAR Number 20882926

State: Louisiana Year: 1829
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Clotilde Ricard, a free woman of color, presents to the court that she is the "legitimate daughter" of Maximilien and Marie Louise Clotilde Ricard, both deceased free people of color, and that she is without a "Tutor or Curator" to represent her. She explains that she is "about sixteen years of age and consequently of age to choose her Curator." She therefore asks the court to appoint Augustin Borrie as curator and St. Luc Ricard as "curator ad lites." Both Augustin Borrie and St. Luc Ricard are also free men of color.

PAR Number 20882927

State: Louisiana Year: 1829
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Telcide Ricard, a free woman of color, presents to the court that she is the "legitimate daughter" of Maximilien and Marie Louise Clotilde Ricard, both deceased. She further presents that she has attained the age of puberty, being "more than twelve years" years old, and is thus legally authorized to choose her Curator. She therefore asks the court to appoint Augustin Borrie as curator and St. Luc Ricard as "curator ad lites." Both Augustin Borrie and St. Luc Ricard are free men of color.

PAR Number 20883146

State: Louisiana Year: 1831
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Pierre Fildié, a free man of color, has been appointed testamentary executor of the late Constance Tixerand, widow of the late Dalzé Dara or Darrea. Fildié presents to the court that, by her 1830 last will and testament, the late Constance Tixerand Dara directed her testamentary executor to emancipate three mulatto slaves in her estate: a female named Carmelite, "more than thirty years" of age, Carmelite's son named William, "above" the age of thirteen, and an eleven-year-old orphan named Lucien. Fildié vouches that Carmelite has "always behaved well." He asks the court to authorize him, in his capacity as testamentary executor, to give the "necessary advertisements which must precede the act" of emancipation. A related document reveals that the court issued an order to post notices of emancipation for Carmelite only. No mention is made of William or Lucien.

PAR Number 20883212

State: Louisiana Year: 1832
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Louis Bartholomie Galot, a free man of color, an orphan, and a minor above the age of twenty, believes that he is capable of administering the estate his parents left him, which consists of "one half lot of ground" situated in the "suburb Marigny." He seeks to be emancipated from the tutorship of Arnaud Fonvergne, a free man of color, and asks the court to convene a family meeting for approval.

PAR Number 20883316

State: Louisiana Year: 1833
Location: West Baton Rouge Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Céleste Bunard presents to the court she has been married to Jacques Molaison since 1807 and has borne him eleven children, eight of whom are still living. However, she can no longer live with him "on account of the cruel and outrageous treatment she has received from him." Céleste Bunard Molaison describes in some detail the physical violence her husband has inflicted on her and the neglect with which he has treated her and the children, including his refusal to provide medical care for them. The Molaisons own a sizeable amount of property, including a sugar plantation and slaves, most of which is held by the couple under the regime of community property. Céleste Molaison therefore asks the court to authorize her to institute a suit against her husband, to allow her to reside at her brother's house, to order payment of an "allowance of alimony" to support her during the duration of the suit, and to grant her custody of her younger children and separation of "bed and board" from her husband. Finally she wants the property to be inventoried and half of it adjudicated to her.

PAR Number 20883320

State: Louisiana Year: 1833
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: George Deslondes, a free man of color, presents to the court that a nine-year-old minor named Marie Louise Ricard is without a tutor. Marie Louise, a young free woman of color, is the orphan daughter of the late Maximilien and Marie Louise Ricard, also free people of color. Deslondes further presents that he is "a connexion of said minor by marriage" and believes that, in order to protect her "interests," a tutor must be appointed. He therefore prays the court to be appointed tutor.

PAR Number 20883321

State: Louisiana Year: 1833
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: The petitioners are George Des Londes and Cyprien Ricard, both free men of color. They present that they are tutors to two minor children, also free people of color. Des Londes is tutor to Marie Louise Ricard, and Cyprien Ricard is tutor to Paulin Ricard. The petitioners explain that Paulin, Marie Louise, and Clotilde Ricard are the sole children and heirs of their late mother, Marie Louise, widow of the late Maximilien Ricard. Both parents were also free people of color. The petitioners present that Marie Louise Ricard's estate is "unsettled and unliquidated" and that, as tutors, they have the right to claim its administration. They therefore ask the court to cite one "Augustine" Borie, also a free man of color and "curator ad bona" of Clotilde Ricard, to appear before the court and show cause as to why the administration could not be granted jointly.

PAR Number 20883322

State: Louisiana Year: 1833
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: George Deslondes and Pierre Cyprien Ricard, both free men of color, present to the court that they are the tutors of two minors named Marie Louise Ricard and Paulin Ricard, also free people of color. They further present that, in order to "protect & preserve" the "rights and interests" of the two children, it is necessary to make an inventory of the estate of their late parents, Maximilien and Marie Louise Ricard. The petitioners therefore pray for an inventory to be made by "some competent person."

PAR Number 20883323

State: Louisiana Year: 1833
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: George DesLondes and Pierre Cyprien Ricard, both free men of color, are the tutors of two minors named Marie Louise Ricard and Paulin Ricard, orphan children of the late Maximilien and Marie Louise Ricard. They present that another child of the late Maximilien and Marie Louise, a girl named Telcide, has no "legally appointed & qualified" tutor to administer her affairs. They further present that Marie Louise, Paulin and Telcide Ricard are the "sole surviving heirs" of their late parents and are thus "legally entitled by succession & legal inheritance" to all their parents' property, as well as to the property of their late maternal grandmother, Clotilde Valery Belly, wife of Augustin Borie. The petitioners claim that the debts attached to the estate, however, cannot be paid without the sale of a part or all of the property. They therefore pray for the appointment of a "tutor ad hoc" to represent Telcide Ricard and for a meeting of the children's relatives and friends to decide if a public sale should be made.

PAR Number 20883324

State: Louisiana Year: 1833
Location: Iberville Location Type: Parish

Abstract: The petitioners are George Deslondes and Pierre Cyprien Ricard, two free men of color. George Deslondes is tutor to Marie Louise Ricard and Pierre Cyprien Ricard is tutor to Paulin Ricard and tutor ad hoc to Telcide Ricard. Marie Louise, Paulin and Telcide Ricard are the minor children of the late Maximilien and Marie Louise Ricard, and heirs to their mother's estate. The Ricards, deceased and surviving, are all free people of color. The petitioners present that, by a prior order of this honorable court, a meeting of the family and friends of the Ricard children was held to decide the "terms and conditions" of the sale of the estate. They therefore ask the court to order that the proceedings of the family meeting be "homologated and recorded" and notice of the sale be given.

PAR Number 20883334

State: Louisiana Year: 1833
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Marie Thérèse Villanueva, a free woman of color also known as Zémire, presents to the police jury that she is the owner of an eight-year-old slave named Edouard Louis, also known as Charles Edwin. She explains that Edouard Louis is an orphan whom, to fulfill a promise, she has raised with the greatest of care and apprenticed into a trade, and whom she now wishes to free because he has responded well to her kindness. She asks the police jury to give her the dispensation required to free a slave under the legal age and to exempt him to leave the state where he was born, as proven by an extract from his baptism certificate [Original in French].

PAR Number 20883347

State: Louisiana Year: 1833
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Etienne Deynan presents to the police jury that he is the "legal owner" of a six-year-old male mulatto boy named Louis Ulgère. He further presents that he had Louis Ulgère baptized "as free," the act of baptism having been performed before and signed by two witnesses. Louis Ulgère, a "statu liber" by virtue of the act of baptism, is now an orphan and Etienne Deynan is "desirous" to grant him "definitive freedom" on account of his late mother's "long faithful and important services." Deynan therefore asks the police jury to emancipate Louis Ulgère, without compelling him to leave the state.

PAR Number 20883564

State: Louisiana Year: 1835
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: Myrtille Courcelle presents to the police jury that he is the "true and legitimate owner" of a four-and-a-half-year-old orphan boy named Zach or Alexandre or Alexandre Smith. He further presents that he intends to give Zach "some education" and to assure "unto him the advantages of a free man of colour," and that, for that purpose, he wishes to emancipate him. He therefore asks the police jury to order Zach's emancipation. We learn from a related document in the French language that Myrtille Courcelle was a free man of color and that he purchased Zach and his mother, Eugénie or Jenny, from James Huie of Rowan County, North Carolina in 1831.

PAR Number 20883601

State: Louisiana Year: 1836
Location: Orleans Location Type: Parish

Abstract: George Taylor, of Virginia, represents that, in February 1833, he hired out one hundred and three slaves to Joseph B. Wilkinson, Robert A. Wilkinson, and Clement B. Penrose, of Plaquemines Parish. Joseph Wilkinson’s wife, Catherine, was also a party to the contract. Taylor now charges that the defendants have broken their contract in several ways: they have neglected to pay for the hires; they have sold the sugar crops on which he had a privilege and which was supposed to have been delivered to him as payment; and they have moved sixty or seventy of his slaves from their plantation to a wood yard in Jefferson Parish, where a number of them have died of cholera. Taylor seeks payment in the form of 285,019 pounds of sugar or its value of $27,077.10. He also asks that the contract be annulled and the slaves, “with their increase,” restored to him. In the meantime, he asks that a writ of sequestration be issued for the slaves and the sugar crop. Neither the petition nor the related documents make it clear whether Taylor actually owned the slaves hired to the Wilkinsons or acted as an agent. Nor do the documents make clear whether the slaves were hired from within Louisiana or transported from Virginia.

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