Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Search Results

Your subject search returned 521 total results.

Displaying 25 results per page.

PAR Number 10382613

State: Delaware Year: 1826

Abstract: Richard Lockwood of Cecil County, Maryland, having purchased seven-year-old Perry and thirteen-year-old Terry in Delaware, seeks exemption from the Delaware law designed to prevent the importation and exportation of slaves. Lockwood therefore “prays your Honorable Body to pass an act granting him authority to remove the said negroes into the State of Maryland.” Thirteen-year-old Terry is a “manumitted servant” to be freed in the future.

PAR Number 10384506

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

Abstract: Thomas Jacobs asks the Delaware legislature to authorize his purchase of the slave Saulsbury from Roger Wright. He explains that in 1818, Maryland resident Roger Wright received permission from the Delaware legislature to bring six slaves into the state; Wright was required, however, to register the bill of sale for the slaves in the deeds office of Sussex County. Jacobs states that when he attempted to purchase the slave Saulsbury for $125 he "searched the records in the office ... but has not been able to find the record aforesaid required by said act to be made by the said Roger Wright." The petitioner speculates that Wright did not know he had to register Saulsbury at his birth. Jacobs therefore asks the legislature to "revive" the 1818 act so he can enter the bill of sale for the slave on the record and consummate his transaction with Wright.

PAR Number 11000017

State: Mississippi

Abstract: John Baptiste Nicaisse purchased his two-year-old daughter, Izabella, in 1806 at the Bay of St. Louis, which was then under Spanish rule. The bill of sale stipulated that Nicaisse should legally emancipate the child "before the command't at mobile." Before Nicaisse could do so, however, the area became part of the United States. He now seeks to free her through the Mississippi legislature.

PAR Number 11279213

State: North Carolina Year: 1792
Location: Craven Location Type: County

Abstract: John Handy, the "reputed father" of two-year-old mulatto Peggy Handy, purchased his daughter from Elizabeth Vail; he then loaned the child back to the former owner for the "purpose of maintaining and educating her and intending that she should afterwards be free." A mistake in the transfer deed, however, meant that Peggy would not remain with Vail after the term for which she had been lent but would revert to John Handy's estate. Fearing his intentions "would be thereby defeated," he issued a deed of emancipation, saying that after the loan period Peggy would "be forever free." Vail asks the legislature to free "the said Mulatto girl."

PAR Number 11279505

State: North Carolina Year: 1795
Location: Perquimans Location Type: County

Abstract: Nathan Creecy states that he bought at auction a "condemned Negro woman" named Peg and her child Hannah for seventy-eight pounds, "a large price at that time for a Negro woman & child that had once enjoyed freedom." Creecy then learned that Hannah had been born prior to Peg's manumission and was the slave of Robert Newby. Wishing to keep mother and child together (Hannah was only ten months old), Creecy bought her as a slave until she reached age eighteen, "at which time she is subject to be taken from your petitioner and sold for the benefit of the Publick." Creecy also relates that he bought Peg's two-year-old son Tom, until he reached age twenty-one, "at which time he is subject to be taken from your petitioner and sold for the benefit of the Publick." Having experienced "much expense & trouble in raising the said boy & it being the request of the former owner of said Negroes that they should stay together," Creecy asks that a law be passed "establishing & confirming the right of said Negroes Tom & Hannah in him."

PAR Number 11280205

State: North Carolina Year: 1802
Location: Craven Location Type: County

Abstract: John Carruthers Stanly, a free man of color, submits that he purchased "a negro male of the age of two years, named John, whom he considers his child"; in 1801, he purchased "a mulatto child named John, who is the result of a matrimonial connection between your Petitioner and Kitty." Stanly, of the opinion that "it is inconsistent with nature, for the parent to wish his child in a state of vassalage, either to another or himself," asks that said children be manumitted. He requests that two-year-old John be "known in future by the name of James Florence" and that the other child "hereafter to be known & distinguished by the name of John Stewart Stanly."

PAR Number 11280805

State: North Carolina Year: 1808
Location: Brunswick Location Type: County

Abstract: Blackwell McAlester states that "he was manumitted & set free by his former owner for meritorious services" and "that by his own honest Industry He raised a sufficient Sum of money to purchase his Grandson." Noting that the child "is too young to have rendered meretorious services to his master," the petitioner "therefore humbly requests your honorable Body to grant to an old Man the Freedom of his Grand Child by passing a Law emancipating him by the name of Joseph Blackwell."

PAR Number 11381710

State: South Carolina Year: 1817
Location: York Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Harris, a resident of York District "near the North Carolina Line," asks that he be allowed to bring six-year-old Susan and three-year-old Linda into South Carolina. Harris reports that he purchased said slave children "through motives of humanity" and "with the sole intention of making them a part of his family"; Harris "now owns and has owned the Mother of Said Children." Avowing that "it is not his intention to sell them, offer them for Sale, or in any wise dispose of them contrary to the Laws of this State," he prays that "he may be enabled, by an act of your honourable body to bring Said Children within the limits of this State, to their Mother, their Master, & their much desired Home."

PAR Number 11381711

State: South Carolina Year: 1817
Location: York Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Harris, a resident of York District "near the North Carolina Line," asks that he be allowed to bring six-year-old Susan and three-year-old Linda into South Carolina. Harris reports that he purchased said slave children "through motives of humanity" and "with the sole intention of making them a part of his family"; Harris "now owns and has owned the Mother of Said Children." Avowing that "it is not his intention to sell them, offer them for Sale, or in any wise dispose of them contrary to the Laws of this State," he prays that "he may be enabled, by an act of your Honourable body to bring Said Children within the limits of this State, to their Mother, their Master, & their much desired Home."

PAR Number 11483110

State: Tennessee Year: 1831
Location: Williamson Location Type: County

Abstract: Austin Gresham, administrator of the estate of Henry A. Burge and the husband of Burge's widow, asks to sell an eleven-year-old slave named Nathan. Grisham declares that "for three or four years back, this boy, Nathan, has been in the constant habit of running away: that he has employed all the means he could, himself, devise, to prevent it; that he has obtained the aid of other experienced persons to the same object, but has failed in every expedient" and that "the habit is increasing." Gresham therefore prays "that you would pass a law directing him the sd negro boy Nathan to be sold."

PAR Number 11680202

State: Virginia Year: 1802

Abstract: A group of Quakers present their petition to the legislature to protest the suffering of free blacks whose "undoubted" rights are being violated with impunity because enforcement of the law that protects such right is not applied with enough vigor to discourage perpetrators. They specifically represent that children who have been emancipated by will but placed under white guardianship during their minority are carried out of state and sold as slaves; and adults in the enjoyment of their freedom are kidnapped and taken away and enslaved. The petitioners pray that the laws be revised to halt these practices.

PAR Number 11680207

State: Virginia Year: 1802

Abstract: The Society of Friends, acknowledging the difficulties attendant to the desirable complete eradication of slavery, seeks alleviation of the suffering it causes and amelioration of the degraded condition of the slave population. Specifically, the Friends seek the passing of laws to eliminate the domestic slave trade, which allows "purchasing numbers of those unfortunate Persons, and carrying them out of the limits of this state; often to places, where the rigors of Slavery are multiplied, and the bitterness of their unhappy Situation increased." They also ask for an end to the forcible separation of black families.

PAR Number 11681117

State: Virginia Year: 1811
Location: Berkeley Location Type: County

Abstract: Jerry, a forty-five-year-old "waggnoner," and his wife Susannah were emancipated by the will of their recently deceased owner, John B. Craighill. They petition the legislature to be allowed to remain in the state of Virginia where Jerry was born and where their family live. They inform the court that he and Susannah have four slave children who are part of Craighill's estate and are about to be sold. Furthermore, Jerry's mother who, although a slave has been allowed to live with Jerry and Susannah, is "so old & infirm that she could not be removed to any considerable distance." Jerry prays that a law may be passed authorizing him and Susannah to remain "within the state without incurring the penalties of the act to amend the several laws concerning slaves."

PAR Number 11681212

State: Virginia Year: 1812
Location: Charlotte Location Type: County

Abstract: William Gaines represents that he purchased a "very valuable house servant" named Stephen in 1812 from "a certain John Williamson of the State of South Carolina." Gaines states that he realized the next day, however, that said purchase had violated the law prohibiting the introduction of slaves into the state for sale or trade. Unsuccessful in his efforts to nullify his contract, the petitioner reports that the overseers of the poor took Stephen and sold him "with the express intention, that he should be carried into another state & sold." Pleading for the "mercy of the General Assembly," Gaines prays that he be allowed "the proceeds of the aforesaid sale."

PAR Number 11683111

State: Virginia Year: 1831
Location: Buckingham Location Type: County

Abstract: Eight residents of Buckingham County exclaim that "the Southhampton massacre, with the number of conspiracies, prove that our fears are well founded." They further aver that the growing numbers of slaves and free people of color will overwhelm the white people, especially when planters in the southwest quit buying Virginia's slaves; the petitioners predict that when this occurs, the state's large slaveholders will be forced to purchase the land of the small- and non-slaveholders in order to find work for the excess slaves, forcing the non-slaveholding whites to leave the state, further diminishing the white population. To prevent such an eventuality, the petitioners recommend the plan suggested by Thomas Jefferson: "emancipating the afterborn, leaving them on due compensation with their mothers, until their services are worth their maintenance, and then putting them to industrious occupations until a proper age for deportation." They further speculate with "the estimated value of the new born infant [being] so low (say twelve dollars and fifty cents), that we do not see how masters can object to give them up, who have the welfare of their country and families at heart."

PAR Number 11683124

State: Virginia Year: 1831
Location: Buckingham Location Type: County

Abstract: Nine residents of Buckingham County exclaim that "the Southhampton massacre, with the number of conspiracies, prove that our fears are well founded." They further aver that the growing numbers of slaves and free people of color will overwhelm the white people, especially when planters in the southwest quit buying Virginia's slaves; the petitioners predict that when this occurs, the state's large slaveholders will be forced to purchase the land of the small- and non-slaveholders in order to find work for the excess slaves, forcing the non-slaveholding whites to leave the state, further diminishing the white population. To prevent such an eventuality, the petitioners recommend the plan suggested by Thomas Jefferson: "emancipating the afterborn, leaving them on due compensation with their mothers, until their services are worth their maintenance, and then putting them to industrious occupations until a proper age for deportation." They further speculate with "the estimated value of the new born infant [being] so low (say twelve dollars and fifty cents), that we do not see how masters can object to give them up, who have the welfare of their country and families at heart."

PAR Number 11683313

State: Virginia Year: 1833
Location: Amherst Location Type: County

Abstract: One hundred thirty-five Amherst County residents attest that Archy Higginbotham, a free man of color, "is a Person of good character, honest deportment, and without exception in his behaviour, he is regarded by all who know him as a respectable worthy man." The petitioners point out that Thomas Higginbotham emancipated the said Archy, also known by the name Archy Cary. Noting that he has a wife and children, they further "regard it as a hardship that he should be compeled to leave the state of Virginia.” The petitioners therefore pray "your Honourable Body to permit by law the said Archy to remain in the State of Virginia and if that cannot be done to permit him to remain in the County of Amherst -- or if that should be deemed unwise to allow him a reasonable time to dispose of his Estate, collect the proceeds & prepare for removal which would require some thing like five years."

PAR Number 20182202

State: Alabama Year: 1822
Location: Montgomery Location Type: County

Abstract: Archibald Finly [Findley], administrator of the estate of Archibald Campbell, asks permission to sell lots in the town of Montgomery rather than slaves to satisfy debt against the estate. Finly states that the slaves are "negroes which are of great advantage to your petitioner and the Guardians of said Campbells heirs by applying the money arising from the hire of said negroes to the support of said heirs." He claims that sale of the city lots "would be far less injurious to the said ... estate and the heirs thereof than a sale of the said negroes or any part thereof."

PAR Number 20183921

State: Alabama Year: 1839
Location: Coosa Location Type: County

Abstract: In December 1836, William Campbell purchased the slave Hardy, thirteen years of age, for $846 from John Dailey Jr. of Henry County, Georgia. As payment, Campbell transferred a note of $896 to Dailey, and Dailey paid Campbell fifty dollars in cash to balance out the transaction. Shortly after the sale, Campbell "discovered that the said negro was wholly unsound and worthless," and in March asked Daily to take back the boy and return the note used to purchase him. But before Dailey could respond, the slave died. The petitioner notes "that he has been greatly injured and endamaged by not having the possession of said note and that by reason of the wrongful acts of said Dailey," and he seeks an injunction against Dailey to prevent him from prosecuting the makers of the note and from collecting the money. In addition, Campbell requests recovery of the note.

PAR Number 20184405

State: Alabama Year: 1844
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: Alcuin Eason, guardian of his half-sister, minor Ann L. Eason, asks the court to confirm the purchase of a slave named Horace and permission to purchase other slaves for the benefit of his ward. Ann owns Horace's wife, Eason explains, and when it was learned that the slave was about to be sent to North Carolina he made the purchase. Horace is "young & extremely valuable by reason of his good health, Sound condition, great Strength and many good qualities." The price of six hundred dollars "was at the time of purchase & is now a small sum for so valuable a Slave."

PAR Number 20184617

State: Alabama Year: 1846
Location: Sumter Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1845, Elpha Young filed a suit against her husband, James A. Young, for breach of contract, contending that he refused to pay her an income from her separate property as required in their marriage agreement. Shortly before the sheriff served papers in the case, James Young "sold or gave and conveyed away all his property, both real and personal," except two slaves, Daniel and Mima, cited in the contract. Young gave Abraham Pennington, his son-in-law, a slave named Davy, age thirty; he gave his son Robert Young a slave named Jim, age about forty-five, and Maria, about eight; he gave his daughter Eleanor, or Nelly, Quinney a woman named Rody, about twenty-five, and her son Henry, about eight. He also gave away his horses, mules, cattle, and land. He did so, Elpha Young contends in a supplemental bill of complaint, to thwart the arguments in her original suit. She asks for a subpoena requiring the defendants to give a "full, true, direct and perfect answer" to her charges. Elpha's related original suit reveals that, by a clause of the marriage contract, James Young had given Mima and Daniel to his new bride.

PAR Number 20184633

State: Alabama Year: 1846
Location: Lawrence Location Type: County

Abstract: John M. McGaughey amends his original suit to confirm his title to slaves he bought from Charles Ewing Jr., one of the heirs of the late Charles Ewing Sr. In his amended suit, McGaughey argues that he purchased the slaves when Charles Ewing Jr. was perfectly solvent, and presents the bills of sale as exhibits. He again seeks an injunction to halt the said suit pending against him and requests a decree validating his title to the slaves. The related original bill reveals that three of the slaves, Lucy and her sons, Jack and Willis, had belonged to the late Charles Ewing Sr. During his lifetime, Charles Ewing the elder had given Lucy and Willis to Charles Jr. and Jack to another of his children. Charles Ewing Jr. had purchased Jack from his sibling before selling all three slaves to McCaughey.

PAR Number 20185317

State: Alabama Year: 1853
Location: Tallapoosa Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1841, Tennessee slave owner James Pitman, of Roane County, gave his grandchildren, William and Sarah Lamira Pitman, two slaves: Lyshia, about twenty-five, and her small child Patsey. The slave Lyshia has since the gift given birth to three more children: Benjamin Franklin, Oliver Cromwell, and Governor Daniel, "all of whom are boys and very young." William and Sarah Pitman live in Alabama, and both their father and mother are dead. Sarah has now come of age and William, still a minor, must be educated. The petitioner, who is William's guardian represents that funds are needed for William's education and there is no other property to be used for that purpose. He therefore seeks permission of the court to sell the slaves.

PAR Number 20185502

State: Alabama Year: 1855
Location: Montgomery Location Type: County

Abstract: Joseph D. Hopper, administrator of the estate of George H. Godfrey, deceased, requests permission to sell a nine-year-old slave named Wilson and to distribute the proceeds between Godfrey's nephew, George Godfrey, and his daughter, Susan Godfrey. In his will Godfrey had left the slave solely to his nephew, but when Susan was born after his death she was entitled by law to a one-half share.

PAR Number 20185514

State: Alabama Year: 1855
Location: Montgomery Location Type: County

Abstract: Elisha Moore, administrator of the estate of Elijah Moore, requests to sell five slaves--two adults and three children--as well as some personal property to pay the estate's debts and make distribution to heirs. Related documents reveal that Elisha's prayer is granted and that, at the sale, he purchases three of the five slaves. The documents also reveal that by 1858 Elisha Moore has departed this life and the three slaves he had purchased in 1855, as well as another one purchased by Mrs. Mahala Moore, are now in his estate. They are sold again.

Next 25 Results