Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 21381705

State: South Carolina Year: 1817
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: The heirs of Thomas Barksdale ask that Thomas Barksdale be appointed trustee of certain property bequeathed by his father Thomas to his sister, Sabina Barksdale Payne. They aver that the decedent devised twenty-three slaves to his daughter Sabina for her sole and separate use during her lifetime; upon her death, he stipulated that the property would descend to any "child or children, of my daughter Sabina" or to "such of my children, as may be then living" if said Sabina "should die without leaving" any issue. Sabina and her siblings, "who have a reversionary interest in the said Estate," believe that "the Negro slaves, named in the Will aforesaid and bequeathed as aforesaid are a very unprofitable gang of Negroes, producing an uncertain income to the said Sabina." They further note that Sabina and her husband "reside in Town," and they are "therefore obliged to put their negroes in the employment of such Planters as may choose to hire them." The petitioners "think it would be for the benefit of all of them were the ... Negroes aforesaid sold and the proceeds vested in Bank stock." They therefore pray that Thomas Barksdale be appointed trustee and be empowered to make such sale "deemed by him most advantageous and to vest the proceeds thereof in Bank of other Stock."

PAR Number 21381709

State: South Carolina Year: 1817
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Elizabeth Youngblood McBurney, the daughter of the late Mary Youngblood, joins her husband, Dr. Hugh McBurney, in seeking a partition of the land and slaves in her late mother's estate. They note that four slaves bequeathed to the late children of Thomas Fendins are now subject to division among "all the Grand Children" of the said Youngblood. Elizabeth avers that she "is desirous of having a division, and partition of the said Tract of Land, and her Moiety allotted to her," along with a distribution of "the one fourth part of the personal Estate," which descended to Mary's grandchildren "share and share alike."

PAR Number 21381714

State: South Carolina Year: 1817
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: John Stanyarne asks the court to cancel an assignment of twenty-seven slaves to Benjamin Smith, executed while "he was severely indisposed with Fever and incompetent to transact business of any kind." He informs the court that he purchased a tract of land from Selina Fenwicke in 1803 for "the sum of Six hundred and fifty pounds Sterling," for which he executed his bond. Although he made several payments on said debt, Stanyarne submits that Benjamin B. Smith obtained a judgment against him. When Smith insisted that he "instantly pay the above debt," the petitioner revealed that "he held a Judgment against the Estate of John Wilson under which certain negroes were to be sold and inquired of the said Benjamin B Smith whether he would take the said negroes on payment of the said Debt." Noting that Smith accepted said assignment, the petitioner avers that "he never received directly or indirectly any other considerations for the said assignment other than "to pay ostensibly the debt due to the said Miss Fenwicke." Stanyarne now realizes that the value of said assignment is greater than the amount of his debt. He therefore prays that "the said assignment may be cancelled and declared null and void and that the said Benjamin B Smith be compelled to give up the said Bond after payment of the Principal Interest and Costs due thereon."

PAR Number 21381719

State: South Carolina Year: 1817
Location: Pinckney Location Type: District

Abstract: Thomas Skain, "the Comittee of the person & estate of peter Skain a lunatic," asks to sell his brother's estate. The petitioner informs the court that said Peter owns two tracts of land and a "negro girl who has one child." Skain argues that said land is "extremely unproductive" and that the said slave "is of little or no service & would hire for very little in consequence of her having to devote the greater part of her time & attention to the nursing & taking care of the child." The petitioner reveals that he "is about to depart the State & to remove to the Alabama country in the Mississippi Territory and is desirous to take the said lunatic with him who is a brother of your orator." With a view "that the said estate may be reduced to cash," Skain therefore prays that a commissioner be authorized to "sell the said estate at public auction."

PAR Number 21381812

State: South Carolina Year: 1818
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Martha Elizabeth Hollinsbee Gibbs joins her husband, her daughter and her brothers in seeking the sale of eight slaves. The petitioners point out that two of said slaves were conveyed to Martha Elizabeth for her "use and behoof ... during the term of her natural life" in 1795. They further cite that the trustee of said life estate has died and that the total number of slaves amount "in all to Eight," as the two female slaves named in said deed of trust have had children. Noting that they live "in town," the petitioners purport that said slaves "are of little or no value" due to the irregular wages paid for said adults and "the expence of the children." They therefore pray that "the said negroe Slaves Eight in number may be sold" and "the proceeds vested in Real Estate in the City of Charleston."

PAR Number 21381813

State: South Carolina Year: 1818
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Copeland and Benjamin Stiles, minor sons of Benjamin Stiles Jr., petition for a writ of partition of their father's estate, which contains large tracts of land and sixty-nine slaves. Stiles's will directs that the estate, with the exception of some specific bequests, be divided equally among his widow and four children. The petitioners also ask the court to allow a sale of the property if it is necessary.

PAR Number 21381814

State: South Carolina Year: 1818
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Henry Alexander DeSaussure, "the duly constituted Guardian of Miss M. Alice Jones," is "desirous of selling and disposing of the said negroes" and other property that his ward "will shortly be in possession of." DeSaussure reports that the late William Jones died "seized and possessed of a considerable real and personal Estate consisting of lands and negro slaves" and that he "devised his estate to be equally divided among his four children share & share alike, of whom your Petitioner's Ward M. Alice Jones is one." Noting that Jones's real estate is slated to be sold, DeSaussure explains that his ward "will have no land whereon to employ her said slaves." He further reveals that "being a resident of Charleston Your Petitioner cannot pay such attention to them as would render them profitable to her." DeSaussure therefore asks that "he may be authorised and empowered to sell and dispose of the said negro slaves and other personal property" and that he be permitted to invest "the proceeds in Bank or other stock that a certain and adequate income may be obtained for the maintenance of the said M. Alice Jones."

PAR Number 21381819

State: South Carolina Year: 1818
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Ann Alicia Stock, on behalf of herself and her four minor children, petitions the court for permission to sell slaves in a trust estate created prior to her marriage with John Stock, who died in November 1817. By virtue of their 1806 marriage settlement, the eighty slaves that Ann brought to the marriage were placed in a trust to be administered by Thomas Rhett Smith and Thomas Chiffelle. Stock explains that the land in her late husband's estate is "not more than Sufficient for his own Negroes to plant with any prospect of success." She proposes to convert the proceeds of the sale "into Bonds and Mortgages and Stock. She also avers that her trustees concur with the plan, but they cannot effect it "without the sanction of this honorable Court."

PAR Number 21381821

State: South Carolina Year: 1818
Location: Pinckney Location Type: District

Abstract: Seventy-three-year-old Rebecca Turner asks the court to order her son, Matthias, to deliver up her five slaves, whom he holds under a fraudulent bill of sale. In 1817 a "very infirm" Rebecca agreed to allow Matthias to manage her slaves in the cultivation of land on her plantation. Matthias promised in exchange to "maintain support and clothe" her in the last years of her life. To formalize the agreement, Matthias drew up a document, and the petitioner, who could neither read nor write, made her mark. The document, to Rebecca's great dismay, was actually an "absolute" bill of sale vesting title to the slaves in Matthias. Rebecca informs the court that at her death she intended that the slaves be divided among Matthias and her ten other children, who were "equally near and dear to her." She asks the court to nullify the bill of sale and to restore the slaves to her possession.

PAR Number 21381826

State: South Carolina Year: 1818
Location: Newberry Location Type: District

Abstract: Daniel Keller joins his wife, Elizabeth, and her sister, Mary Wicker, in asking for a division of the estate of Henry Wicker, the sisters' father. Wicker died in 1805, leaving an "unimproved" tract of land and a slave named Jim. Since his death, the estate has been in the hands of John Owen, the executor of the will. The petitioners claim that Jim is of "a bad character and his life in other respects uncertain but who without any defraud on the purchase would sell well at the present high prices for slaves." They ask that Owen turn over the titles to the land and the slave so that the property can be sold and the proceeds equally divided between Elizabeth Keller and Mary Wicker.

PAR Number 21381905

State: South Carolina Year: 1819
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Eliza M. Couturier seeks permission to sell "a certain parcel of Negroes now in the possession of Elias Couturier Administrator on the Estate of Isaac Couturier deceased." The petitioner attests that her son, Isaac R. E. Couturier, inherited the said slaves "by the Death of his Father." She points out, however, that her son "has no Land on which the said Negroes can be worked." Contending that the said "Negroes do not make so much as the Interest of the money would amount to were they sold," Couturier reveals that "some of them have been for some time back on the decline and are now daily decreasing in value." She therefore prays that "the said Negroes may be sold by your Petitioner and the proceeds of the said sale be vested in such manner as may to your Petitioner seem most productive."

PAR Number 21382017

State: South Carolina Year: 1820
Location: Sumter Location Type: District

Abstract: Elizabeth Brown Welsh seeks to recover certain slave property to which she claims entitlement. She submits that her father, Joseph Brown, "in his life time made a deed of Gift to your oratrix and Harrison Brown," but the "Bill of Sale to your oratrix and Harrison was distroyed and the property conveyed to all the children of the said Joseph Brown." She further states that her husband, Andrew Welsh [also known as Timothy Lovin] sued Brown's heirs for his right to her half of the "gifted" property. She states that Brown's administrators had also sued to sell his real estate to pay his debts, whereupon the court ruled that the estate be divided between Harrison and Elizabeth and that the real estate be sold. Elizabeth charges that the said Andrew sold two slaves, "in violation of the rights of your oratrix." She further avers that she went with Andrew to Tennessee and "that he was committed to Goal for murder and Robbery that he broke Goal twice and was Killed in a subsequent attempt to arrest him." Having returned to the state, she now cites that "she has been informed that her interest has been absorbed by the decree of this court in paying the inequality produced by the Gift and division of the negroes between her and Harrison." The petitioner therefore prays that certain defendants "be compelled to restore the said negroes to your oratrix by a decree of this court."

PAR Number 21382020

State: South Carolina Year: 1820
Location: Fairfield Location Type: District

Abstract: Sarah Beam asks that her husband, Albert Beam, be compelled to provide a separate maintenance for her and her children's support. Since their marriage in 1807, Sarah claims that Albert has become increasingly violent and abusive towards her until he "made a furious attack on your Oratrix whilst engaged in her domestic employments." She relates that he "beat her severely with a switch, led her violently to the gate, turned her without, shut the gate upon her and ordered her out." She then took refuge with her eldest child at the house of her brother. Albert refuses to "contribute to the comfortable maintenance and support" of Sarah or her child, although he owns valuable property, which includes one male slave worth $625. He also withholds their youngest daughter from her, refusing to allow Sarah to see her. She asks that Albert be compelled to deliver up her child and that she be permitted to live separately from him with her daughters, "secured against any interruption from the said Albert."

PAR Number 21382026

State: South Carolina Year: 1820
Location: Newberry Location Type: District

Abstract: Starling and Ruth Baldaree petition to receive property belonging to the estate of Ruth's late husband, Philemon Waters. According to the provisions of his will, Waters bequeathed a large tract of land and four slaves to Ruth, his widow, for her use during her lifetime and to descend to their youngest son, Jonathan Dawson Waters, upon her death. Waters also bequeathed several tracts of land to Jonathan, with the provision that Ruth would "enjoy" it until Jonathan reached the age of twenty-one. Waters's executors, James Farnandis and John O'Neall, have taken possession of all the property, except the "property to the amount of" $250 that Ruth and her second husband, Starling Baldaree, were permitted to purchase at administrative sale. The Baldarees ask the court to compel the defendants to execute the will by delivering their intended bequests. They also ask that Farnandis and O'Neall be made to account for the "rents and profits" of the estate from 1818, when Waters died.

PAR Number 21382027

State: South Carolina Year: 1820
Location: Washington Location Type: District

Abstract: Reuben and Alcy Bramblet ask the court to order a partition of the estate of John Gray, Alcy's late father, who died intestate in 1806. The petitioners seek "their proportionable share" of the estate, but the estate's administrator, Jesse Gray, has refused their requests. John's estate includes two female slaves, Rose and Patsy.

PAR Number 21382726

State: South Carolina Year: 1827
Location: Fairfield Location Type: District

Abstract: Eliza and John Blake ask the court to compel Abraham Jones, Eliza's brother-in-law and the administrator of her father's estate, to account with them for Eliza's portion of the estate. The Blakes claim that Eliza's father, James Goodwyn, promised to give them property brought to his marriage by Eliza's mother, who died in 1811. Eliza was under five when she was taken by an aunt and reared without James's assistance. The property in question included a tract of land in Alabama and fifteen slaves. At the time of the verbal agreement, the couple had no use for the slaves, as they were field hands and the couple lived in Charleston and had a "sufficiency of domestics." Goodwyn then decided that he would hire the slaves himself, paying their wages to John as he would "any other person." They did not fix a hiring price, however, before Goodwyn died. Jones, now the administrator of Goodwyn's estate, is unwilling to honor their verbal agreement. The Blakes ask the court to compel Jones to turn over the slaves to them and to account for their hire for the years 1825 and 1826.

PAR Number 21382733

State: South Carolina Year: 1827
Location: Newberry Location Type: District

Abstract: The granddaughters of the late Jane Towles ask that a division of five slaves be confirmed. They relate that Jane Towles executed a deed in 1817, in which she empowered her slave Suckey to choose to whom "herself & her children shall belong" after Jane's death. The deed directed that Suckey could choose from one of Jane's eight grandchildren, but it required that she wait until Peter Towles "arrives at full age" before making her choice; in the meantime, Suckey and her children would belong to Jane's son, Daniel Towles. The deed further stipulated that, if Suckey or her children were "being barbarously and unkindly treated by any of the family of Daniel Towles or himself," then the terms of the deed would be enacted earlier; Jane also instructed three other men "to attend to the complaint of the said negroes should they make any." The petitioners state that Jane Towles died intestate in 1826, "without leaving any personal or real estate other than the slaves disposed of by the deed." As there was "no real Estate whereon the said slaves might be employed," they decided "that a personal division of the Slaves would be advantageous to all the parties in interest." Suckey and her four children were therefore appraised and distributed among Jane's heirs on 2 January 1827. The petitioners ask that said partition, "fairly & Equitably made," be confirmed and said slaves "be absolutely vested" in their new owners. [Petition is missing page/pages.]

PAR Number 21383407

State: South Carolina Year: 1834
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Emma Drayton wishes to sell certain slaves, whom she inherited from her late father, Thomas Drayton. Drayton notes that, by his last will and testament, he bequeathed to her "a Share of the Rest and residue of his personal Estate," including slaves. She reveals, however, that "the Negroes so bequeathed unto your Petioner are field hands and as yr Petioner has not the ability to employ them in the cultivation of Land They are unproductive to her." She asks the court for permission to sell the slaves "and to vest the proceeds of said Sale in other property more productive unto yr Petitioner."

PAR Number 21383719

State: South Carolina Year: 1837
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Elizabeth Haig, widow of Dr. Hezekiah Mailiam [Mayhan] Haig, seeks permission to sell four slaves named Moses, Morris, Polydore, and Hester. Haig explains that her aunt, Charlotte Broughton, bequeathed a joint life interest in five slaves to Elizabeth, Elizabeth's mother, and her sisters in 1829. The slaves were Charlotte Broughton's interest in the estate of her late mother, Mary Broughton. Elizabeth's portion of the slaves now living number thirteen: Morris, Snow (a carpenter), Lucinda, Cornelia, Chloe, Polydore, Moses, Hester, Jemy, Scipio, Ambrose, Clarinda and Isaac. She informs the court "that the said slaves have been hitherto employed in planting but she has recently sold her interest in the plantation on which they were so employed." She argues that it "would best promote the interests of herself and her children," to sell them and to invest the proceeds "in other property." She further reveals that her sisters released their contingent interest in the slaves years before. She asks the court to sanction the sale "whereby the contingent right of her said children thereto in case they should survive her may concluded."

PAR Number 21383722

State: South Carolina Year: 1837
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: James Poyas, executor of the will of the late Henry Smith Poyas, asks the court to confirm the sale of "Forty negro slaves" to Gilbert C. Geddes. Poyas informs the court that the estate contains "no landed property ... on which to employ" the slaves. He currently hires out the "whole gang of negroes" for $600 per year, but their annual income is "insufficient for the support" of Poyas's family. Furthermore, he claims that "the said negroes were not as contented nor fared as well as if under the eye and care of their owners." Poyas contends that the current "market price" of slaves would "nearly double" the family's income. Noting that Geddes has offered to pay $15,200 for the entire "gang, the petitioner purports that "this sum at Interest would produce an annual income of $1064 without the danger of loss by death, whereas the annual hire or wages heretofore obtained was only $600, subject to the contingency of diminution by the casualties of disease, accidental injury, infirmity or death." The testator's three eldest children assent to the sale and desire their portions of the estate be "partitioned off and allotted to them" under their father's will.

PAR Number 21383803

State: South Carolina Year: 1838
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Mary E. and Martha A. Bailey join their brother and guardian, Henry F. Bailey, in seeking permission to sell thirty-six slaves. The sisters each received eighteen slaves by a writ of partition of the estate of their late father, Edward Bailey. Among these slaves, "there are but fourteen workers or field hands." The girls' brothers do not have "accommodation for the negroes of your petitioners" on their lands. The slaves therefore "would be burdensome and unproductive and liable to depreciation and casualty from sickness and otherwise." Finding that it would be to their "advantage" to sell the slaves, the Baileys ask permission to do so and to apply the proceeds "to their maintenance and support."

PAR Number 21383912

State: South Carolina Year: 1839
Location: Union Location Type: District

Abstract: Margery Bobo asks the court to confirm her sales of inherited slaves and land. The petitioner, as the widow of B. F. Bobo and the guardian of her son B. Bobo, received some slaves and land from the estate of Barram Bobo, her father-in-law. She had little use for the slaves because of "her lonely condition & her inability to manage negroes having no sufficient farm to work them." Bobo relates that a friend offered to sell the slaves out West free of charge and that she believed that "negroes were at that time bringing a very high price in the West." Being advised that "it would be impossible to procure the Order of this Court in time" to send the slaves with her friend, she sent the slaves "without the direction of this court." The petitioner has also sold the land, a small tract and "by no means Suitable to keep for the use Either of herself or ward." She asks the court to examine her actions and to confirm the sales.

PAR Number 21383917

State: South Carolina Year: 1839
Location: Charleston Location Type: District

Abstract: Minor Julia Emma Reynolds and her guardian, Edward Daniel Bailey, ask for permission to sell Julia's sixteen slaves. They state that Julia "owns no lands on which to employ the said negroes." Bailey informs the court that someone has offered to pay $9,000 in cash to buy the slaves, "which he considers an advantageous price for them." Having been informed that the court must sanction the sale, he and his ward ask the court for its approval.

PAR Number 21384823

State: South Carolina Year: 1848
Location: Anderson Location Type: District

Abstract: Mary E. N. Smith represents that, in 1843, the late Benjamin Smith bequeathed to her mother, Sarah North Smith, a life estate in fifty-two slaves under the trusteeship of John Laurens North. The deed of trust stipulated that the property should be free from the liabilities of Sarah’s husband and, after Sarah’s death, be placed in trust for her children. After Sarah’s death in 1846, John Laurens North received the slaves and managed them until his own death in 1847, at which time his widow, Eliza Elliott North, became executrix of his will and trustee of Sarah’s estate. Mary Smith contends that the “trust in property” ended with Sarah’s death and is now “subject to division amongst the children.” Although her six siblings are still minors, Mary has recently reached the legal age and believes herself entitled to her share of the estate. She therefore prays for an order authorizing the sale of the property, including forty of the sixty-three slaves now in the estate, and division of the proceeds among the heirs. However, Mary wants to keep twenty-two slaves, whom she describes as “favourite negroes of the family.” These slaves have “served faithfully” for three generations, and she believes that they should remain on the farm where she resides with her family.

PAR Number 21384907

State: South Carolina Year: 1849
Location: Newberry Location Type: District

Abstract: James F. Harrington, "the committee of James Alexander Pope, a Lunatic," seeks authorization to sell six of the slaves belonging to the said Pope. Harrington explains that "the estate of the said Lunatic consists of seven slaves ... corn, fodder, household and kitchen furniture" and sundry livestock. Citing that Pope "has a wife but no children," Harrington believes "it would be advantageous to the estate to sell all the property except the negro girl Isabel and that she should be retained to wait on her mistress." He prays that "this court shall see fit to order" said sale.

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