The Resource Accomack County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records

Accomack County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records

Label
Accomack County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1744-1861
Title
Accomack County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
Inclusive dates
1744-1861
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • Free Negro and Slave Records, 1744-1861, of Accomack County (Va.) include affidavits and certificates of non-importation (1795-1815), deeds of manumission (1783-1791, 1806, 1812-1813, 1824), orders to summon justices to consider application of free negroes to remain in the county (1851-1854), lists of free negroes and mulattoes (1802, 1804, 1805, 1813, 1851-1861), registrations of free negroes (1805, 1837, 1850-1861), a runaway slave advertisement (1758), a request to bind out a child (1744), and miscellaneous records (1793; 1799)
  • The affidavits and certificates of non-importation contain information whereby a slaveowner swears that (s)he has not imported the slave(s) from Africa and that (s)he has not brought the slave into Virginia with the purpose of selling it. The slave(s) is sometimes named but not always and occasionally information is given as to age, birth date, and a physical description
  • Deeds of manumission contain the name of the slaveowner, the name of the slave, the date or age at which the slave will be freed, the date the deed was written, and the date the deed was proved. The age of the slave at the time the deed was written, a surname assigned to the freed slave by the slaveowner, and the slaveowner's reason for emancipation are sometimes given
  • Lawyer's certificate and opinion of claim to freedom are the opinion of Thomas Evans, an attorney, as to the claim to freedom of two men George and Robert or Robin. His opinion in both cases is that the men have a probable claim. Former owners are named
  • Orders to summon justices to consider application of free negroes to remain in the county give the name of the free negro applying to remain in Accomack County and summonses the justices of the peace to court to consider the merit of the application and to give a decision
  • The 1804, 1805 and 1851-1861 lists of free negroes gives names of male negroes or mulattoes, female negroes or mulattoes, male children, female children, place of abode, and trade or occupation for the adult males and females. Most lists only give the names of persons over the age of twelve. The 1802 list is of free negroes owing taxes for 1801 and 1802 to Saint George's and Accomack parishes who are to be hired out to pay the tax. The list includes names only. The 1813 list is a list of free Negroes that have not paid their taxes for the years 1812-1813. The list includes names, number of tithables, and tax owed
  • Registrations of free negroes gives information on a single person as to the name, age, complexion, stature in feet and inches, apparent marks or scars, whether emancipated or free born, and date this information was certified by the court
  • The runaway slave advertisement is a printed notice by Landon Carter of Richmond County that his slave Will has run away and gives likely companions including his sister Sarah, a brief physical and personality description, and offers a reward for his return
  • The request to bind out child Joshua Aleworth, aged six years, by his mother Sarah Aleworth, a free negro, is dated 1744
  • Petitions to remain in the commonwealth often include the name of the petitioner, the circumstances of free status, and a request to remain in the county often with accompanying names of citizens who can testify to the free status or who support the request of the petitioner to remain
  • Miscellaneous records include a lawyer's certificate and opinion of claim to freedom are the opinion of Thomas Evans, an attorney, as to the claim to freedom of two men George and Robert or Robin (1793). His opinion in both cases is that the men have a probable claim. Former owners are named. Other records include a receipt for the sale of George, belonging to the estate of Henry Garrett (1799); accounts of negroes hired out belonging to George Abbott (1766-1774) which may or may not belong to the estate settlement of William Taylor
Member of
Action
Described.
Biographical or historical data
  • Accomack County was formed in 1663 from Northampton County. Earlier spellings of the county name are Accawmack and Accomac.
  • An act passed by the Virginia legislature in 1803 required every free negro or mulatto to be registered and numbered in a book to be kept by the county clerk.
  • In 1806, the General Assembly moved to remove the free negro population from Virginia with a law that stated that all emancipated slaves, freed after May 1, 1806, who remained in the Commonwealth more than a year, would forfeit his right to freedom and be sold by the Overseers of the Poor for the benefit of the parish. Families wishing to stay were to petition the legislature through the local county court. Beginning in 1837, freed slaves could petition the local courts for permission to remain.
  • Beginning in 1778, slaveholders who brought slaves into Virginia were required to register the slaves with the county court and sign an oath agreeing not to bring slaves into the commonwealth with the intent of selling them.
Cataloging source
Vi
Label
Accomack County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
Link
http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaead/published/lva/vi01386.xml.frame
Note
These items came to the Library of Virginia in transfers of court papers from Accomack County
Arrangement
Chronological by record type.
http://library.link/vocab/branchCode
  • The Library of Virginia
Extent
.225
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
  • Accomack County Circuit Court
  • Accomack County Circuit Court
Issuing body
For addition information, see inventory
http://library.link/vocab/recordID
001553766
Terms governing use
For List of Free Negroes, 1804, use microfilm copy, Accomack County Reel 193.
Type of unit
cu. ft. ca.

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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