The Resource Arlington County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits)

Arlington County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits)

Label
Arlington County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits), 1795-1858, undated
Title
Arlington County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits)
Inclusive dates
1795-1858, undated
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Arlington County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits), 1795-1858, undated, consist of suits initiated by slaves seeking to gain their freedom on the law side of the court. Cases are identified by style of suit consisting of plaintiff and defendant names. Surnames of others involved in a suit, including secondary plaintiffs and defendants, witnesses, deponents and affiants, and family members with surnames different from the plaintiff or defendant are indexed. Also identified are names of slaves and slaveowners found in suit as well as whether slave(s) won their freedom. Predominant documents found in Judgments (Freedom Suits) include petitions, records of suits, depositions, affidavits, wills, among other items. Information found in documents include slave's argument for freedom, acquisition of slaves by slaveowners, slave ancestry, and relationship between slaves and slaveowners
Note
Agency history record describes the history and functions of the Virginia Circuit Court (Arlington County). Browse search: Arlington County (Va.) Circuit Court.
Member of
Action
Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Slaves sued for emancipation in freedom suits based on the following: they were descendant(s) of a free female ancestor, typically a Native American (Hening Statutes, volume 2, p.170); failure of slaveowner(s) to abide by the 1778 slave nonimportation act (Henings Statutes, volume 9, pp. 471-472); or claimed to have been freed by slaveowner(s) by deed of emancipation or last will and testament (Henings Statutes volume 11, pp. 39-40)
  • Arlington County was originally named Alexandria County. It was formed from a portion of Fairfax County that Virginia in 1789 ceded to the federal government for use as the site of a new national capital. In 1801 the area officially became part of the District of Columbia, although Congress named it Alexandria County. By an act of 9 July 1846, Congress returned the county to Virginia, and the General Assembly extended the commonwealth's jurisdiction over the region effective 20 March 1847. By an act of assembly passed 16 March 1920, the county's name was changed to Arlington, the name of the Custis family mansion (the home of Robert E. Lee), which is located in the county. An urban county, Arlington contains no incorporated towns or cities. The county courthouse is in the county.
Cataloging source
Vi
Location of other archival material
  • Additional Arlington County Court Records can be found on microfilm at The Library of Virginia web site. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm."
  • Additional freedom suits may be found in the Arlington County Chancery Causes. Search the Chancery Records Index found on the Library of Virginia web site. Enter the tilde symbol in the plaintiff surname field.
  • Additional Arlington County Judgments are found at the Library of Virginia.
Label
Arlington County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits)
http://library.link/vocab/branchCode
  • The Library of Virginia
Extent
.90
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Arlington County (Va.) Circuit Court
Organization method
Arranged chronologically.
http://library.link/vocab/recordID
001670391
Terms governing use
There are no restrictions.
Type of unit
cu. ft. (2 boxes)

Library Locations

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