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

Botetourt County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records

Label
Botetourt County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1790-1868
Title
Botetourt County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
Inclusive dates
1790-1868
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • Botetourt County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1790-1868, include certificates of non-importation of slaves into Virginia (1794, 1796, 1815), manumission papers (1790, 1798, 1802), petitions for exemption from public use (1862), letter from the governor and Freedmen's Bureau concerning the legalization of slave marriages (1868), lists of free negroes and mulattoes (1801, 1802, 1805, 1810, 1812-1816, 1818, 1822, 1829, 1851, 1855); and a photocopy of a list of negroes sold by the sheriff for a debt due the Virginia Bank of Lynchburg (1849)
  • Certificates of importation contain information whereby a slaveowner swears that (s)he has not imported the slave from Africa and that (s)he has not brought the slave into Virginia with the purpose of selling it. The slave is sometimes named but not always and occasionally information is given as to age or birth date
  • Manumission papers include bills of freedom and deeds of emancipation. They state the name of the slaveowner, the name of the slave to be freed, the date the slave shall achieve freedom, the date the manumission was proved or certified, and sometimes a reason why the owner decided to emancipate the slave
  • Petitions for exemption from public use are either single letters or petitions signed by multiple persons requesting that individual free negroes be exempt from being requisitioned for the public use by the Confederate States of America. The documents contain the name or names of persons requesting the exemption, the name of the free negro, and a reason that the exemption should be granted. Also included are two summons delivered to the free negroes demanding that they present themselves for the public use. On the reverse of the summons are the names of the free negroes summoned
  • The letter from Governor H. H. Wells and Orlando Brown of the Freedmen's Bureau is a printed letter instructing clerks how to implement the act passed in 1866 by the Virginia General Assembly legalizing slave marriages which previously were not recognized by law
  • Lists of free negroes and mulattoes contain the names of free negroes or mulattoes, place of residence, and the name of the commissioner of the revenue for that district. Other information is sometimes included such as sex, age, relationship to other people on the list, color, and occupation
  • A photocopy of a list of negroes sold by the sheriff for a debt due by R. Tinely to the Virginia Bank of Lynchburg, 1849. The list gives purchaser names, slave names, and the price paid. The original is found in Amherst County chancery cause 1852-001 Brown versus Robertson
Member of
Action
Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Botetourt County was named for Norborne Berkeley, baron de Botetourt, the royal governor of Virginia from 1768 to 1770. It was formed from Augusta County in 1769, and part of Rockbridge County was added in 1785.
  • 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.
  • On 1970 December 15, a fire gutted the Botetourt County courthouse in Fincastle, Virginia. The court records were not burned but were heavily water damaged. Many of the court papers are extremely fragile today as a result of this water damage and some are not useable. Because of the near-loss of the Botetourt County records, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Virginia Public Records Act in 1975. The act mandated that deeds, wills, and other vital records be inventoried and microfilmed and copies of the film stored permanently in the Library of Virginia in Richmond for safekeeping. Counties could also choose to send court records to the Library of Virginia for storage and safekeeping as needed.
Cataloging source
Vi
Label
Botetourt County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
Link
http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=lva/vi01391.xml
Note
These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court papers from Botetourt County
Arrangement
Chronological by record type.
http://library.link/vocab/branchCode
  • The Library of Virginia
Extent
.1125
Governing access note
Access to original Botetourt County records is not granted without an appointment and without prior discussion with an archivist. Same day access to records is not possible. Advance notice of at least one week is required so that an archivist will have time to inspect the requested records. An archivist may determine that some materials cannot be served due to their physical state. The records were heavily water damaged and as a result are extremely fragile and can be severely moldy. Persons with mold or dust sensitivity may want to avoid research in these records. Patrons must consult with Archives Research Services prior to a visit to the Library of Virginia to view any original Botetourt County records
Immediate source of acquisition
Botetourt County Circuit Court
http://library.link/vocab/recordID
001553771
Terms governing use
These materials can be extremely fragile and moldy due to extensive water damage. An archivist may determine that a record is too fragile or damaged to be served. Patrons must consult with Archives Research Services prior to a visit to the Library of Virginia to view any original Botetourt County records.
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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