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

Powhatan County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records

Label
Powhatan County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1780-1866
Title
Powhatan County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
Inclusive dates
1780-1866
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • Powhatan County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1780-1866. The collection is comprised of free negro registrations, affidavits, and certificates, 1798-1866; and additional free negro and slave records, 1780-1865. Some items are photocopies of documents relating to slaves and free negroes that were located in other Powhatan court records
  • Free negro registrations, affidavits, and certificates include name, sometimes age and a brief physical description, and the circumstances of the person's freedom or emancipation. If born free, reference is sometimes made to parents. If emancipated, the emancipating owner, place and date of emancipation, and prior registration as a free negro are usually mentioned
  • Additional free negro and slave records consist of: free negro lists (1801, 1805, 1811, 1812-1823, 1833-1857); lists of free negroes delinquent on taxes (1818-1854); petitions of free negroes to remain in Virginia (1816-1852); miscellaneous petitions of free negroes, including petition of Frank to keep a gun (1818; revoked 1831), motion of Bob to register as a free man (1851), petition of Judith Collins for reenslavement (1858), and petition to provide funds to remove emancipated infants to a free state (1860); papers regarding free negroes requisitioned for public use (1861-1863); certificates of importation of slaves (1870, 1814); certificates of non-importation of slaves (1817); order for removing Bradby's Rachel from the county (1824); warrants of commitment as runaways (1830-1847); agreements to hire slaves (1812-1814); bills of sale and deeds of gift of slaves (1810-1868); bond between Wood and Jordan to free slaves Peter and Jane at the age of 30 years (1850); deeds of emancipation (1798-1807, 1818-1853); fiduciary records pertaining to slave property (1809-1853); papers relating to free negro apprentices (1809-1855); list of taxable property, slaves of William Ronalds (1789); order to place on the poor list Jack belonging to the estate of Peter F. Archer (1825); order exempting 7 slaves of Richmond & Danville Railroad from taxation (1857); recognizance to answer charge of permitting slave to go at large (1861); receipt for Wait Cole and Rachel his wife, free negroes, for taxes (1816)
Action
  • Described
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Powhatan County was named for the Indian chieftain who ruled the Native American inhabitants of tidewater Virginia in the early seventeenth century. It was formed from Cumberland County in 1777, and part of Chesterfield County was added later.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • An act passed by the Virginia legislature in 1856 allowed free persons of color who desired to remain in Virginia to petition for reenslavement and choose a master or owner and remain in the state.
  • The General Assembly of Virginia passed a law as early as July 1, 1861, calling for the enrollment of free negroes to work in the public service.
  • Slaveholders who brought slaves into or out of Virginia were required to register the slaves with the county court and sign an oath agreeing not to bring slaves into or out of the state with the intent of selling them.
Cataloging source
Vi
Location of other archival material
See also the Powhatan County (Va.) Registers of Free Negroes and Mulattoes, 1800-1865, Powhatan County (Va.) Reels 58 and 45.
Label
Powhatan County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
Link
http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=lva/vi02258.xml
Note
These items came to the Library of Virginia in transfers of court records from Powhatan County
http://library.link/vocab/branchCode
  • The Library of Virginia
Extent
1.80
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Powhatan County Circuit Court.
http://library.link/vocab/recordID
001568324
Reproduction note
In part, photocopies.
Terms governing use
There are no restrictions.
Type of unit
cu. ft. (4 boxes)

Library Locations

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