The Resource Runaway and escaped slaves records, 1794-1863
- Runaway and escaped slaves records, 1794-1863
- Inclusive dates
- Slave records -- Virginia -- 19th century
- West Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- African Americans
- Fugitive slaves. -- West Virginia -- 19th century
- Court records -- Virginia
- Slavery -- West Virginia
- Slaveholders. -- Virginia -- 19th century
- Slaveholders. -- West Virginia -- 19th century
- State government records -- Virginia
- African Americans -- Social conditions -- 19th century
- Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- African Americans
- Fugitive slaves. -- Virginia -- 19th century
- Slave records -- West Virginia -- 19th century
- Slavery -- Virginia
- The Runaway and Escaped Slaves Records, 1794, 1806-1863, are arranged chronologically in two boxes and include accounts, correspondence, receipts, and reports concerning expenses occurred by localities for taking care of runaway slaves. Runaway slaves who were captured and whose owners could not be found became the property of the state and were sold to new owners. Localities were reimbursed for the expenses of confining and feeding the slaves until they were sold
- Of note, the reports contain a handwritten copy of the court order, the slave's name, the name of citizens who appraised and valued the slave, a statement by the county or city jailer that sold the slave, and the name of the new slave owner. The reports also detail the expenses of caring for the slaves - such as jail costs, clerk fees, newspaper advertisements, doctor visits, and clothing, shoes, and blankets given to the slaves. Slaves were kept in jail for twelve months while attempts were made through public notice and advertisement to locate the slaves owner. If after twelve months (the time in jail varies in later years) the owner was not found or did not claim the slave, the slave was then sold at public auction. Once the slave was sold the money was used to pay off the expenses and the net proceeds were sent to the Auditor of Public Accounts. Many of the reports are marked, "Literary Fund," as it was likely the money received was added to the state's Literary Fund for public education
- Sometimes slaves who had been hired out were captured as runaway slaves and if the owner did not claim them, they were sold off to a new owner. A few of the reports mention the name of the original slave owner (most of them were out of state) who for some reason did not claim them. One or two of the reports have a copy of the newspaper advertisement attached
- The records, 1861-1863, consist of prepared forms titled "Record of slaves that have escaped to the enemy during the war." Included is the name of the slave owner, name, sex and age of the slave, and date escaped. Also included is a section for remarks that sometimes indicated the slaves job (i.e. cook, blacksmith, seamstress, plantation hand), height, and complexion
- Agency history record describes the history and functions of the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts (1776-1928). (Search Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts (1776-1928) as author).
- Additional physical form
- Also available on microfilm
- Biographical or historical data
- During the antebellum period the General Assembly passed increasingly restrictive laws in response to white fears of slave crime and insurrection. Procedures were established to compensate slaveholders for the loss of their property when slaves ran away or were imprisoned or executed. Some condemned slaves were transported beyond the state's boundaries, frequently to Africa.
- Free blacks, too, were subjected to harsh laws intended to persuade or compel them to leave Virginia. Special taxes were assessed against them, emigration to Liberia was promoted, and reenslavement for debt or crime was threatened constantly. Some free blacks did leave, but most stayed despite the restrictions.
- Runaway slaves who were captured and whose owners could not be found became the property of the state and were sold to new owners. Localities were reimbursed for the expenses of confining and feeding the slaves until they were sold.
- Cataloging source
- Citation location within source
- entry no. 759
- Citation source
- Auditor of Public Accounts inventory
ContextContext of Runaway and escaped slaves records, 1794-1863
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