Race and Slavery in the Old South
November 25, 2004 7:37 AM   Subscribe

The Race & Slavery Petitions Project indexes and abstracts over 18,000 petitions to county courts and state assemblies between the years 1777 and 1867 relating to race and slavery. There is a nice searchable database and the full-text and images of some of them are viewable here.

This has some great slices of life and labor in the old south, from people trying to free their slaves to owners looking to be reimbursed for their dead slaves.

While I'm at it, lots more primary sources on slavery in America at the Documenting the American South web page, a site this history nerd can never get enough of.
posted by marxchivist (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Having not read any of the links whatsoever, I'd like to congratulate the first of the new breed to develop flight.

Actually, this doesn't look half bad. Are you sure you haven't been here before?
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:09 AM on November 25, 2004

Gee whiz, thank you NinjaPirate.
posted by marxchivist at 8:26 AM on November 25, 2004

Haven't been here before as member, just lurking for about a year.
posted by marxchivist at 8:27 AM on November 25, 2004

Good stuff. I shudder to think of our descendents paging through the records of today's alternately violent and frivolous court cases.
posted by ba at 8:28 AM on November 25, 2004

Good post, Marxchivist. You've set the bar high for other 11/18 babies (and given us license to abuse all those who fall short).
posted by wendell at 9:31 AM on November 25, 2004

this is excellent stuff--thanks marxchivist!

(sorry for the length): ...On board Schooner Polly Comd. by Caleb White & Navigated by three Men one of which was Jack a Negro, the Property of Henry White, Part owner of sd Schooner, Loaded with Corn Pease and Pork. bd. to Ws. Ind. & saild from Curituck 14 Feby 1780 on 16th Inst. was boarded and Taken by a British Privateer Calld Fame- of N. York, Comd. by John Adkinson, Latt. 37n, Long. 73w. we were Imediately Confined in Irons and allowanced on one Gill of raw Pease and one Gill of water per day. on the 19th we attempted to retake the Schooner by first getting Jack out of Irons but was discoverd before we cd. Prosecute our design by some of the Crew. They const of a Prize Master and 4 hands- They Immediately confined us below deck and Sasht. the feet of Jack to a Stantion on the quarter deck, his hands being Irond whire he lay 24 hours in a gale of wind or Snow Storm every sea Making a breach over us.. however he survived that afterward was- Loosed and Permited below with us- The reason of his usage was because he never wd. Consent to Join them and attempting to get out of Irons- However we Orderd him to Turn himself a Enemy of America this had the effect we wishd. They Loosed him from his Irons and he soon become their Right hand Man with Promise of freedom and Many Rewards after arriving at York but when ever he got an opportunity of Speaking to us continued to Tell us he was ready to assist us any Moment in the recapture on the 22 the gale abating they were abt. making sail. My Brother who was the Master got out of Irons gave the watch word and Engaged the Prize Master. Jack Imediately Contrary to their Expectations Engaged two of them which he soon worsted having no Weapon but a Marlin Spike In the Intrim I got out of Irons having Procured a Cullash but was much beaten before I got out after Bloodshed on both sides we Conqd. them which we confind and carried in to Anapolis & delivered to Congress, but by the wounds & frost Jack received he Never walkd a step for five weeks- after we returned home his Master: abused him somewhat Jack Applyd to us for redress upon which My Brother Bought him and in his last Will Sold sd. Jack his freedom [by] his Paying his Exet. £100. The said fellow behaves himself well, Honest and Industrous is Very Manerly to all and has Comanded a schooner for Me five years, is Intrusted by Mr Daughty with Many Hundred Pound every year. Time Fails adieu Your friend

posted by amberglow at 10:38 AM on November 25, 2004

owners looking to be reimbursed for their dead slaves

1805, hm. Just a little too early to hook up with Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:17 AM on November 25, 2004

As I read the 'Petition of Lucy Andrews', I wonder what hopelessness, what despair, what indignities did this 'free person of color' endure before petitioning the legislature to allow her to enslave herself. The possibilities are all heartbreaking.
posted by namret at 11:13 PM on November 25, 2004

I can't imagine how much work this took to put together.
posted by expriest at 9:54 AM on November 26, 2004

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