AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: Book- Free in Chains
In Response To: Book- Free in Chains ()
The Coleman and Jumper families of Virginia had similar origins. An archivist from the Library of Virginia named Carolyn H. Goudie did considerable research on this subject. She spoke on this and other topics at the AAHGS meeting in 1999. If I recall correctly, she said that most of the cases began in the 1780s and continued until about 1820 or so when testimony about what had occurred in the early seventeenth century was no longer accepted as evidence by the courts.
The Findleys were fortunate in that some of them gained their freedom when they challenged the division of Henry Clay's slaves by the Chesterfield County court in 1772. When Hannah Findlay brought suit in Henry County in 1785, she was able to refer to the 1772 testimony of Henry Clays's neighbors who had been present when he returned from a trip to the Carolinas in 1712 with two Choctaw Indian children.
Rachal Findley of Powhatan County, born about 1750, did not recover her freedom until 1820!