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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Lewis WILLIAMS, 1850, Fayetteville, NC


I discovered information on Lewis Williams today quite by accident. While searching through the Lexis Nexis Guide to the microfilm collection, Race, Slavery and Free Blacks, Series 1, Petitions to Southern Legislatures, I found an entry for Lewis Williams.

Apparently several individuals petitioned the state legislature in favor of his emancipation. They were from Cumberland County and estimated his age to be approximately 65 years old. This age isn't far from the age reported for him in the 1850 census.

I found this online, so I haven't gotten the chance to view the manuscript image from microfilm. Below is a link to the guide.

If you conduct a search on the document with "Lewis Williams" as the spelling, it will lead you to two entries relating to him. The series identified above, is available at most academic libraries. The Library of Congress has it as well. I think the petitions may also be on microfiche in the library's Law Reading Room.

I suppose the next step would be to determine the name(s) of his original owner(s), as the petitioners appear to be people interested in helping him gain his freedom, but who weren't necessarily his owners at the time of the petition.

I've been stumped for years attempting to locate information about him. Perhaps this is the scrap of information that will lead to much more.

I found another online source to the petitions at the Race & Slavery Petitions Project web site. The link to that site is below.
Link #2 Race & Slavery Petitions Project web page:

You can search by his name as well, from the bottom of the menu at the left. Or, you can search by the petition reference numbers

PAR 11285008 and PAR 11285009

I hope this helps with your research!

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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