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Slaves freed in Virginia after 1782

I am starting a new file on my site of slaves freed in Virginia after 1782. Although it is off topic from my main interest in African Americans who were free during the colonial period, I think it will be of interest, and I will be researching these microfilms in any case. If anyone else would like to help, perhaps we could set up a database on the FPOC Afrigeneas site.

While reading the deeds below I wonder why we Americans insist on glorifying our leaders regardless of their behavior. George Washington is heralded for writing in 1786, "I can only say there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it (slavery)." Yet there were 316 slaves on his estate when he died thirteen years later in 1799, leaving a will emancipating them only after the death of his wife. If we are to have heroes, how about those who freed their slaves while they were still alive, or better yet, those who refused to own them at all!

Incidentally, after a fight with an Indian tribe during the French and Indian War, Washington wrote, "They are human in form only."

VIRGINIA SLAVES FREED AFTER 1782

Goochland County
Deed Book 13, 1779-1784
page 246, I Thomas Pleasants, Junr., of Goochland County being fully persuaded that freedom is the natural right of all Mankind and that it is my duty to do unto others as I would desire to be done in the like situation, and having under my care twenty Negroes of the following names and ages; vizt: Bridget about seventy, Ben forty-six, Cupid forty-one, Roger thirty-three, Frank thirty-five, Charles twenty-nine, Miles thirty-five, Jobass thirty-one, Jack twenty-two, Maria fifty, Aggy forty-four, Judith thirty-nine, Fanny forty-one, Cloe thirty-seven, Phillis thirty-one, Sylvia twenty-nine, Patience twenty-three, Balinda thirty, Avarilla thirty-one, Daphne, thirty-six...and having thirty-nine Negroes now in their minority of the following names and ages; vizt.: Roger seventeen, David sixteen, David fifteen, Ned fourteen, Gale seven, Jack nine, Sam six, Frederick four, Jacob twelve, Bob ten, James Eleven, Lewis eleven, Juba thirteen, Dick eleven, Jo Cooper twelve, Nancy sixteen, Clarissa fourteen, Bridget ten, Dick nine, Jane seven, Louise three, Peggy seventeen, Aggy eight, Nancy five, Lucy three, George 1-3/4, Molly 1-1/2, Ovid 1/2, Fanny 1/2 and everyone of them hereby emancipated and set free when they shall arrive of lawful age, the males twenty-one and the females eighteen. 21 10th Month 1782. Thomas Pleasants. recorded 21 Oct 1782.

pages 247-8, I Thomas Pleasants, Junr., of Goochland being fully persuaded that freedom is the natural right of all mankind ant that it is my duty to do unto others as I should desire to be done by in the like situation and having under my care a Negro woman named Betty aged forty-two years I hereby emancipate and set free the said Negro woman. 19 10th Month 1782, recorded 21 October 1792.
I Mary Youngblood of the county of Goochland being fully persuaded that freedom is the natural right of all mankind and that is tis my duty to do unto others as I would desire to be done by in the like situation and having under my care seven Negroes whom I have heretofore held as slaves Parrot aged about forty, Sophia twenty eight, Sall Cooper twenty three, Sarah forty five, Ovid twenty five, Dinah twenty two, Arthur twenty one they being given me by my mother Mary Pleasants (devised by her late husband Thomas Pleasants of Henrico County) by deed of gift of 8 Seventh Month called July 14 July 1781. 21 October 1781. recorded 21 October 1781.
p.250, I Benjamin Walker of Goochland County being fully persuaded tht freedom is the natural right of all mankind and that it is my duty to do unto others as I would desire to be don by in the like situation and having under my care three Negores whom I have heretofore held as slaves Lewis 35, Lydia 36, Jane 19. I hereby emancipate and set free all and every one of the above named slaves and also having six Negroes now in their minority Frank 17, Phillis 10, Isham 9, Jacob 5, Nancy 3, Silvia 2 weeks, etc.
p.257, I James Hunnicutt of Goochland County being fully persuaded that freedom is the natural right of all mankind and that it is my duty to do unto others as I would desire to be done by in the like situation and having under my care five Negroes whom I have heretofore held as slaves; Vizt.: Nathan Freeman30, Peter Still 29, Robin Still 24, Lettice James 33, Patt Still 29, I hereby emancipate and set free all and every one also Negroes now in their minority Edith James 132, David James 10, who I likewise emancipate yet I believe it right for me to reserve the prerogative of acting as guardian over them until the males arrive at 21 and females 18. Edith 21 October 1787. David 21 October 1793.
pp. 259-60, I Strangeman Hutchings being fully persuaded that freedom is the natural right of all mankind and that it is my duty to do unto others a sI would desier to be don in the like situation, emancipate seven Negroes I have heretofore held as slaves Jemme Scott 36, Joe Scott 34, Hannah Scott 32, Lucy Scott 28, Tab Prior 23, Judith Scott 18 and having also five Negroes in their minority George Scott 17, Isham Scott 15, King Scott 14, Stephen Ccott 12, Bob Scott 9, the females at 18, the males at 21. 21 October 1782.

p.260, I Mary Pleasants of the county of Goochland being fully persuaded that freedom is the natural right of all mankind....emancipate Cato 70, Dick 48, Biddy 65, Judy 60,. 19 October 1782, proved 21 October 1782.

Deed Book 14, 1784-1788
p.44, I Thomas Taurman of Goochland County being fully persuaded that freedom is the natural right of all mankind and that it si my duty to do unto others as I should desire to be done in the like situation and having under my care a Negro man slave who I have hither held as a slave named Sam about fifty years of age I hereby emancipate him 10 July 1784.

p.182, I Thomas Hutchins of Goochland county from a mature, deliberate consideration and being fully persuaded that freedom is the natural right of all mankind and being willing to fulfill the injunction of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by doing to others as I would they do unto me do declare that having under my cear (sic) a Negro girl named Agga Scott (11 years old) for myself and my heirs release unto the said Agga Scott all my right tittle and claim or pretention of claim after she arrive to the age of 18 which will be 1792. 23 second month 1785.

More counties to follow. Joseph Mayo emancipated hundreds of slaves by his Henrico County will in 1780 before the 1782 law allowed emancipation, and Robert Carter III emancipated over 500 slaves.
Paul


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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