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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: List of possible emigrants to Liberia


What's the timeframe for the list you seek? The reason I ask, is there were lists created in the 1830's, tax lists, and then again in the 1850's when free black males had to pay a capitation tax to support emigration. I think the capitation tax was only assessed and collected once.

There is another set of records amongst the Auditor of Public Accounts, Entry 757 titled: Free Black Records 1833-1863 that contains specific references to Blacks and Liberia. Immediately below is a link to the LVA source microfilm:

Free Black Records 1833-1863

Luckily I've done the LVA (Library of Virginia) to FHL (Family History Library) conversion of sources :) to identify how it is described in their catalog. A link to the LDS microfilm is at the very bottom of this post.

I checked my notes on the microfilm and saw that FHL reel 2027940 contained lists from several counties. A few years back I started a quick survey of the counties/cities on the reel, but never finished it. The quality of the film ranged from very poor to good. Several images were difficult to decipher, being too faint to read. I suspect this is why I never finished the survey. However I did stop at King William county and wrote the following notes:

Frames 185-189 approximately 228 names with the following five columns of data recorded: (surname, first name), (age), (whether male or female), (place of abode), (trade occupation or calling). The list is probably dated 1833. I don't have notes on the records for the 1850-1856 period.

One interesting tidbit I located was the 1833 Albermarle County list that contained entries for Madison, Mary and Sally Hemings (frame 116).

I also have a few pages from the Annual Reports of the American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Colour of the United States (reprinted by the Negro Universities Press). I photocopied a few pages from Volume 11 (1828). Listed on page 102 were the following officers of the Auxiliary Society of King William County, VA: John Roane, President; Vice-Presidents Rev. Robert Semple and Rev. And. Broaddus; Christopher W. Taliaferro, Secretary; and Doctor William Gwathmey, Treasurer. After writing this and reading my notes I saw that the Library of Congress has the image online in their: From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909

To get the image, search by keyword "colonizing the free people of colour" and it should bring up the 11th report as your first hit. After clicking on the title link, click on the "view page images" link, then type in 102 for the page. I tried to give you a direct link to the image, but it didn't work. The pamphlet contains reports from other years, but this is the only year in which I could readily find a reference to the King William group.

I'm sorry I don't have more information, but this is all that I could find in my papers. As you know I'm always searching for records relating to Norfolk, and a friend of mine found a curious little book. The title is, By Land and By Sea: Quakers Confront Slavery and Its Aftermath in North Carolina, by Hiram H. Hilty (ISBN 0942727223 & LCCN 93-34209). One of the chapters contains a short piece on the experiences of emigrants from North Carolina who left from Norfolk's port. The cover of the book includes an engraving of one such departure from Norfolk, but I've not been able to track down the source of the engraving. Sadly Hiram Hilty died in 2001, so I've not been able to determine if he had additional research leads.

Finally, I just learned that the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County (AAHA) received a $2500 grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH)

VFH Press Release

this year to expand an existing database on emigrants to Liberia. Before ordering microfilm, you might want to contact them to see if they already have the info that you seek.

AAHA society link

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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