AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: FPOC Robert Wright, Campbell, VA 1816
In Response To: FPOC Robert Wright, Campbell, VA 1816 ()
Robert Wright (b. 30 June 1780) was son of Thomas Wright (d. 1805, Campbell Co VA), and his former slave Sylvia, so Robert Wright was mulatto. By Sylvia, who already had 3 children before her purchase from the Cabell estate by Thomas Wright, he had Robert, Betsy, Mary and Eliza. Robert died 14 Oct 1818; Betsy was still alive in 1873 in Lynchburg. Thomas Wright was brother of one of my gr-gr-gr-gr-grandfathers. He was never married, and freed Sylvia and all her children. Since Robert was his only natural son, he left most of his considerable eatate to him when he died, reserving the plantation house and a few acres for Sylvia for life. After Robert's death, the court cases surrounding the disposition of Thomas's property (including other slaves which Robert continued to own) continued for nearly fifty years, and involved not only Sylvia's children, but also Thomas's siblings' descendants. According to the records, the white Wrights contended that since Thomas and Sylvia were not married (Virginia law did not permit such a union), the property should have come to the white relatives - the courts decided, surprisingly, that his "widow" and natural children, as well as Sylvia's children before she was purchased and freed by Thomas, were entitled to it.
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