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Free Negroes, Frederick Co., VA
Free Negroes in Frederick County, VA according to T.K. Cartmell
Associated surnames: Allen, Balmain, Bell, Boyd, Branson, Campbell, Carey, Carson, Cartmell, Evans, Garrison, Gilkeson, Glass, Hill, Jones, Kean, Layton, Lovett, Magill, Marshall, Orrick, Robinson, Scott, Sisco, Tidball, Tokes, Toles, Tucker, Walker, Watson, Whetz
T.K. Cartmell, Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and their Descendants: A History of Frederick County, Virginia from its Formation in 1738 to 1908, Appendix No. 8, “The Negro” (p. 521)
…Frederick County never was a large slave-holding community. Some of the old homesteads mentioned in this volume, were famous for splendid negro families. Very few are left of those the writer knew sixty years ago. The Glass, Magill, Cartmell, Campbell, Jones, Carson, Gilkeson and other families, owned many splendid men and women. Some of their descendants are here. During the early part of the 19th Century, many slaves were emancipated. They afterwards became known as free negroes. The Virginia laws required their removal to a free State. A large majority refused to change their homes. The clerks of county courts were required to register all such. This class was required to produce proof annually that they were constantly employed by some responsible white man, who would be responsible for their taxes and good behavior. By this mode, they were annually before the court; their cases called and continued; and in this evasive way, they spent the remainder of their days in their old communities. This old Register, the writer, while clerk, found several years ago. It may now be seen on file in the old clerk’s office. A study of it will repay many of our old negro families. When the Civil War came, we had quite a number of this class in Winchester, viz: Edmund Kean, Randall Evans, Sawnee Bell, Robert Orrick’s father, Beverly Tucker, Joe Branson, Robert, John and Sim Tokes, Jim Sisco, several of the Walker family, Parson Bob Robinson, William Layton, Parson John Garrison, John Marshall, Hutton Lovett; while in the county could be named Sandy Scott, Frank Whetz, Sam Toles, and others near Round Hill; the Careys and Robinsons in South end of the County, Ben Watson, Jim Allen and others North of Winchester. All were respected by their white friends. Hutton Lovett was a slave of Judge Tucker. His wife belonged to Mr. Tidball, the old clerk. Hutton purchased her freedom for $1200.00—a fair price for so good a wife. She was the mother of Mont Lovett the well-known barber.
It may be well to say that slavery and the slave trade existed in the North as long as profitable. Then the negroes were driven in gang lots and sold to the planters in Virginia and other Southern States. More negroes were emancipated in Virginia than in all the New England States combined. Virginia was the first State to enact a law to suppress the slave trade. The writer could name several old Quaker families, and clergymen of several churches, who owned negroes. The former gave gradual emancipation; the latter educated their slaves to some extent. Of this number we name Rev. Alex. Balmain, Dr. Wm. Hill, Dr. A.H.H. Boyd. Two well-known women of Winchester still living, Ann and Susan Robinson, belonged to the family owned by Dr. Balmain.
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