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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Thomas West/Ohio/Clotel by William Wells Brown

Hi everyone,

I am researching a Thomas West born in Virginia about 1794. Thomas married a woman named Susan and moved to Ohio (or vice versa). I have found Thomas West in the 1830 federal census for Elkrun, Columbiana, Ohio (listed as a FPOC); the 1840 federal census for Greene, Columbiana, Ohio (listed as a FPOC); and the 1850 federal census for Independence, Cuyahoga, Ohio (listed as "M").

Now, I have a question regarding how I should go about either validating or discrediting an assumption taken from the book Clotel by William Wells Brown. It is known that while writing the book Clotel, William, used newspaper articles and other sources to help illustrate his points and the current state of African Americans, slave or free. I have been led to believe that a newspaper article concerning my 4th great grandfather, Thomas West, is presented in Ch. XIX of Clotel. The article suggests that a Thomas West was taken to the Court of Common Pleas of Columbiana Co. Ohio to determine whether he was of the correct voting colour.

Would anyone have a suggestion on how I may obtain the original newspaper article, court records or ANY further evidence about this mention in William Wells Brown's book?

Thank you,
Ashley Dalton
South FL


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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