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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Melissa Wiggins and her family

Here's the full text of the petition to allow Wiley Wiggins to remain in Carroll County. It was signed by 57 residents of the now extinct town of Shongalo on Jan. 13, 1860:

"To the Senate & House of Representatives of the State of Miss.
The undersigned citizens of Carroll County, State of Mississippi respectfully represent that whereas by the last act of your honourable Body free Negroes are not permitted to remain within [the] State after 1st August next [1860] without special permission [through] an act of the Legislature of the State & whereas a certain Wiley Wiggins a free Negro aged twenty two years who has resided in this County in the vicinity of Shongalo for some six years and previous to that time he resided in YellowBusha County within [this] State for over eight years during all of which time he has deported himself in a proper, honest and commendable manner of a sober, industrious and modest demeanor and as we think will ever be a harmless innocent subject we therefore pray your honourable Body to grant him permission to remain in this State according the previous act of 1859."

There was also the following counter-petition signed by 9 individuals the following day, Jan. 14, 1860:

"We the undersigned citizens of Vaiden & vicinity hereby testify our approval of the law passed [by] your body for the purpose of freeing our State from free Negros and also our wish that it will be executed without any exceptions whatever."

My ggg-grandfather was the "A.B. Hamilton" in whose household Wiley was living in Yalobusha Co. in the 1850 census. Note that "A.B. Hamilton" was actually Archibald Thomas Hamilton. His initials are "A.T." in the 1850 agricultural census and in the 1860 population and agricultural censuses. Archibald Thomas Hamilton was issued a federal land patent in Yalobusha Co. on 14 June 1848. The property was located in Township 24N, Range 6E, Section 2. The neighboring properties were owned by the Broadstreets, Brandons, Cofers, Hobarts and others listed nearby "A.B. Hamilton" in the 1850 census.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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