Petitions Involving Indians to Carolina Courts 1775-1867

A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of Black Studies Research Sources, Microfilms from Major Archival and Manuscript Collections, General Editor: John H. Bracey, Jr.

Race, Slavery and Free Blacks, Series II, Petitions to Southern County Courts, 1775-1867, Part D: NC (1775-1867) and SC (1784-1867)

I have extracted the records pertaining to Native people which are listed below.

P 27 – 1782

0077 (Accession # 21278201). Perquimans County, North Carolina. A group of Perquimans County citizens ask that a manumitted “Servant Man Named Peter (Whose Mother was an Indian & Father a Negroe)” be permitted to “remain Free & unmolested as long as he behaves himself well.”

P 27 – 1785

0092 (Accession # 21278502). Bertie County, North Carolina. Jenney Ash claims she is the free born daughter of an Indian and asserts that she and her two children are being illegally held as slaves by John Gardner [also spelled Gardiner] who plans to “to prevent them from making their Personal appearance before your Worships at the next Court” by taking them to Virginia, perhaps South Carolina. She asks the court to issue a subpoena to prevent Gardner from taking her and her children out of the state; she also seeks freedom for herself and her family.

P 28 – 1788

0125 (Accession # 21278801). Perquimans County, North Carolina. Accused of being a slave and currently in jail, Dick maintains that he is a free man, the grandson of an Indian woman, free “by the laws of Nature.” He reasons that he has been mistaken for “the property of John Smith one of the people called Quakers and illegally liberated by him.” He asks for his freedom.

P 28 – 1791

0128 (Accession # 21279101). Craven County, North Carolina. New Bern merchant Peter Thomjeux asks to free his mustee slave Marshall as a reward for “faithful services.” Marshall attended him during various illnesses, Thomjeux explains, and sometimes took care of the store with its “large quantities of goods & often sums of money.”

P164 – 1818 – 0097 (Accession # 21381815). Charleston District, South Carolina. Henry Mathews asks that the county tax collector and sheriff “be compelled by a perpetual Injunction from Enforcing any assessment of capitation tax against your orator.” Mathews asserts that his maternal grandmother, “who being a free Indian In amity with this State transmitted to her posterity the same Rights, priviledges & exemptions as are or ought for right to be claimed & used by the White Citizens of this State.” The petitioner complains that he has been assessed a tax (Reel 10 South Carolina 165) pursuant to an 1817 law, which “enacted ‘that seventy five cents per Head shall be levied upon all Slaves of all ages & descriptions and the sum of two Dollars per head upon all free Negroes, mulattoes & mestizoes.’ “ Noting that he refused to pay said tax, Mathews informs the court that the sheriff is now authorized to make said assessment “of the Goods & Chattels of your orator & in default thereof to take his Body.” He thus prays “this Honb Court to restrain the said Tax Collector and Sheriff and all other officers & magistrates from proceeding to collect or Levy the

said Tax.”

P 259 – 1828

0850 (Accession # 21382810). Charleston District, South Carolina. Eleanor Hornby Tew, Thomas R. Tew, and Caroline M. Tew, “Infant Children of Charles Tew deceased,” ask that their mother, Eleanor Tew, be appointed their trustee “in lieu of” their late father. Their maternal grandmother, Ann Carr, conveyed to the children in trust “a Mustee Slave named Jim, or James aged about nineteen years.” Carr empowered the trustee to “dispose of” the slave and to vest the proceeds “in the same species of property either male or female.” Charles Tew’s death left “the said Slave undisposed of.”

P 548-549 – 1858

0496 (Accession # 21385860). Charleston District, South Carolina. The petitioners ask for an account and partition of the property of their deceased sister. Susan Johnston Matthews, “a free (Reel 24 South Carolina 549) woman of Indian descent,” died intestate leaving her husband and siblings as her sole heirs. In 1841 Alexander Black “by deed duly executed and delivered” several tracts of land to Susan to be held in trust by William Miller. Upon the death of Susan, the land was to be sold and the trustee was to “divide the proceeds issueing from such sale between and among the heirs at Law.” The petitioners are now “desirous of obtaining a division of the property.” However, one William Miller has “permitted the said John B Matthews [Susan’s husband] to have hold occupy and enjoy the said premises” and refuses to comply with the petitioners’ requests. They therefore pray for an accounting of Susan’s land and a full disclosure of her estate. They also ask for a division of the proceeds accrued from the sale of any of her estate.

Hat tip to Sharron for finding this document.

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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2 Responses to Petitions Involving Indians to Carolina Courts 1775-1867

  1. a. m. mcp says:

    I want to possibly do a complete dna profile that I can read and understand. I want to find out about my Indian ancestry, more on the lines that you have done with the recent one you posted. I understand that the test you took is no longer available, so I need to know which one is more complete and offers the most information. Also, do they send the charts with the report like you showed on your reports or just names of others who closely match. How much better would it be to have a male dna profile done, say of an uncle, who was my mother’s brother. It wouldn’t show my father’s line but maybe I could get his dna on another test to find out more there. What would you advise I do.

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