African american presentation

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  • 1. The Library of Virginia houses local court records, state records, personal papers, business records, newspapers, special collections, books, journals, etc, that date back to the 1600’s. Collectively, these records contain the names of millions of African Americans, slave and free.
  • 2. The names are not just names. The names are access points to individual stories of African Americans who lived in Virginia from the establishment of slavery in the 1600’s until its demise in 1865.
  • 3. Petitions to the General Assembly were the primary catalyst for legislation in the Commonwealth from 1776 until 1865. Public improvements, military claims, divorce, division of counties, incorporation of towns, religious freedom, and taxation were just some of the concerns expressed in these petitions. African Americans could petition the General Assembly.
  • 4. Cohabitation Registers record the name of the husband, his age, place of birth, residence, last owner, last owner's residence, name of his wife, her age, place of birth, residence, last owner, last owner's residence, name and age of each child, and the date of commencement of cohabitation.
  • 5. This register lists the name of the child, age, place of birth, residence, last owner, residence of the last owner, residence of father, his age and last owner, residence of last owner of father, name of mother, her age, her residence if alive or noted if dead, last owner of mother, residence of last owner of mother, and the signature of the father. A few registers include additional information such as residence of the mother if alive, rough date of death if known, or that she had been sold away, left, or was immoral. County of residence is noted if known.
  • 6. Charles Evans, etc. vs. Lewis B. Allen – Freedom suit. Plaintiffs are slaves of Lewis B. Allen. They claim to be free on the basis that their ancestor Jane Gibson was a Native American. The plaintiffs entered genealogical charts as exhibits.
  • 7. Surry County Chancery Cause 1867-003: Robertson Holt vs. Exr. of John Holt, etc. At center of dispute was the sell of a slave named Tempe and her children that took place in 1835.
  • 8. Tempe and her children
  • 9. Northampton County Chancery Cause 1727-001: Jane Webb vs. Thomas Savage
  • 10. Virginia Memory - Chancery Records Index – Legislative Petition Database – Virginia Chronicle - Virginia Heritage Project – Finding Aids Out of the Box Blog –