Virginia Slavery Laws

Virginia Slavery Laws - Stories

TOPIC

A Personal Profile~Profile & Ad For Billy

Billy, William, or Will, property of John Tayloe of Richmond County, was around twenty years of age when he ran away from the Neabsco Iron Furnace in March 1774. Described as a "light coloured mulatto," Billy also served as a personal servant, traveling with his master or Tayloe's agent Thomas Lawson throughout Virginia and Maryland. A "very likely young fellow," Billy had a swagger in his gait, and had the "surprising knack ... of gaining the good graces of almost every body who will listen to his bewitching and deceitful tongue."

The personable young man may also have been the person mentioned in Tayloe's 1771 letter to his neighbor Landon Carter, in which he complains that Carter's "Patroll do not do their duty." Apparently numbers of Tayloe's slaves, including Billy, had been meeting with Carter's bondpersons in late-night "Entertainments." Billy, whom Tayloe described to Carter as "your favorite," was suspected of taking Tayloe's horse to join the party.

In 1781 Billy was captured in Prince William County while fighting for the British against the Virginia troops. Tried for treason, he was convicted and sentenced to hang, but Governor Thomas Jefferson was persuaded to issue a reprieve based on problems with the evidence against him and the argument that a slave, as a non-citizen, could not be guilty of treason. Billy's subsequent fate remains unknown.

[See Philip J. Schwarz, "Billy," in John Kneebone, et al., Dictionary of Virginia Biography, vol. 1, Richmond, 1998, pp. 490-491.]

THE AD

NEABSCO FURNACE, April 1, 1774. RUN away from the Neabsco Furnace, on the 16th of last Month, a light coloured Mulatto Man named BILLY or WILL, the Property of the Honourable John Tayloe, Esquire. When I tell the Publick that he is the same Boy, who, for many Years, used to wait on me in my Travels through this and the neighbouring Province, and, by his Pertness, or rather Impudence, was well known to almost all my Acquaintances, there is the less Occasion for a particular Description of him. However, as he is now grown to the size of a Man, and has not attended me for some Time past, I think it not amiss to say that he is a very likely young Fellow, about twenty Years old, five Feet nine Inches high, stout and strong made, has a remarkable Swing in his Walk, but is much more so by a surprising Knack he has of gaining the good Graces of almost every Body who will listen to his bewitching and deceitful Tongue which seldom if ever speaks the Truth; has a small Scar on the right Side of his Forehead, and the little Finger of his right Hand is quite straight by a Hurt he got when a Child. He had on when he went away a blue Fearnought and an under Jacket of green Baize, Cotton Breeches, Osnabrug Shirt, a mixed blue Pair of Stockings, a Pair of Country made Shoes, and yellow Buckles. From his Ingenuity, he is capable of doing almost any sort of Business, and for some Years past has been chiefly employed as a Founder, a Stone Mason, and a Miller, as Occasion required; one of which Trades, I imagine, he will, in the Character of a Freeman, profess. I have some Reason to suspect his travelling towards James River, under the Pretence of being sent by me on Business. Whoever apprehends the said Mulatto Slave, and brings him to me, or to his Master, the Honourable John Tayloe of Mount Airy, or secures him so as to be had again, shall have double what the Law allows, and all reasonable

Charges paid by THOMAS LAWSON

County Records For 1751

Accomack County is the northernmost county on Virginia's Eastern Shore. As one of the original counties established in 1634, Accomack has a large collection of records dating back to the earliest years of local government in colonial Virginia. In the first federal census of 1790, Accomack contained 4,262 slaves, or 31 percent of the total population of 13,959. The county also contained a large population of free blacks, and interactions between black and white Virginians in Accomack reveal much of the complexity of Virginia's society.

The Examination of Tabitha Shavers

Court held May 29th, 1751, for the examination of Tabitha Shavers on Suspicion of Felony. This is one of several records dealing with the fate of a group of runaways.

Present Edmund Scarburgh Anderson Patterson, Thomas Parramore Edmund Allen & William Bagge Junr. & James Rule.

Tabitha Shavers being set to the Barr under the custody of the Goaler & examined in Relation to a Felony said to be committed by her, said that she went in Company with those Negro Men [two?] belonging to Colo. King & one belonging to James Pettigrew & one Hamlot Robinson a Servant belonging to William Andrews in a Canoe to an Island in the Bay and came from thense in a Boat which they found at the said Island and then went to the Sea Side and took a Boat belonging to Mr. Abel Upshur in which they were taken and having examined the said Tabitha relating to other Felonies said to be committed It is the opinion of this Court that she be discharged of the said Felony.

The Ad

May 18, 1751. RAN away on the 14th Instant, from Pocomoke River, in Accomack County, Two Negroe Men, belonging to Robert King, of the said County, one named Dollar, about 21 Years old; had on when he went away, a Grey Fearnaught Wastecoat, Virginia-Cloth Breeches, Stockings, Shoes and Hat; the other a short well-set Fellow, named Greenock, about 23 Years old; had a grey Frize Coat, Breeches of the same Cloth of the other Fellow's, with Shoes, Stockings and Hat: They are Brothers. Whoever apprehends and conveys them to their said Master, shall have Two Pistoles Reward for each, if taken in Virginia, and Three if in Carolina, besides what the Law allows. Also ran away from the said Place, at the same Time, and suspected to be in Company with them, a Mulatto Man and Woman, belonging to James Pettigrew, of the said County; the Fellow is about 25 Years old, has a large Scar over his right Eye, in the Shape of a half Moon he is a strong active Fellow, named James: the Wench is young, and named Tabitha. Whoever apprehends and conveys them to their Master, shall have a Reward of Three Pistoles for the Fellow, and half a Pistole for the Wench, besides what the Law allows. Likewise, ran away from the said Place, at the same Time, and suspected to be in Company with them, a Mulatto Boy and a Negroe Woman, belonging to William Andrews, of the said County, the Boy is about 7 Years old, named Hamlet Robertson, the Wench is small, about 35 Years old, named Pleasant. Whoever apprehends and conveys them to their Master, shall have a Reward of Two Pistoles, besides what the Law allows. They are armed with Guns, &c. and have broke open several Houses in the said County, committed Felonies, have taken a Canoe, and 'tis imagined will take the first larger Vessel they meet with, in order to cross the Bay. Robert King. James Pettigrew. William Andrews.

Her master complains about Tabitha Shavers

Court continued & held. . . May 29th, 1751.

Tabitha Shavers a Servant Woman belonging to James Pettigrew being brought by her Master before this Court & complained against for misbehaviour which upon enquiring into appeared Therefore ordered that the Sherif immediately carry her to the Public Whipping Post & give her thirty Lashes on her bare Back well laid on.

Ordered that Jack and Appie two Negro Men Slaves belonging to Fisher Bradford be taken into Custody to answer a Complt. made against them for directing the Negroes James Dollar & Greenock to take Mr. Upshur's Boat.

The Examination of Hamelot Robinson

At a Court held for the Examination of Hamelot Robinson on Suspicion of Felony in Accomack County May 29, 1751. This is one of several records dealing with the fate of a group of runaways.

Present as above.

Hamelot Robinson being set to the Barr & under the Custody of the Goaler & examined relating to a Felony said to be committed by him Saith that he went away with those Negro Men Dollar Greenock & James and that he heard Greenock & James say that they stole three midlings of Bacon out of a House which they broke open near where they took a Canoe and that Dollar and James stole meal from Rigg's Mill which they broke open and that Tabitha Shavers brought a Pott down to the Canoe at the Bottom of a marsh which she said belonged to James Pettigrew and that they took a milk Bucket from Mr. Upshaw's Fence and that he saw Tabitha Shavers have a Gown & Handkerchief whch he never saw before and he believed did not belong to her upon which It is the Opinion of this Court that he be discharged of the said Felony.

The Ad

May 18, 1751. RAN away on the 14th Instant, from Pocomoke River, in Accomack County, Two Negroe Men, belonging to Robert King, of the said County, one named Dollar, about 21 Years old; had on when he went away, a Grey Fearnaught Wastecoat, Virginia-Cloth Breeches, Stockings, Shoes and Hat; the other a short well-set Fellow, named Greenock, about 23 Years old; had a grey Frize Coat, Breeches of the same Cloth of the other Fellow's, with Shoes, Stockings and Hat: They are Brothers. Whoever apprehends and conveys them to their said Master, shall have Two Pistoles Reward for each, if taken in Virginia, and Three if in Carolina, besides what the Law allows. Also ran away from the said Place, at the same Time, and suspected to be in Company with them, a Mulatto Man and Woman, belonging to James Pettigrew, of the said County; the Fellow is about 25 Years old, has a large Scar over his right Eye, in the Shape of a half Moon he is a strong active Fellow, named James: the Wench is young, and named Tabitha. Whoever apprehends and conveys them to their Master, shall have a Reward of Three Pistoles for the Fellow, and half a Pistole for the Wench, besides what the Law allows. Likewise, ran away from the said Place, at the same Time, and suspected to be in Company with them, a Mulatto Boy and a Negroe Woman, belonging to William Andrews, of the said County, the Boy is about 7 Years old, named Hamlet Robertson, the Wench is small, about 35 Years old, named Pleasant. Whoever apprehends and conveys them to their Master, shall have a Reward of Two Pistoles, besides what the Law allows. They are armed with Guns, &c. and have broke open several Houses in the said County, committed Felonies, have taken a Canoe, and 'tis imagined will take the first larger Vessel they meet with, in order to cross the Bay. Robert King. James Pettigrew. William Andrews.

The Examination & Trial of Dollar & Greenock

Examination of the two ringleaders of the escape. This is one of several records dealing with this group of runaways.

At a Court held for the Examination of Dollar & Greenock two Negro Men Slaves belonging to Robert King Junr. James a Negro Man Slave belonging to James Pettigrew & Pleasant a Negro Woman Slave belonging to William Gore Junr. on Suspicion of Felony in Accomack County May 29, 1751.

Present as above.

The said Negroes being set to the Barr under the Custody of the Goaler & examined concerning the Premises upon which & hearing the witnesses produced It is by the Court considered that the said Negroes be committed to the Custody of the Sherif as Felons the said Dollar & Greenock for the Felonious breaking & entering the Meat House of John Hall & stealing thereout three midlings of Bacon the Property of the said Hall & the said James and Dollar for the Felonious breaking & entering the Mill of Joshua Riggs & taking thereout a Quantity of Meal. And the said Pleasant as an Accessory to the said Felonies after the same were committed and that the Sherif apply for a Commission of Oyer & Terminer for their Trial. William Andrews recognized to Our Sovereign Lord the King in the Sum of Two Pounds Stg. for the Appearance of his Servant Boy Hamelot Robinson to testify on behalf of Our said Lord the King at a Court of Oyer & Terminer to be held for the Tryal of the above Slaves.

These minutes signed by
Thos. Parramore

Trial of Dollar and Greenock

Court of Oyer & Terminer held in Accomack County, June 27th, 1751.

A Commission of Oyer and Terminer To Edmund Scarburgh James Wishart Thomas Evans Anderson Patterson, John Wise, Littleton Scarburgh, Major, Thomas Parramore, Robert Pitt, Ralph Justice, Edmund Allen, Thomas [Toakle?] Taylor, William Bagge, William Beavans, Henry Custis, Edmund Scarburgh, Junr. Charles West, James Rule, Richard Drummond, Charles Stockley, John Walley, Samuel Burton, & Thomas Ryley, Gent. directed for the Tryal of Dollar & Greenock two Negro Men Slaves belonging to James Pettigrew & Pleasant a Negro Woman Slave belonging to William Gore Junr. on Suspicion of Felony being lead together with the Dedimus Potestatis for administering the Oaths to the Commissioners. . .

Present John Wise, Thomas Parramore, Edmund Allen, William Bagge Henry Custis & James Rule Junr.

The above Greenock and Pleasant were lead to the Barr under the Custody of the Goaler and being arraigned on an Indictment The said Greenock for the Felonious breaking & entering the Meat House of John Hall of this County in the Night Time & thereout stealing & taking away three Midlings or Points of Bacon of the value of Twenty Shillings current money belonging to Persons unknown And the said Pleasant after the said Felony known by her to have been committed for feloniously receiving & comforting him the said Greenock Severally plead not Guilty And an examination of the Witness & hearing the said Greenock & Pleasant it is the Opinion of this Court that the said Greenock is not Guilty of the Felonious breaking & entering the said Meat House, but that he is Guilty of the feloniously taking and carrying away the Bacon. And that the said Pleasant is not Guilty The said Greenock was likewise arraigned on an Indictment for the Felonious breaking & entering the Meat House of John Hall of this County & taking thereout a Quantity of Bacon of the Value of Ten Shillings Sterling belonging to Persons unknown pleaded not Guilty And on Examination of the Witnesses It is the Opinion of this Court that the said Greenock is not Guilty of the Felonious breaking & entering the said Meat House but that he is Guilty of the Felonious taking and carrying away the Bacon.

The said Greenock and Pleasant were likewise arraigned upon an Indictment the said Greenock being in Custody of the Sherif within the Goal of this County to answer the Felonious breaking & entering the Meat House of John Hall of this County in the Night Time & feloniously stealing & taking three Milings of Bacon out of the said House by Virtue of an Order of this County Court did feloniously break the said Prison & out of the custody of the said Sherif against his Will did escape And the said Pleasant before the said Felony committed the said Greenock in the said Prison to committ the sd Felony maliciously & feloniously did excite persuade & procure To which they severally plead not Guilty And on Examination of the Witnesses and hearing the said Greenock & Pleasant It is the Opinion of this Court that the said Greenock is Guilty of the said Felony, And that the said Pleasant is not Guilty.

Whereupon It is considered by the Court upon the whole That the said Greenock be burnt in the Hand in open Court by the Goaler And that he receive Twenty Five Lashes on his Bare back well laid on at the Public Whipping Post of this County and that he be put into the Pillory & stand therein for the Space of one Quarter of an Hour with both Ears nailed thereto & then be cut down.

The said Pleasant was likewise arraigned on an Indictment for the Felonious stealing and taking away on Lot of the Value of One Shilling current money of the Goods & Chattels of William Andrews ad pleaded not Guilty, And on the Examination of Witnesses and hearing the said Pleasant It is the Opinion of this Court that she is Guilty of the Felony whereupon It is considered that she receive Twenty Five Lashes her bare back at the Public Whipping Post of this County well laid on.

The Minutes of these Proceedings were signed

John Wise.

Indictment of a White Person for Dealing with a Slave, February 29, 1764.

Slaves were generally prohibited from engaging in business without their masters' permission, but many nontheless did. Accomack County records indicate that interracial commerce was fairly common. Interestingly, the defendant did not argue his innocence, rather that the charge should have been brought by action or petition rather than the grand jury.

Indictment of a white person for dealing with a slave, February 29, 1764.

[p. xxx]

At a Court continued & held for Accomack County February 29th 1764
Present Isaac Smith James Arbuckle
Tully Robinson Wise, Southy Simpson Gent.

. . .

[p. 33]

Our Sovereign Lord the King
agst.
Littleton Read
On an Indictment of the Grand Jury for dealing with a Negro the property of Hillary Stringer.
Came the Attorney for Our Sovereign Lord the King as also the Deft. in his proper Person and Thereupon came also a Jury to wit, James Twiford, William Parride, Covington Ewell, Thomas Bayley, Thomas Cropper, John Taylor (Bridges), John Taylor (Middle Church) Nathaniel Stockly, Joseph Walker, Jacob Broadwater, Solomon Martial & William Martial who being Elected tryed and Sworn well and Truely to try the Traversor upon their oaths do say that the said Littleton is Guilty of receiving seventeen Bushells of Corn from the Negro belonging to the said Hillary Stringer And the said Deft. by James Henry his Atty. comes and prays the verdict applied may be set aside and saith that judgment thereon ought not to be rendered because he saith That the Law Inflicting a Punishment on Persons Guilty of the Offence wherewith he stands charged, Ought to be prosecuted by action upon the Case or Petition and not by Presentment of the Grand Jury wherefore he prays the Judgment of the Court of that Verdict And that the Judgment may be Arrested. And because the Court of Our Lord the King now here will advise of and upon the Premise before Judgment thereon they render Day is given the Deft. till Tuesday the Twenty Seventh Day of March next to hear thereon their Judgment the same Day is given the Attorney for Our said Lord the King &c. &c.

A Person Accused of Interfering With the Sheriff, February 1764.

William Parramore fined for hindering the sheriff in arresting a slave, February 2, 1764.

Court held for public claims

[p. 25]

At a Court held in Accomack County May 31st 1780 for the proof of public claims

Present
James Arbuckle Charles Bagwell
John Burton & John Cropper Gen.

The Public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .to Accomack County . . . Dr
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lb Tobo.
To the sherif for summong. court & c on the Examn. of Thos H Parker
on suspicion of high treason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Benj. Hipwell on suspicion of felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Custis Rodgers on same suspn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Jno Shield . . . on same suspicion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Egar Kellam . . . on suspicion of high treason . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on trial of Fender a woman Slave the propy. of Rob. Coleburn
for felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Geo Bunting for felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Jno Campbell for felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Jacob a man slave the propy. of Eliza. Warrington for felony . . 200
To Do for Do on Holly for felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Emanuel a man Slave the propy. of Wm Williams for felony . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Examn. Ishml. Andrews on suspicion of forgery . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Thom a man slave the property of Shoken [?] Parker for felony . . 200
To Do for Do on Jas Raynolds on suspicion of felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do on Eliza. Woodridge on suspicion of felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200

[p. 26]

The Publick
to Accomack County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lb Tobo.
Brought over . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3000
To the Clerk for attending said 15 courts 200 per Ct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3000
To the attorney for prosecuting 200 each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3000
To the sherif for removing Bunting & Campbell to
the public goal 150 lb Tobo. each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
To Do for whipping 3 negroes by order of court 10 ea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
To Do for commit & releasing Thom & 18 days Imprisonment . . . . . . . . 200
To Do for Do negroe Boston & 5 days Imprisonment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9600
To the sherif for victualing Bunting & Campbell
in Goal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £16.4.0
In all £16.4.0 & 9600 lb Tobi. at 3/ per lb assessed in county Levy

The minutes of these proceedings were signed
James Arbuckle

Truly Recorded
Littleton Savage Ct Cl

[p. xxx]

At a Court continued and held for Accomack County February 2d 1764.
Present John Wise Tully Robinson Wise
Covington Corbin John Wise Junr.
Thomas Riley Southy Simpson Gent.

[p. 10]

In the complaint exhibited against William Parramore On the behalf of Our Sovereign Lord the King for not obeying the Sherf. when commanded to assist him in taking Aaron a negro man slave the property of Mr Edward Ker being charged with an assault on the Body of Comfort the wife of Joseph Keath to the endangering of her Life Cam the attorney for our said Lord the King and also the said William in his Proper Person And On examination of Sundry Witnesses It is considered that he make his fine with Our Said Lord the King by the Payment of Two Shillings Curr. money of Virga. and paying the costs of this Prosecution.

Joshua Accused of Disturbing the Peace, February 29, 1764.

Crimes against the peace were unspecified disturbances.

Joshua accused of disturbing the peace, February 29, 1764.

[p. 40]

At a Court continued & held for Accomack County February 29th 1764
Present Isaac Smith James Arbuckle
Tully Robinson Wise, Southy Simpson Gent.
On the Recognizance to the Peace against Joshua a Negro Man Slave belonging to George Parker now in the possession of Charles Leatherbury at the Relation of John Hannaford Junr. came the Attorney for Our Lord the King and on Examination of a Witness It is considered that he enter into Bond in the sum of Ten Pounds, currt. money of Virga. payable to Our Lord the King his heirs and Successors upon these conditions that he be of his good behaviour to all his Majesty's Leige People And more especially towards the said John Hannaford till next new Years Day. And that he pay the costs.
. . .
Memorandum Charles Leatherbury Recognized accordingly and also became security for the costs.

Littleton Read, the man accused of trading with a slave, accused of stealing corn, February 29, 1764.

Read was probably caught in possession of the corn and made defense that he had received it from a slave.

Littleton Read, the man accused of trading with a slave, accused of stealing corn, February 29, 1764.

[p. 40]

At a Court held in Accomack County on Wednesday the xxixth Day of February MDCCLXIV for the Examination of Littleton Read On Suspition of Felony In Stealing Out of the corn House of John Moors One Peck of Ears of Indian Corn.
Present John Wise Isaac Smith
Thos. Riley Southy Simpson
& William Selby Gent.

[p. 41]

The said Littleton being set to the Bar in custody of the Sherif said he was not thereof Guilty And on Examination of a Witness It is the opinion of the Court that he enter into Bond in the sum of One hundred Pounds payable to Our Lord the King his heirs and Successors upon condition that he make his personal appearance at the next Grand Jury court to be held in this County On the last Tuesday in May next. & that he do not depart thereof without leave And that in the mean Time he be of his good behaviour to all his Majesty's Leige People. Littleton Read with Woodman Bloxom his Security recognized accordingly.
John Moors is recognized in the sum of One hundred Pounds for his appearance as a Witness On the behalf of Our Lord the King agst. Littleton Read next Grand Jury Court.

A Complaint Against a Female Tavern-Keeper

There were strict controls over selling alcohol to slaves, but there were numerous instances of slaves' using alcohol in the runaway advertisements. This was only the first of a series of actions involving Margaret Bayley (Bailey) who would have repeated appearances before the justices.

A complaint against a female tavern-keeper for selling liquor to blacks and keeping a "house of ill fame," August 29, 1764.

[p. xxx]

At a Court held & continued for Accomack County August XXIXth 1764
Present John Wise, William Boggs, John Wise, Junr. & Henry Fletcher Gent.

. . .

[p. 214]

On the complaint exhibited against Margaret Bayly who applied this Day to renew her Ordinary Lycence setting forth that she kept a House of ill Fame and sold Liquors to Negroes. Came as well the attorney for Our Lord the King as the said Margaret in her proper person And on Examination of Sundry Witnesses It is the Opinion of this Court that the said Margaret have no Lycence and that the said Margaret pay the costs of this Complt. and Ordered that she be committed to the custody of the Sherif 'till payment.

. . .

[p. 215]

In the Complaint exhibited against Margaret Bayley for enticing away Scarburgh the wife of Straton Burton from her said Husband & encouraging her to take away from the said Straton's House, Sundry Goods the property of him the said Straton. Came as well the said Margaret in her proper Person also the Attorney for Our Lord the King & On hearing the Matter & Examination of Sundry Witnesses It is the Opinion of this Court that the said Margaret is guilty & Thereupon considered that she enter into Bond with good & sufficient Surety or Suretys in the sum of One Hundred Pounds Currt. Money of Virga. Payable to Our Sovereign Lord the King his Heirs & Successors upon condition that she be of her good behaviour towards all his Majesty's liege people & more especially towards the said Straton by the space of Twelve Calendar Months now next ensuing the Date hereof & that she pay the costs of this complaint & ordered that she be committed to the custody of the sheriff 'till she give such security & pay the costs.

Complaints about Straton Burton, August, 1764.

It seems that while Margaret Bayley enticed Burton's wife away, Burton was accused of stealing Elijah Bayley's horse.

p. 220]

At a Court held for the Examination of Straton Burton on Suspition of the sd. Straton's Stealing a Horse & Saddle the Property of Elijah Bayley on Wednesday the XXIXth Day of August MDCCLXIV
Present John Wise, William Boggs, Thomas Riley, John Wise Junr. Southy Simpson & Henry Fletcher Gent.
The said Straton being set to the bar & examined concerning the Premises said he was not thereof Guilty and on Examination of a Witness It is the Opinion of the Court that he is not Guilty & Ordered that he go thereof acquit.
The Minutes of these Proceedings were signed.
Thos. Riley.
At a Court held for the Examination of Elijah Bayley alias Morry on Suspition of perjury in swearing before Littleton Scarburgh Major Gent. One of the Magistrates of this County that Straton Burton had feloniously stolen a Horse & sadle from him on Wednesday the XXIXth Day of August MDCCLXIV
Present John Wise John Wise Junr.
William Boggs Southy Simpson
Thomas Riley Henry Fletcher Gent.
The said Elijah being set to the Barr & examined Concerning the said Willfull & corrupt Perjury said he was not thereof Guilty & On hearing the Witnesses It is the Opinion of this Court that be he discharged.
The Minutes of these Proceedings were signed
Thomas Riley.

A Woman Suspected of Murdering a Slave, October, 1764

Abigail Briggs, described as a "free Indian" examined for murdering Dick, a black slave, October 30, 1764.

[p. 240]

At a Court held in Accomack County on Tuesday the XXXth of October 1764 for the Examination of Abigail Briggs a Free Indian On Suspition of being guilty of murdering Dick a Negro Man Slave belonging to Martha Sturges.
Present John Wise, Tully Robinson Wise, James Arbuckle & John Wise Junr. Gent.
The said Abigail being set to the Bar in Custody of the Sherf. & arraigned for the said murder said she was not Guilty and On Examination of sundry witnesses Produced on the behalf of our Lord the King It is the opinion of this Court that the said Abigail is Guilty of the murder of the said Dick & that she ought to take her Tryal for the same at the Next Court of Oyer & Terminer to be held at Williamsburgh On the second Tuesday of December next & ordered that she be committed to the custody of the sherif to be removed accordingly.
Josiah Sturges recognized in the sum of Fifty Pounds for his & his wife Adah's appearaance at the above Court if Oyer & Terminer.
The Minutes of these Proceedings were signed
John Wise.

Trial of Obadiah, December, 1764

Captured after allegedly stealing a sheep, Obadiah, alias Diah, broke jail, December 1764

[p. 288]

At a Court of Oyer & Terminer held in Accomack County On Tuesday the Twentyeth Day of December MDCCLXIV
His Majesty's Commission of Oyer & Terminer for the Tryal of Obadiah alias Diah a Negro Man Slave the property of John Smith of the County of Northampton for the Feloniously Stealing a Sheep the property of Tully Robinson Wise, Gent. & also being committed to the Goal of the County of Accomack aforesaid for the same Offence; for the breaking the said Goal & escaping therefrom On the Twenty Ninth Day of November last.

. . .

Present John Wise, James Arbuckle, John Wise Junr., & Southy Simpson, Gent.
The said Obadiah alias Diah being arraigned for the said Offence said he was not thereof Guilty & on Examination of Sundry Witnesses It is the Opinion of this Court that he is Guilty of the said Offence. And it being Demanded why sentence of Death should not be Passed upon him, had nothing to say but what he before had said And thereupon It is considered that he be carried from hence to the Public place of Execution and there be hung by the Neck untill he be dead. And ordered that Execution be Done pursuant to the said sentence On the last Tuesday in January next which will be in the year of Our Lord MDCCLXV.
The said Obadiah alias Diah is by the Court valued to Seventy two pounds ten shillings Cur. money which ordered to be Certifyed to the next General Assembly.
These Proceedings were signed by
John Wise

Margaret Bayley Appears Before the Justices Again, June, 1765.

Margaret Bayley acquitted of the charge of selling alcohol without a license but bound to her good behavior, June 25, 1765.

[p. xxx]

At a Court held for Accomack County, June 25th 1765
Present John Wise, William Bagge, Covington Corbin, Isaac Smith, Tully Robinson Wise, Isaac Dunton, Henry Fletcher, & Southy Simpson Gent.

. . .

[p. 444]

Our Sovereign Lord the King
agst.
Margaret Bayley
Presentment for retailing Liquors without a Licence contrary to Law.
Came as well the attorney for our said Lord the King as the said Margaret in her proper person and thereupon came also a jury (to wit) Thomas Crippin, Solomon Bird, John Parker, Samuel Beavans, Thomas Bagwell, John Custis, West, Thomas Jacobs, Elijah Addison, William Crowson, Drake Drummond, Argol Kellam, and William Andrews, who being Elected tryed & sworn the Truth to speak upon their oath do say that the said Margaret is Not Guilty Whereupon It is considered that our said Lord the King take nothing by this Bill but the same be Dismissed and that the said Margaret go hence thereof acquit. &c.

[p. 445]

It being presented to this Court that Margaret Bayley is a person of bad fame and reputation Ordered that she enter into Bond with good & Sufficient Securitys in the sum of Fifty pounds current money of Virginia conditioned that she be of her good behaviour towards all his Majesties Liege people by the space of Twelve Callandar [sic] months now next Ensuing and that she pay the costs of this prosecution & ordered that she be committed to the custody of the sheriff till she give such security and pay the costs
costs Clks 88 Shrf. 27 totall 115 lb. Tobo. at 15/ or 150 lb. Tobo.

Trial of Ismay, August, 1765.

Benefit of clergy, usually granted to first offenders, was not given him, perhaps because he had stolen the goods at night. But he was apparently pardoned, for he appeared before the justices again in December 1769.

[p. 484]

At a Court held in Accomack County the 12th of August 1765 for the Tryal of Ismay a Negro Man Slave the property of Richard West on Suspition of the Felonious breaking and entering the Storehouse of Edward Ker of the said County in the Night time and taking thereout sundry goods and chattels the property of the said Edward of the value of five pounds sterling.
The commission of Dedimus Potestatum being read James Arbuckle Gent. and Henry Fletcher Gentleman administered the Oaths of Government to Isaac Smith Gent. who repeated and subscribed the Test and then had the oath of a Justice of Oyer & Terminer administered to him and then the said Isaac Smith administered the said oaths of Government to the said James Arbuckle & Henry Fletcher and to Southy Simpson Gent. who also Seperately repeated and subscribed the Test and then had the oath of Justices of Oyer and Terminer administered to them.

Present Isaac Smith, James Arbuckle, Southy Simpson and Henry Fletcher, Gent.

The said Ismay being led to the Barr in custody of the Sheriff and arraigned on an Information for the said offence breaking and entering and taking thereout one peice [sic] of chintz of the value of four pounds Sterling and one other Peice of chintz containing seven yards of the value of Twenty nine shillings Like current money and also one other peice of chintz of the value of forty shillings Like Money and Three remnants of callico of the value of Ten shillings Like money the property of the said Edward Ker. Said he was not thereof Guilty and on Examination of sundry witnesses produced in the bahalf of our Sovereign Lord the King. It is the opinion of this Court that he is guilty of the same offence and that he is not intitled to Benefit of Clergy and it being demanded why sentance [sic] of Death should not be passed upon him had nothing to say but what he before had said. And Thereupon It is ordered and adjudged that he be Led from hence to the place from whence he came and from thence to the public place of Execution and there be hanged by the neck until he be dead and ordered that Execution be done pursuant to the above Sentance on this day four weeks.
The said Ismay is by the court valued to Seventy Pounds current money which is ordered to be certifyed to the next General Assembly
The Minutes of these proceedings were signed
Isaac Smith

Jane Crouch Convicted of Bearing Mulatto Children, December 1765.

Unable to pay the fine, she was sold into service.

[p. 4]

At a Court held for Accomack County December 31st 1765

Present John Wise, Isaac Smith, Tully Robinson Wise & John Wise Junr. Gent.

In the Information exhibited by the attorney for Our Lord the King against Jane Crouch late of the Parish of Accomack for having Two Mulatto Children born of the Body of her the said Jane. Came as well the said attorney as the said Jane in her proper person & saith that she cannot gainsay the same & that she is Guilty thereof. Whereupon It is considered that she make her fine with Our said Lord the King by the Payment of Fifteen pounds Curr. money of Virga. for the use of the Poor of the said Parish of Accomack & that she pay the costs of this prosecution. And she refusing to pay the same Or to give Security for the payment thereof. It is ordered that she be sold to the Highest Bider for the Term of Five years now next ensuing.

Trial of Bett, March 1766.

Arson was a common way slaves might get back at their masters. Poison was another.

p. 8]

At a Court of Oyer & Terminer held in Accomack County on Monday the Nineteenth Day of March MDCCLXVI for the Tryal of Bett a Negro Woman Slave the Property of James Berry for Feloniously & willfuly burning the Out-House of her said Masters.

His Majesty's Commission of Oyer & Terminer for the Tryal of the said Slave As also the Dedimus potestatum being read Isaac Smith & Tully Robinson Wise Gent administered the Oaths of Government to Thomas Parramore Gent. who subscribed the Test & the Oath of a Justice of Oyer & Terminer administered to him and then the said Thomas Parramore administered the said Oaths of Government to Isaac Smith, Tully Robinson Wise, John Wise Junr. & Southy Simpson Gent. who severally subscribed the Test & then had the oath of a commissioner of the Court of Oyer & Terminer administered to them

Present Thomas Parramore, Tully Robinson Wise,
Isaac Smith, John Wise, Junr.
& Southy Simpson
Gent.

The said Bett being set to the Bar in custody of the Sheriff & arraigned concerning the Felony aforesaid saith she was not thereof Guilty & for Tryal put herself upon God & the Court and upon Examination of sundry witnesses produced On the behalf of Our Lord the King It is the opinion of this Court that she is not Guilty of the Felony to her Imputed and Thereupon considered that she go thereof acquit.

The said Bett being arraigned upon a Scond Indictment for the Felonious breaking and entering the Dwelling House of the said James Berry & taking thereout one Gallon of Rum of the value of three shillings Currt. money of Virga. said that she was Guilty of Felonious taking and carrying away the said Rum but that she did not brake [sic] the said House. Whereupon & upon

[p. 9]

Examination of the Witnesses It is considered and Thereupon Ordered & adjudged that she be burnt in the Hand in open Court & receive upon her bare back at the Public Whipping Post of this county Thirty nine Lashes well laid On. And that she be then put in the Pillory & there stand one Half Hour & it is said to the Sheriff that he cause Immediate Execution thereof to be done.

The Minutes of these Proceedings were signed
Thos. Parramore

Examination of George Scott, July 1766.

Scott was accused of hiding and aiding runaway Diah, who had been tried and sentenced to hang in December 1764. He may have broke jail.

[p. 97]

At a Court held in Accomack County for the Examination of George Scott Junr. on Suspicion of Felony, On Tuesday the viii Day of July MDCCLXVI.

Present, Thomas Parramore, Tully Robinson Wise &
Isaac Smith, James Arbuckle Gen.

The said George being set to the Bar in Custody of the Sherif & Arraigned for harbouring, Counselling, Aiding Assisting & Abetting

[p. 98]

a negro man Slave Called Diah the Property of John Smith who is Runaway and outlawed as the Law Directs in Committing Sundry Felonies and for Receiving Sundry Stolen Goods the property of persons to the Court unknown & Knowing the same to be stolen, and Thereupon it is orderd That he Enter into bond with Good and Sufficient Security or Securities in the Sum of five hundred pounds to be paid to our Sovereign Lord the King his Heirs and Successors On Condition that he make his personal appearance at the next Court to be held for this County to answer such things as Shall then and there be objected against him on his Majesty's behalf, and that he Do not Depart the same Without the Leave thereof. And in the mean Time to be of his Good Behaviour Towards all his Majesty's Leige People.

These Proceedings were signed Thomas Parramore.

Complaint of an Apprentice, July 1766

Servant William Martin in successful in his complaint against his master. A servant such as Martin might sue for cruel treatment, or his master failing to fulfill his agreement to teach him a trade. Slaves, of course, could not sue their masters, unless they could claim that they were free.

[p. xx]

At a Court Continued & held for Accomack County July 30th 1766

Present, Edmund Allen, Isaac Smith, Tully Robinson Wise, And Southy Simpson, Gentlemen.

. . .

[p. 134]

Our Lord the King
agt.
Revel Custis
on the Complaint of William Martin who was ordered to be Bound as an Apprentice To the said Revel by this Court
Came as well the attorney for our Lord the King as the said Revel by James Henry his attorney and on hearing the Parties it is the opinion of this Court that the said William be removed from the sd. Revel and that the sd. Revel Pay the Costs of this suit. Costs Clks. 61 lbs. Tobo. at 15/ or 150 lbs. an attorney's fee.

[p. 135]

Ordered that William Martin be Bound by the Churchwardens of St. George's Parish 'till Lawful age to Peter Watson to Learn the trade of house joyner the sd. Peter first Giving Security to Perform the Conditions of the Indenture.

Trial of George Scott, July 1766

[p. xx]

At a Court Continued & held for Accomack County July 30th 1766

Present, Edmund Allen, Isaac Smith, Tully Robinson Wise, And Southy Simpson, Gentlemen.

. . .

[p. 135]

Our Lord the King
agt.
George Scott
On an Information of the attorney for our Lord the King for receiving stolen goods from Dyah a Negroman Slave belonging to John Smith then out Lawed and outlying knowing the same to be stolen
Came as well the attorney for our said Lord the King as the sd. George in his Proper Person and Saith that he is not Guilty of the Premises above upon him Imposed and thereof he puts him self upon the Country and the Attorney for our said Lord the King in Like manner and thereupon came a Jury (to wit) [p. 136]
Edmund Poulson, William Andrews, Sebastian Crossidy, Drake Drummond, Cornelius Ironmonger, Robert Drummond, Thomas Tatham, George Parker, Zorobabel Rodgers, William Walker, Peter Watson, and Sevin Teackle who being Elected Tryed and Sworn the Truth to Speak upon the sd. premises upon their oath do say that the Traversor is Guilty of Receiving of Stolen Goods of the said Dyer and Knowing the same to be Stolen Goods of this said Dyer and Knowing the same to be Stolen. Whereupon it is considered by the Court of our Lord the King that he make his fine with our said Lord the King by his Payment of Twenty Pounds Current money of Virginia and that he pay the costs of this Prosecution and it is ordered that he be committed to the custody of the Sherif until he pay the above fine and costs.
Costs Clks 119 lb. Tobo. and 15/ per or 150 lbs. Tobo

A Petition Presented by John Smith Against Job, a Free Black, August 1766

Free blacks had an anomalous position in colonial Virginia's slave society. They did not possess the same rights as whites. Virginia's Eastern Shore had a fairly large proportion of free blacks among its population, dating back to the seventeenth century.

[p. xx]

At a Court Continued and held for Accomack County August 28th 1766

Present, Edmund Allen, Isaac Smith, John Wise, Junr. and Southy Simpson Gentlemen

. . .

[p. 214]

The petition exhibited by John Smith (Ship Carpenter) against Job (a free negro) is continued for Tryal until next Court

Trial of Diah (Dyah), August 1766

The court had tried Diah in December 1764 for stealing a sheep. He apparently escaped and was outlawed. In July 1766, a white man named George Scott was convicted for receiving stolen goods from Diah. Since Diah had already been outlawed his conviction here was a foregone conclusion.

[p. 220]

At a Court of Oyer and Terminer held in Accomack County August XXIXth MDCCLXVI for the Tryal of Dyah a negro man Slave Belonging To John Smith for Felony.

The Commission Directed to John Wise, Littleton Major, Thomas Parramore, Edmund Allen, William Bagge, Covington Corbin, Tully Robinson Wise, John Watts, Isaac Dunton, James Arbuckle, William Libby, John Wise Junr., Southy Simpson, Daniel Gore, & Henry Fletcher Gent. Being read Tully Robinson Wise James Arbuckle Administered the oaths appointed by Act of Parliament & c. To John Wise who Took and Subscribed the test and had by them also the oath of a Justice of Oyer & Terminer Administered to him. And then the said John Wise Administered the sd. Oaths To Thomas Parramore, Edmund Allen, Tully Robinson Wise, James Arbuckle, John Wise Junr. and Southy Simpson Gen. Who all Severally Took and Subscribed the Test.

Present John Wise, Thomas Parramore, Edmd. Allen,
Tully R. Wise, James Arbuckle, John Wise Jun.
and Southy Simpson Gen.

The said Dyah being arraigned at the barr in Custody of the Sherif said he was not Guilty of the Felony to him Imposed

[p. 221]

And on Examination of the Witnesses produced on the behalf of our Sovereign Lord the King It is the opinion of the Court of our sd. Lord the King now here that the said Dyah is Guilty of the Feloniously Stealing and Bearing away one Sheep of the Value of five Shillings Sterling the Property of Mr. Isaac Smith, one Grindstone and some meal of the value of Two Shillings Sterling the Property of William Bell, one hogg of the value of Five Shillings Sterling, the property of Francis Willet nine Pieces of Bacon of the value of Ten Shillings Sterling the property of Chas. Leatherbury and Eight yards of Linnen Cloth of the value of Eight Shillings Like money the Property of Jacob Philips amounting in the whole to thirty Shillings Sterling money of Great Britain as charged in the Indictment. And thereupon it is Considered by the Court of our said Lord the King that the said Dyah for the said offence be carried from hence to the place from whence he came and from thence to the place of Execution and there to be hanged by the Neck until he be Dead. And It is ordered that Execution be Done Pursuant to the above Judgement on Tuesday the Ninth Day of September next.

Memd. Tha said Dyah of by this Court valued to Fifty pounds Current money of Virginia Which is ordered to be Certified to the next General assembly.

These Proceedings were Signed
John Wise

Trial of Esther, April 1767

Trial of Esther for murder of another female slave, April 29, 1767. Her master, John Wise, Jr., was one of the justices.

[p. 61]

At a Court of Oyer and Terminer held in Accomack County on Wednesday the XXIXth Day of April 1767 at the Court house thereof for the Tryal of Esther a Negro Woman Slave belonging to John Wise Junr. on Suspicion of the murder of Nancy a Negro woman slave Belonging to John Wise Sen.

The Commission and Potestatum being read William Selby and Henry Fletcher administered the oaths to Isaac Smith who susbcribed the same as also the Test and Had the oath of a Commissioner of Oyer and Terminer administered to him & then the said Isaac Smith administered the sd. oaths to Isaac Dunton the sd. William Selby and Henry Fletcher Who Severally Subscribed the same as also the Test and had the oaths of Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer administered to them.

[p. 62]

Present, Isaac Smith, Isaac Dunton, William Selby and Henry Fletcher Gentlemen.

The said Esther being Sett to the Bar in Custody of the Sherif & arraigned for the murder of said Nancy Pleaded not Guilty and on Examining of Ned a Witness on Oath this Court are of opinion that the sd. Esther is Guilty of the said Murder, and being asked why sentence should not be pronounced against her had nothing to offer and Thereupon it is considered that the said Esther be carried from hence to the place from whence she came and from thence to the place of Execution and there to be hanged from the nexk until she be Dead, and It is ordered that Execution Pursuant to the above Order be Done on Tuesday the xii Day of May next.

The said Esther is by the Court valued at Fifty Pounds Current Money.

Presentment for "Negro Dealing," or Trading With Blacks, April 1767

Littleton Reid, or Read tried for selling to a black, April 30, 1767. Reid had been tried and acquitted on a technicality for the same offense in 1764. His fine on this occasion was four times the value of the goods he bought.

[p. 71]

At a Court continued and held for Accomack County April 30th 1767.

Present, Thomas Ryley, Tully Robinson Wise, Wm. Selby, and Southy Simpson, Gentlemen

. . .

Our Sovereign Lord the King
agst.
Littleton Reid
On Presentment of The Grand Jury for negro Dealing

This Day came as well the attorney for our sd. Lord the King as the said Littleton by James Henry his attorney and on hearing the arguments of the sd. Parties on the Reasons filed in this Cause by the sd. Deft. and Praying That the Verdict found in this Cause may be set aside & judgment arrested, It is Ruled that the Court have jurisdiction to render Judgment on the sd. Verdict and thereupon It is considered that the said Littleton for the said offence make his fine by the Payment of seven pounds Current money being four times the value of the Things mentioned in the sd. Presentment To the use of Hilary Stringer owner of the said negro, and that he also pay the Costs of this Prosecution and the sd. Littleton may be Taken &c.
Costs Clks. 303 Sherf. 104. call'd witnesses vizt. Ismay Johnson 195 Southy Moore John Moore & wife & Elijah Moore each 120. Total 1082 lbs. Tobo. & 15/ &c.
From which Judgment the sd. Deft. prayed an appeal to the Twelfth day of the next General Court which is allowed him on giving Security.

Another Case of a White Man Charged With Buying Goods From a Slave, August 1767

Holden's slave Dublin was named in another case of a white man dealing with a slave.

[p. xxx]

At a Court continued and held for Accomack County August 26th 1767.

Present, Isaac Smith, Tully Robinson Wise, John Wise, and Southy Simpson Gentlemen

. . .

George Holden Plt.
agt.
Geo. Bonwell & wife Deft.
On Petition for Dealing with the Plts. slave without Licence Contrary to the Act of Assembly

Came the Parties of sd. by their Attorneys and on hear [sic] them & Examination of Sundry Witnesses on Oath, It is considered that the sd. Plt. recover against the said Defts. five pounds current money of Virginia and also his costs by him in this behalf Expended and the sd. Defts. may be Taken & c.
Costs Clks 108 Sher. 32. allowed witnesses viz. Mary the wife of John Rodgers 30 & Levin Taylor 25 Total 213 wt Tobo. at 7/6
addl. costs 34.

Mary Rodgers wife of John Rodgers allowed on Oath 2 Days & Levin Taylor one Day attendance as witnesses for Holden against Bonwell.

A Case of a White Woman Dealing With a Slave, October 1767

[p. xxx]

At a Court held and Contd. for Accomack County October 2 1767

Present Thomas Parramore Tully Robinson Wise
James Arbuckle and Henry Fletcher Gen.

. . .

[p. 307]

Thomas Jacob Plt.
va.
Mary Claywell Deft.
On Petition for the sd. Defts. dealing with the Plts. Negro Slave Contrary to the Act of Assembly
This day came as well the Plts aforesaid by Littleton Dennis his attorney as the said Defts. by William Elliott Waggaman her attorney and on hearing the Parties aforesaid by their attorneys aforesaid and Examination of Witnesses on oath It is considered that the said Thomas recover against the said Mary five pounds Current money of Virginia and also his costs by him in this Behalf Expended and the sd. Deft. May be Taken & c.
Costs Clks. 54 Shrf. 32 Total 86 lb. Tobo. at 7/6
addl. costs 34.

These cases were common on the Eastern Shore.

Trial of Glasgow, September 1767

Glasgow, tried for rape, described variously as "abusing" and "ravishing."

[p. 253]

At a Court held in Accomack County on Wednesday the Second Day of September 1767 for the Tryal of Glasgow a negro man Slave belonging to Robert Drummond on Suspicion of the Felonious breaking and Entring the Dwelling house of Patience Drummond in the night time and abusing Delilah Houston.

The Commission of Oyer and Terminer for the Tryal of the said Slave Directed to Littleton Scarburgh Major, Thomas Parramore, Edmund Allen, William Bagge, Thomas Ryley, Isaac Smith, Tully Robinson Wise, John Watts, Isaac Dunton, James Arbuckle, William Selby, John Wise, Southy Simpson, Daniel Gore and Henry Fletcher, as also the Dedimus Potestatum being read. Tully Robinson Wise and John Wise administered the Oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be Taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy To Isaac Smith Who Subscribed the Test and had the oath of a Commissioner of Oyer and Terminer administered to him. And then the said

[p. 254]

Isaac Smith administered the Oaths & c. to the said Tully Robinson Wise, John Wise and Southy Simpson Gentlemen

Present Isaac Smith, Tully Robinson Wise, John Wise & Southy Simpson Gentlemen

The said Glasgow being led to the Bar and arraigned for the Ravishing of the said Delilah said he was not thereof Guilty & for Tryal puts himself upon God and the Court, and on Examination of the witnesses and hearing the Prisoner It is adjudged that he is Guilty and thereupon It is Considered that for his said offence he be hanged by the neck at the usual Place of Execution until he be Dead. And it is said to the Sherif that he Cause Execution thereof to be Done on the nineteenth Day of September Instant.

The said Glasgow is Valued by the Court at Sixty pounds Which is Ordered to be Certified to the General Assembly.

These Proceedings were Signed
Isaac Smith

John Custis Charged With Interfering With the Capture of Several Runaway Slaves, December 1767.

Custis was a member of a well known family on the Eastern Shore.

[p. xxx]

At a Court held for Accomack County December 29th 1767.

Present, Littleton Scarburgh Major, Tully Robinson Wise, Southy Simpson and John Smith Gentlemen

. . .

[p. xxx]

In the Complaint Exhibited against John Custis for Rescuing sundry Negroes from Fairfax Smith and William Parramore two Patrollers in the Execution of their Offices Came as well the attorney for our Lord the King as the said John in his proper Person and On hearing the affair and Examination of sundry witnesses on oath It is considered that the said John for the said Offence enter into bond with good and sufficient security on the sum of Twenty five pounds Payable to our siad Lord the King his Heirs and Successors upon condition that he be of his good behaviour Towards all his Majestys Leige [sic] People by the space of one Calendar month now next Ensuing abd that he pay the Costs and Ordered that he be committed to the custody of the Sherif 'til he Give such Secy & pay the Costs as aforesaid.
Costs Clks. 92 Sherf. 27 Total 119 lbs. Tobo. at 15/ or 150 lb. Tobo.

Memd. The above John Custis Together with James Henry his Security Recognized Pursuant to the above Judgment

A Woman Charged With Bearing an Illegitimate Mixed Race Child, December 1767

The Eastern Shore had a sizeable free black population that dated back to the seventeenth century. Charges of buying and selling from slaves and mixed race relationships occur frequently in the records of Accomack and Northampron counties. Note that Violetta would be sold into servitude if she failed to pay the fine, a likely occurence as the penalty of fiteen pounds would be difficult for her to pay.

[p. xxx]

At a Court held and Continued for Accomack County December 30th 1767

Present Isaac Smith, Southy Simpson, Henry Fletcher, Thos. Teackle Junr. and Geo. Stewart Gen.

. . .

[p. 373]

The Church Wardens of St. George's Parish
agt.
Violetta Hitchens
Information for Bearing a Mulatto Bastard Child.
Came as well the said Church Wardens by [blank] their attorney as the said Violetta in her proper person an saith she is guilty of bearing the said Mulatto Bastard Child. Whereupon It is considered that the said Violetta make her fine with the said Informants by the Payment of fifteen pounds current money of Virginia for the use of the said Parish and that She pay the Costs and the said Violetta failing to pay the above fine and Costs of give Sufficient Security for the Payment thereof It is ordered that She be sold for five years to the highest bidder

[p. 374]

and that the Produce of the said Sale be applyed to the use as aforesaid.

A Woman Sentenced to Thirty-Nine Lashes, December 1767

Mary Claywell, convicted of dealing with a slave in October, receives her punishment.

[p. xxx]

At a Court Cont. and held for Accomack County December 31st 1767.

Present, Isaac Smith, Tully Robinson Wise, Henry Fletcher, Thomas Teackle Junr. and John Smith Gent.

. . .

[p. 381]

Mary Claywell a Prisoner in Execution at The Suit of Thomas Jacob for Negro Dealing being brought into Court and refusing to Pay five pounds Ordered that She receive thirty nine Lashes at the Public Whipping Post and it is said to the Sherif that he cause immediate Execution thereof to be Done.

Another Case of a Mixed Race Illegitimate Child, January 1768

Charges for these offenses against moral codes were sometimes brought by the church wardens, a committee of elders for each parish church, and occasionally preferred by the grand jury.

[p. xxx]

At a Court held for Accomack County January 26th 1768.

Present, Isaac Smith, John Watts, John Wise, Junr. and John Smith Gentlemen

[p. 388]

The Church Wardens of St. George's Parish
agt.
Leah Doe
On an Information for having a Mulatto Bastard Child
This Day Came as well the said Church Wardens by Littleton Dennis Their Attorney as the said Leah in her proper Person & saith that She is Guilty of Bearing the sd. Mulatto Bastard Child. Whereupon It is Considered that the said Church Wardens Recover against the said Leah fifteen pounds Current money of Virginia for the use of the said Parish and also their Costs by them in this Behalf Expended. And the said Leah failing to pay the same or to Give Sufficient Security for the Payment thereof at the Laying of the next Parish Levy It is ordered that She be sold to the highest Bidder for the sum of five years and that the Produce of the said Sale be applyed to the use aforesaid.