The Enslaved of Sarah James 1739-abt. 1822, daughter of Capt. John James & Dinah Allen, & Peter Hitt Jr. 1726-1809
- Sarah, daughter of Pender
- Brooks, daughter of Pender
- Negroes now in the possession of the widow Hitt
- Cato, a boy
Source: Recorded in Fauquier County, Virginia on 28 May 1810. Fauquier County, Virginia Will Book 5, p.153
“Then I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, SARAH HITT, during her natural life for her support all the land I possess in the County of Fauquier except at least of two hundred acres heretofore given to my son, REUBEN HITT, but not yet conveyed; also one negro woman named PENDER and her daughters, SARAH and BROOKS; also HARRY, BILL, GEORGE, and BOBB; also four horses, choice of my stock and my wagon and gear and all the plantation vessels; all the stock of horned cattle that may be on my estate at my death, also twenty sheep, choice of my flock, also twenty head of hogs, choice of my stock; and all my household and kitchen furniture for and during her natural live only.
“Then I give to my son, NIMROD HITT, after the death of his mother, also one bed and furniture, one cow and calf, two ewes and lambs, one sow and pigs, which is all property to NIMROD who shall will to whom he pleases if he lives longer than his mother, but should he decease before his mother, in that case it is my will that the aforesaid property willed to him be equally divided among my other children or their representatives.
“Then I give and bequeath to the heirs of PETER HITT JR, lawfully begotten of his body, the land I bought of REUBEN MARTIN and one negro girl named FILLER and her increases forever, which said property I estimate at one hundred and twenty pounds, the negroes now in possession of the widow of PETER HITT, deceased.
“Then I give and bequeath to my son, REUBEN HITT, and his heirs the lease of two hundred acres of land he formerly lived on and which is heretofore excepted and one negro boy named CATO now in possession of my son REUBEN HITT, which said property in addition to what I have formerly given and moneys paid for him, I estimate at one hundred and twenty pounds.”
Signed with my hand and dated this the 26th of April 1808.
/ S / PETER HITT
Witnesses: ARTHUR GLADSTONE, MARY SHAW
Capt. John James and Dinah Allen were well acquainted with President George Washington. As plantation neighbors and personal friends, the James provisioned Washington’s revolutionary army with specie, supplies, and tobacco crops to underwrite the war. A reasonable assumption suggests that, as like thinkers and actors in the era, the James also exercised the same management policies with their enslaved as Gen. Washington practiced with his enslaved people.
The Enslaved of Benjamin James Sr. 1746-1803 & Elizabeth Paar
- Plus increase
- Tom, child of Mary
- Polly, child of Mary
- Tom, a man, now in Indian country (See his emancipation and family under notes for Thomas James, below.)
- Jack, a young Negro
- Lucinda, a young Negro
- Lucy, a young Negro
- Judy, a young Negro
- Plus their increase
Source: Will of Benjamin James: Abstracts of Wills, Administrations, & Marriages of Fauquier County Virginia 1759-1800 by J. Estelle Stewart King, Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1980. Also, Will Book #3, Fauquier County, Virginia
Will of Benjamin James 1746-1803
27 Sept. 1803, Proved 23 Jan. 1804
Wife: Elizabeth James, Sons: Benjamin, Thomas, John
Exrs.: wife, son Benjamin, and cousin Joseph James.
“Item it is my will and desire that my loving wife Elizabeth shall possess and enjoy the tract of land I now live on during her life and at her decease to be equally divided among the children she has by me also I give and bequeath to my wife the negroes hereafter mentioned Anthony, Winny, David, George, Mary, Agga, Adam and Lewis to possess the said negroes during her life and after her decease to be equally divided among the children she has by me but the increase of the said negroes she may dispose of as she may think proper.
“Item I give and bequeath to my son Benjamin two young negroes one by the name of Tom and the other by the name of Polly children of Mary which he is not to possess till the first day of October 1805. I give the said negroes to him and his heirs forever. Also I give my son Benjamin one negroe man by the name of Tom which is now in the Indian Country. Also one horse bridle and saddle which said horse he has now in possession but not to be at his disposal till he comes of age which will be the first day of October 1805. Also I give my son Benjamin all that tract of land I purchased of John and William Scott which said tract is situate and lying on the Tombigba River a little below the falls of said river, I give the said tract of land to him and his heirs forever. Also I give my son Benjamin all that tract of land situate and lying on the Big Black Creek a branch of the Massesipa River containing 600 acres. I give it to him and his heirs forever.
“Item I give and bequeath to my son Thomas two young negroes one named Jack the other Lucindia but it is my will that he is not to possess them until he comes of age.
“Item I give and bequeath to my son John two young negroes one by the name of Lucy the other Judy but not to possess them until he comes of age. It is my will that my sons Thomas and John shall also possess the increase of the said negroes when they come of age I give them to them and their heirs forever…
“In witness where I set my hand and seal this 27th day of September, 1803”
Proved January 23, 1804.
The Enslaved of Thomas James 1745-1825
As noted above in the will of Benjamin James 1746-1803, at the mouth of the Big Black River, on Bayou Pierre (branch of James Creek), Thomas James had three land grants, starting in 1775. Thomas James is in Choctaw-Chickasaw Territory, Mississippi in 1804 to secure this land. Three sons of Thomas James later operated the Forks of the Road slave market in Natchez.
- Tom, inherited by and emancipated by Benjamin James “of the Choctaw Nation”
- Sally, his wife, purchased by Tom from Adam James
- Lucy, child of Tom and Sally
- Mary, child of Tom and Sally
- Ailsey, child of Tom and Sally
- George, child of Tom and Sally
- Jack, son of Tom and Sally, being about 16 years
Source – Slave sales involving the above slave Tom: Greene County, Alabama – Deed Record Book A: pp.234-235
Slave Sale – December 17, 1818
Adam JAMES of the Choctaw Nation for $950.00 paid by “Tom, a free man of colour late the property of my brother Benjamin JAMES and by him emancipated”, sells Tom “his wife Sally, a slave inherited by me from my father Benjamin JAMES, Sr, also Lucy, Mary, Ailsey and George, children of the said negro woman Sally by the said Tom, slaves”
Self-Purchase – November 4, 1819
Benjamin JAMES of the Choctaw Nation for $400.00, paid by Tom, a negro man inherited by me from my late father Benjamin JAMES, formerly a resident of this nation, do grant unto the said Tom, aged about 45 yrs, his free liberty
Slave Sale – January 1, 1824
Adam JAMES, citizen of the Choctaw Nation, for $800.00 cash sells unto “a Black man commonly called Free Tom, a negro boy named Jack, a son of the said Tom and Sally his wife, being about 16 yrs. Old
The Enslaved of John Thomas James 1746-1801 & Elizabeth “Betsy” Wright
- Judah, and her children
Source-1: Fauquier County, Will Book 3, p. 381
September 8, 1801
Proved April 26, 1802
“Item I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary two negroes (to wit) Troy and Nancy daughter to Jane to her and her heirs forever,
“Item I give and bequeath to my daughter Margaret two negroes namely George and Lydia to her and her heirs forever
“Item I give and bequeath to my son Aldridge two negroes namely Robin and Jamina to him and his heirs forever
“Item I give and bequeath to my son David two negroes namely Edward and Elijah to him and his heirs forever…
“In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this eighth day of September, Eighteen hundred and one.”
signed sealed and acknowledged in presence of us.
John James LS
John Shumate Sr.
At a court held for Fauquier County the 26th day of April, 1802. This Will was proved by the oath of Peter Conway as witness thereto and ordered to be certified and on the motion of James Wright one of the executors therein named who made oath and together with Thomas Keith his security entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of ten thousand dollars conditioned as the law directs certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form. And at a court held for the said County the 24th day of May, 1802 the same was further provided by the oaths of Benjamin Bronaugh and Britain Lewis two other witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Source-2, Probate: The Washington Ancestry and Records of The McClain, Johnson, and Forty Other Colonial American Families.
Prepared for EDWARD LEE McCLAIN by Charles Archer Hoppin
IN THREE VOLUMES. Greenfield, Ohio: Privately Printed 1932. Volume I, p. 423 references the wife of John James being Elizabeth Wright, daughter of James Wright.
Source-3, Will of Elizabeth Wright-James: Fauquier County Will Book 3, p. 381; proved April 26, 1802, Fauquier County Will Book 13, p. 394
Will of Elizabeth Wright-James
“Item I give to my daughter Margaret Kelly’s children my Negroes Joshua, Sedwick, James, Judah and her children, also the tract of land that belonged to my grandfather upon which I live but it is my will and testament that my son Aldridge James retain possession of the said tract of land for five years after my death free of rent or charge enjoining on him to use it as he would his own.
“Item I give to my granddaughter Delia James my Negro girl Winney…
“In testimony of which I have hereunto set my hand and seal this day and date above mentioned.”
Elizabeth James (seal)
Gorg W. Sinclair
M. A. Chilton
At the court held for Fauquier County on the 27th day of October, 1834. This last will and testament of Elizabeth James was proved by the oaths of Gorg W. Sinclair, M. A. Chilton and Enos Hord subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Test. A. J. Marshall
The Enslaved of Joseph James, the Elder 1712-1782 & Mary Field
- Phyllis (probably Fillis above)
- Cain (previously noted in Classic SL)
- Nancy (previously noted in Classic SL)
- Two negroes “such as he will make choice of my Estate”
- Rachel, and her increase “two Negroes I did let my son Henry James” (previously noted in Classic SL)
- Sarah, and her increase “two Negroes I did let my son Henry James” (previously noted in Classic SL)
- Abel (previously noted in Classic SL)
- Hanner (previously noted in Classic SL)
Source-1, Mortgage Indenture: Joseph James indenture to Henry Field, Sr. 1767 Culpeper County, Virginia, Deed Book E, pp.230-231
“This Indenture made the tenth day of March in the Year of our Lord One Thousand, seven hundred & sixty seven Between Joseph James of the St. Mark Parish in the county of Culpeper in the Colony of Virginia, Planter of the one Part and Capt. Henry Field of the Parish, County and Colony aforesaid, Gent of the other part, witnesseth That the said Joseph James for divers good causes and considerations him thereunto Moving, but more Especially for and in consideration of the said Henry Field Paying off and discharging two Judgments agst. me to the amount of one hundred & thirty eight pounds three shillings and two pence current money of Virginia and Three hundred & forty one pounds of nett Tobacco (Viz) Seventy five Pounds three shillings & eleven pence and one hundred and sixty three pounds of tobacco together with the sherifs Fee for serving the Execution at five H cent[?] Three Pounds fifteen shillings & three pence of the like money and Eight Pounds of Tobacco to satisfy Anthony McKettrick’s judgment, as also a Judgment Confest by the said Joseph James to John Pollard for Fifty Nine Pounds of like Money and one hundred & seventy Pounds of Tobacco. Now know ye that for the Considerations aforesaid, I the said Joseph James Do assign and make Over and by these Presents do freely fully and Absolutely assign and make over unto the said Henry Field his heirs and assigns from this day the labors Benefit and profit of eleven negroes (Viz) Dick, Judey, Hannah, Rachel, Milly, James, Fanny, Keen, Fillis, Jenny, and Sarah together with seven feather Beds with their furniture, Twenty head of Cattle, one Oval Table and one Desk & Corner Cubbard, six pewter Dishes and four Dozen of plates, Twenty head of Sheep, one Waggon and four Waggon Horses with all their Harness, and one Riding Horse, four breeding Mares & three Yearling Colts, all which the benefit of the Labours of the above mentioned Eleven Negroes and all and Singular the Goods & Chattels above mentioned with all their benefit and profit. I the said Joseph James do for myself, my heirs Executors & Admin’s or Assigns Covenant, Promise and agree to and with the said Henry Field aforesaid his Heirs and assigns forever that the said Henry Field his Heirs and assigns shall and May from Time to Time and at all Times forever hereafter Have, hold, make use of and Enjoy all the Benefit and Profit of the above mentioned Negroes together with all and singular the Goods and Chattels above mentioned in as full & ample a manner as if they were Actually now in his Possession, clear and clearly Acquitted of and from all manner and former Gifts, Grants, Bargains, Sales, Mortgages, Wills, Judgments, Executions, or Encumbrances Whatsoever. Furthermore I the said Joseph James for myself, my heirs, Executors and Administrators Do Covenant and Promise at and upon the reasonable Request and at the proper Cost & Charges in the law of the said Henry Field his Heirs, and to make do, Perform and Execute any further or other Lawful and reasonable Act or Acts, thing or things, Device or Devices in the Law needful and requisite for the more perfect Apurance Selling and the sure making over to him the said Field, his heirs and assigns as above mentioned. Provided nevertheless and it is the true intent & meaning of both the above mentioned Parties Joseph James and Henry Field in these Presents anything herein contained to the Contrary notwithstanding That if the above named Joseph James his heirs, Executors, Admor’s or Assigns do well and truly pay or Cause to be Paid to the above Mentioned Henry Field his heirs or Assigns the above mentioned sum of one hundred and thirty eight Pounds three shillings and two pence and Three hundred & forty one Pounds of Nett Tobacco with Lawful Interest on the same. Then this above written Deed or Obligation and every Clause and Article therein Contained shall be null, void & of none Effect or Else shall abide in full force and Virtue Sealed with my seal and dated the Day and Year first above Written.”
Joseph James (LS)
Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of us.
Henry Field jun.
At a court held for the County of Culpeper on Thursday the 19th of March 1767. This Indenture of Mortgage from Joseph James to Capt. Henry Field, Gent. was acknowledged by the said Joseph [James] and ordered to be Recorded.
Roger Dixon, Clk
Source-2: Deed Books A-E, Culpeper County, Virginia. 1749-1769, as abstracted by John Frederick Dornan, 1975-1979
A: 137-139 12 Dec 1753 re a negro named HARRY which JOHN WYNALL had sold to Mr. JOSEPH JAMES etc; wit P.CLAYTON, DANIEL BROWN, proved 21 June 1754
Source-3, Will of Joseph James: Will Book C: pp. 8-9 of Culpeper County, Virginia
JOSEPH JAMES of Culpeper County, dated 31 December 1778, proved 21 April 1783
“In the name of God Amen:
“ I JOSEPH JAMES of Culpeper County being in perfect sense and memory knowing that all men must Depart this Life therefore I decree this my last will and testament making all other Wills void before made as to my soul do give it up unto the hands of MY Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and my body to be Decently buried by my beloved below mentioned. And my worldly goods to be distributed as followeth.
“Item: I do give unto my son JOSEPH JAMES two negroes already delivered, JAN and PHYLLIS to him and to his heirs forever with all other things he has received.
“Item: I do give unto my son GEORGE JAMES two negroes already delivered, CAIN and NANCY to him and to his heirs forever with all other things he has received.
“Item: I do give unto my son JOSEPH JAMES the Younger the Plantation where now I do live with three hundred acres of land to be sold after my executors also two negroes such as he will make choice of my Estate to him and unto his heirs forever, also a good feather bed and furniture and one cow and calf.
“Item: I do give unto my son DANIEL JAMES all the remainder part of the tract of land that I now live upon after taking out three hundred acres for his brother JOSEPH above mentioned to him and to his heirs forever also the two Negroes I did let my son HENRY JAMES, deceased have, RACHEL and SARAH with their increase forever…Other Negroes out of my Estate ABEL and HANNER to him and to his heirs forever, also a good feather bed and furniture, a cow and calf; also three beasts, one bay mare and one mare colt which was the property of son HENRY…
“I do appoint my loving wife MARY JAMES Executrix and JOSEPH STUARD and my son JOSEPH JAMES, JR. executors of this my last Will and Testament. Given from Under my hand and Seal this the 31st day of December 1778.”
JOSEPH /his mark/ JAMES
Sealed and Delivered before us
ANN /her mark/ HOLDWAY
Source-4, Inventory of Joseph James: Will Book C:12 of Culpeper County, Virginia
Not totaled, returned 19 May 1783 by AMBROSE COLEMAN, THOMAS WRIGHT, JAMES LONG
Gift of Enslaved from Henry and Esther Field to daughter Mary James and her children
Source-5, Deed of Gift: 1766 Culpeper County, VA., Deed Book E: pp. 210-211
“Know all men by these Presents that we Henry Field and Esther his Wife of Culpeper County and Saint Marks Parish hath ever since the Marriage of our Daughter Mary to Joseph James had Negro’s in her or their Possession as a lone or Gift of the Profits and Benefit of them to her with a faithfull promise that the said negroes and their Increase should be, her Childrens but never intended to give them to her and whereas the said Negores hath this Day Increased (with themselves) to the Amount or Number of Eleven namely Dick, Judy, Hannah, Rachell, James, Mill, Fan, Kein, Filles, Janey & Sarah and it appears to us that their is sum Reason at this Time to make it known how for our Daughter property —- in the Above Eleven Negroes and how they are to be Divided and given amongst her Children According to faithful promise by us made to her and her Husband that is to say We Continue the Lone and we give the Use Profits an Benefit of the Above Eleven Negroes and their future Increase to our Daughter Mary for her Support and Succour during her Natural Life or Marriage to another Man and after either her Death or Marriage to Another Man that then in either Case when Complete we fully & freely Give the above said Eleven Negroes and their future Increase Equally to be Divided amongst all her Children that then shall be Living by her present Husband Joseph James the said Eleven negroes and their future Increase when Divided each Child’s part or portion we give to them and their Heirs forever and whereas it may be that some of her Children then Living may not be of full age to Act for their selves it is our Devise that on Application made to the Court of Any of her Children that is of Age the Court to whom such Application is made I hereby Required and Impowered to Order three or more proper persons as the Said Court shall se fit to make such Division as Above said and make return of their Report to the Court and such Division, made by Virtue of such Court Order and Recorded shall be deemed taken & Granted for an equal Division and shall be definitive amongst our Grand Children that then shall be Living of our Daughter Mary by her present Husband Joseph James In Witness hereof we, have hereunto set our Hands & Seals this Nineteenth Day of November One Thousand Seven Hundred Sixty Six.”
Not before signed interlined in second line (Marriage)H.Field (L.S.)
in the eighteenth line (all)
Signed Sealed and Delivered in presence of Esther Field (L.S.)
At a Court held for the County of Culpeper on Thursday the 20th Day of November 1766
This Deed of Gift from Henry Field and Esther his Wife to their Daughter Mary James & her Children was Acknowledged by the said Henry & Esther and Ordered to be Recorded
Roger Dixen Clk
“In the name of God, amen. I, MARY JAMES of Madison county of sound mind and disposing memory (for which I thank God) and calling to mind the uncertainty of human life, and being desireous to dispose of all such worldly Estate as it hath pleased God to help one with – I give and bequaeth the same in manner as following unto my granddaughter POLLY JAMES, daughter of my son DANIEL, one negro girl names MARY to her and her heirs forever –
“ITEM I give and bequeath unto my son DANIEL JAMES two negroes, TOBY and PHILLIS to him and his heirs forever.
“ITEM I give and bequeath to my daughter-in-law NANCY JAMES my riding horse.
“ITEM I give and bequeath unto my son DANIEL JAMES all the rest of my estate of what nature or heirs soever it may be, not herein particularly disposed of to him and his heirs forever. And lastly I do appoint my son DANIEL JAMES Executor of this my last will and testament. In Witness my hand and __?___ this 3 day of May 1798.”
(S) Mary James
Signed, sealed, delivered in the presence of
DAN FIELD JAMES
At a court held for Madison county the 21 day of January 1805.
This last will and testament of MARY JAMES deceased was presented into Court and proved by the oaths of DANIEL FIELD JAMES and JOHN ROBERTS, WIT____ SHEETS and ordered entered to the record.
David Daniel James, Slave Trader at the Forks of the Road, Natchez, MS
(Story appears at the bottom of this page.)
The Supreme Court’s Failure To Protect Blacks’ Rights
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