Emancipation Papers

Contributed by Pat Mahan

 

Free persons of color were required to carry their 'free papers' at all times and to file them with the proper county officials. All of the following emancipation papers are located in the Lauderdale County, Alabama deed books. They are presented here in chronological order. No corrections were made to the original.

Josiah Mitchell

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 2, p. 235.

 

Mitchell – Free Papers

            I do hereby certify that Josiah Mitchell a person of Color was born free in Northhampton county, state of North Carolina and that he was born free and is a 
person of good character as far as I know –

            Sworn under my hand and seal the 30th of December 1822

                                                                 James Crump JP

 

State of North Carolina

            I James C. Harrison, Clerk of the court of pleas and quarter session held 
for the county of Northampton, do hereby certify that James Crump Esq. whose 
signature appears to the above certificate is a Justice of the Peace for Said County 
of Northampton acting under the authority of the state aforesaid and that the same 
is his signature

            Sworn under my hand and seal of office this 30th December Ano Domini 1822 
and in the 47th year of our Independence.

                                                                  J. C. Harris C. C. Q

 

State of North Carolina Northampton County

Jany. 5th 1823, I Hardy Cobb, chief Justice of the Court of Pleas and Quarter session 
for the County aforesaid do hereby certify and make known to all in whom these 
presents may came that James C. Harris whose name is signed to the above writing is
and was on the day and date thereof, acting Clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Session aforesaid duly appointed and qualified and that due faith is and ought to be 
given to all official attestations.

                                                                    Hardy Cobb JPQ

Recorded 28th day of July 1824.

 

Joe Bettes

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 3, p. 53

State of Tennessee

Be It rembered [sic] that at a circuit court held for the County of Bedford at the Court house in Shelbyville on the third Monday in March in the year one thousand Eight hundred & Seventeen and of the Independence of the United Sates the 41st before the honorable [sic] Nathaniel W. Williams Esq one of the Judges of the circuit Court in the State aforesaid, A certain Negro Man who calls him self Joe Bettes and who alledges in a summon at preamble [best guess] to said Court that by the Laws of the Land he was intitled to his freedoom [sic] and that William R. Hess wrongfully and illegally detain[ed] him the said Joe as a Slaver and therein prayed a writ of habeas copas to be allowed him upon upon the hearing of which memoreat a writ of habes copas was accordingly ordered whereupon the said Jo Bettes was according brought Into Court and Thereupon the following order was made to wit,

           Joe Bettes  } on a habes corpus  It appearing to the court from the petition Bettes & the proofs by him alledged that he is a freeman of color and that he is illegally held to s----- detained by William R. Hess. It is thefore ordered by the Court that he be set at liberty, and have the previledges of a free man.

State of Tennessee SS  }  I James McKesseck, Clerk of the Circuit Court of the County of Bedford in The State of Tennessee  aforesaid, do hereby certify – that the forgoing is a true copy from the record of my office of the proceeding had in Said court in the case wherein Joe Bettes was released from confinement of William R. Hess and ordered by Said Court to be intitled to the preveledges of a free man of color, In testimony whereof I have hereunto Set my hand, affixed my private Seal being no Seal of office at Shelbyvill this 3 day of July 1817

                                                                       J. McKesseck

Recorded 9th of Sept 1825.

Fanny Porter

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 3, p. 284 – 286.

Henry Shultz to Fanny Porter – free papers

The State of South Carolina  Edgefield district

To all whom these presents shall come greeting Henry Shultz of the Town of Hamburgh in the district and state aforesaid, sends greeting

            Know ye that Fanny alias Fanny Porter a free woman of Colour, has resided in Said Town of Hambugh for the last four years; that she has conducted herself with propriety, during that time and that, She bears a good character for Sobriety, Industry and Honesty. In Witness Whereon I have hereunto Set my hand, and affixed my Seal this fourth day of July A D 1826 & or the Sovergnity and Independence of the United State of America the fiftiety

                                                                             Henry Shultz {SEAL}

Recorded 24 of October 1826

Fanny to Freedom papers

South Carolina to all whom these presents shall come we Eldrid Simpkins, Edmand Bacon, John S. Glasscock, and John S. Jeter of the district of Edgfield and aforesaid  Send greeting Know ye that we the Said Edmond Simkines, Edmand Bacon, John S. Glasscock, and John S. Jeter, for and in consideration of the Sum of one hundred dollars to us in hand well and truly paid at as before the signing and delivery of the _______________ And for divers other, good causes & Considerations as hereunto moving have manumitted, enfranchised and Set free, and by these presents do fully free and absolutely manumit infranchise [sic] and Set free at the death of Major Benjamin Porter of the County of Wilkes and State of Georgia  master of Billy the fiddler and not before our negroe [sic] woman Slave Fanny most usually called and known as the wife of Billy the fiddler, about thirty three years of age of a dark complexion about five feet Ten Inches high born in the State of Georgia as the property of James Sherrill, of and from all manner of Slavery Bondage and slavery whatsoever from the event and Time above specified to have and hold the Said manumetion [sic] and freedom from and after the death of the Said Benjamin Porter as aforesaid unto the Said Fanny in as full and ample a manner to all intents and purposes & construction as any other Slave heretofore Set free and discharged from bondage of Slavery may or can hold and enjoy so that neither an Executor administrator or assign or creditor or heirs or any other person representing after after our decease shall or may therafter Claim Challenge or demand of in or to the Said Fanny and for the more Effect Truly securing to her Said Fanny the full ______ of her freedom, from and after our death, and at the request of Said Fanny we do hereby nominate and appoint Whitfield Brooks & William Bastick [Bostick?] of South Carolina and James Wingfield & George W. Walker of the County of Wilks and State of Georgia or the Survivors of them, to be the  friends, ______, or trustee of the Said woman Fanny with the full power and authority of Claiming obtaining and Securing and  recovering the freedom or release of the said Fanny Should Should [sic] any person or persons whatsoever by or under any pretense detain imprison or keep her the Said Fanny as a slave In Witness whereof we have hereto Set our hands and Seals this they 28th day of June in the year of our lord one thousand Eight hundred and nineteen }

                                                                         Eldrid Simpkins       {SEAL}
In Presence of us                                                       Edmund Bacon        {SEAL}
M. McGlam                                                           John S. Jeter          {SEAL}
Erus? Youngblood                                                  John S. Glasscock {SEAL}

 

South Carolina Edgefield district,

We hereby certify upon the Examination of William Baxtick and Whitfield Brooks the owers [sic] of a certain slave named Fanny a negroe woman after the death of Major Benj. Porter of Wilkes County, Georgia, satisfactory proof has been given to us that the said Slave is not of Bad character and is capable of gaining a lively hood by honest means. Given under our hands and Seals this 15th day of July 1819.

                                                                                 Jessee Blocker JP  {SEAL}
                                                                                 A. B. Addison          {SEAL}
                                                                                 Abner Whalby         {SEAL}
                                                                                 Stephen Cleement  {SEAL}
                                                                                 Henry W. Lowe       {SEAL}
                                                                                 Henday? Mitchell    {SEAL}

South Carolina Edgfield district    

Erasmus Youngblood came before me that he was present, & Saw Edmond Simpkins, Edmond Bacon, John S. Jeter, John S. Glosscock sign seale and deliver the within instrument of writing for the uses & purposes therein mentioned and that himself & C. __________ were subscribing Witnesses to the due Execution of the Same, Sworn to this 3st June 1819

(M Mims Clk)                                                            Eras YoungBlood

South Carolina Edgfield district I do certify that the forgoing to be a true coppy from the original record in my office in book N. N. folio 137 & E_____ this 27 July 1819                                                                          M Mims Clk, & Regis

Recorded 25 of October 1826.

Hannah Kennedy

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 4, page 17.

Kennedy to Mancipation, Hannah & 7 Children

          All to whom these presents shall come Greeting:‑‑‑‑

Know ye That I Cesear Kennedy, of the town of Huntsville & State of Alabama, being duly authorized by an Act of The General assembly of said State passed at the first Session of the General Assembly of said State held in the town of Huntsville in 1819 Manument [sic] and set free my wife Hannah and her Seven children Mariah, John, Mary Ann, William, Ceaser, Bassill & Thomas

         Be it hereby fully understood that I Ceser Kennedy aforesaid do hereby pursuant to the aforesaid act of the General Assembly aforesaid set free the said Hannah and her Seven children as above named reserving those rights & powers over them that are given and allowed by the Laws of the said State of Alabama the free white parents, resident therein over their legitimate Children, hereby forever Claiming and at the same time relinquishing all right & title which I have in & to them giving all such Claim & title aforesaid to the said Hannah and her seven children above named to each one individually only with the exception of the above reservation, allowing each of those above named, now of the age of 21 years old to be entirely free, and for those now minors to be free and possess entire liberty on their arrival at the age of 21 years.

          In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 2nd day of February 1821.

witness                                                                    Ceasar Kennedy {SEAL}
Ben Cash  N. P.

          My wife Hannah is now liberated and also are Mariah & John above the age of twenty one years. Mary Ann, was born 18 Jun 1810, Basill was born 15 July 1812, Thomas was born 18 July 1815.

 

State of Alabama
Madison County
Personally the within named Caesar Kennedy before me Thomas Brandon Clerk of the Court of the aforesaid county and acknowledged the signing & Sealing of the within certificate of Manumition for the purposes therein contained done at my office in the town of Huntsville this 2nd day of February 1821.

                                                                        Thomas Brandon C. C. C.

 

The foregoing certificate was deliverd in this office to be recorded the 2nd day of February 1821 which was duly done the 28th of the same month & year.

                                                                          Thomas Brandon C. C. C.

Thurman Kennedy

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 4, p. 115.

Mary Ann Kennedy to Thurman

The State of Alabama

          All whom these present concern I send Greeting. Whereas the Legislature of Said State of Alabama passed an Act which was approved by the Governor of said State on the 14th day of December 1824, Authorizing me to Emancipate a negro man Slave, otherwise called Joshua Thurman on my entering into Bond &c. that said Joshua should never become a public charge to any County, Town, city or Parish within the Sate of Alabama.

          And whereas I did on the 7th day of November, in the year of our lord 1827, enter into such a bond in the penal sum of One thousand Dollars, with conditions above proposed, and gave such security, as was approved of by the Judge of the County Court of the county of Franklin, agreeable to the regulations of the said Act of Assembly, now

          Know ye that I the said Mary Ann Kennedy, do hereby Emancipate and forever discharge and set free, the said Joshua otherwise called Joshua Thurman, from slavery, and that he is forever Emancipated and free.

         In Testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 7th day of November, in the year of our Lord, One thousand Eight Hundred & Twenty Seven.                                                                                        her
                                                                                  Mary Ann  X   Kennedy  {SEAL}
                                                                                                   mark

Signed & sealed before me this 7th Novr. 1827.
Test, William S. Fulton
                   Judge of Lauderdale County Court

The State of Alabama}     This day came Mary Ann Kennedy 
Lauderdale County    }     whose signature is made to the foregoing deed of Emancipation before me William S. Fulton, Judge of County Court for said county and acknowledged the same to be her act and deed for the purpose therein mentioned.
             Given under my hand and seal this 8th day of November 1827.

                                                                 William S. Fulton
                                                                          Judge of the county Court
                                                                              of Lauderdale County

The State of Alabama}
Franklin County         }   I Gregory D. Stone, Judge of the County Court of said County, do hereby certify that Mary Ann Kennedy, the person aluded [sic] to in the Act of Assembly passed by the Legislature of said State in December 1824 has this day has this day [sic] entered into a bond with good and sufficient security which bond and security I do approve and deem sufficient agreeable to the regulations of said Act which was made to authorize the said May Ann to Emancipate her Slave Joshua , otherwise called Joshua Thurman And that said Mary Ann is at liberty to emancipate said Joshua.
          Given under my hand and seal this 7th of November 1827.

                                                                       Gregory D. Stone
                                                                                  Judge &c.

Patience

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 4, p. 228

Farrer To Patience – Emancipation

The State of Alabama}

Lauderdale   County  }  To all and singular, to whom these presents shall come Greeting: ----

          Whereas the General Assembly of the State of Alabama, at their last Session, passed an act authorizing me, Mahala Farrer to Emancipate a mulatto woman, Slave, named Patience

           And whereas the said Patience has previously paid Four Hundred and Seventy Five Dollars, for her Freedom

          Now in consideration of said sum of money and in pursuance of said act of the Legislature I the said Mahala Farrer do hereby Emancipate and forever set free from bondage and slavery the said mulatto woman Patience

          In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 5th day of November 1829.                                                                      her
                                                                                    Mahala  X   Farrer   {SEAL}
Test: M. C. Young       }                                                          mark
         Henry Donahoo  }

Quiller

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 4, p. 279

Quiller – Freedom – Man of Colour

The State of Alabama  Lauderdale County

          I Richard Darby of the County and State aforesaid for an in consideration of the faithful services rendered me by my negro Slave, a black man about Forty Seven years old and by the name of Quiller, who I purchased from Mr Prater, I do by these presents quit claim and release him the said Quiller from any futhre serving me or my heirs in the capacity of a slave or otherwise, but for the faithful services by him rendered to me I do give him his freedom and hope and request the free State where he may go to carry the same into full affect and that his freedom my be there obtained by virtue hereof. I do hereby request all good people to aid, assist, him the said Quiller in traveling to any of the free States or otherwise, and not to hinder or stop him in any manner from pursueing his own business, as it is my wish and desire that he obtain his freedom and that I have no further claim to him as a Slave or otherwise.

          IN Testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal, at Florence, this 295h day of December 1828.

                                                                                 Richard Darby  {SEAL}

 

The State of Alabama  }   Be it remembered that Richard Darby
Lauderdale County     }   whose name is subscribed to the within & foregoing instrument or release, this day came personally before me William W. Garrard, Clerk of Lauderdale County Court, and acknowledged the signing sealing and delivery of the same to be his act and deed for the purposes therein contained.

           In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said Court done at my office in the town of Florence this 29th day of December 1828, and of American Independence the Fifty Third year.
                                                                Test. W W. Garrard, Clerk

                                                            By his deputy Joseph P. Waddell

 

State of Alabama  }  I William S. Fulton Judge of the County
Lauderdale County }  Court do hereby certify that William W. Garrard whose name appears above is and was at the time the same was signed Clerk of the County court of Said County, and that Joseph P. Waddell  is his lawful Deputy, that full faith and credit is and ought to be given to all his official acts as such that his attestations are in due form of law.

            Given under my hand and seal this 29th day of December 1828.
                                                  William S. Fulton
                                                   Judge of the County Court of Lauderdale County

Recorded 2nd day of February, 1829.

Elizabeth Franklin

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 4, p. 482

Elizabeth Fuller Affidavit

The State of Alabama  }}
Lauderdale County     }}  Before me Alex H. Wood a Justice of the Peace in & for the county aforesaid personally appeared Martha Fuller who saith she is Fifty years old & upwards, that she [has] known a colored woman by the name of Elizabeth Franklin who is about Sixty Five years of age, that this deponent saith that she has known the said Elizabeth Franklin ever since she was a child that she knew her in Granville County State of North Carolina and that she always to her knowledge passed as a free woman & that she never knew it doubted and that she verily believes her to be free born.                                                                                                         her
Sworn to & subscribed before me this                        Martha   X   Fuller
10th day of March 1830                                                          mark 

                                       Alex H. Wood J.P. {SEAL}

Recorded 11th March 1830

 

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 4, p. 499

Elizabeth Franklin Affadavit

State of Alabama    }}   Before me George Boggs, an acting Justice
Lauderdale  County}}  of the Peace this day personally appeared Charles Best who makes oath that he was acquainted with Elizabeth Franklin who then lived in Williamson County Tennessee in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred & Fifteen a woman of Colour he says was generally believed to be a free woman and from the best information obtained from persons who knew said Elizabeth for many years there is no doubt but she was free born and that she had a Son named Henry F. Franklin now about Twenty Seven or eight years old who I am now informed lives in Pope County in the State of Illinois.

          Given under my hand this 3rd April 1830.

                                                          Chas  Best

Sworn to 7 subscribed before me this 3 April 1830

                                                          George Boggs {SEAL}
                                                                   Mayor of Florence
Recorded 3rd April 1830                                    by E. M. Ward

Drewry Going

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 4, p. 485

Drewry Going – Free Papers

The State of Alabama}} Before me Allex H. Wood
Lauderdale County   }}} a Justice of the Peace in & for the County aforesaid personally appeared Saml. H. Byrn [?] who being duly sworn deposeth & saith, that he has been acquainted with a mulatto man by the name of Drewry Going about Twelve years that the said Drewry Going is about Twenty three or four years of age deponent says he was also well acquainted with his father & all the family and that they always passed as free people of colour, and that he never heard it questioned in any manner and that he verily believes the said Drewry Going to have been free born.

                                                                 Samuel H. Byrn [?]

Sworn and Subscribed to before
Me this 24th day of March 1830

                                                                   Alex H. Wood J. P. {SEAL}

Recorded 24 March 1830.

Henry Going

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 4, p. 486

 

The State of Alabama  }
Lauderdale County      }}  Before me Alex H. Wood, a Justice of the Peace in & for the County aforesaid personally appeared Saml. H. Byrn, who being duly sworn deposeth and saith that he has been acquainted with Henry Going, who is about Twenty six or seven years of age, for about Twelve years, that he also was well acquainted with the father & all the family of said Going  that they always passed as free people of colour and that he never heard it disputed in any way, that said Henry Going is a mulatto, and that he verily believes he was free born.

Sworn & subscribed to }}                                 Saml H. Byrn
before me this 24 day of
March 1830
                          Alex. H. Wood J. P.  {SEAL}

Recorded 24. March. 1830

Solomon Mitchell

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 5, p. 93

Freedom Papers – Solomon Mitchell

The State of Alabama Lauderdale County This day came William Moutrie personally before me Alexander H. Wood an acting justice of the peace in & for said county and made oath in due form of law that a black boy named Solomon Mitchell now in his possession about Eighteen years old about the 18 of 25 of December last rather yellow is a free boy viz his [sic] is free born and is & was bound to him the said William Moutrie until he is twenty one years of age by his father by verbal agreement and at the expiration of said time to wit when the said boy arrives at 21 years of age he is to be free. Sworn to and subscribed before me This 10 February 1831.         Alex H. Wood JP

                                                            Wm. Moutrie

London

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 6, p. 54

London free papers

I do hereby certify that I am willing and anxious to Emancepate [sic] all my Negro man London for the many Good and faithful Servises [sic] rendered me during his State of bondage and know all men by these presents that I do hereby emancepate and liberate the said London free from any claim or Claims of mine my heirs Executors adm or assigns or any person or persons claiming through or by me as witness my hand and seal this 14 day of December in the year of our [Lord] 1824

Witness                                                                   Martha P. Urquhart {SEAL}
James B. Urquhart
Charles Urquhart

Southamton County In the Clerks office March 21 1825 this deed of Emancepation was proved by the oath of James B. Urquhart one of the witness thereto and Continued and the Clerks office of the Said county on the 4 of Aprile 1825 The aforesaid deed of Emancepation was proved by the oath of Charles Urquhart the other witness thereto and admitted to record and at a Court held for the Said county of Southampton on the 18 day of Aprile 1825 this deed of Emancepation as aforesaid was entered upon the proceedings of the day in per Suance of an Act of assembly in Such cases made and _______.

                                                                    Test James Rochell CC
                                                                      A copy test
                                                                              A Middleton DC SC
Virginia
Southampton County (Sct)

I James Rochelle Clerk of the County aforesaid do hereby Certify that London otherwise called [sic] London H. Urquhart a man of rather a light complexion of the height of five feet six inches about thirty nine years of age and inclined to be bold is the same person Named in the above deed of Emancipation and who has sustained an extrodenary Good Character and that he hath been this day requested in the Clerks office of the County aforesaid according to the usage and custom thereof

In testimony whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and caused the Seal of the County to be herewith affixed this 21 day of April Eighteen hundred and Thirty of Twenty five.

                                                                                   James Rochell C C
                                                                                    Wm H. Gee JP

State of Alabama }      This day personally appeared before me William East
Madison County  }      one of the acting Justices of the peace in and for Said County William H. Gee who being duly Sworn deposeth and Saith that his is acquainted with the black man Named London Named in the within instrument and knows him to be free as therein as described that the Signatures thereto as a Justice of the peace signed by him was his own Sworn to and Subscribed to before me this twenty second day of March one thousand Eight hundred and thirty one.                             
                                                                                     Wm. H. Gee
Test
William East JP

Recorded Aprile 12 day 1833 by William Arnett recorder.

Bob Smith

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 6, p. 269 & 269 [SIC!]

B. Smith to Free papers

Bob Smith his Freedom papers Registered June 12th 1812.

Territory of Orleans Parish East Baton Rouge

On this 21st day of November 1811, before me Andrew S____[?] Parish judge of the Said Parish Came and appeared Daniel Whitten Norris of Said Parish who being duly sworn according to law deposeth and Saith he knows a negro man named Bob Smith about 25 years of age when he lived in Baltimore State of Maryland about five or Six years Since that Said Bob was there treated and considered as a free man as was allowed to make contracts and recover wages for his hire as a freeman. 
                                                                                                    D. W. Norris
Sworn to & Subscribed before me Andrew S____? JP

State of Tennesee Davidson County SS

I Henry Ewing Clerk of the Court of Pleas and quarter Sessions for Said county do hereby Certify to whom it may concern that the foregoing is the true transcript of the record in my office

         In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & caused the seal of said Court to be also affixed at office in Nashville on this 25th day of Novr 1820

{SEAL}                                                                        Henry Ewing

 

The State of Tennessee Davidson County – SS

I James Barrett presiding magistrate of the Court of Pleas and quarter Sessions for Said County do hereby Certify to whom it may concern that Henry Ewing whose name is Signed to the above certificate is clerk of Said court in Said State and that his attestation as Such is given in due for of law

              Given under my hand & Seal this 39th Novr 1830

Recd. 21st Augt. 1834                                                  Jas Barrett {SEAL}

Margaret and son John Isaac Washington

Lauderdale County, AL 
Deed Book 7, pp. 394-395.

Thompson & Wife to Margaret & Son, Negroes

Know all men by these presents that we Joseph Thompson and Mary Elizabeth Thompson his wife Son in law and daughter of Samuel Maverick of Anderson district State of South Carolina  as being desereous [sic] of forwarding the views of the Said Samuel Maverick in emancipating Two of his Slaves and understanding that the Said Samuel Maverick has already written Signed and delivered a free paper emancipating the Said two Slaves one of whom is a coloured woman named Margaret and the other her Son John Isaac Washington a coloured boy about Twelve years of age And further being informed that the Said Samuel Maverick has or intends to order in his will or in Some other way that the aforesaid woman and her Son and their issue shall be free they and their heirs forever from the claims of all persons other heirs forever from the claims of all persons whomsoever whether Such issue Shall be by marriage or not ‑‑‑ now be it known that we the aforesaid Joseph Thompson and Mary Elizabeth Thompson for an in consideration of our love and affection towards the Said Samuel Maverick and for divers good causes and full consideration do by these presents bind ourselves our heirs Executors and administrators to quit all claims that we or they or any other persons or persons claiming under as or either of us have or may have at the time or at the time of the death of the said Samuel Maverick or at any other time or may whatever to the Said Two people of Colour or to their children or decendants (whether by marriage or not) and their heirs forever and we do hereby bind ourselves and our heirs Executors and administrators to use every means to protect and defend the Said people of Colour and their descendants in their personal freedoms and in the quiet employment of their Lands property and estates in every way whatever to them and to their heirs Executors administrators and assigns forever in every way whatever In witness whereof we have hereunto Set our hands and Seals in      [blank]        county and Sate of Alabama this fourth day of November A D 1837

Sealed and delivered in     }                                         Jos. Thompson        {SEAL}
presence of                        }                                          Mary E. Thompson {SEAL}
Richard T Nowell               }
Joseph B. Thompson         }

 

The State of Alabama      } SS Personally appeared before me
Lauderdale County          } John T. Harraway  Judge of the County court of the aforesaid county Richard Noel Joseph B Thompson  the Two Subscribing witnesses to the foregoing who being first duly Sworn deposeth & Saith that they Saw the above named Joseph Thompson and Mary Thompson whose name is assigned thereto Sign Seal and delever [sic] the Same to the Said Slaves herein mentioned that they these deponents Subscribed their names as witness thereto in the presence of Joseph Thompson and Mary Thompson and in the presence of each other on the day and year thereso named Given under my hand and Seal at my office in Florence this 5th December 1837

                                                                John T Harraway     Judge of
Recorded Decr 9th 1837                          Lauderdale County Court

Elizabeth Franklin

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 7, p. 628

Rachel Elizabeth Franklin Free Papers

The State of Alabama} Before me Thomas J. Crow a Justice of the peace
Lauderdale County    }  in & for the County aforesaid personally appeared Samuel Farmer who being duly Sworn deposeth and saith that he has been acquainted with a mulatto Girl by the Name of Elizabeth Franklin about four years that she is about Eighteen Years that he has known her mother for about Two years and that She has ever Since his first knowledge of her passes as a free person of Colour and that he never herd the freedom of either of them questioned in any manner what ever and that he verily believes the Said Elizabeth Franklin to be free born

Subscribed & Sworn to  }                                   Samuel Farmer
Before me this 28th day  }
of August 1838               }

              Thos J Crow   JP {SEAL}

Rachel Franklin

Lauderdale County, AL
Deed Book 7, p. 629.

Rachel Franklins Free papers

The State of Alabama}  Before me William W Garrard Clerk
Lauderdale County    } Thomas J. Crow a justice of the peace in and for the county aforesaid personally appeared Samuel Farmer who being duly [sworn] deposeth and Saith that he has been acquainted with a Mulatto girl by the Name of Rachel Franklin  about Four years that she is about Twenty years of age that he has known her other for about Two years and that She has ever since his first knowledge of hir passed as a free person of Colour and that he never herd the freedom of either of them questioned in any  manner whatever and that he verily believes the Said Rachel Franklin to be free born

Subscribed and Sworn to before me   Thomas J Crow J. P. {SEAL}

Aug 28th 1838

 

The State of Alabama }  I William W Garrard Clerk of the county court of the
Lauderdale County     }  aforesaid county certify that Thos J Crow whose name appears above is a justice of the peace in and for said county duly commissioned authorized & qualified that his official acts are entitled to confidence.

              In testimony whereof I hereunto Subscribed my name and affix the Seal of the County this 29th August 1838.

{ Seal        }                                                            W W Garrard Clerk
{ L County }

Rachel Finley

Lauderdale County, Alabama
Deed Book 9, p. 102 – 103.

Rachel Franklin Finley’s Free Papers

State of Tennessee} To wit
Franklin County      } Before me Lawrence P. Sims an acting Justice of the peace in and for said county this day personally appeared Sarah Foster and made oath in due form of law that she is well acquainted with the bearer Rachael and was well acquainted with her in with [sic – Wythe] County State of Virginia that the Girl is a black woman about fifty years old she is present and has a large wen on her neck which was quite small when She knew her – but has grown considerable Since – and that she knew her mother Rachel Finley (after whom this said Rachel was named ) and that she was a Yellow woman said to be part Indian She had the appearance of an Indian Woman – and she knows and did know her mother was a free woman that she recovered her freedom in a suit against one John Draper this Woman Rachael has been living in Florence Alabama for the last two or three years previous thereto she lived in Huntsville Alabama – that the family of negroes of which Rachael is one emigrated from Virginia State to Alabama the suit for their for their freedom was instituted or commenced before she left Virginia – and decided after She came to Tennessee as She is Creditably informed and believes – Sworn & subscribed before me the 29th day of June A D 1838 
                                                                                                  Sarah B. Foster
L. P. Sims {SEAL}
Justice of the peace

State of Tennessee } I William W. Brazelton
Franklin County       } Clerk of the County Court of Said county do hereby certify that Leonard P. Sims whose name appears within is and was at the time of signing it an acting Justice of the Pease in and for Said County – duly commissioned and legally qualified as such and is entitled to faith and credit in all of his Official Acts 
{{SEAL}} In testimony whereof I have hereunto Set my name and affixed my seal of Office in Winchester the 29th June A. D. 1838                           
                                                                                             W. W. Brazelton Clk
State of Tennessee} I Willis Estill Jr Chairman and
Franklin county       } presiding magistrate of the County Court of Said county do hereby certify that William W. Brazelton is a clerk of the county court of said county and that his attestation is in due form of Law and Sealed with the County Seal ‑‑‑‑ Given from under my hand and Seal this 29th day of June 1838
                                                                                   W. Estill {SEAL}
                                                                                   Chairman Franklin County Court
                                                                                    Recorded 10th Day of July 1839

Frederick Chapman

Lauderdale County, Alabama
Deed Book 10, p. 303

Federick Chapman Free papers

The State of Alabama Lauderdale County

Personally appeared before William Butler an acting Justice of the peace in and for State and County aforesaid, Eli Thornton, who being duly Sworn deposeth and Saith that for Nineteen or Twenty Years past he has been acquainted with Lizzy Chapman being in the family of Grief Carrol no[w] deceased, Said Thornton States he first knew her the said Lizzy in Madison Coty [sic] Alabama, when Said Grief Carroll came moved from thence to Limestone Coty Alabama. Lizzy Chapman Came with him the Sd Carroll and from thence to Lauderdale County Alabama, the Said Lizzy Chapman moved with him then and that he the Said Thornton has known her son Federick Chapman during the Same length of time & the Brother of Federick also has always been to my personal knowledge Free and that it was generally Known in the neighbourhood of their residence that the[y] were Free or Said to be free persons by Grief Carroll now Decd

Sworn to & Subscribed                                                            Eli Thornton
Before me this 11th day of Septr 1841
                                                                                                 William Butler JP {SEAL}
Recorded 17th day of Decr 1841

Jacob Lacy

Lauderdale County, Alabama
Deed Book 10, p. 428

Jacob Lacy Free Papers

The State of Alabama }}
Lauderdale County     }} Personally appeared before the Subscribed a Justice of the Peace in & for the county & State aforesaid George G. Armstead & James W. Stewart & made oath and Saith that is known Jacob Lacy was raised in the Same neighborhood (In Louden County, Virginia) with affiants that there it was aways understood Jacob was Free, Said affiants have Known him for many years and have no hesitation in saying he the said Jacob is a Free man and further, more that he has lived in Florence, Alabama afs’d County for nine years last past and no one has ever questioned his not being Free. Sworn & Subscribed before me this 20th May, 1842
                  J. Bigger, J. Peace                                                   G. G. Armstead
                                                                                                   J. W. Stewart

Lauderdale County, Alabama}} 
The state of Alabama            }} I Wiley T Hawkins Clerk of the County Court for the County & State aforesaid, do Certify that Joseph Bigger whose names appears officially above is and was at the time of subscribing to the Same an acting Justice of the peace in and for the county & State aforesaid duly Elected qualified & Commissioned and that his official acts as Such Justice are entitled to full faith and confidence In Testimony whereof I have hereunto Subscribed my name and affixed the Seal of Lauderdale County Alabama at office in Florence the 2oth day of May 1842 
                                                                                     Wiley T. Hawkins Clerk
Recorded the 21st day of May 1842
 

Frank Hays

Lauderdale County, Alabama
Deed Book 11, p. 310

Frank Hays Free Papers
Decatur June 7th 1839 

This to make known to all whom it may concern, that Frank Hays the bearer of this paper, Is a free boy. He was put with me to learn the Carpenters trade in Huntsville He lived with me Some Ten years. I have universally found him to be Strictly honest and Strictly observes the truth, has never been put much to Joining Carpenter work, but is very good at trying up timber and preparing ready for joining in framing, has [sic] was always Servisable [sic] particularly in morticing for Sash panel doors &c. As to his freedom there is no question of that, I know his Mother & sister. James B. Craighead Esqr formerly of Huntsville is in possession of his free papers. 
                                                                                     Henry Bibb
Recorded the 17th January 1845

 

 

Nancy Franklin

Lauderdale County, Alabama
Deed Book 11, p. 544 - 545

Nancy Franklin Free Papers

The State of Alabama Lauderdale County ‑‑‑ Before the Subscriber a Justice of the peace in & for the county and State aforesaid; Personally came Fielden Fields and made oath that the bearer Nancy Franklin is a free person of color aged about Twenty or Twenty two years of age, that She lived in the County of Williamson State of Tennessee and was brot [sic] to this county by her Mother when She was but five year old, where she has lived ever Since (Nancy’s mother is now called Sarah Mitchel, her color is a shade darker than Copper coler [sic]) and her hair is long and black & straight, yet a little on the curley order, her Size a little over the middle Size; Said Nancy has three children two girls and one boy, the Eldest girls named Ellen, the other Sarah, the boy named La Fayette. Ellen is five years, very black, Sarah two years old a bright mulatto, The boys age is one year a bright mulatto – all of which was Sworn to & subscribed before me this 24th day of March a d 1846

           J Bigger J Peace                                                     Fielden Fields

 

State of Alabama, Lauderdale County.  
I Wiley T Hawkins Clerk of the County court aforesaid, do hereby Certify that Joseph Bigger whose name appears Subscribed to the above act Certificate is now and was at the time of signing the Same an acting Justice of the peace in and for Said county & state aforesaid, duly qualified & commissioned and that full faith and Credit should be given to all his official acts as Such justice of the peace. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and affixed my Seal of office at Florence this 23rd day of March A D 1846

{{SEAL}}                                                             Test W T Hawkins Clerk

recorded the 25th day of March 1846

Sarah Mitchell

Lauderdale County, Alabama
Deed Book 11, p. 545

Sarah Mitchell Free Papers

The State of Alabama Lauderdale County ‑‑‑ Personally came before the subscriber a Justice of the Peace in and for the county & state aforesaid, Fielden Fields, and made oath in due form & Saith that he has Known the bearer Sarah Mitchell for the last thirty years as a free born woman of Color, that She had resided in the County for the last Seventeen years, and Still is a resident of the Same County & affiant believes She was free born – and her age at this time is between forty and forty-five years, Copper Colored with long back hair Straight, now turning gray – of the Middle Size, Sworn to & Subscribed before me this 23th day of March A D 1846

J. Bigger J Peace                                                          Fielden Fields

 

The State of Alabama Lauderdale County __ I Wiley T. Hawkins Clerk of the County court of the County & state aforesaid, do Certify that Joseph Bigger whose name appears subscribed to the foregoing Certificate, is and was at the time of Signing the Same, an acting Justice of the peace in and for the county and State aforesaid, duly qualified and commissioned and that full faith & Credit should be given to all his official acts as Such Justice of the peace: In Testimony of which, I have hereunto Subscribed My Name and affixed My Seal of Office at Florence the 20th day of March A D 1846

{{SEAL}}         W T Hawkins Clerk

Recorded the 21st March 1846

Jim Hendricks

Lauderdale County, Alabama
Deed Book 12, p. 401

Jim Hendricks Free Papers

The State of Alabama }    Personally appeared before the Subscriber a justice of 
Lauderdale County     }    the Peace in and for the County & state aforesaid William M. Jackson of lawful age & to me personally Known and makes oath that a negro boy named Jim Hendricks was Sold on the fourteenth of February in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty eight. Whereas he was bought by James Jackson, as agent for the boy Jim Hendricks, and the Said Jim Hendricks has paid in full the amount of three hundred dollars for which he was sold. Sworn to & Subscribed before me this 23rd of Decr. 1848

Joseph Bigger J Peace                                                   Wm. M. Jackson

Recorded 23rd Decr 1848

Rachel & Esther 

Lauderdale County, Alabama
Deed Book 12, p. 538

Rachel & Esther’s Free Papers

The State of Alabama, Lauderdale County. Before the Subscriber a justice of the peace personally came Robert M. Patten and makes oath that I have been aquainted [sic] with the woman Rachel with a large wen on her neck, some ten to fifteen years during which time she has been residing in the town of Florence and regarded by the Citizens of Said Town as a free woman of which fact I have no doubt, Said Rachel had two Children known to me the one boy named Bob drowned Some years Since by the Sinking of the Steam Boat Jno Stacker near Florence on the Tennessee River, the other a girl named Easther, if living, now between twenty and thirty years of age, Said girl was also considered free, have no doubt she was born of a free woman, & that She is entitled to her freedom. Sworn and Subscribed to [me] this June 22nd 1849.
                                                                                                     R. M. Patton
J. Bigger J Peace
                                       Recorded 22 June 1849

Balsora Mays

Lauderdale County, Alabama
Deed Book 14, p. 483

Balsora Mays free papers

The State of Alabama }}    Personally came before me Wiley T. Hawkins Judge of
Lauderdale County     }}    Probate Court fo the County aforesaid, and by authorized to administer oaths for general purposes—Tabitha Terrill aged Fifty three years to me well Known to be a lady entitled to Credit and Confidence who being Sworn according to law deposes and Says that she is acquainted with a Certain Mularro girl named Balsora May about nineteen years of age that she was acquainted with the mother of the Said Balsora that she was a white Lady and that the Said Balsora May was free born – that the Said Tabitha Terrell resided near the mother of said Balsora at the time of her birth, and has been well acquainted with her ever since.

Sworn to and Subscribed before me the 26th day of September 1853

W. T. Hawkins Judge        }}                                                  Tabitha Terrell
Probate Court Lauderdale }}
County Alabama                }}

 

Lauderdale County, Alabama
Deed Book 14, p. 510

Balsora Mays free papers

The State of Alabama  }}     Personally appeared before me Wiley T. Hawkins
Lauderdale County      }}    Judge of the Probate Court of Said County Joseph Ijames who being duly sworn deposeth and Saith that he was well acquainted with Balsora May, and that her mother was a white woman and as Such she was bound to me by the Commissioners Court of Said County and now being free person is entitled to her freedom from all persons. Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 5th day of October 1853. 
                                                                                         Joseph Ijames

In Testimony of which I hereunto Subscribe my name and affix the Seal of the Probate Court of Said County at Office in Florence the 5th day of October 1853.
                                                                                        W. T. Hawkins J. Probate