Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/497

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491
NEGROES WHO OWNED SLAVES

We have found a large number of individual instances of negro slaveholders in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, both the Carolinas, Missouri, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Mississippi and Louisiana, but have not space for all of these in this paper. We will, however, give a few of these.

Mr. Thomas Blackwell, who lived in Vance County, N. C, owned a favorite negro named Tom, who was a fine blacksmith. He was allowed to hire his own time and was finally permitted to buy his freedom at a price far below his worth; he was a very valuable man. This was about 1820. Tom prospered and bought two or three slaves. William Chavers was a well-educated negro who bought a good deal of land in Vance County, from 1750 to 1780, and he owned a good many slaves; his descendants also for several generations were slaveholders. John Sampson, of Wilmington, was a slaveholder in 1855.

Robert Gunnell, a free-born, full-blooded African Virginian, married a slave wife, but bought her of her master before their first child was born, so becoming the legal owner of her and all her children and of their daughter's children. He, with all his family, was a resident of the District of Columbia, during the civil war, when slavery in the district was abolished. All slave owners there received compensation for each slave. Gunnell received three hundred dollars each for his wife, for each of his children and for all the living children of his daughter—eighteen in all. Except for a short time during the civil war he lived at Langley, Fairfax County, Va., and died there in 1874. Also, in the District of Columbia, Sophia Browning bought her husband's freedom for four hundred dollars, from the proceeds of her market garden, and she was in turn purchased by him. Alethia Tanner purchased her own freedom in 1818, for fourteen hundred dollars and that of her sister Laurena Cook and five children, in 1826. At the emancipation in the district, April 16, 1862, one negro received $2,168 for ten slaves; another $832 for two; another $13.80 for one, and another $517.50 for one, while from the $4,073 placed to the credit of the Sisters of the Visitation of Georgetown, $298.75 was deducted by Ignatius Tighlman toward the purchase of the freedom of his family.

Among the people with negro blood in the Indian Territory there were slaveholders. It is well known that the Five Civilized Tribes of the Indian Territory—Creeks, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Seminoles and Choctaws—had slaves both before and after establishing their new nations in the west. Among the Creeks and Seminoles the lines between masters and slaves were less rigid. There has been a good deal of intermarrying between these tribes and negroes. There three-quarter blood makes an Indian, though the other quarter is negro; in recent allotments, the United States government adopted this per cent, in determining who were freedmen and who were Indians. Three of the