A Guide to the Lancaster County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits), 1818 Lancaster County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits), 1818 0007711550

A Guide to the Lancaster County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits), 1818

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode number: 0007711550


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Library of Virginia

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©2018 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Greg Crawford

Repository
The Library of Virginia
Barcode number
0007711550
Title
previous hitLancaster next hit County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits), 1818
Physical Characteristics
.10 cu. ft.
Collector
previous hitLancaster next hit County (Va.) Circuit Court
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

previous hitLancaster next hit County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits), 1818. Local government records collection, previous hitLancaster next hit County (Va.) County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.

Acquisition Information

These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court papers from previous hitLancaster County.


Historical Information

previous hitLancaster next hit County was named probably for the English county. It was formed from Northumberland and York Counties sometime between 26 March and 16 September 1651. The county court first met on 1 January 1652. The county seat is previous hitLancaster next hit.

Slaves sued for emancipation in freedom suits based on the following: they were descendant(s) of a free female ancestor, typically a Native American (Hening Statutes, volume 2, p.170); failure of slaveowner(s) to abide by the 1778 slave nonimportation act (Henings Statutes, volume 9, pp. 471-472); or claimed to have been freed by slaveowner(s) by deed of emancipation or last will and testament (Henings Statutes volume 11, pp. 39-40)

Scope and Content

previous hitLancaster next hit County (Va.) County Judgments (Freedom Suits), 1818, consist of one suit: Billy and others versus Ezekiel G. Shearman. Suits initiated by enslaved people seeking to gain their freedom on the law side of the court. Cases are identified by style of suit consisting of plaintiff and defendant names. Surnames of others involved in a suit, including secondary plaintiffs and defendants, witnesses, deponents and affiants, and family members with surnames different from the plaintiff or defendant are indexed. Also identified are names of enslaved people and slaveowners found in suit as well as whether enslaved people won their freedom. Predominant documents found in freedom suits include petitions, records of suits, depositions, affidavits, wills, among other items. Information found in documents include enslaved person's argument for freedom, acquisition of enslaved people by slaveowners, slave ancestry, and relationship between enslaved people and slaveowners.

Judgments (Freedom Suits) are useful when researching local history and genealogical information, particularly for African Americans. They are a valuable source of local, state, social, and legal history and serve as a primary source for understanding a locality's history.

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

  • previous hitLancaster next hit County (Va.) Circuit Court.
  • Subjects:

  • African Americans -- History -- Virginia -- previous hitLancaster next hit County.
  • Slaveholders -- Virginia -- previous hitLancaster next hit County.
  • Slavery -- Virginia -- previous hitLancaster next hit County.
  • Geographical Names:

  • previous hitLancaster next hit County (Va.) -- History.
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Civil actions -- Virginia -- previous hitLancaster next hit County.
  • Freedom suits -- Virginia -- previous hitLancaster next hit County.
  • Judicial records -- Virginia -- previous hitLancaster next hit County.
  • Local government records -- Virginia -- previous hitLancaster next hit County.