A Guide to the Grayson County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1812-1846 Grayson County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1812-1846 1187170

A Guide to the Grayson County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1812-1846

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode number: 1187170


Library of Virginia

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© 2009 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Catherine OBrion

The Library of Virginia
Barcode number
Grayson County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1812-1846
Physical Characteristics
1 folder
Grayson County (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Grayson County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1812-1846. Local government records collection, Grayson County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Acquisition Information

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

Historical Information

Grayson County was named for William Grayson, a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1784 to 1787 and one of the first two United States senators from Virginia. It was formed from Wythe County in 1792, and a part of Patrick County was added in 1810.

Beginning in 1778, slaveholders who brought slaves into Virginia were required to register the slaves with the county court and sign an oath agreeing not to bring slaves into the commonwealth with the intent of selling them.

In 1806, the General Assembly moved to remove the free negro population from Virginia with a law that stated that any emancipated slaves, freed after May 1, 1806, who remained in the Commonwealth more than a year, would forfeit the right to freedom and be sold by the Overseers of the Poor for the benefit of the parish. Families wishing to stay were to petition the legislature through the local county court. Beginning in 1837, freed slaves could petition the local courts for permission to remain.

Scope and Content

Grayson County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1812-1846, consist of affidavit of Martin Dickinson about the export of slave Cate (1812); certificate of importation of slave Gilbert by Martin Dickinson for James Dickinson (1812); certificate of importation of slave Milly by M. Callins (1813); certification of importation of slaves Peter, Charlotte, Sally and George by John Shipp (1819); bond to apprentice Nancy, Betty, Creasy, and Jephtha, children of Melinda Brown alias Woods, to Samuel Cox (1846); extradition for escaped slave Tom who belongs to Elijah Gayton, Chester District, South Carolina (1830-1831); extradition for escaped slave Charles from Caswell County, North Carolina (1830); affidavit of George Mosman related captured runaway named Henry from Georgetown, South Carolina (1829); petition to remain in the commonwealth filed by Watt Leftwich, undated.

Certificates of non-importation of slaves contain information whereby a slaveowner swears that (s)he has not imported the slave from Africa and that (s)he has not brought the slave into Virginia with the purpose of selling it. Both of these certificates include the names, ages, and a brief physical description of the slaves brought into the state.

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

  • Grayson County (Va.). Circuit Court.
  • Subjects:

  • African Americans -- Virginia -- Grayson County.
  • Apprentices -- Virginia -- Grayson County.
  • Fugitive slaves -- Virginia -- Grayson County.
  • Slaveholders -- Virginia -- Grayson County.
  • Geographical Names:

  • Grayson County (Va.) -- History -- 19th century.
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Affidavits -- Virginia -- Grayson County.
  • Bonds (legal records) -- Virginia -- Grayson County.
  • Certificates -- Virginia -- Grayson County.
  • Local government records -- Virginia -- Grayson County.

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Grayson County (Va.) -- History -- 19th century.