A Guide to the Caroline County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1778-1845 Caroline County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1778-1845 1116115

A Guide to the Caroline County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1778-1845

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode number: 1116115


Library of Virginia

The Library of Virginia
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© 2015 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: LVA staff

The Library of Virginia
Barcode number
Caroline County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1778-1845
Physical Characteristics
.45 cu.ft. (1 box)
Caroline County (Va.) Circuit Court
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Caroline County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1778-1845. Local government records collection, Caroline County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

These records came to the Library of Virginia in shipments of court papers from the city of Caroline County.

Historical Information

Caroline County was named for Caroline of Anspach, wife of King George II. It was formed from Essex, King and Queen, and King William Counties on 1 May 1728, and additional parts of King and Queen County were added in 1742 and in 1763. The county seat is Bowling Green.

Most loose records and deed books prior to 1836 and will books prior to 1853 were stolen, mutilated, and/or destroyed by Union troops who ransacked the courthouse in May 1864. A near-complete run of order books exists.

In 1806, the General Assembly moved to remove the free Negro population from Virginia with a law that stated that all emancipated slaves, freed after May 1, 1806, who remained in the Commonwealth more than a year, would forfeit their 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

Caroline County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1778-1845, includes sales of runaway slaves, criminal suits involving African Americans, divison of slave property, trustee's report, indictments against slaves accused of insurrection in 1808, petition to remain in the commonwealth, slave patrol commissions and accouts, bills of sale, and free negro certificates.

Trustee's report, 1841, related to the transportation to Ohio of a former slave named Scipio emancipated by Achilles Duling.

Petition of to remain in the commonwealth, 1859, was filed by citizens of Caroline County on behalf of Cornelius F. Tyree, a free man of color.

Related Material

Additional Caroline County records can be found on microfilm at The Library of Virginia web site. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm".

See the Lost Records Localities Digital Collection available at Virginia Memory.

For more information and a listing of lost records localities see Lost Records research note.

Separated Material

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

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

  • African Americans -- History
  • Free African Americans -- Virginia -- Caroline County
  • Slaveholders -- Virginia -- Caroline County
  • Slaves -- Virginia -- Caroline County
  • Geographical Names:

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

  • Free negro and slave records -- Virginia -- Caroline County
  • Judicial records -- Virginia -- Caroline County
  • Local government records -- Virginia -- Caroline County
  • Petitions -- Virginia -- Caroline County

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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