Henry Martin explains that he was "compelled by the disasters of St. Domingo to repair to the United States of America" in 1793. He further represents that "by his constant exertions to procure a Living for himself & family, he had so far succeeded in his undertakings as to enable him to purchase in the Month of March last a Negroe Man named Figaro," whom he hired "to work at the public works on Sullivan Island." Martin laments, however, that Figaro “was unfortunately hurt by the fall of one of the wheels [of a gun carriage] against his back” and that he died shortly thereafter. The petitioner declares that "by the Loss of the said Slave the only one he possessed, he remains destitute, at the age of 64 Years of the means to provide for the Subsistance of himself, his wife & three small Children." He therefore prays that he be granted "Suitable Compensation for his Loss of said Slave Figaro whose death was occasioned by a wound received whilst employed in the public work."
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Repository: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina