Petition #11483320


Free man of color Stephen Lytle requests permission for himself and for his family to remain in Tennessee. Lytle purchased himself for four hundred dollars from his owner, William Lytle of Nashville; he then purchased his wife, Charity. The couple had a daughter, Mary Shepherd Lytle, and acquired two city lots. On 17 April 1832, Stephen Lytle discovered that he was not by law a free man and that his wife and child were slaves of his master. "He is informed that the second section of the act of 1831, Session acts, page 121.2 prohibits his emancipation & that of his wife & child, 'except on the express Condition,' that he & they shall immediately remove from the state of Tennessee, and unless his master & the master of his wife & child, shall before their 'emancipation enter into bond with good and sufficient security, in a sum equal to their respective values, Conditioned that they' ... shall forthwith remove from the State of Tennessee." Having enough money to post bond for himself but not enough for his wife and four-year-old daughter, Lytle states that he faces the dilemma of leaving them behind or remaining in Tennessee and facing possible re-enslavement. He asks for relief.

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Citation information

Repository: Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee