Petition #20382003


In 1815, Mitchell Kershaw of Sussex County published his will, freeing a number of slaves: Peter, Sarah, Rachel, Jack, Isaac, Lizey, Phillis Williams, Mahaley, Jesse, and Maryatta when they reached age twenty-one. "George and Easter is already free," Kershaw wrote; "I pronounce them free." He also stipulated that, except for his wife's dower, his executor should sell his property and the money "put on interest by loan" to be distributed equally among his slaves as they gained their freedom. Three years later, Kershaw died. His widow Sally, however, failed to live up to the provisions of her husband's will. Obtaining letters of administration, she kept the slaves' trust funds for herself; she also cut and sold wood on the farm, receiving "large sums" of money and keeping the money "to her own proper uses and purposes." Peter, Sarah and Rachel Robinson (who has married Samuel Redden) are now free as they have attained the age of twenty-one. They, with the seven slaves who are still minors, seek an account of the widow's handling of the estate. Demanding their due share, the petitioners request that Sally Kershaw "and her confederates" pay them "such sum as shall be found due to them."

16 people are documented within petition 20382003

Or you may view all people.

Citation information

Repository: Delaware State Archives, Dover, Delaware