Petition #20781408


In 1794, James Lawson sold Alexander Smith a family of slaves: Caleb and Tamar and their sons, Sam and Young Caleb. "But as your orator was principled against Slavery, & said Smith professed himself to be equally so," the two agreed that Smith would emancipate Caleb and Tamar after seven years and the two boys, and any other sons that might be born, at age of twenty five. Daughters born would be set free at age eighteen. Smith also agreed to educate Sam and young Caleb "and learn them trades." To protect the freedom of the slaves from future claims of Lawson's heirs, a bill of sale was executed, and Smith promised to file the necessary papers for their emancipation. He failed to do so, but he did educate young Caleb and Sam and informally emancipated Tamar, who has been free for the last twelve years. Caleb (Sr.) has died. Smith has also died, and his heirs are setting up claims to the family and have already sold young Caleb to John D. Young. Lawson asks for execution of the original agreement or that the slaves be redelivered to him upon "repayment of £214:10 with interest." He also asks that Smith's heirs be enjoined from removing the slaves from the jurisdiction of the court.

Result: Discontinued.

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Citation information

Repository: Bourbon County Courthouse, Paris, Kentucky