Names of slaves sold in St. Helena Parish from May, 1811 – October 1812 – Conveyance Book B

The following is being provided courtesy of Don Johnson, Archivist for the St. Helena Parish site of the La. Gen. Project. The information contains the names of slaves sold in St. Helena Parish from May, 1811 – October 1812. These pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material, must obtain the written consent of the contributor, or the legal representative of the submitter, and/or archivist for St. Helena Parish. For further information contact Stephanie Martin-Quiatte, redstick4@uswest.net

Conveyance Book B (with Forward), West Florida Parishes, La.
ST. HELENA PARISH, LOUISIANA, CONVEYANCE BOOK B
Term of Parish Judge AUDLEY L. OSBORNE, May 1811 – Oct. 1812
[Copied/abstracted by Warren B. Wall. February, 1992]

FOREWARD

The Louisiana Territory was purchased by the United States from France in 1803. It included the Isle of Orleans, lying east of the Mississippi River, but not West Florida, although the United States would later claim that the latter was included. As a matter of fact, however, West Florida, including the Distrito de Santa Helena, would remain under Spanish control until 1810. In March of 1804, the Louisiana Territory was divided by an act of Congress into the Territory of Orleans (that portion lying south of 33 degrees latitude) and the District of Louisiana (that portion north of 33 degrees). In October of 1804, WILLIAM C.C. CLAIBORNE was inaugerated Governor of the Territory of Orleans.

That part of West Florida lying between the Pearl and Mississippi rivers was divided by the Spanish into the four distritos of Feliciana, Baton Rouge, St. Helena and “Chifoncte”. The top Spanish official in each district was the Comandante, who also served as an Alcalde. Don JOSE BERNARDO DeHEVIA was the Commandante of the St. Helena District from ? until mid-1809, at about which time he left the district. (See Doc. #22-74, this paper.) Presumably at about that time the Spanish appointed SHEPHERD BROWN to succeed DeHEVIA. BROWN, originally from Baltimore, was a business partner and associate of JOHN McDONOGH of New Orleans, and the two of them owned a considerable amount of land in West Florida. BROWN held the position of Comandante until the Spanish were overthrown in the West Florida Rebellion in 1810.

Of particular significance is the fact that the conveyance or notarial records of the St. Helena District, recorded in Spanish by BROWN in 1809-1810, were saved and comprise the first fifty-five pages of the St. Helena Parish Conveyance Book B. (Unfortunately, about half the pages are missing, and the existing pages are in poor condition and difficult to read.) The West Florida Rebellion in 1810 resulted in the overthrow of Spanish authority and the establishment of the free and independent “West Florida Republic.” However, the young republic was short-lived; the United States at about that time claimed it on the basis that it was included in the Louisiana Purchase. After some negotiation the United States prevailed, and West Florida (extending to the Perdido River east of Mobile) was annexed to the Territory or Orleans in December of 1810 as the County of Feliciana.

The County of Feliciana was divided into six parishes, Feliciana, East Baton Rouge, St. Helena, St. Tammany, “Viloxi” and Pascagoula, the latter two lying east of the Pearl River. The top officials in each parish, appointed by the governor, were the parish judge and the sheriff. On Jan. 14, 1811, Gov. CLAIBORNE appointed AUDLEY L. OSBORNE Parish Judge for St. Helena, and at about the same time he appointed FORTISCUE CUMING Sheriff and Justice of the Peace.

In May of 1811, Jude OSBORNE began recording St. Helena conveyances and other documents, and he used the same journal that Comandante BROWN had used when recording Spanish records! That is, Judge OSBORNES’S record begins on page 57 of Conveyance Book B. (St. Helena Parish and the Spanish Dist. of St. Helena were approximately the same geographically, but there were significant differences in both east and west boundaries.)

On April 30, 1812, Louisiana was formally admitted to the Union as the eighteenth state, and it comprised all of the former Territory of Orleans except the two parishes lying east of the Pearl River (“Viloxi” and Pascagoula). WILLIAM C.C. CLAIBORNE was elected governor of the new state, and OSBORNE continued to serve as Parish Judge of St. Helena, at least through October of 1812, the month in which he made his final entries in Book B. His successor was SHEPHERD BROWN (the ex-Comandante), who began recording conveyances in July of 1813. For some unknown reason, BROWN, rather than use the journal that he and OSBORNE had previously used, began recording in a new journal, and that journal became Book A.

FORTISCUE CUMING, too, served through 1812, and he was succeeded as sheriff in 1813 by DAVID KEMP. However, CUMING continued as Justice of the Peace in Springfield in 1813.

The abstracts that follow represent all of the St. Helena deeds and other documents recorded by Judge OSBORNE from May of 1811 through October of 1812. The lands described in these deeds might lie anywhere within the present-day parishes of St. Helena, Livingston (except Maurepas Island) and the western “half” of Tangipahoa. Such information as was in the documents to help locate the land is included in the abstracts. (Remember that townships and ranges were not laid out by U.S. surveyors until some time later.)

Entries were not numbered by Judge OSBORNE, so for our purposes here we have asigned two-part document numbers. The entry number precedes the “-“, and the page number follows it.

14-67: Dec. 23, 1811; ELIZABETH STILLY gave to “JAMES HOLLOWAY my son and the son of JOHN HOLLOWAY discd. and one of his heirs for whom I have been guardian”, a negro woman LUCEY and her two children JEFFRY and ISAAC, for $200 due her as guardian of JAMES in 1800, which said negro woman and children “do of right belong to said JAMES HOLLOWAY as son and heir of JOHN HOLLOWAY.”

19-71: Warren County, Ga., Oct. 20, 1805; JOHN MOORE planter, indebted to NICHOLAS HIGHLAND planter, for $1250, mortgaged unto HIGHLAND the following slaves: WILL, about 17 years; JERSEY, about 22, and her child DICK, about 6. Wits.: BENJAMIN HOWARD Jr., MARY HOWARD. Recorded by Judge OSBORNE on Dec. 25, 1811. [Note in left margin of page 71; "Satisfaction of mortgage & debt made & acknowledged by public acct. by NICHOLAS HIGHLAND & JOHN MOOR, 12th day of October 1814. JOHN R. SALISBURY P.J. & N.P."]

22-74: St. Helena, Aug. 26, 1809; two letter to ROBERT POWERS, Union Estate, one from JOSE BERNARDO DeHEVIA [referred to in Entry 11-64 as the Comandante] and JOHN W. LEONARD, the other from DeHEVIA alone. Summary: LEONARD had given the infant son of DeHEVIA an interest in Union Estate; POWERS was their agent. DeHEVIA was planning to leave St. Helena, and as Guardian of his son presumably had sold his son’s interest in the plantation back to LEONARD. POWERS was so informed, and instructed to complete an inventory, list of due bills, etc. [ED. NOTE: With DeHEVIA's departure the Spanish probably at that time appointed SHEPHERD BROWN "Comandante and Alcalde" of the "Distrito de Ste. Helena", a position which, according to STANLEY CLISBY ARTHUR, BROWN held in 1810 during the "West Florida Rebellion."] 23-75: Oct. 8, 1810; rec. Mar. 24, 1812; JOHN WELLS OF St. Helena Dist., for $400, sold to ROBERT HOLLOWAY “a Negroe man named SAM”. Wits.: PHILLIP SIMMS, WM. FLETCHER.

24-75: May 29, 1810; rec. Mar. 24, 1812; JOHN WELLS gave to his daughter, REBECCA HOLLOWAY, wife of ROBERT HOLLOWAY, a “Negroe girl CELE”, age 13. In presence of DANL. RAINER Al. C., WM. FLETCHER, MICHL. P. JONES.

25-76: Sept. 24, 1810; LEWIS H. GURLAIN of Dist. of St. Helena, agent general of the Eastern Shore of Maryland Louisiana Company, acting in his own name as well as the company, sold 24 slaves to SHEPHERD BROWN for a total of $11,150 paid in full; 7 men: JACK, DAVIS, LEVIEY, PIERRE, LOUEY, BATISTE & JOSEPH; 12 women: ANGELINA, ALBA, MELIA, MARIE LOUISE, CELESTA with infant child, ZAY with her child, GRANNY, SALLY, POLLY, PEGGY, CELEY & FRANCOISE; 3 girls: SERAPHINA, ZELIA & MELIE. Wits.: CELESTIN LAVERGNE, JNO. P. WIRTH. Purchaser to have the same recorded “whenever a proper organization of the present government shall have been finally established.” Rec. by A.L. OSBORNE, not dated. (Prob. Mar. or Apr. 1812.)

30-79: Apr. 9, 1812; MICHAEL JONES sold to ABRAHAM JONES, for $556.75, a negro man named CATO. Sale to be voided if the amount was repaid with interest within one year. Wit.: WILLIAM SPILLER.

33-81: Mar. 20, 1812; Indenture of EPHRAIM BATES, in which he gives property to children and grandchildren: to son JOSEPH BATES, the home plantation, negro man ROBIN, livestock; to son THOMAS BATES, an improvement purchased of DAVID GAINES, negro boys PETER & JEFF, girl MILLEY, livestock; to son JOHN BATES, negro men BEN & DOCTOR, women EAD & SALL, livestock; to grandson EPHRAIM DENNIS, negro boy SIMON; to grandson THOMAS RODYE, negro boy EDWARD. Acknoledged by EPHRAIM BATES before A.L. OSBOURNE.

35-82: May 6, 1811; ABRAHAM JONES sold to WILLIAM BELL a negro woman MANCE, about 40, and her 6-mo. old child NANCY, for $500. Wit.: WILLIAM SPILLER.

37-83: Nov. 25, 1811; DENNIS CORBIT, in consideration of JONATHAN KEMP Sr. having paid BARTLET & Co. of N.O. $100, JOSEPH KILLIAN $11, SAMUEL MANES $3.90, ROBERT HOLLOWAY $4, WILLIAM WELLS 31 cents, MR. HAMBLETON $1, and CAMPBELL & RICKEY of Baltimore $800, sold to said KEMP his plantation on twelve mile creek, with furniture, stock, crop, and slaves DICK, POLLY & her child ELIZA, and DINA. Wits.: SAML. MILLER, ZACK NETTLES, B.O. WILLIAMS.

45-88: May 25, 1812; THOMAS J. DAVIDSON and JACOB RHEAMS, Executors of the will of TOBIAS RHEAMS descd., “authorized and empowered” DAVID KEMP to go in search of a runaway slave JOHN belonging to the estate of TOBIAS RHEAMS. Wit.: SAML. H. HARPER.

47-89: Jan. 28, 1810; THOMAS CRYER gave to his son MORGAN CRYER four negroes – woman LIDDY, boy DOSS, girl CHLOE, and a boy child NOBLE; also gave to MORGAN all goods and chttles belonging to TIMOTHY CRYER, deceased son of THOMAS. Wits.: WILLIAM COOPER, SKIPWITH DURBIN, JOSEPH SLATTER, CARLTON COOPER. Rec. July 13, 1812.

49-90: May 28, 1812; JOHN WELLS of St. Helena Par. sold to WILLIAM BELL of St. Helena a negro woman NANN, about 40, and a 20-month old child NANCE, for $500. Wits.: WILLIAM SPILLER, ROBT. HOLLOWAY.

53-93: Feb. 7, 1802; WILLIAM SQUIRE (also sp. SQUYRES) of the Miss. Terr., Amite, sold to WILLIAM BOYKIN of St. Helena Par. a negro girl FANNY, 4 years old, for $165. Test.: HENRY HALL, WILLIAM LEE. Proven in court 4th Monday in May 1812.

54-93: Jan. 29, 1812; ABRAHAM WAMMACK of St. Helena Par., for $500, sold to JOHN BECKHAM a negro NED, age 28. Wits.: DANIEL RAINER, DEMPSEY KEMP, URIEL KING. Proven Aug. 17, 1812.

57a-95: April 4, 1812; MICHAEL JONES receIved of ABRAHAM JONES $556.75 as pmt. for negro man CATO; if the money plus interest was repaid within one year the sale was to be voided. Wit.: WILLIAM SPILLER 57b-95: “I assign the within negro CATO to JOHN WELLS in the full extent of the within bill of sale as witness my hand this 26th May 1812.” (s) ABM. JONES. Wits.: WM. SPILLER, R. HOLLOWAY

66-102: Feb. 3, 1812; MICHAEL JONES, indebted to DANIEL RAINER by book account in sum of $225.93, and also $663 by note assigned to him by ABRAHAM SPEARS and MICHAEL P. JONES, to secure said debt mortgaged the following: a negro woman BET, about 36, a negro man TONEY, about 45, a boy JOHN, 9, a boy JACOB, 9, and some livestock.

70-104: Apr. 2, 1808; THOMAS FAIL sold to ELIZABETH SPILLER a mullatto boy named GEORGE, about 10 years of age, for $450. Wit.: ? TILLER(?). “Certified in the Spanish language to have passed before Jose Bernardo De Hevia, Commandt.” Rec. by OSBORNE.

71-105: Sept. 10, 1812; Instrument of “Quit Claim, Hire and Stewardship” between RICHARD TICKELL Senr. and his sons RICHARD Junr., NATHANIEL and GEORGE, all of St. Helena Parish. RICHARD Senr. gave up to his sons his right to four female slaves. PATSEY, PRICILLA, MARY & DICE, the same having been purchased in the name of his deceased wife ELIZABETH. The sons granted to their father certain slaves for his use, reverting to them at his death. They further agreed to manage his plantation on shares. Wits.: JOHN NOBLET, HENRY GIBSON, SHEPHERD BROWN.

83-111: Aug. 1, 1811; Quit Claim of ALEXANDER BOOKTER Senr., DANIEL BOOKTER and JAMES HARRIS, for $1 paid, unto JAMES HARRIS “all our right & claim to a tract of land whereon is situated the town of Springfield containing one thousand acres or thereabouts, also all right and claim to seven negroes, namely NELLY & her four children JNO., JIM, ESTHER & JACKSEY & her two children ELLEN & ROBIN, together with all the plantation tools, the Blacksmith shop, two carts, the household furniture, & stock of hogs.” Unless the sum of $7,575 be paid to HARRIS within six years, in which case this deed and a certain bond be cancelled. [See 82-111]

84-112: Aug. 1, 1811; JAMES HARRIS, for $1 from each, sold to ALEXANDER BOOKTER, DANIEL BOOKTER and himself, JAMES HARRIS, Trustees for MARY D. BOOKTER and children, as follows: – In trust for MARY D. BOOKTER during her lifetime, then to revert to ALEXANDER BOOKTER Junr., the Springfield tract, less lots already sold, including the plantation “now in occupation of ALEXR. BOOKTER”, with all buildings, etc., and two slaves JOHN & SIMM. Provided that the Trustees execute a Bond to pay the six children (other than ALEXR. Junr.) $2742 each.
– In trust for NANCY BOOKTER a female slave JACKSEY.
– In trust for REBECCA BOOKTER a female slave NELLY.
– In trust for FANNY BOOKTER two slaves ELLEN & ROBIN.
– In trust for ALEXR. BOOKTER Junr. a female slave ESTHER.
Wits.: F. CUMING, J. NORTON.

85-113: Aug. 1, 1811; ALEXANDER BOOKTER transferred his property to a trust “for my wife MARY D. BOOKTER & her children by me lawfully begotton (sic)..” [including those as of then unborn]; the 3 trustees were himself, his eldest son DANIEL BOOKTER {“he being of age”), and his son-in-law JAMES HARRIS. “In manner following.”
– In trust for MARY D. BOOKTER the slaves ABRAHAM & KITTY, going to her youngest son ALEXANDER Junr. upon her “demise”. – In direct conveyance to oldest son DANIEL BOOKTER, he being of age, the following lands: 1) tract near “waters of Tanchapaho” acquired from EPHRAIM McAULEY; 2) tract on W bank of “Nitalbany”, formerly property of DANIEL SPILLER; 3) tract on W side of “Tickfoha where PETER HUTCHINSON now lives”; 4) tract E of river Amite known as “BOOKTER old place”; & 5) tract in the forks of the River Amite & Beaver Creek. Also a slave PHILLIS, some livestock, tools and furniture. Provided he execute a Bond to the trustees (“himself being one”) conditioned for the payment of $4074 “in trust for the minor children.” [See 78-109]
– In direct conveyance to 2d child ELIZABETH HARRIS, a slave named LYD & her children; also some livestock.
– In trust until she is of age for 3d child NANCY BOOKTER, a tract of land W of the “Ticfoha”, granted in the name NANCY BOOKTER, except the mill thereon, the profit of which is to remain in trust for the minor children “not mentioned”; some livestock; and a penal Bond of the trustees conditioned for the payment of $526 to her at age 21. [See 76-108]
– In trust until she is of age for 4th child MARY BOOKTER, a tract of land W of the “Ticfoha” where the “Toll Bridge now is”, except the toll bridge proceeds which were to go into the trust for the minor children; also two slaves FANNY & GEORGE, some livestock, and a penal Bond of the trustees calling for the payment of $326 to her at age 21. [See 77-108]
– In trust until she is of age for the 5th child REBECCA BOOKTER, a tract of land W of the “Tickfoha” originally granted to JACOB GALOP; also a slave HAYMEN, some livestock, and a penal Bond of the trustees calling for the payment of $726 to her at age 21. [See 80-110]
– In trust until she is of age for the 6th child FANNY BOOKTER, a tract of land E of the Amite acq. from HARRY Z?? (page damaged); also some livestock, and a penal Bond of the trustees calling for the payment of $416 to her at age 21. [See 81-110]
– In trust until he is of age for the 7th child ALEXANDER BOOKTER Junr., a penal Bond of the trustees calling for the payment of $1926 to him at age 21. [See 74-107]
– In trust for “lawfully begotton” children not yet born, the proceeds of the Mill and the Toll Bridge. When the youngest of such children reach 21, the Mill reverts to NANCY and the Toll Bridge to MARY. Wits.: F. CUMING, J. NORTON. Before A.L. OSBORNE, P.J. & N.P.