Thursday, February 28, 2013

Black History Month: Ranaway (Que) (Phill) (Tom Fuller) (George) (John) (Amos)

Virginia Gazette – July 8, 1773

COMMITTED to the gaol of Prince William county, the 16th of June, a Negro fellow who calls himself QUE, and says he belongs to Nathaniel Burwell, of the Isle of Wight county; he is a young, black fellow, about 21 years of age, 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, has on a drill coat, black worsted stockings, and red waistcoat – Also committed, the 7th of June, a Mulatto fellow who says his name is Samuel Butcher, and that he formerly belonged to Robert Evans, of Dinwiddie, but that he has heard that Mr. Mason obtained his freedom last April General Court. The owners, if any, are desired to prove their property, and pay charges.


Virginia Gazette – June 16, 1775

COMMITTED to Cumberland jail, a middle sized negro man, seems to have been in the country about five years, says his name is Phill, and that his master lives in Prince William county, at the Red House, and is named John Tyler. The owner is desired to take him away, and pay charges.


Alexandria Gazette – January 5, 1822

TOM FULLER IS GONE! $50 REWARD. Will be given for the apprehension of Tom Fuller, a coloured man, purchased lately from Mrs. Summers of Alexandria, he is black, and aged about 30 years, has a free wife in said city, near Legg's tavern. A stout, tall, well made man, understands something of the tanning business, is well known in Alexandria. The above reward will be paid on his delivery to Capt. O. W. Callis at Barnaby in Md. Or at Greenwood, Prince William Co., Va.

by his agent, O. W. CALLIS

Alexandria Gazette – September 18, 1826

$20 Reward. RANAWAY, on Sunday the 25th day of June last, from the subscriber, living near Brentsville, Prince William Co. Va. A negro man by the name of GEORGE. He is square built, of pretty dark complexion, supposed to be about five feet, 9 or 10 inches high, some what bow-legged, and the only scar recollected is one which he received on one of his shoulders, or blade bone, cut with a scythe. He is nearly sixty years of age, but has a very youthful appearance for his age. He has worked at the Shoemaker's trade, and is a very good wagoner. He also professes the Baptist Religion, and frequently pretends to officiate as a minister of the gospel. His clothing, as well as recollected, consists of a coat, pantaloons and a vest, of imported blue broadcloth, an over coat and pantaloons of home made drab broad cloth, and a black fur hat with a very broad brim. I purchased him from Mrs. Elizabeth Blackburn, of Jefferson County, Va. And he has several relations amongst her negroes, and I have no doubt he is harbored by them either on her farm, or in that neighborhood. I will give the above reward, with all reasonable expenses, to any person who will deliver him to me at my residence, or lodge him in jail so that I get him again.

John HOOE, Jr.
Prince William County, 18th Sept.

Alexandria Gazette – August 26, 1833

25DOLLARS REWARD. RANAWAY from the subscriber, Prince William County, Virginia, on the 20th of August, a Negro Lad named JOHN, 19 years old, about 5 feet high , of yellow complexion, small made, rather a pleasing countenance; when spoken to, a down look; his left fore finger some little time since was cut very bad, it is nearly well; a small scar on his nose. The clothing a blue cassinett coat, striped twilled cotton pantaloons, and a black cap; the balance of clothing not recollected. This lad calls himself John Jacobs. The above reward out of State, $15 out of the County, and $5 in the County; if brought home or secured so that [I] get him again.

aug 24-3t

Alexandria Gazette – September 17, 1853

$50 REWARD – Ranaway from the subscriber, near Bristoe's Station, Prince William Co., Va., on the 10th inst., my Negro Man, AMOS. Amos is about 28 years of age, 5 feet, 8 or 9 inches high; of dark complexion. He has a full suit of bushy hair, and a downcast look when spoken to. I will give the above reward of $50 if taken out of Virginia, and $20 if taken in this State, and secured so that I get him.

Bristoe Station, Va., 17-eotf

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Thomas Mason

Baltimore Sun - May 17, 1906

THOMAS MASON.  The body of Mr. Thomas Mason, of Charles county, Maryland, was buried yesterday in Greenmount Cemetery, in this city.  Mr. Mason was the last in the male line of descendants of Thomas Mason, of Woodbridge, Prince William county, Va., who was the fifth son of George Mason, of Gunston.  He was born in March 1828, on the estate of his great-grandfather in Charles county, Maryland, where he lived until the close of the war between the States.  Mr. Mason was an ardent Confederate, although he took no active part in the war, feeling it his duty to remain at home with his widowed mother.  Upon receiving the news of the result of the war his health broke down completely and his mother was compelled to send him to a sanitarium near this city, where he remained until his death Tuesday.  Mr. Stevens Thomas Mason, of this city, was his trustee.


The Project Gutenberg EBook of Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States, by Work Projects Administration.

JAMES V. DEANE, Ex-slave.
Reference: Personal interview with James V. Deane, ex-slave,
     on Sept. 20, 1937, at his home

..."My master's name was Thomas Mason, he was a man of weak mental disposition, his mother managed the affairs. He was kind. Mrs. Mason had a good disposition, she never permitted the slaves to be punished. The main house was very large with porches on three sides. No children, no overseer."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Black History Month: Bills of Sale

Prince William County – Deed Book 1, pg. 130

BE IT KNOWN unto all men with these presents that I Walter Warder of Prince William County state of Virginia for and in consideration of the sum of Twenty Five pounds good and lawful money of sd. State to me in hand paid by William Munday of sd. County & state at and before the ensealing and delivery of these presents wherewith I confess myself to be fully satisfyed, contented and paid, have bargained and sold and by these presents do fully clearly and absolutely bargain and sell unto the said William Munday a Negro girl named Sarah about fifteen years of age to have and to hold the said girl to the said William Munday his heirs Executors Administrators or assigns to his and their own propper uses and behoofs for ever. A I the said Walter Warder, my Heirs Executors Administrators and any of us hold the said girl to the said William Munday his heirs Executors Administrators or Assigns against all people shall and will warrant, acquit and for ever defend by these presents.

Walter Warder {seal}
Aug. the 26th 1800

Delivered in the presence of
Philip {X his mark} Warder
Francis Warder

At a Court held for Prince William County the 6th day of Oct. 1800 this bill of sale from Walter Warder to Wm. Munday was acknowledged by said Warder to be his act and Deed and it was therefore ordered to be recorded.

Teste, John Williams


Prince William County Deed Book 1, pg. 184

KNOW all men by these presents that I Alexander Lithgow for and in consideration of five shillings to me in hand paid by Mather Harrison have bargained & sold all my rights unto him to two negroes by name of Charles & Milly which were the possession of Mrs. Harrison widow of Mather given from under my hand & seal this 21st Feby. 1801.

Alex Lithgow {seal}

At a Court held for Prince Wm County the 6th day of April 1801. This Bill of Sale from Alex. Lithgow to Mather Harrison was acknowledged by the said Lithgow to be his act and Deed and ordered to be Recorded.

Test. John Williams C.Cler.


Prince William County Deed Book 1, pg. 188

KNOW ALL MEN by these presents that I John Tayloe of Mount Airy in the County of Richmond and State of Virginia have bargained and by these presents do bargain & sell for value received to Thomas Blackburn of the County of Prince William & state afd. [aforesaid] in Trust for the use of Jane Charlotte Blackburn & for no other use or purpose whatsoever a Mulatto girl named Nancy and I do warrant & defend the sd. Girl Nancy to said Blackburn in Trust as aforesaid against all persons whatever. Given under my hand and seal this 12th day of February 1801.

John Tayloe {seal}

Thomas T. Page
Sam. Gordon
William Gordon

At a Court held for Prince William County the 6th day of April 1801. This Deed of trust from John Tayloe to Thos. Blackburn was proved by the oath of Wm. Gordon & ordered to be Recorded.

Teste, John Williams, Cl. C.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Black History Month: Newspaper Tidbits

Virginia Gazette - January 19, 1776

PRINCE WILLIAM county, Jan. 4, 1776.  WHEREAS the subscriber, some time in the month of October last, passed his obligation to a certain Charles Adams, of the town of Dumfries, for the sum of 10 l. to be paid in pork and corn for a servant woman purchased of him, and warranted by him to have no other ailment than the ague and fever; and whereas, upon taking her home, I have discovered her to be a lunatick, with which I am convinced the said Adams could not be unacquainted at the time of the sale, and have therefore returned her to the said Adams, who refused to give up my obligation: I therefore forewarn all persons from taking an assignment of the same, as I was deceived by him, and am determined not to pay it.



Virginia Gazette - August 21, 1779

FREDERICKSBURG, August 10, 1779.  RUN away from the subscriber in December last, a middle sized negro boy named Dick, about 17 years old, flat footed, and a large scar on the top of his head, had been inoculated for the small pox a month or two before, the scar when he went off was very plain in his arm, but little other appearance of the disorder remaining.  I have reason to believe he was enticed away by one Simon Sackett a waggoner, who lived near Bland's ford in Prince William county, and who set off with his waggon, the day after the boy disappeared, bound as he gave out, for Carolina, but as he came from the Jersey's to Virginia, he may have directed his course that way.  Sackett is a lusty man, above 6 feet high, between 25 and 30 years of age, of a swarthy complexion, brown hair, and a down look. Whoever delivers the above mentioned negro boy to me in Fredericksburg, or to my overseer William Munday, near Bland's ford in Prince William county, shall be paid ONE HUNDRED POUNDS reward, and if stolen, upon conviction of the thief, TWO HUNDRED POUNDS.



Alexandria Gazette - January 29, 1827

NOTICE.  By virtue of a deed of trust executed to us by James Foster and Silas Foster, on the 7th day of December 1825, for the purpose of securing to John Withers & Co. and Withers & Washington, the payment of the debts therein mentioned, we shall, on Monday, the 5th day of March next, expose to sale by public auction for cash, before the front door of the Court House of Prince William county, one negro girl named Anne and her child -- Also, the interest of the said James and Silas Foster, in the estate of their father, James Foster, deceased.  Such title as we have under the trust deed will be conveyed to the purchasdr.



Alexandria Gazette - January 29, 1850

NEGROES FOR SALE. -- I will offer for sale, to the highest bidder, on the first Monday February next, in Brentsville, before the front door of the Court House, for cash, two Negro Men belonging to the estate of Gerard Mason, dec'd.

RICHARD ATKINSON, Adm'r of Gerard Mason, dec'd
Prince William Co., jan 17 --eots


Alexandria Gazette - July 7, 1869

LETTER FROM PRINCE WILLIAM.  There are certainly two, and probably three, colored registrars appointed for this county.--Jesse Bates, 1st precinct (He's a "nice one," I tell you), H. E. Pinn, 3d precinct (Pinn is the "heir expectant" of the post office at Manassas) Summer Fitts is the President of the Board of the 3d precinct.  Fitts was nominated here in March, I think by eight republicans (?) for the Legislature.  He cannot be registrar if he is a candidate.  Which are you, Fitts, candidate or registrar?  In the language of Shakespeare, "Whence and what art thou, execrable shape?"  Josiah Thomas in the 4th precinct, may be a colored man for all I know.  I have never heard of him before.  Fitts better stick to his military appointment.  He'll never be elected to any office.  Nothing but the devil will ever catch Fitts in this county.

Mr. Thomas L. Burrows, a very gentlemanly republican, has a petition in circulation I understand for the Manassas post office.  It is signed by a number of republicans, and the most prominent business men of the place and vicinity.  Under the head of republicans in the petition there is one name that sorter surprises me.  I'll not call it, but if I can I'll send you a copy of the petition.  I hope Mr. Burrows will get the position, because he is a fair man, and the people want him to have it, but the idea, just the idea, of one man who signed the petition under the first heading, calling himself a republican.  When did he become one?  Why din't he say he was one when he ran for office lasts?  He'll be ashamed to say it when he runs again, which he is sure to do, for he will die if out of office.  The black republicans say that Pinn's appointment is a "political necessity."  The blacks will leave the radicals here "with the bag to hold" if Pinn is not appointed postmaster.

PRINCE WM. CO., June 5, 1869


Alexandria Gazette - September 19, 1871

MANASSAS, PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY. -- The funeral services of old Aunt Esther Britt, aged seventy-five years, formerly the slave of the late Rev. Robert C. Leachman, a distinguished minister of the Old School Baptist Church, well known in Washington and Alexandria, took place here last week.  The funeral sermon was preached by Charles Mason, formerly a slave, who belonged to the estate of the late John McCree, of this county.  The church was crowded, a large number of the audience being white.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: William H. Newman

New York Times – August 11, 1918

WILLIAM H. NEWMAN OF N.Y. CENTRAL DIES. Former President, Who Planned Great Terminal, Expires at Hotel Biltmore in 72d Year. Rose from Station Agent. His Ability as Traffic Manager in the Southwest Attracted Gould, Hill, and the Vanderbilts.

William H. Newman, former President of the New York Central Railroad, under whose direction the plans for the Grand Central Terminal were conceived and executed, died at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon in his apartments in the Hotel Biltmore. Mr. Newman had been in frail health for more than a year and about six months ago hope for his recovery was given up. Death was due to arterio-sclerosis. Mr. Newman was in his seventy-second year.

From the time of his resignation in 1908, when he gave up the exacting duties of his office after forty years of railroad service, he had remained as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Central and the various allied companies, lending his advice and counsel and intimate knowledge of the affairs of the various departments. At the time of his retirement he had been President of the New York Central for eight years. He was succeeded in the office by W. C. Brown, then senior Vice President.

Mr. Newman was conceded to be one of the foremost railroad managers in the country, a reputation he secured as much in his conduct of the arrangements for the great terminal facilities of the Grand Central Terminal as for the conduct of the routine business of a complicated system of lines. His retirement, he explained in his letter to the Board of Directors, was due solely to his wish to spend his last days free from the burdens and strain necessarily incident to the position he held.

Praised by Directors. In a resolution adopted by the Directors, who included the late J. P. Morgan, W. K. Vanderbilt, F. W. Vanderbilt, Chauncey M. Depew, William Rockefeller, G. S. Bowden, H. McK. Twombly, D. O. Mills, and George F. Baker, it was set forth that Mr. Newman had devoted to the Presidency his whole time and energy and had shown marked ability in his treatment of the many complicated matters with which he had to deal. Mr. Newman was elected to the Presidency of the New York Central on June 8, 1901, to succeed Samuel R. Callaway. He was then 60 years old. After taking the reins of the New York Central he was installed as President and Director of the many railroads in the so-called Vanderbilt chain.

Born in Prince William County, Virginia, Sept. 6, 1847, a son of Albert Newman and Adelaide Fewell Newman, he got his education in private schools in Kentucky. He began his railroad career in 1869 as a station agent on the Texas & Pacific Railroad at Shreveport, La. His work soon attracted attention, and he was promoted until he was made General Freight Agent of the line in 1872. He held this post until 1888. His specialty had been traffic, and he served for a time as Traffic Manager of the road.

His Success as Traffic Manager. In June, 1883, he was appointed Traffic Manager of the Southwestern system of lines in Texas and Louisiana, embracing the Texas & Pacific, the International & Great Northern, the Galveston, Houston & Henderson, and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railways. He resigned in 1885 to accept the traffic managership of the Missouri Pacific system at St. Louis. His ability as a Traffic manager had attracted the attention of the late Jay Gould, and it was he who put Mr. Newman at the head of the traffic departments of the Gould Southwestern systems. In August 1887, he was made Third Vice President of the Missouri Pacific by Jay Gould. Here his capacity for “getting business” was brought to the notice of the Vanderbilts and James J. Hill. In 1889 he was Third Vice President of the Chicago & Northwestern. At the invitation of Mr. Hill he entered the service of the Great Northern in 1897, but he had scarcely settled down to work before he was called to the Presidency of the Lake Shore to succeed Mr. Callaway, who had gone to the New York Central.

So successful was his administration that in June, 1901, he was called to New York to take the Presidency of the entire New York Central system. In 1905 he was made President of the two subsidiary roads, the Michigan Central and the “Big Four.” It was during this period – 1904-1905 – that Mr. Newman brought about the concentration in New York of all the officials of the smaller roads. His friends by this time had nicknamed him “The Homeless” for, accompanied by his wife, he spent most of the time on his private car, keeping constant watch on the affairs long the line of the railroad. When not “on the road,” Mr. and Mrs. Newman lived in a Cleveland hotel before they moved to New York.

For some time he made his home here at Fifth Avenue and Sixtieth Street. Recently he made his home at the Hotel Biltmore. In 1874 Mr. Newman married Miss Bessie Carter of Marshall, Texas. He is survived by his wife, who, with several close friends, was at his bedside when Mr. Newman expired yesterday. The funeral will be held at the Hotel Biltmore on Monday at 2:30 o'clock.

[William H. Newman is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York City, New York -- cgl]

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Dr. William Starr

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA) - February 17, 1908

DR. WILLIAM STARR. -- Washington, Feb. 16.--Dr. William Starr, believed to be the oldest resident of this city, died at his home here.  He was 101 years old and a native of Prince William County, Va.  Dr. Starr was a specialist in medicinal botany, was one of the pioneers who went to California in 1849.  He amassed a small fortune there and invested in Louisiana farm lands.  He served in the Confederate Army and after leaving that service was practically penniless.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Black History Month: 1862: Confined Negroes in Military Prisons in Richmond, VA

Richmond Examiner – October 1, 1862


J A Emery, free, Salem, Mass
E Boven, free, Maryland
E B Williams, free, Baltimore
Daniel Carter, slave of T McCormick, Clarke co, Va
Andrew Williams, free, New York
Joe Brown, slave of Z Ailes, Miss
Alfred Jonnes, slave of Newton Ladd, Charles City Co
Isaac Webster, free, Washington, D C
Joe James, free, Henrico co, Va
L McCoy, free, New York city
Benj Dangerfield, slave of James Riley, Jefferson co, Va
J Johnson, slave of Wm Crump, New Kent co
Jas Kranty, slave of Wm Kranty, Loudoun co
Nathan, slave of Chas Berley, Loudoun co
Jim Johnson, free, Connecticut
Leana Johnson, woman, slave of Mrs. M. Howard, Fairfax co
Wm Norris, slave of Robt Allison, Fairfax co
Wm hensby, free, Annapolis, Md
Robert ---, free, Maryland
L Hawkins, slave of John Mitchell, Md
R B Wilson, free, Ohio
Wm Jos Burke, free boy, New York
Wm H Richards, free, Baltimore, Md
Jno Cox, slave of Ric'd Lyons, King and Queen co
Chas Montgomery, free, D C
Reed Harrison, free, Prince William co, Va
Thos Jackson, free, New York State
Carter Freeman, slave of Wm Davis, Prince William co, Va
Richmond Roane, slave of Dr Fontleroy, Hanover
Dan, slave of Sam'l Humphreys, Stafford co, Va
Alex Johnson, free, New York
Mary Cook, slave of Mrs. Randolph, Fredericksburg
John, slave of Capt Stevens, Fredricksburg
Abram Spencer, free, Strasburg, Va
Charley ---, free, Prince William co, Va
Sam'l Hill, free, Washington
John Read, slave of Mrs. Stillaton, Front Royal, Va
Esau, slave of Wm Bowen, Fauquier co, VA
El Hamilton, slave of Dan'l Meltinger, Romney, Va
Thos Gassus, free, White Hall, N Y
Gen Jordan, free, Phila
David Jones, free, New Jersey
John Henry, free, Alexandria
Jim Green, free, R L
John Clarke, free, Washington
Green Jones, free, Ohio
Thos Mitchell, free, Ohio
George Cook, free, Prince William
William Lipscomb, slave of Mrs. Gordon, New kent
Jerry Lomax, slave of Wm Pratt, Va
Horace, slave of Geo Taylor
John Williams, free, Alexandria, Va
Gibson Gracy and three children, slave of widow Goodwin, Fairfax co
Chas Murphy
Andrew Jackson, free, Penn
Edmond, slave of John Sanderson, Norfolk co, Va
Jaes, slave of Maj Wm Allen, Jamestown Island
Jim West, slave of Geo R Cox, King William co
Jackson, slave of Richard Bailey, Sandy Point
Nat, slave of Albert Hawkerds, York river
Aug D Pretley, free, Phila
Joe Hall, slave of Dr Chas Seldon, Richmond
Isaac Wood, slave of Chas Wood, no county
King Abel, slave of Thomas Candish, Williamsburg
Eliza Gaskins, Louisa, Wm H Gaskins – free, and children, Prince William
Thomas Dickerson, slave of Chas Dickerson, Greenbrier co, Va
Susan Gaskins, free, and D Gaskins, H Gaskins and Catharine Gaskins, her children, Prince William
Jim Johnson, free, Connecticut
Harrison Read, free, Prince William
Joe Bush, free, New York
Jas West, slave of Geo R Cocke, King and Queen
Oliver Pleasants, free, Charles City co
Chas Montgomery, free, Washington, D C
Wm H Richards, free, Baltimore, Md
John Cox, slave of Richard Lyne, King and Queen
Richard Hudgins, slave of Capt John Taylor, Charlottesville
Sam'l Hill, free, Washington, D C
Thos Jackson, free, New York
Joe Boykin, slave of Graham Pearce, New Kent co
Jas Marzingo, free, Westmoreland co
Dan'l Henderson, slave of Frank Ruffin, Richmond city
Baldwin Lee, slave of Richard Baylor, Sandy Point
David Young, slave of Rich'd Baylor, Sandy Point
J Beeden, slave of M Stilluts, Front Royal
R Western, slave of Thos Evans, York co

The history here given is obtained from the negroes themselves.

Jno. H. Winder, Brig Gen

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Catherine (Abel) Williams

"Sunday's Obituary" is one of many blogging prompt suggested by Geneabloggers.

Alexandria Gazette
August 24, 1907

DEATH OF MRS. WILLIAMS -- Mrs. Catherine Williams, wife of Mr. J. W. Williams, residing at 1829 Duke street, died yesterday evening, after a brief illness, at the Alexandria Hospital.  The deceased was thirty-five years old.  Mrs. Williams was a daughter of Mr. Walter H. Able, of Prince William county.  The remains will be taken to Quantico for interment Sunday.  Mrs. Williams's infant child also died at the hospital.


Catherine Abel (also spelled Able/Abell) was born on April 20, 1872 in Prince William County to Walter H. and Martha Abel.  She is 8 years old on the PWCo 1880 census with her parents and siblings Roberta (age 5) and Nelson (age 2).