Old Documents

Emancipation of Three Slaves

Today I want to share with you three slave emancipations from Washington County.  Black family history is sometimes very difficult to follow.  Hopefully this can help just a bit.  I do not have the original documents, but am using Pioneer History of Washington County Kentucky by Orval W. Baylor.  Mr. Baylor wrote for the Springfield, Washington County newspapers for a number of years.  Next time I am at the courthouse I will ask about these papers and if I find the originals will add them to this blog.

Know all men by these presents that I, Martin D. McHenry, of the County of Washington in the State of Kentucky, do hereby emancipate, set free and forever discharge from slavery a small mulatto girl named Maria, about seven years old last fall, being the same that was raised in the family of my deceased father and being the child of a Negro woman, Phoebe, who lived in my father’s family, and a reputed child of Harry, a mulatto man, who was emancipated by my father.  Given under my hand and seal this 1 day of April 1835.

M D. McHenry

Teste. John R. Wharton, D. H. Spears

Know all men by these presents, that I, Ann Spalding, widow of John Baptist Spalding, deceased, possessing an entire estate during widowhood, by virtue of the last will and testament of the aforesaid John Baptist Spalding, in a mulatto man slave, named Phillip; and I Stephen Spalding, the only claimant to the remainder of the said slave, at the marriage or death of the aforesaid Ann Spalding, (the other claims to the remainder of the aforesaid being extinguished by purchase), do solemnly agree to relinquish and abandon, or several and respective rights and titles to the ownership of the aforesaid Phillip, and the said Phillip is by force of this instrument, freed and emancipated from all service, which we and our heirs, have a legal claim to.  In witness we hereto set our hands and seals, this 8th day of January 1804.

Ann Spalding, Stephen Spalding

At a County Court held for Washington County the 2nd day of February 1807.  This instrument of writing was acknowledged by the within named Ann Spalding and Stephen Spalding to be their act and deed and ordered to be recorded.

Teste. John Reed, Clerk, Washington County

Know all men by these presents, that I, Barnabas McHenry, of Washington County and State of Kentucky, do fully emancipate Harry Pile, a slave now belonging to me, to go out free December the twenty-fifth in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six:  I do hereby relinquish all right, title and claim to the aforesaid Harry after the date aforesaid, he shall not be free until he shall have made up all the time which he shall have absconded, by faithful services subsequently to the date aforesaid and repaid in the same way, all costs which may have been occasioned by his absconding, and then even in that case all my right, title and claim to him shall forever cease – he shall be free.  In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal on this second day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eight.

Barnabas McHenry

Acknowledged and recorded 2nd May 1808.  John Reed, Clerk Washington County

1 reply »

Leave a Reply