A Guide to the Louisa County Free Negro & Slave Records, 1770–1865

A Guide to the Louisa County Free Negro & Slave Records, 1770–1865

A Guide to the Louisa County Free Negro & Slave Records, 1770–1865


The first box is for all the good white men. The ones who freed their slaves on Christmas. It’s always Christmas in the first box. The day Delpha shall go out. The day Viney shall go out. These good white men only desire the guardian care of those under age. After that, they shall go out, just as Winney shall go out at the age of twenty-one entirely free from me or mine or any other person whatsoever. Delpha, Viney, & Winney shall go out on Christmas Day. The first box slides open to show their certificates. The good white men of this county believing that all men are by nature equally free have left many of these. One certificate is for Viney. One for Winney. One for Delpha. But these good white men can only free the slaves they truly own. One man observes the above mentioned negroes are disputed in their titles to me, namely Delpha, Viney, & Winney. He doesn’t say more about the dispute. He doesn’t say what happens on Christmas Day. This good white man has said all three should go out precisely on Christmas Day, but now it is different. It is very different now, even though Christmas has come. The good white man writes I only free as to my right & title given under my hand. The box slides open to show certificate after certificate. It’s Christmas. It’s only the first box.

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