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Bequest and Contract made by Virginia Slaves
1677 and 1693
Cited in Northampton County, Virginia, COURT ORDERS AND MINUTES RELATING TO FREE AFRICAN AMERICANS AND INDIANS, 1654-1795,
Library of Virginia microfilm no. 27.

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Document Description
These documents demonstrate that slaves in colonial America recognized the power of the court and took advantage of their access to it. Both are examples of one of the principal ways that black men used the system. By leaving property to a family member or contracting a child into service in exchange for skills and goods, a man like King Tony or Thomas Carter attempted to ensure the future well-being of his loved one.

Transcript
I King Tony Negro give unto my grandchild Sarah Driggus the first cow calfe either of my Cowes shall bring my steere & one hog bee spent by my Executrix and loving wife at my Funeral when I depart this life. All the rest of my estate whatsoever unto my loving wife Sarah.

6 February 1677.
Witnesses: Peter X George, Dan'll X Webb

Bequest cited in Northampton County, Virginia Court Orders and Minutes Relating to Free African Americans and Indians, 1654-1795, Orders, Wills, Etc. 1674-1679, microfilm no. 27, p. 247.
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