Guide to the Slave Rebellion Website
This is an educational website dedicated to provide resources and information for teachers, scholars and the general public on role that enslaved Africans played in the making of America through their struggles and sacrifices for freedom. Enslaved Africans resisted throughout the transatlantic slave trade; they resisted slavery from its inception in the New World, particularly the United States in the early 1600s to the end of the middle 1800s. Enslaved Africans resisted capture and enslavement in Africa, and later on slave ships coming to the New World; they resisted in the plantation fields and in the Big House and they organized slave actions against their oppression. They fought for their freedom and liberation and were killed and died in the cause of freedom. Sometimes they even committed infanticide and suicide as a form of resistance. They fought and lost against insurmountable odds, but in the end they won because their struggle and resistance transformed the minds of Americans and brought on the Civil War that finally abolished the institution of slavery. One single revolt did not lead to liberation and freedom, but collectively the many revolts contributed to events that would eventually lead to their liberation and freedom from bondage. This website explores their struggle and tells their stories in their own words from the actual recorded documents.
Also included in the Slave Rebellion Website is the slavery database, which contains the complete slave population records on slavery from earliest times to the Civil War and beyond slavery. The population data is broken down by state, county, and district and includes such categories as free and enslaved population along with white and other populations in a given area. This information is important because it suggest a strong correlation with a “critical Mass” and the incidents of insurrections in a given area. Historical maps from the period are included along with an image gallery on slavery.
Largely uncatalogued, and scattered throughout the United States in various repositories, archives, and special collections lay important sources of information about slave insurrections, rebellions, and revolts. Dating from to the American Civil War, these documents include written communication among slave rebels; testimony and letters by slave informers; confessions by slave leaders implicated in rebellions and plots; trial records; newspapers accounts; state gazettes; correspondence of government officials; legislative, judicial, and executive auditor papers; and the diaries of planters. The work – The Slave Rebellion Website - provides a comprehensive collection of primary sources; consolidating and cataloguing them in a centralized and accessible electronic database for scholars for the first time.
It is the hope that this website will seed and nurture future studies of slave rebellions: their types, their roles in American history and politics, and their legacies. These primary documents promise not only to provide ways to answer some continuing questions, but also to help scholars formulate and pursue new ideas of inquiry. The website also contains the complete slave population records from earliest times to the end of the Civil War. This information will allow researchers to draw a correlation between a critical mass and the number of slave actions throughout the United States.
A preliminary field survey of sources of slave revolts, insurrections and uprisings indicates that South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia were the sites of over 60 percent of the revolts in North Africa, followed by Louisiana and Mississippi with 27 percent, and the remaining 13 percent distributed among ten additional states. Because of budgetary and temporal limitation, the principal archival collection for this project will be limited to seven states: North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Georgia and Virginia, which comprise the locations of 90 percent of the slave revolts in the United States.
GUIDING EDITORIAL PRINCIPLES
Much of the story of the slave actions in the South and the pervasive effect that these had on the history here is to be found in the documents related to the events themselves. While the focus will be on the diaries, letters, records, indictments, trial transcripts, and ship logs that we mention, the Slave Rebellion Project will also include accounts that appeared in newspapers even outside the areas targeted by the leaders and planners. These accounts are largely the records of telegraphic communication from the points of origin. They are useful in reconstructing events when the same accounts in southern newspapers may no longer exist, having either been lost over time, or suppressed at the time.
The website has organized documents by title, author, date, subject, source and type. The type includes Government documents, State documents, territorial documents, printed materials, personal papers and essays on the subject.
Government documents includes documents from the Federal government, and State government and State court records subdivided mostly by General Assembly Petition. The Slave Petitions are perhaps our most important documents for discovering and uncovering slave actions in the United States. When an enslaved African was executed for insurrectionary activities the owners would petition the States to recover their financial loss. These petitions reveal important information regarding the events such as the name of the slaves, personal information and the activity itself. In this category are included court indictments, proceedings, and trial records.
The entries of the website allow each event to be searched by title, author, date, event subject, and source. The website can be used to search a chronology of documents based on slave rebellions, revolts, insurrections and plots. Searches can be done on the yearly basis. Within each year, the sub-classification will include three categories according to type of source: A) printed materials (newspapers and periodicals. The printed materials will be further classified alphabetically, then chronologically from January 1 to December 31 for each year. The same situation will exist in section B, while section C will be simply arranged alphabetically on a yearly basis. B) Governmental documents, further subdivided into federal, state-territorial, city and town, C) manuscripts, journals and diaries, and slave rebellion documents.
A note on newspaper entries is important. Often reports of the same revolt or insurrection appear in several local newspapers, and were sometimes reproduced in other out-of-state newspapers through telegraphic communication. Many of the accounts appearing in separate newspapers covered similar information with minor variations depending on the editor’s slant. These accounts, nevertheless, are sometimes useful in the reconstruction of events pertaining to a particular revolt. For instance, in some cases, through telegraphic communication a particular revolt was recorded in northern newspapers. Where the original eyewitness account is too faint to be transcribed or reproduced, the same verbatim account can be located in other out-of-state newspapers. When this occurs, those documents are useful in reconstructing a particular event.
A regional classification is organized chronologically and alphabetically according to the region in which the actual events occurred, with a topical index, including such headings as type of rebellion, their leadership, and white responses. The guide will help locate specific documents of interest by providing annotations and making a determination if the information is of interest before further exploration of the source is undertaken
A brief note about the cataloguing system of the website is in order here. The guiding focus of the project is found in the dual goals of discovering the critical documents and of making them accessible from multiple entry points and perspectives to both professional scholars, students and the general public. To these ends, the following organizational framework is applied. The documents in the website are organized chronologically on a yearly basis from 1526 to 1865. Within each year, the sub-classification specifies one of three major categories according to source, type, as indicated by the following schema:
GUIDING EDITORIAL PRINCIPLES
- GOVERNMENT AND STATE DOCUMENTS
- Federal documents
- Court Papers and Records
- General Assembly Petitions
- Slave Petitions
- Court Proceedings
- Proclamations of Governors
- Notes and Documents
- Trial Records
- COLONIAL AND TERRITORIAL DOCUMENTS
- CITY OR TOWN DOCUMENTS
- PRINTED MATERIALS
- Pamphlets and Posters
- PERSONAL PAPERS
- Auditor/legislative/judicial/executive papers
- Diaries of Planters
- Manuscripts (including memoirs)
- Plantation Records
- Slave Confessions
- Slave Testimonials
- PAPERS AND ESSAYS ON SLAVE REVOLTS
- List of Slave Revolts in the United States
- Slave Revolts on Board Slave ships
- Biographies of Slave leaders
- Chronology of Slave Revolts
These documents will be cross-categorized in the following ways. Scholars will be able to access a document by type alphabetically and chronologically. They will also be able to search for documents by looking at known slave actions, and working through a chronologically arranged annotated list of documents related to the events. The term “slave action,” which alternates with “incident” and “event” refers to insurrectionary activities in a neutral and unbiased way which will permit re-evaluating previous typologies and taxonomies of the early scholars on the topic. Reading the annotations should enable a researcher to make an informed decision about which primary documents to search out and download. An example of such a chronology follows here.
DEFINING THE EVENTS: TYPOLOGY AND DOCUMENTATION
There are a number of challenges facing historians and scholars who are interested in understanding more about slave actions in the United States. Scholars have generally not given a great deal of inquiry into the various forms of resistance against slavery in the Western Hemisphere. It has almost become commonplace to use the presumed lack of resistance in North America as a yardstick for the measuring the slave’s response to their enslavement and oppression. For years scholars have debated over the number of slave revolts in North America. In part, the question is a function of how scholars decide to call such an action a revolt rebellion, or insurrection, and how to include it in the historical record. The very definition of the events themselves has long been in question; scholars have pursued a number of typologies and taxonomies, trying to classify revolts, insurrections, rebellions, and conspiracies.
Herbert Aptheker in American Negro Slave Revolts (1943) chronicles 250 slave actions between 1526 and 1860. Herbert Aptheker, for example, rejects the term “insurrection.” According to him, “The aim of an insurrection is not revolutionary; the aim of a rebellion is.” A revolt is of less size than a rebellion and the magnitude distinguishes between a rebellion and a revolt. Aptheker further defines a slave revolt as “a minimum of ten slaves involved; freedom is the apparent aim of the disaffected slaves; contemporary references labeling the event as an uprising plot insurrection, or the equivalent of these terms.” In contrast, James G. Randall writes: “an insurrection is an organized armed uprising which seriously threatens the stability of government and endangers social order. Insurrection is distinguished from rebellion in that it is less extensive and its political and military organization is less highly developed. The term insurrection would be appropriate for a movement directed against the enforcement of particular laws while the word rebellion denotes an attempt to overthrow the government itself.”
In “Toward Freedom: An Analysis of Slave Revolts in the United States,” (1964) Marion Kilson analyses American slave revolts differently, putting them into three categories. The first type is a “systematic or rational rebellion, “by which a plan was developed to overthrow the slave system and establish a new state in place of the slave regime. The second type is the “unsystematic or vandalistic revolt. The objective of this type of revolt was merely to destroy the slave holder and his immediate property. The action had no end beyond this immediate destruction, and no long-range plan for further action. Kilson’s third type is the “situational or opportunistic” revolt, taken to refer to individual slaves running away to escape from slavery.
Historians in the field easily recognize several names associated with slave uprisings: the Stono Rebellion in South Carolina in 1739; Gabriel Prosser, Virginia (1800); Charles Deslondes (1811); George Boxley, Virginia (1816); Denmark Vesey, South Carolina (1822); Nat Turner (1831); the Murrel Gang, Mississippi (1835); and the revolt at Harper’s Ferry. Lesser known are events such as an uprising in Louisiana on the plantation of Julien Poydras in Pointe Coupee Parish (1769); the Camden Plot in South Carolina (1816); the Rapides Parish insurrection (1834); or the Second Creek revolt in Natchez, Mississippi (1862). These actions, many well described, fall into different categories in the context of the different taxonomies.
Significance of the typology and supporting documentation in enumerating revolts, rebellions, and insurrections
It remains important to include incidents that never matured beyond the planning stages because these, too, contributed to the impact such actions had on government policy and on the outcome of the Civil War. In fact, it is possible to say that enslaved Africans contributed directly to their own liberation by rebelling and participating in insurrectionary activities. The fear of slave rebellion and the need to control slave labor led to the creation of an armed camp situation in the antebellum period. The fact that the South was conscious of the need to control the slave population, and consequently kept itself armed at all times explains in part its early success in the Civil War, as the North was not similarly armed and it took time to prepare adequately for war. But ultimately, the fear of internal collapse from widespread slave revolts affected the South externally, and contributed both to the demise of slavery and the collapse of the Confederacy. African Americans recognized in the war an opportunity to destabilize the regime from within by revolt.
The early fear of slave actions was fueled, moreover, by the threat that slave revolts might produce a replica of the Toussaint L’Ouverture slave revolution in Santo Domingo. This anxiety placed great pressure upon both the national and state governments of the Confederacy to divert a substantial proportion of the South’s war-making resources to maintain the social control of the plantation system. The inability of the South to control slave labor while simultaneously fighting for independence undermined Confederate unity, limited the Confederacy’s ability to execute the war, and led to the decomposition of the plantation system itself.
This fear also affects the issue of how many slave actions there might have been. For example, information and documents relating to the Second Creek event at Natchez are not readily available, leading to its place on the list above in the set of “lesser known” planned insurrection. When authorities learned that slaves were plotting, they acted quickly and decisively by hanging everyone implicated: at least 27 slaves were hanged. The Confederate provost Marshall at Natchez reported early in 1862 that 40 slaves had been hanged within that year for such activities. Scholars will never know the exact number of insurrections just before and during the Civil War, because state governments did not reimburse owners of slaves executed at the orders of the extralegal courts. There was no official accounting because the vigilance communities kept quiet, and no one involved shared information on the counting of bodies. Information regarding these important events only surfaced as owners began to inquire about compensation for the loss of their slaves.
Letters from southern wives to their husbands on the front lines would plead with them to return home as the slaves could no longer be controlled—they refused to work and became rebellious because of the war, even before emancipation. It was in connection with the Second Creek insurrection of Natchez that one Southern soldier wrote from the battlefield saying that domestic danger “has set me to thinking where I could be of the most service to my Country, at home or in the army.”
Viewing slave incidents “en masse:” cumulative effects and new questions
Looking at the slave incidents “en masse” raises new question regarding their significant impact on government policy toward Black Americans. Although each incident of resistance did not in itself lead to immediate changes in the status of African Americans, collectively, these incidents left their mark on American society. The revolts had a long-range cumulative effect. Over time, they contributed to a tradition of resistance, which eventually brought many significant changes in the legal rights of enslaved Africans, such as the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitutions.
Between 1860 and 1865, slave insurrectionary activities occurred in almost every southern state. For the most part, court records provide the documentation, but many of these were destroyed when General Sherman burned a large number of the courthouses on his march throughout the South. The pilot portion of the Slave Rebellion Project has already discovered a preponderance of documents in the South Carolina Archive for History and Culture recording the execution of enslaved Africans for crimes against the state and for insurrection. These newly discovered documents will allow current and future scholars to contribute substantially to the reevaluation of assumptions about the history and culture of the South before and beyond the Civil War.
Finally, the documents that the Slave Rebellion Website has collected will shed light on other questions regarding the general nature of slave actions. What were the unique characteristics inherent in American slave society that prevented social and economic mobility of the slave, thus contributing to rebellion? Were there more revolts in the Colonial or post-Colonial periods? Which slaves rebelled: were they primarily field slaves, domestic slaves, or skilled artisan? Were these rebellions all-male enterprises, or were women also involved? Did rebellious Africans originate predominately in one part of Africa? Were they recent immigrants or native-born Americans? Did African ethnicity play a role? Who were the primary and secondary leaders of the revolts? How many slave revolts—such as John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry and the Murrell Gang incident in Mississippi in 1835—were led by Whites? Finally, new approaches to the study of slavery and slave societies in general have raised questions about some long-standing assumptions regarding the slaves’ responses to their enslavement. One of these responses—resistance through revolt—has not generally provoked the sort of analysis that can contribute to our deeper understanding of the slave experience in the United States of America.
EXISTING SCHOLARSHIP AND ITS RELEVANCE TO THE WEBSITE
Knowledge of slave rebellions, as well as some analysis of them, can be traced to accounts and histories, some early ones even contemporary with the events themselves, such as An Account of the Late Intended Insurrection Among a Portion of the Blacks of this City, printed by A. E. Miller in Charleston, South Carolina in 1822. More recently, Edward A. Pearson, in Designs against Charleston: the Trial Records of the Denmark Vesey Slave Conspiracy (1999), uses primary documents from the
South Carolina Archive to write a brilliant detailed history of the Vesey planned revolt.
But there are differences in the perspectives of such works. The early Miller work (describing the Denmark Vesey insurrection) clearly illustrates white fear and reaction to slave insurrection. Thomas Gray’s The Confessions of Nat Turner also falls into the “biased” category associated with much of the early work. Nevertheless, it provides an important insight into Nat Turner’s thinking and motives.
Among the more objective early works are Henry Bibb’s Slave Insurrection in Southampton County, Virginia, Headed by Nat Turner (New York, 1850); Joshua Coffin’s An Account of Some of the Principal Slave Insurrections, Others Which Have Occurred or Been Attempted in the United States and Elsewhere During the Last Two Centuries, (New York, 1960). Included in the material collected here are reports of the Noodle’s Island action of October 2, 1638; the Cormantee and Papa Nations in South Carolina, from April 1712 and May 6, 1720; happenings at Rappahannock River, Georgia in October 1722, Savannah, Georgia (1712); Williamsburg, Virginia (1730); slave ship mutinies in 1731 and 1732; an uprising in Burlington, Pa. (1744); a slave revolt by Angolans in Charleston, S.C., in 1739; and others.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s Travelers and Outlaws (Boston, 1889), is one of the more interesting studies of slave insurrection from the period. During the Civil War, Colonel Higginson led one of the Black regiments and became interested in the history of slave insurrections in the Americas and in their significance in regard to the Civil War. Working primarily from documents and newspapers of the era, Higginson provides an insightful look, from a not too distant perspective. Also making use of documentation in their work are later texts, including Lamar Middleton’s Revolt U.S.A. (New York, 1938), and Joseph Cephas Carroll’s, Slave Insurrections in the United States, 1800-1865 (N.P., 1938). This last book contains useful documentation on some of the better known insurrections and provides a detailed list of newspapers that contained important primary information on slave insurrection in America.
In another vein, Ulrich Bonnell Phillips’ works on American slavery are important because they are some of the first serious scholarly works on slavery. Had it not been for Phillips’ racist historiography, he would have emerged as one of the founding fathers for the study of African American history. Nonetheless, his work did have a profound effect: it provoked refutation. In American Negro Slavery (1918), Phillips began an important era in American slavery studies. He argued that slave revolts were rare in the United States because of the mild nature of slavery in North America. He claimed that enslaved Africans did not rebel against their oppression because they were satisfied with their condition of servitude, which was paternalistic in nature. Phillips, a southern white historian, believed that the institution of slavery in America was “benign and served a useful purpose in civilizing the American Negro.” He continued the argument in Life and Labor in the Old South (1927), where he asserted that because of the “gentle” nature of slavery, the structure of the American plantation system facilitated the African American’s adjustment to a common course of passive acquiescence. Although Phillips research uncovered a wealth of important documents concerning slavery, and the slaves’ reaction to their captivity, his views have largely been discredited. Despite the nature of his work, Phillips must be credited with providing a foundation for scholarly debate on the subject of slavery, even as we note that much of the foundation served to provoke research that revealed the fallacies in his arguments.
Not until the early 1940s did the full tide of reaction against such racist attitudes rise. In 1937, the Carnegie Foundation sponsored a full-scale study of what was then called the “Negro problem” in the United States. The Swedish scholar, Gunnar Myrdal was selected to conduct the study because of his neutral position as an “outsider.” Myrdal’s An American Dilemma (1944) was one of the five major works that came of this research. The other works in the series, which were parts of a strong anti-Phillips reaction, were Melville J. Herskovits,” The Myth of the Negro Past (1941), Charles S. Johnson’s Patterns of the Negro Segregation (1943), Richard Sterner’s, The Negro’s Share (1943), and The Characteristics of the American Negro (1944), Edited by Otto Klimeberg.
Documentation played an important role in the Herskovits work, as it made it possible to refute the myths of African Americans being submissive and docile in response to their oppression. In The Myth of the Negro Past, Herskovits documented at least one hundred and nine slave revolts from the earliest times to the Civil War. Many of these revolts are included in the 250-300 slave actions.
Contemporary work and perspectives begin with Herbert Aptheker whom we have already mentioned. His work, including American Negro Slave Revolts (1943), chronicles 250 slave actions between 1426 and 1860. Aptheker’s methodology has been questioned by scholars because he included in the category “insurrection,” a number of conspiracies that may have been more like rumors. Nonetheless, the work maintains its position as pioneering, as no scholar has undertaken so comprehensive a study of these slave actions. And as we have seen, the documents that contributed to the telling of the stories support the greater number of estimated incidents rather than the smaller numbers.
The next important study on slave rebellion was written by Eugene D. Genovese, Roll Jordan, Roll; the World the Slaves Made (1974). Genovese questions Aptheker’s claim of a revolutionary old tradition among slaves in America. He argues for a non-revolutionary tradition of resistance, and his evidence for this conclusion was the number of slave revolts in North America—which he asserts to be relatively few—as compared to those in Latin America. Recent revisions of North and South American slave historiography have cast doubts on the Genovese thesis.
It is with the work beginning in the 1960s that we see a significant and consistent use of primary documents in the study of slave resistance. The first example of such scholarship is John Lofton’s work, Insurrections in South Carolina; the Turbulent Work of Denmark Vesey (1964). The best single work as a source book on the subject of slave insurrection, and a model for the Slave Rebellion Project, Is Henry I. Tragle, ed. The Southampton Slave Revolts of 1831; A Compilation of Source Material (1971). Tragle’s book includes documents letters, news releases, complete trial records, and journal articles, with able commentary and an excellent extensive annotated bibliography. Gerald W. Mullin’s Flight and Rebellion; Slave Resistance in Eighteenth Century Virginia (1972) is a brilliant study of early Virginia and the Prosser insurrectionary movement. One of the earlier studies using primary sources so extensively, Mullin’s work is followed by others; Denmark Vesey: The Slave Conspiracy (1970), and Blacks in Bondage: Letters of American Slaves (1974), both by Robert Starobin; and Peter Wood’s Black Majority: Negros in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stone Rebellion (1970), a detailed study of slave resistance culminating in the Stone Rebellion in South Carolina, 1739-40. Variously using newspaper accounts, trial records, pieces written by house servants, Black overseers, and artisans, these studies show how primary documents provide a more through view of historical events.
In fact, the direction of more recent works suggests a more comprehensive approach, analyzing trends or factors that connect the various slave actions across the variables (including the race of the planners or leaders, in some cases) and the periods or settings (whether they took place on plantations or on slave ships destined for them for example), that separate them. Such work includes Michael Mullin’s Africa in America; Slave Acculturation and Resistance in The American South and the British Caribbean 1736-1831 (1999), Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century, by Gwendolyn Midlo Hall (1992); Winthrop D. Jordan’s Tumult and Silence at Second Creek; An Inquiry into a Civil War Slave Conspiracy (1993); and Edward A. Pearson, Designs Against Charleston; The Trial Record of the Denmark Vesey Slave Conspiracy of 1822 (1999), the most recent, thorough, and comprehensive study of the Vesey revolt. Pearson’s work reveals how important such court documents are. It was these records that led him to cover the use of poison in this conspiracy. Such methods have not been described anywhere else because it was so crucial to suppress this kind of information at the time. Thus, what may have been pervasive measures taken in the slave actions have remained hidden—and essentially unknown—to virtually anyone.
Complementing this direction is the influential work of Loren Schweninger, whose Slave Petition Project provides a model for the Slave Rebellion Website. Using the 18,500 petitions he collected from 173 counties and 14 state archives, Schweninger reconstruct a significant period in southern history. And in his most recent book, Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantations, co-authored with John Hope Franklin, Schweninger pursues the question of the relationship between escape and rebellion. Learning from both Schweninger’s efforts and the conclusions he has drawn, the Slave Rebellion Website seeks to provide the materials for scholars and the general public to continue to build histories of the period. In particular, by allowing scholars access to a range of documents related to any single one of the actions, insurrections, or rebellions, the website should help them to create full portraits of each.
This is the first systematic attempts to make available primary sources on slave insurrections in the United States from 1526 to 1864. This website counters the notion that enslaved Africans failed to respond to their oppression by showing that they rebelled against their enslavement when the opportunity presented itself. No human frees another without their participation in their own liberation.
The Library of Congress
Autobiography of a Negro Slave (January 23, 1847), Slave Papers 2, no. 24, folder
Floyd, John, Richmond, to Governor James Hamilton, Jr., 19 November 1831.
Gaines, Edmund P., New Orleans, to Governor A.B. Roman, 16 November 1831.
Jones, Roger, to Colonel Duncan A. Clinch, 17 March 1829.
Macomb, Alexander, Washington, D.C., to Nathan Morse, 12 October 1831.
Monroe, James, Papers of.
Nicholas, Robert Carter, to Nicholas Trist, 22 October 1831.
Ruffin, Edmund, Diary, 2 December 1856.
____, 28 December 1856.
____, 5 September 1860.
Van Buren, Martin W.B. Lewis, Washington, D.C., to Van Buren, 11 September 1840.
Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin
Charleston Free Library, Charleston, SC
DUL Special Collections Department, William R. Perkins Library, Duke University,
Hill Memorial Library, Baton Rouge, LA
Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections
Louisiana State University Libraries
John C. Jenkins Diary
Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD
Stephen Bordley, Annapolis, MD, to Matt Harris, 30 January 1739.
Mississippi State Department of Archives and History, Jackson, MI
Adams County Land Assessment Rolls. 1850-1865.
Adams County Personal Property Assessment Rolls. 1850-1865.
Adams County. List of Hands Liable to Road Duty. 1855-1856.
Adams County. List of Labor Done on Public Roads. 1855-1856.
Adams County. Slaves Subject to Road Duty, Adams County, Mississippi, 1850-1857.
Susan Sillers Darden Diary
Natchez Trace Slaves and Slavery Collection
North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC
Governors’ Letter Books
South Carolina Department of Archives and History
Acts of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. 1750-1859.
An Alphabetical Digest of the Public Statute Law of South Carolina, Volume II. 1810.
Journals of the Conventions of the People of South Carolina, Held in 1832, 1833, and 1852-1860.
Journals of the House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina. 1730-1859.
Journals of the South Carolina Court of General Assembly, 1769-1776.
Journals of the Senate of the State of South Carolina. 1750-1859.
Records in the British Public Record Office Relating to South Carolina, 1663-1782.
Records of the Public Treasurers of South Carolina, 1775-1776.
Records of the South Carolina Treasury, 1773-1780, Cash Receipts and Payments.
Records of the South Carolina Treasury, 1783-1791, Ledger A.
Records of the South Carolina Treasury, Ledgers and Journal 1791-1865.
Records of the South Carolina Council Journal 1671-1775.
South Carolina Ship manifest, 1784.
South Carolina Ship register, 1765.
South Carolina Ship register, 1784.
South Carolina Will Transcripts, 1782-1865.
South Carolina State Plats, Charleston Series, 1782-1868.
South Carolina Reports and Resolutions, 1868-1900: With a Finding Aid to Reports and Resolutions, 1784-1900.
South Carolina Tax Returns, 1783-1800.
Slavery Petition, Report and Resolution of the General Assembly, 1737-1855.
States at Large of South Carolina, Volumes V and VI. 1839.
State Free Negro Capitation Tax Books Charleston, South Carolina.
South Carolinian Library, University of South Carolina
Johnston, Annandale papers
Johnston, William N. papers
Southern Historical Collection, Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA
Virginia State Library, Richmond, VA
Auditor’s Papers (boxes 164, 166, 187)
Land, Property, and Marriage Books
Manuscripts from British Record Office, Sainsbury
Middlesex County Order Book (1680-1694)
Register of Certificates and Warrants Issued for Slaves Executed (1783-1814)
York County Records (1694-1697)
Pamphlets on Slave Insurrections
An account of the late intended insurrection among a portion of the black of the City of Charleston, South Carolina. Boston: Joseph Ingraham, 1822. The late contemplated insurrection in Charleston, S.C. with the execution of thirty-six of The patriots: the death of William Irving, the provoked husband and Joe Devaul, for refusing to be the slave of Mr. Roach: with the capture of the American slaver trading between the seat of government and New Orleans: together with an account of the capture of the Spanish Schooner Amistad. New York, 1850.
A refutation of the calumnies circulated against the southern and western states, respecting the institution and existence of slavery among them to which is added, a minute and particular account of the actual state and condition of their Negro population; together with historical notices of all the insurrections that have taken place since the settlement of the country . . . by a South Carolinian. Charleston, SC: A.E. Miller, 1822.
South Carolina Newspapers
Bermuda Gazette, 1783-1791
Camden Gazette, 1816
Carolina Gazette, 1822
Charleston Courier, 1793-1834
Charleston Evening Gazette, 1785-1786
Charleston Evening Post and Daily Advertiser
Charleston Mercury, 1819 and 1922
Charleston Morning Post and Daily Advertiser, 1786-1787
Charleston Observer, 1827-1845
Charleston Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, 1816-1824
Charleston Times, 1806-1818
City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser (Charleston), 1814
Columbian Herald (Charleston), 1789-1794
Columbian Museum and Savannah Advertiser (Charleston), 1814
De Bow’s Review
Evening Gazette (Charleston), 1785-1822
Genius of Universal Emancipation, 1821-1822
The Georgian (Savannah), 1822
Hartford Courant, 1822
New York Daily Advertiser
Southern Chronicle and Camden Gazette, 1822-1824
The Congressional Globe: New Series Containing Sketches of the Debates and Proceedings of the Second Session of the Thirtieth Congress. Washington, D.C.: Blair and Rives, 1849.
Cooper, Thomas and David J. McCord, eds. Statutes at Large of South Carolina, Volumes 1-10, 1836-1840. Columbia, SC.
Fifth Census, 1830. Washington, D.C.: Duff Green, 1832.
Fourth Census, 1820. Washington, D.C.: Gales and Seaton, 1821.
Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790, South Carolina. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1908.
Hurd, John Codman, ed. The Law of Freedom and Bondage in the United States, Volumes 1 and 2. Boston: Little, Brown, 1862.
Johnson, William. “To the Public of Charleston.” 1822
____. Nugae Georgicae: An Essay Delivered to the Literary and Philosophical Society of South Carolina, October 1815. Charleston, SC, 1822.
____. Opinion of the Hon. William Johnson, Delivered 7 August 1823 in the Case of the Arrest of the British Seaman, ex parte, Henry Elkison v. Francis Deliesseline, Sheriff of Charleston. In Free Blacks, Slaves, and Slaveholders in Civil and Criminal Courts: The Pamphlet Literature, ed. Paul Finkelman, ser. 4 vol. 1. New York, 1988.
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