A warm welcome to Cindy Hines. Cindy Hines is a professional writer and a Beyond Kin Project genealogist. She is descended from Irish and Scottish colonisers and enslavers.
Hand-drawn map of Scotland and Northern Ireland indicating where Clan MacLachlan was located in the Scottish Highlands before fleeing to County Antrim in Northern Ireland in the mid-16th century, where the surname became Laughlin. (Source: LeBlanc, Eva Laughlin. Descendants of John Laughlin from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Cullen, Ala. : Gregath Co., 1985.)
William Laughlin, my 6th great-granduncle, was born in about 1720 in what is now Dervock, County Antrim, Northern Ireland (formerly Ulster). His Presbyterian ancestors fled to Ireland from the Clan MacLachlan lands of Strathlachlan on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands in about 1550-1555 after losing a war with England known as the “Rough Wooing.” This was during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, who was Catholic and, thus, wanted a Catholic kingdom.
In 1641, England and Scotland sent troops to protect the Scottish colonizers from ethnic conflict in the North Antrim Coast of Ireland after a Catholic Irish massacre of Protestant Scottish colonizers in this Ulster province. It was around this time that William's ancestors most likely moved north from Ballymoney to nearby Dervock, which was a military station occupied by a Scottish regiment.
Around the time of a famine in Ireland from 1740 to 1741, William Laughlin emigrated to the New World with his brothers John, my 6th great-grandfather, and James. (Some lines of the family say that James was a cousin. My line says “brother.”) They arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between about 1740-1744. Some sources say that William arrived as early as 1736, although I’ve been unable to verify this.
Shortly after their arrival, William and his brothers settled near Big Spring in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania (now Newville, Pennsylvania), where the majority of the colonizing population were Scotch-Irish immigrants from Ulster, Ireland (now Northern Ireland).
The Scotch-Irish immigrants in the Newville area attended Big Spring Presbyterian Church. The membership rolls show many Laughlin families, including William Laughlin, his family, and Rachel, the woman whom he enslaved.
Although Pennsylvania was technically a free state by 1780 due to the Gradual Abolition Act, this act permitted Pennsylvania enslavers to keep in bondage anyone who they had already enslaved. Therefore, some 6,000 people remained enslaved in Pennsylvania after the act. The last enslaved people in Pennsylvania were recorded in 1840. The Big Spring Presbyterian Church rolls of 1789 list 22 enslaved people in the congregation.
The rolls list the names and ages of the Scotch-Irish parishioners. They list the names of the enslaved African and African-Irish parishioners after the names of the family who enslaved them. In addition, the rolls denote whether a person was “in communion,” that is whether they were full members of the church who were able to receive communion. Enslaved parishioners were not permitted to be “in communion,” so the rolls list them only as adherents. To become adherents, they had to memorize the answers to a number of catechism questions.
Following are the names of the William Laughlin family and Rachel, the woman whom William enslaved, from the Big Spring Presbyterian Church 1789 Confessions of Faith.
William Laughlin, 69 (b. 1720)
Mary Laughlin, 48 (b. 1741)
James Laughlin, 17 (b. 1772)
John Laughlin, 15 (b. 1774)
William Laughlin, 9 (b. 1780)
Rachel, a negro
Rachel also appears on the tax records for William Laughlin in 1779, 1785, 1787, and 1788. The 1787 tax list for West Pennsboro township in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, lists Rachel as “1 Slave” along with 1 grist mill, 2 horses, 4 cows, and 150 acres owned by William Laughlin.
.Although I have finished researching Rachel and her enslaver William Laughlin, I am still researching the remaining 21 enslaved parishioners of the Big Spring Presbyterian Church. Their stories will follow in a later blog.
Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau. 'Laughlin Mill'.
(www.visitcumberlandvalley.com/listing/laughlin-mill/1152/) (Accessed 31 Mar 2021).
Engebretson, Kathleen Joyce Laughlin. Laughlin’s from Scotland/Ireland to America Coast to Coast (2003).
Hines, Harvey K. “Hon. Robert R. Laughlin.” An Illustrated History of the State of Oregon: Containing a History of Oregon From the Earliest Period of Its Discovery to the Present Time, Together With Glimpses of Its Auspicious Future. Chicago: The Lewis publishing co. (1893), p. 705.
LeBlanc, Eva Laughlin. Descendants of John Laughlin from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Cullen, Ala. : Gregath Co. (1985).
Newville Borough The History of Newville
(https://www.newvilleborough.com/about-newville) (Accessed 31 Mar 2021).
Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission; Records of the Office of the Comptroller General, RG-4; Tax & Exoneration Lists, 1762-1794; Microfilm Rolls: 324, 326, 334, 326.
Swope, Gilbert Ernest. History of the Big Spring Presbyterian Church, Newville, Pa., 1737-1898 (1898).
Wing, Conway P. “West Pennsborough.” History of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: James D. Scott (1879).
Cindy's work has been uploaded to The Beyond Kin Project Directory at
Search under: Researcher, Cindy Hines
An examination of the impact of Irish men and women on the lives of enslaved people would not be complete without the addition of Irish overseers. Their impact on the lives of enslaved people was substantial. Overseers managed the planting of crops and harvesting. They also 'managed' the lives of enslaved people in minute detail and were often brutal in the extreme. In historic documents, overseers are not always identified by name but the 1850 U.S. Federal Census identifies many by their names and occupation.
The following is a list of Irish-born overseers identified in 1850 Census returns for South Carolina:
Alguire, John born c1828,
in the household of Hugh M Wardlaw in 1850, Saluda regiment, Abbeville S.C.
Cabeen, Richard born c1813,
in the household of Samuel Bryce in 1850, Fairfield S.C.
Carter, Samuel C born c1822
Own household 1850
Sarah A wife, sons William T, Samuel L, Savannah River Regiment, Abbeville S.C.
Clowney, Moses c1822
in the household of C S Sims (Farmer) 1850
Union County, S.C.
(1860 Census living in Winsboro, Fairfield wife Susannah??)
Comer or Connor, Jesse c1822
in the household of C S Sims (Farmer) 1850
Union County, S.C.
Covin, James W c1813
Mary A wife, daughter Frances H, son Peter F
Saluda, Abbeville, S.C.
Graham, John L c1818
Sumter, Sumter S.C.
Keown, Robert c1827
in the household of Nancy Keown
Svannah River regiment, Abbeville S.C.
Magell, John c1823
Venetia wife, son James M
Saluda Regiment, Abbeville, S.C.
McDowel, John c1815
Household Dr Thomas B Dandy
Abbeville, Abbeville S.C.
McGrath, Michael c1816
Ellen wife, sons James, John
Savannah River Regiment, Abbeville S.C.
McNeil, Thomas c1810
Margaret wife, daughters Eliza, Jane, Margaret, Martha, sons William, Robert, Andrew.
Savannah River Regiment, Abbeville, S.C.
Ross, John c1808
Own household, lived alone
Division 2, Darlington, S.C.
Scott, Matthew c1820
Stuart, James c1827
Jane wife? & Margaret G Stuart
Workman, John c1827
Ann wife, sons Robert, James, daughters Jane, Amanda, Nancy.
Savannah River Regiment, Abbeville, S.C.
Unfortunately, the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, does not identify the farm or plantation on which the above named men worked. If you have uncovered this information please contact us so that we can ammend this blog. It is also worth noting that where an oral history exists in an African American family, sometimes the overseer is identified as the slaveholder. In some cases also the overseer may own enslaved people whom he hires out to the plantation owner.
1850 U.S. Federal Census (ancestry.com) (accessed 3 April 2021).
search terms exact: place South Carolina, place of birth Ireland, Overseer.
A warm welcome today to Stacy Ashmore Cole. Stacy is the curator of the Liberty County, Georgia digital public history project, They had names and is a descendant of slaveholders. The project has identified and recorded over 30,000 names of African-Americans in Liberty County, Georgia.
According to the memoirs of his wife’s family, William McWhir was born in the parish of Moneyrea, County Down, Ireland, on September 9, 1759, to James and Jean (Gibson) McWhir. He was a homely child, and a bout with smallpox that cost him an eye and his complexion did nothing to improve his looks. His father and grandfather had both been elders in the Presbyterian church and so, despite the lack of any calling, he was pushed into the study of religion in Belfast and at the University of Glasgow. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Killiheagh in 1783.
McWhir had long been interested in America, and decided immediately after his ordination, right at the end of the American Revolution, to move there in hopes of bettering his situation. He quickly obtained a teaching position in Alexandria, Virginia, at an academy attended by George Washington’s nephews, where he saw and corresponded with Washington frequently.
Finding Alexandria expensive, in 1791 he accepted a call from the people of Sunbury, on the Georgia coast south of Savannah, to head the Sunbury Academy and their Presbyterian Church. There he married Mary Jones LaPina Baker, the recent widow of Colonel John Baker, a Revolutionary War hero who had been a member of the Council of Safety of 1776 and commanded a regiment of militia in what became Liberty County after the Revolution succeeded. Mary Jones LaPina Baker purchased Flora, Hannah, Nanny, Quash, Prince, Cumba, Boson, and Amaritta from her step-son John Baker in 1793.
Harden, William, William McWhir, An Irish Friend of Washington, Georgia Historical Quarterly (volume 1, 1917), p. 197.
1793 sale of land and enslaved people by John Baker (Jr) to Mary Baker (Colonel John Baker’s widow): Liberty County Superior Court, “Deeds & Mortgages v. DD 1795-1798,” p. 100-2, John Baker to Mary Baker; digital image, FamilySearch.org, “Deeds & Mortgages, v. C-D 1793-1801” within “Deeds and mortgages, 1777-1920; general index to deeds and mortgages, 1777-1958,” image #68-9, (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3QP-5PDG?cat=292358) (accessed 30 Mar. 2021).
McWhir and his wife Mary lived on Springfield Plantation, near Sunbury, Liberty County, Georgia. Although there are conflicting accounts of how McWhir came to acquire Springfield Plantation, it is clear from land records that he did own it.
In 1803, McWhir sold “one negro man named Jack” to merchants in Savannah for $350.
1803 sale of Jack by McWhir to Williamson and Morell, merchants in Savannah: Chatham County Superior Court, “Deeds & Mortgages v. 1X 1838-1839,” p. 232, William McWhir to Williams and Morell; digital image, FamilySearch.org, “Deeds & Mortgages, v. 1X-1Y 1802-1805” within “Deeds and mortgages, 1777-1920; general index to deeds and mortgages, 1777-1958,” image #128
(www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3QP-Y99C-G?cat=140778) (accessed 30 Mar. 2021)
In 1846, McWhir “traded” a young enslaved man named Bounty, 17 or 18 years old, to Charlton Hines, a planter of Liberty County, in return for
“a certain negro slave named Daniel about twenty two years old, the property of the said estate of Lewis Hines (Charlton’s brother) as servant and waiting man to him the said William McWhir during his natural life and that after the death of the said William McWhir, the said Daniel shall be returned to the said Charlton Hines executor as aforesaid or his successor or legal representative of said estate.”
Daniel evidently returned to the ownership of Charlton Hines, as a man called Daniel, valued at $2000, was listed in Charlton Hines’ 1864 estate inventory.
Trade of Bounty for Daniel 1846.
Liberty County Superior Court “Deeds and mortgages, 1777-1920; general index to deeds and mortgages, 1777-1958,” Film: Deeds & Mortgages, v. M-N 1842-1854,”
Record Book M, pp. 438-9. Image #277 (www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3QP-5H22?cat=292358).
1864 Charlton Hines estate inventory naming Daniel: “Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990,” Liberty > Wills 1863-1942 vol C-D > image 43 of 430 database with images, (www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L93L-RJ96?i=42&wc=9SYY-ZNP%3A267679901%2C268025701&cc=1999178) (accessed 30 mar. 2021)
In 1819, Mary died and McWhir returned to Ireland to visit his only brother. After his return to Georgia, he traveled from church to church acting as a “supply” preacher in Bryan, Liberty and McIntosh counties. In 1839, there was a financial panic in the United States in which the price of cotton dropped dramatically and many coastal Georgia planters experienced financial distress and even ruin. McWhir sold twenty enslaved people -- Joe, Susannah, Joannah, Monday, Betsey, Phoebe, Isabel, Young Joe, Hetty, Biner [Binah], Jim, Nanny, Bounty, Simon, Beck, Sam, Peter, Zauger, Cato, and Alsendore – to Francis M. Stone, a prominent alderman and tax collector of Savannah in 1839. The enslaved people netted $8000 for McWhir, which he used to support himself for the rest of his life.
He loaned the money back to Stone in 1844. Stone used the same enslaved people he had purchased from McWhir as collateral for the loan:
"the following named and described Negro slaves being twenty one in number to wit Joe aged about fifty five years Susannah aged about fifty five years Monday aged about thirty years Joe aged about twenty one years Joanna aged about thirty five years Betsey aged about twenty five years Phoebe aged about twenty two years Isabel aged about nineteen years Hetty child of Joanna aged about thirteen years Mary child of Betsey aged about three years Dennis also child of Betsey aged about one year Binah aged about forty three years Cato aged about fifty five years Jim aged about thirty years Nanny aged about eighteen years Bounty aged about sixteen years Beck aged about twelve years, Simon aged about eight years, Cato [or Kato] aged about four years and an infant child of Binah aged about eight months and Sam aged about fifty five years together with the future issue and increase of the female slaves...."
Stone paid off the note by 1849, as attested by McWhir’s step-grandson, Edward J. Harden, with whom he lived in Savannah, Georgia for some time.
Chatham County Superior Court, “Deeds & Mortgages v. 2W 1838-1839,” p. 482, William McWhir to F.M. Stone; digital image, “Deeds & Mortgages, v. 2V-2W 1837-1839” within “Deeds and mortgages, 1777-1920; general index to deeds and mortgages, 1777-1958,” image #551 (www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C3Q5-W4BD?cat=140778) (accessed 30 Mar. 2021).
McWhir spent the rest of his life on visits to family and former pupils. He died in 1851 at the South Hampton plantation home of Roswell King, Jr., overseer for Pierce Mease Butler at his Butler Island plantation near Darien in McIntosh County, Georgia. King Jr., was notorious, even in his own lifetime, for his violence against and rape of enslaved people. McWhir's funeral service was conducted by another slaveholder, Rev. I.S.K. Axson, at the Midway Church, Liberty County, Georgia on February 2, 1851. He was buried in the Sunbury Cemetery next to his wife.
Stacy has undertaken extensive research on McWhir, his wife and her family which is available here theyhadnames.net/2021/03/29/slaveholder-series-william-mcwhir/
To learn more about They had names you can listen to an interview Stacy gave to Bernice Bennet on Research at the National Archives and beyond, Blogtalk radio, 2020.
I would like to give a warm welcome today to our newest contributor Margaret Seidler. Margaret is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. She is retired now after a career in leadership development and organization management.
After a lifetime of believing that my family was not involved in slavery, a deeper investigation of my family tree led to the discovery that I am a descendant of John Gordon Torrans of County Derry, Ireland (1702-1780), a partner in the shipping and shipping agent firm of Torrans, Greg and Poaug on Bay Street.
Torrans, Greg and Pouag brought many Ulster people to the Carolinas, then later expanded their operation to include the transportation of enslaved Africans into Charleston.
In 1791, Torrans' daughter Maria Margaret (1772-1827) married William Payne (dec. 1834). Payne was a son of servants to the Butler family from Cloughrenan, County Carlow, Ireland, He arrived in Charleston about 1786, accompanying their son, Edward Butler, the nephew of Major Pierce Butler. At first, Payne worked as a clerk for Pierce Butler but by 1803 he had started a brokerage business. He was later joined by his sons John William and Joshua. William Payne and Sons, became the largest auction house in Charleston engaged in the sale of thousands of enslaved people in the domestic slave trade. My research to date has focused on uncovering these transactions in historical newspaper advertisements.
The attached pdf. includes my research on William Payne & Sons to date and also my email address if you would like to contact me.
Margaret Seidler: Domestic Slave Trading in Charleston 1800-1832 (13 Oct. 2020)
If you would like to learn more about Margaret's research, the above talk was one she gave to local historians and tour guides in Charleston, Oct 2020.
This is a Census substitute for the families enslaved by William McKenna who died in 1859. The map is 'live' if you click on a pin you will find further information about the families. If you are related to any of the families and would like to add additional information to the map, please contact me on Twitter twitter.com/saytheirnamesIr Your contribution will be acknowledged unless you wish to remain anonymous.
Source: Auction Catalogue 1861, Lancaster County. Diocesan records and Episcopal Papers (1816-1993), Catholic Diocese of Charleston Archives, (U.S.A.).
Heisser, David, ‘Bishop Lynch’s people: slaveholding by a South Carolina prelate’ in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, 102:3 (July 2001), pp 238-62.
William McKenna, part 2, Mandee Jones b.1835
Mandee Jones was born about 1835 (according to earlier sources) in South Carolina. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Mrs. Jones was recorded as a widow living with her son Kelly, her grand daughter Mary B Belk (age 20) and her great grand daughter Mary E Belk (age 1) in Gills Creek, Lancaster, South Carolina. She was the mother of 12 children, of whom 8 were still alive in 1900. There is no entry for her marriage date. Mrs. Jones was recorded as a home-owner, a remarkable achievement for a woman born in slavery who could not read or write.
I first discovered Mandee Jones, known as Grushey prior to Emancipation, in the property records of Irish slaveholder William McKenna. She and her children William aged 7, Harriet aged 6, James Wash aged 3 and Eliza Jane aged 1, were listed for sale at public auction in January 1861 in Lancaster, South Carolina.
In the 1870 U. S. Federal Census, Mandee Jones was recorded as Gushen McKenna, the mother of 6 children, Harriet, Dick, Eliza, Mary, Emma and Kelly ranging in age from 14-1. She and her family were given the racial designation Mulatto. This is significant because it suggests that she and/or her children may have had a European parent. Living next door to Gushen is Charles L Jones, Trial Justice, who is identified as her husband in the 1880 Census.
Gushia was recorded as the wife of Charles L Jones in 1880. She was still living in Gills Creek, Lancaster County. Her children were named as Toney aged 21, Rufus aged 18, Mary aged 16, Daniel aged 14, Emma aged 12, Kelly aged 10 and Louiza aged 6. Gushia and Charles’ sons Toney, Rufus and Kelly were recorded as house servants as was their daughter Mary. Charles was recorded as a farmer and Gushia and her son Daniel as field labourers. Their daughter Eliza had married and had a son John Price aged 5 and daughter Louiza Price aged 3 and a two-month old baby girl.
Charles Jones was one of the elected delegates of Lancaster County to the South Carolina Reconstruction Convention. The Convention took place at the Club House, Meeting Street, Charleston on 14 January 1868. More research needs to be undertaken to identify what happened to Charles L. Jones between 1880-1900.
Jones family members
All birth dates are approximate. Whilst every attempt has been made to achieve accuracy further research may call into question information contained here. Should this happen the blog will be updated promptly. An abbreviated version of this information is available www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1UWvU9xIybDTb73hveTaQORzs_bYkQig0&hl=en&usp=sharing
Mandee Jones born 1835
her husband Charles L Jones born 1824
William/Dick born 1853
Harriet born 1854
James Wash 1857
Toney Jones born 1859
Eliza Jane Jones born 1859, husband surname Price, children John and Louiza
Rufus Jones born 1862, wife Georgina Clinton or Crockett, children Mary Boyken (husband Albert), Charley, Hallie, Lollie, Henry (died 1918, burial Witherspoon), grandchildren Maud & Albert Boyken.
Mary Jones born 1864
Daniel Jones born 1866
Emma Jones born 1866
Kelly Jones born 1869
Louiza Jones born 1874
By 1900, 4 of Mrs. Jones 12 children had died.
Grandchildren of Mandee & Charles Jones
Mary B Belk born 1880
Curtis Belk born 1875
Great grand daughter
Mary E Belk born 1899 (probably daughter of Mary B Belk)
Mandee Jones name is transcribed as 'Mandee', however a close reading of the original document with Stacy Ashmore Cole suggests that her name is written as Mander. A descendant has contacted me also to say that many names she has found in documents have an 'r' added when a name ends in a vowel, for example Cula transcribed as Cular.
In 1900, Mandee Jones is recorded as the mother of 12 children. It is on this basis and the fact that Mandee Jones is recorded as living with the above named children (at different times) that the children are recorded here as Mandee's children. Death certificates or other documents may prove otherwise.
"List of Negroes, 14 November I860," along with a list of families and prices, CDA, Lynch Unclassified Papers, box 3, folder 2; Catalogue of Negro Slaves of the Estate of the Hon. William McKenna, Deceased...
With thanks to Brian P Fahey, Archivist, Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston.
1870 U.S. Federal Census
1880 U.S. Federal Census
1900 U. S Federal Census
South Carolina Deaths 1915-1965
(familysearch.org) (accessed 1 Jan. 2021).
Edgefield Advertiser, 18 Dec. 1867
William McKenna, part 1
William Hill was born in 1805 in Co. Antrim to a Presbyterian family who supported the United Irishmen. He arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1822. By 1824 he had established himself as a storekeeper. He married Anna Hamilton Donald, the daughter of Major John Donald of Donaldsville. They went on to have six sons and four daughters. He served in the Seminole War in Florida in Captain Thomas Parker's company.
By 1850 he is recorded as a farmer with Real Estate to the value of $2,500 residing in Saluda, Abbeville County. At this time he owned four enslaved people: two women aged 35 and 21, and two boys aged 15 and 12. He is not the only William Hill residing in Abbeville County in 1850 but he is the only one recorded as Irish-born at that time.
In 1852, he was elected to the local court as Court Ordinary. He served in this role until 1868, at which time his position was retitled as Judge of Probate. Throughout his life Hill maintained correspondence with his brother David Hill and three letters can be found in the Irish Emigration Database which refer to his slaveholding activities. The Irish Emigration Database was established in 1988 and contains items from 1700-1950, Three-quarters of the collection are from the period 1820-1920 with a concentration of material from the Province of Ulster.
In a letter dated 24 Jan 1855, to his brother David, William Hill acknowledges ownership of seven human beings, 'three young Negro fellows' unnamed and 'two Negro women' one of whom is only sixteen years of age but already the mother of two children, also unnamed. It is important to note that this young girl was only thirteen years of age when she had her first child.
William Hill goes on to boast that his 'Negro property' is worth $6,000. It is clear from the letter that Hill understands that his brother David considers slavery to be morally wrong but he deflects criticism by reconstituting it as a difference of opinion, a defence in common use by slaveholders of the time. He continues by questioning the belief that slavery and Christianity are inconsistent and does not appreciate the attempts of David McAurtry to make him reconsider his position as a slaveholder.
In 1860, William Hill is recorded as Court Ordinary (Judge) of Abbeville County with Real Estate valued at $8,000 and Personal Estate of $12,000. Personal Estate includes the market value of the human beings he enslaved. The 1860 Slave Schedule records his ownership of 14 enslaved people, the oldest a 62 year old woman and the youngest a newborn baby boy.
William Hill's letter dated 2 Sept. 1865, bemoans his loss of wealth ($30,000) following Emancipation, which includes the loss of all but three of the people he enslaved.
In spite of his career as a slaveholder, William Hill was lauded as a person of 'character and integrity' at the time of his death in 1886.
I have been unable to find documents which name the people enslaved by William Hill to date and would welcome any information about them.
Letters from William Hill, Abbeville, South Carolina to his brother, David Hill, Co. Antrim, Ireland, Irish Emigration Database (www.dippam.ac.uk/ied) (accessed 14Jan. 2021).
1850 U.S. Federal Census
1850 Slave Schedule
1860 U.S. Federal Census
1860 Slave Schedule
(familysearch.org) (accessed 12 Jan 2021).
Abbeville Messenger 19 Jan. 1886
Mitchell, Arthur, South Carolina Irish, Charleston (2011), p. 64.
William McKenna of Cockhill, Donegal, Ireland and Lancaster County, South Carolina died in 1859. He left the bulk of his estate to Patrick Lynch, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston. The will was contested by McKenna's daughter Anna McKenna Mittag. An auction was held in Lancaster in 1861 which names the families enslaved by William McKenna.
Mandee Jones born in 1835 is the first person identified in this research post-Emancipation.
Further information will be added here later. If you are a descendant of the families listed above please contact me on twitter.com/saytheirnamesIr
Please note the map above does not indicate the specific locations of the families. It appears that the plantation was known as Malta Plantation.
Diocesan records and Episcopal Papers (1816-1993), Catholic Diocese of Charleston Archives, (U.S.A.): Will of William McKenna, CDA, 23R8, Printed copy.
Lancaster Ledger, 5 Dec. 1860.
Independent Press (Abbeville), 1 April 1859.
Heisser, David, ‘Bishop Lynch’s people: slaveholding by a South Carolina prelate’ in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, 102:3 (July 2001), pp 238-62.
Patrick Calhoun, born in Donegal, Ireland in 1727, died in Abbeville, South Carolina in 1796. Patrick Calhoun and his wife Martha Caldwell were the parents of politician John Caldwell Calhoun 1782-1850, Catherine Calhoun Waddel, William, James and Patrick Calhoun.
Enslaved people named in the Estate Inventory of Patrick Calhoun on 25 Jan. 1797:
Men & boys
Women & girls
Sources: South Carolina Wills and Probate Records 1670-1980 (ancestry.com) (accessed 17 Nov. 2020).
Camden Weekly Journal, 27 Mar. 1855.
Benjamin, born c1768, was living in Philadelphia in 1804, enslaved by Pierce Butler, of Co. Carlow, Ireland, South Carolina and Butler Island, Georgia (1744-1822). He had lived mostly in Philadelphia since 1793. In 1804, Benjamin appealed for help to the Abolition Society since Pierce Butler had decided to send him to his Georgia plantation. Benjamin did not want to leave his wife in Philadelphia because she was in poor health. Isaac T Hopper, was appointed to serve a Writ of habeas corpus on Pierce Butler at his house on Chestnut Street.
After two adjournments for further investigation, Judge Inskeep, found in favour of Benjamin and set him free. Benjamin, began work for Isaac W Morris (1770-1831) in Cedar Grove about three miles outside Philadelphia. Isaac W Morris was also a Quaker and in 1804 had been appointed to the care of the school for free children of colour.
However, Pierce Butler, did not relinquish his claim easily. While Benjamin was in Philadelphia, on business for his employer, he was arrested by a U.S. marshall on a Writ of De homine replegiando with bail set for $2,000. Isaac T Hopper and Thomas Harrison signed the bond and Benjamin was released once again. Judges Bushrod Washington and Richard Peters heard the Case in October 1806. Benjamin was discharged by the Circuit Court and 'enjoyed his liberty thenceforth without interruption.'
L. Maria Child, Isaac T. Hopper, A True Life, (1853).
(http://www.gutenberg.org) (7 Aug. 2019).
E-text prepared by Curtis Weyant and Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders.
Following is an extract from Child's book, Isaac T. Hopper, A True Life.
In August, 1804, a colored man about thirty-six years old waited upon the committee of the Abolition Society, and stated that he was born a slave to Pierce Butler, Esq., of South Carolina, and had always lived in his family. During the last eleven years, he had resided most of the time in Pennsylvania. Mr. Butler now proposed taking him to Georgia; but he was very unwilling to leave his wife, she being in delicate health and needing his support. After mature consideration of the case, the committee, believing Ben was legally entitled to freedom, agreed to apply to Judge Inskeep for a writ of habeas corpus; and Isaac T. Hopper was sent to serve it upon Pierce Butler, Esq., at his house in Chestnut-street.
Being told that Mr. Butler was at dinner, he said he would wait in the hall until it suited his convenience to attend to him. Mr. Butler was a tall, lordly looking man, somewhat imperious in his manners, as slaveholders are wont to be. When he came into the hall after dinner, Friend Hopper gave him a nod of recognition, and said, "How art thou, Pierce Butler? I have here a writ of habeas corpus for thy Ben."
Mr. Butler glanced over the paper, and exclaimed, "Get out of my house, you scoundrel!"
Feigning not to hear him, Friend Hopper looked round at the pictures and rich furniture, and said with a smile, "Why, thou livest like a nabob here!"
"Get out of my house, I say!" repeated Mr. Butler, stamping violently.
"This paper on the walls is the handsomest I ever saw," continued Isaac. "Is it French, or English? It surely cannot have been manufactured in this country." Talking thus, and looking leisurely about him as he went, he moved deliberately toward the door; the slaveholder railing at him furiously all the while.
"I am a citizen of South Carolina," said he. "The laws of Pennsylvania have nothing to do with me. May the devil take all those who come between masters and their slaves; interfering with what is none of their business." Supposing that his troublesome guest was deaf, he put his head close to his ear, and roared out his maledictions in stentorian tones.
Friend Hopper appeared unconscious of all this. When he reached the threshold, he turned round and said, "Farewell. We shall expect to see thee at Judge Inskeep's."
This imperturbable manner irritated the hot-blooded slave-holder beyond endurance. He repeated more vociferously than ever, "Get out of my house, you scoundrel! If you don't, I'll kick you out." The Quaker walked quietly away, as if he didn't hear a word.
At the appointed time, Mr. Butler waited upon the Judge, where he found Friend Hopper in attendance. The sight of him renewed his wrath. He cursed those who interfered with his property; and taking up the Bible, said he was willing to swear upon that book that he would not take fifteen hundred dollars for Ben. Friend Hopper charged him with injustice in wishing to deprive the man of his legal right to freedom. Mr. Butler maintained that he was as benevolent as any other man.
"Thou benevolent!" exclaimed Friend Hopper. "Why, thou art not even just. Thou hast already sent back into bondage two men, who were legally entitled to freedom by staying in Philadelphia during the term prescribed by law. If thou hadst a proper sense of justice, thou wouldst bring those men back, and let them take the liberty that rightfully belongs to them."
"If you were in a different walk of life, I would treat your insult as it deserves," replied the haughty Southerner.
"What dost thou mean by that? asked Isaac. Wouldst thou shoot me, as Burr did Hamilton? I assure thee I should consider it no honor to be killed by a member of Congress; and surely there would be neither honor nor comfort in killing thee; for in thy present state of mind thou art not fit to die."
Mr. Butler told the judge he believed that man was either deaf or crazy when he served the writ of habeas corpus; for he did not take the slightest notice of anything that was said to him. Judge Inskeep smiled as he answered, "You don't know Mr. Hopper as well as we do."
A lawyer was procured for Ben; but Mr. Butler chose to manage his own cause. He maintained that he was only a sojourner in Pennsylvania; that Ben had never resided six months at any one time in that State, except while he was a member of Congress; and in that case, the law allowed him to keep his slave in Pennsylvania as long as he pleased. The case was deemed an important one, and was twice adjourned for further investigation. In the course of the argument, Mr. Butler admitted that he returned from Congress to Philadelphia, with Ben, on the second of January, 1804, and had remained there with him until the writ of habeas corpus was served, on the third of August, the same year. The lawyers gave it as their opinion that Ben's legal right to freedom was too plain to admit of any doubt. They said the law to which Mr. Butler had alluded was made for the convenience of Southern gentlemen, who might need the attendance of their personal slaves, when Congress met in Philadelphia; but since the seat of government was removed, it by no means authorized members to come into Pennsylvania with their slaves, and keep them there as long as they chose. After much debate, the judge gave an order discharging Ben from all restraint, and he walked off rejoicing.
His master was very indignant at the decision, and complained loudly that a Pennsylvania court should presume to discharge a Carolinian slave.
When Ben was set at liberty, he let himself to Isaac W. Morris, then living at his country seat called Cedar Grove, three miles from Philadelphia. Being sent to the city soon after, on some business for his employer, he was attached by the marshall of the United States, on a writ De homine replegiando, at the suit of Mr. Butler, and two thousand dollars were demanded for bail. The idea was probably entertained that so large an amount could not be procured, and thus Ben would again come into his master's possession. But Isaac T. Hopper and Thomas Harrison signed the bail-bond, and Ben was again set at liberty, to await his trial before the Circuit Court of the United States. Bushrod Washington, himself a slaveholder, presided in that court, and Mr. Butler was sanguine that he should succeed in having Judge Inskeep's decision reversed. The case was brought in October, 1806, before Judges Bushrod Washington and Richard Peters. It was ably argued by counsel on both sides. The court discharged Ben, and he enjoyed his liberty thenceforth without interruption.
For further information about African Americans in Pierce Butler's records and those of his extended family contact Brian Sheffey on Twitter twitter.com/genealogadvent
Bell, Malcolm, Major Butler’s Legacy: Five Generations of a Slaveholding Family (University of Georgia Press) 1987.
Bailey, Anne, The Weeping Time: Memory and the largest slave auction in American history (Cambridge University Press) 2017.
Kemble, Fanny, Journal of a residence on a Georgian plantation 1838-39 (www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12422) free download.
Martine Brennan (Curator)
Enslavement to citizenship: African Americans in Irish Slaveholder records by Martine Brennan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.