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Monday, December 28, 2015

Slaves Sued for Individual Freedom

During the 17th century numerous suits were entered by slaves to recover their freedom, for which the courts allowed ample justice. An action brought in 1695 in Elizabeth City County by a negro against the executors of Colonel John Lear in which the slave alleged that he was entitled to his freedom, the executors failed to appear and an order was entered that unless Thomas Goddin and Lewis Burwell appeared at the next court, that the slave would be freed. Source: Records of York County, vol. 1690-1694, p. 328.

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