AS the country’s enumerators set out to collect data for the young nation’s seventh federal census, Congress was once again battling to find a compromise that would settle the slavery agitation once and for all–AND preserve the Union. By the fall of 1850, California had been admitted as a free state, Texas had its boundaries redrawn to accommodate the eventual states of Arizona and New Mexico, a severe Fugitive Slave Act had been imposed nationwide, and the District of Columbia’s slave trade (not slavery) had been banned. This was life after the Compromise of 1850, an earnest attempt to save the Union from disintegration.
William, Anderson and siblings were living in a world in which six of the first ten presidents were slave holders, and the eleventh, President Polk (1845-1849), made slave transactions from the White House. Abolitionists were a small but increasingly vocal fraction of the northern population. Pro-slavery advocates, like John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, constructed arguments to guarantee slave holders’ rights citing the Fifth Amendment’s protection of private property. The culture of Franklin and Wake Counties, North Carolina, then, would most certainly have condoned and encouraged the mindset that led the Strickland children to treat Leah’s “lot of slaves” as real estate, property to be guarded, valued and settled.
As the political storm swirled, Leah’s health deteriorated. Sometime between 1 June 1850 and February 1851, Leah Jeffreys Strickland died.
BY 1851 Jasper of Wake County, North Carolina, Anderson of Franklin County, North Carolina and Nick of Fayette County, Tennessee had already sold their right title to the slaves to brother William. John Hilliard of Franklin County, North Carolina had apparently sold his claim to Isham Young, John W. Perry, and Turner Young. Therefore, on 2 May 1851 the group gathered to make the partition of Leah’s “lot” included: William G. Strickland, Joseph Hopkins and wife Julia, John Hopkins, administrator for wife Elizabeth, deceased, Jefferson Richards, administrator for seriously ill wife Ellen, Thomas Perry for wife Jane, Simon K. Strickland, Arabella Strickland and Isham Young, John W. Perry and Turner Young.
The value of the twenty-two slaves was listed as $10,824. There being eleven children of Leah Jeffreys Strickland there were eleven lots assigned to the group. Each lot was valued at $984, and “…therefore charge the more valuable dividends with such sums of money respectively to be paid to those of inferior value respectively, as will make an equitable division.” The freeholders assigned to devised this distribution, Alpheus Jones, Noel Night, John M. Fleming, William H. Hood and HW Montague, listed the following:
Lot No. 1 Dennis and Hannah allotted to W.G. Strickland and valued at $850
Lot No.2 Richard and Candis allotted to Isham Young, John W. Perry and Fenner Young and valued at $925.
Lot No. 3 Fenner and Elizabeth allotted to W.G. Strickland valued at $1075
Lot No. 4 Riddick and Patience allotted to Arabella Strickland valued at $1000
Lot No. 5 Mariah and Andrew allotted to W.G. Strickland valued at $950
Lot No. 6 Mary and John K. Polk allotted to Jefferson Richards, Admr. Valued at $975
Lot No. 7 Carolina and John Peter allotted to Simon K. Strickland valued at $975
Lot No. 8 Sarah age 20 and Sarah age 12 allotted to W.G. Strickland valued at $1025
Lot No. 9 Martha and Alfred allotted to John Hopkins Admr valued at $875
Lot No. 10 Buck and Matilda allotted to Joseph Hopkins and wife valued at $1000
Lot No. 11 Giles and Ann allotted to Thomas Perry valued at $1174
17 March 1852 William G. Strickland purchased Richard and Candis, the negroes drawn by Isham Young, John W. Perry and Fenner Young.
Leah’s lot had remained in the Strickland family for 25 years, hired out perhaps, but never sold to the Deep South. William G. took care to purchase claims to the lot from three brothers, and then to purchase the two slaves who were allotted at Leah’s estate distribution to outsiders. His family in 1852 then included at least these slaves: Andrew, Hannah, Candis–all named in the first transaction of 1837–Dennis, Richard, Fenner, Elizabeth, Mariah, Sarah (20) and Sarah (12). At his death in 1864 William’s widow, Sophia Ivey Strickland, listed 24 slaves as property; the Emancipation Proclamation had not changed the lives of these family members. At least some of these slaves belonged to the “lot”: Sarah, the elder, had five children, Sarah the younger nicknamed Sallie had four children, and Fenner.
From here the “lot” disappear from my records. Perhaps they resurface in Freedman’s Bureau records, Federal Census’ or marriage records as Stricklands, living and working in the free soil of Wake County, North Carolina.
3 thoughts on “The “Lot” of Them: Part Two”
So clearly said, this must have taken some effort to explain the background and to provide clues for further following. I admire your dedication to others in carrying out this labor of love.
I remember reading your post back in 2009 about the Strickland family, well come to find my DNA and 6 of my other cousins matches a descendant of John Perry Strickland and Leah Jeffreys through their daughter Arabella Stickland and plenty of other Strickland descendants of Sampson Strickland son of Matthew and Ann Braswell Strickland. I suspect William Gray Strickland was the father of my 4th great grandmother Rhoda Jeffreys Montague br 1833 a mulatto slave in Little River Wake. Her death certificate listed a Harry Sticklin, but I think her son the informant confused her slave owner Henry Walter Montague’s name Harry with the last name Strickland.
Wow, Jahrod, this DNA searching is going to reunite us with so many ancestors. Thank you for writing and sharing your detective work with me. Please contact me at dkaystrickland43 at gmail dot com, and we can continue our conversation. I have some records that I am more than happy to share with you. And I would love to learn more about your family history. Thanks again for reaching out.