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Calvin, Agnes (fl. 1863) [Petition of a free black to become a slave of a master of her choice]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08955 Author/Creator: Calvin, Agnes (fl. 1863) Place Written: Marion County, Texas Type: Manuscript document signed Date: May 1863 Pagination: 2 p. ; 32.5 x 20 cm.

Summary of Content: Petitions for the right to choose her master. States that since she is "a free person of Africa descent" she is entitled to "choose a master for herself and two said children," and the "petitioner makes choice of J.S.H. Hossack to become her master." Though free, Calvin has been struggling so badly to get by that she is willing to have a master of her choosing in exchange for subsistence for herself and her family. Petition made "to the honorable B. W. Gray." Signed by Calvin wih her mark. For related documents see GLC03840, GLC06375, and GLC09123.

Full Transcript: Agnes Calvin } In the District Court
A free Negro Woman } Marion County State
Exparte } of Texas -
May Term, 1863.

To the Honorable B. W. Gray
Judge of Senior Court
The ...petition of Agnes Calvin Respectfully that she is a free person of African descent and a resident of the County of Marion in the State of Texas, having come to said State from the State of North Carolina on or about the day of May 1860;
First her petition shows that she is about thirty five years of age and has two female children, one named Joanna, thirteen years of age, the other named Mary Margrett, nine years of age:
Further petitions States that she desires to elect or choose a master for herself and said two children Joanna and Mary Margrett [illegible] to the Statutes in such case made and provided And to that [inserted: and] petitioner makes choice of J.S.H. Hossack to become her Master and the Master of said children, a person of good repute and a resident citizen of the County of Marion aforesaid;
[2] In consideration of these premises petitioner prays that a decree may be made and entered in this Court Making the said J.S.H. Hossack the Master and owner of your petitioner And her said two children Joanna and Mary Margrett And your petitioner as duty bound will even pray &c her
Agnes X Calvin
Signed in the presence of }
Wm. [Himins] }
W. J. Parker }
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People: Calvin, Agnes, fl. 1863

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Woman AuthorWomen's HistorySlaveryBlack AuthorAfrican American HistoryFreemenTexasChildren and FamilyPoverty

Sub Era: African Americans and Emancipation

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