Below are the records we have found that mention slave ownership by various Mabrys/Mayberrys. If you know of other familly documents about slaves, we would be pleased to add them to this list.
|1707 Sep 2||Surry Co VA||Jack, an Indian slave to Francis Maberry adjudged nine years old. (If the tax assessor determined that the slave was 12 years old the slave became taxable as personal property.) This is Francis1 Maybury (abt 1650-1712).|
|1711/12 Mar 20||Surry Co VA||The will of Francis1 Maybury was written on 20 Mar 1711/12. It was presented in Surry County Court on 18 Jun 1712 by his widow and executrix, Elizabeth Maybury. Among the items mentioned in the will is this: "I give & bequeath unto my loving wife Elizabeth one Indian man named Robin and one Indian boy Jack and a mulatto girl...." This is Francis1 Maybury (abt 1650-1712).|
|1712 Aug 20||Surry Co VA||The inventory of the estate of Francis1 Maybury was presented in Surry County Court by his widow and executrix, Elizabeth Maybury. Among the many "items" listed are, "two Indian Slaves" and "one Indian mulatto five years & half to serve".|
|1713 Jun 6||Surry Co VA||On June 6, 1713 Elizabeth Maybury, widow of Francis1 Maybury, wrote her will. Among the many bequests to her children are these items: "to my son Charles Maybury my Indian slave named Robin to him and his heirs forever...."; "to my son Hinshaw Maybury, my Indian slave named Jack to him and his heirs forever...."; to my daughter Judith ...one Indian girl called Nan now about five years to serve...."|
|1744 Sep||Surry Co VA||Francis Mabry alleged that he was challenged on his horse and assaulted by Robin, a negro man slave of Daniel Epps; court declared Robin guilty; to be taken to public whipping post and receive 30 lashes on bare back. This is Francis3 Mabry (Francis2, Francis1).|
|1755||Granville Co NC||"Fran.s Mabry on tax list with 3 polls: 1 white and 2 negroes, Josh and Pat).|
|1755 May 21||Brunswick Co VA||When Hinchia3 Mabry, Jr. (Hinchia2, Francis) wrote his will in April 1755, he made
no mention of any slaves. However, the appraisal of his estate the following month lists:
"1 Negro wench, Dorithy; 1 Negro fellow, Robbin; 1 Negro fellow, Henry; 1 Negro fellow, Peter; 1 negro fellow, Ephraim; 1 Negro fellow, Bonser; 1 Negro girl, Truitt; 1 Negro girl and Dinah.
|1757 Feb 10||Halifax Co NC||Will of Robert Ronard leaves slaves to mother, Barbary Ronard...at her death to bros James & William; Bro James to have plantation where I now live with lands adj. John Mabry and Bradley and the river. Residue of land to bro William and mother. Wit: John Daly and John Mabry. Source: Halifax Will Bk 1, p. 41.|
|1761 Nov 25||Brunswick Co VA||Deed of gift from Joshua Mabry to son Daniel for seven negroes (part of settlement of the estate of Joshua's father Hinchia2 Mabry. Source: Deed Bk 7, p. 171|
|1762 Apr 27||Brunswick Co VA||Hinchia2 Mabry left no will, but the inventory of his estate returned to the Brunswick County Court on April 27, 1762 mentions several slaves: 1 Negro man Shagg; 1 Negro man Tom; 1 Negro boy Nero; 1 Negro man Orto; 1 Negro man Jimms; 1 Negress Dinah; 1 Negress Sara; 1 Negress Shilley; 1 Negress Bett; 1 Negro man Rippon; 1 Negro man David; 1 Negro man Hunter; 1 Negro man Hall; 1 Negro man Archer Source: Brunswick County Will Book 4, p. 287.|
|1762||Granville Co NC||List of taxables for 1762 Granville Co: George Mabrey. Negroes Cuffy, Chansworth, Pedilla.... He was in the Little Fishing Creek Dist (present Warren Co). This is George2 Mabry (Francis1). Source: NC Gen Soc Journal May 1987, p. 100.|
|1767 Jul 27||Brunswick Co VA||John Pettway & Elizabeth, daughter of Hinchia Mabry, release negro girl Kate (given them by Hinchia Mabry) to Nathaniel Mabry. Source: Bruns D Bk 9, p. 30.|
|1769||Brunswick Co VA||Hannah Hill (dau Hinchia Mabry) gave receipt to Joel Mabry adm. of Hinchia's estate for 4 slaves: Ephraim, Dinah, Sarah and Sam and also seven cattle. This is estate of Hinchia3 Mabry (Hinchia2, Francis1) who died in 1755. Source: Bk 9, p. 527.|
|1770 Dec 15||Rowan Co NC||The will of George2 Mabry (Francis1), written on December 15, 1770 names several slaves: "to my Beloved wife, Martha...seven negros to wit Cuffie and Chance Worth and Fadillor, a negro wench Esis and Sam and littell Chance and Sall, a negro garle and further my will is that after my wifes decease of it she should marry or which shall happen first...to my beloved son John Mabry Fiddillor a negro wench to him and his heirs forever...; to my son George a negro fellor named oulde Chance worth to him and his heirs forever...; to my beloved son Isaac Mabry a negro fellow named old Cuffa and Sam a negro boy to him and his heirs forever...; to my beloved son James Mabry Esquire a negro boy and Little Chance and Sall a small negro garle to him and his heirs forever." Source: Rowan Co Will Bk 1, p. 101f.|
|1773 Jun 15||Bute Co NC||Francis3 Mabry (Francis2, Francis1) died in Bute County, NC in 1773. On June 15th of that year he wrote a will condemning his wife and children and leaving everything including his "lands, Negros, stock and whatever I have any title to" to his "dutiful and well beloved grandson, John Mabry". "(It is my) desire that the Negroes and stock be kept on the land and that the said John Mabry be schooled and maintained out of the profits thereof until he be 21 years of age and the remainder if any to be freely enjoyed."|
|1777 May||Bute Co NC||Inv. of Francis3 Mabry estate returned by Wm. Cole for and in behalf of Robert Turnbull, adm.; included are `1 negro fellow, Botswain, 1 wench, Diana, 1 wench, Patty & sundry plantation utensils which were burnt.' Source: Bute Wills & Inventories, Pt I I,p. 32. This is Francis3 Mabry (Francis2, Francis1).|
|1778 Dec 10
1779 Jun 14
|Brunswick Co VA||One of the problems faced by civil authorities during the time of the Revolutionary War
was that of counterfeit money. Counterfeiting was so widespread that it played havoc with
both state and continental treasuries. One counterfeiting ring was located in Brunswick
County, Virginia, home of many of the early descendants of Francis Maybury and Elizabeth
Gilliam. Among these Mabry descendants was Hinchia4 Mabry (Hinchia3, Hinchia2, Francis1).
Hinchia4 was the owner of a slave, known as Kitt, who somehow came into possession
of information about the counterfeiting operation and passed it along to the authorities
which led to the capture of the counterfeiters along with large sums of counterfeit
The Virginia Assembly, knowing that Kitt would be in danger of his life, “from the wrath of those whom he has offended”, directed one of their fellow delegates, George Mason, to draft a resolution which would free the slave and compensate Hinchia Mabry. On December 10, 1778, it was resolved: “That the governor be requested to sequester the said Kitt from his said master, until the end of the next sesson of Assembly; and that the said Hinchia Mabry be summoned to attend this House, upon the tenth day of the next session, to show cause why a bill should not pass for the emancipation of the said negro Kitt, and said Hinchia Mabry receiving full compensation for the same.”
Six months later, on June 14, 1779, with the consent of Hinchia Mabry, a committe of the General Assembly offered a second resolution which was approved by the Assembly on June 19th under the title: “a bill for the manumission of a certain slave”: “Whereas a negro man slave named Kitt, the property of a certain Hinchia Mabry of the county of Brunswick, hath lately rendered meritorious service to this commonwealth, in making the first information and discovery against certain persons concerned in counterfeiting money, whereby so dangerous a confederacy has been in some measure broken, and some of the offenders have been discovered and brought to trial; and it is judged expedient to manumit him for such service; Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That the said Kitt be, and he is hereby declated to be emancipated and set free; any law or usage to the contrary, notwithstanding. And it is is further enacted, That the treasurer of this commonwealth may, and he is hereby required to pay to the said Hinchia Mabry, on producing the auditors warrant, which they are hereby directed to grant, the sum of one thousand pounds out of the publick treasury, as a full compensation for the said slave.” Source: Hening’s Statutes, Vol. X, p. 115.
|1779 May||Brunswick Co VA||Hinchia Mabry paid 1000 pds by State of Va for his slave, Kitt, emancipated by state for turning in counterfeitors. This is Hinchia2 Mabry (Francis1). Source: Henings Statutes v. X, p. 115|
|1780 Mar||Caswell Co NC||Jere Poston returned an account of estate sale for Joseph Mabry, dec'd. with "balance of estate amounting to 2,909 pounds, When divided 3 ways, each child's one-third part was to be 967.17". Household goods, livestock, negroes, etc. The executor was the widow, Mary Mabry Stubblefield. Her children were Joseph, Mary and Elizabeth. Source: Court minutes, Book A, p. 94.|
|1782||Montgomery Co NC||Francis Mabery on tax list with 350 acres, 4 horses, 12 cows and 1 slave. This is Francis4 Mabry (Francis3, Francis2, Francis1.|
|1782-84||Henry Co VA||George Mabry on tax list with 1 white and 6 slaves. This could be either George3 Mabry (George2, Francis1) or his son George4 Mabry.|
|1784 Jan 23||Greensville Co VA||The will of Joel3 Mabry (Hinchia2, Francis) left slaves to his
|1787 May 30||Warren Co NC||Will of Joshua Mabry gave to his son-in-law, Richard Procter, and his grandson, Jordan Procter, a gift of 2 negroes. Source: Warren Co Will Bk. 4, p. 245.|
|1788 Jul 29||Caswell Co NC||Lewis Williams of Pittsylvania Co VA sold to William Holt of Halifax Co VA; a negro woman named Doll now in possession of Richardson Owen. Wit: Braxton Mabrey, Jas. Brooks, & Martha Parker. Braxton4 Mabry was a son of Joel3 (Hinchia2, Francis1. Source: Caswell Co NC Will Books 1777-1814 #261.|
|1789||Fairfield Co SC||Substance of Ephraim Mabry's will. Being weak in body. To my son Joel
Mabry 10 pounds. To James Thomas 10 pounds. To Daniel Mabry, Cicely Mabry,
Margaret Hinchey Mabry, Adam Poole Mabry, Mary Mabry, Elizabeth Mabry, and Ephraim
Mabry, one cow and calf each at their coming of age or marriage. My wife Mary
Mabry my only executrix, and I do give into her hands my whole estate
consisting of Lands and Negroes … to dispose of to my above named children as
she may see cause. [note: James Thomas was the husband of Ephraim Mabry's daughter,
Susannah.] Source: Fairfield Co Will Book 1, 1787-1792. Ephraim3 Mabry was
a son of Hinchia2, Francis1).
The slaves of Ephraim Mabry are named in the appraisal of his estate submitted to the court on 2 November 1789
|1790||Franklin Co NC||David Mabry sold Negroes: Beck and her child, Sue.|
|Feb 1790||Pittsylvania Co VA||Braxton Mabry made gifts of slaves to his children Robert Smith Mabry, Polly Braxton Mabry and Jane Stanback Mabry.|
|1790 Jul 24||Franklin Co NC||John Mabry sold to Thomas Knibb Wynne one Negro woman named Dinah & one pen knife. Source: Deed Bk. 7, p. 20|
|1790 Nov 18||Warren Co NC||Joshua3 Mabry (Hinchia2, Francis1) left Negroes: to wife, Lucreasy: Shagg, Nurrow, Tab & Mary; to son Repps: Mary; to son Joshua: Shagg; to dau Frances Lightfoot: Tab; to son Stephen: Nurrow at her death; to Richard Proctor: Will; to son-in-law George Walton; Jacob; to son Charles: Sam; to grandson Joshua Mabry (son of Charles): Jude; to son Gray: Silvey & Fill. Source: Will Bk. 5, p. 249.|
|1791 Aug 29||Franklin Co NC||Inventory of the estate of Jesse Mabry included 750a land; 5 negroes,10 horses, 20 head cattle, 60 hogs, 9 sheep, furniture, home and farm implements. Source: Will Bk A, p. 64. This is Jesse4 Mabry (Francis3, Francis2, Francis1).|
|1791 Dec||Franklin Co NC||Allotment of the estate of Jesse4 Mabry (Francis3, Francis2, Francis1) included Negro, Rachel to John Raleigh and Polly, his wife (dau of Jesse Mabry, dec'd. Source: Franklin Co Will Bk A, p. 136.|
|1793 Feb||Warren Co NC||Pet. by Mary Mabry as gdn. of Patsey Moland Mabry (dau of the dec'd), against Delk Mabry as admr. of Roger Delk, dec'd. stating that Patsey was entitled to a 1/7th share of the Negroes held in NC in right of her dec'd father. As a result of this petition, one share was allotted to John Mabry of South Carolina, by the Court in February 1793. Source: Rec. of Estates Warren Co NC 1780-1805, p. 17.|
|1793 May||Warren Co NC||Val. of slaves in est. of Roger Delk, dec'd. by Delk Mabry Adm; Will Myrick & John Mabry Jr have 6; equal shares to John Mabry Jr, Wm Myrick, Patsey Moreland Mabry, Delk Mabry, Matthew Mabry, Darling Mabry, & Benjamin Bradlee. 24 slaves are named: Tom, Squire, Jack, Abram, James, Peter, Harry, Simon, Kate, Sarah, Finner, Anneky, Silvey, Pegg, Sirenah, Huldy, Luckey, Little Kate, Hannah, Arthur, Linder, unnamed, Bob & Judah. Of these 24, four are listed as "in the possession of Will Myrick"; two more are "in the possession of John Mabry, Jr." Source: W. Bk 6, p. 207.|
|1794||Warren Co NC||Matthew Mabry sold to Benjamin Bradley a negro named Silva. Source: Will Bk. 7, p. 146 and W. B. 19, p. 125|
|1794 Apr 22||Warren Co NC||Augustin Pettillo to his daugter Sara Pettillo, gift of 2 negroes, mare & bed, acquired from his former marriage with her mother, Anne Mabry. Source: Will Bk. 7, p. 157.|
|1794 Apr 22||Warren Co NC||Augustin Pettillo to his daughter, Betsy Anne and her husb. Valentine White, figt of 3 negroes, mare, foal & bed which he acquired from his former marriage to her mother Anne Mabry. Source: Will Bk. 7, p. 161.|
|1794 Aug 26||Warren Co NC||Matthew Mabry to James Frame; mortgage on a negro to secure debt of 65 pds Va money to Allen Love of Brunswick Co. Va. Source: Will Bk. 7, p. 146.|
|1794 Oct 14||Greensville Co VA||Nathaniel Mabry (Hinchia2, Francis) signed his will in Greensville
Co Virginia on 14 Oct 1794, leaving land, slaves and household goods to all his children.
The document is very long and the following is a summary of the slaves named in it.
|1795||Franklin Co NC||Seth Mabry sold a Negro girl Alse and a boy Patrick.|
|1795 Mar 16||Franklin Co NC||Thomas Brickell sold two negroes, Alse and Patrick to Seth Mabry for 25 pounds. Surce: Deed Bk 10, p. 201.|
|1795 Apr 22||Warren Co NC||BENJAMIN BRADLEY of Halifax County, State of North Carolina" Wife Mary Bradley - lend all my lands, stock, furniture, for her lifetime, and at her death 1 leave all my lands to my son Joseph Bradley, also Negroes Frank, Tenner, One, Turner, Netty, Silvy, and Jane. To Jack Dudley Mabry (son of Aby Bradley) - Negroes Jim, Huldy and Peg, mare, bridle, chest, etc., but if Jack (sic) Dudley Mabry dies without issue this part is for his mother Aby Bradley. To Aby Bradley (my brother's wife) - my mare. Remaining estate to be divided into three shares, two shares for my son Joseph Bradley, and the other share for Jack Dudley Mabry. Ex. wife, son Joseph, James, Mallory; Wit. James Mallory, Mark Richman, Nathan Rickman. Source: Nov Ct 1811 O 16/192.|
|1795 May||Warren Co NC||A petition by Nelson Harris and wife against Matthew and Sarah Mabry, exr's of Drury Long, resulted in the Exr's being ordered to allot Nancy, Betsy and Sally Long, orphans of the dec'd. certain Negroes according to the will. Sarah Mabry had first been married to Drury Long. Source: Rec of Estates Warren Co NC 1780-1805, p. 33.|
|1797 Apr||Wilkes Co GA||Robt. Buckner and wf Elizabeth (nee Mabry) filed suit vs. Jos. & Benj. Cook & Wm. Stubblefield, contending that Eliz's g'father John Cook who died 1780 left slaves to Elizabeth and her sister Polly, who has since died. Elizabeth and Polly Mabry were daughters of Joseph Mabry who died in Caswell Co NC in 1778; his widow m Wm Stubblefield. Polly (Mary) Mabry died in Wilkes County in late 1796.|
|1797 Sep 22||Warren Co NC||Matthew Mabry sold to Benjamin Bradlee for 100 pounds, a Negro woman, Silva. Source: Deed Book 19, p. 125. .|
|1798||Brunswick Co VA||Hinchia4 Mabry (Hinchia3, Hinchia2, Francis1) gave to Thomas Hunt and Evans Mabry for a debt of 850 pds: ten negros, colt, 3 mares, 25 cattle, 30 sheep, 40 hogs, 4 beds, 12 chairs, 3 tables, 1 chest of drawers by 10 April next.|
|1800 Oct 20||Greensville Co VA||Item I give and bequeath to my Grand Daughter Susan Burrell Mabry three Negroes vizt. [ ] [ ] and [ ] provided she arrives to Lawful age [ ] to her and her heirs and assigns forever. Note: The names of the three slaves have been left out of the abstract of the will but would be named in the original. Source: Will of Burrell Griggs.|
|1801 Apr 14||Knox Co TN||George4 Mabry (George3, George2, Francis1) of Knox County sold to Drury Breazeale of Knox County for $450, a Negro man named Ching. Witnessed by Joseph Greer and proved by Joseph Greer. Source: Knox Co Deed of Conveyance Book, p. 196.|
|1801 Jul||Knox Co TN||Inventory of Geo. Mabry returned by Geo. Mabry admns.: 1 Negro wench named Suckey; 1 horse saddle and briddle; 20 dollars worth of corn; 21 yards of linen; 1 dollar in cash; 4 head of cattle; 1 feather bed and furniture; 1 pot and Dutch oven and frying pan; 4 plates; 1 dish; 1 bunch of spoons; 2 pair pot hooks; 1 bailing hoe; 1 shovel plow; 1 log chain; 3 belts; 1 pitch fork; 1 trunk and the ____ papers therein; 1 large cotton wheel; 1 sow and 3 ghoats and 12 piggs. The deceased George3 Mabry was a son of George2 Mabry (Francis1) Source: Adm. & Settlements, Vol. 1, p. 82.|
|1802||Camden Co GA||Charlotte P. Mabry, wife of Woodford Mabry given 2 slaves by George Woodruff in cons. of natural love and affection and ties of intermarriage in the family. Woodford5 Mabry was a son of Jordan4 (Joshua3, Hinchia2, Francis1).|
|1803 Jul 29||Knox Co TN||Francis Maybury of Knox Co. sold to Reuben McDonnell of Knox County a negro boy named Daniel between seven and eight years old. Wit: Thomas Davis and James Wilson. Registered November 15, 1808.. Source: Knox Co Deed Bk. N1, p. 169f|
|1804 Aug 23||Grainger Co TN||Francis Mayberry sold to James Brown a negro girl naned Jinny; wit by Wm. Cook. Source: Minutes, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Bk. 2, p. 82.|
|1806||Knox Co TN||Francis Maybury sold slaves to Edward Price. Source: Knox County deeds, Bk. M1, p. 5.|
|1806 May||Grainger Co TN||Bill of sale from Francis Mayberry to Mathew Campbell for a negro girl proved in court by Robert Blair. Source: Min. Cpurtt Pleas & Q. Ses., v. 2, p. 147.|
|1806 Aug||Grainger Co TN||Bill of sale from Francis Mayberry to James Richardson for 2 negroes. Source: Min. Court of Pleas & Q. Ses., v. 2, p. 163.|
|1807 Jan 22||Fairfield Co SC||The will of Mary Mabry, widow of Ephraim3 (Hinchia, Francis)leaves "a negro boy, Pompey, and a negro girl, Alley" to her youngest son, Ephraim Mabry.|
|1807 Dec 14||Wilkes Co GA||Joshua Mabry (Joshua3, Hinchia, Francis) signed a deed giving all his personal estate to his children: Joshua, Jemison, Allen, Walton, Polly and Daniel Mabry in exchange for their providing for his care. His property included, "a negro named Nan". (Source: Wilkes Co GA Deed Book XX (1806-1809)|
|1808 Nov||Grainger Co TN||Bill of sale from Francis Mayberry to Robert Blair and James Armstrong for a negro woman named Sarah; Wm. Hutcheson and Amos Sharp, wit. Source: Min. Court of Pleas & Q. Ses., v. 2, p. 25.0|
|1809||Union Co SC||Estate of Zachariah Mabry was administered by his wife. Elizabeth Mabry, assisted by Daniel Crownover; inventory included 2 saddles, hardware, a negro boy, & a document dated 1814 in which a William Mabry signed off as "paid" by Elizabeth and the estate.|
|1809 Aug 28||Fairfield Co SC||Mary Funderburg conveyed to her grandson, Ephraim Mabry, a negro girl named Caty, 10 years old. The witnesses were: James Jennings and Benj. Chapman.|
|1813||Rhea Co TN||Jacob and George Mayberry of Rhea County sold a female slave and her infant. This deed was recorded in Maury County in 1826. These are descendants of Frederick Mayberry of NJ and VA.|
|1814 Aug 20||Greensville Co VA||Ruffin, a free black man emancipated by LW&T of Nathaniel Mabry, dec'd; about 28 years old. 5'1½".|
|1819 Oct 18||Warren Co NC||Repps4 Mabry (Joshua3, Hinchia, Francis) willed to son Philip negros named Pompey and Pat; to daughter Henrietta, negroes named Polley and Peter. May Ct. 1819 Source: W. B. 22, p. 119 & p. 142.|
|1821 Apr 6||Halifax Co NC||Darling Mabry left to his nephew, Green Mabry, for $5 and "natural love and affection" the Negro slaves: Sarah, Abraham, Simon, Daniel, Nance and her children, & Marian & her children, reserving to myself a life estate in said Negroes. Source: Halifax Co Deed Bk. 25, p. 343.|
|1824||Iredell Co NC||Lucy Maberry was widow of Randolph Maberry. Her heirs were: James, Abraham, Abel, George, and Patsy Maberry. James Martin was the Adminisrator. James Cook claimed negroes on behalf of his interest in the estate of Lucy Mabrey's first husband, Richard Cook.|
|1828 Dec 22||Edgecombe Co NC||Division of negroes by agreement, given to Rebecca Mabry by will of her father, Joseph Braddy, dec'd.; Claiments for her were Charles and Wilkinson Mabry, John and Turner Bass.|
|1829 Feb||Edgecombe Co NC||Division of Negroes by agreement given to said Rebecka Mabry by the will of her father, Joseph Braddy, decd. Claimants were Charles Mabry, Turner Bass, John Bass and Wilkinson Mabry for Rebeckah Mabry, Dec. 22, 1828. Rebecca was wife of Wilkinson5 Mabry (Charles, Charles, Charles, Francis). Source: Est. Records of Edgecombe Co NC, Vol II, p. 147.|
|1829 Aug||Iredell Co NC||Inventory of the Negroes belonging to the estate of Randolph Maberry decd, sold June 2nd 1829. The following Negroes are named with the price paid for each: Jack, $350; Ned, $326; Charles, $363; Joe, $451; Alfred, $365; Mary & Child George, $400; Elus, $280; Silas, $112; Darcas & John, $385; James, $201; Richard, $162; Samuel, $126; Senich & Phillip, $325; Sam, $185; Silvie, $120; Vilet & Elira, $400; Amos, $356; Delphie, $253; Peter, $237; Hannah, $195; Peggy, $313.50; Nelson, $402; Delilah, $.50.|
|1830||Knox Co TN||Archaeological research into the lifeways of slaves and the operations of the
large plantations of the Southeast has been intensive the last 10 years.
Research has broadened from a description of the lives of slaves on
plantations (Fairbanks 1984; Singleton 1980) to more theoretical perspectives
dealing with the archaeological manifestation of oppression, material symbols
of social status, and the social relationship between master and slave
through their material discards (Otto 1977, 1984; Orser 1984, 1988, 1990a;
Deetz 1988; Singleton 1988, 1991). This research has focused on the large
plantations along the Eastern and Gulf coasts from Maryland through Florida
and into Louisiana. There is a need to address the archaeology of slavery in
a variety of regional and social contexts, and to date there has been little
research conducted outside of the context of the large rice and cotton
plantations possessing slaves numbering into the hundreds (Singleton 1991).
Archaeological investigations were conducted in 1990 and 1991 on the Mabry site (40KN86) located 16 km west of Knoxville in Knox County Tennessee This work was undertaken in conjunction with construction of the Pellissippi Parkway extension. The Mabry site, defined here as an Upland South plantation, was occupied from about 1830 through the early twentieth century by George Mabry's family. According to the Agricultural Census of 1850, George Mabry owned 18 slaves. In 1860 he owned eight slaves. The significance of the Mabry site is clearly centered on the insights into slave lifeways and slave and master relations these archaeological investigations provide for the East Tennessee region of the Upland South. Investigations at the Mabry site identified the remains of two slave quarters and recovered artifacts associated with each. A midden deposit associated with the Mabry mansion was located during investigations, and material recovered from this deposit provides a valuable comparative sample with the slave quarter artifacts.
This research begins, however, with an historical background of Knox County in East Tennessee. The development of slavery in East Tennessee was influenced by several factors. The geography of East Tennessee was not conducive to the intensive agricultural production of cotton typical for the Lowland South. The small amount of cotton grown at the Mabry plantation and other local plantations, in comparison to the Lowland South plantations bears this out (Andrews and Young 1991:7; Otto 1989:84). Upland South farms exhibited diversified agricultural production. The use of slaves on large Upland South farms created the Upland South plantation. As the historical background suggests, lifeways of the slaves on these plantations may have differed significantly from lifeways of slaves in the Lowland South. Archaeological investigations at the Mabry site form a basis for limited comparisons between these regions to begin a search for interregional patterns. The analytical tools for the research at the Mabry site were developed, in part, from the archaeological work on other plantations. Comparisons between Mabry and other plantations serve to highlight useful methodologies in plantation research and aid in the interpretation of slave lifeways at the Mabry plantation. However, archaeological research on plantations of East Tennessee and the Upland South is just beginning, and much more archaeological work needs to be accomplished before a consensus can be reached concerning regional differences in slave-master relations.
Comparison between the material culture of the slaves and their masters at the Mabry plantation is a prominent theme throughout this work. The plantation was an environment where two distinct social classes labored for very different reasons (Orser 1990a:214). The dominant class, the masters, labored to increase its economic gains beyond what was necessary for basic subsistence. The subservient class, the slaves, labored because it was forced. The relations between these two groups was a complicated association, and as Harrison (1993) states, was embedded in an atmosphere of coercion, accommodation, and resistance. These relations are reflected in the material culture of slaves and master. Material culture is not viewed here as passively reflecting social differences. Material culture may be manipulated by individuals of a social group to preserve and maintain the group's social identity and goals. Perhaps the most important question is how did African-American culture survive on a plantation, where membership in that culture, at that time, was viewed as a distinct disadvantage by the dominant Euro-American culture, and what part can material culture play in describing this story of cultural survival? The study of material culture in a plantation setting allows us to view artifacts associated with distinct social classes and to begin to understand how material culture may be acquired and manipulated to symbolize and reinforce social behavior.
The archaeological work conducted at the Mabry site is described first -- the artifact collection procedures, the archaeological features, and the analytical focus on artifacts in the laboratory. Following this, computer generated graphics reveal the spatial patterning in the distribution of nails, window glass, and ceramics retrieved from the slave quarters. This is necessary to define the size and characteristics of the slave quarters as suggested from the archaeological remains. The dimensions of the slave cabins and the position of windows, doorways, and root cellars are discussed. This slave quarter reconstruction is provided in the context of the "appropriate" characteristics of slave quarters as described in documentary sources of the time. This highlights the degree to which the Mabry site dwellings conformed to what would be considered "proper" for slaves.
The social relations between master and slave on the Mabry plantation are explored through ceramic analysis. The ceramic analysis compares ceramics from slave and mansion contexts with respect to vessel form, ceramic cost, ceramic type, diversity, ceramic set composition, and the frequency of matched ceramic types. The description of other artifacts, such as buttons, container glass, beads, pipes, and firearm accoutrements helps to fill out the emerging picture of slave material culture in the East Tennessee. The artifacts are placed into Stanley South's (1977) artifact pattern formula to allow comparison between the Mabry slave quarters and two local Euro-American sites and to artifact patterns generated for Carolina and Georgia slave sites. This comparison addresses the issue of slave acculturation to Euro-American culture in the mid-nineteenth century as discussed by Joseph (1989).
Archaeological research at the Mabry site is important for what is revealed about slave lifeways in the East Tennessee region of the Upland South, especially relationships within the slave community and relationships between slaves and their masters. As such, this research at Mabry substantially contributes to the study of early African-American culture.
|1831 Sep 27||Wilson Co TN||BENJAMIN S. MABRY represents that he is the owner of a Negro man slave, ADAM, formerly the property of BENJAMIN CLIFTON, who purchased said ADAM at the decd's estate sale. In consequence of his good conduct and for so much as he has paid a reasonable compensation of his value, MABRY petitions for his emancipation. Said ADAM is about 35 years old. Court concurs. MABRY and security, ALEXANDER BRADEN, post bond for ADAM who is emancipated and to enjoy the privileges of a free person of color. [QCR, 1829-1832, September 27, 1831. (Robert Powell Carver Genealogy Records Collection, CLIFTON FAMILY in Wilson County, TN, p. 404f).|
|1831 Oct 2||Surry Co NC||Estate of Randolph Mabry: James Cook lets Eph. Hough have five negroes belonging to the est. of Lucy Mabry, dec'd, in trust for $500 to secure J. Wright & J. Cowles of Surry Co. in sum of $619.62 to dec'd Jas. Martin as adm of dec'd Randolph Mabry. Source: Bk 31, p. 546|
|1834 Jun 19||Union Co SC||Barsheba Burns vs Lewis Fant, et. al. re: estate of Mary Thorne who d 1759, Prince Geo Co MD, leaving will dated 1757. Her dau Mary m Thomas Burns who m2 Barsheba. Mary Thorne Burns had inherited slaves from her mother's estate. Mary and Thomas Burns daughter, Jemima, married Lewis Fant, and another daughter, Mary, married Adam Poole4 Mabry of Fairfield Co, South Carolina. Adam Poole4 Mabry (Ephraim3, Hinchia2, Francis1) died in 1818 in Jasper Co GA. Source: Union County, SC Court of Equity.|
|1837 Mar 10||Rutherford County, TN||The will of John Maberry was written on 10 Mar 1837; it was presented to the Rutherford Co. court on 16 Oct 1837. Among the items mentioned in the will is a list of the following slaves: Bob, Anicke, Tom, Dave, Harry, Buckner, Bill and Nancy.|
|1840 Dec 21||Warren Co NC||...we the undersigned commission have inconformity with the Will of Rancom Walker d'cd.
allotted to Nancy Walker, who intermarried with Seth Mabry, negros Rheuben, valued at Eight
hundred and fifty dollars, Matilday and child Philip David, valued at Seven hundred dollars and
Annaliza, valued at Two hundred and Sixty two dollars and Fifty cents which includes Three
hundred dollars as directed by the Will of said Ransom Walker, d'cd. Also her portion of the
goods and Chattles, crop, and stock. This same being her full portion of this Estate. Given
under our hand and seal the above day and state.
|1841 Jul 17||Warren Co NC||Charles Mabry, decd willed negroes: Old Sam & Lucinda to daughter, Eleanor; and Sterling, Lewis, & Ben to his wife Elizabeth (after her death to children Angelica, Robert, Francis & Celeste. Negro Fanny and children: Alfred, John, Alexander & Melissa were to be sold. November Court 1844. Source: Warren Co NC Will Bk 38, p. 319.|
|1841 Oct 1||Warren Co TN||John Mabry; died, Oct. 1, 1841. (Set his Negroes free that they might be sent to Liberia.)|
|1845 Jul 1||Warren Co NC||Eleanor (X) Mabry -- 1 July 1845 Aug Ct 1845 O WB38:396; to half-sister Frances Mabry - all my land. To Seth W. Mabry's son Ransom - Negro Henry, who is now sick, and if he dies I give him Moses. My Negro Lucinda and her children are to be sold to an individual of her own selection, and proceeds divided among my brothers Jones, Hinchy, Branch, and Seth W. Mabry. Provisions are to be made for the support of my Negro Sam, and I ask Seth W. Mabry to take care of him. Eleanor was a daughter of Charles4 Mabry (Joshua3, Hinchia2, Francis1). Source: W. B. 38, p. 396 Ex. (none) Wit.: George Jefferson, Sarah W. Turner..|
|1849 Sep 27||Warren Co NC||JONES MABRY: to Wife Nancy Mabry - lend a life estate in the land where I now live, being the Reaves tract of land, and if she chooses the Reaves plantation, the dwelling house is to be repaired out of my estate. Wife -life estate in Negroes Alfred, Peter, Jacob, Emily, and Quintina Balance of land and Negroes and remaining property I leave to my ten children. Daughter MARTHA B. BUCHANAN - Negro Sandy. To LUCRETIA NEWMAN - Negro Malissa. To ELEANOR TURNER - Negro Amy and $50. To CHARLES MABRY - Negro Gabriel. To SARAH L. WATKINS - Negro Julia and $100. To JULIA A. MABRY - Negro Jim and $50. To STEPHEN G. MABRY - Negro Jackson. To PHEBE MABRY - Negro Violet and $50. To LEONARD S. MABRY - Negro Edmund and $50. To ELIZABETH J. MABRY - Negro William and $50. To ELIZABETH and PHEBE - an infant child of Quinfina's. Should any of the Negroes given to my children die before they come into their possession, one of equal value is to be substituted at the death of my wife. My son LEONARD is to have two year's schooling paid by my estate. My wife is to serve as gdn. for my children. Ex. son STEPHEN Wit. JOHN H. BULLOCK, JOHN E. WRIGHT Source: W. B. 40, p. 260|
|1850||GA||Mabry slaveowners in the 1850 census of Georgia
C. W. Mabry -- 7 -- Heard Co.
|1850||Attala Co MS||Various local records show that Alexander6 Mabry (James Thomas5, Joel4, Ephraim3, Hinchia2, Francis1) owned about 60 slaves.|
|1851||Knox Co TN||Mabry, George Washington (July 21, 1823 - July 23, 1912), state legislator, farmer, was born in west Knox County, the son of Joseph Alexander and Alice Hare (Scott) Mabry. Joseph Alexander Mabry (1796-1837) while young had come from Westmoreland County, Va., and had settled on a farm, thirteen miles west of Knoxville, near Concord. He was a justice of the peace in the Knox County Court, represented Knox County in the constitutional convention of 1834, and served two terms (1833-37) in the lower house of the general assembly. George Washington Mabry was educated at Holston College, New Market. In 1846 he married Jeanett L. Hume, daughter of David and Eliza (Sanderson) Hume and a sister of Mrs. Oliver P. Temple (q.v., French Broad-Holston Country). About 1851 George W. Mabry built a large house of brick, made by slaves on his farm of over 3,000 acres. Source: SOURCE: Heart of the Valley - A History of Knoxville, Tennessee - by The Knoxville History Committee - East Tennessee Historical Society - Edited by Lucile Deaderick, Page 563 & 564. N.B. Joseph Alexander Mabry came from HENRY Co VA, not Westmoreland Co.|
|1851 May 28||Wayne Co TN||9. Thomas T. MABRY Admr &c vs Catherine MABRY et al § Petition to sell Slaves Be it remembered that this cause came on for a hearing before the honorable Elijah WALKER Judge &c upon the petition of petitioners the answer of the defendants and the report of the Clerk and master of this court now on file in this cause and it appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that after the personal assets of the estate of said Daniel MABRY have all be exhausted by said Administrator and that there is still a large balance against said estate which there are no monies in the hands of said Administrator to satisfy. It is therefore ordered adjudged and decreed by the Court that the Clerk & Master of this court sell said two slaves mentioned in the pleadings in this cause to the highest bidder upon a credit of tw?? twelve months at the court house door in the town of Waynesboro after giving 30 days notice in writing at three or more public places in said County the purchaser giving bond & security and a lien retained upon said slaves until the purchase money is paid and that said money when collected be paid over to said Administrator to be applied to the payment of the debts against said estate and that all other things be reserved &c. Source: Wayne County, Tennessee Circuit Court Minute Book May 1851 - January 1857, Page 17 Wednesday May 28, 1851.|
|1851 Sep 22||Wayne Co TN||The undersigned who was appointed by a decretal order in this cause to sell
the lands mentioned in the pleadings in this Cause would respectfully submit
the following Report
Thomas T. MABRY Admr &c vs Catherine MABREY et al§ Petition to Sell Slaves Be it remembered that this cause came on for a further hearing on this 22nd day of September 1851 before the honorable Elijah WALKER Judge &c upon the report of the Clerk & Master of this Court which is in the words and figures following to wit. The undersigned who was appointed by a Decree of this Court in this cause to sell the slaves mentioned in the said petition would Respectfully Report.
That after having advertised the same as directed by said decree he proceeded on the 7th day of July 1851 to sell said slaves on a credit of twelve months when the negro woman Slave was sold and struck off to William POLLARD at the price of three hundred dollars that being the highest and best bid (except a bid which was made by Archibald MURPHY of $400 which was recalled before she was struck off) and executed his writing obligatory for the same payable twelve months after date with Joseph PITTS as his security who is deemed good and sufficient And the Negro boy Abner was struck off and sold to Joseph PITTS at the price of four hundred & sixty six dollars and executed his writing obligatory for the same payable twelve months after date with William POLLARD as his security who is deemed good and sufficient all which is respectfully Submitted Sept 22nd 1851 //s// John McDOUGAL C & M which being in no wise excepted to it is considered by the court that said report be and the same is in all things confirmed. Source: Wayne County, Tennessee Circuit Court Minute Book May 1851 - January 1857, page 45 Monday September 22nd 1851.
|1853 Nov 7||Carroll Co GA||Branch5 M. Mabry (Charles4, Joshua, Hinchia, Francis) wrote his will on 7 Nov 1853 in
Carroll Co GA. The will provides for the following slaves to be left to his children:
|1853-60||Jefferson Co IN||Negroes and Mulattoes who were inhabitants of the State of Indiana, prior to
the first day of November, 1851, and entitled to reside therein, were required to appear
before the clerk of the Circuit Circuit Court for registry. The following is from the
Jefferson County, Indiana Auditor's Office.
#163; NAME: John Alexander Mayberry; AGE: 38; DESCRIPTION: Negro (not git (sic) black), 5 feet 10 inches High. Slender built, (about 150 lbs) no particular marks or scars.; BIRTHPLACE: Wilkes County State of North Carolina; RESIDENCE: Salem, Washington County Indiana; WITNESS: Robert R_____. [Note: There were several white Mayberry/Mabry families in Wilkes Co NC at the time John Alexander Mayberry was born.]
|1856 May||Upson Co GA||May Term 1856, The State vs. Clark W. Upson & Simeon S. Oslin; Defendants charged with entering the Thomaston graveyard on May 26, 1856, disinterring the body of slave man William ("the property when living of Hilliard B. Mabry"), and stealing the dead body of a human being "without the consent of slave man William deceased & without the consent of William's friends." [Upson Co Superior Court, Criminal Record, Book A, p. 85.]|
|1857||Upson Co GA||Sometime in the year 1857 Hilliard Burns Mabry (Adam Poole4, Ephraim, Hinchia, Francis) wrote his will in which he left all his lands and slaves to his brother, Thomas Mabry.|
|1863 Mar 24||Carroll Co GA||Charles6 Mabry (Branch5, Charles, Joshua, Hinchia, Francis) apparently wrote his will in July 1861 when he enlisted in the C.S.A. He was killed 14 Sep 1862 in Maryland. His will was recorded in Carroll Co GA on 24 Mar 1863. His will asks that his debts be paid and, "The remainder of my property to my beloved Mother consisting of negroes, lands, stock, etc. to have hold and dispose of as she may think proper.|
|1864||Hunt Co TX||Joshua Mabary on list of slave owners. Number of slaves not given. Joshua Maberry was born abt. 1806 in NC. Lived in Carroll Co TN in 1830. 1840 & 1850.|
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