Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History & Culture Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva's Black History

Source Information

About Virginia Public Claims, 1792-1858 (Library of Virginia African American Narratives project)

Miscellaneous • 69 Records • Uploaded November 1, 2021 • Data Website: www.virginiamemory.com

Localities and individuals submitted public claims to the Auditor of Public Accounts to obtain payment for services rendered to the state. The Auditor of Public Accounts was the chief auditor and accountant of the General Assembly Auditing Committee, and functioned much like the state treasurer. They were responsible for ensuring proper payments to localities and that those payments were issued in accordance with established rules and procedures. The public claims found in Virginia Untold document enslaved people and free Black individuals in the years before the Civil War. During the antebellum period, the General Assembly passed increasingly restrictive laws in response to white fears of crimes by enslaved people and insurrection. The state established procedures to compensate enslavers for the loss of their property when enslaved people ran away or were imprisoned or executed. Some condemned enslaved people were transported beyond the state's boundaries to Africa. The American Colonization Society chartered ships to transport free Black Americans and condemned enslaved people to Liberia. The records contain affidavits, bonds, correspondence, local court records, death warrants, estate files, powers of attorney, receipts, sheriff certificates, and valuations of enslaved people and free Black people convicted for capital crimes and sentenced to be executed or transported from the United States.

This source was extracted from data provided under Creative Commons from the Library of Virginia’s VIRGINIA UNTOLD: THE AFRICAN AMERICAN NARRATIVE project. The Library’s African American Narrative project aims to provide greater accessibility to pre-1865 African American history and genealogy found in the rich primary sources in its holdings.

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Fields Included

The list below shows the data fields included in this source. If a field is marked as Indexed, it is searchable.

  • File Name
  • Box Number
  • Folder Number
  • Record Type Indexed
  • Subtype Indexed
  • Date of Auditor Receipt Indexed
  • Slave First Name Indexed
  • Slave's Middle Name Indexed
  • Slave's Surname Indexed
  • Slave's Surname Suffix Indexed
  • Slave's Alias Indexed
  • Owner Name Indexed
  • Transporter Indexed
  • Bond Holder Indexed
  • Slave Gender Indexed
  • Slave Age Indexed
  • Free or Enslaved Indexed
  • Name of Spouse Indexed
  • Name of Children Indexed
  • Name of Parents Indexed
  • Occupation Indexed
  • Additional Slave Names Indexed
  • Additional Free Black Names Indexed
  • Crime Committed Indexed
  • Determination Indexed
  • Date of Execution Indexed
  • Location of Conviction Indexed
  • Form of Execution Indexed
  • Destinati Indexed
  • Value Indexed
  • Recorder's Notes Indexed
  • Processor's Notes Indexed
  • EAD
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