Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors.
In 2015 I did one post a month from March until September and then six during Family History Month in October. I could have spread them over several months but I was so excited to have found the records. I didn’t want to have their descendants wait either!
Not all of these were for my own ancestors. I’m having difficulty finding ancestors who owned slaves so to get back to a monthly RELEASING post I searched through the “West Virginia Will Books 1756-1971” for Nicholas County, where my 5th grand-father James Sims lived, to find some of his contemporaries who might have also had slaves in their possession.
Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Charlotte and Jim
Hedgman Triplett (d. ca. 1828) was the son of Col. Francis Triplett who owned Muskingum Island, a long narrow bar island on the Ohio River in Wood County, West Virginia, between the towns of Moore Junction, Ohio, and Boaz, West Virginia. Hedgman and his siblings are mentioned in the 1803 Chancery Records Case in Augusta County, Virginia concerning island owned by the Colonel. I skimmed through the 26 images and found no mention of slaves due, clearly due to the fact that this case was about the land.
Hedgman and his brother Robert Triplett were living in New Point, Wood County, (West) Virginia in 1810 when the census was enumerated. Neither of them have a number listed in the column for slaves. Soon after the census Hedgman moved to Nicholas County in the area which would later become Braxton County as we see in this statement:
About 1810, Hedgemon Triplett came to the county and settled near Tate Creek, from a few miles below Sutton and embracing most of the territory of Clay County. ~ History of Braxton County and Central West Virginia by John Davison Sutton, 1919
In his household in 1820 in Nicholas County was a male slave under the age of 14 and a female slave age between 26 and 44 years.
Hedgman Triplett died before 31 January 1829. No will was found. His wife Mary Triplett née McClanahan was administratix and his son-in-law/nephew by marriage William S. McClanahan was administrator of his estate. On 31 January 1829 an inventory of the estate was made. It included two slaves, one negro man named James (sic, later seen as Jim) valued at $300 and one negro woman named Sharlote (sic, later seen as Charlotte) valued at $160.
On 20 February 1829 Mary Triplett and William S. McClanahan sold the personal property of the estate of Hedgman Triplett. The Bill of Sale (lower part of page 49 of register and upper part of page 50 of register) does not have slaves listed.
A memorandum of property sold by the administrator and administratix of the estate was was added on 25 March 1830. Hedgman’s widow Mary bought one negro woman aged about forty-four years named Charlotte for $100. The memorandum is helpful as it includes Charlotte‘s age.
On 28 April 1831 the accounts and vouchers for the estate were presented to the court. During the March 1833 term of court the settlement was presented to court and ordered to be file. It was recorded during the August 1833 term of court.
The settlement shows one negro man named Jim was sold for $100 as well as one negro woman named Charlotte for $100. The name of the person to whom Jim was sold was not found in these records, however, I believe Mary Triplett may have bought him.
In 1830 when the census was enumerated in Nicholas County Mary Triplett was the head of a household which included a male slave age 24 thru 35 and a female slave age 36 thru 54. Charlotte who was 44 in 1830 per the memorandum to the bill of sale fits in the age group seen for the female slave. The male slave may have been around 24 years of age as the male seen in the household in 1820 was under 14. Could this be Jim? Was he the son of Charlotte?
In 1836 Braxton County was founded from parts of Kanawha, Lewis, and Nicholas counties. This is where, in 1840, Mary and her son Nathaniel appear as M. and N.H., the heads of one household, with one female slave age 36 thru 54. Charlotte was 54 and a match for this person. No male slave was in this household or the household of Mary’s son Sinnett Triplett who lived next door. If Jim was still living, was he sold or loaned out?
Charlotte‘s last known owner, Mary Triplett, died between 1840-1850 and her son Sinnett had his two unmarried brothers, Marshall and Nathaniel, in his household in 1850.
No slave owner by the name of Triplett was on the 1850 or 1860 Slave Schedule for Braxton. Clay County was formed in 1858 from Nicholas and Braxton. Mary’s son Marshall was living in Clay County in 1860 and had what looks like a family of 5 slaves living in one slave house: a male age 38, female age 30, and 3 females age 9, 6, and 1.