Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Cato, Sold on Christmas Day 1821

On Christmas Day, one hundred and ninety-five years ago, Sophia and her child as well as a boy named Cato were sold in estate sales in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia.

William Hamilton (1795-1821) died about a month after his sister Jane. His inventory and sale were recorded at the same time as Jane’s which were shared last month in the post releasing Sophia and her child.

William Hamilton owned a man named Cato as seen in the Inventory & Appraisal of his personal estate:

williamhamiltoninventory500
Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21772-76?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 18 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

William Hamilton
Inventory & Appraisal
(in margin)

We the Subscribers agreeable to an an order of the
Worshipfull the County Court of Nicholas County,
the November term 1821 of Said Court being first
Duly Sworn have proceed to appraise the personal
estate of William Hamilton Dec’d as produced
to us by Robert Kelly & John Mc. Hamilton the
administrators on said Estate to wit, on the
18th day of December 1821
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ – Cts
one Negro man named Cato . . . . . 400 – 00
Watch & Chain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 – 00
one pair of Saddle Bags . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 – 00
one horse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 – 00
one Bed & furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 – 00
one Book History of America . . . . . . . .  – 75
one Sword & Belt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 – 00
tow appletts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 – 00
one pair of spears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . – 75
one Saddle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 – 00
two Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 – 50
Razor Box & Razor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 – 00

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Samuel Neil
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Groves
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nathaniel Foster
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Fitzwater
. . . . . . . . . . . . Sworn to before me Edward Rion
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . R. Kelly . . . . . . . . . .adminst
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J. Mc. Hamilton . . adminst.

At the time of the sale of the estate which took place on Christmas Day in 1821, Cato was described as a boy and sold to William Hamilton’s brother-in-law and partner Robert Kelly:

williamhamiltonestatesale500
Citation: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18231-21768-88?cc=1909099 : accessed 20 January 2016), Nicholas > Will book, v. 001 1820-1899 > image 29 of 158; county courthouses, West Virginia.

W. Hamilton . . . .An account of the Sale of the Estate of William Hamilton Dec’s on
account of sale . . . . . . .the 25th of December 1821 to wit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Robert Hamilton . . . . 1 Saddle of the appraisement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 – 00
. . . . . ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . .History of America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  – 75
Robert Kelly . . . . . . . . .one negro Boy named Cato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 – 00
. . . . . ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . .one Bed & furniture, the head & Layings Excepted . . 15 – 00
. . . . . “. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Two Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 – 75
Miss Mary A. Hamilton . . one Horse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 – 00
Edwar Rion Guardian . . 1 Watch : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 – 00
of David Hamilton
Robert Kelly . . . . . . . . . 1 Pair Saddle Bags by appr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 -00
. . . . . ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Appaulett. . . . . . . . .do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 – 00
. . . . . ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 pr.  Spears. . . . . . . . .do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . – 75
John Hamilton . . . . . . . 1 Sword & Belt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 – 00
. . . . . ” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Epauten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 – 00
                                                    R. Kelly
                                                    J. Mc. Hamilton administrators

Jane Laverty Hamilton (1793-1821) and William Hamilton (1795-1821) were two children of John Hamilton (1748-1818) and Rebekah Laverty (1765-1811). In 1820 their older married brother Robert Hamilton had three slaves in his household, two males under 14 years of age and one male 45 years or older. There were several white adults in the household but since Jane had a female slave she was probably not in this household. Robert was the only Hamilton on the 1820 census. One or more of his unmarried brothers, perhaps William, may have been in this household.

Jane and William’s older sister Margaret was married to Robert Kelly who had five slaves in his household, one male under 14 years of age and four females between 14 and 25 years of age. As in Robert Hamilton’s household, there were several white adults in Robert Kelly’s. It is more than likely that Jane was in this household as it also included a female enslaved person who may have been Sophia who was released in last month’s post.

William may have been in either household as both included male slaves under the age of 14 years. As Cato was seen as a man in the inventory and then as a boy when he was sold, he could have been nearly 14 in 1820. It is more than likely that William and Cato were in the household of Robert Kelly as the brothers-in-law were partners in the firm Kelly & Hamilton. The inventory and appraisal of the estate of the firm Kelly & Hamilton followed the inventory and appraisal of the estate of William Hamilton and did not include any slaves. As seen above in the sale of the estate, Robert Kelly became the slave holder of Cato.

bestwishescathy1

True's statementFollowing my three part series on the slaves of my 5th great-grandfather 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 or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors. These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

As a military brat I've lived in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, Texas, and Luxembourg. Married 39 years with two grown children. When I’m not doing genealogy, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful countryside in Luxembourg and surrounding countries.

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