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JACKSON COUNTY, ARKANSAS

LARGEST SLAVEHOLDERS FROM 1860 SLAVE CENSUS SCHEDULES

and

SURNAME MATCHES FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS ON 1870 CENSUS

Transcribed by Tom Blake, May 2003

PURPOSE. Published information giving names of slaveholders and numbers of slaves held is almost non-existent. It is possible to locate an ancestor on a U.S. census for 1860 or earlier and not realize that ancestor was also listed as a slaveholder on the slave schedules, because published indexes almost always do not include the slave census. The last U.S. census slave schedules were enumerated by County in 1860 and included 393,975 named persons holding 3,950,546 unnamed slaves, or an average of about ten slaves per holder. The actual number of slaveholders may be slightly lower because some large holders held slaves in more than one County and would have been counted in each County. Excluding slaves, the 1860 U.S. population was 27,167,529, with about 1 in 70 being a slaveholder. It is estimated by this transcriber that in 1860, slaveholders of 200 or more slaves, while constituting less than 1 % of the total number of U.S. slaveholders, or 1 out of 7,000 free persons, held 20-30% of the total number of slaves in the U.S. The process of publication of slaveholder names beginning with these largest holders will enable naming of the holders of the most slaves with the least amount of transcription work. Surname matching of slaveholders with 1870 African Americans is intended merely as suggesting another possibility for further research by those seeking to make connections between slaves and holders.

 

SOURCES. The 1860 U.S. Census Slave Schedules for Jackson County, Arkansas (NARA microfilm series M653, Roll 53) reportedly includes a total of 2,535 slaves. This transcription includes 30 slaveholders who held 20 or more slaves in Jackson County, accounting for 942 slaves, or 37% of the County total. The rest of the slaves in the County were held by a total of 268 slaveholders, and those slaveholders have not been included here. Due to variable film quality, handwriting interpretation questions and inconsistent counting and page numbering methods used by the census enumerators, interested researchers should view the source film personally to verify or modify the information in this transcription for their own purposes. Census data for 1860 was obtained from the Historical United States Census Data Browser, which is a very detailed, searchable and highly recommended database that can found at http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/ . Census data on African Americans in the 1870 census was obtained using Heritage Quest’s CD “African-Americans in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census”, available through Heritage Quest at http://www.heritagequest.com/ .

 

FORMAT. This transcription lists the names of those largest slaveholders in the County, the number of slaves they held in the township where the slaves were enumerated, the name of the township and the first census page on which they were listed. The page numbers used are the rubber stamped numbers in the upper right corner of every set of two pages, with the previous stamped number and a “B” being used to designate the pages without a stamped number. Following the holder list is a separate list of the surnames of the holders with information on numbers of African Americans on the 1870 census who were enumerated with the same surname. The term “County” is used to describe the main subdivisions of the State by which the census was enumerated.

 

TERMINOLOGY. Though the census schedules speak in terms of “slave owners”, the transcriber has chosen to use the term “slaveholder” rather than “slave owner”, so that questions of justice and legality of claims of ownership need not be addressed in this transcription. Racially related terms such as African American, black, mulatto and colored are used as in the source or at the time of the source, with African American being used otherwise.

 

PLANTATION NAMES. Plantation names were not shown on the census. Using plantation names to locate ancestors can be difficult because the name of a plantation may have been changed through the years and because the sizeable number of large farms must have resulted in lots of duplication of plantation names. In Arkansas in 1860 there were 69 farms of 1,000 acres or more, the largest size category enumerated in the census, and another 307 farms of 500-999 acres. Linking names of plantations in this County with the names of the large holders on this list should not be a difficult research task, but it is beyond the scope of this transcription.

 

FORMER SLAVES. The 1860 U.S. Census was the last U.S. census showing slaves and slaveholders. Slaves were enumerated in 1860 without giving their names, only their sex and age and indication of any handicaps, such as deaf or blind Slaves 100 years of age or older were supposed to be named on the 1860 slave schedule, but there were only 1,570 slaves of such age enumerated, out of a total of 3,950,546 slaves nationwide. The transcriber did not notice any such slaves on this enumeration. Freed slaves, if listed in the next census, in 1870, would have been reported with their full name, including surname. Some of these former slaves may have been using the surname of their 1860 slaveholder at the time of the 1870 census and they may have still been living in the same State or County. Before presuming an African American was a slave on the 1860 census, the free census for 1860 should be checked, as almost 11% of African Americans were enumerated as free in 1860, with about half of those living in the southern States. Estimates of the number of former slaves who used the surname of a former owner in 1870, vary widely and from region to region. If an African American ancestor with one of these surnames is found on the 1870 census, then making the link to finding that ancestor as a slave requires advanced research techniques involving all obtainable records of the holder.

 

MIGRATION OF FORMER SLAVES: According to U.S. Census data, the 1860 Jackson County population included 7,957 whites, 1 “free colored” and 2,535 slaves. By the 1870 census, the white population of Jackson County had decreased almost 29% to 5,656, while the “colored” population decreased about 36% to 1,612. (As a side note, by 1960, 100 years later, the County was listed as having 19,373 whites, about a two and one half times increase, while the 1960 total of 3,466 “Negroes”was about one and one third times what the colored population had been 100 years before.) [No County boundary changes, if any, were considered in making the above comparisons]. Where did the freed slaves go if they did not stay in the County? Pulaski County saw an increase of 10,000 in the colored population in those ten years, but no other County in the State showed a significant increase. Between 1860 and 1870, the Arkansas colored population increased by 11,000, to 122,000, about a 10% increase. Where did freed slaves go if they did not stay in Arkansas? States that saw significant increases in colored population during that time, and were therefore more likely possible places of relocation for colored persons from Jackson County, included the following: Georgia, up 80,000 to 545,000 (17%); Texas, up 70,000 (38%); North Carolina, up 31,000 (8%); Florida, up 27,000 (41%); Ohio, up 26,000 (70%); Indiana, up 25,000 (127%); and Kansas up from 265 to 17,000 (6,400%).

 

SLAVEHOLDER LIST:

 

ANTHONY, Robert, 31 slaves, Bay Twp., page 329B

BRISCOE, John, 24 slaves, Bay Twp., page 334

CONNER, B. B., 22 slaves, Bay Twp., page 334B

CONNOR, J. H., 23 slaves, Bay Twp., page 334B

CURRIE, W. J., 29 slaves, Washington Twp., page 351B

DAVIS, M., 31 slaves, Breckenridge Twp., page 341

EDMOND, Wm., 30 slaves, Bayou Cache Twp., page 337

ELLDRIDGE, Caroline, 27 slaves, Washington Twp., page 352B

GOLIGHTLY, James, 26 slaves, Bay Twp., page 331B

GREEN, G. A., 30 slaves, Bud? Twp., page 339B

GREGORY, Nathan, 52 slaves, Washington Twp., page 350 & 352B

GREGORY, Tillman, 57 slaves, Washington Twp., page 352

HARDY, W. A.., 23 slaves, Jefferson Twp., page 345

HILL, J. M., 28 slaves, Bay Twp., page 334B

HOUGH, Thomas, 38 slaves, Bay Twp., page 333

KIRKPATRICK, J. C., 24 slaves, Bud? Twp., page 3 39B

MCCOY, M. B., 40 slaves, Bay Twp., page 330

MILLER, Henry, 20 slaves, Bay Twp., page 333B

MILLER, W., 23 slaves, Bay Twp., page 333

MURRAY?, James, 27 slaves, Bay Twp., page 329

PICKETT, W. H., 61 slaves, Bay Twp., page 330B

PURCELL?, Sarah, 33 slaves, Bay Twp., page 329B

ROBINSON, John, 33 slaves, Jefferson Twp., page 345

ROBINSON, John, 40 slaves, Jefferson Twp., page 347

SAX, John, 31 slaves, Jefferson Twp., page 347B

SHETTLESWORTH, E. M., 22 slaves, Bay Twp., page 329

STEWARD, John, 23 slaves, Bacon Twp., page 328

WATKINS, B., 22 slaves, Bud? Twp., page 339

WATSON, Samuel, 50 slaves, Washington Twp., page 351

WILSON, J. S.?, 23 slaves, Bayou Cache Twp., page 338

 

SURNAME MATCHES AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS ON 1870 CENSUS:

(exact surname spellings only are reported, no spelling variations or soundex)

(SURNAME, # in US, in State, in County, born in State, born and living in State, born in State and living in County)

 

 

ANTHONY, 660, 34, 0, 7, 4, 0

BRISCOE, 286, 9, 0, 1, 0, 0

CONNER, 503, 10, 0, 4, 2, 0

CONNOR, 236, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0

CURRIE, 145, 5, 0, 2, 2, 0

DAVIS, 13725, 399, 4, 147, 102, 2

EDMOND, 121, 5, 0, 2, 2, 0

ELLDRIDGE, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

GOLIGHTLY, 7, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0

GREEN, 11070, 314, 3, 109, 80, 1

GREGORY, 726, 21, 0, 5, 4, 0

HARDY, 1078, 13, 0, 8, 2, 0

HILL, 6675, 195, 2, 63, 44, 0

HOUGH, 69, 13, 0, 3, 3, 0

KIRKPATRICK, 189, 9, 2, 1, 1, 0

MCCOY, 679, 39, 0, 14, 11, 0

MILLER, 6577, 165, 3, 68, 44, 2

MURRAY?, 1154, 15, 2, 1, 0, 0

PICKETT, 317, 6, 0, 1, 1, 0

PURCELL?, 63, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1

ROBINSON, 8046, 244, 17, 70, 51, 7

SAX, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

SHETTLESWORTH, 8, 5, 0, 3, 3, 0

STEWARD, 786, 21, 4, 9, 6, 1

WATKINS, 2226, 45, 3, 7, 6, 0

WATSON, 3567, 112, 1, 35, 26, 0

WILSON, 10819, 230, 6, 103, 49, 0

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