Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Limitations of Memory

 I was sure that I had read of a case where the University of Virginia had sued to return freed slaves back to slavery to settle a debt, and the courts had done so.  My memory scrambled all of it.  While Letitia Brown's Free Negroes in the District of Columbia (1972) assets that this could be done, the case whose memory had scrambled was like this:

 William & Mary College was suing Ithe executor of William Lee's estate for a promised 500 bushels of corn annually, promised in Lee's will.  The estate could not supply this, so the college appears to have wanted charges against the whole estate, including it appears, the manumitted slaves of William Lee.  William and Mary College v. Hodgson, 6 Munford 163 (1818) in Catterall's Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery, 1:129-30.

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