26 December 2009

A Question of Slavery In Southern Illinois

[Illinois Supreme] Court at Vandalia, Illinois
July Term of 1835 before the Hon. Alexander F. Grant
John Choisser, plaintiff vs. Barney Hargrave, defendant
Error to Gallatin [County]

At the heart of the court case Barney Hargrave, a "colored" person, was considered an indentured person (or slave) in error. Barney alleged "assault & false imprisonment" to try his right for freedom and was affirmed. (John Choisser v. Barney Hargrave case was highlighted at Footnote.com, too). William Wilson, Chief Justice, delivered the opinion of the Court.

Barney Hargrave was "given" by Willis Hargrave to A. G. S. Wight and by him to John Choisser. Willis Hargrave was the father-in-law of Mahulda (Bourland) Clark Hargrave Roark (Mahulda was also the sister-in-law of my Eleanor Roark).

In the 1850 IL Census taken in Shawneetown, Gallatin Co., Barney Hargrave was living with Robert & Martha Booker as a laborer.

The Illinois Secretary of State's Office has a database of "Servitude and Emancipation Records;" found "Choifer" and "Choipen" (Choisser) in Gallatin Co.

Willis Hargrave was found in White Co., IL, in the "Servitude..." database:

Servitude Detailed Information

County WHITE
Name of Servant (NO NAME LISTED.)
Name of Other Party HARGRAVE, WILLIS
Sex Race Age
File Volume Page 202
Document Type CENSUS Amount 0.00 Term
Date 00/00/1818

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