Slave Sale Inventory of Charles Williams of Morgan County, TN – Releasing Henry, Edmund, Charley Black, Barnett, Crittey, Polly, Dilcey and Charity

Charles Williams died in Morgan County, Tennessee in late 1825 or very early in 1826, when his will was probated. Morgan County, however, is a burned county (1862), when it lost its records. However, there was a Chancery Court lawsuit filed which went on into 1844 and that court was located next door in Roane County. Therefore, a copy of his will and inventory sale still exists.

In his will, Charles requested that his mulatto girl, Charity, be freed upon the death of his wife, Elizabeth. However, Charles apparently owned seven other slaves, as seen in an inventory that was produced in court.

Apparently, his executor, Shadrach Stephens, who was also his son-in-law, was accused of purchasing one of the slaves at auction amid claims that he paid an unfairly low price. Statements were recorded by others who bid at the auction, each stating that a full and fair price was paid. One man who was outbid by Shadrach even said he thought Shadrach paid too much, not too little.

Here is the inventory from that auction:

Sale Inventory of Slaves Owned by Charles Williams

Shadrach Stephens Executor of Charles Williams
Decd. Respond that in obedience to the interlocutory
order made in the Court at the last Term of
this Court he sold the negroes mentioned
in the bill upon a credit of 12 months as
follows –

Negro boy Henry to James Kelly for $410.00
Negro man Edmund to himself for 680.00
” ” Charley Black to Wm Staples for 405.00
” ” Barnett to Asa Cobb for 667.00
” Girl Crittey to Asa Cobb for 536.00
” ” Polly to Jno. White 580.00
” ” Dilcey to Jno. White for 100.00

Total: $3378.00

The Executor further reports that (he?) has taken
bond with good security for the purchase money
all of which is respectfully submitted.

Shadrach Stephens


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