An 1811 Slave Murder in Virginia

Sometimes that which we find is not pleasant. Inhumane is an understatement in this case.

I first learned of the 1811 slave murder when searching for references to my Sledd family on  Genealogybank. The vast majority of  Sledd references before 1850 in  Genealogybank refer to this murder–which was not what I was actually looking for. A search of GoogleBooks located the reference below.  Unfortunately none of the online references provides the first name of Mr. Sledd and “new” (at least to me) newspaper references to the incident fail to provide a first name for Mr. Sledd. The newspaper accounts all seem to be copying from an original account. The practice was not uncommon during the time period, but makes it more difficult to locate Sledd’s first name in a contemporary account.

This is not the first time I’ve written about the 1811 slave murder. But now I’ve given up on locating an online newspaper reference to his complete name.

A London publication provides a summary of the incident which parallels the contemporary newspaper accounts. Note: the details are somewhat graphic.

We’ve written about the murder before. Many of the Sledds in Bedford County during this time period were children of John  and Amy/Ann Sledd. It is believed that John was dead by 1811, so the article is probably not referring to him.

The woman may be named in the probate records of the owner as other references indicate that she was “rented from an estate.”

Hopefully this time I will have better luck determining just which Bedford County Sledd the articles are referring to.


One thought on “An 1811 Slave Murder in Virginia

  1. More info than I wanted to know — In the 1880’s one of my grandfather’s sisters was assaulted by a hired hand and thrown in the cistern. There was only a small amount of water in the cistern, but when he realized she was still alive he jumped in and finished the job. Fool that he was, he couldn’t get back out the and law took care of him. The newspaper was quite graphic. This event was handed down in the family, but we didn’t know the details until I found an account in the newspaper of that time.

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