The 1811 Murder of an Enslaved Woman: An Update

We’ve made some headway on the identity of the man with the last name of Sledd who murdered an enslaved woman in the general area of Bedford County, Virginia, in 1811. As mentioned in other posts my discovery of the case was made because an individual from the Sledd family was involved in it. While the case is interesting from a historical standpoint, I was not searching it out when it was discovered.

The woman who was murdered was named Lucy.

The research is not complete as there are at least two court cases that resulted after the 1811 murder. Access to one of those case files (the actual murder trial) is temporarily delayed as the records are currently being digitized by the Library of Virginia. The second court case that resulted from the murder was actually a civil case where the estate of the original enslaver was suing to recoup financial losses resulting from the murder. That case has been viewed and copied and is being analyzed. We now know the names of more parties involved, including Lucy who was the victim in the 1811 murder. Her two children are mentioned in that second case, but so far their names have not been specifically given.

The case made national headlines at the time.

Stay tuned!


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