Slaveholding and Judicial Opinions of William Gaston (2022)

Dublin Core

Title

Slaveholding and Judicial Opinions of William Gaston (2022)

Subject

Gaston, William, 1778-1844
Slavery--North Carolina--History--19th century.

Description

William Gaston (1778-1844) was Georgetown's first student, enrolling in the school in 1791 before transferring to Princeton. As a congressman from North Carolina, Gaston sponsored the charter that granted Georgetown the authority to award academic degrees. He became a prominent jurist, serving on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Georgetown's flagship lecture hall, Gaston Hall, is named after him.

This entry presents research materials from Georgetown Law Professor John Mikhail documenting William Gaston's slaveholding and interpreting Gaston's jurisprudence with respect to slavery and free people of color. This PDF includes a letter from Professor Mikhail to Georgetown University President John DeGioia dated September 8, 2022, summarizing his research findings, along with the following enclosures:

1. Gaston’s 1844 Estate Inventory (Image)
2. Gaston’s 1844 Estate Inventory (Partial Transcript)
3. Gaston’s 1800 Federal Census Record (Summary)
4. Gaston’s 1800 Federal Census Record (Image)
5. Gaston’s 1815 County Tax Record (New Bern District)
6. Gaston’s 1820 Federal Census Record (Summary)
7. Gaston’s 1820 Federal Census Record (Image)
8. Gaston’s 1840 Federal Census Record (New Bern) (Summary)
9. Gaston’s 1840 Federal Census Record (New Bern) (Image)
10. Gaston’s 1840 Federal Census Record (Plantation) (Summary)
11. Gaston’s 1840 Federal Census Record (Plantation) (Image)
12. State v. Manuel, 20 NC. 144 (1838)
13. State v. Will, 18 N.C. 131 (1834)
14. List of Gaston’s Slavery-Related Cases as Attorney and Judge
15. Note on Sources

Gaston owned at least 163 people at the time of his death. Included in these materials is a transcription of the names of enslaved people recorded in William Gaston's 1844 estate inventory on pp. 8-12. The transcription was prepared by John Mikhail and Adam Rothman, with assistance from Jackson Edwards and Bassel Jamali. The names were recorded in the estate inventory as follows:

1. Annakey a Slave
2. Mary her daughter
3. Ann daughter of Mary
4. William son of Annakey
5. Theodore [son of Annakey]
6. Frances Daughter of [Theodore]
7. Esther
8. Dan her son
9. Phillis
10. Isaac
11. Matilda
12. Old Rhody
13. Esther Daughter of Rhody
14. Solomon
15. Jane
16. Daniel
17. Esther
18. Phillis
19. Mariah her child
20. Daniel [her child]
21. Robert [her child]
22. Louis a cook

22 slaves in Town

In the country
1. Robert 45
2. Liddy wife 40
3. Henrietta child 9
4. Laura [child] 7
5. Amos 27
6. Venus wife 22
7. Catherine child 3
8. Henry [child] 1
9. Lucas 57
10. Holland 15
11. Louisa 14
12. Mary 27
13. Jack 23
14. Rachel wife 18
15. Charles child 1
16. Violet 41
17. Flora 21
18. John 3
19. Thomas ½
20. Rosa 18
21. Charity 16
22. Jupiter 19
23. Julia 11
24. Marina 5
25. Mariah 4
26. Jim 3
27. Adam 58
28. [Nancy?] wife 45
29. Phillis 23
30. Apples 1
31. Henry 18
32. Isabella 14
33. [John?] 11
34. Luther 9
35. Brenna 6
36. [Annanias] 3
37. Tom 40
38. [Nicey] child 13
39. Daniel 28
40. Prescot 50
41. Harry 53
42. Rachel wife 48
43. [Lora?] child 15
44. Lucinda [child] 13
45. Maclin [child] 21
46. Cicero [child] 9
47. Oliver [child] 6
48. Nelly [child] 4
49. Ruthy 38
50. John 19
51. Patsey 17
52. Jane 15
53. Enoch 11
54. Tina old 88
55. Henry (Jones) 29
Sally wife 29
Haywood 6
Martha 5
Beda 2
56 Hannah 61
Zach ⅙
57. Sophy 39
58. Lorine 19
59. Dido 11
60. Louisa 7
61. Fanny 2
62. Kathrine 21
63. Moses 2
64. Harry cooper 40
65. George 19
66. Jacob blacksmith 29
67. Henry Cutler 20
68. Abram 27
69. Hannah 31
70. Abe 6
71. Aleck 30
72. Susan wife 23
73. Hellen 9
74. Harriet 5
75. Richard 28
76. Eveline 22
77. Edward 3
78. Arminity 1/2
79. Patty 90
80. William 45
81. Nathan 33
82. Freeman 21
83. Eliza wife 19
84. Manuel 40
85. Zerusha wife 22
86. Aleck 7
87. Alford 4
88. Della ¾
89. Leah 54
90. Larina 16
91. Mary ann 28
92. Patsey 7
93. Silvey 4
94. Caroline 24
95. Ellen 4
96. Rosaline 1
97. John 60
98. Lavinia 37
99. Margaret 14
100. Sephenas 3
101. Jim 50
102. Creecy wife 47
103. Bill child 22
104. Robby [child] 14
105. Delilah [child] 11
106. Zena [child] 9
107. Jim [child] 7
108. Matthias [child] 4
109. Sally [child] 1
110. [Old Levina]

At the [near?] plantation
111. Charles 49
112. Betty wife 48
113. Robert 22
114. Cornelius 20
115. Edmund 15
116. Hannah 11
117. Mary Ann palsied
118. Albert 6
119. Moses 3
120. Margaret 1
121. Delia old 58
122. Berna 32
123. Nancy 13
124. Sally 4
125. Amy 6
126. Dinah 24
127. Tempe 18
128. Louisa 22
129. Hannah 13
130. Esther 14
131. Pat 11
132. Dave 6
133. Pleasant 4
134. Sam 38
135. Mary wife 30
136. Elias 12
137. Nelson 8
138. Suzy 5
140. Ann Mariah 2
141. Pleasant 1

141 In the country added to those in town 22 = 163

Creator

John Mikhail, Adam Rothman

Publisher

Georgetown Slavery Archive

Date

2022-09-08

Contributor

John Mikhail, Adam Rothman

Rights

John Mikhail

Relation

Format

PDF

Language

English

Type

Report

Identifier

GSA451

Files

Citation

John Mikhail, Adam Rothman, “Slaveholding and Judicial Opinions of William Gaston (2022),” Georgetown Slavery Archive, accessed February 7, 2023, http://slaveryarchive.georgetown.edu/items/show/537.

Geolocation