Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Working on Wednesday: Jesse Thomas Simeon Warren (1825 - 1894), Slave Owner

Since my daughter Christine brought up the subject of this paternal great great grandfather's slaves as listed in the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Census - Slave Schedules in her post last week, I've decided to take a closer look at his holdings here.

J.T.S. (as he was generally known) owned slaves from the time of his father's death in early 1826* until Emancipation came to Texas in 1865. (Besides the enslaved persons from his father's estate, J.T.S. inherited "one negro boy named Matt" from his uncle Jeremiah in 1832 although he was not to take possession of Matt until he was 21.)

His step-father John P. Phillips acted as his legal guardian during his minority. Below is one of John Phillips' annual accounts filed with the Troup County, Georgia, Probate Court in 1841.

["Georgia Probate Records, 1742-1990," images, <i>FamilySearch</i> ( : accessed 28 January 2016), Troup &gt; Returns 1839-1847 vol C and E &gt; image 195 of 588; county probate courthouses, Georgia.]

In 1846, the year that J.T.S. attained his majority, the Phillips family moved to Macon County, Alabama, where he married Martha Heath Hardy three years later. On the 1850 U.S. Census - Slave Schedule J.T.S. was listed as the owner of 12 slaves; perhaps Matt was one of the adult males on that list.

1850 U.S. census, Macon County, Alabama, slave schedule, District 21, p. 183 (penned), Jesse Warren, owner; NARA microfilm publication M432; digital image, ( : accessed 21 Jan 2016).

The next record of slave ownership for J.T.S. is an 1855 Cass County, Texas, Tax Assessment listing 17 enslaved persons valued at $1,200.** At this point he had been a resident of Texas for about three years.

["Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Jan 2016), Cass county > 1855 > image 31 of 37; citing State Archives, Austin.]

Subsequent tax records leading up to the 1860 U.S. Census - Slave Schedule with its 19 individuals show that J.T.S. owned that number as early as 1858. Note that no children are listed in the 1860 enumeration.

["Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Jan 2016), Cass county > 1858 > image 38 of 45; citing State Archives, Austin.]

[1860 U.S. census, Cass County, Texas, slave schedule, Beat No. 4, p. 33 (penned), J.T.S. Warren, owner; NARA microfilm publication M653; digital image, ( : accessed 21 Jan 2016).]

And here's the 1860 U.S. Census enumeration for J.T.S. and his household which included an overseer. His personal property, most of which would have represented the value of his slaves, was $12,000.

[Year: 1860; Census Place: Beat 4, Cass, Texas; Roll: M653_1290; Page: 392; Image: 97; Family History Library Film: 805290. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.]

On the 1860 U.S. Federal Census Schedule for agriculture the output of the Warren farm was 40-400 pound bales of cotton.*** (J.T.S. is listed on the last line.)

[Census Year: 1860; Census Place: Beat 4, Cass, Texas. Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.]

Cass County tax records survive for 1861, 1862 and 1864 which show that J.T.S. continued to add to his human property during the Civil War finally owning 25 persons by 1862.

["Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 Jan 2016), Cass county > 1861 > image 25 of 31; citing State Archives, Austin.]

["Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Jan 2016), Davis county > 1862 > image 52 of 57; citing State Archives, Austin.]

I've been re-reading Walter Johnson's Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market **** and a quote there caught my eye: Edward Russell, a northerner traveling on the Red River of Texas in 1854 was told by a southerner,
"Planters care for nothing but to buy Negroes to raise cotton & raise cotton to buy Negroes."
I think that this sentiment was one that J.T.S. would have understood. I also think it's significant that we've found no evidence that any of his former slaves adopted his surname as was common practice after emancipation.

*When J.T.S. was less than six months old; he turned 40 in 1865.
**These tax records only list the number and value without including a breakdown by sex and/or age.
***Totaling 16,000 pounds and cotton sold that year for 10 cents a pound.
 ****Kindle version location 1072.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment