Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Archy A Slave 1814.

James Edwards, in the month of November, 1814, being employed by John Willis as patroon or commander of the barge Kitty, then lying at Eddyville, had hired Jacob Purkill’s negro man Archy for the purpose of making a voyage to Orleans and back; when they arrived at Orleans on about the 17th of December, the white men were taken to the lines, and the negroes ( Archy was one) were impressed by order of General Jackson for fatigue duty; that, after Archy had been employed for twenty-six or twenty-seven days James Edwards heard that Archy was sick. James went and found Archy, and found him in a very exposed situation, lying on three boards on a small tuft surrounded by mud and mire more than shoe deep; Archy was taken to the barge, where he remained three days; James then sent him to a boarding-house, where good care was taken of him until some time in March, when he was brought to the barge, then about to return home, but he died on the first night; James believes, it was from a swift consumption, occasioned by his exposure in the mud and water in which James had seen him at work. Archy was a valuable slave, weighing about one hundred and seventy pounds; he would work in the swamp nearly up to the hips.

Jacob Purkill’s who was he owner of Archy, demanded that James Edwards pay him the full value of $700, dollars as Archy was a very valuable slave, and as Archy died in James employment. Jacob said he would have to pay. James sent a petition to Congress asking for relief . The petition went to committee but they found no records could be found that stated that the white men nor the negroes were impressed into service they would not grant James petition.

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