Puzzle Pieces: Poythress Etc to Harrison, September 19, 1833 Deed, Charles City County, Virginia

September 19, 1833 Deed of Bargain and Sale, Poythress Etc to Harrison

Here is a very important document, the September 19, 1833 deed between Thomas E. Poythress and Bersheba his wife, previously the widow of Collier Harrison to Robert C. Harrison. The deed involves nine hundred acres of land, sundry items and the souls 48 enslaved persons:

Transcription—-

Charles City County, Virginia

Deed Book No. 8, p.123

This Indenture made and entered into this 19th day of September in the year of Christ one thousand eight hundred and thirty three, between Thomas E Poythress and Bersheba Poythress his wife of the one part, and Robert C Harrison of the other part, all of the County of Charles City and State of Virginia:—Whereas the said Thomas E Poythress and Bersheba his wife who before her intermarriage with said Thomas E, was Bersheba Harrison widow of Collier Harrison, are in possession of, and entitled under the will of said Collier Harrison for and during the life of the said Bersheba to a certain tract or parcel of land and plantation situate lying and being in the said County of Charles City on Kittewan Creek, called and known by the name of Kittiewan, containing by estimation with the lands attached to, and used and occupied therewith nine hundred acres more or less, with the improvements and appurtenances thereunto belonging together with the following negro slaves to wit—- Vol, David, Billy (ploughman Sam, Kingston, Coy, Phil, Albert, Bob, Pizano, Alfred, Ned, Alonzo, Aaron, Tom, Frank, Joe and Macklin, men and boys—-yellow Sally, black Sally and her two children Hal and Christiana, black Fanny and her three children Suckey, Siggy, and Adeline, Fanny Creighton, Mary and her two children Lucy and Peter. Jenette and her child Agga, Milly, Maria and her two children Louisa and Laura, Amey Charlotte and her two children Winney and Rose, Abby and her three children, Len, Cornelius and Nancy, and Phebe, women and children, now on the said plantation called Kittiewan, and the said Thomas E Poythress and his wife have agreed to the sell transfer and convey the said Robert C Harrison all their right tittle (sic) and interest being an state for the life of the said Bersheba Poythress in and to the lands and promeses (sic), and the negro slaves before mentioned, and the said Thomas E Poythress’ right telle and estate in and to the following personal property to wit—-six work mules, four yolks of work oxen, twenty two head of other cattle including five calves of the present year, 42 head of sheep, two ox carts with yokes chains + one one Tumbrel cart, 8 ploughs, 8 harrow teeth, 2 drags and a cultivator, lot of hoes and two spades, 8 axes 2 X ploughs, six pair harness, Traces, and collars, some Carpenters tools, ten scythe blades and cradles; for the sum of Three thousand seven hundred and ninety three Dollars—-Now this Indenture Witnesseth that the said Thomas E Poythress and Bersheba his wife for and in consideration of the aforesaid sum of of Three thousand seven hundred and ninety three dollars lawful money of the United States paid to them by the said Robert C Harrison before the signing sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt thereof is hereby acknowledged have granted bargained sold aliened, conveyed sel (sic) over and deliver, and by these presents do grant bargain sell alien, convey set, over and deliver unto the said Robert C Harrisons his heirs and assigns forever the before mentioned tract or parcel of land and plantation with its improvements and appurtenances called + known by the name of Kittiewan containing as aforesaid about nine hundred acres more or less as the same is held used and occupied by the said Poythress and wife under the will of the said Collier Harrison, it being the intention of the parties to convey and receive the same lands and tenements which the said Poythress and wife derived from the estate of said Collier Harrison, and the negro slaves herein before mentioned and the other personal property now on the said estate and the increase of the females of the said slaves and stocks—To have and to hold the said Tract of land and plantation with the appurtenances thereto belonging, together with the negro slaves, the stocks, and other property herein before mentioned to him the said Robert C Harrison his heirs and assigns, to the only proper use and behest (?) of the said Robert C Harrison his heirs and assigns forever——And the said Thomas E Poythress and Bersheba his wife for themselves their heirs executors and administrations do hereby covenant and agree to and with the said Robert C Harrison his heirs and assigns, that they the said Poythress and wife and their heirs, the said Tract or parcel of land and plantation with his appurtenances, together with the negro slaves before mentioned unto him the said Robert C Harrison his heirs and assigns agains the claim of them the said Thomas E Poythress and Bersheba his wife and all persons claiming the same or any part thereof by through or under these or either of them (to wit against the claim or demand of no other person whomsoever as to the said lands and negroes shall and will warrant and defend——.The right and telle to the stocks and other personal chattels the said Thomas E Poythress warrants and defends tot he said Robert C Harrison and his heirs exrs. admrs and assigns against all persons whomsoever—It being the understanding of the parties hereto, and the intent and meaning of this deed, that as the said Thomas E Poythress and Bersheba his wife have only an estate for the life of the said Bersheba in the lands and negroes aforesaid, they are to convey such estate only as they have therein and may lawfully part withal——-In Witness whereof and of all these presents the said Thomas E Poythress and Bersheba Poythress his wife have hereunto set their hands and affected their seals the day and date

first

Charles City County, Virginia

Deed Book No. 8, p.124

first in this Indenture written

Signed Sealed and delivery Thos. E: Poythress {Seal}

In the presence of Bersheba Poythress {Seal}

Charles City County Sel.

We James H Christian and Jos C. Wilson Justices of the peace in the County aforesaid in the State of Virginia do hereby certify that Thomas E Poythress and Bersheba his wife parties to a certain deed bearing date the 19 day of September 1833, and hereto annexed personally appeared before us in our County aforesaid and acknowledged the same to be their act and deed and desired us to Certify the said acknowledgment to the clerk of the Court court of Charles City in order that the said deed may be recorded—-Given under our hands and seals this 19th day of Sept. 1833

James H Christian JP {Seal}

Jos. C Wilson {Seal}

In Charles City County Court Clerks Office the 20th day of September 1833–

This Indenture was delivered to the Clerk of said Court, in his office aforesaid the date last above and having been acknowledged according to Law by Thomas E Poythress and Bersheba his wife parties to the same as per certificates to the said Indenture annexed is together with the said certificates admitted to record——

Teste

R:W: Christian (?)

The enslaved souls. We say their names-

Vol, David, Billy, Sam, Kingston, Coy, Phil, Albert, Bob, Pizano, Alfred, Ned, Alonzo, Aaron, Tom, Frank, Joe and Macklin, yellow Sally, black Sally and her two children Hal and Christiana, black Fanny and her three children Suckey, Siggy, and Adeline, Fanny Creighton, Mary and her two children Lucy and Peter. Jenette and her child Agga, Milly, Maria and her two children Louisa and Laura, Amey Charlotte and her two children Winney and Rose, Abby and her three children, Len, Cornelius and Nancy, and Phebe

More than chattel, these souls no doubt have descendants who may or may not realize their connection to the Harrison family of Kittiewan Plantation.

From the National Parks Service’s website:

“Kittiewan is an historic plantation house in Charles City County. The house sits above the confluence of Kittiewan Creek and the James River on land that was patented to Charles Roane in 1667. The original 450 acres patented to Roane changed hands several times as the land was subdivided. The earliest suggested date for historic occupation of the tract now known as Kittiewan is between 1720 and 1730.


It is unknown when the home was constructed, however, the first owner was Dr. William Rickman. Dr. Rickman married Miss Elizabeth Harrison, the daughter of Benjamin Harrison, around 1776. Her father was the one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the owner of Berkeley Plantation. Mrs. Rickman was also the older sister of William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States. In 1776, Dr. Rickman was appointed by the Continental Congress to oversee Virginia hospitals during the Revolutionary War as the first Surgeon General. Dr. Rickman died at Kittiewan in 1783, leaving no heirs. Mrs. Rickman remarried in 1789 to John Edmondson. She died in 1791.

Like many of the plantations in the South, Kittiewan used enslaved labor. The earliest records place slaves on the property in 1780, but it is likely that slaves worked the land much earlier. It is unknown how many slaves were kept at Kittiewan during the antebellum period. However, the 1850 Slave Census listed William Selden as having 31 slaves, 20 males and 11 females. By the 1860 census, Selden had 41 slaves, 23 males, and 18 females.”

It is unknown how many slaves were kept at Kittiewan during the antebellum period.

Well, with the 1833 Poythress-Harrison deed, we have illumination of just who was at Kittiewan less than thirty years before the Civil War.

1833 is also three years before Harrison relative, William Henry Harrison, first ran for president of the United States. According to the oral family traditions of former national secretary of the NAACP, Walter F. White, Harrison (through a family member) sold his enslaved children, born of a certain woman named Dilsia, to a certain man by the last name of Poythress…

Indeed, the puzzle pieces involving deeds, documents, wills, curiosa, ephemera, personal letters, papers, DNA, and the like are instruments of reclamation for descendants of American slavery.

This is our situation…

The Genealogy Situation Room

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