Monday, June 28, 2010

Slaves listed in 1860 Washington County, Tennessee Census: An Update

In my earlier post about slaves being enumerated in the 1860 Washington County, TN census I decided to review the entire census to determine how many slaves were enumerated by given name.  In a cursory review of the census pages on Ancestry.com I found about 545 slaves enumerated and then crossed out and listed in the Slave Schedule.  This happened in 10 of the 19 districts Ancestry.com shows.  Only the named districts had slaves enumerated on the census.  There were none in the numbered districts.  There were also about 230 free African-Americans listed in the census.  They lived in 17 of the 19 districts.

I'm not guaranteeing my counting skills - especially since the second time I looked at the Slave Schedules I counted just under 1270 slaves versus the 953 I mentioned earlier.  Once I run out of fingers and toes my counting can get a little dicey. 

Fortunately someone with much better counting skills has already researched and written about this census in an article published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.  In her 2005 article “In Praise of William H. Crouch: The Enumeration of Slaves in the 1860 Census of Washington County, Tennessee” (Vol. 93, pp. 52-64) Suzanne Murray examines the census and its value for researching slave ancestry. 

Murray counted 617 slaves in nine districts.  Her article includes a table listing the number of slaves by surname (usually the owners’ names).  She found about 12% of the slaves listed in the 1860 census appeared in the 1870 Washington County, TN census under the same name.  She did not examine whether they appear under different surnames or suggest migration routes, but does suggest the extreme violence of the Civil War in East Tennessee may have impacted the numbers.  Finally, she included an example of using this census in conjunction with other census records to trace one slave family. 

It’s a wonderful article.  I’m so delighted she wrote it.  I did examine the 1870 census for any of the five McAdams slaves listed in 1860.  Only Charles McAdams, age 13 appears.  In 1860 he was enumerated in the household of my Thomas's brother, Samuel B. McAdams as one of three slaves.  No age was given.  Also listed were Sarah (age 24) and Hannah. 

1860 U.S. census, Washington Co., TN
Ten years later he is enumerated in the household of Ebenezer Barkley as a farm worker.  He is indexed on Ancestry.com as Carles McAdams.

1870 U.S. census, Washington Co., TN

I strongly suspect the McAdams slaves were inherited though the wives.  Samuel and Thomas McAdams each married daughters of slave owners.  Their parents were not slave owners, nor was Thomas a slave owner on earlier censuses.  Samuel did appear owning one slave in the 1850 Greene County, TN census.  Samuel McAdams married Ann Duncan, a daughter of Joseph and Polly Allison Duncan, on 3 Feb 1831 in Washington County.  His brother Thomas C. McAdams married Cynthia Stephenson, a daughter of John and Elizabeth Cloyd Stephenson, on 16 Jan 1835.  If I were to continue researching the McAdams slaves I would examine the Duncan and Stephenson in-laws.

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