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Friday, March 6, 2015

Friend of Friends Friday: Slaves Freed by James Buchanan

For a long time now, I have known the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania banned owning slaves since 1780.  This isn't as simple as it sounds.

The Commonwealth allowed the children of female pregnant slaves born in the state complete freedom at age 28.  However, many residents around 1780 sent their pregnant slaves to Virginia where slavery was recognized.  If the child was born in Virginia, then the child was still born a slave.

I also have found the following tidbit about my uncle in Klein's biography of President James Buchanan.  The tidbit shows that BUCHANAN bought the slaves, freed them, and then employed the two females in his home.

Robert HENRY(1801-1838) was a son of my 4g grandpa, John HENRY of Lower St Clair, Allegheny, PA.  Robert married Harriet E BUCHANAN(1802-1840), daughter of James BUCHANAN, SR and Elizabeth SPEER, and sister of President James BUCHANAN.

What I don't understand is who were the relatives mentioned in Sheperdstown, Virginia?  And how close was the association that James BUCHANAN could have a deed of transfer written and executed?  The name on the deed says from Ann D HENRY to James BUCHANAN. 

Who is she?  I have no knowledge of who she is or why Uncle Robert could convince her to sell.

Ahhh, genealogy.  Good deeds can not only be seen today for they can be found in the past.

©2015 ASEldredge

Klein, Philip Shriver. President James Buchanan A Biography, 1995.

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