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Mary Mansker's Slaves


Petition for partition of Mary Mansker's slaves, filed by John Sweazea and Casper Shell. Published in the Jackson, Missouri, Review newspaper, 27 Feb 1847.

"...that the said Mary Mansker has since died possessed of the following slaves, to wit, negro man named Major, Negro woman Maria, Negro girls, Laddy, Martha and Emily Jane, who have descended to the heirs of John Mansker, deceased, to wit, Casper Mansker, since deceased, leaving one heir, John Mansker, wh has transferred his interest in said estate to said petitioner, John Sweazea; Ann Mansker, since deceased without issue; Margaret Mansker, since deceased without issue; Louisa Mansker since intermarried with David George; Elizabeth Mansker, intermarried with John Black, since deceased; Christina Mansker, intermarried with said petitioner John Sweazea; Lewis Mansker, since deceased, leaving the following heirs, to wit: Sarah Mansker, Jacob Mansker, Fanny C. Mansker, of who Jacob Row is guardian. Mary Mansker, intermarried with Asa Chandler, both deceased [next line unreadable] Chandler intermarried with Ishom Burrows, Clark Chandler, Daniel Chandler, Casper Chandler and Margaret Chandler, minor heir; that John Sweazea is guardian of the said Casper Chandler, and Casper Shell guardian of the said Margaret Chandler, minor heirs of the aforesaid; the said petitioner prays that the said heirs may be made defendants to this proceeding, and that a guardian be appointed to defend the interests of the minor heirs, Daniel and Clark Chandler [the next lines are unclear except that they are an explanation of the proposed percentages of the sale proceeds for the slaves that each heir is entitled to and that Jacob and Sarah Mansker are not residents of this state and that the residence of George Mansker is unknown]. It is ordered that Caleb P. Fulenwider be guardian. The next court date is set for the second Monday of May next and on the first day of said term, and show cause if they have, why the prayer of said petitioners shall not be granted..."

The slaves were sold on 12 June 1847 for the following sums: "Negro man Major, $450.00; Negro girl Martha, $600.00; Negro girl Maria, $292.00; Negro girl Letati, $351.00 and Negro girl Emily Jane, $232.87".

The presumption has long been that this group was a family unit, although the relationships are not clear. However, based on the prices they commanded, it would appear that Major and Martha were the parents and the three girls their daughters.

Updated!
Major shows up again 13 years later -- with a different wife -- as "Major Mansco" in the 1870 census of Cape Girardeau, MO: Major Mansco, #112, black, male, 60, farmer, property of $600/$2,500, born in Tenn. He could not read or write. Wife Charlotte, 54, mulatto, keeps house, born in VA, could not read or write. Children in household (relationship not noted), Emily Brown, 5, born in Arkansas, Frank Kimball, 4 (9?), born in Mo. Nearby, at #118, were Joseph Renfroe, black, male, 23, laborer, wife Emily, 20, mulatto, keeps house, children Louisa, 9, and Mary, 2. This could have been Emily Jane, youngest daughter of Major and Martha; note names of daughters are also names of Mansker girls

It is not noted in the record who actually bought these slaves, but it appears likely that they were kept in the family, since Major took the family name upon emancipation.