Sunday, December 28, 2014

In Remembrance of Enslaved Africans of St. Helena, Louisiana

As January 1, 2014 approaches, I couldn't help but think about what my ancestors and all the enslaved Africans and prisoners of war thoughtout Tangipahoa and St. Helena parishes went through on January 1, 1863. They were held as slaves for four hundred years under the brutal evil acts of slavery at the hands of their white masters. It was on Thursday, January 1, 1863, that President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The 2015 News Years Day falls on Thursday.

There were a different type of fireworks that sparked the air. The sparks of freedom filled the air for hundreds of thousands of newly freed Africans who were held as slaves in both parishes. My ancestors being some of the enslaved Africans who cried tears of joy because the freedom bell rung. The Richardson, Vining and Harrell's were slaves in St. Helena and East Feliciana Parishes, Louisiana.

I'll be forever grateful to Stephanie K. Martin-Quiatte slavery database records for St. Helena Parish. Her extensive slave database can help many African Americans find their enslaved ancestors.

I found a man named "Wash" in a sheriff's sale in St. Helena Parish, Bailey Chaney vs. William Whitten on August 4, 1860 in the database she published.

State of Louisiana
Parish of St. Helena
Eigth Judicial District court  #2,40(?)
Bailey Chaney vs William Whitten

By virtue of a writ of Fieri Facina (?) issued from the honorable court aforesaid, in the above entitled suit, and directed to the Sheriff of St. Helena Parish, and State aforesaid, I have seized on and will offer for sale to the highest bidder at the courthouse door in the town of Greensburg on Saturday, the 4th day of August 1860, between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm of said day.  It being the first Saturday in said month all the rights title, interest  and claim of the defendant R.P. Lee in and to the following named property to wit:

A certain Negro named Wash, age of about 25 years and black in color.

Property pointed out by the plaintiff to satisfy the above writ and all cost.
Terms of sale, cash with the benefit of appraisment

J.J. Wheat, Sheriff
June 30, 1860

For more information please visit her databases at