Casefile Clues

10 September 2012

Which Sledd Killed a Slave in 1811?

Searches yield things that one never expects. I was looking for references to members of the Sledd family in Virginia before 1820 using  Genealogybank  and came upon several references to the death of a slave at the hands of man named Sledd from the vicinity of Bedford County, Virginia.

 "Mr. Sledd" who was sentenced to two years in the Virginia penitentiary for the death of a slave in 1811. Apparently Sledd sought to "punish" his slave in such a manner that resulted in her death.

A summary of the incident is contained here:


La Belle Assemblée, Volume 3, page 161--obtained on Google Books


The title page for this item appears below:


In all honesty, I didn't obtain this first on Google Books. I was actually looking for references to Sledds in Virginia before 1820 using    Genealogybank and several references to this incident were all that I was able to locate. This item appears to have been copied verbatim from some of the newspaper accounts of the incident which are also in digitized newspapers  on  Genealogybank

I'm working on putting together a few snippets of the newspaper accounts for a future blog post.

This reference only lists the man as "Sledd," not indicating which "Sledd" it is. I'll have to determine what connection this man has to my own Sledd family which had moved to Kentucky by this date. Most likely this will be done with census and other local county records. I will be going through the references to the incident on  Genealogybank  to determine if any mention Sledd's first name.

A discovery of a not-so-pleasant part of our past.