Samuel G. White's Affidavit, October 27, 1854

When two slaves were killed on the Blue Ridge Tunnel project, the Board of Public Works attorneys sought sworn affidavits from white men who knew the enslaved men to determine their value for compensation to the slaveholders. The legal process regularized and the practice of industrial slavery on the railroads.

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Albemarle County: [To Wit]

Samuel G White personally appeared before me a justice of the peace for the county aforesaid and being sworn to answer the following questions truly, answered them as follows.

1st Question. Did you know a slave owned by James Garland of Albemarle named [Jerry] who was killed on the 6th day of April 1854 on the Blue ridge rail road, if so how long have you known him.

2nd question. What was the character age and appearance of said negro and what was the state of his health.

3rd Question. What was he worth at the time of his death

Answer to first Question. I have known the slave Jerry all his life.

Answer to second Question, His charater [sic] was remarkably good he was about twenty one years of age, his personal appearance was very fine he being tall and strait, his health was perfectly good

Answer to third Question. I think the negro worth at least twelve hundred and fifty dollars. Indeed had I owned him, I would not have taken that amount for him knowing him so well as I did.

Give under my hand this 27th day of October 1854

Thos F Lewis. J. P.

About this Document

  • Source: Samuel G. White's Affidavit
  • Author: Thomas F. Lewis, J. P.
  • Extent: 1 page
  • Citation: Archives, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, Virginia Board of Public Works, Entry 125 "Blue Ridge Railroad", Box RG 57, Box 216, Folder 3
  • Date: October 27, 1854