William M. Sclater's Affidavit, October 28, 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.

Albemarle County to wit

Wm. M Sclater 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 known a slave owned by Andrew M. Woods of Albemarle named Thomas who was killed on the 6th April 1854 on the Blue Ridge Rail road if so how long had you known him.

2nd Question

What was the character, age and appearance of said negro. And what was the state of his health.

3d Question

What was the worth at the time of his death.

Answer to 1st Question

I knew the said slave since the 1st Jan 1854

Answer to 2nd Question

He was a good working hand about twenty years old about six feet high of good appearance excepting a small scar on his temple where he had been burned and as far as I known healthy

Answer to 3d Question

Twelve Hundred dollars.

Given under my hand this twenty eighth of October 1854.

Alan, K. [Yancey] J. P.

About this Document

  • Source: William M. Sclater's Affidavit, October 28, 1854
  • Author: Alan K. Yancey
  • 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 28, 1854