From Ontario Messenger 13 March 1850


The undersigned respectfully invite the Electors of the town of Richmond, without distinction of party, who are opposed to the Extension of Slavery, and in favor of the organization of Governments for our newly acquired territories, prohibiting Slavery therein, and opposed to Slavery and the Slave trade in the District of Columbia, and in favor of Congress taking action thereon, regardless of "Lamentations here or elsewhere," -- to meet in Town Convention, at the House of SENECA BENTLEY, on Saturday the 23d instant, at one o'clock in the afternoon, to make nominations of suitable persons to be supported for Town Officers at the ensuing Town Election.  Dated Richmond, March 2d, 1850

Daniel Short
J. Garlinghouse
Harry Smith
Nathan Hicks
Gilbert Willson
David Pierpont
Elias Gilbert
D. W. Bishop
Thomas Barkley
Parley Brown
Joseph Morse Jr.
Eli A. Shaw
S. N. Hopkins
John Pierpont
Josiah C. Short
Victor N. Hopkins
William Frost
John Reed
William Phipps
Frederick Wilcox
John W. McCrossen
Harvey Curtis
Daniel Stoddard
I. M. Townsend
Ira J. Bulloch
Heman Crooks
Heman Crooks, Jr.
Aaron Skinner
Allen Goold
William Skinner
Luther Goold
Doctor Sharpsteen
L. B. Briggs
S. T. Seward
L. W. Billington
M. W. Davison
Cha's M. Terry
Wm. Ashley
Wm. Shaw
Clark Marlin
Robert Eldred
Harvey Ward
John A. Heazlit
Selah Peabody
Job Williams
S. W. Sturdevant
George Williams
D. P. Bissell
S. Henry Bristol
Tompkins Crooks
John A. Bentley
Hiram P. Abbey
J. P. Quick
Selden Shurtleff
Reuben Smith
Jeremiah Taylor
Furman Johnson
George Johnson
A. C. Smith
Daniel Holmes
David Crooks
Daniel S. Baker
John Abbey
Thomas Bentley
Isaac J. Abbey
Joel Hawes
J. D. Bentley
Cha's Wright
Andrew H. Ward
N. N. Herrick
Nelson Garlinghouse
Samuel Coldwell
Rob't Johnson
Edwin Gilbert
James Bray
Amos Hilbom
Wm. F. Reed
Samuel P. Reed
William Allen
Wm. Rice
Wm. G. Miller
Wm. Miller
Wm. R. Clement
Isaac Clement
Peter Clement
Jacob Clement
Oliver Dunning
Daniel Howitt
Garret C. Bray
Harley E. Leet
Thomas Ross
Benj. Crandall
Levi Wilcox
James T. Wilcox
John Crandall
Joseph Hewit
Cha's. A. Briggs
Silas Wood
Obed Stoddard
Ira Justin
Thomas Hoxie
Rufus Bullock
Jesse Green
A. A. Adams
Abner Crooks
Sheldon Merwin
Benjamin Rogers
Edwin N. Rogers
Caleb Briggs
Lyman Hawes
Nelson Merrill
P. M. Bentley
David A. Pierpont
Harvey Jewett
Joshua Phillips
Tilness Bentley
Horace Gilbert
Robert Sharpsteen
Wheeler Reed, 2d
Noah Ashley
Calvin Ward, 2d
Isaac H. Bishop
John Dewey
Warren Day
Milford Hopkins
Asa Dennison, Jr.
Richmond Blackmer
H. M. Hardy
Luther Stanley
Levi Blackmer
M. S. Fellows
James Bothell, Jr.
Easton Owen
Judson Willson
Franklin Green
J. T. Eaton
John D. Osborne
M. Macy
Wm. Roudenbush
Barney Simonson
Wm. H. Hayes
David McCrossen
Simon Stubble
Sillieh Willson
John Mather
Geo. W. Paul
Nathan P. Wright
Wash. I. Hicks
Stephen Moore
Sardis Simmons
Constant Simmons, Jr.
Aaron Olcutt
B. W. West
Stephen Beach
Jerome B. Dennison
John C. Wood
H. Longyor
Newell D. Gerry
Solomon Longyor
Willard Doolittle
Smith Sharpsteen
John G. Taylor
Sheldon Bishop
C. Bray
Rob't B. Stout
Thomas C. Walker
Jona. B. Walker
Harvey G. Wilcox
Isaac W. Wilcox
Nathaniel Bray
Henry O'Conner
Nathan Cobb
Patrick McNabb
Nelson Skinner
J. B. Bigelow
Andrew Bray
David L. Hamilton
John D. Weed
Russell D. Knapp
Simon P. Hall
F. M. Seward
Phillip Winnegar
E. M. Wright
D. K. Hawks
Albert Collins
Anson B. Gilbert
Lev Nobles, Jr.
William Arnold
Geo. L. Douglass
Seth Tubbs
M. J. Blakely
Luman Gilbert
Ashbel Winegar
Thomas McMichael
James Bothell
John E. Phillips
M. M. Gregory
A. M. Steel
Stephen A. Garlinghouse
George Alger
O. E. Pierpont
John Short
James Smyth
Samuel Kear
Joseph Batchelder
Ira Moore
Joseph C. Paul
Abram Lewis
Zoroaster Paul
O. B. Fox
W. C. Whitmore
J. B. West
H. Tyler
George N. Seward
Cyrus Pemberton
Levi Nobles
A. C. Bishop
J. D. Hazen

From Geneva Gazette 1 February 1861

A Southern Aspect of Slavery

The Crisis and its Cause

By a Christian Lady

We are permitted to make an extract from a letter received by a lady resident of Geneva from a sister residing in Williamston, North Carolina.  It is a notorious fact that the fanatics of the North who prate most of slavery -- who talk of it as "the sum of all villainies" -- know nothing about it.  Ninety-nine out of every hundred of them never saw either a slaveholder or a slave.  To such we commend the sentiments of a christian lady, who, though born at the North, has lived surrounded by the "institution" for the last 12 years.  Read and then reflect how fratricidal your course is in carrying on "an irrepressible" crusade against your brethren and sisters of the South:

"You say, sister, that 'in reference to our beloved country, you are too ignorant to make any remarks.'  I am inadequate, yet I think it is in an alarming condition.  I must confess that it engrosses many of my thoughts. Never before did the affairs of our country so trouble me.  Unless the great Sovereign of the Universe interposes in mercy, I see nothing but distress and anguish awaiting us in our once happy and prosperous country.  All might be peace and prosperity were it not for the fanatics and demagogues that are ready to deluge our land in blood. Priestcraft is perfecting her work, and an awful end it will be.  Why do not our people think and act for themselves?  Where is the counsel in our nation?  It seems that all wisdom has departed. Unless the people arouse themselves, we are a lost Nation.  It may be too late now. What is the state of things around you? Are they all running wild, or are there some who reflect what is being done?  Why will not all people mind their own business? If they would things would be very different.  

Slavery is the great question, and those who are saying so much about it do not know what they are talking about. Our servants are now much better situated than thousands of white people, and ten thousand times better off than they could possibly be if they were free.  I have lived South 12 years next March, and I can tell you the truth. The owners of servants are the greatest slaves.  I do not know what the Northern people are thinking about -- seeking to ostracize their brethren of the South who have equal rights with them in the government; and instead of protecting them, are seeking to take their lives and property, and endanger their peaceful habitations by servile visurrection.  The abominable stories told about the South are not true.  We treat our servants kindly.  We feed and cloth them well.  You would be astonished to meet many of them in our streets.  They dress, many of them, at times better than their owner.  I have this day bought over 200 yards of domestic goods to clothe our home servants.  Many of them do not earn their bread and clothes, yet their owners feed and clothe them and if they get crippled and infirm, they are taken care of.  We have them on our hands; we did not bring them here; we can do nothing but take care of them, and make them, if we can, earn their bread.  They can never be freed and remain among us; this can never be.  But I will leave this subject, that is causing so much distress, and I fear war and bloodshed.  O may the Lord prevent it, if it be His most holy will.  O, may He send 'peace and not the sword.'  It may be our land is rife for destruction; if so, may we trust in God, who will defend and protect his people."

From Ontario County Journal 13 January 1899

Slavery in Canandaigua - There Were Dorseys Among the Early Settlers

The following legal instrument in the handwriting of the late Hon. John C. Spencer, and bearing his signature, was found among the paper of Colonel Caleb Hopkins, who died in Pittsford in 1818. Mr. Spencer's career as a lawyer and statesman is well-known. He was born at Hudson, N. Y., January 8, 1788; admitted to the bar at Canandaigua in 1809, where he resided until 1845, when he removed to Albany and died there May 8, 1855, aged 67 years. It will be seen that Mr. Spencer was only 24 years old when the instrument was prepared and executed by him.

Article of agreement made and concluded this fifth day of November, one thousand eight hundred and twelve, between Daniel Dorsey of the town of Lyons, in the county of Ontario, and John C. Spencer, of the town of Canandaigua. Whereas the said Daniel Dorsey is entitled to the services of a black boy named Titus, born of a female slave belonging to the said Daniel since the 4th day of July 1799, within this state, pursuant to the eight section of the act "concerning slaves and servants," which said black boy was ten years of age in the month of April last. Now, the said Daniel Dorsey, in consideration of the covenants hereinafter contained, and of the sum of $140 to him in hand paid, doth hereby grant, assign and deliver to the said John C. Spencer, the said black boy Titus, and all the right, title and interest which he, the said Daniel Dorsey, hath; or may or ought to have in pursuance of the act aforesaid, or in any other way, to the services of the said black boy; to be had, held and retained by the said John C. Spencer until the said black boy shall arrive at the age of 28 years. And the said Daniel Dorsey doth hereby covenant and agree to and with the said John C. Spencer, that the said black boy, Titus, shall well, truly and faithfully serve and
obey the said John C. Spencer, as his domestic servant, for the time aforesaid; and that the said John C. Spencer shall and may have full power, authority and control over the said black boy as his master, for and during the time aforesaid. And the said Daniel doth hereby for himself, his executors and administrators, authorize and empower him, the said John C. Spencer, in the name of him, the said Daniel, or in case of his decease, in the name of his executors or administrators, to retain and use the said black boy as a servant for the term of time aforesaid and during that term to prosecute any person or persons for seducing, harboring or employing the said black boy. In consideration whereof the said John C. Spencer doth hereby covenant and agree to and with said Daniel Dorsey, that during the term in which he shall receive the services of the said black boy as aforesaid, he will treat him kindly and indulgently as a master; he will provide him with good food and clothing, and at the expiration of the said term will give him a Bible and a good suit of clothes. In testimony whereof, the said parties have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year above written.

Daniel Dorsey (L. S.)
John C. Spencer (L. S.)
Witness: John Griffin

In consideration of $140 to me in hand, paid by Caleb Hopkins, I do hereby assign, transfer and set over to him the within agreement and all benefit, right and title which I have or may have to or in the same, and also the black boy, Titus, within named, and all my right, title and interest in and to him or his services by virtue of the written agreement. May 3, 1815

John C. Spencer (L. S.)
Witness, Oliver Heartwell

From Rochester Post Express

From Geneva Daily Times 21 October 1903

Residents of this city, excepting those who have read about these things, and some of the oldest residents whose memories recall the dark days before the war and the barbarous methods which led up to it, have no idea of the value a slave placed upon his freedom which was dearer to him than life itself.

This very motive, then must have prompted the late William T. Brown, colored, of this city, who himself was a freed bondsman, when he purchased for the nominal sum of $250, the freedom of one Noah Collins, who was a slave on the plantation of a wealthy southern family.

Who Brown Was

William T. Brown came to this city in the early fifties, having purchased his freedom from his owner in Washington county, Maryland. He was of an industrious disposition and soon secured a responsible position despite his color. He married and raised five children, three sons and two daughters. He led an exemplary life and accumulated considerable means which he devoted to the furthering of the rights of the colored race. He purchased the freedom of a number of slaves and secured them positions from which they were able to save enough money to refund the purchase price. He was well-thought of by all who knew him and when he died in 1892, his funeral was attended by the village officials and by many prominent citizens. His family separated after his demise and only one daughter remained in the city. She is Miss Louise Brown of 42 Castle street, who conducts a fashionable hair dressing establishment at that address. Miss Brown succeeded her mother in the business, the latter having died two years ago.

Little if anything was known of the philanthropy of Mr. Brown until recently when some papers were discovered that threw light upon the subject. One of them is a certificate to the effect that Mr. Brown was a free man and the other shows that he purchased the freedom of the man Collins. Following are the certificates and deeds:

The Indenture

State of Maryland, Washington county, to wit:  I hereby certify that it hath been proven to my satisfaction by a deed of manumission recorded in Liber H, folio 941 and 942, one of the landlord books of Washington county aforesaid, that the bearer hereof, William T. Brown is a free man.

The said William is of a shade termed "Mullato," five feet, six and one-half inches in height, thirty-five years of age, has a small mole in his right ear, and is in appearance very comely and of a mild disposition.
In testimony whereof I hereunto subscribe my name and affix the seal of Washington county court at Hagerstown, this 8th day of June, A. D., 1839.     O. H. Williams, Clerk


"Know all men by these presents that we, Frederick Dorsey and Jane Randall of Washington county and state of Maryland, administrators of Vachel W. Randall, esq., late of said county, deceased, for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars, current money, in hand paid by William T. Brown, of the said county and state at or before the sealing and delivering of these presents, the receipt whereof we, the said Frederick and Jane, do hereby fully acknowledge, have granted, bargained and sold, and by these presents do grant, bargain and sell unto the said William T. Brown, his executors, administrators and assigns, a certain Mullato man, slave for life, named Noah Collins, supposed to be about thirty-three years of age, late belonging to the estate of the said V. W. Randall, deceased, to have and to hold the said Mullato man, slave, or intended so to be, to the said William T. Brown, his executors, administrators, and assigns forever.

And we, the said Frederick and Jane, administrators as aforesaid, sell said Mullato man, named Noah, as a slave for life, unto the said William T. Brown, his executors, administrators and assigns, against us, and against all and every other person or persons, shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents.

In testimony whereof we hereunto subscribe our names and affix our seals this twentieth day of June, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five.

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