Owners and Enslaved People

Treasure Trove of Clays in Database of Owners and Enslaved People 

By Ned Boyajian

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall passed away last August. Although the professor emerita from Rutgers University had no known connection to the Clays, her research offers information and insights. She was an historian of colonial Louisiana who, as The New York Times puts it … 

… managed to rescue the identities of more than 100,000 enslaved people from archival oblivion and demonstrate the vast extent of African influence on America’s cultural heritage … 

Of note to us Clay Family researchers, many of the names of those enslaved people are in this easily searchable online database! 

 Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy 1719-1820

 Entering “Clay” into the Master’s Name field yields 109 entries on three pages of results. Clicking on the enslaved person’s name shows a view of more details about him or her. 

 To take one example, not at random, here is an initial result…

Estate’s (Deceased Master) Name:
Buyer’s Name: Raguet
Seller’s Name: Clay
Year Document was created: 1805
Origin: Congo
Gender: male
Racial Designation: black
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825]

 And the detailed view … 

Gender: male
Race: black
Birthplace: Congo
Age (when this record was documented): 8.0

Selling Information
Name of the Seller: Jean Clay
Name of the Buyer: Adelaide Raguet
Grouping: sold or inventoried as an individual
Selling Currency: p
Selling Value: 300
Selling Value: 300

Document: Information of the document that these records were retrieved.
Document Location: Orleans (including Chapitoulas).[Jefferson 1825]
Document Date: 1805-02-20
Document Number (from the document): 104
Notary Name: Broutin
Coder (person that encoded this record: Philip McLeod
Type of document:
Any documents involving maroons, including reports of runaways, interrogation of caputred runaways, and testimony by slaves about runaways: no
Language: French
Is this document of linguistic interest?: no
Is this inventory or sale of an estate of a free person of African descent?: no

Skill and Trade Information


Family Information
Was this slave inventoried with his/her mother?: no
Was this slave sold with his/her mother?: no

Importation Information
Language group of Africans: : Benue-Congo
Was this slave being emancipated?: no
Slave listed as dead?: no

 Much awaits to be uncovered. This database offers a trove of clues.

Start Date 11/12/2022 - Please rate your reaction.