This is a project to review the deed books of Randolph County, North Carolina before 1865, which were handwritten, to find references to slavery. It is a work in progress, as we are still reading old deeds to make sure no slave deeds were missed; see the progress below.
Here you can also view the Randolph County Slave Census for 1850, 1860 (Western divison), and 1860 (Eastern division). Unfortunately, the names of the enslaved persons are not listed, only slave owner names, and the age, sex, and color of the enslaved persons.
See the list of 614 slave deeds we have found so far. These represent needles in the haystack of land and property transfer deeds in Randolph County from 1779 to 1865.
Many deeds record the sale of more than one enslaved person. We plan to compile a count of enslaved persons mentioned when we are finished reviewing all handwritten deeds.
Not all sales of enslaved persons were recorded in deeds. Therefore this work necessarily gives an incomplete glimpse of the true extent and impact of slavery in Randolph County.
Five of the deeds that mention slavery appear to be associated with emancipation of enslaved persons: b12p196 b12p225 b13p183 b16p208 b18p190. Three of these specifically mention the Society of Friends (Quakers).
Randolph County was created from Guilford County in 1779. Slavery existed in the United States from its beginning until the Civil War of 1861-1865 led to abolition.
In 1860 enslaved people made up about 10% of the population of Randolph County. Although this is believed to be lower than in surrounding counties, likely due to the influence of Quakers, slavery was integral to Randolph County's economy until emancipation.
|Book||Approximate dates||Pages||Read||Slave deeds||Notes|
|Book 1||1779-1794||224||224 (100%)||1||Original page numbers diverge from the online index around p200|
|Book 2||1782-1785||257||257 (100%)||0|
|Book 3||1785-1789||362||362 (100%)||0||Missing page 341|
|Book 4||1789-1791||131||131 (100%)||0|
|Book 5||1791-1794||179||179 (100%)||1|
|Book 6||1795-1796||226||226 (100%)||10|
|Book 7||1796-1798||371||371 (100%)||14|
|Book 8||1798-1805||550||550 (100%)||45|
|Book 9||1796-1802||480||480 (100%)||6||Mix of preprinted forms and handwritten deeds|
|Book 10||1802-1822||476||0||Exclusively real estate deeds using a preprinted form|
|Book 11||1804-1810||443||443 (100%)||35|
|Book 12||1807-1814||344||344 (100%)||36|
|Book 13||1813-1819||558||558 (100%)||64|
|Book 14||1819-1827||544||544 (100%)||49|
|Book 15||1822-1917||239||0||Exclusively real estate deeds using a preprinted form|
|Book 16||1824-1826||429||429 (100%)||26|
|Book 17||1826-1828||465||465 (100%)||17||Missing page 100|
|Book 18||1829-1831||457||457 (100%)||29||Missing page 257|
|Book 19||1833-1834||530||530 (100%)||23||Missing pages 434-443|
|Book 20||1835-1837||525||525 (100%)||11||Missing pages 288, 450-451|
|Book 21||1836-1838||547||547 (100%)||12||Missing page 288|
|Book 22||1839-1841||629||629 (100%)||35||Missing pages 330-339|
|Book 23||1839-1863||245||0||Exclusively real estate deeds using a preprinted form|
|Book 24||1841-1842||384||275 (72%)||19|
|Book 25||1842-1843||302||216 (72%)||26|
|Book 26||1843-1845||468||316 (68%)||37||Missing pages 410-449|
|Book 27||1845-1848||539||361 (67%)||23|
|Book 28||1848-1852||565||381 (67%)||25|
|Book 29||1852-1855||506||338 (67%)||4|
|Book 30||1855-1857||533||345 (65%)||24|
|Book 31||1857-1860||531||369 (69%)||21|
|Book 32||1860-1863||533||488 (92%)||13|
|Book 33||1863-1866||143||143 (100%)||8||Missing pages 1-27, 47. Only deeds recorded before April 1865 (up to page 170) are considered|
This project was inspired by the above-mentioned People Not Property - Slave Deeds of North Carolina and those who contributed to it.
Thanks also for the encouragement and support of the Randolph County/Asheboro NAACP and its President, Clyde Foust; Chuck Egerton; Ty Brueilly; and Jane Braswell.