Jeremiah Gilliam to Henry M. Magee of Sussex County
Updated March 19, 2016

Jeremiah Gilliam, often known in records as Jerry Gilliam was manumitted by the 1796
Will of Elizabeth Gilliam. Elizabeth, the daughter of Hinchea Gilliam and Mary Johnson, was the sister of Sarah Gilliam who married Rev. David Barrow, who spoke against slavery. Because of his view the REv. Barrow removed from Virginia to Kentucky. There the Rev. David Barrow published in 1808, a pamphlet entitled, "Involuntary, Absolute, Hereditary Slavery Examined on the Principles of Nature, Reason, Justice and Scripture," in which he attempted to vindicate his course in respect to slavery. This pamphlet of fifty pages is written in a dignified style and shows the author to have been a man by no means deficient in ability, either natural or acquired. A copy of this exceedingly rare and valuable pamphlet is in the Cornell University Library. It contains perhaps the fullest materials regarding antislavery in the Baptist Churches of Kentucky down to 1808. Rev. Barrow even corresponded with Thomas Jefferson on the subject.

This indenture made the thirteenth day of December in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand eight hundred and twenty between Jeremiah Gilliam, a Free Man of Colour, of the county of Sussex and state of Virginia of the one part and Henry M. Magee of the other part and of the said county and state. Witnesseth that the said Jeremiah Gilliam, a Free Man of Colour, for and in consideration of the sum of sixty dollar current money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said Henry M. Magee. The receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath granted, bargained, sold, alienated, release and confirmed and by these present for himself his heirs and assigns do grant bargain sell alienate release and confirm unto the said H. M. Magee his heirs and assigns forever one certain tract of parcel of land lying being and situate in the county of Sussex and stat of VA and bounded as follows, to wit:

Beginning at a black jack, a corner for the said Magee, and a line ____ for the heirs of Charles Moore, decd and Cary Magee, thence
Along the said Cary Magee’s line to a pine in the public road thence on the said line to a black gum in a branch, thence
On the said line to a pine a corner for the said H. M. Magee and a line tree for Littleberry Partridge, thence on Partridge’s line to another black gum in the said branch thence on the said Partridge’s line to a white ash in the public road, a corner for the said Moore’s heirs and the said Partridge and a line for the said H. M. Magee thence
To the beginning

Containing by estimation ten acres be the same more or less with all ways, woods, houses, and out houses, thereto belonging or in any wise appertaining thereto also the remainder and remainders, reversion and reversions to have and to hold the said granted land and premises, houses, before mentioned to the said Henry M. Magee against all persons shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents.
In witness whereof the said Jeremiah Gilliam, a Free Man of Colour, have hereunto set my ahnd and affixed my seal the day and date first above written.

Sig: Jeremiah [his X mark] Gilliam

Signed, sealed in presence of
Littleberry Partridge, Barnaby Magee, George [his X mark] Rochell

On the 7th day of May 1821. This indenture was proved to be the act and deed of Jeremiah Gilliam a party thereto to be his act and deed by the oaths of the three subscribing witnesses and recorded in this Clerk’s office of Sussex County Court.
J. C. Bailey, Clk

  • Sussex County, VA, Deed Book N, page 198-199