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Friday, September 4, 2015

Friend of Friends Friday: Slaves of William Gower, Deceased

In his will, written on 1 March 1849 and recorded in the Davidson County, Tennessee Probate Court books on 23 April 1852, my 5th-great-grandfather William Gower left his slaves Isaac, Rachael, and Harriet to his wife Charlotte (Garland) Gower. Charlotte died on 16 April 1860. Several weeks later, the following notice appeared in the Nashville Union and American.

Nashville Union and American, 8 May 1860, page 1

                                Sale of Negroes.
In pursuance of a decree of the County County of Davidson County, rendered in the case of the heirs and distributees of William Gower, deceased, exparte, at the April term 1860, I will offer for sale at the Court House in Nashville, on Saturday, the 2d day of June next, the following negroes, to-wit-
        Rachel, about fifty seven years of age;
        Isaac,      "   forty                "  "   "
        Harriet,    "   twenty seven   "  "   "  and her two children,
        Laura,      "   five                 "  "   "
        Charles,   "  three                "  "   "
Terms--$100 in cash will be required, and for the balance notes endorsed, payable in bank, at twelve months.
                                                                   F. R. CHEATHAM,
may1-dtds                                                          Clerk and Master.

Looking at the list of William Gower's slaves recorded in the 1850 United States Census slave schedule, it appears that Rachel was the 47 year old black female listed on line 12, Isaac was the 30 year old black male listed on line 14, and Harriet was the 17 year old black female listed on line 16.

1850 United States census, Davidson County, Tennessee, slave schedule. Available from 1850 U.S. Federal Census - Slave Schedules [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.


  1. Thanks so much for your contributions to the #SlaveNameRoll project.

  2. Cousin Beth -- thank you for all of your great research!