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J.A. Pendleton affidavit regarding surety on James Flemming

 Collection — Box: BW 30, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 16504

Content Description

This collection contains an affidavit written by Albemarle County, VA Justice of the Peace, J.A. Pendelton summarizing a complaint against a James Flemming, a Black man, by F.E Johnson and asking that a surety be placed on Flemming. Sureties, noted by the historian Nancy O'Brien Wagner, were another way of perpetuating enslavement in the Jim Crow South after the end of the Civil War. She writes in "Slavery by Another Name History-Background," "In many cases, defendents were found guilty of real or fabricated crimes and were fined for both the crime and additional court fees. When the men were unable to pay, a local businessman would step forward to pay the fines. The convict would then sign a contract agreeing to work for him without pay until the debt was paid off."


  • Creation: December 7, 1866


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

This surety on James Fleming may be an example of how the Black Codes were used to either arrest African Americans or obtain free work from them after the Civil War. The codes, sometimes called Black Laws, were laws created by the Southern states to force African Americans to work for low or no wages.They were the embodiment of white attempts to curb civil rights. These laws made it hard to purchase land in certain areas, move from job to job, assemble even in small groups, or terminate labor contracts. Moreover, the Black Codes restricted African Americans from testifying in court. The laws essentially violated the individual rights as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Sources: Wikipedia


0.03 Cubic Feet (1 letter-sized folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from Caroliniana by the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on May 4, 2021.

Condition Description


Guide to J.A. Pendleton affidavit regarding surety on James Flemming
Rose Oliveira
3 June 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States