MAURY COUNTY, TN - COURT -
Thomas Hall, Proof of Race Affidavits
Contributor's Notes: I would
like to share these two Tennessee documents.
Document number one is a
Proof of Race affidavit document acquired by my Great
Great Grandfather Thomas
Hall, on September 19, 1835, in Maury County,
Tennessee when he appeared
before Justice of the Peace, James L. Crawford.
The second document seems to
be a certification by William E. Erwin, Clerk of
the Court of Pleas and
quarter session for Maury County, that James L.
Crawford had full authority
to issue the Proof of Race document. This
document was dated October
On June 26, 1843, these
documents were filed in Marion County at Yelleville,
In 1850 he moved to Oregon
County, Missouri and they were recorded there and
filed on February 13, 1850,
by J. R. Woodside, Clerk of that county. The
documents were recorded again
in Howell County, Missouri on May 5, 1890. at
9: o'clock A.M. by T.B.
This was recorded after
Thomas Hall's death on December 30, in 1888, in
Missouri. This was filed after his death because his
children's children were
expelled from school because they were dark and
caused of being
Negroes. There were several trials in Missouri and Oklahoma.
The trials proved that they were of
Portuguese descent and not Negroes.
1835 Proof of Race affidavits
from MAURY County, Tennessee
Recorded in Oregon County,
Recorded in Howell County,
State of Tennessee Maury County
I William E. Erwin Clerk of
the Court of please and quarter sessions for
said County do hereby
certify that James L Crawford is an acting justice of
the peace in and for said
County of Murry in the State of Tennessee duly
commission and qualified
according to law and that all his official acts are
intitled to full faith
and credit given under my hand and the seal of my
office at office this 13 day
of October 1835 and 60 th year of American
Wm E Erwin clk.
Filed February 13,
1850 J. R. Woodside Typed exactly
State of Tennessee Maury
County this day personally appeared before me James
L: Crawford one of the
Justices of the peace in and for said county THOMAS
HALL and made proff by
private testomony that the said THOMAS HALL is intitled
to all of the privileges of a
private citizen THOMAS HALL great grand father
on his fathers sid was a
poutagee and his great grand father on his mothers
sid was a inglish - man, and THOMAS HALL grand on his fathers sid was of
poutagee desent, and his grand
father on Mothers sid was an Irishman and his
own father was of the
poutugee decent and his mother was a white american
born woman. sworn to
and executed before me this the 19th dayof september
James L. Crawford
PRESCOTT X NUPANS (seal)
LONNEY X HALLS (seal)
State of Tennessee, Maury
I. William E Erwin Clerk of
the Court of Pleas and quarter session for said
County do here by certify
that James L. Crawford is an acting Justice of the
peace in & for said
County of Maury in the state of Tennessee duly
Commissioned Commissioned and
qualified occor-ding to law and that all his
official acts are entitled to
full faith and credit.
Given under my hand and the
seal of my office at office this 13th day of
October A.D. 1835. and 60th
year of American Independence.
Wm E. Erwin clk.
GAZETTE Aug. 23,
1906 West Plains, Missouri
Are They Negroes?
Questions About Henderson
In the Indian Territory
Wesley Hall -- His Children Were Excluded from the White
Wesley Hall, a former
resident of Howell county, and one of the descendants
of the late Henderson Hall,
has come into prominence at Okmulgee, Ind. Ty.,
near which place he resides.
Mr. Hall has brought suit for damages against
the board of school directors
in the district in which he resides for
ejecting his children from
the white schools.
Last Friday depositions in
the case were taken in West Plains. Mr. Hall was
represented in the matter by
Green & Green, while J.C. Stone, an attorney of
Okmulgee, was here to appear
for the school directors who are defendants in
the damage suit. The reason
Halls children were ejected from the school is
that the directors claim the
children are negroes and not entitled to attend
the white schools.
In 1889 a suit similiar to
this one was filed in circuit court here by Jeff
Hall, a relative of Wesley
Hall, because his children were refused admission
to the Spring Creek school.
The board of directors said the children looked
so much like negroes that
they must stay out. Hall brought suit to mandamus
the directors to permit his
children to attend the school.
The case was taken to Texas
county on a change of venue and H.D. Green, A.H.
Livingston and Colonel Monks
appeared for Hall. Judge C.C. Bland presided at
the trial. All the Hall tribe
in this county, and they number quite a few,
were present and crowded the
court room. The jury after hearing all the
evidence decided that the
Halls are not negroes and were entitled to attend
the white schools.
Henderson Hall, the
ancestor of these people, came to Howell county from
Tennessee before the war. He
knew little of his folks only that they had
resided in the United States
for many years and that they came from Portugal.
They were sea faring people
and traveled a great deal. Henderson Hall married
a daughter of Fred Colyer, a
Howell county pioneer, who refused to speak to
Hall after he married his
daughter, for he believed that Hall was of negro
descent. Many children were
born of the marriage and from this family came
the Hall tribe of Howel
county. Henderson Hall died five years ago at the
advanced age of 105 years.
In the taking of
depositions here Saturday all these facts were brought out.
In addition it was shown that
Jeff Hall has photographs and locks of hair of
a number of his ancestors and
he even introduced land titles which were given
members of his family in
Tennessee before the war showing conclusively that
they were not negroes, for
blacks could not own land in those days.
Wherever they have gone
the Halls have had difficulty with the school boards
for refusing to permit their
children to attend the white schools. In
they have won their case for they are able to prove that they are of
Portuguese origin instead of having
negro blood course through their veins,
as many might believe from
The Bedford Connection
- Patricia Monroe
See Also A
Stranger And a Sojourner - Peter Caulder
David Collins and family is also found in the West Plains, Howell
See the Saponi Nation of
Missouri for more information on this connection