Event Person Place Thing

Precella Johnston’s Deed of Manumission

Today while researching the family of Jesse Williams, and his family cemetery that had been located in Nile Township, Scioto County, Ohio, I came across the Deed of Manumission given to Precella Johnston, a slave, from her owner Jesse Williams on July 22, 1799. While this record originated in Kentucky an original and true copy of it still exists in Scioto County. It reads as follows:

“Know all men by these presents that I, Jesse Williams, of the County of Bourbon and State of Kentucky for security for the payment of forty pounds to me given by my slave girl Precella sometimes known by the name Precella Johnston1 and for divers good causes and consideration me hereunto moving, have manumitted, emancipated, enfranchised, and set free and by These Presents do manumit, emancipate, enfranchise and set free my mulatto girl or woman Slave. Said Precella aged twenty two years purchased of Colonel John Edwards, and I the said Jesse Williams for myself, my heirs, exors & adors do remise, release and forever quit claim to the said Slave girl of all and all manner of Slavery, Servitude and Service whatsoever, together with all the Children that may be hereafter born of her body, she and they to enjoy all the rights of free persons agreeable to the laws of the State and the United States from and after the first day of January next at which time she will be released from her hire in Mason County, but all the right of bargaining, contracting, and acquiring property she is fully vested with, or indenturing herself with the Consent of her master who have hired her in Mason County till or before the first day of said January next. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty second day of July 1799. Jesse Williams.”

“State of Kentucky, Washington District. I Francis Taylor Clerk of the Washington District Court do certify that the foregoing is a true copy of a deed of Emancipation from Jesse Williams to Preceller, a mulatto woman which was duly acknowledged and recorded in my office. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of my office this fifth day of August 1802.”

  1. Also otherwise documented as Priscilla Johnson and Preceller Johnson