1850 marked the first year that entire families were listed individually, rather than just by sex and age group. In the same way, Enslaved Persons (EPs) were listed individually by sex, age, and color designator, along with owner name. In some areas where slaves were often hired out, the EPs were recorded where they were living/working, and both the owner and the hiring Slave Holder (SH) was noted.

Atchison county, Missouri is on the very edge of slave territory, and slave holding was not very common in the county. None of the EP groups were large enough to call a plantation (20 or more EPs). Many of the EPs likely were skilled workers, and helped in the merchant or tradesman shop, or were house servants, helping to care for children.  In 1850, there were only 30 EPs, controlled by 10 SHs.  In order to begin the process of tracking where these slaves came from, it is necessary to look at where the SHs and their family connections come from.

William Mann, 45, b. Virginia or Tennessee married Rutha, 45, b. Tennessee. By 1860, the family had moved to Savannah, Andrew county, Missouri, where they have far fewer EPs. In 1850, their EPs were:

Black Male age 36; Black Male age 25; Black Female age 32; Black Female age 28; Black Female age 15, Black Male age 10; Black Male age 8; Black Female age 6; Black Female age 5; Black Female age 4; Black Male age 1.

Abraham Martin (aka Abner Martin), 27, b. Lafayette county, Missouri married Martha Ann Mann, the daughter of  William Mann above. It seems most likely that the teenage female slave was a marriage gift to Martha. Martha died in 1852, and in 1860, Abner and family (including his 3rd wife) are living in Holt county, Missouri, and don’t appear to be SHs.

Black Female age 14.

Charles V Shnow (Snow), 29,  b. Vermont, married Sally Etoline Mann, the daughter of William Mann above. It seems most likely that the teenage female slave was a marriage gift to Sally. Sally died in 1852, and her widower & children in 1860 in Atchison county are no longer on the SH list.

Black Female age 17; Black Male age 1.

Jeremiah Farmer, 65, b. Pennsylvania. Jeremiah & his wife Nancy (who married in Kentucky) both die by 1855, and I haven’t found any of the heirs with these EPs in 1860.

Black Female age 18; Black Male age 15. These are potentially named Mariah & Jess, as named in the probate inventory. (Information is from someone else’s notes – need to verify.)

John Price, 49, b. Virginia. This is one of the few who are in both the 1850 & 1860 Atchison county Slave Schedules as an SH. It appears he had these 4 and one more young child EP in the 1860 census.

Black Female age 30; Mulatto Male age 11; Black Female age 10; Mulatto Female, age 1.

John Woerlen, 48, b. Bavaria, Germany. He had some type of connection to SF Nuckolls, as they patented a piece of land together. Perhaps Woerlen is a relative of the Borchers, because he ends up buried in 1866 in Hamburg, Iowa, just to the north of Atchison county, where SF Nuckolls’ sister and George Borchers’ brother lived. In 1860, Woerlen is still in Atchison, but does not appear to have EPs.

Black Female age 20; Mulatto Male age 5; Mulatto Female age 1.

George Borchers, 35, b. Germany.  George is a Census enumerator in 1850. His brother Henry Augustus Borchers married into the Nuckolls family, but did not appear to be SHs themselves. George, however, is one of those who took slaves to Nebraska Territory, and this is noted in 1856, when George is called a merchant. He died in Nebraska before 1859, and his wife remarried. In 1860 MJ Glimes owns $700 of personal property, while her new husband owns neither land nor personal property. However, I didn’t find a slave listed in her name in the township in which she lived. (Washington, Buchanan, MO).

Black Female age 30.

Thomas J Jones, 29, b. Illinois, with his Indiana born wife Sarah Jane. (Not your usual birthplaces for SHs.) These folks fall off the radar – I have no idea where they are in 1860.

Black Male age 11.

Richard Rupe,  37, b. Missouri. His father died in Lafayette county, Missouri, in 1847, and had EPs as part of his estate. But while Richard was still living in Atchison county in 1860, he does not appear to have EPs. Notice that the Abner Martin was from Lafayette, and perhaps the Mann family had a connection to Lafayette county as well.

Black Female age 45; Black male age 10.

SF Nuckolls, 25, b. Virginia.  Stephen F Nuckolls was from Grayson county, and was the forerunner of a large family that transplanted out here to the edge of slave territory. He was a merchant and land developer, and is credited with driving the first stake, and thus “founding” Nebraska City. He also took his slaves to Nebraska Territory about 1855. By 1860, all of them had escaped via the Underground Railroad. Nuckolls was given the teenage slave Eliza by his father Ezra, on the condition of treating her well. Stephen writes and signs a document acknowledging conditions to the gift, including:

. . . And provided the said Ezra should consider that I do not treat the negroe kind and humanely and as a negroe should be treated or that I am likely to sell the negroe contrary to his wish, he the said Ezra has the right at any time within five (??) years to take said negroe back. . .

He also purchased Celia from his father, both of whom were born in the Nuckolls family in Grayson county Virginia. Family documents record not only the day, but the time of their birth. This family and their relationship to their EPs will be discussed more in a later post.

Celia, b 12 February 1836, half past 1 o’clock (Black Female age 14); Eliza Grayson, b 24 Jan 1838 about 11pm (Black Female age 12); Black Male age 15.


Now, there is a family with Black & Mulatto members, living in Atchison county, listed in the main “free” census. Household head is Thomas Hughs, age 66, b. Virginia, White,  a farmer with only $240 of real estate. Also in the household is Charlotte Hughs, age 22, b. South Carolina, Black; Benjamin Hughs, age 25, b. South Carolina, Mulatto, also a farmer, but with $2945 in real estate; Clarissa Hughs, age 14, b. Missouri, Mulatto; Thomas Hughs, age 6, b. Missouri, Mulatto; Liman Hughs, age 4, b. Missouri, Mulatto; Elizabeth Hughs, age 2, b. Missouri, Mulatto; David Hughs, age 4/12, b. Missouri, Mulatto. There is also Almond Squires, age 20, b. New York, White, a farmer, but with no property, listed in that household.