“Dick” Cleage

Bill of Sale Clint-small
Bill of sale for Clinton, sometimes called Dick.

For this year’s April A-Z Challenge I am blogging a series of sketches about the free people formerly enslaved on the Cleage plantations in Athens, Tennessee. Most  are not related to me by blood, although our families came off of the same plantations – those of Samuel, Alexander and David Cleage.   Click on any image to enlarge.

Clinton “Dick” Cleage was bought by David Cleage for $700 in January of 1841.  He was about 17 years old.

“From all men by these presents that I, John Armstrong, of the county of McMinn and the state of Tennessee for and in consideration of the sum of seven hundred dollars to me in hand paid the receipt where of is hereby acknowledged have bargained, sold and delivered unto David Cleage of the County and State afore said a negro (sic) boy named Clinton, sometimes called Dick, of dark mulatto colour, aged about seventeen.  Said boy I warrant sound and healthy both in body and mind and free from any defect whatever and a slave for life and covenant that the title is clear of any encombrance whatever and will warrant and defent by these presents for ever given under my hand and seal this 9th day of January 1841.

John Armstrong

Witness:  William Burk, JB King”

On July 7, 1866, Clinton appeared again as a witness in Fannie Cleage Turk’s widow’s pension hearing.  He testified that he knew her and she was who she said she was.

He never appears in any census, but he appears  on his children’s death certificates.  In 1870 his wife, Sallie Marsh Cleage, is listed as a widow. In the 1900 Census Sallie said that she had given birth to 14 children and 5 were still living.  The children that I know the names of, are listed below. Click linked names to read their  A-Z post

  1. Amanda Cleage 1837 – 1921
  2. George Cleage 1845 –
  3. Lydia Cleage 1852 – 1936
  4. Sallie Cleage 1855 – 1943
  5. Robert Cleage 1856 – 1902
  6. Florence Cleage 1858 – ?
  7. Nelson Cleage 1860 – 1917
  8. Mary Cleage 1863 – ?

7 thoughts on ““Dick” Cleage

  1. In today’s money, 700 bucks would be about $20,000. Think about that for a minute. My crappy car cost more than that. Sometimes I am disgusted by the entire human race.

  2. Clinton “Dick” Cleage was bought by David Cleage for $700 in January of 1[9]41. He was about 17 years old.

    1941 -> 1841

  3. Sorry I’m so late catching up with you on A-Z this year. I’v now caught up with your A-D.
    This is a fascinating look at America from a different view for me. These personal connections are historic links.
    I look forward to the rest,
    It costs me more than $700 dollars to visit my daughter in Michigan.

  4. Like Bob, I need to remember to check your AtoZ posts too. I’ve seen some census records that list slaves by name and others that just record a number. What was the rule?

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