Know Them by Their Names
While the US Census slave schedules recorded ages and genders of individuals enslaved here (13 in 1850 and 32 in 1860) it did not record their names. When enslaved people are mentioned in family letters or legal documents left by white slave owners, they are often referred to only by their first name. This can make it difficult to connect African Americans who were enslaved prior to the Civil War to the post Civil War lives they built as the last name they took after slavery is not always documented. In some cases they assumed the same last name as that of their white enslaver but many times these newly freed people chose a different last name.
The following records are of people who are documented as enslaved at Belmont Mansion in Nashville and at Fairvue (Isaac Franklin’s home in Sumner County, Tennessee). Please note that this list is not complete, as the census records indicate, more people were enslaved here than we can currently identify in existing historical records by name. Research is still ongoing to find more of these individuals names and to uncover more about those we have already identified. As new sources come to light, this text will be updated accordingly.