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Subject: The PLEASANTS Family - Virginia
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 08:45:53 -0700

I've been trying to find information on my maternal ancesters from Chesterfield
County, Virginia. My great-grandfather was William L. PLEASANTS (b. Feb. 1855).
His first wife's name may have been Alice.

They had three children - my grandfather, John Waverly PLEASANTS (b. 6/22/1883),
Leester, and Roberta C.

He married Nannie around 1904 and they had Alexander and William. Upon the
death of his parents Alexander later became the adopted son of his half sister,
Roberta. I don't know what became of Alexander's brother William - he may have
died also.

I would be grateful for any information on who William L. PLEASANTS parents were
or information on his wife and her parents.

The PLEASANTS were mulattos and may have been decendents of John Pleasants (d.
8/17/1771) a Quaker of Curles plantation in Henrico County and/or of slaves
owned by John. As an attorney in Richmond, John Marshall argued and won a suit
brought by John's son Robert against his relatives to force them to honor their
father's will and free the slaves bequethed to them by the will when the law
allowed. The result was a complicated Virginia law that applied to the
Pleasants slaves only.

The family didn't talk about or seem to know a lot about their ancestors. The
secrecy may have resulted from the fact that some Pleasants were born free under
this complicated law, and some born slaves. Slaves who escaped were easily
hidden among nearby relatives who were free. Some were also able to pass for

I would appreciate any information to help my search.

Christine Jones ()
Richmond, Virginia (804-321-3278)

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