Real People Real History
A Moment in the Life of
Joseph Valentine

Whereas Darrel Bell has described this as "History according to Jim", we will leave it at that for now.  So take note, this is bits and pieces of our past, cut and pasted into this History.  Feel free to correct me or add to this work in progress, that we call History.
This moment in the life of Joseph Valentine comes to you from the pages of Alachua County Judgment Book B
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I have to say that this could be controversial.  What price would we put on freedom?  Is this a true account of that day?  We will never know.  For a moment step back in time to 1862 and wear another man's shoes.
 

Judgment Book B
Page 487
14 October 1862

In the Circuit Court for the Suwannee Circuit Alachua County Fall Term 1862
Then came a free Man of Color aged about 22 years by Andrew Robb Judge of Probate for said County, who declared that he desires to sell himself to Philip Dell as a Slave, and desires the Court to Examine him whether the act is done of his free will & accord or not Andrew Robb Judge of Probate of said County
        Whereupon the Court ordered the said Joseph Valentine to be brought before it & appointed E.M. Graham Solicitor to represent said Negro, & the said Joseph Valentine Negro as aforesaid having been brought into Court & Examined, as to whether the act of selling himself to Philip Dell was voluntarily or not declared that he did so without fear or compulsion & of his free will & accord, Whereupon it was declared by the Court that Joseph Valentine aged about 22 years is the property & Slave of Philip Dell & subject to his order & control & to the laws of the State of Florida governing Slaves he having made a judicious choice of a master
                                        Tho's T. Long
                                                Judge CC SC

E.M. Graham Solicitor Andrew Robb Judge of Probate for Alachua County Nearest Friend of said Joseph Valentine & S.P. Bevill Clerk of the Court for said County Philip Dell and Joseph Valentine for himself waves the four week notice request under the act to allow persons of African Descent to solicit their own master
                                        S.P. Bevill   Clerk
                                        Philip Dell
                                        Andrew Robb
                                        Judge of Probate
                                        E.M. Graham
                                        Solicitor

                                        Tho's T. Long
                                                Judge

And so goes the "Official" record of that moment in the life of Joseph Valentine.  More questions than answers.  Does anyone know what happened to Joseph Valentine?



A few clues to what happened to Joseph Valentine.  In 1871 a Joseph Valentine serving as a County Commissioner for Alachua County.  In the 1870 Alachua County census there is a Joseph Valentine listed living in Gainesville.  He was 26 years old, black, and could read and write.  He is the only Joseph Valentine listed.

Commission Minutes Book X
Page 338

Office of County Commissioners Alachua Co February 15th 1871 Present T.C. Gass President - J.W. Childs, Joseph Valentine also W.K. Cessna Clerk -

No1 Ordered that the assessments for 1870 on the real Estate of Brush G.R. Fairbanks and H.G. Marquand be reduced to the valuations embraced in their returns and that - all omitted lots be valued at the same rates as the same **** of land in each Township

No2 Ordered that the Bond of Watson Porter as County Treasurer be approved,

No3 Ordered that the accounts of T.A. McDonell as County Solicitor for one hundred & Thirty three & 66/100 Dollars from October 7th 1870 to Feby 7th 1871 be approved - and paid out of any money now in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

February 16th 1871
Present T.C. Gass J.W. Childs Joseph Valentine also A.J. DaCosta D.C. for W.K. Cessna Ck

1 Ordered that Le** Birney be appointed Road Commissioner (assistant) on the Road from Gainesville to Lake Butler

2nd Ordered that the accounts of Watson Porter as Justice of the Peace and Constable against the County of Alachua for 14.70/100 Dollars be approved and paid out of any Money now in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

Board Adjourned until Monday next.
A.J. DaCosta D.C.
Signed T.C. Gass
President

Transcribed by Jim Powell Jr
J.K. “Buddy” Irby
Clerk   9/1999



Jim Powell Jr.
Ancient Records Coordinator
Alachua County Clerk of the Court

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