William McGuire

Born: about 1825
Died: unknown
Family relationship: Son of Dudley and Eve; brother of Hannah, Patsy, Jane, Ellen, and Richard; husband of Bella; father of Bill, Rhoda, Moses, Minty, Rebecca and Georgeann.
Role: child

William was born into slavery at Highland and sold as a three year old with his family in 1828 to Joseph White, owner of Casa Bianca plantation in Monticello, Florida. Later documentation shows he took the last name McGuire and helped found Casa Bianca Missionary Baptist Church in Monticello, Florida.

More information on William McGuire: https://taketheminfamilies.com/stories-2/#William

Albemarle County Deed Book (26:147)
James Monroe mortgaged Limestone Farm and 13 enslaved people to the Bank of Virginia for $3,560.73. William was one of the two children of Dudley and Eve listed below:

“September 20, 1826

unto the said William Dandridge and William Roane the following property that is to say a certain tract of land lying and being in the County of Albemarle about three miles below the town of Milton and one mile North of the Rivanna River adjoining the lands of David Michie, Charles Huckstep [Lathers?] and containing seven hundred five acres more or less together with all the buildings and improvements thereon. Also the following Slaves to wit Toby & Betsey his wife & their seven children now living, Dudley & Eve his wife & their two children now living which said Slaves are at this time on the said James Monroe’s estate in Albemarle above Milton together with the increase of the females.” ”

Advertisement from The Enquirer (Richmond), 2 November 1827
William would have been among the enslaved children advertised in this sale:

Courtesy of Early American Newspapers Series 1-5 (1690-1922)

James Monroe to Samuel L. Gouverneur

“Oak Hill 7 January 1828

My slaves in Albemarle are not yet sold. Col. White of Florida has had thoughts of purchasing them, & intimates that Mr. Astor wod take his funds due and relieve me in the amount; but by a letter rec’d from him today, he hesitates, both on acc’t of the price & the number of children, there among them. How it will terminate, I cannot say.”

Courtesy of New York Public Library, James Monroe Papers

James Monroe to Samuel L. Gouverneur

“Oak Hill 11 Jan. 1828

I have to day rec’d, a letter from Mr. Watson, who informs me, that he had sold Nelson & Charles only, the first at £700, the other at £400. The rest of the people, remain undisposed of, and the sale to Col. White, or any other person, is uncertain … By selling my negroes I may obtain bonds & as the people who purchase them will be known to the [illegible] which they will take, and by being at liberty to sell them to whom, I please, I may get better prices for them, as I presume, than if I sold all to one person.”

Courtesy of New York Public Library, James Monroe Papers

James Monroe to Dr. John Brockenbrough

“Oak Hill February 6, 1828

… Col. White of Florida then offer’d to purchase, the whole number, with the exception of those sold in the neighborhood in payment of debts there, and to take them on valuation, to be made by impartial persons.
…The list which I sent you, which I proposed as a substitute, I thought, presented others much more valuable, the [?] being grown & active servants, most of them, and many of the others infants, or very young – I saved now others to add to them, who will more than make up the difference, between the two [illegible]. Not having retained the names, of those sent, I may include some of them in this, but in that case, I will substitute others, having still some others.

Courtesy of New York Public Library, James Monroe Papers

James Monroe to Nicholas Trist
Monroe discussed the September 20, 1826 mortgage with Nicholas Trist (grandson of Thomas Jefferson); William was included in the thirteen enslaved people being discussed:

“Oak Hill Feby 19th 1828

Thirteen of the slaves for sale, in Albemarle, were mortgaged to the bank of Virginia, as an additional security, to the land below Milton, for $3,570. After the failure to sell them on the day appointed, an application was made to me, by Col: White of Florid, to purchase the whole number. I told him of the mortgage, + that he shod have them at a valuation, to be made by impartial persons, if he could obtain of the bank, a release of my debt to it; or failing with it, obtain a like release, in the amt of Mr. Astor. He failed with the bank, but succeeded with Mr. Astor, + the affair is now suspended, by a negotiation, with the bank, to obtain to release of its lien, on those slaves, by the substitution of others, of equal, or greater value here, in which I have experienced a difficulty, which has surprised me. The land was ample security, but I am willing, to give any, in reason, which they may ask.”

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Nicholas Trist Papers

James Monroe to James Madison

“OAK HILL March 28th. 1828.

I send you a copy of my memoir, which has been reprinted in a pamphlet, under the direction of my friends in Albemarle. I have sold my slaves in that county, to Col: White of Florida, who will take them in families, to that territory. He gives me for them, (with the exception of a few sold there) five thousand dolrs., which are paid, by obtaining for me, a release in that amount, from J. J. Astor, for a loan obtain’d of him in the late war, offerd by himself, on hearing that I was pressd for money—”

Courtesy of Founders Online: https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/99-02-02-1351

Schedule of Negro Slaves Mortgaged to William Bellamy (1844)
Joseph White, the original owner of Casa Bianca, died in 1839. White’s wife Ellen remarried to Theophilus Beatty. Beatty had financial trouble and mortgaged a group of enslaved individuals to William Bellamy in 1844, including William’s parents, siblings, and his wife Bella.


In the next column


Photographs courtesy of Miranda Burnett

Courtesy of Jefferson County, Florida Deed Book E:113

List of Negroes Casa Bianca Plantation – December 31, 1955

“Wm (Dudly)
Bella wife

Courtesy of University of Florida Special & Area Studies Collection, J. Patton Anderson Papers: https://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085636/00001/4x

List of Slaves Belonging to Ellen A. Beatty – January 7, 1856

“93 William (Dudley)
94 Bella
95 Bill
96 Rhoda
97 Moses”

Courtesy of University of Florida Special & Area Studies Collection, J. Patton Anderson Papers: https://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085637/00001/2x

Undated list from Bills, Receipts, Accounts of J. Patton Anderson – 1847-1872

“Bella + William

Courtesy of University of Florida Special & Area Studies Collection, J. Patton Anderson Papers: https://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085788/00001/8x

1880 U.S. Census, Jefferson County, Florida, pop. sch., ED 75, Precinct 5th & 12th, p. 38, Dwelling 369, Family 369

Transcription by James Monroe’s Highland