Pompey Brackey

Pompey Brackey is not listed in the 1791 Vermont census, but he is definitely living in Chester, as he purchased property on 12 Aug. 1783 from John Chandler.  It appears that he was probably a slave of Timothy Lovell, whose property was confiscated because of his being a Tory.  Leonard Spaulding was the person who had to go around and track down all Timothy Lovell’s belongings.  He kept a journal of his work.  On June the 22 1778 “the maid shuere [then made sure] of Pomp Brake a black feller a Negro man of the Estate Timothy Lovel he was in the hand of Elijah Lovel  Sd Elijah pretended to have a bill of sale of sd pommp.”


Volume 5 of the Vermont Historical Gazetteer, compiled by Abby Hemenway, has a section at the beginning on the “History of the County of Cumberland,” by Hon. G.A. Davis of Windsor, VT.  On page 15 is the following information:


The Superior Court was appointed to be holden at Westminster on the 2d Thursday of March, 1779, and at Newbury on the 2d Thursday of September, 1779.  At the first session of the Superior Court at Westminster, the first case tried was that of Pompey Brakkee of Chester, a negro, plf., against Elijah Lovell of Rockingham, deft.  The exact nature of the complaint does not appear, but Brakkee won damages to the amount of £400 and costs.


My friend, Dawn Hance, of Rutland, VT, has worked in the records at the courthouse in Rutland.  She discovered papers regarding the above case.  Pompey was suing Elijah Lovell because of an agreement that Elijah would board some sheep for him and in payment thereof Pompey would work for him on his property.  After a while Pompey had accumulated some bedding items and asked Elijah to move the animals and the bedding items to another location.  Elijah said he couldn’t find the animals, so Pompey sued him and won.  There must have been more papers regarding this case, but they aren’t at the Rutland Courthouse.  They may have been at the Windham County Courthouse in Newfane, but the records there are stored at the sheriff’s office and are not readily accessible.


Jonathan Stevens of Chester has done much research in the land records and is working to determine exactly where Pompey’s property might have been.  It appears that the other people living in that section of Chester were also missed in the 1791 census.  Jonathan also has found a court case recorded in Chester, VT Town Records, in Vol. A, pp. 187-189.  In this case Pompe Brakke of Chester is suing Timothy Parker of Chester.  Parker had promised to build and finish a 40 feet barn for Pompey Brackey and set it on Brackey’s farm in Chester.  This barn was not built, so Brackey asked to have the goods chattels and estate of Parker attached to the value of Fifty Pounds.  The constable attached the whole of the farm on which the defendant lived.  No more information on this case.


Pomp Brakkey of Chester married Rosannah Turner on 18 Dec. 1791 in Chester.  On 26 Feb. 1818 Rosannah Brackey of Chester married Silas Burdoo.  Silas Burdoo’s write-up is in the Reading section.


He was listed in Chester in the 1800 census as Pomp Bakke; there were four other free persons in the household.  The 1810 census for Chester has Pomp Brackey with four other free persons in the household.


He is included in a list of freemen of Chester, from a list in the town clerk’s records between 1780 and 1790; his name is spelled Pomp Brakkey.


The newspaper, Green Mountain Palladium of 2 Feb. 1808 had a notice offering a One Cent Reward:  Ran away from the Subscriber on the 13th inst. a Black Boy, named RICHARD BRACKEY, about 19 years of age, and five feet eleven inches high.  He had on when he went a short light gray jacket, trowsers of the same, and a red vest, and carried away with him a long blue coat.  All persons are forbid harbouring or employing said Brackey, as they would wish to avoid the penalties of the law—Whoever will return him to the Subscriber, shall receive the above reward, and no charges paid.

                                                            POMPEY BRACKEY

Chester, Jan. 26.


He also advertised on 27 May 1811 in The Washingtonian for a black mare that had strayed or been stolen.  The reward he offered for the mare was more than what he offered for his son, and he would pay charges!


Pompey Brackee had a probate record filed in Windsor District Probate Court filed 11 May 1813.  The widow asked not to be appointed Administrator so David Earle, Jr. was appointed.  Items to the value of either $60.78 or $60.27 were given to the widow Rosanna Brackee from the estate.  There was $10.42 balance left in hands of Administrator for the Heirs.  It appears that something still remained to be done to settle this estate as in 1834 a new Administrator, Shubal Shedd of Reading, was appointed.  There are no additional records available to know if the estate ever was settled.


An interesting item I found online was a death notice in Spooners Vermont Journal for 2 No

v. 1795, on 17th ult. [17 Oct.] Caesar Brackey of Windsor, aged 70.  Could he be related to Pompey?