In December of 1779, manumission papers were signed freeing a Louisiana slave named Agnes. Contrary to regular practice, the papers bear the signature of Louisiana governor Don Bernardo de Galvez. Agnes’s freedom could not be achieved until the Spanish colonial governor of Louisiana signed this document.
Why did the governor of the massive territory of Louisiana take such an interest in the case of one slave?
On February 12 at 6:00 p.m., Agnes’s fourth generation great-grandson, Michael N. Henderson, author, lecturer, and genealogist, will reveal her story at the Ascension Parish Library in Gonzales.
The story of his search for his slave ancestors is recorded in his book Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the use of Documentation, which will be on sale following his presentation.
This story was also featured in a segment of the PBS series, History Detectives, titled The Galvez Papers in which Henderson is featured.
Additionally, his efforts led to Henderson becoming the first African American member of the Georgia Association of the Sons of the American Revolution.
In 2013, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society awarded Henderson the James Dent Walker award For Excellence in African American Genealogy Research.
This program is free and open to the public.
For more information on this Turn the Page event, or to register, please call 647-3955.