“Northampton County Order Book, No. 18, f. 24” (July 13, 1726) 

Scene looking up unpaved main street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

In this written account of Northampton County Court proceedings on July 13, 1726, the justices order Jane Webb, a free, mixed-race woman, be taken into custody for saying things that the court decided had breached the peace. They made this decision based on Colonel George Harmanson’s claim that Webb had said “if all Virginia negros had as good a heart as she had, they would all be free.” The justices ordered Webb to be stripped to the waist and given ten lashes “well laid on” at the whipping post outside of the courthouse. This court case came in the midst of Webb’s extensive efforts to free her husband and children from their servitude to Thomas Savage, who had extended the children’s indenture beyond the terms of the contract and refused to free her husband from slavery. To understand why Harmanson gave this information to the court, it’s important to know that he was Thomas Savage’s brother-in-law.




At a Court held for Northampton County on Tuesday the 12th day of July 1726.

In Consideration of the Information of Colonelle George Harmanson That he had heard That Jane Webb had uttered dangerous Words tending to the breach of the peace which could be made out by Phillip Jacob Henry Raspo[r]t & his wife & Daughter ordered they be Summoned forthwith to appear[e] before the Court And[?] that the said Jane be taken in Custody.

                                                                                                Copy Teste G. Polke[?] Co Court.

APA Citation:
Webb, Jane. “Northampton County Order Book, No. 18, f. 24” (July 13, 1726) . (2022, April 21). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Webb, Jane. "“Northampton County Order Book, No. 18, f. 24” (July 13, 1726) " Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (21 Apr. 2022). Web. 19 May. 2024
Last updated: 2023, September 11
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