Manuscript Estate Inventory of Thomas Coker, deceased, of Wilcox County, Alabama, as appraised August 4, 1848

quarto, 4 pages, neatly inscribed in ink, in very good, clean and legible condition, dated 4 August 1848 and 11 August 1848.

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Manuscript document, listing the appraised value of the worldly goods of Thomas Coker, then deceased. Coker’s property included 25 human beings, valued from between 800 and  200 dollars. The names of the slaves are given along with the appraiser’s assessment of their worth.

          Thomas Coker

               On the 1840 Census for Wilcox County, Alabama, we find Thomas Coker listed as being between the age of 50 and 59 years old, thus born about 1781 to 1790. He is listed as having 3 male slaves under 10, 6 male slaves between 10 and 23, 1 male slave between 24 and 35, 3 female slaves under 3, 3 female slaves between 10 and 23, 1 female slave between 36 and 54, for a total of 17 slaves. These individuals plus Coker made total membership in his household of 18. Of these 18 household members, 8 of them worked in agriculture. It is unclear if Coker died in 1848 when his estate was being settled, or in 1845, where there a person of the same name, and same county (Wilcox County, AL) died in that year.

       James R. Fisher along with John P. Fairley, Duncan C. Smith and Enoch H. Cook, were all found to be held and bound unto S. George Cochran, Judge of the County Court, for the sum of $25,000.00, for payment of which sum was made and they were bound on 27 July 1848 to be executors of Coker's estate. James R. Fisher was appointed as the official executor of Thomas Coker's will.

      James R. Fisher was born about 1810 at North Carolina. He appears enumerated in Wilcox County, Alabama, on the 1850 Census as a farmer. In 1860, he is enumerated in the "Western Division" of Wilcox County. He married Jane Hobbs in 1831. The couple had at least six children. The 1850 Slave Census shows James R. Fisher owning 25 slaves. Of these 16 were females between the ages of 3 and 54 and 9 were males between the ages 1 and 50. It is unclear if any of his slaves were inherited from Coker, or not.

     The list of property offered here for the estate of Thomas Coker, shows Coker to have owned 25 slaves at the time of his death. The list gives the names of the slaves as well as their "value," which was between $200 and $800. The males were worth more, from $500 to $800, the females were assessed as between $200 to $500. A mother and baby were worth $ 525.


The appraisers for Coker’s estate were E. H. Cook, James S. Erwin, Green E. Jones, and Joseph Morgan. The inventory lists over 120 items and includes all the goods and chattel, rights and credits, of Coker’s estate, including slaves, livestock, agricultural products, farm implements, etc. The document is four pages in length and dated 11 August 1848 and signed by Fisher and the four appraisers, as well as the justice of the peace, H.L. Kimbrough.