Searching for Silvia 

 Silvia Hector Webber’s Freedom Papers 

After many years of searching for Silvia Hector in the archives, I had almost given up. I began working on other research and suddenly in October 26, 2018, when I was a Briscoe Center Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, I came across a folder that offered me the opportunity to learn more about Silvia and her life. By June 11, 1834, Silvia secured not only her own freedom but the freedom of her three young children, with the help of John Webber, her partner and father Alcy (5 years-old ), Henry (18 months-old) and John (1 month-old).

Silvia Hector’s Freedom Papers. Earl Vandale Collection. Box #2H484. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Located on October 2018 by the Author.

Transcription of Original Document

Department of Baear [Bexar]
Jurisdiction of Austin
In the Town of San Felipe at Austin Thur 11 th day of June 1834, before Mr. R. M. Williamson
Alcalde of the Jurisdiction of Austin personally appeared John F Webber a citizen of the
Jurisdiction and acknowledged himself indebted to John Cryer who is also a citizen of the
Jurisdiction, in the following manner & for the following consideration to wit that the said
John Cryer has this day by his solemn act before the Alcalde of the Jurisdiction emancipated
a certain Negro woman a Slave named Cynthia Silvia & her three children to wit [] aged
about 5 years, Henry aged about 18 months, & John aged about one month now in
consideration of the aforesaid John Cryer having emancipated the above named Slaves, the
said John Webber binds and obligates himself properly hereon & future to pay Polly Adams
on or before the final day of October a negro boy to be two years of age at that time & to
John Cryer, a negro boy to be two years old at that time. & he binds himself that should he
fail to make the payments at the time above specified that the increased ages of the negroes,
are to be in an increased proportion to the time he may fail in making proper payment. And
for the better & further Securing the payment of the above negroes, as above specified he did
[] that he pledged to the said John Cryer & Polly Adams, the one half of the League of land
whereon he now lives as security for the payment thereof.

[Page 2]
Furthermore the said John Webber acknowledged that should he fail in making the payment
as above specified, that this act shall have the force & [] of [] proceeding & that Judge having
cognizance thereof [] [] [] thereon against him this property to compell his compliance
without any further judicial proceeding thereon, hereby waiving all laws by which he might
be benefited. On full faith of all & singular the [] he signs the manner he signs [] [] [] & [] []
[] as the law [].

John F. Webber

R. M. Williamson

Aft Wit
E. Radcliff

Aft Wit
J M Allen

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