LOSSES TO SLAVE OWNERS. I15
stay, as the Negroes soon found themselves to be, able-bodied men left those whom they had served by constraint for voluntary labor elsewhere, while in not a few instances the women and children and the feeble-minded remained on the farm even when burdensome. According to the inventory of the personal property of Colonel DeLancey, whose vain effort to recover his man slave has been described, there remained on his estate in June, 1804: A Negro woman, "at present disordered in her mind ", valued at " nothing "; four Negro girls estimated at forty. thirty, twenty-five and twenty pounds ; and a boy, at eighteen pounds. But perhaps no experience at this period was more trying than that of Captain Daniel McNeil, a former officer of the Royal North Carolina corps of Loyalists. Captain McNeil, with possibly one exception, the only adherent in the family to the Crown, obtained lands with his brother-officers at Stormont, in Guysboro' county, but after a time removed to the county of Hants, where he secured other lands. Thence he returned to North Carolina, where he remained several years, finally succeeding, by the aid of an influential relative. in regaining a portion of his lost property. Having been obliged to accept payment for the amount in slaves, he sailed for Windsor, but landed there only to be informed that legal decisions had so affected the value of slaves as to render them all really valueless to him and practically their own masters.'
An indication of the prevalent uncertainty as to property in slaves is seen in the bill of sale made out in King's county in 1807 and copied in full on a previous page. In this document the presence of the expression, " If a Negro can be considered property in Nova Scotia", and the absence of the guarantees used in earlier papers
t For these facts I am indebted to his grandson, Hon. Dr. Daniel McNeil Parker, of Dartmouth.