So, a while back
I found some information that suggested that maybe - maybe - one of my great*n grandparents was a plantation slave.
Recently, someone in the US researching the same people contacted me, and said "yeah, that's pretty likely, and here is the source information", which was the Will of John Packwood Jennings from 1823:
Secondly, the Girl Margaret the property of Testator to be made free.
and further requesting and making it his particular and last desire to his
above mentioned Brother and Sister John & Anne Murray that they do take
into their charge and [house] and bringing up in whatever manner they may
think fit [also] the Testator's two Children John and Eliza (children of
the Girl Betsey) having the most confidence and reliance in their kindness
in this Business and to that they will will do for them the said Children
in the manner as he the Testator would do himself.
The turn of phrase in the first excerpt (clearly talking about freeing a slave) then being used in the second one strongly suggests to me that Betsey was also a plantation slave. Its not certain whether she was directly African, or maybe mulatto or amerindian or a mix of all. I'd love to try and find a matrilineal descendant, but I'm ruled out (male descendant straight off), and it seems that Eliza's female children either had cut short lives, or had no children. So it probably not possible (that being said, anyone who is related to William Grant & Eliza Jennings from Newcastle, NSW around 1850-1870, let me know :-)).
I am wondering about the last part of the second excerpt too - it seems strangely emphatic that he wanted his sister & brother in law to be nice to his kids. I wonder how much they stood out, especially once they were back in Scotland.