Moses Briggs – 100 Year Old Slave

12 Aug

In 1860 the United States required that each slave over 100 years old be identified on the 1860 Slave Schedules. I searched for our favorite towns and discovered one 100 year old slave living in Haywood County.

Moses Briggs

Moses Briggs 1860 Slave Schedule for Hiram Bass

Moses Briggs was the slave of Hiram Bass and he is identified as being a 100 year old male. What stood out to me was that Moses did not have the last name of his current slave owner. Taking the last name of your present slave owner was not always something that slaves did. In this instance the Briggs surname could possibly be used to identify a former owner.

Often slave owners would provide additional notes about the slaves. A note on Moses is listed below.

Moses Briggs Notes 1860 Slave Schedule

Moses Briggs Notes 1860 Slave Schedule

I believe that it states “Moses (collects, cultivates?) a hatch of cotton for him”. What do you think it says? Also, what stood out to me was the term “hatch”. Anyone familiar with how much cotton a “hatch” might have been?


Hiram Bass died in 1863 and in his will he left Moses to his wife Eliza. Moses is described in Hiram’s will as “Old Man Moses”. This also means that Moses lived to at least 103 years of age. Eliza died in 1867 after emancipation. I could find no results for Moses on the 1870 census. My hope is that he lived long enough to see emancipation.


– Tiffany

– Source: 1860 US Slave Schedules for Haywood County, TN, Hiram Bass’ Will via, Eliza Bass’ will via


7 Responses to “Moses Briggs – 100 Year Old Slave”

  1. Adam Henig August 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Sounds like a potential movie. Good work Tiffany.

    • Tiffany August 28, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      Thanks Adam. I wish I could find more out about him.

  2. Allie Griffith November 13, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    Goodness, imagine cultivating anything at 100 years old!

    “Hatch” might be “batch” given the handwriting.

  3. Kim April 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    I just get excited reading about these amazing discoveries. Just happened upon this site searching for the Currin family in Lauderdale area.

  4. gina March 15, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    I loved the article..Have seen it before…Hiriam Bass is my family slave owner and I will tell you how that came to be and where Moses came from.

  5. gina March 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

    This article is relating to my family. Hiriam Bass was my family slave owner. I know about Moses and i know where he came from and who he belong too…

  6. Gina March 12, 2019 at 5:49 pm #

    Love information about family were also slaves of Hiram..if u want to talk about it..see my email below. Gina

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