Black was born in Glasgow, Pencader Hundred, Delaware, on December 28, 1811. Black was one of nine children born to Dr. Samuel Henry Black and Dorcas Armitage
Middleton, prominent Pencader Hundred citizens. Dorcas Armitage Middleton was
a descendant of Thomas Cooch, also of Pencader Hundred. Raised at LaGrange, a
farm of over 200 acres located at the intersection of (modern day) Route 40 and
Route 896 in Glasgow, Black assumed responsibility for the day-to-day
operations of the farm following the death of his father in 1827. He
maintained this responsibility, with the assistance of his younger brother,
Samuel Henry Black, for the remainder of his life.
brother, Charles Henry Black, followed his father’s occupation and practiced
medicine in New Castle. Charles married Ann Janvier in 1837 and produced eight
children, including John Janvier Black, a prominent New Castle obstetrician during
the latter half of the nineteenth century.
In addition to his
farming activities, Robert Black served as a Justice of the Peace for Pencader
Hundred, beginning around 1860 and continuing through 1872. In this capacity,
Black served as judge for numerous cases brought before him, addressing crimes
varying from larceny, bastardry, attempted murder, and disturbing the peace, as
well as cases of a more civil nature. The most prominent cases brought before Justice
Black involved delinquent accounts for goods bought and sold and for services
married Susan Zane sometime in the 1860s and they had at least one daughter,
Mary Roberta Black, born in 1871. Robert Black died in 1878 and was buried in
Pencader Presbyterian Church cemetery.
Thomas. History of Delaware: 1609-1888, 2 Vols. Philadelphia:
L.J. Richards & Co., 1888.
Bedford Wilkins. The Ancestors of Eleanor Bedford Wilkins Cooch andEdward
Webb Cooch. [Wilmington, Del.: s.n.], c1962.
Scope and Contents Note
The docket book
of Justice of the Peace Robert M. Black spans the dates October 1869 until January
1872. One additional entry is made for May 1887. The docket book consists of
over 250 pages listing 565 cases numbered 5824 to 6386, that came before Black
in his capacity of Justice of the Peace for Pencader Hundred, Delaware. Each
case is described with charge, verdict, court cost, and occasionally a receipt
for payment of fines. Primarily, cases involved disputes related to business
and employment transactions. There are instances where more serious crimes are
recorded such as attempted murder, larceny, and bastardry. During the time
that Black served in this capacity, William J. Dayett served as constable
responsible for serving summons and attending to other court matters. Many of
the cases brought before Black involved members of Dayett’s family in their
capacity as flour millers.
Ms 97 Item 005 Samuel
Henry Black Diary
Ms 97 Item 026 Mary J.
(Black) Evans Journal
Ms 271 George G. Evans
Ms 388 Alexander Wilson
Box -- Folder -- Contents
1 Docket Book, 1869-1887
Contains a listing of 565 civil and
criminal cases numbered 5824 to 6386 on 285 pages brought before Robert M.
Black, Justice of the Peace, Pencader Hundred. Each case is described with a
charge, verdict, court costs, and other relevant information. Occasional
receipts for fines are attached.