Birth Date
April 5, 1825
Basil Manly Diary II (1834-1846) image 182, Jan 16, 1840
"This day I received from my Father in Law Z. Randolph Esqr of Lowndes County Ala a little negro boy named Levi, born April 5th 1825 – this boy is intended as a gift and is to be my property. My father in law in purchasing his family, came under some obligation to liberate each of them when arrived at the age of 35 years; provided the laws of the country should admit of emancipation. After liberating the mother in 1821 she got into trouble & great need & came back to her master to offer herself as his slave for life, since which time Levi was born."
Freedom Status
Basil Manly Diary VI (1858-1878) image 83, June 20, 1865 (signing contract post Civil War to work on Manly property)
"June 20 1865
This day, at the plantation made an arrangement with my negroes to work on my place, being declared freedmen & freedwomen, by the Yankees. The arrangement includes my house – servants at home. They are to have the productions of ten average acres of corn. The following is a copy of the contract, and the names of the signers.
“We, the undersigned, declared “freedmen & freedwomen’” by the U.S. military authorities, and residing on the plantation of B. Manly, near Foster’s ferry, Tusk. Co. Ala do hereby agree to continue to work on the said plantation, under the direction of said Manly or his agent; to use due diligence during the customary number of hours, daily; to take care of all the stock, implements, or other property on the place or committed to us severally; and to act faithfully as laborers and employees on said plantation in all respects, until the close of the present year, on pain of being dismissed there from by said Manly or his legal representative by his desire. And we do also hereby agree to receive as full compensation for said services, the food, clothing, house-room, fuel and medical attendance in actual sickness, of ourselves and families; and further, that we receive the productions of a lot of ten (10) acres of land, to be selected as an average of the crop of corn; to be divided raticebly among us at the close of the year.
As witness of our freely & voluntarily agreeing here unto we have affirmed our mark opposite to our names, to this paper, before witnesses, at the said plantation, this 20th day of June, A.D. 1865.
Winter, Wood, Peter, William, Archy, Andrew, George, Robert, Alick, John, Henderson, Edmond, Oliver, Levi, Judy, Rose, Patsey, Martha, Sabra, Rebecca, Priscilla, Lydia, Binkey, Ann, Old Sabra, Julia, Morris, Arthur

U, B. Manly as named in the preceding instrument, do hereby express my agreement to employ the persons whose names are thereunto attached, according to the terms thereof.
Given, under my hand, the day & date before written.
B. Manly"
Basil Manly Diary VI (1858-1878) image 84, Aug 26, 1865 (Levi informing of a theft)
"Yesterday, James informed me, by letter, that a fire had broken out, on E. Collier Foster’s land; & that several of the negroes had gone home from the fire to dinner, contrary to his express order. He came home intending to punish them. Meeting with Binkey first, he began upon her; who resisted & fought. She left the plantation, & James sent her children & things, by a cart to town. But Binkey had reached town, her mother’s house, before the cart arrived with her children. I saw the man who attends to the freedmen’s affairs this morning; he promises to send a man down there this afternoon to see to the matter.
We will not suffer Binkey to appear on the place again. She left, of her own accord on frid. afternoon. Aug 25. The boy Henderson had left the fodder field nearly 3 weeks ago, after being very insulting to James. It is my wish that as many may depart as have a mind to.
The man did not go down, as he promised & pretended he would. My mule, sent to James Hutchins, to go down to the plantation, was not returned, but the yankee teamsters had him in a wagon on sunday morning, & had started off to Greensborough. But thro the watchfulness of my boy Levi, the intended theft was discovered & we obtained the mule: - took him out of their wagon.
The man, Hutchins, came to my house on Sunday morning, and pretended he had been to the plantation & lost all his money; and wished to levy a contribution on me. "
Task Performed
Accompanied Manly family members on trips
Basil Manly Diary V (1847-1857) image 370, Oct 12, 1854 (with Manly's wife to visit her father)
"My wife and servt Levi started to Lowndes county this morning. Father Rudulph is very low, and seems sinking gradually to his rest. - Time must show when my wife can return."
Basil Manly Diary VI (1858-1878) image 26, May 24, 1859 (with Manly on return to Tuscaloosa)
"Wife and I left Charleston, Tues May 24. Next evening, she went to Hayneville, thence to Ash-Creek where she spent some days with her mother. James & Fuller had been there two or three months. Charles came by way of Robertville, & joined his mother in a few days. Accompanied by two servants, Levi & Martha, & the little dog Belle, I proceeded down the River to Selma, thence by R. R. to Marion. On thurs noon, the servants started in a hack that had been sent down from Tuskaloosa, - arriving in Tuskaloosa the evening of Friday May 27. I arrived, by stage, on Sat. morn. May 2 – stopped at Mrs Gould’s"
Basil Manly Diary VI (1858-1878) image 63, Dec 29, 1862 (Basil Manly Jr. departs for Marion with Levi)
"Basil departs, with Levi, & the buggy, for Marion. The Lord be his preserver, & friend! - and bless him and his!"
Basil Manly Diary VI (1858-1878) image 72, Feb 18, 1864 (helping with the horses)
"I took this opportunity to send a boy, Samuel, to my daughter Sarah, & her husband Julius G. Smith. The servant, Fanny, which I had given them died before she could be of much use. Samuel is Sabra’s youngest son; born March 22. 1847. He is now nearly 17 years old. I hope & pray that he may do well. - Levi went with them, with my two horses; to help on. The horse that Basil drove up had got his shoulder badly hurt by the collar."
Performed manual labor
Basil Manly Diary VI (1858-1878) image 71, Nov 26, 1863 (digging potato cellar)
"Levi & George have dug a cellar for potatoes within the smoke-house. It is 6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 4.4 inches deep – containing 78 cubic feet. As a cubic foot contains 1728 cubic inches; & a bushel contains 2160 cubic inches, the cellar is estimated to hold 62 bushels."
Basil Manly Diary VI (1858-1878) image 86, Dec 13, 1865 (hauling bricks)
"Levi hauled bricks from William Drish’s brickyard."
Basil Manly Diary VI (1858-1878) image 92, Aug 15, 1866 (checking wood on Manly's lands)
"On receiving information that depredations are being made on the wood of my land in Bear Haven, I went down with son Charles, & my former servant Levi, accompanied by Mr. Alex Eddins, the nearest neighbor, some of Bro. Ben Eddins. We found it even as had been reported. A number of trees, white oak & beach, had been felled, cut & split, and taken away; and some wood remained (less than two cords) piled up on the land.
This I had taken to my dwelling, with the assistance of Levi, who got his information from a colored man named Daniel Inge…"
Basil Manly (Second President of the University of Alabama 1837-1855)
Works with
Additional Records
Basil Manly Diary VI (1858-1878) image 66, April 24, 1863 (finding Martha ill)
"This morn. at 12 ½ we were roused by the call of Levi, saying that Martha (our servt woman) is sick. Wife found her in a spasm, as she had been about 3 months ago."
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