Give and grant all my right over said children.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

This indenture this 16th day of August 1823 between Celia Artis of the County of Wayne and state of North Carolina of the one part, and Elias and Jesse Coleman of the other part (witnesseth) that I the said Celia Artis have for an in consideration of having four of my children raised in a becoming [illegible], by these presence indenture the said four children (to viz) Eliza, Ceatha, Zilpha, and Simon Artis to the said Elias and Jesse Coleman to be their own right and property until the said four children arives at the age of twenty one years old and I do by virtue of these presents give and grant all my right and power over said children the above term of time, unto the said Elias and Jesse Coleman their heirs and assigns, until the above-named children arives to the aforementioned etc., and I do further give unto the said Elias and Jesse Coleman all power of recovering from any person or persons all my right to said children — the [illegible] of time whatsoever in whereof I the said Celia Artis have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written,    Celia X Artis.

Deeds, Register of Deeds Office, Wayne County Courthouse, Goldsboro.

[Sidenote: Celia Artis (1800-1879) was a prosperous free woman of color whose husband, Simon Pig, was a slave.  (She purchased and eventually freed him, and he adopted her surname.)  Because Celia was not legally married, her children were subject to involuntary apprenticeship.  This deed records her determination to guard her children from uncertain fates by placing them under the control of men she trusted.  Despite the wording of the deed, it is likely that the children continued to live with their mother after their indenture.  By mid-century, Celia Artis was one of the wealthiest free women of color in Wayne County, having amassed 750 acres of land in northern Wayne County. — LYH]