A Cuban petitions in Craven County.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
Craven County Js’s. To the Justices of the Peace constituting the Inferior Court of Craven County aforesaid, the Petition of Antonio Muray (a free Negro) humbly Sheweth.
First in this year one thousand Seven hundred and Sixty nine your unhappy Petitioner left a Wife & Children in the Havanah, Shipped himself on Board a Vessel Bound to Jamaica and arrived at Jamaica & from thence to Carthagene, and back to Jamaica, and that he had lent one of the Sailors (John Taylor by Name) a Pistole while at Carthagene and their return to Jamaica a Dispute happened between your Petitioner and the said John Taylor, who refused to repay it, upon which the said John Taylor struck your Petitioner and he returned blows, and your Petitioner being a Black man was taken up at the Instance or Complaint of the Said John Taylor and committed to Gaol, for which Assault he was not prosecuted, and after being Detained three months in the Said Gaol untill as I understood five or Six pounds was due for the Fees of the Gaol, when a Certain Timothy Clear and Capt. Roberts came to the Gaol & talked about purchasing some Negroes that were in the Gaol & at last agreed with the Gaoler to pay the Gaol fees & take out your Petitioner & another free Negro which was in the Same Gaol. Mr. Clear pd. the fees for me, & Capt. Roberts paid for the other, but before we left the Gaol an indenture was made for six or seven years to the said Clear who promised to set me at Liberty as soon as I had earned the value of the money which he paid, and that notwithstanding the fair promises of the said Timothy Clear (that he would use me kindly & not detain me any Longer than sufficient to reimburse him for about the sum of six pounds which was all he paid for me) he hath treated me cruelly, by unmerciful whipping, frequently for six years, and being Satisfied with my labour as a Slave during the said Term, sold me again to my present Master Thomas Parsons, who treats me Very Ill. Your Poor Petitioner Humbly prays that your Worships will take my unhappy case into serious Consideration, and do what Justice and Humanity requires to be done in the premises. And your Petitioner will ever pray, JW Cogdell for the Petitioner.
Petition of Antonio for Freedom. December Court 1775. Read and rejected.
Miscellaneous Records, Craven County Records, North Carolina State Archives.