Please free our sister.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

To the Worshipfull, The Justices of the County Court held for the County of Craven of the term of June AD 1798 –

The Petition of Ann G. Daly Administratrix of the Goods & Chattels &c of John Daly esq’r dec’d & Guardian of Ann G. Daly & Sidney Maria Daly, children of the said John Daly dec’d, Robert Donnell & Eliz., his wife & Guardian of John Daly, son of sd. John Daly dec’d & John Sears, humbly Sheweth to your worships that the said Administratrix has at present in her possession a certain female mulattoe slave named Mary about the age of twenty years, which Slave in strictness of law makes a part of the personal estate of the said John Daly dec’d.  Your Petitioners further shew that the said Mary has always been reputed to be the child of the said John Daly dec’d, and in that light treated & regarded by the said John in his life time.

Your Petitioners further state that it was the full determined and avowed intention & desire of the said John to give or procure for the said Mary her freedom, and that to the effect the said John hath repeatedly & uniformly expressed himself during his life and at the hour of his death.

Your Petitioners further state that the said Mary is a Girl of excellent Character, that she is industrious Sober & honest & has always behaved dutifully and affectionately towards the whole family.  Your Petitioners feel themselves bound to state that, (John Daly, Ann G. Daly & Sidney M. Daly, three of the children of John Daly dec’d are under age & that to remove all objections that may arise an amount of the interest they have in the said Mary your Petitioners, Robert Donnell & Jno. Sears, are ready to give any security the Court may require either for their or the indemnification of the said Administratrix.  Your petitioners therefore pray that taking the promises into consideration your worships would pass an order granting the said Ann G. Daly Administratrix as aforesaid a license to make free & emancipate said Mulattoe female slave named Mary.  And your Petitioners in duty bound Shall ever pray, /s/ Ann G. Daly, Robert Donnells, and Jno. Sears.


Miscellaneous Records, Craven County Records, North Carolina State Archives.