To prevent him from becoming the property of his own children or sold off from them.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

Craven County, June Term 1797,

To the Justices of the Court of Sd. County, The Petition of Margaret Moore, a free negro woman, Humbly sheweth, that your petitioner has been possessed for seven years past of a negro man slave named Jack Fennel, with whom she has lived several years as a wife, & by whom she has had a number of children.

That she has acquired, chiefly thro’ the industry, labour & economy of said slave, a plantation containing two hundred acres of land, on which he has built her a good house & grow many valuable improvements; that the said farm is stocked with cattle, hogs &c.

That the said Slave has otherwise rendered her several meritorious services;

That her duty prompts her not to detain her said husband in bondage, & to endeavour if she can  do it to prevent him from becoming on her death the property of his own children, or, being otherwise sold off from them.

She therefore prays that Your Worships would grant her a license authorising her to emancipate & set free the said negro Jack Fennell & as in duty bound &c.    T.N. Martin att: Pet.

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