A useful citizen.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

State of N Carolina, Craven County   } December Term 1799.

The Worshipful the County Court of Craven The Petition of Nancy Handy a free person of Color humbly sheweth to this Worshipful Court, that during the Time she was a Slave and the property of Wm. T. Howe She conceived and did bear Two children to wit Louisa and Betsy and that she by certain allowance and indulgences granted to her by her said Master did gather together & accumulate cash in sufficient quantity to purchase her self and said children and that the aforesaid Nancy did purchase from her aforesaid master her aforesaid Children, and your Petitioner states that she has always endeavourd to conduct herself as a peaceable citizen, and an useful one to the community by encreasing the number of good & valuable Citizens of the State, and your Petitioner therefore prays that the worshipful Court would grant the freedom of the said Children according to act of Assembly is such case made and provided.   Benj’n Martin atty for the Children

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

[Sidenote: For a detailed account of Nancy Handy’s purchase and emancipation of her children, see Bill Hand, Remembering Craven County: Tales of Tarheel History (2006), p. 79-81. — LYH]