An act to emancipate Jerry.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

An Act to emancipate Jerry, a slave.

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That Jerry, a slave, the property of H.B Williams and S.A. Davis, of Mecklenburg county, be, and he is hereby, with the consent and at the request of his said owner, emancipated and set free; and, by the name of Jerry Bethel, shall hereafter possess and exercise all the rights and privileges which are enjoyed by other free persons of color in this State: Provided nevertheless, that before said slave shall be emancipated, the said Williams and Davis, or either of them, shall give bond and good security, to the Governor and his successors in office, in the county court of Mecklenburg county, in the sum of one thousand dollars, that the said Jerry shall honestly and correctly demean himself as long as he shall remain in the State, and shall not become a county charge; which bond may be sued upon in the name of the governor for the time being, to the use of the said county, and of any person injured by the misconduct of said slave hereby emancipated. [Ratified the 8th day of January, 1855.]

Chapter 108, Public and Private Laws of North Carolina Passed by the General Assembly 1854-55, State Library of North Carolina.

In the 1860 census of Western Division, Mecklenburg County: Jerry Bethel, 45, barber, “manumitted,” wife Mary Bethel, 40, and Robison Reid, 8.  Bethel reported $2300 of real property and $1250 of personal property.