Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

An act to emancipate Joe.

An Act to emancipate Joe, a slave

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 Joe, a slave belonging to Sophia L. Smith, executrix of David Smith, deceased, late of Cumberland county, is hereby, with the consent and at the request of his said owner, emancipated and set free; and by the name of Joseph Hostler shall hereafter possess and exercise all the rights and privileges which are enjoyed by other free persons of color within this State: Provided, nevertheless, that before such slave shall be emancipated, the petitioner shall give bond and good security to the Governor and his successors in office, in the County Court of Cumberland county, that the said slave shall honestly and correctly demean himself as long as he shall remain in the State, and shall not become a parish charge; which bond may be sued upon in the name of the Governor for the time being, to the use of the parish and of any person injured by the malconduct of such slave.

Chapter CVII, Public and Private Laws of North Carolina, 1833-34, North Carolina State Library. 

Joseph Hostler married Hannah McKay on 20 November 1839 in Cumberland County. In the 1840 census of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, he appears as the head of a household that includes one free colored male aged 36-54, one male aged 10-24, and one female aged 10-24, plus two slaves.  In the 1850 census of Fayetteville, Cumberland County: Hannah Ragland, 75, born in Virginia; Joheph [sic] Hostler, 44, barber; wife Hannah, 34; and children Geo. R., 9, Margaret A., 7, Susan B., 6, Sarah E., 5, and Mary E., 2; plus Ann E. Thomas, 13, all born in NC.  In the 1860 census of Fayetteville, Cumberland County: Hannah Hostler, 46, seamstress, and children Geo., 20, barber, Margaret, 18, seamstress, Susan, 16, Sarah, 14, Mary, 12, William, 10, Caroline, 8, and Henry, 3. (Next door: Abel Payne and his family.)

African Negro says he is free.

CAME to my house, on the 15th inst. An African Negro Man, who calls himself GEORGE BROWN. He says he is free, but is in possession of no document to substantiate the fact. It is supposed, that he is a Slave – a runaway from on board some vessel. He is about 6 feet high, black complexion, and spare made.

The owner (if any) if hereby requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take said fellow away.   JOHN LATHAM   Sept 26th, 1810.

True Republican, New Bern, 7 November 1810.

They ran off and was married in an old field.

State of North Carolina, Halifax County    }  On this 20th day of May, 1846, personally appeared before me Lemuel P. Johnston an acting Justice of the Peace in and for the County aforesaid, Mrs. Winaford Holley, a resident of said County and State, aged eighty eight years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth, certify that She was an eye witness to the marriage of Drury Walden to his wife Elizabeth, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Harriss; that they ran away and was married some time in the year (1780) Seventeen hundred and eighty (she well remembers) in an old field a little from the Road, in the County of Northampton North Carolina, by Herbert Harris, who was, at that time, an acting Magistrate in Said County of Northampton; and that the said Drury and wife (after their intermarriage) took supper that evening, at her Winaford Holley’s Mother’s House. That she well recollects, that at the time of the aforesaid Marriage (To Wit) in the year (1780) her husband Jesse Holley, was then a soldier in the army.

She further certifies that upon her oath, that the said Drury Walden’s family, and his wife, the aforesaid Elizabeth’s family, were at (the time of their intermarriage,) living within an half Mile of her Mother’s house; and that she very well remembers, that the aforesaid Drury Walden, did serve one, and she believes two tours in the Army of the Revolution, after he intermarried with the aforesaid Elizabeth Harriss, for all of the above named families, were living at the same places, that they were, at the time of the aforesaid marriage, when the said Drury Walden returned home, from the service; and that she saw him, when he arrived at home from the said service.   Winafred X Holley

Sworn to and subscribed on the say and year above written before me  L.P. Johnston