An act to emancipate Joe.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

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.)