Concerning the emancipation of Chaney Moreman.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

Whereas at the Autumn Term in 1833, of the Superior Court of Anson county, upon the petition of Benjamin Pratt, praying for the emancipation of Chaney Moreman, a slave, the property of said Benjamin Pratt, for meritorious services, such proceedings were had, that the said court, upon due proof of the matters stated in the said petition, did grant the prayer thereof, and did order, adjudge and declare the said Chaney to be emancipated, and entitled, by the name of Chaney Moreman, to all the privileges of a free born negro; and whereas the said petition and the memorial and record of the said proceedings have been lost or destroyed, and from the length of time since the said judgement was entered, doubts are entertained whether the said court can order the same to be now entered up as of the said term; and whereas, also, from the nature of the case, it is doubtful whether suit can be properly instituted for relief in a court of equity; and whereas the case is one of hardship and likely to result in injustice, without some provision by law in that behalf; for remedy whereof,

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 it shall and may be lawful for the said Superior Court of Law, either at the next succeeding spring or autumn term, upon the application of the said Chaney Moreman, to receive evidence of the contents of the said petition and the proceedings and judgment hereupon, and of the loss or destruction of the papers or other memorial thereof; and upon satisfactory proof of such loss or destruction and of the contents of the said petition and other proceedings, to order and direct the said petition, proceedings and judgment to be enrolled in the said court, as a record of the term when the said proceedings were had and the said judgment rendered.

II. Be it further enacted, That upon sufficient proof being made, either by parol or record, that a decree of emancipation was ordered by the court agreeable to the petition of said Pratt, and that the clerk of the court shall have neglected to enter the same on record as ordered, that upon the said proof being made, the judge of the court shall order the decree to be entered nunc pro tunc as aforesaid.

Chapter X Page 157, Public and Private Laws of North Carolina 1833-34, North Carolina State Library.