Please inquire into the fact of his natural freedom.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
Unto the Worshipful the Justices of the County Court of Perquimans
The Petition of Negroe Dick at present confined in the Common Gaol of the County: — by the next friend John Smith.
Most Humbly Sheweth That your Petr. has been taken up by Sundrey Persons supposing him to have been a Slave the property of John Smith one of the people called Quakers and illegally liberated by him.
That your Petr. Is at present confined in Gaol under the acts of Assembly 1777 and 1779.
Sheweth that your Petr. Grandmother, Betty was an Indian, a free woman by the Laws of Nature.
May it therefore please your Worships to enquire into the fact of the natural freedom of your Petr. And to do further in the premises as shall seem just & merciful. Respectfully whereof &c /s/ M.A. Milton
Leave being first had from the worshipful Court to file the above Petition and Directions received from the Chairman of the Court to proceed by Petition M.A. Milton Oct. Term 1788
Slave Records, Perquimans County, North Carolina State Archives.