A memorial of sundry citizens on behalf of Britton Jones.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

To the Honorable the General Assembly of North Carolina now in Session –

The undersigned memorialist respectfully represent to your honourable body that Britton Jones, a free man of colour was born and raised; and continued to reside until he was about thirty years old in Bertie County and that up to the time he left the same he sustained a good character. Your memorialists further shew that in Janry of 1829 his wife, who is a slave was carried together with his children to the State of Alabama, by her owner; and then continued until 1832 when she was brought back to the State of North Carolina – They further shew that the said Britton, in consequence, as your memorialists believe, of the removal of his wife and children; also went to the State of Alabama, and then continued until he was subjected to the provisions of an Act of Assembly prohibiting the emigration of free persons of colour. Under these circumstances your memorialists consider that it is a case of peculiar hardship and respectfully pray your honourable body to pass an act exempting said Britton Jones from the provisions of the act aforesaid – and your memorialists will ever pray &c.  /s/ Dav: Outlaw, George A. Askew, Elijah Rayner, D.W. Stone, J.S. Taylor, David Ryan, M.C. Ryan, Geo. B. Outlaw, Jos. B.G. Roulhac, J.P. Roulhac, Turner Carter, Stephen Bazmore, Thos. Spiller, S.J. Webb, Mo. Ramsey, W. Blanchard, E.A. Rhodes, John Raymond, John D. Thurston, G. W[illegible], James G. MLoon, Th. Ruffin, A.W. Mebane, Lewis Bond, Jas. P. Jones, Wm. W. Cherry, Wm. B. Forsyth.


The Committee on Propositions and Greviances to which was referred the Petition of Britton Jones praying that he might be exempted from the penalty incurred by him under the act of 1826 prohibiting emigration into this state of free persons of colour having considered the subject


That it appears evidence before them that the said Britton Jones a free man of colour was born and raised in County of Bertie that he resided in the said county untill he arrived to the age of thirty supporting a character for industry and honesty. That in the year 1829 he was married to a negro woman slave and by her had several children – That in the year 1829 the owner of the wife moved to the state of Alabama carrying her and children with him – that said Jones from feelings of attachment to his said wife & children followed them to Alabama.  That they remained in said state up to the year 1832 when the owner of his wife returning back to Bertie with his wife and children.  Jones returned also. .That by reason of his having resided out of the state for a longer period than one year he has lost his residence in the County of Bertie and has incurred the penalties of the act of 1826 prohibiting the emigration of free persons of colour into this state. Your Committee therefore from the peculiar hardships of this case believing it to be one which demands legislative interference respectfully report the following Bill and recommend its passage. /s/  Jos. M. Townsend, Chair.

General Assembly Session Records, 1832-1833, Box 5, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1850 census of Windsor, Bertie County: Britton Jones, 45, drayman, with Mary Boon, 30, and Emily Boon, 6.