A petition to emancipate an old and faithful companion.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

State of North Carolina, Robeson County –

To the honorable the Judge of the Superior Court of Law in and for the County aforesaid –

The Petition of Henry Barnes humbly shews to your Honor that he is desirous to liberate his slave Judith Barnes who is more than fifty years of age – that he hath not received in money or otherwise [illegible] or value or any part thereof [illegible] to petition for her emancipation nor consideration of any kind to be paid [illegible] The said Judith was born a slave and conducted herself as such with great fidelity to her owners and on one occasion when Mrs. Jacobs – the wife of Zachariah Jacobs was suddenly taken in labor without ever having practiced as a midwife, by her skill or good memory on it and attention she delivered the lady and was the means of saving both the mother and child – since that time she has occasionally assisted the other women in like situations and has been serviceable in that way in her neighbourhood without however adopting it as a business or a source of profit – that your petitioner was also born a slave and many years ago was liberated by his master – that his slave Judith was and still is his wife and by that by his economy and industry he was enabled to own money enough to purchase her of the administrator of her last master – Thomas Waters – and to pay for her and has held her as his slave for more than ten years – that your petitioner is between 60 & 70 years of age and feels that he is becoming quite infirm and can not expect to live long; and it would be in the highest degree distressing to reflect that his old and faithful companion should after his death be [illegible] as a slave – Wherefore your Petitioner prays for [illegible] to emancipate her and your Petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray &c

State of North Carolina, Robeson County   }

Harry Bryan makes out that the matters and things set forth in the within petition as of his own knowledge are true and those otherwise stated he believes to be true

[No date.] Slave Records, Robeson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1850 census of Southern Division, Robeson County: Judith Barnes, 63, with Daniel, 17, and Martha Fort, 8.