The peculiar circumstances: the husband might become a slave of his children.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina now in Session – The Petition of Lovedy Henderson a free woman of color, respectfully represents that your Petitioner intermarried some years since with a certain man of color by the name of Horace, then a slave, but with the consent of his owner. That since their marriage by care and industry, she has been enabled to purchase her said husband at the price of Eight Hundred & Seventy dollars of Hugh and John G. McLaurin Executors of Duncan McLaurin deceased. That she has paid the purchase money & has a Bill of Sale duly executed by the said Executors. That your Petitioner now has two children by her said Husband & as by possibility her husband might become the slave of her children, your petitioner is induced to ask the interference of your honorable body, as the only tribunal authorized to grant the relief prayed for. Your Petitioner would not presume to ask this indulgence in her favour, in contravention to the policy of the Laws of the Land, but from the peculiar circumstances of her case & the belief that she will be enabled to establish for her Husband such a Character as to entitle him to the favourable notice of your honorable body. For this, she relied on the certificates of highly respectable gentlemen both in Fayetteville & the City of Raleigh, where they have lived since their intermarriage. Your Petitioner therefore prays the passage of an Act, emancipating her said husband Horace Henderson, and she in duty bound will ever pray &c. /s/ Lovdy Ann Henderson
We Hugh McLaurin & John C. McLaurin Executors of Duncan McLaurin dec’d unite in soliciting the passage of an Act for the emancipation of Horace Henderson as prayed for by his wife and we are free to say that we have long known said Horace who is a Barber and a boy of unexceptionable good character and of industrious & moral habits. /s/ H. MacLaurin for himself and John C. MacLaurin
We the undersigned citizens of Fayetteville freely unite in soliciting the General Assembly to pass an Act emancipating the negro man Horace, that we have known said Horace as a Barber & a Boy of good character, industrious habits and as we believe of the strictest integrity. /s/ J.H. Hooper, John MacRae, John Kelly, Thos. L. Hybart, [illegible] Cochran, John Lippitt, D.A. Saltmarsh, Chas. B. Jones, [illegible] Hawley, William S. Latta, Jas. Huske, Duncan Smith, Henry W. Ayer
We the undersigned citizens of Raleigh freely unite in soliciting the General Assembly to pas an Act emancipating the negro man Horace, that he has lived in the place for the last three or four years as a Barber, and has conducted himself with the utmost propriety, that in his deportment he is humble & polite, free as we believe from any improper intercourse with slaves, industrious & honest. /s/ M. Stokes, R.M. Saunders, Jo. Gales, B.W. Daniel, Geo. Simpson, J. Brown, John Primrose, Hazlett Wyle, Richard Smith, S. Birdsall, Jno. G. Marshall, A. Williams, Fabius J. Haywood, Robert Staniroy
General Assembly Session Records, November 1832-January 1833, Box 5, North Carolina State Archives.
In the 1850 census of Greensboro, Guilford County: Horace H. Henderson, 40, barber, and wife Love, 39, both born in Fayetteville; children James, 18, farmer, Mary Ann, 17, and Timothy, 14, born in Raleigh; and Albert, 10, Sarah, 8, Thomas, 4, and Alexander, 3, born in Greensboro; all mulatto.
[Sidenote: Ninety years after this petition, a Horace Henderson was born into my extended family, but I know no connection between my Hendersons, originally of Onslow County, and Lovedy Ann Henderson. — LYH]