Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Category: Legislation

Please free Clara, two years old.

To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina

The petition of Thomas Johnson of Washington County humbly sheweth that he is the owner of a mulatto slave named Clara (Clary), about the age of two years, whom he is desirous to emancipate. Your petitioner therefore prays your Honorable Body to pass a bill to liberate said slave and that she may be called by the name of Clara Johnson and your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray.  /s/ Thomas Johnson

General Assembly Session Records, November-December 1813, Box 3, North Carolina State Archives.

She’s old and useless, but a good midwife: rejected.

To the Worshipfull Court of Pleas & Quarter sessions to be Held in Hertford on the Second Monday in Febry 1777. I Thomas Newby of the County of Perquimans and State of North Carolina Humbly prayeth that Your Worships Will take this my petition into Consideration & Grant the Said petition. — (to wit.) The Liberateing of A Certain Negro Woman belonging to me Your Humble petitioner by the name of Hannah, for this my Reasons. In the first place, She being grown ould, And Can be Very little Service to me as to any Hard Work or Drudgery. She being an Excellent Midwife Called on Every Land turn to Both White Women & Black and from account has performed her Duty With as much Scill as any of that profession Moreover She being A peaceable Negro Woman haveing Lived in this place for the Space of forty Years with one Certain Husband & Raised a Number of Children Which are at present Divided amongst the Heirs to whom they fell. And I your Humble petitioner from being Satisfyed and Contented With the Services Which I have rec’d from her the sd. Hannah, Humbly I prayeth that your Worships may take in Consideration & Set the Sd. Negro free by your order & further your Petitioner prayeth not.   /s/ Thomas Newby

[On reverse: Thos. Newby Petition to Liberate Negroe Hannah Rejected]

Slave Records, Perquimans County, North Carolina State Archives.

Her condition will be better than at the present time.

North Carolina, Pasquotank Co.  } January 31st AD 1861

To the Honorable: the Senate and House of representatives of the State of North Carolina in General Assembly convened,

The petition of Kissiah Trueblood most respectfully showeth unto your Honorable body, That she is a free woman of color now a resident of State and County aforesaid, and has been during her life, being at this time about 23 years of age; that during minority she was Apprentised to the late William Charles and served her time faithfully with him, since his death she has exercised the privilege of a free woman of color, being borned of free parents. For the space of two years just passed, she has lived with one Dr. W.P. Ritter in the capacity of a servant, receiving wages for services rendered.  Your Petitioner further showeth unto your Honorable body, that after mature deliberation, upon her part, uninfluenced by any person, it being her own free will and accord, she desires to become the slave of the said Dr. Ritter, believing as she truly does after past experienced, that her condition in this life, will be for better, then, than at the present time. That in her present condition she is destitute and without protection, and in the condition of a slave, she would be cared for and have the protection of her Master, and to that end she prays your Honorable body, to enact such laws so as to enable said Dr. Ritter, to hold and possess your petitioner, in fee simple as his slave for all time to come, bothe your petitioner and children should she have any; governed only by such laws as have been enacted to regulate and govern the relations between Master and Slave. And your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray.  Kissiah X Trueblood

Signed in presence of W.W. Grandy Jr.

General Assembly Session Records, November 1860-February 1861, Petitions Box 8, North Carolina State Archives. 

Three women emancipated.

Captions of the Laws Passed by the General Assembly of North-Carolina, in December, 1812.


1. An act to Emancipate a Negro girl named Violet.

2. To emancipate Isabella and Jane, two Negro slaves belonging to the estate of James Allen, deceased.

Star, Raleigh, 25 December 1812.

The emancipation of the Howe children.


CAPTIONS of the Laws of N. Carolina, passed in 1816.


96. To emancipate Hannah Howe, Balaam Howe, John Howe and Sally Howe, children of Balaam and Lucy Howe of the county of Brunswick.

Star, Raleigh, 3 January 1817

He desires to change.

To the Honorable the Senate & House of Representatives of the State of North Carolina, Greeting

The petition of your servant, who is a free man of color, humbly shews that he is desirous of changing his status and of selling himself to Mr. D. H. Bridgers, so as to reduce himself to a state of slavery and that he may have the protection and support of a master, would humbly pray your honorable body that you would pass some law that would enable him to give legal effect and force to his desire, And your Petitioner will always pray &c    Abisha X Locus

State of North Carolina, Wayne County    } I Jno. R. Hood an acting Justice of the Pace for Wayne County hereby certify that Abisha Locus, a free man of color and a resident of Wayne County voluntarily came before me and signed the above petition of his own free will & accord. Given under my hand and seal this 31st day of August. /s/ John R. Hood

General Assembly Session Records, August-September 1861, box 1, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1860 census in Cross Roads, Wayne County: B. Locas, 50, distiller, Jonas Capps, 18, and Tilissa Capps, 16, in the household of Henderson Bridgers, 33. No occupation is listed for Bridgers, but he claimed $12,000 in real property and $12,250 in personal property.

Acts passed.

The following are the Titles of the Acts passed at the Session of the General Assembly of the State of North-Carolina, held at the city of Raleigh, on the 1st of November, 1795.

To emancipate a mulatto boy by the name of Gustavus Adolphus Johnston, in the county of Chowan; and also a mulatto girl by the name of Amy Philips, in the county of Brunswick.

North-Carolina Journal, Halifax, 12 December 1795.


Notice of application.


Application will be made to the ensuing General Assembly of North Carolina for the passage of a law to emancipate Peter Turner, of Fayetteville.

Oct. 10, 1854.

Fayetteville Observer, 23 October 1854.

To emancipate certain negroes.

LIST OF ACTS Passed by the General Assembly of North-Carolina, at their late Session.


14. An act to confirm the claims to freedom of Kitty, the wife of John Carruthers Stanly, and of Eunice Carruthers Stanly, Kitty Green Stanly, and Alexander Stewart Stanly.

16. An act to emancipate and set free certain negroes formerly the property of Alexander Worke, late of Iredell county.

33. An act to emancipate David, the property of Thomas Trotter, of Washington county.

54. To emancipate Ben, a man of colour of Hertford county.

Star, Raleigh, 28 December 1809.

To be allowed to enslave herself. (For love.)



Mr. Walser, a bill, accompanied with a memorial from the party, to allow Percy Ann Morton, a free woman of color, to enslave herself.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 28 January 1863.




Mr. Logan presented a memorial from Queen Victoria, a free woman of color, praying that she be allowed to enslave herself. (The object of Queen Victoria in seeking to become a slave, was matrimonial, she being desirous of marrying a slave, which is contrary to the Statute in that case made and provided.)

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 12 December 1860.