Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Long

To liberate and set free.

At a General Assembly, begun and held at Tarborough on the eighteenth Day of November, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-seven, and in the Twelfth Year of the Independence of the said State, being the first session of the Assembly. Richard Caswell, Esq., Governor.


An Act to Emancipate Certain Persons therein mentioned.

Whereas Agerton Willis, late of Bladen county, was in his lifetime possessed of a certain slave called Joseph, and in consideration of the services of him the said Joseph, and the particular obligations he conceived himself under to the said Joseph for his fidelity and attention, did by his last will and testament devise to the said Joseph his freedom and emancipation, and did also give unto the said Joseph a considerable property, both real and personal: And whereas the executor and next of kin to the said Joseph did in pursuance of the said will take counsel thereon, and were well advised that the same could not by any means take effect, but would be of prejudice to the said slave and subject him still as property of the said Agerton Willis; whereupon the said executor and next of kin, together with the heirs of the said Agerton Willis, deceased, did cause a fair and equal distribution of the said estate, as well to do equity and justice in the said case to the said Joseph, as in pursuance of their natural love and affection to the said Agerton, and did resolve on the freedom of the said Joseph and to give an equal proportion of the said estate: Wherefore,

I. Be it Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this Act, the said Joseph shall and is hereby declared to be emancipated and set free; and from henceforward he be called and Known by the name of Joseph Willis, by which name he may take, hold, occupy, possess and enjoy to him and his heirs forever, all and singular the property both real and personal so given him by the said distribution of the said executor, heirs and next of kin, and by the said name of Joseph Willis shall henceforward be entitled to all the rights and privileges of a free person of mixed blood: Provided nevertheless, That this act shall not extend to enable the said Joseph by himself or attorney, or any other person in trust for him, in any manner to commence or prosecute any suit or suits for any other property but such as may be given him by this act or such as he may have acquired by his own industry, but this act may in all such cases be plead in bar, and the property therein given be considered as a full and ample consideration for the final accommodation and settlement of all doubts concerning the freedom and property either real, personal or mixed belonging or in any manner appertaining to the said Joseph.

And whereas it hath been made appear to the satisfaction of this General Assembly that Richard Dobbs Spaight, of Craven county, Esquire, hath consented and is desirous to liberate and set free a certain mulatto girl now his property, called or known by the name of Mary Long:

II. Be it therefore Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the passing this act the before mentioned mulatto girl called Mary Long, now the property of Richard Dobbs Spaight, Esquire, shall be and continue liberated and set free, and shall thenceforward be entitled to all the rights and privileges of a free person of mixed blood in this State, and by the said name of Mary Long shall and may receive and hold, possess and enjoy any real and personal estate or property which she may hereafter acquire or become possessed of, in the same manner as any other free person of mixed blood might or could acquire, and possess the same to all intents and purposes as if she had been born free.

Whereas it hath been represented to this General Assembly by the memorial of John Allen, a free man of mixed blood, that he hath purchased a mulatto woman named Betty and her child named Mary, which woman he has long lived with and considered as his wife, and praying that the General Assembly would be pleased to emancipate and set free the said mulatto woman and her child:

III. Be it therefore Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said mulatto woman named Betty and her child Mary, shall be and they and each of them are hereby emancipated and made free, and they and each of them may hereafter take and use the sirname of Allen, and are hereby declared to be able and capable in law to possess and enjoy every right, privilege and immunity in as full and ample manner as they could or might have done if they had been born free.

No cards, dice or fornication.

State of North Carolina    This indenture Witnesseth that Edward Upton & Jane his wife of the County of Caswell hath put her son William Long a Mulato and by these presents doth Voluntary and of their own Accord and free will put him an apprentice to Samuel Brackin of the same County his Heirs and Assigns forever, to learn his Trade or Mistery and after the Manner of an Apprentice to Juse him from the day of the date Hereof untill he arives to the age of Twenty one years. During all which time the said apprentice his said Master faithfully shall Serve his Secrets keep his lawfull command & every whim obey, he Shall do no Damage to his said Master, nor See it be done by Others without letting or giving notice thereof to his said Master. He Shall not waste the said Masters goods, nor lend them Unlawfully to any, he shall not Commit Fornication nor contract Matrimony during the said time, at Cards, dice or any other unlawfull games he shall not play whereby his master may be Damaged with his own goods nor the goods of Others during the said time without licence from his said Master He shall not absent himself day nor night might from his said Masters Service without his leave nor haunt Ale houses, taverns or play houses but in all things behave himself as a faithfull apprentice ought to during the said time.  And the said Master shall use the Utmost  of his Endeavours to teach or cause to be taught or Instructed the said Apprentice in the Trade of Mistery he now Followeth, and Procure or Provide for him Suficient Meat Drink Appearl and Washing fitting for an apprentice during the said time – And for the due Performance of all and every the said Covenants and agreements Either of the said Parties bind themselves unto the Other by these Presents, In Witness whereof They have interchangably Put their hands & seals this Second day of August Ano Dom 1783 and in the Eighth year of American Independence.   Edwd X Upton  Jane X Upton

N.B. The above mentioned child was Born August 1st 1781.

Witness Thomas Brookes Thomas Rice

Memorandum that I the within named Saml. Brackin is to Give the within bound William Long one years Schooling and at the Expiration of his time Two Suits of Cloaths one ax one Mattock, Witness & date as within           Saml. Brackin

Test – Thomas Brookes  Thos. Rice

August Term, 1783, Minutes of Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Caswell County, North Carolina State Archives.