October, 10th 1856.
To the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina.
The Memorial of James Newlin of the County of Alamance respectfully represents:
That his slave Sam, commonly called Sam Morphis, desires to be emancipated buy the General Assembly with the privilege of remaining in North Carolina. Your memorialist hereby begs leave to recommend the care of the said Sam to the favorable consideration of your Body. He believes that Sam can present to your Body decisive testimonials of a behaviour upon his part uniformly respectful to whites. Sam has been for several years engaged as a hack-driver and waiter at the University, and, your memorialist is informed and believes, has made himself acceptable to all who have employed him, or in any way had dealings with him. Your memorialist will cheerfully enter into any bond which may be required to secure the State in case of his emancipation; and again asks a favorable consideration for this prayer for freedom.
And will ever pray &c /s/ James Newlin
Appended to Newlin’s petition is a second petition signed by 238 students and faculty members of the University of North Carolina.
General Assembly Session Records, November 1858-February 1859, Box 11, North Carolina State Archives.