Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: self-enslavement

Voluntary enslavement of herself and her son.

… Mr Alford presented a petition from Sally Scott, free woman of color, praying for the voluntary enslavement of herself and infant son to Sidney A. Henton. …

Charlotte Democrat, 2 December 1862.

Skipped bail.


The above Reward of TEN DOLLARS will be given for the apprehending of


A free man of colour, was committed to the Jail of Moore County on a charge of petty Larceny. Being desirous of giving Bail has indentured himself to me for a term of years, to become his bail. The said Ervin has absconded himself from my employment. Ervin is about 22 years of age, 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high, tolerable bright mulatto, had on when he left, homespun coat and sattinett pantaloons and an old cloak. It is supposed he will aim for Anson county, where he was raised, or to Randolph county, where his wife’s people reside. Any person apprehending said Ervin and confining him in any Jail so that I get him again, will be entitled to the above reward, and all reasonable charges paid. All persons are forewarned from harboring or employing said Ervin.  A. MUNROE.  Caledonia, Moore Co., March 8th, 1833.

Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 2 April 1833.

Bills to allow them to enslave themselves.

… a bill to allow Leah White, a free negress, to enslave herself to Morris McDaniel of Jones County; … a bill for the relief of James Moore, a free negro – allows him to enslave himself; …

The Raleigh Register, 27 February 1861.

To sell herself into slavery.

Mr. Cheek introduced a bill for the relief of Sythia Chavis, a free colored woman. (Allows her to sell herself into slavery.)

Weekly Raleigh Register, 19 December 1860.

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. 

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.

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.

He wishes to become a slave.

North Carolina State Convention.

The resolution to allow Elizabeth Chavis and child, free colored, to enslave themselves, was read the second time and referred to the committee on free negroes.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 26 June 1861.




Mr. Davenport introduced a bill to authorize the voluntary enslavement of Wyatt, a free man of color. The bill was accompanied by a memorial, setting forth that said Wyatt wishes to become the slave of C.A. Featherstone, of Gaston county. Referred to the committee on propositions and grievances.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 3 December 1862.

To enslave herself.



By Mr. Green, of Franklin, a memorial from Ellen Ransom, a free woman of color, of Franklin county, to be allowed to enslave herself for life to Leonidas Perry.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 12 December 1860.

In the 1860 census of Franklinton, Franklin County: Susan Ransom, 75, washerwoman, daughter Ellen, 26, her children Marcellus, 9, and Susan, 7, and Henrietta Mason, 15.


Legislature of North Carolina.


By Mr. Ewell, a bill to permit Celia Lynch, a free woman of color, to enslave herself for life. Referred to committee on propositions and grievances.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 19 December 1860.

He binds himself as a slave. For 99 years.

This Indenture of a Slave made the 27 day of July in the year of Lord one thousand seven Hundred & ninty three between Howell Combow of the county of wayne in the State of No Carolina of the one part & Burwell Morring of the Same place of the other part Witnesseth that the Said Howell Combow of or in consideration of the Sum of fifty Pounds Spicie to him In hand paid hath and Do by these pressents Enter & Bind him Self as a Slave to the said Burwell Morring for the Tirm & Space of Ninety nine years the said Howell is to Serve him as a True & faithfull Slave & is from time to time & at all times During of the Tirm to fullfill & Charfully obey all his said Masters commands and orders the said Slave is not Induring of the Said tirm to obcond him self from his Masters Servis he is not to wast imbezzell or cearlessly Destroy his masters goods or other property nor caus or willingly suffer the Same to be Done by others he is not to Sale or lighter a way his time Practisis he is not During of his said tirm to obsent him self from his sd. masters servis without this leave In witness whereof I hear set my hand and fix my seal this Day and date above mentioned Assigned Sealed and Delivered In pressents of  Thomas Stephenson and Jacob Sauls.   Howell X Cumbow {seal}

Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.