Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: University of North Carolina

It was for their own good.

Troublesome Escheats.

A free negro had a daughter, the slave of another. He bought her, and she then became the mother of a boy. The woman’s father died without kin and intestate. His child and grandchild being his personal property became the property of the University. They were ordered to be sold. This sounds hard, but it was proved to the Board that they were in the lowest stage of poverty and degradation and that it would redound to their happiness to have a master. It must be remembered that slaves were considered to be as a rule in a better condition than free negroes.

From Kemp P. Battle, History of the University of North Carolina from its Beginning to the Death of President Swain 1789-1868 (1907).

Tarheels for freedom.

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.