Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 10182605

State: Alabama Year: 1826
Location: Limestone Location Type: County

Abstract: Free person of color Francis Hamlin purchased his daughter, Susan Locklear, from James Sims of Limestone County. Hamlin seeks to emancipate his daughter, who is married to Thomas Locklear, a free man of color.

PAR Number 11000013

State: Mississippi
Location: Claiborne Location Type: County

Abstract: The petitioners ask for the emancipation of Samuel Martin's family. Three years before Martin, a free man of color, purchased his wife and three children. A related petition reveals that Samuel Martin had been freed a number of years earlier by his owner, J. W. Thomson.

PAR Number 11000014

State: Mississippi Year: 9999
Location: Unknown Location Type: County

Abstract: William Moreton and his wife, Violet, were emancipated by Jesse Carter in Louisiana about 1814. The Moretons left their daughter, Charlotte, in the possession of Carter, as a slave for life. After Carter's death, the couple bought Charlotte for $352. Moreton now petitions to free his daughter. He writes, "Your Petitioner although' a colored man is not devoid of feelings of humanity and nature & considers it against the laws of nature to hold his own offspring in a state of servitude."

PAR Number 11083005

State: Mississippi Year: 1830
Location: Jefferson Location Type: County

Abstract: Working and saving for many years, free man of color Jeremiah Gill purchased his wife, Amy, and daughter, Betsey, from one Caleb Reed. Now being "advanced in years," Jeremiah Gill asks the legislature for an act of emancipation for his family. He feared that if he were to die his wife and daughter might "through the tyranick grasp and relentless cupidity of some unfeeling wretch, be deprived of that portion of liberty, which the sweat of your petitioner's humble brow has purchased for them." In a related petition, filed the same year, one Theodore Richey presented Amy, whom he calls Ama, for emancipation, claiming her as his property. In this petition, Jeremiah Gill's prayer is granted; Amy and Betsey are set free and are given the last name of Gill. At the same time, the legislature also grants freedom to another slave named Rachel, whose emancipation was sought by one Lewis L. Glover.

PAR Number 11279504

State: North Carolina Year: 1795
Location: Anson Location Type: County

Abstract: Abraham Jones, a free person of color, discloses that he "labours under the unhappy disadvantage of having Seven children by a woman Slave formerly the property of one Westerfield, with whom he has intermarried, and who he has since bought and purchased as his own property." Jones is fearful that his said children "are in danger of being continued in bondage or may be after your petitioner's death without some legal provision made in their favour by the General Assembly." He therefore prays that his seven children "to wit; Isaac Jones, Jacob Jones, Susanna Jones, John Jones, Abraham Jones, Thomas Jones, and Lewis Jones may be emancipated and from henceforth enjoy the protection and benefits of the laws and constitution of this State, in the same manner as others of their colour who were born free."

PAR Number 11279605

State: North Carolina Year: 1796

Abstract: William Brown, a free man of color, submits that "with care and Industry he has been able to purchase from Mr. Reading Blount a Wench by the name of Phillis with whom by the consent of Mr. Blount he had previous intermarried." Realizing that "his children will be Slaves contrary to his wish without the interposition of the General Assembly," the petitioner is "imbolden'd" to ask that a law be passed "to emancipate his said wife Phillis." Twenty-six subscribers avow that "William Brown & wife ... have always conducted themselves orderly & honestly."

PAR Number 11279701

State: North Carolina Year: 1797
Location: Anson Location Type: County

Abstract: Abraham Jones, a free "mixt Blooded man," avows that "about forty years past he purchased a Certain Woman of Coller by the name of Lydia of one John Westerfield & paid honestly for her & hath Since had Six Children by said Woman." Jones expresses "very great uneasyness" concerning the possibility that "when your Petitioner dyed his Wife & Children woud be Slave." He therefore prays that "your Honourable Body Will take my Case into your Consideration & give your Petitioner Such Relief as in your Wisdom shall seam meet." Twenty-nine subscribers attest that Jones "hath always behaved himself as a man of Choler ought to do & further supports the carrecter of an honest Industrous man & think his case to be [heard] and ought to be Redrest by passing a law of Liberation."

PAR Number 11279812

State: North Carolina Year: 1798
Location: Pasquotank Location Type: County

Abstract: Lemuel Overnton, "of mix'd Blood but free Born," acknowledges that he "did faithfully Serve in the Last American Warr with Great Britain." He further reveals that, "by Consent," he was able to marry a slave woman named Rose and "had my Eldest Son John by her." Overton states that he was able to purchase said Rose and John and that he has a second son named Burdock. The petitioner prays that his case be taken into consideration and that his wife and two sons be emancipated and called "after his own name Overnton."

PAR Number 11280004

State: North Carolina Year: 1800
Location: Montgomery Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty-two citizens of Montgomery County support the petition of Daniel Shad, a free person of color, who seeks to emancipate his family. They report that Shad, "since his emancipation in the year 1798," purchased his wife Betty and that "since that time she has had one child by the name of Winny." They therefore "humbly prayeth your Honourable Body to take this case into your wise consideration and emancipate his wife, and child, by the name of Betty Shad & her Child by the name of Winny Shad."

PAR Number 11280104

State: North Carolina Year: 1801
Location: Chowan Location Type: County

Abstract: Madelene St. Risque, a free woman of color of Edenton, represents that "she was sometime past intermarried with a negro man named Major, then the slave of Henry Eelbeck" and that in September last she "purchased all right and title which said Henry had in the said Major." St. Risque now "humbly prays that your Honorable body would condescend to take the premises into consideration and pass such Act as may appear, to your Honorable body most fit to emancipate the said Major, your humble Petitioners husband."

PAR Number 11280205

State: North Carolina Year: 1802
Location: Craven Location Type: County

Abstract: John Carruthers Stanly, a free man of color, submits that he purchased "a negro male of the age of two years, named John, whom he considers his child"; in 1801, he purchased "a mulatto child named John, who is the result of a matrimonial connection between your Petitioner and Kitty." Stanly, of the opinion that "it is inconsistent with nature, for the parent to wish his child in a state of vassalage, either to another or himself," asks that said children be manumitted. He requests that two-year-old John be "known in future by the name of James Florence" and that the other child "hereafter to be known & distinguished by the name of John Stewart Stanly."

PAR Number 11280404

State: North Carolina Year: 1804
Location: Guilford Location Type: County

Abstract: Harry Ash, “a freeman of Colour," represents that he purchased his wife America from Milla Clarke in 1802; in 1803 "his Wife the said America was delivered of a daughter named Jemima." Desirous that his wife and child "should be entitled to the privileges of free persons of Colour," the petitioner prays that the Legislature "Liberate them by the names of America and Jemima Ash."

PAR Number 11280517

State: North Carolina Year: 1805
Location: Craven Location Type: County

Abstract: John Carruthers Stanley, a free man of color and barber in New Bern, admits that "he is the father of three children ... born in slavery and out of the bonds of lawful wedlock and are therefore incapable of inheriting." The petitioner prays "your honorable body to pass an act legitimizing the said John [Stewart Stanley], Catharine [Green Stanley], and Unus [Stanley] enabling them to inherit in the same manner as if they had been born in lawful matrimony."

PAR Number 11280801

State: North Carolina Year: 1808
Location: Chowan Location Type: County

Abstract: Rose, a free woman of color, recounts that August Cabarrus emancipated her for "meritorious services" in 1808. She further discloses that "shortly after her liberation aforesaid, her late master ... had the goodness to make her a gift of her two children Charlotte and Leon." Rose frets that "if she should die her said children (the eldest of whom is only eight years of age) might be taken up and sold, and thereby not only reduced to slavery, but probably separated from each other (a calamity upon which a mother could not reflect without terror)." She therefore prays "your Honorable Body to pass an act for the liberation of her said children Charlotte and Leon."

PAR Number 11281806

State: North Carolina Year: 1818
Location: Randolph Location Type: County

Abstract: George Sears, a free man of color, states that William Bell, as executor of the will of Richard Sears, emancipated him in 1809. He further represents that he took as his wife a slave named Tillah that he had purchased from the said Bell for the sum of $300. Sears, a blacksmith, acknowledges that he erroneously believed that his marriage to the said Tillah would free her as well as confer a free status to any children they might have. Sears now realizes that his said wife and their two children are still "considered slaves unless they are Emancipated by an act of your Honourable body." He therefore prays that an act be passed "to Emancipate & Set free his said Wife Tillah Sears and his two daughters Patsey Sears & Polly Sears and render them Competent in Law to inherit the Estate of your Petitioner."

PAR Number 11282502

State: North Carolina Year: 1825
Location: Chowan Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-five citizen of Chowan County ask that fourteen-year-old Peggy and seven-year-old Nancy, the daughters of Christopher and Charity Burkitt, be freed. They represent that the said Christopher, a free man of color, purchased Charity and Peggy in 1812 and that this past fall "the said Christopher procured the emancipation of his wife but the presiding Judge declined decreeing the emancipation of the children -- deeming them on account of their tender years not within the meaning of the Act of Assembly." The petitioners therefore pray "that the case of said Christopher may be taken into consideration and that his said two children may be emancipated." The citizens attest that "the characters of said Christopher & his wife are good and that his children are of docile dispositions."

PAR Number 11283305

State: North Carolina Year: 1833
Location: Martin Location Type: County

Abstract: Ned Hyman, the former slave of the late Samuel Hyman, represents that "by his faithfulness and extraordinary attention to his masters business and interest secured his esteem and favor and obtained his sincere wishes that your petitioner should be freed." Hyman recounts, however, that "the nearest your petitioner has been able to approach an end so disirable to his decd master is, to have had the title to your petitioner vested in your petitioners wife," Elizabeth Hagans, a free woman of color. The petitioner avers that he "has had the good fortune to accumulate an estate worth from five to six thousand dollars; consisting of Lands chiefly Live stock negroes and money the right & title to all which except the money is vested" in his wife Elizabeth. The father of three children, Hyman "together with his wife Elizabeth" therefore pray that an act be passed "for his benefit and relief."

PAR Number 11283808

State: North Carolina Year: 1838
Location: Wake Location Type: County

Abstract: Henry Patterson, a free person of color, seeks to free his wife whom he has purchased. Patterson, "a bricklayer & Plasterer by trade," asserts that "he & his said wife have been brought up in the City of Raleigh and as to character for industry, quietness & good order in general he appeals for himself & his wife to all the respectable inhabitants of this City." Fearing "that if he were to die without a Will his Brothers & Sisters would become the owners of his wife & she might be sold a slave for life for their debts," he also submits that "if he were to make a will he cannot liberate her, nor make any other disposition of her according to law." Patterson therefore states that "to your Hon Body alone can he look for help & redress."

PAR Number 11284205

State: North Carolina Year: 1842
Location: Chowan Location Type: County

Abstract: Molly Horniblow, a seventy-five-year-old free woman of color who was manumitted "in consequence of long, faithful and meritorious services to her owners," asks that her forty-four-year-old son, Marcus Ramsey be freed. She states that she purchased her son and that he is "now and a long time past a Barber in Edenton." She further avows that said Ramsey has always been "honest, industrious and obedient, faithful and attentive to the interest of those who of right have had control of him." Noting that "there is no one to whom her property can descend," the petitioner therefore prays that "you will pass an Act liberating him to remain in the State."

PAR Number 11284602

State: North Carolina Year: 1846
Location: Wake Location Type: County

Abstract: John Malone, a fifty-six-year-old free black man living in Raleigh, "is anxious to emancipate and set free from Slavery his said wife & son Edmund before he dies." Malone represents that, "by hard work and close economy," he "has been able to lay by a little money and property and though a free negro he has done this without exciting the suspicion of white gentlemen against his honesty, but so that he may appeal to the whole community in favour of his claims to a good reputation." He further states that he applied "a part of his earnings ... to the purchase of his wife Cherry and more recently to the purchase of their son Edmond." The petitioner therefore "earnestly beseeches the General Assembly of North Carolina to set free his wife Cherry and Son Edmund by the respective names of Cherry Malone and Edmond Malone" and that they be allowed to remain in the state.

PAR Number 11285401

State: North Carolina Year: 1854
Location: Richmond Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-six Richmond County residents ask that the son of James Dunn, "an honest & industrious man," be emancipated. They state that Dunn "was formerly a slave but by his energy he bought himself and then his Mother & wife and afterward his son Louis." Noting that Dunn is now "old & desires to leave his Son Free," the petitioners pray that it may "be the pleasure of the Legislature to Set him Free."

PAR Number 11382609

State: South Carolina Year: 1826
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: In 1817, "prior to the passage of the Act to prevent the emancipation of slaves," Thomas Rivers "entered into a contract for a certain sum of money" to set free a slave named Henry; the sum in said contract was "the value of the said slave" and was paid by Henry's parents, "coloured persons." Rivers, “being advanced in life,” explains that on account of the slave's youth "it was deemed most expedient that the formal part of the regulations respecting emancipation, should not be pushed until the said slave should have attained a more mature age." Noting that the 1820 Act requires that he petition the legislature "for the regular Emancipation of Slaves," the petitioner declares that he is "desirous of doing justice to the parties who have contracted with him respecting the emancipation of the Said Slave." He therefore "applies himself to the liberality of your Honorable Body hoping under the peculiar circumstances above stated the contract being perfectly legal at the time it was entered into," that "he may be permitted to emancipate the said slave named Henry."

PAR Number 11382610

State: South Carolina Year: 1826
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: In 1817, "prior to the passage of the Act to prevent the Emancipation of slaves," Thomas Rivers "entered into a contract for a certain sum of money" to set free a slave named Henry; the sum in said contract was "the value of the said slave" and was paid by Henry's parents, "persons of colour." Rivers, “being advanced in life,” explains that on account of Henry's youth "it was deemed most expedient that the formal part of the regulations respecting emancipation should not be pushed until the said slave should have attained a more mature age." Noting that the 1820 Act requires that he petition the legislature "for the regular Emancipation of Slaves," the petitioner declares that he is "desirous of doing justice to the parties who have contracted with him respecting the emancipation of the said slaves." He therefore "applies himself to the Liberality of your Honorable Body hoping under the peculiar circumstances above stated the contract being perfectly legal at the time it was entered into," that "he may be permitted to emancipate the said slave named Henry."

PAR Number 11383013

State: South Carolina Year: 1830
Location: York Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Jeremiah Dickey, a free man of color who purchased his freedom, states that during his time as a slave, he had married a mulatto woman, the slave of Robert Manning. Before their marriage, his wife "was delivered of a female child--whose father was a white man." Dickey states that he purchased Jincey from her owner and now seeks to emancipate her. He therefore prays that he be permitted to free his sixteen-year-old step-daughter "under the name Jensey Dickey."

PAR Number 11383805

State: South Carolina Year: 1838
Location: Richland Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: "By a Long life of Care and industry," James Paterson, a free person of color, purchased his wife, Sarah, and his two children, George and Mary. Paterson seeks exemption from the law prohibiting the manumission of slaves and requests permission to free his family, "so that the honest industry, the unwearied pains and untiring efforts of a Father & Husband may not be lossed to him entirely."

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