North Carolina

Justice to a Negro in N. Carolina

A case has been tried this week, before the Superior Court for this county, involving principles interesting to that portion of the Northern people who look upon us of the South as barbarians. It was a suit brought by a colored man for his freedom, and the jury gave a verdict in his favor. We give the facts of the case.

George ALLAN (colored) brought an action of trespass viret armis against Elkanah ALLEN (white) for that the latter had illegally deprived him of his liberty. The evidence on the part of the plaintiff consisted of a record of emancipation of one Clara BEAL, or Allen, by one Elkannah Allen, her master, and the grandfather of the present defendant, and under whom he claimed. The record bore date July 26th, 1808, at a court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for the county of Brunswick. It was admitted that Clara was the grand mother of the present plaintiff, and the mother of Kitty Ann, mother of the plaintiff. The issue submitted to the jury was, "was Kitty Ann Allen, mother of the plaintiff, born subdequent or prior to July 26th, 1807."

It was object on the part of the defendant, that the act of emancipation was not valid, for the reason that there was no evidence to satisfy the Court that the bond given by Elkannah Allen, the grandfather of defendant, was executed by him, and that therefore the act of emancipation was not perfect, but void. It was contended by palintiff's counsel that the bond formed no part of the record, and that is the master filed his petition to the Court, praying permission to emancipate his slave, and that if the prayer was granted, the slave stood ipso facto free, 1st Dev. and Bat. BRYAN vs. WADSWORTH. And that the act of Assembly required the bond to be filed under certain penalties, but did not make the liberation of the slave to depend upon that act. The fiat of the Court, upon hearing the petition, liberated the slave, if favorabe to the master's wishes. Upon these facts being submitted to the jury, they rendered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. -- Wilmington Herald of Oct 29th

Extracted from People's Press, (Salem) N.C., Vol. III., No. 33. October 1, 1853

People's Press

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