Green Family Emancipation in 1798









































During the late 1700s, a number of enslaved people petitioned the courts in North Carolina for their freedom. Among the more famous were the petitions filed by Amelia Green, described as a free woman who was the Mother of a large family of Children, all of whom except two daughters have been "enabled as the fruits of their own industry and meritorious behaviour" to acquire their freedom, was filed in Newbern, Craven County, North Carolina in 1798. Amelia also filed petitions in 1796 for daughters Nancy Green also known as Nancy Handy, who was owned by William T. Howe, and Princess Green who was owned by Bell Chapman, as well as her daughter Harriet Green, owned by Mrs. Betsey Vail, in 1801. Amelia had won her own freedom a few years earlier and worked hard to buy freedom for all of her children. While these families that follow were not from Amelia's family, the tradition continued in the North Carolina General Assembly of approving some of the many petitions for freedom at that time. One of those families were my ancestors, THOMAS GREEN, who along with his mother, wife, and children were freed in 1798. Below my transcription, are the images from the actual pages of the Laws of North Carolina, where their freedom is recorded.

1798- An Act to Emancipate certain persons therein mentioned. Page 49.

I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this act, ROSE the wife of LEMUEL OVERTON, and her two sons JOHN, BURDOCK, a Negro woman named GRACE, and her son HARRY, the property of THOMAS AMIS, deceased; a Negro girl named BETT, and a Negro boy named JOHN, the property of MOSES PARKER; a mulatto girl named NANCY, and her child ELIZA, the property of GENERAL THOMAS PERSON, of Granville County; a Negro woman named CREASE; a Negro fellow named TOM, and his wife PRIS and her five children, to wit, ALLEN, CHARITY, BRENY, WILLIE and CREASE, the property of SAMUEL WILLIAMS, deceased, of the county of Warren, also the increase of the said PRIS and her female children, since the date of the last Will of the said WILLIAMS; also one Negro man DANIEL, formerly the property of formerly the property of JAMES ALLEN; and a Negro man named GINGER, formerly the property of MARK ALLEN, of Montgomery County, be and they are hereby emancipated and set free, and hereafter shall be called and known by the following names, to wit: ROSE OVERTON, JOHN OVERTON, BURDOCK OVERTON, GRACE WEBB, HARRY WEBB, BETTY BLACK, JOHN BLACK, NANCY HART, ELIZA HART, CREASE GREEN, TOM GREEN, PRIS GREEN, ALLEN GREEN, CHARITY GREEN, BRENY GREEN, WILLIE GREEN, and CREASE GREEN, and increase of the said PRISS and her female children as aforesaid, by their respective names, with the addition of GREEN, DANIEL SHAD and GINGER PEPPER, and by the names aforesaid, they and each of them shall have, enjoy and possess all the rights, privileges and immunities which they would have been entitled to, had they been born free; any law to the contrary notwithstanding.

II. And be it further enacted, That a Negro man the property of OZBORNE JEFFRIES, named SAM, and a Negro woman the property of DIXON BOGYE, named CHELSEA, shall be and they are hereby emancipated and set free, the said SAM by the name of BUFFALO SAM, and the said CHELSEA by the name of CHELSEA REED, and they shall be entitled to the same privileges, which persons of colour born free are entitled to.


See documents

Laws of North Carolina, Page 49 & Page 50, Chapter CXIII



Will of SAMUEL WILLIAMS, Warren County,North Carolina 1791
(son of Samuel Williams & Elizabeth Alston of Edgecombe Co. )

North Carolina, In the name of God, Amen.
The Twenty first day of February one Thousand Seven Hundred & ninty one. I Samuel Williams of Warren County & State afos’d Being sick of Body, But of perfect and sound mind & Memory: do make, Ordain, and Constitute, and appoint This my last Will and Testament in manner and form Following
First It is my desire that my Eight Negroes (to wit) Crese and her son Tom, his wife Priss, and her five Children Allen, Charity, Bryna, Willie, & Crese, should be free But as the Laws of this State will not admit of their being so I desire that the above mentioned Eight Negroes and their heirs for the Term of Ninety nine Years, should pay annually for the consideration of their Liberty to my Trusty & well Beloved Friend, James Alston and his heirs until they can obtain their perfect Freedom Sanctify’d by Law, one penny, Each.
Item I give to my above named servant, Crese – Ten Acres of Land in any part of Tract I bought of Summer she shall choose provided she shall take A in a square on one line I also give unto Crese one cow and Calf her choice, I also give her three hundred weight of Pork & four barrels of Corn one Sow and Pigs her choice with such other things as my Exc’s shall Judge needful.
Item I give and bequeath unto my servant Tom, above mentioned all and every part of the rem'r of the above Mentioned Tract of Land containing Ninty Acres, more or less to him & his heirs or Assigns for ever. I also give Tom four Cows & Calves & one Yoke of Young Oxen and one black Mare Eight hundred w/t of Pork & twenty barrels of corn four Sows & pigs out of the stock Call’d his & other things needful
Item I give and Bequeath unto my Brother Solomon Williams, all & every part of the Land which I bought of Montfort, whereon I now live Including the Mill, and all other improvements, to him his heirs & Assigns for ever.
Item I give and Bequeath unto my Brother Joseph John Williams to him his heirs & Assigns for ever all & every Part of my Land in Halifax County, lying on Fishing Creek including all the Improvements thereon.
Item I give and Bequeath unto Samuel Williams, son of my Brother William Williams One hundred & Sixty pounds Virginia Money
Item I give and Bequeath unto William Williams, son of my Brother William Williams One hundred & Sixty pounds Virginia Money
Item I give and Bequeath unto the surviving Children of Elizabeth Johnston Daughter of my Brother William Williams to be equally divided among them One hundred & Sixty Pounds Virginia cy.
Item I give Devise & Bequeath the Remainder of my Whole Estate consisting of every Kind Whatsoever, to be divided Between my two Brothers Solomon Williams & Joseph John Williams, in proportion to the number of their Children now living.
Lastly I nominate Constitute and Appoint my Brother Solomon Williams My Brother Joseph John Williams and my Trusty and well Beloved Friends James Alston & Gabriel Long Executors to this my last Will and Testament
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal the day and date above mentioned
Samuel Williams
Signed Sealed Published
And declared by the sd Samuel
Williams to be is last Will & Testamint
In Presence of
Wm Williams  Jurat
Sam. Williams Jurat
This will was proven in Warren Co. Court, February Term, 1791.


Images of original will: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3

Read the Story of Thomas Green  

See: info on Moses Parks Slaves - John & Bett 




© 2013 to present. This website and all material on it are the property of Deloris Williams. Last updated 01/26/2021