Gurdon Deming represents that "he is the owner of a Certain woman named Lucy and her child Laura." Deming describes the history of Lucy as "a romantic one" in that she "is the daughter of a free white woman" and that "to conceal this circumstance, so as to protect the reputation of the real mother, Lucy at her birth was placed in charge of a woman a slave of one John Selph." He further avers that said Selph intended to manumit Lucy but his death "being sudden and his estate proving insolvent, his intentions were frustrated." As "Lucy in colour is perfectly White, and cannot be distinguished from the purest of the race," Deming prays that a law be passed "authorizing the Emancipation of the said Lucy, and her child Laura." The petitioner also adds that Lucy's "associations have been distinct from the coloured population and her whole demeanor that of the whites to which class she evidently belongs."
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Repository: North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina