SECTION 1. 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 negroes and their issue, even where one ancestor in each succeeding generation to the fourth inclusive, is white, shall be deemed persons of color.
SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That all persons of color, who are now inhabitants of this State, shall be entitled to the same privileges and subject to the same burthen and disabilities as by the laws of the State were conferred on, or were attached to, free persons of color, prior to the ordinance of emancipation, except as the same may be changed by law.
SEC. 3. Be it further enacted, That persons of color shall be entitled to all the privileges of white persons in the mode of prosecuting, defending, continuing, removing and transferring their suits at law and in equity; and, likewise, to the same mode of trial by jury, and all the privileges appertaining thereto. An in all proceedings in equity by or against them, their answer shall have the same force and effect in all respects as the answer of white persons.
SEC. 4. Be it further enacted, That in all cases of apprenticeship of persons of color, under chapter five of the Revised Code, the master shall be bound to discharge the same duties to them as to white apprentices, and the words “as are white” in section three, line three, are hereby repealed, and the word “apprentice” shall be read after the word “such.” in said line, and the words “if a white person” in the second line of section six are hereby repealed.Provide, always, That in binding out of apprentices of color, the former master of such apprentices, when they shall be regarded as suitable persons by the court, shall be entitled to have such apprentices bound to them in preference to other persons.
SEC. 5. Be it further enacted, That in all cases where men and women, both or one of whom were lately slaves and now emancipated, no[t] cohabit together in the relation of husband and wife, the parties shall be deemed to have been lawfully married as man and wife at the time of the commencement of such cohabitation, although they may not have been married in due form of law. And all persons whose cohabitation is hereby ratified into a state of marriage, shall go before the clerk of the court of pleas and quarter sessions of the county in which they reside, at his office, or before some justice of the peace, and acknowledge the fact of such cohabitation, and the time of its commencement; and the clerk shall enter the same in a book kept for that purpose; and if the acknowledgement be made before a justice of the peace, such justice shall report the same in writing to the clerk of the court of pleas and quarter sessions, and the clerk shall enter the same as though the acknowledgment had been made before him; and such entry shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the allegations therein contained. For making such entry and giving a certificate of the same, the clerk shall be entitled to a fee of twenty-five cents, to be paid by the party for whom services are rendered.
SEC. 6. Be it further enacted, That if any of such persons shall fail to go before the clerk of the county court, or some justice of the peace of the county in which they reside, and have their marriage recorded before the first of September, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, they shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and punished at the discretion of the court, and their failure for each month thereafter, shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.
SEC. 7. Be it further enacted, That all contracts between any persons whatever, whereof one or more of them shall be a person of color, for the sale or purchase of any horse, mule, ass, jennet, neat cattle, hog, sheep or goat, whatever may be the value of such articles, and all contracts between such persons for any other article or articles of property whatever of the value of ten dollars or more; and all contracts executed or executory between such persons for the payment of money of the value of ten dollars or more, shall be void as to all persons whatever, unless the same be put in writing and signed by the venders or debtors, and witnessed by a white person who can read and write.
SEC. 8. Be it further enacted, That marriage between white persons and persons of color shall be void; and every person authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony, who shall knowingly solemnize the same between such persons; and every clerk for a court who shall knowingly issue license for their marriage, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and moreover, shall pay a penalty of five hundred dollars to any person suing for the same.
SEC. 9. Be it further enacted, That persons of color, not otherwise incompetent, shall be capable of bearing evidence in all controversies at law and in equity, where the rights of persons or property of persons of color, shall be put in issue, and would be concluded by the judgment or decree of court; and also in pleas of the State, where the violence, fraud or injury alleged shall be charged to have been done by or to persons of color. In all other civil and criminal cases such evidence shall be deemed inadmissible, unless by consent of the parties of record : Provided, further, That no person shall be deemed incompetent to bear testimony in such cases, because of being a party to the record or in interest.
SEC. 10. Be it further enacted, That whenever a person of color shall be examined as a witness, the court shall warn the witness to declare the truth.
SEC. 11. Be it further enacted, That whenever a person of color, convicted by due course of law, of an assault with an intent to commit rape upon the body of a white female, shall suffer death.
SEC. 12. Be it further enacted, That any person of color, convicted by due course of law, of an assault with an intent to commit rape upon the body of a white female shall suffer death.
SEC. 13. Be it further enacted, That the criminal laws of the State, embracing and affecting a white person, are hereby extended to persons of color, except where it is otherwise provided in this act, and whenever they shall be convicted of any act made criminal, if committed by a white person, they shall be punished in like manner, except in such cases when other and different punishment may be prescribed or allowed by this act.
SEC. 13 Be it further enacted, That at the time now provided for the election of wardens of the poor, the justices of the court of pleas and quarter sessions of each county, under the rules and regulations now prescribed, may, in their discretion, elect two distinct and independent court of wardens ; one of whom shall act as the wardens of the white poor, and the other as the wardens of the colored poor.
SEC. 14 Be it further enacted, That the persons constituting each court shall be qualified as now provided ; and the wardens severally, and each court shall have all the powers and authorities now conferred on them, and they and the officers of each court, and all other person whatever, shall be subject to all the duties, liabilities and penalties imposed on them by chapter eighty-six, of the Revised Code. . . .
SECTION 1. 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 if any person who may be able to labor has no apparent means of subsistence, and neglects to apply himself to some honest occupation for the support of himself and his family, if he have one ; or, if any person shall be found spending his time in dissipation, or gaming, or sauntering about without employment, or endeavoring to maintain himself or his family, by any undue or unlawful means, such person shall be deemed a vagrant, and guilty of a misdemeanor. And it shall be the duty of any justice of the peace of the county wherein such person shall be found, upon due proof of such offence, to issue a warrant for the arrest of the offender, to be brought before him or some other justice of the peace, whose duty it shall be, if on examination, such person shall be found a vagrant, to recognize him with good security for his appearance at the first court to beheld for said county, whether it be a court of pleas and quarter sessions, or a superior court, answer such offence. And if he fails to give such recognizance, he shall be imprisoned until the session of said court : Provided, however, That if such offender shall, at the said court, enter into a recognizance, in such sum as the court shall prescribe, conditioned for his good behavior and industrious, peaceable department for one year, he may be discharged on payment of the costs and charges which shall have accrued ; but if he shall fail to enter in such recognizance, and pay such costs and charges, he shall be prosecuted as a vagrant, and upon conviction, the court may fine or imprison him, or both, or sentence him to the workhouse for such time as the court may think fit. . . .
SECTION 1. 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 if, after the ratification of this act, any person shall entice, persuade and procure any servant by indenture, or any servant who shall have contracted in writing, to serve his employer, to unlawfully leave the service of his master or employer ; or, if any person shall knowingly and unlawfully leave the service of such master or employer ; then, in either case, such person and servant may be sued, singly or jointly, by the master, and on recovery, he shall have judgment for the actual double value of the damages assessed.
SECTION 1. 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 whenever servants and laborers in agriculture shall, by their contracts in writing, already or hereafter made, be entitled for wages, to a part of the crops cultivated by them, such part shall not be subject to sale under executions, against their employers, or the owners of the land cultivated.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That this act shall be in force from and after its ratification.