Article submitted by Nicholle Young; Summary written by Cheri Todd Molter and Kobe Brown
On Nov. 30, 1850, the Mechanics of Fayetteville met to take measures against the “growing evil of free negro competition in mechanical arts.” A Committee had been appointed to consider solutions and to correspond with citizens of the State to determine how to deal with the perceived threat. They submitted the following report: That the Mechanics of North Carolina make it incumbent upon the County Courts to require every free African American in the state to register his or her name, laying a tax on each to support the emigration of free African Americans to other places, and to require that their children, at least three-years-old and born after January 1, 1851, “be bound out to some responsible white person for ninety-nine years.”
It was also suggested that members “pray to” Legislature to not pass more acts “emancipating slaves” and to provide aid to all those who wished to relocate to Liberia. Furthermore, it was recommended that members impress upon Fayetteville’s Commissioners and police force the importance of enforcing town Ordinances and laws pertaining to free Blacks. To that end, a committee of 8 was appointed to procure signatures to present to the Commissioners.