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Legal marriage was not permitted between enslaved people in North Carolina. In the March 1866 session of the North Carolina General Assembly, an Act was passed "concerning negroes and persons of color." Justices of the Peace were to collect and record in the County Clerk’s office, a record of the cohabitation of formerly enslaved person to ratify their state of marriage. The Court Clerk was required to maintain a record book for this purpose and to receive 25 cents per entry for his service. In Section 6, Chapter 40 of the Act, it was a misdemeanor if they did not record their marriage by September, 1866. This section of the Act was amended by Section 1, Chapter 70 (ratified March 1867), to extend the time of recording these marriages until January 1, 1868. This set of acknowledgements is from Bertie County and includes many people who were enslaved at Hope Plantation.

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