Mar 26, 2015 - Sale 2377

Sale 2377 - Lot 100

Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
NORTH CAROLINA. The State vs. Bill Leary, a free Negro, for the sale "of a quantity of spirituous Liquors to a slave named Dick." Four partially printed documents, accomplished by hand and one entirely manuscript. should be seen. Rowan County, N.C., 1858-1859

Additional Details

This case seems to be more complex than a simple arrest and conviction. North Carolina forbade the sale of alcohol to slaves under penalty of heavy fines and imprisonment for whites and worse for free blacks--a possible return to slavery. An exception was made for small amounts for medical use and this might have been the case. It doesn't seem likely that a free Negro would jeopardize his freedom for a small sale of "Spirituous Liquors to a slave." Apart from the warrants and the indictment, we don't know what punishment was meted out.