Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

She has actually performed some surprising cures.

To the worshipfull Court of Perquimans

we the Subscribers pray your worships that Negro Phillises freedom may be Established for Merritorious Services by the Court

She first being Purchased by her Husband Doctor Tom & actually paid for also being verry Serviceable in the neighbourhood both as a Midwife and Doctress & has acktually Performed Some Surpriseing Cures, & we your Petitioners as in Dutty Bound Shall Ever pray Feb’ry 1797

/s/ Fra’s Newby, Jas. Summer, Robert Whedbee, Joab Kinyon, John Miller, William Barclift, Joseph Perisher, Seth Whidbee, Sam’l Whidbee, Geo. Sutton, Tho’s Whedbee, Wm. Whidbee.

Slave Records, Pasquotank County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Free colored farmers, no. 2.

These members of the Winn family were listed in the 1850 agricultural schedule of Duplin County:

Charles Winn. 125 improved acres, 199 unimproved acres, value $300. Farm implements valued at $50. 3 horses. 4 milch cows.  2 other cattle. 35 swine. Livestock valued at $230.  250 bushels, Indian corn.  8 bushels, oats.  100 lbs., wool. 500 bushels, peas and beans. 50 bushels, Irish potatoes.  400 bushels, sweet potatoes.  365 lbs., butter. Homemade manufactures valued at $75.

Adam Winn. 400 improved acres, 1500 unimproved acres, value $3800. Farm implements valued at $100. 6 horses. 6 milch cows.  30 other cattle. 6 asses and mules.  2 oxen.  20 sheep.  60 swine. Livestock valued at $715.  350 bushels, Indian corn. 10 bushels, oats.  70 lbs., wool.  100 bushels, peas and beans.  3 bushels, Irish potatoes.  1000 bushels, sweet potatoes. 450 lbs., butter.  Homemade manufactures valued at $42.

Levi Winn. 150 improved acres, 236 unimproved acres, value $1500. Farm implements valued at $60. 3 horses. 4 milch cows. 1 oxen. 12 other cattle. 11 sheep. 15 swine. Livestock valued at $300.  200 bushels, Indian corn. 75 bushels, oats. 3 bales, cotton. 45 lbs., wool.  200 bushels, peas and beans. 25 bushels, sweet potatoes. 50 lbs., butter. 5 tons, hay. Homemade manufactures valued at $10.

Washington Winn. 50 improved acres, 58 unimproved acres, value $400. Farm implements valued at $25. 1 horse. 2 milch cows. 1 other cattle.  8 swine. Livestock valued at $155.  250 bushels, Indian corn.15 bushels, oats. 15 lbs., wool. 40 lbs., rice.  40 bushels, peas and beans. 40 bushels, Irish potatoes. 50 bushels, sweet potatoes.  100 lbs., butter. 40 lbs., cheese.  3 tons, hay. Homemade manufactures valued at $30.

Sally Winn [widow of Gray Winn].  60 improved acres, 163 unimproved acres, value $500. Farm implements valued at $15.  3 horses. 2 milch cows. 3 other cattle. 10 swine. Livestock valued at $115. 220 bushels, Indian corn.  1 bushel, oats. 25 lbs., wool.  100 bushels, peas and beans. 50 bushels, Irish potatoes. 50 bushels, sweet potatoes. 6 tons, hay. Homemade manufactures valued at $5.

Surnames: Anson County, 1860.

The following surnames are found among free people of color in the 1860 census of Anson County:

BAKER, BASS, BUNTING, CONRAD, EVANS, FREEMAN, GATHINGS, HAIN, HEDSPETH, HONEYCUT, HOOKS, HOWEL, JACKSON, JONES, KNIGHT, LOCKLEAR, LOMAC/LOMAX, MUMFORD, MURRAY, NEWBERRY, RANDAL, REID, REVEL, ROBINSON, SHAVER, SMITH, SNEED, STEWART, TEAL, TRUEBLOOD, WALKER, WARREN, WATTS, WILLIAMS, WILLOUGHBY.

He had no marks of violence on his body.

State of North Carolina, Nash County }

An Iquisition indented taken near Mr. Rickes in the said county of Nash on the 29 day of Dec’r A.D. 1838 before A.B. Baines coroner of and in the said county upon the mein of the body of Jams Locust then and there lying dead upon the oaths of Marmaduke Ricks Gideon Stricklen William Cone Saml Wester Griffin Bird Ruben Stricklen George R. Bell Isaac Stricklen Jos. Barnes Richrd H. Dorzier Jerry Perry Merida Whitley good and Lawful men of the county aforesaid who being sworn and charged to engain on the part of the State aforesaid, when, where, how, and often what manner the Said James Locust came to his death do say upon there oath that the said Jas. Locust on the 29 day of Dec’r A.D. 1838 in the county aforesaid to wit in the publick road leading from Raleigh to Tarborough near one Marmaduke Ricks was found dead that he had no marks of violence on his body and died by being intoxicated with spirituous liquors and being unable to escape from the rain and snow [illegible] and by reason of the same died witness where of as well the afore said coroner as the Jury afore said have to this Inquesition put their seals, on the day and date first above written at the place aforesaid

[Signatures of coroner and committee omitted.]

From the file of James Locust, Nash County, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, https://familysearch.org. Original, North Carolina State Archives.

A free negro succeeded in making his escape.

More re the alleged Negro-stealing free Negro, Micajah Burnett:

Image

 Weekly Standard (Raleigh NC), 20 September 1848.

Freeman.

Freeman, community in ne Columbus County. Believed to have been named for free Negroes living in the area before the Civil War.” — William S. Powell, The North Carolina Gazetteer: A Dictionary of Tar Heel Places (1968).

He was in for the right thing.

Charles Wynn filed claim #9340 with the Southern Claims Commission. On 1 July 1872, he testified: “I am fifty-five years of age, reside in Wayne County, North Carolina …. I resided during the war in Wayne County, North Carolina, on my own land. It contained about 230 acres, 100 of which was under cultivation.” Tony Roberts, age 40, colored, testified that he lived about a quarter of a mile from Wynn during the war and saw him often. Roberts said Wynn “believed the Union army would succeed, that he thought its cause wasa right, and he was in for the right thing. He said that secession would ruin the country, and he thought its cause was right, and he was in for the right thing.” William H. Thompson, age 28, colored, swore that he had known Wynn for 24 years and saw him every four months or so during the war. He said Wynn “hoped that the Union army would be successful, put down the rebellion and do away with slavery” and revealed that the Confederate government occasionally pressed Wynn’s wagons and drivers into service to haul its goods. (Confederate archives revealed two vouchers for hauling arms from Fayetteville to Raleigh, dated in 1862, and signed by others on behalf of Wynn.)

In December 1898, a special attorney rejected the claims of Wynn’s estate: “We do not care to review the testimony in the case. If the testimony were offered in behalf of a white man under the same circumstances, it would scarcely be sufficient to prove loyalty. But in view of the fact that the claimant was a colored man, his loyalty must be largely presumed from his natural sympathies with those of his own color and those who were fighting, as the colored man believed, in his behalf.”

Intersection.

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Napoleon Road is a bent elbow of a dirt lane running north west of Eureka in Wayne County. At its southern end, it debouches into Reidtown Road, so named for the free colored Reid family who lived in the area as early as the 1830s.  Napoleon Road is no longer than a mile or so, and there is one house on it. Napoleon Hagans built that house.

Rural roads did not have formal names until the county implemented its 911 system perhaps 20 years ago.  It is a testament to Napoleon Hagans’ stature that, nearly one hundred years after his death and three-quarters of a century after his descendants left the state, the majority landowner along what had been his road chose to memorialize him permanently.

The murder of one Dick Jones.

To His Excellency John M. Morehead, Governor of the State of North Carolina

The Petition of the undersigned respectfully shew unto your Excellency that at the Fall Term 1842 of the Superior Court of Law for the County of Green an Indictment was tried against Joseph Suggs, Bright Cannady and Edith Brown for the murder of one Dick Jones, alias – Jeffrey Mares, a free Negro – that upon the trial of said Indictment the said Bright Cannady and Edith Brown were acquitted and the said Joseph Suggs was convicted of the murder of the said Dick Jones, that the undersigned are some of them acquainted with the said Joseph Suggs and beleive that he is a very ignorant illiterate man and has not the ordinary sense belonging to person of his age and station, that they beleive a violent assault had been commited on the said Joseph Suggs by Dick Jones and his brother Jim Jones who were both free Negroes, and that the shooting took place very soon – not more then a half hour after the assault was committed upon him by the said free Negros, but the Jury under the charge of the Court considered that rather prolong a time had elapsed before the wound was inflicted of which Jones died and therefore felt bound under the said charge to find him guilty of murder

They therefore most respectfully pray your Excellency to grant a pardon to the said Joseph Suggs

Signed this 14th day of October 1842

Jurors names who Tried the crimnal

John Beeman
John Sutton
John F. Jones
Thos Wooten
Parrott M. Hardy
Edward Carmon
Henry H. Gibbons
B.F. Hazelton
James E. Exum
John T. Pridgen
Chas. Edwards

[Names of 151 petitioners omitted.]

Governors Papers, Gov. John M. Morehead, G.P. 102, Correspondence, Petitions, etc., Sept., 1842; Correspondence, Petitions, etc., Oct. 1842; North Carolina State Archives.

Made good.

“Colter’s entire life has consisted of challenges accepted and made good on. He was born on January 8, 1910, in Noblesville, Indiana, a small farming town about forty miles east of Indianapolis. On both side of the family his ancestors were free blacks who had settled in Indiana several years before the Civil War. Colter possesses a ledger tracing his mother’s family back to Britton Bassett, the son of a black man and a white woman in North Carolina, who was granted his freedom in 1797 when he was twenty-one and given a horse, bridle and saddle, and one hundred dollars. In the 1830s Bassett moved his wife and children to Indiana, traveling by night and hiding by day in order to elude slave hunters.”

– from the introduction to Cyrus Colter‘s The Rivers of Eros (1991).

[Sidenote: Britton Bassett, as the son of a white woman, was born free, not set free. Perhaps 1797 marked the end of his involuntary apprenticeship. He had a son Britton, who also had a son Britton and another named Daniel. Britton and Daniel married daughters of Montreville and Anna J. Henderson Simmons, who were born free in North Carolina and migrated to Indiana by way of Ontario, Canada.]

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