Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

The murderer escaped.

MURDER.

Mr. Robert Applewhite, of Wayne, was killed a few nights ago, in Johnston county, by Braswell Thomas, a free negro, aged near 60. The murderer, with his wife, escaped.

The North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 14 February 1844.

He said not a word.

CALVIN LYTLE, a free mulatto, sometime since convicted of burglary, was publicly executed at Lexington, N.C., on Friday the 16th. The negro, being a shrewd, intelligent fellow, it was generally expected that he would make a farewell speech or dying confession; but he said not a word publicly as to his guilt or innocence.

Greensboro Patriot, 31 May 1845.

Presentments.

Rowan County Sup’r Ct. March Term 1842

The Grand Jury present Elija Volentine a free man of colour for intermarrying & cohabiting with Nancy a slave of Sarah Brown. Witnesses Sarah Brown & Geo. Brown.

Also Susan Volentine a free woman of colour for intermarrying and conhabiting with Isaac a man slave of Wm. Thomason. Witnesses James Owens & Sam’l Marlin

Also Betsey Hollis a free woman of colour for intermarrying & cohabiting with Angus a man Slave the property of the late Nancy McCorkle Dec’d, Witnesses Jacob Correll & John C. Miller

——

Rowan County Sup’r Ct. March Term 1842

The Grand Jury present Eliza Volentine a free woman of colour for intermarrying & cohabiting with Dennis a man slave the property of Jacob Krider. Witnesses William Gray & Andrew Gray.

Also Ruth Hostler a free wom of colour for intermarrying and cohabiting with Jack a man Slave the property of John Kerr, Witnesses John Johnston & John Kerr.

Also Edward Volentine a free man of colour for intermarrying & cohabiting with Jude a woman slave the property of Hezekiah Turner, Witnesses John Foard & Robert Bradshaw.

….

Records of Slaves and Persons of Color, Miscellaneous Records, Rowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 185o census, School District 36, Rowan County: Elijah Valentine, 35, mulatto, in the household of white farmer Alexander Brown, 44.

In the 1850 census, Salisbury, Rowan County: Susan Valentine, 65, black, with Camer, 47, and Rachel Valentine, 45, washerwomen. 

In the 1850 census, School District 6, Rowan County: Ruth Hosler, 50, mulatto, in the household of Jane G. Kerr, white.

Free Isaac owes.

State No. Carolina, Rowan County   }  To any Lawful Officer to Execute Whereas Benj’a Abbett of Said County Complains To me one of the Justices of Said County that Free Isaac of Said County Stands Justly Indeted To him The Sum of three Pounds twelve Shillings Speacie and Delayeth payment there are therefore to Command you to Summands Free Isaac to Appear Before me or Sum other Justices of Said County to answer the Aboce Complaint Given Under my hand and Seal this twenty Ninth Day of march 1783    /s/ Robert Mackie

Summand Solomon Waller as a Witness for the Plantif

——

The Plantif and Defendant both apparing before me and After Hearing the Complaint My Judgment is that the Defendant free Isack Pay the Plantif L 3-12-0 Given under my Hand and Seale This 26 Day of April 1783  /s/ Robert Mackie

Records of Slaves and Persons of Color, Miscellaneous Records, Rowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Lurking near his father.

$30 REWARD.

RANAWAY from the subscriber, in April last, his boy NICHOLAS. Said boy is yellow-complected, about six feet high, has a down look when spoken to, and is passing for a free boy; he is, no doubt, lurking in New Hanover or the lower part of Duplin county, where his father Nicholas Buffoe, a bricklayer, has a wife. — I will give the above reward of thirty dollars for his delivery to the Subscriber, or confined in any jail in the State, so that I can get him.      WM. L. MOORE, Aug. 25th, 1854

Wilmington Journal, 6 October 1854.

Well-known and respected.

“E-1 William Valentine

A free man of color, William Valentine was a well-known and respected barber in the 1850s. While his whereabouts during the Civil War are unclear, he was open for business again by 1869.”

Description of a bronze historical marker placed at East Innes and North Main Streets on Salisbury’s History and Art Trail, http://www.downtownsalisburync.com.

In the 1860 census of Salisbury, Rowan County: William Valentine, 35, Rebecca, 25, Louis C., 8, and Horace R. Valentine, 10 months; all mulatto.

Carolina_Watchman__Salisbury___4_22_1870

Carolina Watchman, 22 April 1870.

Cohabiting as man and wife.

State of North Carolina, Rowan County } 1st May, A.D. 1866.

This day personally appeared Peter Mull, a free man, and Eve Crawford, late a slave of Christine Brown, who acknowledge that they have been cohabiting as man and wife since sometime in the year 1844, and wish to continue as such. Obadiah Woodson, Clerk.

——

State of North Carolina, Rowan County  } 3rd May, A.D. 1866.

This day personally appeared Richard Cress (a free man of color) and Dathna Ann Latham, late a slave of Frederick Latham, who acknowledge that they have been cohabiting as man and wife since sometime in July, A.D. 1863, and wish to continue as such.   Obadiah Woodson, Clerk.

Cohabitation records, Register of Deeds Office, Rowan County Courthouse, Salisbury NC.

In March 1866, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to ratify the marriages of former enslaved persons.  Justices of the Peace were to collect and record in the County Clerk’s office so-called cohabitation records. Under penalty of misdemeanor charge, freedmen were required to register before September 1, 1866.

Neither Peter Mull nor Richard Cress found in pre-or post-Civil War census records. However,

Daily_Charlotte_Observer__13_Jun_1874

Daily Charlotte Observer, 13 June 1874.

Always free?

 TESTIMONY OF WILEY LOWEREY.

WILEY LOWEREY, sworn and examined, duly testified:

Q. Where do you live?  A. In Kinston, Lenoir County, North Carolina.

Q. What is your business at home?  A. Well, sir, I run drays on the street, and I have been drayer there for two or three years. I keep store besides.

Q. In the town of Kinston?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you held any public office in the county?  A. I have been county commissioner.

Q. How long?  A. About eight years.

Q. Are you county commissioner now?  A: No, sir.

Q. Were you formerly a slave?  A. No, sir.

Q. You were a freeman before the war?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you own property?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. How much, and what does it consist of?  A. Town property principally.

Q. Real estate?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you made it since the war?  A. Yes, sir; most of it.

Q. Do you own a house and lot?  A. Yes, sir; I own a right smart of houses. My renters pay me between four and five hundred dollars a year.

By SENATOR BLAIR:

Q. How far is Lenoir County from Warren?  A. I think 180 miles.

Q. How long was it after you left there before you moved to the one where you are now?  A. I was raised there.

Q. You always lived there before you came to Lenoir?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you were always free?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. Always free? A. Yes, sir.

Q. What is your age now?  A. I am forty-seven years old.

Q. Were you always free?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. You were born free?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were your parents ever slaves?  A. No, they never was. My old grandfather was a hundred and five when he died, and was always free.

Q. Neither you or any of your ancestors were ever slaves in this country?  A. No, sir.

Q. What were your opportunities for education before the war?  A. I do not know, sir. Before the war, I did not know much; but the free colored people had a school going on in Raleigh.

Q. You said you were a county commissioner; where did you find such an education such as you found necessary in that position?  A. I just picked it up. I never went to school a day in my life.

Q. You found time to study and pick up a little arithmetic?  A. Yes, sir; I can read and write.

Wiley Lowery testified before a Senate Select Committee investigating the migration of hundreds of “colored people” from the South to Indiana in the late 1870s.

Senate Report 693, 2nd Session, 46th Congress: Proceedings of the Select Committee of the United States Senate to Investigate the Causes of the Removal of the Negroes from the Southern States to the Northern States, Washington DC, beginning Tuesday, 9 March 1880.

Willie Lowery married Winnie Tann in Warren County on 16 January 1860. Matthew Guy was bondsman, John W. White was witness, and N.A. Purefoy, Minister of the Gospel, performed the service. 

Matthew Guy married Surbina Lowery on 10 December 1850 in Warren County. In the 1860 census of Warrenton, Warren County: #84, M. Guy and family; #85, P. Lowery, 65, mulatto, washerwoman; #86, N.A. Purefoy, white, clergyman, and family; #98, W. Lowery, 24, black, stonemason, born in Warren County, W. Lowery, 22, mulatto, seamstress, born in Northampton County; and M. Mitchell, 25, black, washerwoman, born in Halifax County.

Index to Marriage Bonds Filed in the North Carolina State Archives, North Carolina Division of Archives and History, Raleigh; federal census schedules.

Full and entire liberty.

In the name of God Amen I Rebekah Black of the County of Iredell & state of Northcarolina being Sound in mind & memory but of old age & mindful of mortality do make ordain & declare this my last will & Testament as follows.

My negro man London I allow to be disposed of as follows for one year after my death I give & bequeath his servises & labor to my son Wm. the next year to my son James the next year to my son William & the next year to my son James after the sd. London shall have served my two sons affoursaid four years from the day of my death I give & bequeath to the sd. London his full & intire liberty this I do consideration of the faithfullness & meritoreous good servises of the sd. London as a servant to me during twelve years I have lived a widow & I do soncearly hope & trust in the fidelity of my executor & in the Justice & human sentiment of the legislature to confirm as far as may be necessary this my bequeathment to my faithful & trusty servant above named.

… I do hereby constitute & appoint my son Jas. Black  & Richar H. King executors of this my will hereby declaring all former Will or Wills by me made to be null & void & confirming Publishing & declaring this & none other to be my last will & testament this 4th Day of May in the year one Thous’d eight hundred & Eight Signed Sealed & Published & declared in Presence of Sam King, Cyntha King   {seal} Rebekah Black

Will Book 1, page 125-126. Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Iredell County Courthouse, Statesville.

Sentenced to be sold.

Bill, a free negro, indicted for an assault upon the person of a colored female child, was tried for the offense at the late term of Court, convicted, and sentenced to be sold to pay costs. He was sold into slavery for the period of 4 1/2 years, R.F. Simonton, Esq., being the purchaser.

Iredell Express (Statesville), 20 April 1860.

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