Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Category: Petitions

In the old times and old Country.

State of Indiana, Marion County }

Reuben Lawhon of the age of 50 years and George Lawhon of the age of 20 years both of the County of Park and State of Indiana being duly sworn – They testify that they have been well acquainted with Primus Tyler for all the lifetime of the affiant George Lawhon also with his son Shepherd Tyler all his lifetime and with Betsey or Elizabeth Tyler in her lifetime – She was the mother of the said Shepherd Tyler – Shepherd died unmarried – He was a good and faithful son He supported his Father and Mother in her lifetime – Primus Tyler was a slave in Green Co North Carolina – his family were free and came to Indiana and raised money through the Friend Quakers to buy him – which they in 1851 when he came here to this state and leased and rented some land in the quaker settlement in Park Co Indiana for some three years or more – this said same Shepherd Tyler working for his parents during this time – Then Primus Tyler rented a small farm from Thomas Harshman which was about ten years ago – they lived on that for one year when his wife and children purchased the far – 158 acres and gave about $4000.00 for it – on which his children still owe about $1300.00 and he now lives with his children on that place – His said son gave him $100.00 Bounty when he enlisted and his son was killed before he was again paid – since which he has collected the arrears of pay and Bounty – Primus Tyler is old and feeble and has long been disabled from rheumatism — affiants have not interest in this matter.   Reuben X Lawhon, /s/ George W. Lawhorn

[Witnesses] Ben D. House, William Saulsberry

——

State of Indiana, County of Parke   }

Ephraim Cook aged Sixty years and Walden Russell aged 41 years residents of the County and State aforesaid being duly sworn upon their several oaths declare that are well acquainted with the family of Primus Tyler and were acquainted with his wife Elizabeth Tyler in her lifetime who departed this life July 6th 1861 and they further declare that the said Primus and Elizabeth Tyler were the parents of Shepherd Tyler late Co C 28th Regt US.C.T. who was killed at Chickahominy Swamp June 1864.They further declare that they personally know that the said Primus and Elizabeth Tyler were married in Green Co N.C. in the year 1827 the said Primus being at that time a slave and the said Elizabeth free and that the said Elizabeth Tyler thereafter bought the said Primus Tyler affiant’s knowledge of these matters is derived from an intimate personal acquaintance with all of the above mentioned parties and a consequent personal cognizance of the matters testified of and they have no interest in this matter. /s/ Ephraim Cook, Walden Russel

——

Catlin Station Ind. Mar 24th 1869

Mr Harlan Hamlin, Indianapolis

Dear Sir, Inclosed you will please find a bill of sale conveying me from Elizabeth Edwards of North Carolina to James Siler of Indiana and on the same bill under the hand of the said Siler is a writing relinquishing all claims and demands on me to Elizabeth Tyler my wife showing conclusively that the facts was known & recognized by those of that day familiar with the class With regard to living witness I don’t suppose I can produce any from they being advanced in age. I have outlived all those that was present at the time I was married according to the manor and custome of such persons in the old times and old Country which was simply to prepare a supper invite in the friends and at the proper time the groom & bride took their places at the ends of the table facing each other after supper the parties was considered duly married and was recognized by the law when not conflicting with the interest of the masters. Inclosed you please find a postage stamp with which to return the inclosed bill and I trust you will let me know immediately whether it will do any good or not if it wont do I want to know so I may look in some other direction /s/ Primus Tyler

DSCF2212 copy

From the file in the Pension Application of Shepherd Tyler, deceased (by his father Primus Tyler), #171234, National Archives and Records Administration.

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In the 1850 census of Greene County, North Carolina: Elizabeth Tyler, 40, with children Shepherd, 11, Sally, 1, and Nancy, 5.

In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Reuben Lawhorn, 36, Eiza, 25, Oliver, 5, Alice, 2, George, 9 months, all born in North Carolina; plus George, 24, Nancy, 20, Hymerick, 18, Elizabeth, 17, Primus, 16, Avy, 14, and Moses Tyler, 13, all born in North Carolina.

In the 1860 census of Raccoon, Parke County, Indiana: at #386, farm laborer Reuben Lohorn, 40, Eliza, 36, Oliver, 15, Alice M., 13, George, 11, Susan, 8, Alfred, 4, Martha A., 3, and Elias, 3 months. Reuben, Eliza and the oldest two children were born in North Carolina; the remaining children in Indiana.) At #387, Primus Tyler, 60, Betsey, 45, Richard, Arcada, Primus, Moses, 18, Elizabeth, 20, Shepherd, Nancy B., Sally A., Edward F., Elwood, and Matilda J. (Note: Arcada, nee Artis, was Richard’s wife. He, too, enlisted in the Union Army, and his widow applied for a pension. In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Micajach Artis, 50, Beaty, 40, Arcada, 17, Eliza, 14, Burket, 4, and Henriette, 1; all born in North Carolina except Henriette, born in Indiana. Burkett Artis gave minor testimony in support of Primus Tyler’s application. Micajah is listed as a head of household in the 1830 census of Nash County NC and the 1840 census of Wayne County NC. A Micajah Artis married Rilly Eatmon in Edgecombe County in 1826. The three counties were contiguous at the time.)

To come back to North Carolina and be a slave again.

Wants to Return.

We find in the Kinston Advocate, the annexed letter from a colored man formerly a slave in Wayne County, but who was emancipated some years since by the Legislature, and went to the Northern land of promise where negroes are as good as white people, and every body loved them so much – out of their sight.

The letter is addressed to Wm. T. Dortch, Esq., a member elect from Wayne County to the next Legislature. It will itself explain the objects and wishes of the writer, however defective it may be in spelling and composition: –

State of New York, Brooklyn L.I.   }

september 1st 1860                       }

Mr W.T. Doch sir I writ to you to let you no that I am well hoping these few lines may find you the same. I have written to you because I no you are a man I can depend on. I want to no if I pertition to come back to N.C. and be a slave again if you are a member elected this year if you will advocate it the general assembly & if you will be after gitting the consent of wayn county of her leading men you will please to writ to me & let me no what the prospect would be. Your obedient servant, D.B. Williams.

this was my old name   david Bulls Williams

If this letter is agreeable I will writ again & let you no my reason for writing at all

Direct your letter to Brooklyn L.I. Nancy St No. 152

Wilmington Journal, 27 September 1860.

Concerning the distressing inconvenience of the emancipation of slaves by Quakers.

Edenton District, October Term 1793   )

The Grand Jurors for the aforesaid District present as a Grievance, the Distressing Inconveniences, the good people of the district lay under from the Inefficiency of the Laws intended to restrict the Emancipation of Slaves. That the people called Quakers in other respect good Citizens, have by their Conduct, made that Species of property not only of small Value, but have Rendered it dangerous to the personal Safety of the proprietores of Negroes, and those who live in the Vicinity of them, by infranchising their own Slaves and Sowing discontent and disobedience in the minds of their Neighbours Slaves. That it is now become Necessary for the preservation of good Order and the Security of the Citizens of this district that Measures should be Taken to put a stop to this Evil.

It is not for the Grand Jury to point out remedial Laws, but to declare a necessity for them; They therefore require their representatives in the next General Assembly; to lay this their presentment before the Legislature — in whose Wisdom they Confide — and whose protection as Citizens they demand trsuting that Measures will be taken so to modify the religious Enthusiasm which pervades their Quaker Neighbours: that the Citizens of this District may Enjoy a full participation of a Constitution which they have assisted to raise. Viz a protection of their Personal Liberties and properties.

1. Woolsey Hathaway Foreman 2. William Saterfield 3. Thomas E. Hare 4. J.H. Ward 5. Thomas Simons 6. Enoch Dauge 7. Thomas Davis 8. John Bevin 9. Saml. W. Johnston 10. Enoch Dailey 11. Jos. Banks 12. Willis Roberts 13. Joseph Tarkington 14. Spencer Thach 15. James Temple 16. John Campbell 17. John Jones

Records of Slaves and Free People of Color, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

I received no bounty.

 

Wm Conner

 

In the 1850 census of Greene County, Lemmon Lyntch, 32 year-old white farmer, and William Conner, 18 year-old mulatto. William was likely an apprentice.

In the 1860 census of Hookerton, Greene County, William Conner, 28, and Argent Conner, 50, both mulatto. 

2 Cav. U.S.C.T. William Conner. Co. A, 2 Reg’t. U.S.C.T. Cav. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 33 years; height, 5 feet 8 inches; complexion, tawny; eyes, dark; hair, black; where born, Green County, NC. Enlistment: when, 22 Dec 1863; where, Newberne; by whom: Capt. Hourd; term, 3 years. Remarks: Promoted to Company Farrior 1 Nov 1864.

——

Image of letter to Freedmen’s Bureau supplied by Conner’s descendant, Trisha Blount Hewitt, whom I thank for bringing Conner to my attention. [Sidenote: According to Hewitt, Conner initially served as a "laundress" in Co. A, 3rd N.C. Infantry, Confederate Army.]

By her tender years incapable.

To the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina

The petition of John Monroe, Zebulon Hunt, Alexander B. Caldcleugh, and James Sawyer Executors of the last Will and Testament of Andrew Caldcleugh late of the County of Rowan dec: respectfully sheweth That their Testator on the 11th of february 1822 made and published his last Will and Testament in writing, in which among other things, he devised as follows — That his woman Slave Fanny Kelly should be emancipated for meritorious serviced, rendered to him and his wife, during their sickness, their Testator further devised that the daughter of the said woman Fanny Kelly, called and known by the name of Sally Zimmerman a child of tender Years, should be also emancipated. The said Testator in and by his last Will made ample provisions for the maintenance and support of the said Fanny and Sally as will be seen by reference to his Will.

For the purpose of carrying their Testators Will into effect, Your petitioners applied to the Superior Court of law held for Rowan County at October term 1822, and were permitted by the Judgment of the said Court to emancipate the said woman Fanny Kelly, which they have done in conformity with law. But the said Court having power only to allow emancipation of Slaves for meritorious services rendered to their Owners, and the said Sally from her tender Years, being incapable of rendering such services as are contemplated by the act of Assembly Your petitioners are unable to affect the emancipation of the said Child Sally by the Judgment of said Court.

Your petitioners further state, that no other person then Your petitioner Alexander R. Caldcleugh has any interest in retaining the said Girl Sally in a state of Slavery, he being the only child and heir at law, as well as resduary legatee of the said Andrew Caldcleugh.

Your petitioners being unable from the circumstances they have stated to give effect to the wishes of their Testators, without the Assistance of the General Assembly respectfully pray, that an act may be passed for the emancipaton of the said Sally Zimmerman.  /s/ Alex R. Caldcleugh, James Sawyer, Jno. Monroe, L. Hunt

General Assembly Session Records, Box 1 (November 1832-January 1924), Folder November 29, North Carolina State Archives.

 

He has never been accused of any villainy.

To the County Court now about to Sit in Perquimans:

The Petition of the Several Subscribers Humbly Sheweth That whereas Samuel Smith a few Years ago Manumitted a Servant Man Named Peter (Whose Mother was an Indian & Father a Negroe) which said Servant Man hath not been taken up nor Sold by the Court; And as he hath hitherto Always been an Orderly Servant & never that we know of bein Accused of any Villany, But on the Contrary Hath done Several Meritorious Actions in Destroying Vermin Such as Bears Wolves wild Cats & Foxes. Therefore we pray that the Court may take it into Consideration & order & adjuge that he may remain Free & unmolested as long as he behaves himself well. And your Petitioner the Several Subscribers, as in Duty Bound shall ever Pray.  April 6th 1782.

/s/ John Smith, Benjamin Smith, Joseph Elliot Sener, Mordecai Elliot, Josiah Sanders, Joseph Sanders, Joseph Elliot, Samuel Elliot, John Goodwin, Jacob Goodwin, Richard Goodwin, Samuel Smith, Joseph Newby, Demcy Elliot, Sam’l Sitterson, Job Smith, William Sanders, Gideon Newby, John Roberts, Jacob Eason, Joshua Sanders, Samuell Williams

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

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.

She has been delivered of a colored child.

To the Honorable the General Assembly of North Carolina Now in Session,

The Humble Petition of Jacob Johnson Sheweth, That my wife Hannah has violated the marriage Vow, distinguished herself as an abandoned woman in point of Morals and Chastity, by having been delivered of a coloured child on the 4th day of January 1822, Since which time our conjugal embraces have entirely ceased. The which base action causes me your humble petitioner to Solicit your kind interference in giving me a final discharge from said Hannah.

Your Humble Petitioner further Sheweth that misfortunes in life has rendered me Unable to Apply for a divorcement in the way heretofore prescribed by an act of the General Assembly – That Honorable body who now alone is able to give Me redress. And your Humble Petitioner will ever Pray &c 27th Nov’r 1823. /s/ Jacob Johnson

We the under signed believe the above Stated grievances to be Undisputed facts and from long acquaintance know your Petitioner to have Supported a good Moral character.  /s/ Oscar Alston, Elisha Siler, Joshua Adcock, R. Freeman, Jesse, Bray, Henry Dorsett, Duty Dorsett

[Granted.]

General Assembly Session Records, November 1823-January 1824, Box 1, North Carolina State Archives.

He ill-treated, whipped and abused her, then took up with a slave.

North Carolina, Guilford County    }   Superior Court of Law, To Fall Term, A.D. 1866.

To the Honorable, the Judges of the said Court:

Mary Hubbard, of said County, by her petitioner, respectfully showeth unto your Honor, that she was born free and was intermarried, about twelve years ago, with a free man of color of the name of John Hubbard; that they obtained a license from the Clerk of the County Court of Alamance County and the rites of matrimony were solemnized between them by a Justice of the peace in said county; that your petitioner and her said husband, John Hubbard, lived together agreeably, and as man and wife should, for about three years; that during this time she was treated affectionately and kindly; that for some cause, to your petitioner then unknown, the said John Hubbard, her husband aforesaid, began to ill-treat, beat, whip and abuse your petitioner in such wise as to make her life oppressive and burthensome; that this abuse of your petitioner continued from that time, with short intervals when he was less cruel and unkind to her, now and then, up to about the first of September, A.D. 1865; that prior to that time and to your petitioner’s quitting her said husband’s house, her said husband, the aforesaid John Hubbard, became intimate with one Emily, a slave then and in property of one Tobias May, of Alamance, and, as your petitioner is advised and believes, her said husband had habitually illicit and adulterous intercourse with the said Emily; that for these reasons and for the further reasons that her life with him became intolerable and unendurable, she left him and hath not cohabited with him since that time; that she is advised and believes, that the said John Hubbard, her husband aforesaid, hath since kept up his illicit, adulterous and criminal intercourse aforesaid, with the said Emily May, who is now free, and he is illegally and improperly cohabiting with the said Emily at this time, contrary to law and in despite of his vows of chastity and fidelity to your petitioner, made and entered into at the time of their marriage; that your petitioner hath resided in this county for the last twelve years and ever since she was married, and now resideth here; that the course of action hath existed ever since last September, which is about ten and a half months; that your petitioner hath kept her vows of chastity and fidelity to her said husband, both before and since this parting; that she is now leading a correct and chaste life:

Your petitioner, for the reasons aforesaid, most respectfully prays your Honor, that the bonds of matrimony, now existing between her and the said John Hubbard, her husband aforesaid, may be dissolved, and that your petitioner may have such other and further relief as the nature of her case may require and to your Honor may see merit.  She further prayeth, that the said John Hubbard be served with a copy of this libel, and a subpoena, commanding the said John Hubbard to appear at the next term of this honorable Court, to be held for the County aforesaid, at the courthouse in Greensboro; on the Fourth Monday after the Fourth Monday of September next; then and there, to plead, or answer, to this libel, and to stand to, abide by and perform the order, claims and Judgments of this Court. And an in duty-bound she will ever pray.    Scott & Scott, Attos. for Petitioner.

Divorce Records, Guilford County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

He releases the brute creation from many complaints.

To the worshipfull Court of the County of Perq’s Now Siting Greeting &c.

Whereas I have a Certain Negro Man named Francis which Nergroe I purchased about five years past Since which Time he hath demeaned himself as a faithfull Servant and hath from his Infancy been of an orderly life his knowledge & skil in Releasing the Brute Creation from Many Complaints which they are Insident to and his readiness to Serve the Citisens of his Neighbourhood ll taken in Veiw I consider Maritorious and Therefore Implore your attention to this particular case – beleiving that you will consider him worthy of that right which the Laws of out State allow in certain cases (which is Liberation. – firmly beleiving that If he should meet with your Sanction in this case that he would be of material Servise in the Neighbourhod. I am desirous that you in your good wisdom may emancipate him the said Francis & that his name may be caled Francis N. Bundy and as in duty Bound Your Petitioner wil pray &c. May 13th 1806 /s/ Benjamin Bundy

We the Subscribers being wel acquainted with the within named Frank do believe that it would be Great Justice for him to be emancipated as he is a Servisable Negroe in the Neighbourhood who answers the description within mentioned.  /s/ Pha’s Nixon, Josiah Robinson, Thomas Church, Samuel Weekes Jr., Enoch Newby, Charles Overman, John Overman, Josiah Muncey

The above Petition is Granted by the Court.  /s/ Ch’s W. Blount

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

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