Adultery and fornication.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

State v. Joel Fore and Susan Chestnut, __ NC __ (1841)

Joel Fore of Lenoir County, a free man of color, and Susan Chesnut, a white woman, lived together and had one or more children, and the inartful pleading of their indictment would not defeat a finding that marriages between such persons were null and void under the Act of 1838, and subsequent cohabitation between them was adultery and fornication.

Joseph [sic] Fore married Susan Chestnut on 13 January 1840 in Craven County. (See marriage records of that county.)  The 1840 census of Lenoir County shows Joel Fore as the head of household that included one white female aged 30-40, one colored male aged 24-36, and 5 slaves.  By 1860, the family had moved to Moore County, where Joel, “Susa” and their children Tootle, Elizabeth, Nancy, Anna J., Hardey, Henry and Sarah, aged 1-20, are described as white.  In 1870, Joel and Susan Fore and their children are listed in Greenwood township, Moore County.  Joel and children Augustus and Henry are classified as mulatto.  Susan and the remaining children as white.