Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Family business.

This indenture made this 29th day of September 1855 between Adam Artis of the County of Wayne & State of North Carolina of the one part and John Wilson of the county and state aforesaid of the other part witnesseth — that the said Adam Artis for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and twenty four dollars to him on hand paid by him the said John Wilson at and before the sealing and delivering of these presents the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged the said Adam Artis has given, granted, bargained and sold and will by these presents grant, bargain and sell unto the said John Wilson his heirs and assigns forever one certain piece of land in said county it being the ten acres of land the said John Wilson sold to the said Adam Artis to have and to hold the above described land and improvements to him the said John Artis [sic] to him and his heirs and assigns — provided nevertheless that said Adam Artis pays or causes to be paid to the said John Wilson one certain note and interest that may accrue thereon said note given for one hundred and twenty four dollars bearing date even with these presents now then if the said Adam Artis pays said note interest within twelve months from the date of this presents then the above obligation to be void otherwise to be in full force and virtue —

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written — Adam X Artis

Signed and delivered the presence of W. Thompson

Wayne County Octo. 2nd 1855. Then was the above deed of Mortgage from Adam Artis to John Wilson duly proved before me by the oath of William Thompson a subscribing witness thereto — and let it be registered   — Benj. Aycock, Clk

Deeds, Register of Deeds Office, Wayne County.

In the 1850 census of Greene County NC, Adam “Artess” and his sisters Charity and Jane appear in the household of white farmer Silas Bryant.  They were probably apprentices, though no apprentice bonds have been found.  Their mother Vicy Artess was next door with additional children.  Adam’s sister Zilpha Artis married John “Jack” Wilson in the mid-1850s.  Adam and John apparently never recorded a deed for the herein-referenced sale that preceded this one.

40 years’ acquiescence gives effect.

Augustine Cully v. Lovick Jones et al., 31 NC 168 (1848).

This was an action for false imprisonment.  Plaintiff Augustine Cully‘s mother Phebe was the slave of Jane Thompson.  Thompson’s will directed her executor Reuben Jones “to obtain the freedom of Phebe, if practicable, on account of her meritorious services.” In November 1806, Jones filed a petition in Carteret County court for Phebe’s freedom.  Phebe and her children were thereafter permitted to act as free people.  However, Jones neglected to give the required bond for the action until 1816, when he was ordered to do so, and did.  Phebe’s daughter Augustine was born in 1808 and lived as a free person until just before this action commenced, when Lovick Jones seized her and claimed her as a slave.

The NC Supreme Court held that, though Augustine Cully was born before the bond was effectuated, neither Reuben Jones, who neglected his duty, nor anyone claiming for or by him could take advantage of that omission, much less a mere wrong-doer.  “More than forty years have allowed to pass from the act of emancipation and [Augustine’s birth], before any claim was made to hold her as a slave; during all which time, she passed as a free person and was so treated and considered by the community, in which she lived.  After so long an acquiescence, almost any thing will be presumed, in order to give effect to the act of emancipation.”

The 1850 census of New Bern, Craven County, shows a household that included Phillis Martin, 85; Augustin Cully, 35; Adam Cully, 40 and blind; Joseph Martin, 29, and Alex. Martin, 27, both sailors; Abner Cully, 14; Eliza Cully, 11; Elizabeth Cully, 9; and Adam Cully, 5.  All were described as black.

Bertie County Free Colored Heads of Household, 1790

James Ashe, Darby Brantly, Darby Bromley, Hall Bartlett, Cezar Chavis, Cezer Chaves, Thorregood Demsey, George Demsey, Joney Goff, Frederick James, Andrew James, Nancy James, William Jones, Frederick Jones, Mary Jeames, Moses Manly, McCate, David Meredith, James Page, Jethro Trumble, Anthony Toney, John Wharburton, Michael Wiggins, Samuel Wiggins, Sarah Willifred.