Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Not void, but voidable.

Cornelius Dowd v. Stephen Davis, 15 NC 61 (1833).

Cornelius Dowd charged Stephen Davis with harboring a mulatto named Lydia Burnett.  Burnett and four others (“they being born of a free woman and begot by a negro slave”) had been bound to Dowd in Moore County and had run away.  Davis claimed the indenture was defective and therefore invalid.  The state Supreme Court held that, despite numerous deficiencies, the indenture was valid as between the master and someone harboring a runaway.  The indenture was not void, but was voidable by the parties to it.  Burnett was not a party to her own indenture and therefore could not void it.  The court ordered a new trial and noted that justices across the state should be advised that defective old indentures may need to be replaced with ones that strictly observe the requirements of the law.

In the 1850 census of Moore County, Lydia Burnett, 41, with William, 19, Thomas, 17, Ann, 16, and Betsey Burnett, 10.

Onslow County apprentices, 1811.

The following free children of color were apprenticed in Onslow County in 1811:

Joshua White, son of Elizabeth White, to Henry Horn.

Joshua White to Robert Wallace.

Durand Henderson, son of Nancy Henderson, to Henry Hyde.

Oma and Elijah White to Eli Cox.

Sukey Henderson to Richard Trott.

Naomi Henderson to Adam Trott.

James [no last name] to William Paradis.

Apprenticeship Records, Onslow County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Chapter 111. An Act Concerning Slaves and Free People of Color.

Section 81.  If any free negro or mulatto shall entertain any slave in his or her house, during the sabbath, or in the night, between sunset and sunrise, he or she shall, for entertaining such slave, be subject to a fine of two dollars for the first offence, and four dollars for every subsequent offence, to be recovered on conviction before any one justice of the peace, and applied to the use of the poor of the county, in which the offence shall be committed, saving to the party the right of appealing.

Revised Statutes of North Carolina, 1837.

Apprentice bonds, Duplin County.

July 18, 1791.  William Flinigin mulatto boy age 4 years last Jan. 30 bound to William Southerland to learn to read the Bible, write and the trade of cooper.

March 29, 1794.  Hardy McCulloch mulatto boy age 5 next August bound to Setphen Middleton to learn to read the Bible, write and cipher to 3 and learn the trade of cooper.

Wed., January 21, 1795.  Ordered Hannah Simmons, orphan child of a free born negro now about 1 year old bound to Betsy Burnham to learn to read the Bible and spin and weave.

April 17, 1797.  Jenny Winn free black child now about 12 last March bound to Martin Kornegay until 21.

July 18, 1796.  James Flanagan mulatto orphan age 6 bound to Lewis Davis to learn to read the Bible, write, cipher to 3 and learn the trade of shoemaker.  Lettice free negro girl age 8 bound to William Bizzel.

Minutes, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Records of Duplin County, North Carolina State Archives.

Tax them and send them to Liberia.


JUNE 29th, 1850.

We, the undersigned citizens of the county of Beaufort, and of the State of North Carolina, do respectfully represent to the General Assembly of the State, that the White Mechanics of our State are laboring under a serious injury, inflicted upon them by the competition they experience from negro mechanics, which is not only an injury to them, but to every portion of the community, because it places a check against the advancement of Architecture, and forbids genius and talent from entering its employment on account of the degradation it may experience, by being brought down side by side with negro labor, or the small pittance it may receive for its industry from such a competition.  We therefore beg the General Assembly to take into consideration the propriety of laying a tax upon all colored Mechanics in the State, so as to guard more effectually against its increase.

There is another grievance to which we would call your attention, the free negro population which has increased to an alarming extent.

The law lately enacted by the Legislature of the State of Virginia, for the purpose of colonizing them in Africa, has made this grievance insupportable, because it drives large numbers of her free negroes into our borders, which is not only a burden on the white population of our State, but an injury to the slave interest itself.

Therefore we pray the General Assembly to pass an act, laying a tax upon free negroes which shall be applied for the purpose of colonizing them in Liberia, and if necessary, an additional sum from the State Treasury.

And your petitioners will ever pray, &c.

/s/ Arthur Morgan, John B. Ross and 40 others.

Application for Guardianship.


Application filed by Adam T. Artis in 1872 for guardianship of his minor children Augustus Kerney, Noah and Mary Jane Artis.  Their mother, Lucinda Jones Artis, died circa 1860, and they inherited her share of the estate of her father Jacob Ing, who died in 1870.  See earlier post.  Gus Artis, born about 1857, migrated to Arkansas, where he died in 1921.  Noah Artis was born in 1856, married Patience Mozingo, and died in 1952 in Wilson NC.  Mary Jane, born 1859, married Henry Artis and died after 1900.

In the 1860 census of Davis district, Wayne County, Adam Artis, 30, appears with children Kerney, 4, Noah, 2, and Mary J, 1, plus Jane Artis, 26 (who was his sister), and a one month-old infant.

Estate Records, Records of Wayne County, North Carolina State Archives; 1860 federal population schedule.

United States Colored Troops, no. 2.

27 U.S.C.T.  Britton Tann. Co. E, 27 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 28 years; height, 5 feet 10 inches; complexion, dark; eyes, black; hair, black; where born, Hartford [sic] NC; occupation, laborer. Enlistment: when, Feb. 27, 1864; where, Ross Co., Oh.; by whom, C. Beery; term, 3 years.

5 U.S.C.T.  John E.H. Taborn. Co. E, 5 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 18 years; height, 5 feet 3 inches; complexion, mulatto; eyes, grey; hair, brown; where born, Granville Co., NC; occupation, laborer. Enlistment: when, July 26, 1863; where, Union Co., Oh.; by whom, unknown; term, 3 years.

5 U.S.C.T. Henderson Tabourn. Co. A, 5 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 41 years; height, 5 feet 8 inches; complexion, black; eyes, black; hair, black; where born, Orange Co., NC; occupation, cabinet maker. Enlistment: when, Sept. 1, 1864; where, Wooster, Oh.; by whom, [blank]; term, 1 year. Remarks: “wounded in action at Deep Bottom Va.”

36 U.S.C.T. Abel Archy. Co. G, 36 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 29 years; height, 5 feet 11 inches; complexion, dark; eyes, dark; hair, dark; where born, Currituck Co., NC; occupation, laborer and boatman. Enlistment: when, Oct. 28, 1863; where, Norfolk, Va.; by whom, Cap. J.N. Croft; term, 3 years.  Remarks: “married mustered out at Brazos Santiago, Texas, Oct. 28, 1866.”

In the 1860 census of Moyock, Currituck County NC: Tabitha Archy, 50, with Mary, 29, Caleb, 17, and Abel Archy, 14, plus John Woodhouse, 3.