Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Trafficking in corn.

The State v. Nelson Cozens, 28 NC 82 (1845).

Nelson Cozens, a free negro, was indicted in Granville County Court for buying a peck of corn on 11 Feb 1837 from a slave named Lewis, the property of Fleming Beasley. He was found guilty by a Person County court and appealed to the state Supreme Court, apparently on a challenge to the wording of the indictment. Appeal denied.

In the 1850 census of Person County, Nelson Cozens, 57, is listed with wife Judy, 53, and children Robert J., 21, Willis, 14, William, 12, and Nelson, 6, plus Izarary Mitchel, 7, and Jerome Collins, 23.

Free-Issue Death Certificates: LOCUS.

Can Locus. Died 16 Dec 1915, Nahunta, Wayne County. Married. Colored. About 56 years old. Laborer. Born Wayne County to Calos Hegans and Wait Locus.  Buried in family burial ground. Informant, Bud Locust, Stantonsburg.

In the 1870 census of Nahunta, Wayne County: Raiford Coley, 70, Waity Locus, 55, Dewitt, 15, Candus, 12, and Wiley, 10.  See also “Babies’ Daddies” post for the 1857 bastardy action involving Waity Locus and Calvin Hagans.

Syth Locus.  Died 15 Oct 1921, Black Creek, Wilson County. Married to Melvina Locus. Colored. Farmer. Age 90. Born in Virginia to John Locus and Nancy [no last name]. Informant, Mary Locus, Black Creek.

John Locus.  Died 22 Dec 1926, Taylors, Wilson County. Colored. Widow. Age 83. Farmer. Born Wilson County to unknown father and Eliza Locus. Buried family cemetery. Informant, John Locus Jr.

Susie Locus. Died 8 Jan 1922, Coopers, Nash County. Resided Spring Hope. Colored. Single. Born 1850 to Berry Locus and Beaty Locus. Buried Allen burial ground. Informant, Newsome Bryant.

In the 1860 census of Coopers, Nash County: Berry Locus, 65, wife Beaddy, 60, and Hepsey Locus, 23.

Acy Locus. Died 14 Jul 1958, Rocky Mount, Nash County. Resided Wilson County. Colored. Born Oct 1860, Wilson County to Martin Locus and Eliza Brantley. Buried family cemetery, Wilson County.

A faithfull & good servant.

ImageTo the Worshipfull County Court of Wayne

The petition of William Newsom humbly represents to your Worships that he is owner of a Negro man called Charles who has always conducted & demeaned himself as a faithfull & good servant who your petitioner is anxious to emancipate & intitle to the privileges of a free Citizen, he therefore prays your Worships to take the Case into consideration & do what appears to you right & proper & your petitioner will ever pray       William X Newsom

J.B.H. Martin

This undated petition is found among Wayne County Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, North Carolina State Archives.

He sold Betsy, well knowing she was free.

State of North Carolina  }    Superior Court of Law

Wayne County             }    Spring Term 1837

The Jurors for the State upon their oath present, that Farnifold Jernigan, late of the County of Wayne, and State of North Carolina, on the first day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty six, at and in the County aforesaid, one free negro, by the name of Betsy Dinkins, unlawfully did sell to one Robert Daniel, said Jernigan knowing the said Betsy Dinkins to be free, contrary to the form of the Statute, in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the State.

And the Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid do further present, that Farnifold Jernigan, late of the County of Wayne, and State aforesaid, on the first day of March, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty six, at and in the county aforesaid, unlawfully, did sell one Betsy Dinkins, a person of mixed blood, to one Robert Daniel, the said Betsy Dinkins, then and there being free, and the said Farnifold Jernigan, well knowing that the said Betsy Dinkins was free, contrary to the form of the Statute, in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the State.

And the Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid do further present, that Farnifold Jernigan, late of the County of Wayne, and State aforesaid, on the first day of March, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty six, at and in the county aforesaid, unlawfully, did sell one Betsy Dinkins, a person of mixed blood, (daughter of one Sally Dinkins a white woman) to one Robert Daniel of said county, the said Farnifold Jernigan, knowing the said Betsy Dinkins to be free, contrary to the form of the Statute, in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the State.

And the Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid do further present, that Farnifold Jernigan, late of Wayne County and State aforesaid, on the first day of March, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty six, at and in the county and state aforesaid, unlawfully, did sell one Betsy Dinkins, then and there a person of mixed blood, to one Robert Daniel, for the price of fifty dollars, the said Betsy Dinkins, then and there being free, and the said Farnifold Jernigan, knowing that the said Betsy to be free, contrary to the form of the Statute, in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the State.     /s/ Edw. Banly Solicitor

In 1834, Furnifold Jernigan and David Cole were charged in Wayne County Superior Court with taking Kilby O’Quinn from Wayne to Bladen County for “their own use.” In 1837, Jernigan was indicted for selling Betsy Dinkins. In that three-year period, Jernigan and at least four co-defendants appeared on the Wayne County docket ten times on charges of selling free negroes, but never vent to trial. Despite Jernigan’s notoriety (he had fourteen other unrelated court appearances in the same period,) the state’s solicitor in the Dinkins case was compelled to complain to the judge that “the defendant by the influence of several men of standing … has …  so many of the Court yard, in his favor, that it would be amere mockery to enter upon this trial in Wayne.” The case was ordered removed to Greene County, but never appeared on the docket there. In 1850, Jernigan, still living in Wayne, owned $5000 in farmland and 43 slaves. Minutes of the Superior Court of Wayne County, Spring Term, 1834, and Minutes of the Superior Court of Wayne County, Spring Term, 1837, Records of Wayne County, NCSA; State Docket, Superior Court of Wayne County, vol. 1, 1834-1843, Records of Wayne County, NCSA;Petition from Edward Banly to Superior Court, April 6, 1837,Box 4, Records Concerning Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Records of Wayne County, NCSA.

We are pleased with him.

Wayne County Nov 16th 1852

To the Members Comprising both houses of the legislature for the State of North Carolina 1852

We the Undersigned Say to you as our representatives that we have a Coloured person living in Goldsboro whose name is Hilary Croom Ailias Coor who was born of a woman of reputable parentage though his father was reputed to have been a Slave of Colour We know the raising of Sd Croom and his Standing now he is Now of fair Standing he is one of the best blacksmiths we have he was born and raised in our County.  When he grew to be a Man he intermarried with a girl of colour the property of one Graddy Herring.  Soon after their Covenant as man and wife sd Herring Removed to the State of Alabama this Character Croom also moved with sd Herring after remaining there some years the legislature of the State of Alabama past a law that all Colourd person which were free Should leave that State within a certain period of time during this time this Citizen Croom purchased his wife and children of Sd Herring and J.B. Herring one of the Subscribers have seen his bill of Sale which can be produced at any time.  In consequence of which the said Croom returned back to his Native State and his wife and family with proper papers from Sd Herring showing he had purchased his Wife and Children.  When he returned to our State our Legislature had pasd a law to the purpost that all Coloured person which had left this State if They returned Should leave this State or forfeit a large sum. Now we are well acquainted with this man Croom he lived by our town Goldsboro in Wayne County we are pleased with him as a blacksmith we pray that he Sustains a fair industrious character he has [blank] children whose names are Ann Charles Temperance

We the undersignd knowing that under our present laws there are many coloured persons among us of more more bass character Must and does remain with us petition to you as our representative, that you pass and act which will be attended by our friend W.H. Washington that said Hilary Croom be Sufferd to remaine  with us that his above named Children before at their arriving to the age of twenty one years and Enjoy all the rights of Citizenship of their Colour to which we the Undersigned have assigned our names the above date.  Hillory X Croom, Benajah Herring, W.C. Bryan, Wm. Smith, L. Cogdell, Wm. Thompson.

The 1850 census of the South Side of the Neuse River, Wayne County, shows Hillery Croom, 41, blacksmith, with children Annie, 14, Charles, 13, Tempy, 10, and John, 9.  All were described as mulatto.  The 1850 slave schedule shows that Hillery owned two slaves, a 55 year-old woman and a 32 year-old man.