Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Without consent or knowledge.

State of North Carolina, To the Sheriff of Onslow County — Greeting

Whereas James Barrow had by the Court of Pleas and quarter sessions for the county of Onslow some courts back had bound to him a certain child a person of Coulor by the name of Mary Hammond without the consent or knowledge of the mother of said child and where the said mother Serena Hammond hath made application for us to grant her a relief so as to have said child taken from said Barrow and bound unto some other person and we willing to do the premisis whatever seems right you are therefore commanded to make known to the said James Barrow to appear before our County Court to be held for the County of Onslow at the Court house in Onslow on the first Monday of August next then and there go Show Cause if any he has why said Indentur should not be recinded and herein fail not and have you then and there this writ

Witness Banester Clerk of our said at Court at Onslow the first Monday of May 1819 and in the 43rd year of American Independence           BANESTER LESTER CCC

Apprentice Records, Records of Onslow County, North Carolina State Archives.

Surnames: Greene County, 1850.


Free-Issue Death Certificates: ARTIS.

Adam T. ArtisDied 10 Feb 1919, Nahunta, Wayne County. Colored. Married. Born 19 Jul 1831. Farmer. Parents unknown. Buried in Artis graveyard. Informant, Frank Reid.

Richard Artis Sr.  Died 12 Feb 1923, Great Swamp, Wayne County. Colored. Married. Farmer. Born 1850 in Wayne County to Solomon Artis and Sar[illegible]. Informant, Richard Artis Jr.

In the 1850 census of Greene County: Adam Artess, 18, Jane, 17, and Charity Artess, 13, in the household of white farmer Silas Bryant.  Next door, their mother and siblings: Vicy Artess, 40, Zilphy, 22, Louis, 8, Jonah, 7, Jethro, 5, and Richard, 1.  [Sidenote: Adam Toussaint Artis was my great-great-great-grandfather. — LYH]

John Artis.  Died 30 Aug 1839, Greene County. Born 1859, Fremont. Widower of Lucy Artis. Son of Alford Artis and Eliza Edmondson. Farmer. Informant, John Eddie Artis.

W.B. Artis. Died 20 Nov 1911, Goldsboro. Resided 510 E. Spruce Street. Colored. Married. Barber. Age about 65. Son of Henderson Artis and unknown mother. Informant, William B. Artis, Jr.

Wealthy Artis. Died 10 Nov 1928, Nahunta, Wayne County. Colored. Widow. Farmer. Born Wilson County to unknown parents. Buried Jones cemetery. Informant, Richard Artis.

In the 1860 census of Nahunta, Wayne County: Asberry, 14, Nancy A., 17, Richard, 11, Welthy, 7, and Simson Artis, 1, in the household of white farmer Burket Barnes.

Susiannah Artis.  Died 11 Sept 1931, Nahunta, Wayne County. Widow of Richard Artis Sr. Age 74. Farmer. Born Wilson County to unknown and Nicy Linch of Wilson County.  Informant, Richard Artis Jr.

George Artis. Died 26 Jul 1928, Brogden, Wayne County. Colored. Married to Annie Artis. Age unknown. Born Wayne County to Abcent Artis and Mary Eliza Artis.

In the 1860 census of Buck Swamp, Wayne County: Absalom Artis, 32, wife Eliza, 22, children John F., 4, James W., 2, and George W., 3 mos., plus Mary, 35, Henry, 16, and Bunyan Mitchell, 14.

 North Carolina Death Certificates; US population schedules.

United States Colored Troops, no. 5.

55 Inf. (Col’d) Mass. Jacob Ash. Co. K, 55 Reg’t Mass. Inf. (Col’d.) appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 23 years; height, 5 feet 3 inches; complexion, light; eyes, grey; hair, dark; where born, Halifax Co., NC; occupation, farmer. Enlistment: when, June 6, [no year]; where, Readville, Mass.; by whom, Lt. Stimpson; term, 3 years. Remarks: “Letters to be directed to Emmanuel Ash, Big Run Station, Athens Co., O.”

4 U.S.C.T. Elijah Ash. Co. F, 4 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 20 years; height, 5 feet 5 inches; complexion, octoroon; eyes, black; hair, black; where born, Halifax Co., NC; occupation, waiter. Enlistment: when, August 4, 1863; where, Baltimore; by whom, Col. W. Burney; term, 3 years.  Remarks: “Wounded in action before Petersburg Va June 15 1864.”

38 U.S.C.T. Bolden Flood. Co. D, 38 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 45 years; height, 5 feet 10 inches; complexion, dark; eyes, dark; hair, black; where born, Hertford Co., NC; occupation, farmer. Enlistment: when, February 6, 1864; where, Newberne NC; by whom, Lt. S.M. Horton; term, 3 years.

23 U.S.C.T. Nicholas Pettiford. Co. F, 2 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 22 years; height, 5 feet 5 3/4 inches; complexion, yellow; eyes, brown; hair, dark; where born, Brandon NC; occupation, laborer. Enlistment: when, March 29, 1864; where, Washington; by whom, Capt. Sheetz; term, 3 years.

2 U.S.C.T. Daniel Locus. Co. G, 2 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Cav. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 40 years; height, 5 feet 8 inches; complexion, dark; eyes, dark; hair, dark; where born, Wait [Wake?] Co., NC; occupation, laborer. Enlistment: when, January 10, 1864; where, Fort Munn; by whom, Col. G.W. Cole; term, 3 years. Remarks: “Deserted June 14, 1865 at Portsmouth Va”


A marriage, two houses and money.

Alexander Flanner filed claim #8852 with the Southern Claims Commission.  He was from New Hanover County.  An official noted that Flanner was a colored man formerly the slave of Joseph H. Flanner of Wilmington.  Before leaving for Europe in March 1865, Joseph Flanner secured a marriage for Alexander to a free woman of color and gave him money and two houses.  Alexander Flanner worked as a drayman until the federal occupation of Wilmington.

Where are they now? No. 18.

B.T. was born in the mid-1960s in Nash County NC.  He is descended from:

(1) Harriet Evans [1816-ca1890, Franklin County]

(2) Fronie Mills [1857-??, Nash County]

(3) Elizabeth Patrie [1834-ca1890, Franklin County]

(4) John Toney [1805-ca1890, Franklin County] via Joseph J. Toney [1848-??, Nash County]

(5) Jarrett Wilkins [1830-ca1890, Franklin County]

Despite our natural inclinations….

William Mayho, by his next friend, v. Edward Sears, 25 NC 224 (1842).

On 23 July 1805, John Moring of Surry County, Virginia, executed a deed of manumission for his slaves. Hannah, Patrick, Cherry, Jordan and Charlotte were to be freed immediately.  Isabel, Carter, Polly, Burwell, Maria and Willis were to be set free over the next 19 years, according to a set schedule. Thereafter, Moring moved to Orange County, North Carolina, bringing Polly with him. Prior to 1 April 1814 (her scheduled date of manumission), Polly gave birth to a daughter, who gave birth to plaintiff William Mayho in about 1830.  After 1 April 1814, Polly, her daughter and grandson lived by themselves and acted in every respect as free persons.  They were regarded as free people of color by their neighbors and recognized as such by Moring, until 1838, when he sold Mayho to Edward Sears.

The question before the North Carolina Supreme Court was whether Mayho’s mother was free at birth, or became so prior to his birth.  “There is a natural inclination in the bosom of every judge to favor the side of freedom, and a strong sympathy with the plaintiff, and the other persons situated as he is, who have been allowed to think themselves free and act for so long a time as if they were; and, if we were permitted to decide this controversy according to our feelings, we should with promptness and pleasure pronounce or judgment for the plaintiff.  But the court is to be governed by a different rule, the impartial and unyielding rule of the law; and, after, giving to the case an anxious and deliberate consideration, we find ourselves obliged to hold, that in the law the condition of the plaintiff is that of slavery.”  In other words, applying the laws of Virginia, Polly was still a slave when her daughter was born, making the daughter a slave, and Mayho a slave in turn.

Surnames: Lincoln County, 1850.


Halifax County Marriages: B

Baker, Peter and Jane Goings, 23 Dec 1858. John Edwards, bondsman.

Baker, Willie and Sally Hardyman, 27 Dec 1817. Isham Mills, bondsman.

Baker, Willie and Angie Mills, 31 Aug 1820. Isham Mills, bondsman.

Ballard, Carter and Caroline Vaughn, 20 Dec 1854. Bradford King, bondsman.

Banks, Caswell and Betsy Toney, 23 Dec 1858. Jno. Edwards, bondsman.

Banks, Caswell and Rebecca Jones, 18 Oct 1861.

Banks, Isham and Lucretia Ash, 23 Dec 1833. Elijah Powers, bondsman.

Banks, Isham and Mary Cooley, 7 May 1859.

Banks, Silas and Lucy Williams, 4 May 1851. Hilliard Harris, bondsman.

Barlow, Randolph and Emily Artis, 25 Mar 1849. Jas. W. Faucett, bondsman.

Barnhill, Blount and Repse Artis, 10 Jul 1847.

Bartley, Joseph and Maria Jones, 22 Dec 1854. Lazarus Pope, bondsman.

Beard, Jeremiah and Delena Manuel Ash, 4 Apr 1817.  Oliver Ash, bondsman.

Bird, Edmund and Sarah Read, 26 Jul 1828. Enoch King, bondsman.

Bird, James Henry and Frances V. Howard, 24 Aug 1858. John T. Saunders, bondsman.

Bird, John W. and Mary Gauphian Wilson, 7 Jan 1847. Peter Bird, bondsman.

Bird, Peter and Minerva Manly, 6 Oct 1858.

Boon, Jackson and Frances Boon, 29 Dec 1849.  Wm. G. Crawley, bondsman.

Boon, Lewis and Jemima Hegbeth, Oct [illegible]. James C. Faucett, bondsman.

Boon, Lewis and Mary Mayhoe, 17 Mar 1851.

Boswell, Charles and Nancy Richardson, 8 Dec 1818.  Matthew Gilbert, bondsman.

Bowser, Albert and Mary Bowser, 13 May 1857. 

Bowser, Augustus and Antoinette Mitchell, 7 Jun 1849. Charles N. Webb, bondsman.

Bowser, Burton and Rebecca Caroline Bowser, 8 Jun 1846. William Roberts and William Mills, bondsman.

Bowser, Guilford and Fanny Banks, 20 Dec 1830. Thomas Moody, bondsman.

Bowser, Guilford and Laney Bowser, 6 Feb 1854.

Bowser, Guilford and Rebecca C. Bowser, 23 Dec 1857. Thomas C. Bowser, bondsman.

Bowser, Isaac and Frances Williams, 6 Jun 1829. Thomas Bowser, bondsman.

Bowser, Lemuel and Luvenia Manley, 20 Nov 1850. Anson Caps, bondsman.

Bowser, Samuel and isabella Bowser, 9 Aug 1860. 

Bowser, Thomas and Betsey Williams, 24 May 1828. Caswell Mills, bondsman.

Bowser, Thomas and Roxana Manley, 22 Dec 1855. 

Bowser, Willie and [unnamed], 16 Sep 1828.  Caswell Mills, bondsman.

Bowzer, Burgess and Betsy Jones, 22 Nov 1859.

Bowzer, James and Adeline Bowzer, 14 Mar 1859. Ephraim Mills, bondsman.

Bradley, Marshal and Sarah Hally, 11 Jul 1853.

Britt, Richard and Louisa Mills, 9 Oct 1830.  Reddin Nevill, bondsman.

Brooks, Reddic and Sally Tootle, 21 Oct 1857. James W. Cotten, bondsman.

Brown, John and Eliza Wilkins, 18 Jan 1852.

Brown, Willis and Susan Dicken, 27 Jul 1831. Pink Dicken, bondsman.

Burt, Augustine and Milly Hathcock, 23 Oct 1833. Tho. R. Nevill, bondsman.

Burt, Elisha and Henrietta Locklayer, 3 Apr 1847. Hinton Cole, bondsman.

Burt, Joel and Nancy Richardson, 11 Jan 1825. Robt. Brinkley, bondsman.

Burt, Rhodam and Polly Jones, 18 Dec 1822. Thomas Fountain, bondsman.

Burt, Rhodam and Sally Locklier, 3 Jan 1827. Harrod Scott, bondsman.

Burt, Stephen and Wiltha Mitchell, 10 Aug 1826. R.M. Shearin, bondsman.

Byrd, Asa and Clarissa Keemer, 25 Mar 1834. William Jones, bondsman.



Soft-hearted? Soft-headed.

To the General Assembly of North Carolina

It is desirable that you should adopt a course of policy, and pass a system of laws to induce, if not compel, the free negroes in North Carolina to emigrate to the Abolition and Free Soil states.  It appears to me that Negrophobia, which is now raging and rousing up a large number of people in the non-Slaveholding states cannot be cured more effectually than by giving them some strong black medicine out of their own black Bottle: and therefore, the members of the Legislature ought in my Judgment to enact all the constitutional laws in their power to effect the object I have indicated.  I do not intend to offer reasons and arguments in favor of such Laws.  Every man who has a southern head on his shoulders and a southern heart in his bosom must see the propriety and the necessity of such legislation.

I propose that you pass a law making the ownership of land on which free negroes reside liable to pay all the taxes, contracts, damages, Penalties, fines and costs, and other legal liabilities which colored persons may contract or incur while living thereon. That it, I would make the actual possession of the free negro, a lein, on the land on which he lived, and let that lein continue until his public and private liabilities were paid and satisfied.

There is a numerous class of the worst sort of Abolitionists dwelling in our midst in the southern states who clandestinely trade with slaves and receive stolen good in payment for ardent spirits and other articles, thereby corrupting and destroying the value of servants.  Many of these malefactors are insolvent persons and some of them are agents of men of property, who select such deputies to do their dirty work, hoping that prudent laws cannot reach and punish them.  I propose that the offense just stated shall be punished, not only with fine and imprisonment, but, by one of more whippings on the bare back at the whipping post.  I am aware some persons have an aversion, through a sort of sickly sympathy, to inflict corporal punishment for the commission of any offences, hoping to gain for themselves the character of being very soft hearted, but I think all such might with much more propriety be considered very soft headed.  When offences proceed from the conception of the human heart, let no honest man sympathise with the offender.  But when the frailty of [illegible] nature is to be punished for deeds done without deliberation, then, kind and generous feelings may be justly excercised.  Society can only be carried on and preserved through the influence of example.  Those persons who live by corrupting and hiring negroes to steal for their benefit, deserve and ought to receive the most severe and exemplary punishments.

All our laws on the subject of Slavery, and the officious intermedling with it, which is the sin of the age, require revision, amendment and improvement.

I make another suggestion; I would make the land on which white Tenants live, liable to pay all fines, penalties and costs that they may be liable to pay while living on these landlords land; Then, the honest taxpayers and good citizens of the state & county would not so often be taxed, unjustly, to pay costs after the conviction of insolvent malefactors and old sinners.

Respectfully presented by James Graham.

Petition of James Graham, Lincoln County, dated 29 December 1850.  Petitions, North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina State Archives.