Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Month: November, 2012

As free as colored men were allowed to be in this.

Lewis Bowen filed claim #8093 with the Southern Claims Commission.  He rented a place in Flea Hill township, Cumberland County.  He complained to a quartermaster that soldiers had taken everything he had.  The quartermaster replied, “Never mind old man you will get pay for it some time. We are oblige to forage on your country. We have no supplies.”  Soldiers from — he was told — an Ohio regiment, took his bacon, lard, corn, flour, rice, wheat, potatoes, peas, fodder and hay; ducks, turkeys and chickens.  They killed and carried off his ox, goats and hogs, and killed his cows and yearlings and left them in the field. Soldiers were part of Sherman’s army and were camped not over 100 yards from his house.

Robert H. Simmons, a 55 year-old merchant, lived about a half-mile from Bowen. “[T]he claimant being a col’d man he could not talk or take much interest in public matter though he was always a free man, or as free as col’d men were allowed to be in this.”

William Webb, 31, kept a bar and livery stables and had known Bowen more than 15 years.  “He and the claimant were born free bond and helpt out the confederate service as labour on fortifications principally by being employed boating on the Cape Fear river.”

Joseph McKay, 53, farmer, saw soldiers take goods off Lewis Bowen’s farm in March 1865.

Woodward Winn, 26, farmer, saw some things taken.  Witnesses included Bowen, “Perry, Berry, Joe, Wiliford.” He helped carry some of the bacon to the camp.

The 1850 census of the Eastern Division of Cumberland County shows: William Bowen, 57, with Lewis Bowen, 16, both laborers.

James Henry Henderson.

James Henry HendersonJAMES HENRY HENDERSON was born about 1838 in the Upper Richlands district of Onslow County. His father was James Henderson (1815-ca1890) and his mother might have been named Sally Skipp. With his father and siblings, he migrated to Sampson, then southern Wayne County. He married twice and died near Faison, Duplin County, in 1920.

[Sidenote: James H. Henderson was the brother of my great-great-great-grandfather Lewis Henderson. — LYH.]

Road work.

20 Nov 1822. Ordered that Arthur Martin be appointed overseer of the road from Bass’s old ferry to the Beaver dam & that the hands of Solomon Grantham, Bryan Pipkin, Henry Stanley Benson & Barna Burnett work thereon. 

Minute Docket 1820-23, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Records of Wayne County, North Carolina State Archives.

He followed the barber business.

One of my earliest acquaintances in Goldsboro was a negro.  This was about 1848.  He continued to live in Goldsboro until his death, some fifteen or twenty years ago.  This was Bill Burnett.  He was at one time worth considerable property.  He followed the barber business.  His skin was black, it is true, but I believe that Bill Burnett was as honest and upright in his dealings as any man, white or black.  I never heard in all his long life one word against his character.  He was always polite to the white people.  He was for many years the only barber in the town.  Everyone liked and respected him.  He was an old-time free negro.  He had the right of suffrage before 1835.  I don’t know whether he ever exercised it or not, but after the war, when the right to vote came to him again, he never registered nor voted.  He told me not long before his death that he had no desire to vote; that it would do him no good, and that he believed the enfranchisement of the colored people of the South immediately upon their emancipation was the most unwise thing that could have been done for them.  He had a brother, Micajah Burnett, who was raised here, but some time about 1850 he became implicated some way with some white men in stealing and running off and selling slaves, and he skipped to New York and never came back.

“Some Early Recollections of Wayne County – But More Particularly of Goldsboro: War-Time Reminiscences and Other Selections,” by J. M. Hollowell, published in The Goldsboro Herald, June 1939. 

In the 1850 census of the North Side of Neuse, Wayne County: Cuzzy Green, 40, and William Burnett, 35, barber, who claimed $300 property. 

Too infirm to support himself and family by his labour.

Original Claim

State of North Carolina, District of Edenton, County of Pasquotank.  On this 8th day of March 1825 personally appeared in open Court being a Court of record for Pasquotank Samuel Overton a free man of Colour, resident in said County aged [illegible] six Years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration In order to obtain the provision made by the acts of Congress of the 18th March 1815 and the first May 1820.  That the said Samuel Overton enlisted for the term of three Years in the Year 1776 in the State of North Carolina in the Company commanded by Captain Isaac Moore, in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Peter Lange in the line of the State of North Carolina, on  the continental establishment, that he continued to serve in said Corps until the death of Captain Moore, when a certain Devisha[?] Davis commanded that he continued in the Service of the United States until the taking of Yorktown in Virginia, when he was discharged in the City of Philadelphia in the Year 1781, that he was at the battles of Germantown, Charlestown S.C. and at the taking of Yorktown in Virginia, and at the Battle of Germantown received two wounds. That he hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension, except this present, that his name is not on the roll od any State, and that the following are the reasons for not making earlier application for a pension. That as long as he was able he was desirous to maintain himself; but now he is to infirm to support himself and family by his labour, and in addition had the misfortune to lose all his property by fire in July 1824.  And in pursuance of the act of the first May 1820 I do solemnly swear, that I was a resident Citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not since that time, by gift, sale, or in any manner disposed of my property or any part thereof, with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an Act of Congress entitled “An Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval Service of the United States in the Revolutionary War” passed on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not, nor has any person in Trust for me, any property or securities, contract or debts, due to me, nor have I any income, other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed and my be subscribed To wit one Cow and two shoats. That since the 18th of March the change in my property has been its loss by fire in July 1824.  My family consist of my wife and Son David five years old        Samuel X Overton

From the file of Samuel Overton, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

Surnames: Alexander County, 1850.


Was Jones’ Old Field Jones’?

Jones v. Ridley, 4 NC 280 (1816).

A dispute over land ownership in Granville County.  Vinkler Jones produced a grant for the land from Earl Granville to Joseph Davenport, dated 1756, and several deeds thereafter.  He also produced to prove actual possession of the land over a period of time.  “[S]ome time after the expiration of Jones’s possession, a free man of color, by the name of Henry Smith, lived on the land” for two years with Jones’ permission. Some time after that, another free man of color, Hardy Artis, lived there.  “It appeared that an old field on the land had been for many years called Jones’s Old Field.”  Judgment for defendant.

North from North Carolina, no. 1.

On 4 October 1835, Henderson Artis married Nancy Wilkins in Northampton County.

In the 1850 census of Northampton County: Nancy Artis, 35, with children Narcissa, 8, William, 5, and Cherry, 3.

In the 1860 census of Jefferson, Logan County, Ohio: Henderson Artis, 43, wife Nancy, 36, and children Narcissa, 15, William, 13, and Charity, 12.  Henderson was a farmer and all were born in NC.

I had to leave to keep from being carried off.

Isaac Griffin filed claim #20625 with the Southern Claims Commission.  He was 50 years old and lived near Rosedale in Pasquotank County.  He was a farmer, and during the war he lived on 16 acres, of which ten were cultivated. He was free-born.

He “had to leave several times to keep from being carried off by the rebels.”  In April 1863, soldiers from the 11th Pennsylvania cavalry, camped about five mills away at South Mills, Camden County, took his six-year-old horse, who was large, sound and gentle.

Penny Bogue, 48, testified that she lived a quarter-mile from Griffin. Two Union soldiers came to her house, and one was riding Griffin’s horse.  Sophia Edge, 26, also testified on his behalf. Caleb Griffin, 37, a justice of the peace for Pasquotank County, testified that he lived 100 yards from Isaac Griffin and was his brother.

Marriages of Free Colored People in Wayne County: L-Z

Locust, Daniel to Eliza Ann Goins, 1 Jan 1858, at H. Locust’s.

Lynch, Sherrard to Harriet Moore, 12 July 1855, at Gatlin Lynch’s.

In the 1860 census of Goldsboro, Wayne County: Gatlin Lynch, 44, wife Lovy, 40, children Emily, 14, and Betsey, 11, and Henry Coster, 13.

Mitchell, Henderson to Jane Dolinson, 18 March 1852, at Geo. Dolinson’s.

In the 1850 census of North Side of Neuse, Wayne County: Henderson Mitchell, 20, Council Hall, 23, and Jessee Hall, 21, all described as mulatto day laborers, in household of white merchant Ste Barnes, 28.  Also, shoemaker George Dollerson, 63, wife Easter, 52, and  Jane, 19, Nathan, 7, and Virginia, 9 months.

Munday, William to Emily Langley, 1 March 1855.

Read, Benjamin to Benanijah Hall, 25 November 1851, at Nahunta Depot.

In the 1850 census of North Side of the Neuse, Wayne County: Hilard Artice, 37, wife Vina, 24, and children Joshua, 15, Mary, 13, Sarah, 11, Elizabeth, 8, Isaac, 6, John, 5, Daniel, 3, and Hilliard, 2 months, plus Benjamin Read, 20. Also, Sherrard Hagins, 39, Mary, 39, Samuel, 20, Winifred, 18, Benjamin, 16, Mary, 13, Smithey, 10, Narcissa, 7, Robert, 7, and Nancy, 1. [This family used the surnames Hagans and Hall.  “Benjamin,” a girl, was in fact the Benjah Ann Hall who married Benjamin Read.]

Reid, Laurence to Winny Hall, 10 Apr 1853, at Wm. Hooks’.

In the 1850 census of North Side of the Neuse, Wayne County: Sarah Read, 60, with Pearcy, 28, Laney, 22, and Laurence Reid, 21.  See, also, “Winifred Hagans,” above.

Rowe, William to Delpha Bass, 15 July 1858.

Sampson, Lawrence to Eliza Seabery, 7 March 1861, at Theophilus Sampson’s.

In the 1850 census of North SIde of the Neuse, Wayne County: Theophilus Seaberry, 44, wife Rachell, 32, and children Kennean, 17, Sararna, 16, Eliza, 15, Aaron, 10, Litha, 8, Vicey, 7, Henry, 3, and Theophilus, 1, plus Calvin Smith, 22.  In the 1860 census of Nahunta, Wayne County: Kinyon Artis, 50, wife Vina, 45, and children Lawrence, 24, Mary A., 22, Isaac, 18, Betsey, 17, Hill, 11, and Rhody, 9, and Martha P. Hall, 3. [Oddly enough, this is same family listed as above in 1850 as Hilard and Vina Artice, etc.  The 1880 census of Pikeville, Wayne County, lists Lawrence Artis and his wife Eliza as Lawrence and Eliza Sampson.]

Simmons, Bryan to Elizabeth Winn, 24 August 1859, at Limestone.

Smith, John to Esther Dolerson, 5 January 1854, at Ephraim Jones’.

Sugg, Hinton to Martha George, 11 September 1856, at Goldsboro.

In the 1850 census of Greene County: Hinton Sugg, 16, mulatto, in the household of Martha Edmundson, 60, a white woman.

Toler, John to Apsilla Musgrave, 24 February 1853.

Troublefield, Peter B. to Nancy Adams, 19 January 1855, at Jesse Martin’s.