Threatened his life if he said otherwise than that he was a slave.

by Lisa Y. Henderson


On Friday last, a man whose name is supposed to be Elisha Kirkman, arrived here by the way of the Rail Road, bringing with him a black boy 14 or 15 years of age, whom he represented to be his slave.  The next day he sold the boy, for $325, to Mr. R.H. Grant, of this town, giving the usual warrantee title to him, and signing the bill of sale John Parker.  Soon after the purchase was a made and a check for the amount had been given, Mr. Grant questioned the boy as to where he came from &c., when the boy declared he was free, and gave this account of himself: That his name is Edward Bailey, and is a native of Guilford County, in this State, where his father, whose name is Samuel Bailey, and who is a bricklayer by trade, now lives.  That the County Court of Guilford, some four or five months since, bound him until twenty-one years of age, to one Alvin or Alva Kirkman,  That the man who brought him here is the brother of the man to whom he was bound, and that he bought his (the boy’s) time from his brother with two horses and a few dollars in money.  That after he got him into possession, he brought him down the country, travelling with a horse-wagon, pretending that he was going to the sea-shore to get a load of oysters.  That after they struck the Rail Road, somewhere near Rocky Mount, Kirkman threatened his life if he said otherwise than that he was his slave, and leaving the wagon, they came on here in the cars, Kirkman selling him as above mentioned.

After hearing this statement, Mr. Grant went in pursuit of Kirkman, and demanded to have the check which he had given him for the boy returned.  He returned it readily. Mr. Grant then got out a process for his apprehension.  – He was arrested as he was going on board one of the Charleston Steamers, to take passage on her, and committed to jail. He now acknowledges that the boy is free.  On Monday he was examined before Justices Nichols and Peden, and in default of bail, was remanded to jail, to stand a trial before the Superior Court for New Hanover county. – Wilmington Chronicle of the 8th inst.

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 16 March 1848.

In the 1850 census of Southern Division, Guilford County: Samuel Baily, 53, black, laborer, wife Nancy, 35, and children James M., 7, and Mary Jane Baily, 5. Next door, the household of James Woody, a white blacksmith.