Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

The infamous business of abducting free people of color.

Fayetteville, March 19. Kidnapping. – We learn that this infamous business is carrying on to a considerable extent, near the lines of the counties of Sampson, Wayne and Johnston, and that five free persons of color, have been abduced [sic] from that neighborhood, by a set of daring outlaws & most probably have been sold in bondage.  If these things be so it is time for the citizens of that neighborhood to be active in their exertions to bring the offenders to justice.  The cause of suffering humanity, calls upon them for a generous effort in behalf of this unfortunate class of our population.  The violated laws of the State require them, as good citizens, to use every possible means to vindicate its humane, and merciful provisions, ferreting out and bringing to punishment its invaders.  Journal.

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 29 Mar 1834.


He was found five weeks afterwards.

An old free negro strayed off from the poor house in Warren co., on the 20th Dec., on the night of which day it is supposed he died.  His dead body was found five weeks afterwards, having been exposed o all the weather since.  What is singular to the case, there was very little sign of decay on the body, but it had the appearance rather of drying up.

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 12 Feb 1851.

Runaway bound boys, no, 2.

Ten Cents Reward.

Ranaway from the subscriber on the 17th ultimo, mulatto apprentice boy, bound to me by the County Court of Haywood, named STEPHEN GIPSON, about 18 years old.  Said boy has a down look when spoken to.  I hereby forewarn all persons from trading with or harboring said boy under the penalty of law.  I will give the above reward for said boy if delivered to me in Waynesville, Haywood county, N.C.  S. FITZGERALD.  July 5, 1844.

Highland Messenger, Asheville, 4 Oct 1844.

In the 1850 census of Tennessee Valley, Macon County: John Gipson, 46, white farmer; wife Mourning, 38, Indian; children Lavina, 16, Carton, 12, Solomon, 10, and Elias, 8, all Indian; and Stephen Gipson, 25, mulatto.  John was born in Buncombe County; the others in Haywood.  NB: Other adult male Gipsons listed nearby are described as “mulatto,” as is John Gipson in the 1880 census of Dutch Bottom, Cocke County, Tennessee.


On the 21st November last, from James Wallace, an indented apprentice by the name WILLIAM SYDNEY McLEAN.  And from R.L. De Armond, in July, 1844, an indented apprentice, (a mulatto) by the name of JACK HARRIS.  – The subscribers, their owners, will give a reward of five cents each for the apprehension of said boys; and they forbid any person employing or harboring them, at the peril of the law.  R.L. DE ARMOND.  Feb. 28, 1845.

Mecklenburg Jeffersonian, Charlotte, 7 March 1845.

A bill authorizing him to enslave himself.


… HOUSE OF COMMONS.  [Saturday, Sept. 14, 1861.]  Mr. Barringer, a bill authorizing Calvin McDaniel, a free negro, to enslave himself.  Read and passed.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 18 September 1861.