Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Month: December, 2012

They claim to be free.

NOTICE.  TWO MULATTOES, a man and woman, were arrested and committed to jail in this county, on the 6th this month.  They claim to be free, but are believed to be slaves, having no sufficient evidence of their freedom.  The man is 25 or 30 years old, about six feet high and calls himself ANDREW McCALL.  The girl is about 18 or 20 years old, and says that her name is Louisa McCall.  They say that they were kidnapped from their hometown near Norfolk, Va., by Sandy Hogan, a trader from North Carolina, and after travelling in the South about two months, ran away from him.

Any person complaining said slaves, are requested to come and prove property, pay charges and take them away, or they will be dealt with according to law.  B.J. SMITH, Jailor.  Burnsville, Yancy co., Feb. 14, 1843.

Highland Messenger, Asheville, 17 Feb 1843.

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.

Craven County Apprentices, 1793-95.

On 20 July 1793, Susannah Dove, a free Negro woman, binds her sons Isaac Dove, an orphan aged 6 years old the 4th of April last, and Thomas Dove, an orphan aged three years the 4th of May last to John Brown.  Witnessed by Richard Triglith and William Orme and proved in court in December 1793.

On 13 December 1793, James Ruff, free Negro boy aged 18 years, was bound to William Bartlett, mariner, as a mariner.

On 10 March 1794, Jacob Carter, free Negro boy aged 10 years or thereabouts, was bound to William Jones as a cooper.

On 9 December 1794, George Carter, free Negro boy aged 17 years last September, was bound to Harding Ives as a turner.

On 9 March 1795, Betty Copes, free mulatto girl aged 9 years next 2 May, was bound to James Houston, Sr., as a spinster.

On 14 [March] 1795, Ned Lewis, a free Negro boy aged 10 years, was bound to Amos Wade as a mariner.


Beware of the Villain!

An Irishman, called himself McGraw, has, for several months past, been loitering about this neighborhood in company with a free mulatto woman, whom he calls his wife.  No species of villainy is new to this abandoned wretch, who seems to have such a refined taste in the selection of his better half.  He is believed to be the man who persuaded a free girl of color to leave her employer in Salisbury, as they were afterwards seen in company, wending their way towards Wadesboro, N.C. It would be well for the public to keep a good look out, and if he should make his appearance in a tangible form, to let the law, if not the gallows, have its just rights.  JOSEPH HAINES.  Fulton, Rowan Co., N.C., June 6 1832 [sic]  6 June 1835

At work for the cause.

Duplin is right, as she always is; and so is Sampson. We cannot tell exactly the number of companies raised in either county, so far; but we know that the efforts of their patriotic citizens will only be limited by their ability.  One Duplin company, under Captain Kenan, is already completed.  The Sampson company, under Captain Faison, holds itself in readiness, and how many more will soon be ready, is difficult to say.  A number of free negro laborers was brought down yesterday from Sampson under the charge of Thos. H. Holmes, Esq., and they are at work.

Sundry companies have been formed in the interior of New Hanover, and we hear of companies forming in Bladen, though none have yet tendered themselves for actual service.  – Wil. Journal.

One Duplin company – a fine looking body of men – arrived here on Saturday and went into camp.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 1 May 1861.

Horse-stealing, redux.

STOLEN from the subscriber at Wake Court House, on Wednesday evening last, a bright bay HORSE, 4 feet 11 inches high, with remarkable small feet, canters and trots well, and is very spirited, several saddle spots on his back.  The above horse was stolen by a free mulatto man, of the name of THOMAS BOWSER, a blacksmith by trade, who formerly worked in Fayetteville, very ingenious at his business, a bushy head, and very dark complexion, can read and write well: It is suspected he is gone to Hillsborough.

Any person apprehending the thief, and recovering the horse, by leaving him with the subscriber, at Col. J. Lane’s at Wake Court-House, shall receive the above reward.  PETER BIRD.

Fayetteville Gazette, 11 Dec 1792.

They left their wives and took up horse-stealing.

Arrested on Suspicion. – On the 28th ultimo, two persons of suspicious appearance, one a white man and the other a mulatto, were arrested in this place, and after a hearing before a Magistrate, committed to Jail.  When first arrested, the white man gave his name as William Carter, and claimed the mulatto as his slave – said that they were both carpenters in search of work, and that they were from Rockingham county, N.C. After their commitment, Carter acknowledged that he had given a wrong name, that his true name is James Oliver, that the mulatto is a free man by the name of Alexander Carter.  They both state that they have wives, whom they left at Bruce’s cross roads in Guilford county. 

Oliver is about 5 feet 6 inches high, 26 or 27 years of age – Carter is about the same in height.

There is reason to believe they have been engaged in stealing horses, a gentleman having stated here that two horses had been stolen in Patrick county, Va., and traded off near Madison, N.C., and two others between Lexington and Salisbury, supposed to have done by two persons answering the description of the above.  They were well armed, each having a Pistol and a Bowie-knife, with plenty of ammunition.  The white man also carried a long Jack-knife, and the mulatto a steel walking stick with a buckhorn head.  – Camden Journal.

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 7 Oct 1847.