Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

He was last seen on his way to Scuffletown.

$500 REWARD.

I will pay the above reward of Five Hundred Dollars, for the apprehension of Joe. Lee, a free mulatto, who is guilty of the murder of Archibald Blue of Richmond county, N.C., in any jail so that I can get him.  Said Lee committed the murder on the 8th of August inst., 1864.  Said Lee is five feet 8 or 10 inches high, dark complection and straight hair.  When last seen he was on his way to Scuffletown, in Robeson county, where his Father came from.   MALCOM BLUE.  Montrose, N.C., Aug 16.

Fayetteville Observer, 29 August 1864.

I was born free but a colored man.

George Clark filed claim #2708 with the Southern Claims Commission.  Born in Guilford County, he was 61 years old and had lived six miles east of Lexington in Davidson County for 40 years.  He was a blacksmith. During the war, he piloted part of Stoneman’s command from his house in Davidson County to Salem in Forsyth County and fed union soldiers who had escaped from Salisbury prison.  “I had to leave my home and stay in the woods after I went to Salem with Gen’l Stonemans troops to show them the way.  I also had to move all my tools out of the shop because I was a Union man.”  Confederate soldiers took some of his tools and two of his horses. He believed that his brother Josiah Clark, who lived in Ohio, joined the Union army.  “I was born free but a colored man.”

Philip Ball testified to Clark’s loyalty and asserted that he and Clark “belonged to the Heroes of America.”

W.F. Henderson testified that “on the 10th day of April 1865 General Stonemans Army passed my house where I then lived six miles East of Lexington going towards the N.C. R. Road for the purpose of Destroying the Bridge across Abbots Creek (so They said) and they had with them the two Horses, the property of George Clark.  One sorrel  mare and one Gray mare.” “The claimant is a colored man which I have known for 30 years and is a unmistakable a Loyal Man and allywas has been and a poor man with a large family to support.”

Allowed: $200.00.

In the 1860 census of Northern Division, Davidson County: George Clark, 47, blacksmith; wife Elizabeth, 37; and children Marian, 20, Benjamin, 18, Jane, 12, Barbara, 8, Samuel, 6, Eli, 4, Lucinda, 2, and Obediah, 3.

Despite their family’s care.

Nancy Midgett v. Willoughby McBryde, 48 NC 21 (1855).

“Nancy Midgett, is a white woman, but her two children are mulattoes begotten by a negro father.”  The Currituck County Court ordered that children be bound to Willoughby McBryde.  Midgett presented evidence that for the last three years she had been living near her father in a house he built for her; that he had taken charge of her children and kept them diligently and industriously employed; that he was himself an honest, respectable and industrious man, well able to take care of her and her children and willing to do so; and that she herself had, during the last three years, behaved orderly and industriously.  Accordingly, contended Midgett’s counsel, the children did not fall within the category of those liable to be bound out by the County Court.  The trial judge disagreed, upheld the County Court’s action, and Midgett appealed.

The North Carolina Supreme Court held that the County Court had power to bind out all free base-born children of color, without reference to the occupation or condition of the mother. The provision of the statute that refers to the occupation or employment of the parents is confined to cases of free negroes and mulattoes whose children are”legitimate.” “In such cases, if the parents have no honest or industrious occupation, the children may be bound out.  These considerations do not arise when the child is a bastard.” Judgment affirmed.