Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

We promise to pay.

On demand the first day of January 1848 we or Either of us do promise to pay John Lewis the Admr for ayres of urban Lewis decd it being for the sum of thirty dollars and fifty cents it for Rent of the land belonging to M. Husted lying on the East side of the Railroad joining James Kelly this January 29th 1847 test Obed Brock             Gray X Winn, Levi Winn, Adam X Greenfield

Estate Records, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

[Side note: Urban Lewis (1788-1846) was my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. — LYH]

The governor’s tricks.

A BAD INVESTMENT.  – Quite a stir appears to have been made in Harnett county by the receipt at the Post Office at Barclayville of two packages of “N.C. Standard Extra, Raleigh, N.C., July 12, 1864,” each containing five copies thereof, each copy containing an address to Mr. Holden’s “Fellow-Citizens,” and 40 Tickets for W.W. Holden for Governor.  The packages were addressed, in the fair hand writing of some one about the Standard Office, to “John Deane, Barclayville, N.C.” and “David Tucker, Barclayville, N.C.,” both free mulattoes, and one of them a minor at that!  On the packages the postage was paid.  So that Mr. Holden is minus 10 Circulars, 400 Holden Tickets, and 10 cents in cash.  Rather an unprofitable investment! We have received two letters from gentlemen at Barclayville, enclosing the covers of packages and copies of the Extra. One of these letters says that Mr. Holden will have to come and read his Extra to his “colored brethren,” as they cannot read.  But he don’t think the accommodations in that section would be very agreeable to Mr. Holden.  – Fayetteville Observer.

The above is from the Observer of Thursday evening last, received here on Friday morning.  In our paper dated Wednesday, but printed and started to Fayetteville on Tuesday, we exposed this hoax, and the Editors of the Observer must have seen our exposure of it before their paper of Thursday went to press.  Yet they make no allusion to the exposure, but attempt to produce the impression that we are engaged in a correspondence with free negroes.

A week or so since we received a letter from Barclayville containing $8.65, as subscription for four persons to the Standard.  They professed to be warm friends of ours.  We supposed, of course, that the letter was from white persons and genuine in its character, and accordingly sent them the Standard with some tickets. We soon learned, however, that the names of the four persons sent were those of free negroes, and that we had been imposed upon by some mean white person or persons. Fortunately we had preserved the letter. – We have placed it in the hands of a friend, and if the author of it can be traced and discovered by the handwriting, we intend to hold him up in his true colors to our readers.

A friend writing us from Averasborough under date of July 20th, says:

“I wish to inform you of some of the tricks of the friends of Gov. Vance in this quarter.  I am informed there was a gathering on last Friday at J.A. Johnson’s, and that John Green, Esq., went there from Barclayville with two bundles, one marked to Dave Tucker, a free negro, containing one of your Standards and some tickets for you, and the other was marked to John Dean, another free boy.  I also learned that the reception of these bundles was to be magnified, and sent to the Observer for publication.  I have my own opinions as to this matter.  One J.A.J., who says you are Lincolnite, went on to Peterburg a few days before these bundles were received, and it is believed he caused them to be sent.”

So it seems the Editors of the Observer are parties to this free negro trick! They are welcome to all they may gain by the achievement.  We have heretofore entertained high respect for the Senior Editor as a gentleman, but we find now that he is as depraved and unscrupulous as the meanest Destructive in the State.  There is neither wit, nor humor, nor decency in this trick perpetrated by Mr. Hale and his friends.  A high tones, honorable gentleman would have scorned any allusion to such practiced on a brother Editor, save to condemn it as low and unworthy in its character. – But adversity is the test of character.  Defeat, loss of influence, and the prospect that the election of the peace candidate for Governor will shorten the war, and thus stop the enormous profits Mr. Hale is realizing by his manufacturing establishments, are staring him in the face, and like Gov. Vance, he is resorting to every desperate expedient, even using the names of free negroes to injure and defeat us.  Repeating the language of the poor cowards who wrote him from Barclayville, he says if we should go to that place the “accommodations in that section” would not be “very agreeable” to us. First, we are tricked, as say one could have been, by a set of unprincipled Destructives, and then we are threatened that if we should happen to visit the neighborhood of these people, we would be insulted and mobbed. This is the not the first time the Observer has justified mob law against us.  It did so in September last, soon after we were mobbed by the Georgia troops; and our estimate of the hearts of the Editors of that paper now is, that they would be pleased to hear to-morrow that our office had been laid in ashes by a band of desperadoes, and our life placed in peril, if not taken.  This is our estimate of the Editors of that journal.  We now leave them in the company they have deliberately chosen, with the remark that the odor which surrounds them as the result of their connection with this free negro hoax, is not more offensive to them than their conduct in this business will be to every decent person who may become fully acquainted with it.

We congratulate Gov. Vance on the character of the friends he has in Harnett.  They are worthy of him, and he is worthy of them.  Two years ago they called him a Lincolnite and a traitor, but now they love him so well that they even use the free negro to promote his election.  James A. Johnson, C.H. Cofield, and Z.B. Vance! You are welcome to them, Governor.  We should think we had committed some great crime if they were to vote for us.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 27 July 1864.

Wearing & carrying & keeping a shotgun.

State of North Carolina, Warren County    } Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions November Term 1857.  The Jurors for the State on their oath presents that Albert Carr a free man of Color late of the County of Warren, at and in the said County on the first day of April in the year 1857 and did on other times & days between that day & the taking this inquisition, with force & arms, did wear & carry about his person a shot gun – not having obtained a license therefor from the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for the County of Warren within one year preceding the wearing & carrying & keeping thereof – against the form of the Statute in such case made & provided and against the peace & dignity of the State.    Renfrow

A severe punishment.


A free boy of color, named Ned Carroll, was convicted at superior court for Johnson [sic] county, in this state, two weeks since, of an attempt to commit a rape on a white girl; and sentenced to be hung on the 25th inst.  A severe punishment, but a just one.

Western Carolinian, 8 April 1828.

Punch goes home.

State of Tennessee Maury County        } To all to whom it concerns, know ye that my Negro Man Punch, from his faithfull services and careful disposition is deserving of some favor for his former Services, and having an inclination to return to Onslow County No Carolina from where I brought him, have by these presence permited him to return to that place and spend the remnant of his days as a free man, and all and every person or persons has liberty to contract with him as such.  Given under my hand this 23rd March 1811.   A. Johnston

[On reverse] Onslow County   In Court of July Term 1811 This instrument of writing was proved by Lem’l Dotys proving the hand writing of Amos Johnston. Ordered to be registered Attest Nath’l Loomis

Slave Records, Onslow County Records, North Carolina State Archives.  US Population Schedule.