Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Free Colored Inhabitants of the Town of Tarboro, Edgecombe County, 1850.

#7. Isach Scott, 35, painter; Drucilla Scott, 40; and J.H. Wilkins, 8.

#8. Right Locust, 45, carpenter, wife Temperance, 37, and A., 14.

#9. Lovy Hagans, 33; wife Cas Morgin, 36; and children Rebecca, 9, and P.A. Morgin, 1 month.

#11. Green Copes, 30, mason; Mary Thompson, 80; and Susan Copes, 17.

#12. J.A. Anderson, 39; Wyatt Hagins, 13, and Jack D. Hagins, 82.

#13. Moses Jones, 25, blacksmith; Sally A. Jones, 24; and W. Jones, 60.

#21. John Mitchel, 10, in the household of carpenter Thomas Oberry.

#23. Rebecca Mitchel, 35; L[illegible] Hagins, 15; and Susan Letten, 12.

#28. Elizabeth Scott, 48, in the household of Randolph Cotton.

#33. Julia Butler, 11, in the household of Lewis Bond, cabinetmaker.

#69. Blunt Letten, 16, and West Letten, 13, in the household of Helvy Shurley, farmer.

The freed man frees. Maybe.

M.N. Leary, Executor, v. S.W. Nash and others, 56 NC 356 (1857)

This case the Court of Equity of Cumberland County and involved the interpretation of a Solomon W. Nash‘s will.  The clause at issue:

Item 6. “I further leave my negro slave woman Venice, to serve my daughters ten years from the time of my death, and after the expiration of that time, I desire her to be freed; and if she wishes to remove to any free State, I wish her to be permitted to do so; and if she may be permitted to remain in North Carolina, that she may enjoy all the privileges that can be, or may be, allowed by law to slaves left by their masters or mistresses to be freed. The way I desire Venice to serve my daughters is, for her to be hired out for the term of ten years, and the proceeds of the same to be equally divided amongst them.”

Venice had no children at the time the will was made, but later had two, Jack and Festus. Executor Matthew N. Leary asked the court (1) if Venice was entitled to freedom and, if so, under what terms and (2) if Jack and Festus were entitled to freedom. The court was also asked if John Nash, born after his father made his will, was entitled to any of the estate.

The decision:

1. John, who was born after Nash made the will, but before his death, was entitled to a filial portion.

2. Venice can elect either to leave the State and be emancipated, or to remain here as a slave.

3. Venice’s two children, born after the will was made, are slaves. “There is no ground upon which they are entitled to their freedom” because Nash did not include Venice’s future increase in his bequest.

Ruptured, but faithful.

State of North Carolina, Cumberland County   }  I Thomas J. Robeson Lately a Major 4th Rifle Reg’t United States Army, now resident in the Town of Fayetteville, county and State aforesaid Do hereby certify that corporal Josiah Abshier (a man of coulor) now resident in Anson county and State of North Carolina, was a corporal of the Poineirs and attached to Capt. Parkers company 3rd Rifle Regiment United States Army under Lieut Col’o Wm. S. Hambleton on a march from Camp Bottoms Bridge Below Richmond Va. to Washington City (green leaf Point) Maryland.   That at or near Alexandra Va in January A.D. 1815 while in the actual performance of his duty on a march [illegible] did fall from one of the Bagage Wagons thereby became Ruptured and was in consequence [illegible] from the Army of the United States, as Invalid. I further certify that I did march with the 3rd Rifle Regiment from Charlotte No Ca in the winter A.D. 1814 to Washington city as aforesaid that during the Said march & while in quarters that the said Corporal Josiah Abshier did faithfully perform his duty as Corporal and Soldier of the United States Army, and deserve the aid of his Country; that the said corporal Abshier is now in the fifty Six year of his age,  and So disabled by the Ruptor as aforesaid to provent him from Manual Labour. Given under my hand in Fayetteville this 15th December 1825. Thomas L. Robeson Lately Major 4th Rifle Reg’t U.S.A.

File of Josiah Abshier, War of 1812 Pension & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

Free? Yes. Clothes? No.

State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } August Term 1783

Personally appeared before me Col’o James Armstrong and being duly sworn deposeth and saith That on or about the first day of August In the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty one this deponent being at Martinborough in Pitt County and State aforesaid being appointed to Superintend the receiving of draughts deserters and Substitutes for the Continental service from the districts of Halifax and Newbern a certain William Kitchen who was then a deserter from the Continental Service having brought a certain Ned Griffin a molattoe or Mustee to this deponent as a Substitute in the room of the said Kitchen to serve for the term of Eighteen Months in the Continental Service the said Kitchen upon his delivering the said Griffin to this deponent (who ever mindful of his duty and determined strictly to adhere to the laws of the State particularly to the directions there enjoined respecting the receptions of Draught Substitutes &c) objected to the said Griffin upon this principle that he was not perfectly satisfied of his being a free man and the said Kitchen thereupon with the strongest of assurances declared that he the said Griffin was a free-man and as such delivered him to the deponent declaring and positively affirming at the same time that he had purchased the services of the said Griffin and upon his serving the said tour faithfully he the said Kitchen manumitted and totally discharged him from every species of further services whatsoever. That upon those terms and solemn assurances of Kitchen only he this deponent received and enrolled him the said Griffin in the Continental service accordingly. And farther this deponent saith that some time after the enrollment he met with William Griffin the person from whom Kitchen had purchased the services of the said Griffin he this deponent addressed himself to the said William Griffin in these words “So says this deponent Kitchen has purchased of you a certain Ned Griffin (meaning the said Ned Griffin that he had received as a free man of Kitchen) for a substitute for him the said Kitchen upon which the said William Griffin answered yes this deponent then demanded of him Clothing for the said Ned Griffin upon which he the said William Griffin replied that he made no contract with Kitchen when he disposed of the services of the said Ned Griffin to the said Kitchen therefore was no obligation to comply with his requisition. /s/ James Armstrong  Sworn to before me this 6th August 1783 in open Court J Sessums

Slave Records, Edgecombe County Records, North Carolina State Archives.