Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

A plea for the repeal of a tax on free colored wives and daughters.

To the Worshipful the Speaker and Gentlemen of the Assembly.

The petition of Sundry of the Inhabitants of the Counties of Northampton Edgecombe and Granville.

Humbly Sheweth That by one Act of Assembly passed in the year 1723, Intituled “An Act for an Additional Tax on all free Negroes, Mulattoes, Mustees and such Persons Male & Female, as now are or hereafter shall be intermarried with any such Persons resident in this Government.” Amongst other Things it was enacted That all free Negroes &c. that were or shou’d thereafter be Inhabitants of this Province Male & Female being of the Age of twelve Years & upwards shou’d be deemed Tythables and as such should yearly pay the same Levies and Taxes as other Tythable Inhabitants.

That many Inhabitants of the sd Counties who are Free Negroes & Mulattoes and persons of Probity & good Demeanor and chearfully contribute towards the Discharge of every public Duty injoined them by Law. But by reason of being obliged by the sd Act of Assembly to pay Levies for their Wives and Daughters as therein mentioned are greatly Impoverished and many of them rendered unable to support themselves and Families with the common Necessaries of Life.

Wherefore your Petitioners would humbly pray in behalf of the sd Free Negroes &c. That so much of the said recited Act as compels such of them as Intermarry with those of their own complection to pay Taxes for their Wives & Daughters may be repealed or that they may be otherwise relieved as to your Worships in your great Wisdom seem meet.

And your Petitioners as in Duty bound shall pray &c.

Granville County: Will’m Eaton, John Hawkins, Phil. Hawkins, George Jordin, Tho’s Lowe, Jno. Sallis, Patrick Lashley, Phil. Pryor, Fra’s King, Jno. Bowie, Aaron Fassol, John Jones, Tho’s Dulany, John Wade, Zack Bullock, George Cuttlor, John Williams Jun’r, Thomas Woodlief, John Gibbs, William Forkner, And’w Hampton, Marton Dickson, Moses Coppack, Amanwall Forkner, Wm. Johnson, Leopold Fallon, Jonas Parker, James Smith, Rich’d Harris, Wm. Smith, Amos Newsom, Jos. Brantley, Shurley Whatley, James Brantly, Jno. Glover, Edw. Young, John Martin.

Edgcomb County: Jos. Jno. Alston, Wm. Irby, Will’m Anderson, Joseph Strickland, Thos. Wood, Benj’n Sherrod, John Jones, Jacob Strickland, Augustin Curtis, Nathan Joyner, John Noland, Ebenezer Folsom, Benj. Nevill, Wm. Adams, John Cheney, William Richason, John Fish, Richard McKinne, James Brown.

Miscellaneous Records, Office of Secretary of State, North Carolina State Archives, as transcribed in Colonial and State Records of North Carolina,

Nathan R. Brewington.

ImageNATHAN R. BREWINGTON, born 1 April 1859 in Sampson County, was the son of Raiford Brewington and Bashaba Manuel Brewington.  He married Abbie Jane Jacobs, daughter of Jesse A. Jacobs and Abigail Gilliam Jacobs, and died 11 December 1910 near Dudley, Wayne County.  He is buried in the Congregational Church cemetery there. “We loved him but Jesus loved him best.”

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, 2010.

Free-Issue Death Certificates: PETTIFORD.

Alvarin Pettiford. Died 22 June 1916, Winston, Forsyth County. Resided 9 No. Liberty. Negro. Married. Gardener. Born 2 May 1848 to Henderson Pettiford and Fannie Clarke. Buried Jamestown NC. Informant, Alex Pettiford, Winston-Salem.

Alexander Pettiford. Died 17 February 1914, Jamestown, Guilford County. Black. Widower. Farmhand. Born 1858 to Hence Pettiford and unknown mother. Informant, J.W. Sechrist.

In the 1850 census of Southern Division, Guilford County: Henderson Pettiford, 30, shoemaker, born Wake County; wife Fanny, 30; and children Alverin, 3, John, 1, and Benjmine, 9 months, all born in Guilford; plus Mary Ann Clark, 11, born Davidson County.

Archie Tyner. Died 21 September 1950, Walkertown, Middle Fork, Forsyth County. Colored. Widower. Retired farmer. Born 19 February 1855 to James Tyner and Pollie Pettiford. Informant, C.C. Tyner, Colfax NC.

Mrs. Saluda Tyner Watkins. Died 6 Oct 1952, Bethania, Forsyth County. Colored. Widow. Born 3 September 1857 in Forsyth County to Jim Tyner and Polly Pettiford.

In the 1850 census of Forsyth County: James Tyner, 23, laborer, and wife Polly Tyner, 32.

Enoch Pettiford.  Died 30 October 1924, Gilmer, Greensboro, Guilford County. Colored. Resided 532 High Street. Married to Rosa Pettiford. Railroad worker. Born about 1850 in Guilford County to Ransom Pettiford and Mary Ann Scott. Buried Maplewood Cemetery.

In the 1860 census of Southern Division, Guilford County: Ransom Petterfield, 48, laborer, wife Anna, 43, and children Wm. S., 20, Emily, 16, Franklin, 15, Enoch, 12, Stephen, 11, McKeys, 8, Edmond, 6, Henry, 4, E.J., 3, and Nathan Petterfield, 2, plus Louise, 21, Nath, 8, and Betsy A. Haithcock, 3.


He is to stand trial to be sold as a slave.

Febry the 10th 1802

Wm. Littlejohn Esqr., Sir

I am Informed by Mr. Domenick That Eli Wilkins a person of Coulour In the Town of Edenton hath been Taken Up Under Some of the Acts of Assembly & bound for his appearance to Chowan County Court at March Term 1802 where he is to Stand his Tryal for to be Sold as a Slave if my affidavit that I herewith forward to you is Not Sufficient to Extricate the sd. Boy & for you to Give Up the Recognizance of the sd. Domenick & Let the sd. Boy Stand Discharged I will forward any Other proof that May be Deemed Necessary to that Efect as I am duly able So to do & More Also bound by the Laws of Nature & humanity.

I am with Submition, Your Hu’le Serv’t Tamor Wilkins


State of No Carolina, Martin County  } Personally apeard before Me Ebenezer Seadons of The Justices for the County aforesaid Tamor Wilkins & Made Oath In Dew form That on The Seventh of July one Thousand Seventeen hundred & Eighty five She was Delivered of a Male Child which She Called Eli Wilkins a Natural Born & Child of Coulour which Child after Comeing of age to be bound She Bound as an apprintis to one John Edwards of Bertie County who Some Time Afterwards Removed to The then Cumberland Settlement & gave up the Indnturs of sd. boy to his sd. Mother She then put The sd. boy with one John Acrey to Learn The Hatters Trade the Boy as She this Deponat Has Since Understood Runaway from sd. Acre Better then Three years ago & as She has been Informed hath been Living with One Domenick Sinc that Time In the Town of Edenton which sd. boy Hath been brought to Her by this sd. Domenick on the 10th Day of February one Thousand Eighteen Hundred & Two In the County & State aforesaid & She this Deponant Doth Acknowlede & Swore him To be the Same boy In Testimony wherof She this Deponant Hath af[illegible] her hand & Declared the Same. Tamer X Wilkins


Febry the 10th 1802 This May Certify That I have Known the within Mentioned Tamer Wilkins for Several Years & Believe ther is No Doubt of Her being free Born as will more fully appear By the Testimony of Many In the County of Bertie If it is Should be Necessary given – Under My hand and Seal the day & Date above written.   E. Slade {seal}

Miscellaneous Records, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.