Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Porch detained.

Ordered that Francis McBride be cited to appear at this court tomorrow to show cause if any he can why he detains a mulatto boy named porch in his service when it is supposed he ought to have his freedom.

Minutes, August Term 1781, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Guilford County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

John W. Aldridge.


JOHN WILLIAM ALDRIDGE (1853-1910) was born in Sampson County to Robert Aldridge and Mary Eliza Balkcum Aldridge. In the 1870s, he and his brothers Mathew Aldridge and George Aldridge were among former free men of color hired to teach in Wayne County colored schools. (Another was E.E. Smith.) John and George were posted near Fremont, in northern Wayne County, where John met and married one of his students, Louvicey Artis.  The couple settled among his family near Dudley, in southern Wayne County.  The original site of John’s grave is now forgotten, but he now lies in a family cemetery on land still owned by Aldridge descendants. (The W on the headstone is a bit of a mystery, but suggests that the marker was second-hand.  The spelling of his surname, “Aldrich,” is that preferred by his son, Thomas, who paid for it.)

An Act to Emancipate Hannah.


An Act to Emancipate Hannah, Alias Hannah Bowers, a Person of Mixed Blood, Belonging to the Estate of the Late Alexander Gaston Deceased.

Whereas it appears to this General Assembly, That the late Alexander Gaston, of the town of New Bern, did in his lifetime frequently express a desire that the said girl Hannah should be set free, and did certify the same in his own handwriting, which certificate has been since found among the papers of the deceased: And whereas the widow of the said Alexander Gaston has also signified her desire that the said girl should in compliance with her husband’s wishes in his lifetime be set free:

I. Be it therefore Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by authority of the same, That the said molatto girl called Hannah, alias Hannah Bowers, shall be, and is hereby declared to be emancipated and made free to all intents and purposes, and shall be entitled to all the privileges and benefits of a free person in as full and absolute manner, as if she the said Hannah had been born of a free woman. (Passed Jan. 6, 1787.)

Acts of the North Carolina General Assembly, 1786-1787, Colonial and State Records of North Carolina.