Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

He passes for a free man.

TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.  Absconded from New-Bern about twelve months past, a mulatto man slave named JOHN, who passes for a free man and calls himself JOHN McCLISH. He is a taylor by trade, well made, of a middle stature and wears his hair in a queue; he has been seen at the plantation of the late George Lovick, nine miles below New-Bern, on Neuse river, about three months past. Any person who will bring the said fellow to me in New-Bern shall receive the above reward [illegible] reward and all reasonable charges paid. THO. WILLIAMS, New-Bern, Nov. 2, 1785.

North Carolina Gazette, or Impartial Intelligencer and Weekly Advertiser, 3 November 1785.

A devilish confusion.

A knotty point for the civilians. – Ned Mitchell, a free man of colour, was married to his wife Cressy in the year 1820, she having had one (white) child, but that was at Chapel Hill. They lived together for ten long years in the enjoyment of domestic felicity, and in perfect harmony, during which time Cressy had five children, as much like Ned, as shot are like bullets. At length in 1830, Cressy moved to distant parts; Ned promised to follow her, but went to the Montgomery Gold Mines and has been there ever since. Cressy, in 1833, returned to Salisbury, and not finding Ned there, nor hearing of them thereabouts, she, in the course of time, gave her hand in matrimony to another gentleman, with whom she had one child. A few days since, who should make his appearance but Ned Mitchell, claiming to be restored to his matrimonial rights; and a devilish confusion is about to be the upshot of it. In the priminary, we have been professionally consulted, but not deeming the matter fairly within our province, we have turned it over to the eccelesiatics, Dan Macay and Hanibal brown, and if they should encounter any difficulty, we have advised, that they call on the “Kitchen Cabinet,” before which, matters of this kind are “peculiarly cognizable,” as the Lawyers say. – Salisbury Watchman.

Tarborough Free Press, 21 March 1834.

Nash County Apprentices, 1778-1806.

At April Court 1778, Jesse Booth, Sylvia Booth, Henry Tayborn, the first two “base begotten” children of Priscilla Booth, the last the orphan of Henry Tayburn deceased, fees pd. Indenture to be prepared again next ct.

At July Court 1779, ordered that Isham Locas, 3, Martha Locas, 4, and Burwell Locas, 2 months, base-begotten children, were bound to Lazarus Pope to learn the art and mystery of planters for the boys and carding & spinning for the girl.

At October Court 1779, ordered that Lucy Locust, 3, Henry Locust, 6, and Joshua Locust, 2, base born children of Mary Locust, were bound to George Jackson, the boys to learn the “art and mystery” of planters and the girl, carding and spinning.

At August Court 1792, Chany Locus, 4, base-born child of Sarah Locus, was bound to Jacob Barnes until 18 to learn to card and spin.

At May Court 1806, Rich’d Shay, age 1 year, 9 months, a base-born child of color, was bound to Reuben Whitfield until 21.

At May Court 1806, Fanny Jones, 4, base-born child of color, was bound to Zadock Sneed.

Minutes, Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, Nash County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Runaway bound boy, no. 7.

COMMITTED to the Jail of Rowan County, on the 4th of August, a negro boy named Edward Bailey, who says he is free, and bound to Newsome Westmoreland of Stokes county. Said boy is of dark complexion, about 13 or 14 years of age. N. ROBERTS, Jailor. Salisbury, Aug. 16, 1845.

Carolina Watchman, 18 August 1845.


Lost or Mislaid, sundry Notes and Bonds.

1 Bond that I hold against Adam Winn for one boy, Woodward Winn.

1 Note against J.A. Brady for $200.

2 Notes against W.L. Jenkins, one $20 and one $10.

My Accounts and Receipts payable to me.

1 Note against W.B. Field; Land Deeds, and my free papers.

I forewarn all persons from trading for said notes and accounts as I have not got value received for them.                         HENRY SIMMONS. Nov. 12.

Fayetteville Observer, 19 November 1860.

[Sidenote: Woodward Winn was Adam Winn’s son, and a slave. — LYH]

A list of acts.


A list of some of the acts passed during the last session of the General Assembly.

To prevent the importation and bringing of slaves and servants of colour into this state.

To prevent the owners of slaves from hiring them their time; to make compensation for patroles, and to restrain the abuses committed by free negroes and mulattoes.

To emancipate Jack, alias Jack Small, a person of colour.

North Carolina Gazette, New Bern, 14 February 1795.

Praise for free people of color.

From the Newbernian, of June 11, 1844, THE LOST CHILD.

Bachelor’s Creek, Craven County, June 3, 1844.

Mr. Editor: — On Wednesday evening of the 29th of May, James Riley, son of Mr. Erasmus Wetherington, a very intelligent boy of about 7 years of age, was returning home from the Public School in District No. 7, and had arrived near to his father’s house, when hearing his father’s cow bell, he turned aside in order to drive her home, but unfortunately missing his way in the rear of a large pond, and it coming on dark, was lost in the woods. – Hearing some one hallowing, and supposing it to be his father calling him, he followed in the direction of the sound; it proved to be a neighbor calling his dogs. This led him in an entirely opposite direction from his home. Taking the first path he came to, he was led off 4 or 5 miles from home. He was heard about 9 o’clock at night by a free person of colour, but he suspecting nothing wrong, did not go to his assistance. [The boy was discovered missing the next morning, and a two-day search commenced. Finally, two men sitting to rest in a pocosin heard a voice and found the boy. He was scratched and hungry, but otherwise in good shape and spirits, though he had a narrow escape — his rescuers noticed “tracks of a very large bear” in the pocosin.] Too much praise cannot be given to the free persons of colour in the neighborhood for the prompt and efficient aid they rendered in searching for the lost child. M.C. BOGY.

Carolina Watchman, 29 June 1844.

New mode of swindling.

New Mode of Swindling. Two Hundred Dollars Reward For Apprehending the chief actor, RICHARD HARDEN,

Late of Pratt-street, in the city of Baltimore, Grocer, who left said city on or about the 24th day of October last. The publick would confer an obligation on a person from whom he purchased a large quantity of goods, which together with others purchased from different person, he sold to many others, chiefly a Mr. Shamway, to whom he sold upwards of 6600 dollars worth; (Shamway had been his clerk), and likewise on whom he prevailed to endorse notes to a considerable amount, if they would forward a few lines, mentioning where he may be found, to E.F. care of the Editor of the Federal Gazette.

The said R. Harden is about 28 years of age, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, stout made, black complexion, a mark on his jaw like than of an evil, down look, and is a taylor by trade. When in Baltimore he was dressed in black, with a crape on his hat; he seems to have a general knowledge of business, and of the country; is a native of New-England. He formerly lived in Charleston, S.C., and in Newbern, N.C. The person he has taken in as above stated, is a man with a large family, from whom he has taken nearly the whole means of support for them and himself, and therefore claims the assistance of the publick in detecting him. Should the person giving information (so that he can be arrested) require it, the above reward will be given by the writer of this, who may be known application to the Editor of the Baltimore Federal Gazette; and his name never be mentioned.

N.B. It is supposed that Harden has gone to New York, followed by several of his associates, at which place he will probably resume a trade to which he is no stranger. December 16.

Norfolk Gazette and Publick Ledger, 1 Jan 1808

Mary B. Greenfield.

ImageMARY B. GREENFIELD was the daughter of Johnson and Harriet Smith Greenfield. She is buried in the Budd cemetery near Dudley, Wayne County.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, March 2013.

In the 1860 census of Indian Springs, Wayne County: Johnson Greenfield, 52, farmer, wife Harriet, 36, and children Budd, 15, Ingram, 11, Giles, 9, Luther, 6, Dellelo, 4, Mary, 2, George, 2, and Marshal, 4 months.