Praise for free people of color.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
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.