His father was emancipated in Virginia.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

Committed to the Jail of Rockingham county, (N.C.) on the 25th ult. A Negro Fellow, who says his name is JOHN ARMSTRONG, and that he is a free Man – says his father was emancipated by a family of the name of Ladd, near Richmond – says he lived with Mr. Ratford, who formerly kept the Eagle Tavern in that place, and that he also lived several years with Mr. Smoke, who now keeps the Eagle Tavern, in the capacity of Ostler.

JOHN is about 30 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches high, is very much pitted with the small-pox, and when apprehended, said he was on his way to Tennessee, where his wife resides. The owner is requested to prove his property, pay charges and take him away.   JOHN LILLIARD, Jailer. 7th June, 1809.

Star, Raleigh, 20 July 1809.