Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

He says he comes from Hanover County.


Taken up and committed to the Jail of Lenoir county, on the 24th day of August, 1828, a negro name who calls himself LEME DEEN, and says he is a free man, and that he came from Hanover county, in Virginia. He is very black complected, is about 5 feet seven or eight inches high, his left eye squinted. The owner is requested to come forward and prove his property, pay charges and take him away, or he will be dealt with as the law directs. JEREMIAH HAWKINS, Jailor. Kinston, Sept, 27, 1828.

Star, Raleigh, 5 February 1829.

Never guilty of any action to forfeit his freedom.

State of North Carolina, Craven County } To the Worshipfull, the Justices of Craven County

The Petition of James Manly an Indian humbly represents to your Honor that he was free born at Edenton and that he never has been Guilty of any Action by which his Freedom can be forfeited by any of the Laws of this or any other of the United States.

Your Petitioner further begs leave to inform your Worships that he has lived some Time past at Broad Creek and that on or about the [blank] Day of [blank] a Certain John Garland came to the dwelling House of the said James Manly and forcibly drove him away and sold him as a Slave to Colonel Levi Dawson for the Consideration of one hundred pounds Specie. Wherefore as your Petitioner is a Subject of this States; and under the present happy Constitution humbly moves that this worshipfull Court will pass an Order for liberating or Setting him free from the service of Colonel Levi Dawson aforesaid and restore him to his Freedom And as in Duty bound your Petitioner will ever pray.    Jas. Cooke Atty. For the Petitioner.

[On back.] James Manlys Petition  December Term 1782. James Gatlin & Levi Dawson  Read and Granted The Petitioner set Free   Chrisr. Neales C.C.

Miscellaneous Records 1757-1929, Craven County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Caesar applies for Confederate pension.



On this 2 day of July, A.D. 1917, personally appeared before me A.L. Sparger J.P., in and for the State and County aforesaid, Phillip Ceaser, age 90 years, and a resident at Mt. Airy post-office, in said County and State, and who, being duly sworn, makes the following declaration in order to obtain the pension under the provisions of an act entitled “An act for the relief of certain Confederate Soldiers, Sailors and Widows,” ratified March 8, 1907; that he is the identical Phillip Ceasar who enlisted in Co. A, Reg., N.C. State Troops, on or about 1 day of May, 1864, to serve in the armies of the late Confederate States, and that while in service at Fort Caswell in the State of N.C., on or about 15th day of Nov, 1864, he received a wound or wounds, etc. [description] from which wound a fistula resulted.

He further states:

That he is, and has been for twelve months immediately preceding this Application for Pension, a bona fide resident of North Carolina;

That he holds no office under the United States, or any State or County, from which he is receiving the sum of three hundred dollars as fees or as salary annually;

That he is not worth in his own right, or the right of his wife, property at its assessed value for taxation to the amount of five hundred dollars ($500), or has he disposed of property of such value by gift or voluntary conveyance since the 11th of March, 1885;

That he is not receiving any aid from the State of North Carolina or under any other statue providing for the relief of the maimed and blind soldiers of the State.   Phillip X Ceaser

Sworn and subscribed to before me, this 2 day of July, 1917.  A.L. Spanger, J.P.

Also personally appeared before me J.A. Adams, who resides at Dobson post-office, in said County and State, a person whom I know to be respectable and entitled to credit, and being by me duly sworn, says he acquainted with Phillip Ceaser, the applicant for pension, and has every reason to believe that he is the identical person he represents himself to be, and that the facts set forth in this affidavit are correct to the best of his knowledge and belief, and that he has no interest, direct or indirect, in this claim. J.A. Adams.

Sworn and subscribed to before me, this 2 day of July, 1917A.L. Spanger, J.P.


State of North Carolina, Surry County} Office of County Board of Pensions

To the State Board of Pensions

The attached application of one Phillip Cesar who makes application for an allowance as pensioner for services rendered the Confederate States during the Civil War in building fortifications at the time the services were rendered he was one of the old issue of free negroes we find no law for allowing him a pension. We simply recommend the allowance as a 4th class pension, and if the claim is not allowable by your board you know what disposition to make of it.  J.G. Burns Chairman, S.C. Franklin, R.S. Folger

From the file of Phillip Caesar; North Carolina, Confederate Soldiers and Widows Pension Applications, 1885-1953; Original, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1860 census of Mount Airy, Surry County: Philip Ceaser, 23, wife Jane, 20, and daughter Sarah, 6 months.

The Winns of Mount Olive.

On March 20, 1838 the county records show that in consideration of the sum of $19.00, Adam Winn deeded the railroad a right-of-way through his lands. In November, 1837 and again in February of 1838 the President and Directors of the railroad had appealed to the Wayne County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions to force Winn to sell them a right-of-way. At that point the railroad was getting near the county line. Winn sold in 1838. It is believed that  Winn’s land lies along present day Center Street.

The 1838 deed to the railroad stated that the adjoining lands to the north belonged to Basil Kornegay, a rich Duplin County planter, member of the state House of Commons in 1814, and brother-in-law of William Rufus King, Vice-President under Franklin Pearce. The adjoining land of Winn’s was owned by Charles Winn, who was a member of his family.

With Winn’s lands on the south, and Flowers’ and Slocumb’s on the north, the railroad had a clear right-of-way to Dudley. The railroad track begins at Wilmington, curves at Faison, and then runs in an almost direct line to Weldon. When it was finished in 1840, with 161 miles of track, it was the longest railroad in the world.

Charles and Levi Winn were both blacksmiths, a vital service in a community which moved almost entirely on hoof. Adam Greenfield, Samuel Parker, George Simmons, Henry Coleman, Edward Griffin and Branson Merritt were coopers. A cooper is a man who makes and repairs barrels. Eastern North Carolina had long been famous for its tar and pitch, commonly called “naval stores.”

The Winn Family

The Winn family is one of the most interesting in the area. In 1836 Ginny Winn purchased a hundred acres of land from Ezekiel Norris in the lower part of Wayne. This is the first land transaction by Winns in Wayne County, though John Kornegay of Duplin County deeded Adam Winn, also of Duplin, land on the northeast “precosin” (swamp) on September 18, 1834. This land ran into Wayne County at one point near present-day Mount Olive.

In the 1850 census the Winn family is listed as “mulatto”, but in the 1860 census they were listed as “black”. The Winn family were free blacks from Duplin County who had received their freedom prior to 1834. The Artis, Simmons and Greenfield families of Mount Olive were also free blacks, according to the1860 census.

Adam Winn was himself a slave owner, for in April 1849 he borrowed money from Benjamin Oliver of Duplin, and put up three slaves, Bethana, Martha and Oliver, as security, along with 133 acres of land. The Winns did business with the most prominent and respected white families, and through the years have generally been considered the most outstanding family of their race in the area. They have produced farmers, school teachers and tradesmen and have been leaders in the black community of Mount Olive. Adam Winn who was also one of the first magistrates of Mount Olive, had sons, William, Charles and Levi. Charles and Levi were blacksmiths, the first to be located in the village of Mount Olive. Levi Winn owned land west of the railroad which was later purchased by Dr. Roberts, and transferred in 1854 to William W. Loftin and Dr. Benjamin Franklin Cobb. William and Charles Winn also owned land in the Mount Olive area.

Extracted from John Baxton Flowers III, “Early History of Mount Olive,” Mount Olive Tribune, 7 September 1979, posted in

Between an African and a mulatto.

Alfred Nichols v. William F. Bell, 46 NC 32 (1853).

The first issue in the case involved a question of parol evidence.  The second involved Alfred Nichols himself.  Nichols was “neither black nor white, but … he was of a brown color, between that of an African and a mulatto, and … neither of his parents could have been a white person.” Further, “in Onslow, where the contract he was made, he was reputed to be a free person, was called and known as free Alfred Nichols.”  Defendant Bell requested that the court instruct the jury that any person darker than a mulatto was presumptively a slave. The court declined.  Affirmed, as the principle is incontroverted that only “black” skin carries the presumption. “Let the presumption rest upon the African color; that is a decided mark: but to carry it into shades, would lead us into darkness, doubt and uncertainty, for they are as various as the admixture of blood between the races, and against the rule that presumptions are always in favor of liberty.”

A free colored Lutheran.

The following colored persons were baptized and confirmed: … 5. Andrew Jackson Reid, a free boy …

From page 161, Record Book of Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church 1858-1902, as transcribed in Kathryn L. Bridgers, “Black Members of St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church, Cabarrus County, North Carolina, 1858-1859,” North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, vol. XVI, no. 3 (1990).

In the 1860 census of Western Section, Cabarrus County: Joe House, 47, carpenter, and Andrew Reed, 19. Farm hand, in the household of John Faggart, farmer.