Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Gibson applies for Confederate pension.



On this 25 day of July, A.D. 1903, personally appeared before me J.B. Cain Deputy, C.S.C. in and for the State and County aforesaid, Stephen Gibson, age [blank] years, and a resident at Asheville 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 Stephen Gibson who enlisted in Co. F, 29 Reg., N.C. State Troops, on or about [blank] day of August, 1861, to serve in the armies of the late Confederate States, and that while in service at Nickasville in the State of Ky., on or about [blank] day of Sept., 1862, he received a wound or wounds, etc. [description] [General Disability and parolled at Nickasville Ky and that I am not able to perform manual Labor more than one forth of my time. Was honorably discharged Lenoirs, Tenn.].

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; and 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.   Stephen X Gibson

Sworn and subscribed to before me, this 25 day of July, 1903.  /s/ J.B. Cain, D.C.

Also personally appeared before me B.F. Patton, who resides at Asheville N.C. 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 Steven Gibson, 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. /s/ B.F. Patton

Sworn and subscribed to before me, this [blank] day of July 25, 1903.  /s/ Jesse R. Starnes, Notary Public

Also personally appeared before me [blank] a physician in good standing in said County and State and being duly sworn, says that he has carefully and thoroughly examined Steven Gibson, the applicant for pension, and finds such disability for manual labor as described below, by reason of wounds received while in the discharge of his duty as a soldier or sailor of North Carolina in the service of the late Confederate States. Is physically incapacitated for any and all manual labor and has been for more than [illegible] years by reason of general weakness result of chronic nephritis (Bright Disease)T[illegible] & [illegible] Swolen G[illegible]   /s/ James S. Burroughs, Signature of Physician.

Sworn and subscribed to before me, this 25 day of July, 1903.  /s/ Jesse R. Starnes, Notary Public


“This application is that of an old colored man – he was free at the beginning of the war and enlisted in Capt. Enloes company (F.) 29th N.C. Troops and served with his command until Braggs campaign in Kentucky in 1864.

Capt Enloe says he was a faithful, good soldier and he would like to see him have a pension. He is a very feeble old man now and not likely to live more than a year, two at most. From what Capt Enloe writes, and our knowledge of the old fellow we recommend a favorable consideration of his care.”

[Stephen Gibson’s application was disallowed. In August 1904, his 71 year-old widow, Loucretia Gibson of Oconolata, Swain County, reapplied. The County Pension Board approved her request for pension.]

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

Free-Issue Death Certificates: THOMAS.

Adline Thomas. Died 30 March 1926, Gardners, Wilson County. Colored. Signle. Age 91. Born Edgecombe County to Jerdon Thomas of Franklin County and Chattie Thomas of unknown. Buried Rountrees cemetery, Wilson. Informant, Anderson Thomas.

Peter Thomas.  Died 7 July 1929, Wilson, Wilson County. Colored. Married to Maggie Thomas. Age 78. Farmer. Born Wilson County to Jordon Thomas of Wilson County and Rosa Thomas of Wilson County. Buried Penders Family Cemetery, Wilson County. Informant, Sudie Barnes.

Jordan Thomas. Died 19 December 1932, Toisnot, Wilson County. Colored. Age 70. Farmer. Buried Wilson County to Henrietta Thomas and unknown father. Informant, J.T Barnes.

Alfred Thomas. Died 16 January 1933, Wilson, Wilson County. Colored. Widower of Lula Thomas. Age 70. Farmer. Born Wilson County to unknown father and Adline Thomas. Informant, John Thomas.

To enslave herself.



By Mr. Green, of Franklin, a memorial from Ellen Ransom, a free woman of color, of Franklin county, to be allowed to enslave herself for life to Leonidas Perry.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 12 December 1860.

In the 1860 census of Franklinton, Franklin County: Susan Ransom, 75, washerwoman, daughter Ellen, 26, her children Marcellus, 9, and Susan, 7, and Henrietta Mason, 15.


Legislature of North Carolina.


By Mr. Ewell, a bill to permit Celia Lynch, a free woman of color, to enslave herself for life. Referred to committee on propositions and grievances.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 19 December 1860.

The generosity of a free colored woman.

WILKESBORO’, N.C., Nov. 17, 1861.

Mr. HOLDEN: I am sure that you will esteem worthy of notice in the columns of your valuable paper, the generosity of a free colored woman, Ann Grinton, living in the family of Dr. Calloway, towards the soldiers of this country, to whom is repeatedly sending article of apparel and food, which the soldier must appreciate – and seldom an opportunity passes that she does not largely contribute. I subjoin a list of articles that she contributed towards a box, the packing of which came under my supervisions, recently.

Respectfully, H.P.C.

1 bed quilt, 1 bed tick, 3 pair socks, 1 pillow case, 1 pound feathers, 4 pair woolen gloves, 8 linen towels, 3 bottles brandy, 3 bottles blackberry wine, 1 parcel of red-pepper, 4 boxes prepared mustard, 1 bottle R.R. Relief, 2 bars turpentine soap, jar of butter 10 ¾ pounds, 2 bottles sweet pickle, jar of quince preserves, 2 large pound cakes, ginger-cakes, loaf of rusk, 2 loaves of light bread, 2 bushels apples, 1 bushel chestnuts, 1 peck of onions, a parcel of dog-wood, cabbage and wild cherry.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 4 December 1861.

In the 1860 census of Upper Division, Wilkes County: Ann Grinton, 25, Phebe Grinton, 3 months, and Roxan Harris, 21, in the household of Jas. Callaway, physician.

North Carolina Certificate of Death: Ann Grinton. Died 5 June 1925, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Colored. Divorced from Sag Hampton. Born 1830 in Wilkes County to unknown parents. Buried Harris G.Y. Informant, Jim Williams. 

Eleven acres to my daughters and then my grandchildren.

North Carolina, Wilson County   }

In the name of God, Amen.

I, Jordan Thomas, of the State and County aforesaid, do make this my last will and testament. I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughters, Harty Thomas and Henretta Thomas the land which I now live the same being situate in Gardner’s Township, Wilson County, adjoining the lands of Benj. Finch, Benj. Artis, & T.W. Barnes, containing about eleven acres to them their natural lives and at their death to my grandchildren – Jordan Thomas, Alford Thomas and Charity Hagans, in fee simple.

In testimony whereof witness my hand and seal this 5th day of July 1899.  Jordan X Thomas

Signed in the presence of Geo. W. Thomas, W.A. Gill

Will Book 3, Page 433, Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Wilson County Courthouse, Wilson.

In the 1860 census of Gardner, Wilson County: Jordon Thomas, 50, turpentine; daughters Henrietta, 21, Eliza, 20, and Harly, 18; and grandson John Thomas, 1.

He maintained ties to politics.

In 1860 Henry C. Cherry, a 24 year-old free mulatto carpenter residing in Edgecombe County, owned no property. By 1870 he owned real estate valued at $1,000 and had already served as a delegate to the North Carolina Constitution Convention in 1868 and one term in the state assembly. In addition to maintaining his carpentry firm, during the 1880s Cherry ran a combination grocery and liquor establishment in Tarboro. Although he was elected to the state legislature for only a single term, Cherry also served on the county commission of Edgecombe. Further, Cherry maintained ties to politics though his three sons-in-law. His daughter Louise married Henry P. Cheatham, and his daughter Cora married George H. White, two of the most influential black officeholders in North Carolina during the 1880s and 1890s. These rivals were elected to the U.S House of Representatives North Carolina’s Second Congressional District for a total of four terms. Further, another of Cherry’s daughter, Georgie, was the wife of Eustace E. Green, a member of the state assembly from Wilmington.

From Robert C. Kenzer, Enterprising Southerners: Black Economic Success of North Carolina 1865-1915 (1997).

In the 1860 census of Edgecombe County: Henry Bonner, 30, carpenter, wife Charity, 18, daughter Harriet, 1, Willie Bonner, 23, carpenter, and Henry Cherry, 26, carpenter.

[Sidenote: Henry C. Cherry married Mary Jones in Edgecombe County on 14 March 1861, about a year after the death of Henry Lloyd, the white man who fathered her first two children. Georgie Jones, above, was Henry Cherry’s step-daughter. – LYH]

He answers very quick; she has a brazen look.

One hundred dollars reward.

RUNAWAY from the subscriber, on the 3rd July 1819, two negroes, one man named Jacob, about thirty five years old, of yellow complexion, about five feet ten inches high, when spoken to, answers very quick. When he runaway from me he carried with him one blue coat and pantaloons of common broad cloth, one pair ditto of green homespun, double wove, and one new furred hat and one pair of boots. The woman Jude, about forty years old, little inclined to yellow, of a thin visage, thick lips, with a brazen look. When she left me she carried off two silk frocks, one of them were black, and the other checked, one bonnet of a red changeable silk. Jacob is a very sensible cunning fellow and will try to pass a free person of colour. I think it likely they have procured free passes, Jacob will likely pass by the name of John Bell, he can read — Jude will pass by the name of Vilet Horn, as she has procured a pass from a woman by that name. I think it most likely they will make for the north. I will give the above reward to any person delivering them to me or securing them in any jail so that I get them again.   EZEKIEL STATON.  Tarborough, July 25, 1819.

Star, Raleigh, 27 August 1819.