Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

The criminal docket.


The Superior Court of Law and Equity for the Counties of Cumberland and Harnett has been in Session during the present week. Nearly the whole of the Term has been taken up with the Criminal Docket. A part of Tuesday and the whole of Wednesday were devoted to the trial of Rachel Freeman, a free girl of color, on a charge of arson. The jury returned a verdict of guilty. For the State, Mr. Solicitor Strange; for the prisoners, Messrs. William B. Wright and Joseph Baker, Jr.

The next business on the calendar was an application of three prisoners from Bladen, charged with a capital offence, to be admitted to bail. They were represented by John A. Richardson, Esq., whose efforts to obtain bail were ineffectual. The prisoners were remanded.

Jackson Evans was then put on his trial for a homicide on the body of Joseph Williams, both free men of color. A verdict of manslaughter has been returned.

North Carolina Argus, Wadesboro, 16 October 1856.

Free-Issue Death Certificates: MISCELLANEOUS, no. 14.

Edd Bowen. Died 18 November 1925, Ransom, Columbus County. Colored. Widower. Farmer. Born 12 June 1858 in NC to James Bowen and Esther Blanks. Buried Eastarcadia NC. Informant, Alice Andrews, Dilco NC.

In the 1860 census of Bladen County: Jas. Boon, 34, wife Esther, 24, and children James, 10, Mary M., 8, G.F., 7, Catharine, 5, W.G., 4, Eddy, 2, and Sarah, 2 months.

Catherine Jackson. Died 7 July 1932, Waccamaw, Columbus County. Indian. Widow of David Jackson. Born 12 April 1858 in Columbus County to J.A. Bowen of Columbus County and Susan Lacewell of Bladen County. Buried Holly Ridge NC. Informant, Geo. M. Mitchell.

In the 1860 census of Columbus County: John Bowen, 45, farmer, wife Susan 46, and children John, 23, Frances, 21, Lucy, 20, Anna, 17, Jane, 15, Betsey, 13, James, 10, G., 8, Henry, 5, Lydia, 3, and Caty Bowen, 2. John and Susan were born in Bladen County. They and their oldest three children were described as mulatto; the remainder as black.

John William Mitchell. Died 5 January 1934, Waccamaw, Columbus County. Indian. Married to Colista Mitchell. Farmer. Born 1 November 1858, Waccamaw, to B.F. Mitchell and Mary Frances Bowen. Buried Mitchell cemetery. Informant, Cary Mitchell, Hallsboro NC.

In the 1860 census of Bladen County: B.F. Mitchel, 24, wife Mary F., 21, and children A.E., 3, and John W., 2.

Calvin Thomas Mitchell. Died 29 February 1916, Ransom, Columbus County. Negro. Married. Farmer. Born about 1862 in Columbus County to Buckhorn Mitchell and Dalcedia Chafus. Buried Freeman. Informant, Joe Moore.

In the 1860 census of Bladen County: J.W. Mitchel, 30, turpentine, wife Dalsadid, 25, and children Anna, 9, Mary M., 8, Britton, 6, Calvin T., 4, and Davis, 2 months.

Elsie Blanks. Died 3 December 1915, Welches Creek, Columbus County. Widow. Colored. Born about 1838 to Shade Chavis. Buried Welches Creek township. Informant, McI. Spaulding.

Spelman applies for Confederate pension.



On this 2nd day of July, A.D. 1928, personally appeared before me L.S. Leary, C.S.C. in and for the State and County aforesaid, John Spelman, age [blank] years, and a resident at Linden 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 to amend and consolidate the pension laws of the State of North Carolina,“ ratified March 8, 1921: That he is the identical John Spelman who enlisted as a servant in Company A, 56 Regiment, N.C. State Troops, on or about the [1st] day of June, 1861, to serve in the armies of the late Confederate States, and that while in service at Shiloh, in the State of North Carolina, on or about [blank] day of [blank], [blank], he received a wound or wounds, etc. [description]

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 two thousand dollars ($2,000), nor 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.   /s/ John X Spelman

Sworn and subscribed to before me, this 2nd day of July, 1928.  /s/ L.S. Leary

Also personally appeared before me N.S. Burgess, who resides at Shiloh postoffice, 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 John Spelman, 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/ N.S. Burgess

Sworn and subscribed to before me, this 2nd day of July, 1928.  /s/ L.S. Leary

[Approved 21 October 1928]

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

Surnames: Columbus County, 1860.

The following surnames appear among free people of color in the 1860 census of Columbus County:


Another colored Confederate.

James A. Locuss, cook, Co. F, 51 Reg’t North Carolina Infantry (State Troops).  Appears on Company Muster Roll of the organization named above for Nov & Dec 1864. Enlisted 31 October 1864 at Richmond, by W. Hamilton for duration of the war.

Concerning the emancipation of Chaney Moreman.

Whereas at the Autumn Term in 1833, of the Superior Court of Anson county, upon the petition of Benjamin Pratt, praying for the emancipation of Chaney Moreman, a slave, the property of said Benjamin Pratt, for meritorious services, such proceedings were had, that the said court, upon due proof of the matters stated in the said petition, did grant the prayer thereof, and did order, adjudge and declare the said Chaney to be emancipated, and entitled, by the name of Chaney Moreman, to all the privileges of a free born negro; and whereas the said petition and the memorial and record of the said proceedings have been lost or destroyed, and from the length of time since the said judgement was entered, doubts are entertained whether the said court can order the same to be now entered up as of the said term; and whereas, also, from the nature of the case, it is doubtful whether suit can be properly instituted for relief in a court of equity; and whereas the case is one of hardship and likely to result in injustice, without some provision by law in that behalf; for remedy whereof,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That it shall and may be lawful for the said Superior Court of Law, either at the next succeeding spring or autumn term, upon the application of the said Chaney Moreman, to receive evidence of the contents of the said petition and the proceedings and judgment hereupon, and of the loss or destruction of the papers or other memorial thereof; and upon satisfactory proof of such loss or destruction and of the contents of the said petition and other proceedings, to order and direct the said petition, proceedings and judgment to be enrolled in the said court, as a record of the term when the said proceedings were had and the said judgment rendered.

II. Be it further enacted, That upon sufficient proof being made, either by parol or record, that a decree of emancipation was ordered by the court agreeable to the petition of said Pratt, and that the clerk of the court shall have neglected to enter the same on record as ordered, that upon the said proof being made, the judge of the court shall order the decree to be entered nunc pro tunc as aforesaid.

Chapter X Page 157, Public and Private Laws of North Carolina 1833-34, North Carolina State Library.


The partition of Robert Aldridge’s estate.

On 4 July 1902, dower laid off and partition made of Robert Aldridge‘s land as follows:

Dower — Eliza Aldridge received 53 acres on a run of Stoney Run Branch.

Lot No. 1 — Mathew W. Aldridge received 100 acres on Stoney Run and Hurricane Branches, excluding the Agustus Church and free school house lots.  Interest Mathew bought from his father included in the described tract.  Residue valued at $200.

Lot No. 2 — George W. Aldridge received 42 acres on Stoney Run and the county road, valued at $200.

Lot No. 3 — Joseph Aldridge received 53 acres on Stoney Run and the county road, valued at $200.

Lot No. 4 — David Aldridge received 80 acres on Stoney Run and the county road, valued at $200.

Lot No. 5 — Robert Aldridge received 41 acres on a prong of Stoney Run and the Spring Road, valued at $200.

Lot No. 6 — John W. Aldridge received 50 acres on Stoney Run Branch below the mineral spring and the Spring Road, valued at $285.

Lot No. 7 — Frances Locust received 33 acres on Stoney Run and the Spring Road, valued at $200.

Lot No. 8 — Talitha Brewington, Hattie Brewington, Elijah Brewington, Mattie Brewington, Lundy Brewington, and Toney Brewington jointly and subject to the life estate of Joshua Brewington, received 33 acres on W&W Railroad, valued at $193.

Lot No. 9 — Louetta Aldridge received 32 acres on Stoney Run Branch, valued at $193.

Lot No. 10 — Lizzie Aldridge received 32 acres on the W&W Railroad and Stoney Run Branch, valued at $193.

Lot No. 11 — Louetta Artis, Robert Artis, Columbus Artis, Josephine Artis, J. Scott Artis, J.B. Artis, Lillie Artis, Annie Artis and Elberta Artis, jointly and subject to the life estate of Adam Artis, received 32 acres at the mouth of a ditch on the run of Stoney Run and the railroad, valued at $193.

Submitted by Sam C. Casey, Walter C. O’Berry, Ira W. Hatch.

The margins of this document contain notations and signatures acknowledging receipt of moneys due to balance the lot values, including signatures of Lizzie Aldridge, Tilithia King, J.W. Aldridge, Joseph Aldridge, Hattie Brewington, Columbus Artis, Elijah Brewington, Tony C. Brewington, Robert Aldridge, Lundia Brewington, and June Scott Artis, and Eliza Artis’ mark.

John Aldridge, owner of Lot No. 6, paid $7 each to the owners of Lots 8-11, and $57 to the Clerk of Superior Court for costs of the division.

Louetta Aldridge’s share was divided among her siblings “the owner of said amount now being dead this day Aug 22=1904.”

Abstract from document in the file of Robert Aldridge, Estate Records, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.  [Sidenote: Robert Aldridge, born circa 1819, was my great-great-great-grandfather. Bits of his land remain in family hands. The Brewingtons were children of Robert’s daughter Amelia, who died a few years before he did. The Artises were children of his daughter Amanda, who died about the same time. Frances Locust and her husband changed their surname to Randall. — LYH]

He has probably gone to his parents; his father is a free man.

$50 Reward.

RAN AWAY from my residence about 14 miles from Newbern on the 1st of July last, a negro boy named POLLOCK. His complexion is jet black – about 19 years old, and 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high. On first looking at any person, he looks straight, but if he continues to look any length of time he squints with one eye. He is probably lurking about J.C. Stanly’s plantation on the Washington road, where his parents reside. I will give the above reward to any person who will deliver him to me, or lodge him in any Jail in this State so that I can get him.  Masters of vessels are hereby fowarned against carrying him away, as it is probable he will attempt to get to a free country. It is possible that he may have a forged free pass, as his father is a free man.   MARY PALMER.  October 5th, 1836.

North Carolina Sentinel, New Bern, 14 December 1836.

He wishes to become a slave.

North Carolina State Convention.

The resolution to allow Elizabeth Chavis and child, free colored, to enslave themselves, was read the second time and referred to the committee on free negroes.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 26 June 1861.




Mr. Davenport introduced a bill to authorize the voluntary enslavement of Wyatt, a free man of color. The bill was accompanied by a memorial, setting forth that said Wyatt wishes to become the slave of C.A. Featherstone, of Gaston county. Referred to the committee on propositions and grievances.

Weekly Standard, Raleigh, 3 December 1862.