Details notwithstanding, it is generally believed that he is a slave.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
WAS committed to Wayne County Jail, on the 31st Oct. last, a negro man who calls his name Billy Holmes, and says he is free. He is about 6 feet high, dark complexion, good teeth, and weighs about 170 lbs., his age is about 24 years. He further says that he was bound to Judge Sanders at 10 years of age, and remained with him until he was 21; after which he went to Wilmington and had a fight with one Charles Hamburg, a white man, for which he was imprisoned; that Mr. John Cowan paid the cost, that he agreed to work with Mr. Cowan until he was paid, and from whom he eventually hired his time; he then worked on the Light Boat two months; then as Fireman on the Petersburg Railroad two months; and thence came to Goldsboro’, where, after committing several acts of Larceny, he was committed to Jail. It is generally believed that he is a runaway slave. The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be dealt with as the law directs.
Said Billy says his mother’s name is Amy Hays, and his father is Billy Holmes (the Barber) – born and raised in Wake county. OLLIN COOR, Sheriff.
Goldsboro’, Nov. 29, 1853.
New Era, Goldsboro, 15 March 1854.