Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Month: May, 2014

A free man of color gives information, is handsomely rewarded.

The Edenton Gazette states, upon information received from an undoubted source, that there have been killed in Southampton county upwards of one hundred negroes, consequent upon the late insurrection in that county. Fourteen of the thoughtless, savage wretches have been tried, of whom, thirteen were convicted, and are to be hung during the present week — there are thirty more now in the jail at Jerusalem yet to be tried, besides others in jail at Bellfield.

We understand that about twenty-one negroes have been committed to jail in Edenton, on a charge of having been concerned in concerting a project of rebellion. A slave has also been arrested and imprisoned in Duplin county, upon a similar allegation. He had communicated his knowledge of the scheme in agitation to a free man of color, who gave immediate information to the whites. Serious reports in relation to a revolt of the slaves in Wilmington and Sampson county, reached this city, by the way of Smithfield, on Monday night and Tuesday morning last. On Tuesday evening, certain intelligence from various sources reached us of an insurrection having occurred on Sunday night last in a part of Sampson and Duplin counties. Its extent or the damage done is unknown to us. But, as the militia have been called out in the adjacent counties, we flatter ourselves that it will be speedily suppressed, and that the deluded wretches who are concerned in the diabolical attempt will be made to suffer severely for their temerity.…

The miserable deluded and fiendish band in Southampton have paid dearly for their stupidity and atrocious wickedness; and such will inevitably be the late of all who may ever be so silly and depraved as to intimate their example. But there are some, it seems, reckless enough to attempt it. Vigilance, therefore, becomes necessary for perfect security.

North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 15 September 1831.


General Assembly.

The resolution in favor of Leavin Armwood, was read the second and third time and ordered to be engrossed. [This Resolution votes $250 to the individual named, a free man of color, as a reward for his having disclosed the meditated conspiracy amongst the slaves of Duplin and Sampson.]

North Carolina Free Press (Halifax), 10 January 1832.

The barn.


The Barn of the free negro, named Benjamin Perry, living at the head of Little River in this County, was struck by lightning last Friday, and entirely consumed.

The Old North State (Elizabeth City), 10 August 1850.

A centenarian.

A CENTENARIAN. – A free colored man named William Lomack died in this vicinity on Saturday last: He served as a regular soldier throughout the whole Revolutionary War, and drew a pension up to the time of his death. He is said to have been 104 years of age! – Fay. Observer.

The North-Carolinian (Fayetteville), 21 September 1850.


In the 1850 census of Cumberland County, William Lomac, 95, born in New Jersey, with Patsey Canaday, 26, and William, 7, and Sarah, 2, born in NC.

An affray; a fatal accident.

From the Weldon Patriot.

ANOTHER. __ On Sunday last an affray occurred in the neighborhood of Gaston, between mulattoes, Dick Graham and Bob Carter, both Boatmen, which terminated in the death of the latter. Graham has been taken and confined in jail.

FATAL ACCIDENT. – On Monday evening last, Betsey Douse, a free woman of color, attempted to cross the Rail Road on Quankey Bridge as the Wilmington train of cars for this place was approaching, when she fell and was caught under the wheels, and so seriously injured that her life is despaired of. Betsy was no doubt, at the time, afflicted with “tangle legs.”

Weekly Commercial (Wilmington), 25 April 1851.

Barnes, or Burns, or Copage, or Farmer.


will be paid for the delivery of the said HARRY to me at Tossnot Depot, Edgecombe county, or for his confinement in any Jail in the State so that I can get home, or One Hundred and Fifty Dollars will be given for his head.

He was lately heard from in New-Bern where he called himself Henry Barnes (or Burns), and will likely continue the same name, or assume that of Copage or Farmer. He has a free mulatto woman for a wife, by the name of Sally Bozeman, who has lately removed to Wilmington, and lives in that part of the town called Texas, where he will likely be lurking.

Master of vessels are particularly cautioned against harboring, employing, or concealing the said negro on board their vessels, as the full penalty of the law will be rigorously enforced. GUILFORD HORN.   June 29th, 1850

Eastern Carolina Republican (New Bern), 20 November 1850.

On trial for the murder of a Swede.

Murder and Arson.

Jesse Holley, a free mulatto, was arrested on last Saturday night, by Mr. A.D. Bordeaux and others, for the murder of a Mr. John Hendrick, and the burning of the house where said Hendrick lived, one night last week. When arrested, Holley had on clothes recognized as the property of the deceased. He was brought to town on Sunday morning and committed to prison, to stand an investigation at next Superior Court, which will be held here next week.

We learn that Mr. Hendrick was a native of Gottenborough, Switzerland [sic], where he has a wife and two children, and was making arrangements to send for them during the present year. He is represented as a man of industrious habits and a good mechanic. He was a shop carpenter by trade, but was in the employ of Mr. Bordeaux, about 2 miles from town, near the Railroad, at the time of his murder.

Wilmington Journal, 9 April 1852.


To-day, Jesse Holley, a free mulatto, is on trial for the murder of John Hendrick, a Swede, who was killed on the night of the 3d inst., in his house on the Railroad, about 12 miles from town. The house was also burned down. – Jour. of yesterday.

The above named Prisoner has been found guilty.

Weekly Commercial (Wilmington), 30 April 1852.

Runaway bound boy, no. 18.

SUPERIOR COURT. – The Term closed on Saturday. The three prisoners from Bladen were refused bail, and were remanded to prison.

Andrew Jackson Evans was tried for the murder of Joseph Williams, (both free colored,) in this town on the 30th ult. The jury rendered a verdict of manslaughter, and the Court sentenced the prisoner to receive 49 lashes and pay a fine of $100. For the State, B.R. Huske, Esq. (the Solicitor being indisposed.) For the prisoner, Gen. John Winslow and Messrs. C.G. Wright and Neill McKay.

A Special Term was ordered, for the trial of Civil Causes, (which were necessarily almost entirely neglected at this Term,) to be held on the 2d Monday in February. – Fay. Observer.

Wilmington Daily Herald, 21 November 1856.



NOTICE is hereby given to all persons against their employing Andrew Jackson Evans, a free boy of color, as his services belong to me, as Agent. Any one employing him after this public notice, and paying him, will subject themselves to a second payment, besides laying themselves liable for damages. G.S. DEMING, Agt. Jan’y 18.

Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 23 January 1860.

[Clarification: As I learned when I found the top article after posting the bottom, A.J. Evans was not an apprentice at all. Rather, he had been “sold” to Deming for a period of time to pay off his fines. — LYH]

Runaway bound boy, no. 17.

$5 Reward.

Runaway from the subscriber, on the 15th August, a free negro known here by the name of Bill Walker, an indented apprentice to the blacksmith’s trade. He is about 20 years old, and stutters badly. I will pay the above reward for him delivered to me.  D.H. DILL.  Oct. 2, 1850

North State Whig (Washington), 2 October 1850.

Runaway bound boy, no. 16.

Five Dollars Reward.

RUNAWAY from the subscriber on the 24th ult. A free colored boy named Josiah Price, an indented apprentice. He is about 14 years of age, very dark apprentice mulatto, and about 5 feet 2 or 3 inches high. It is believed he is lurking in the neighborhood of Gates Court House, where he has a grandmother, and two brothers named Jim and Peter Price, who will no doubt make exertions to conceal him. I will give the above reward and pay all necessary expenses to any person, who will deliver him to me, or so confine him that I get him again.  LEM’L SKINNER.  Chowan Co. Nov. 9th 1831.

Edenton Gazette, 23 November 1831.

Puking, purging, pains.

From the Washington (N.C.) Whig.


Several cases of malignant cholera have occurred in our town. We deem it unnecessary to say much on the subject ourselves, as our readers will find below the detailed report of the Board of Health. This report was handed to us yesterday at noon, and we have heard of no case since. It is now four days since the last case occurred: our citizens are therefore recovering from the panic with which they were at first struck; and several families who then thought of withdrawing from the town, now deem that step quite unnecessary.


The undersigned, Commissioners and Physicians, constituting a Board of Health for the Town of Washington, under a sense of what they deem their duty to the community, make publick the following cases and facts and occurrences, relative to the health of this town: —

October 8th. Case 1. – A child of a coloured man, living in a low and wet, though central part of the town, and taken in the night with the following symptoms: – puking, purging, pains in the stomach and bowels. When seen by a physician, there was universal coldness of surface, and no perceptible pulse at the wrist. Died at 12 o’clock, A.M. on the 9th.

9th. Case 2. – Winney Pilgreen, a free coloured woman, age not known, but supposed to be about 50 years. When seen by a physician, she was vomiting a glareous fluid, which she said was hot and acid; purging frequent, but small, of a fluid slightly tinged with bile; had pains in the stomach and intestines; spasms of the fingers and in the muscles of the legs and feet; surface of the head, chest and abdomen, below natural temperature; and at the extremities, very cold, shriveled, and inelastic; excessive thirst; complaining of great internal heat; pulse very indistinguishable, being full, soft and feeble; tongue with a thick brown coat upon it. Died on the morning of the 16th.

9th. Case 3. – Philis Brown, mother of the former, sick in an adjoining room. When seen by a physician, had every symptom of preceding case, except that of the pulse; here it was with difficulty perceived, being very small and frequent. Died on the night of the 11th.

10th. Case 6. Jackson, a free mulatto. Habits not known; in appearance, having a strong healthy constitution; previous health not known; taken at 10 o’clock, P.M. Was seen by a physician in an hour after attack, and found with spasms in stomach and intestines; puking and purging colourless matter; cold tongue; pulseless. Died at 5 A.M., on the 11th.

12th. Case 7. – Isaac Pilgreen, a free coloured man. Habits intemperate; by trade a mason; had been intoxicated for the last week, and exposed day and night in attendance on Nancy, his wife. This patient, when taken, was in a state of inebriety. When seen by a physician, which was in less than an hour, the patient was spasmed in stomach and intestines; cramped in the extremities; had puking and purging of this fluid rice-colored matter; cold surface and tongue; pulse nearly extinct. Survived 5 ½ hours.

Newbern Spectator, 24 October 1834.