Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Two cases of murder.

From the Halifax Advocate, Oct. 29.

Our Superior Court. — …

The next case taken up was that of a free man of color named Morgan. He was indicted for the murder of James Wiggins, a white man. The prisoner was defended by Messrs. Whitaker and Spruill. The testimony, in substance, was that the prisoner and the deceased, not long before the homicide, had a quarrel and that a few days thereafter, and before the homicide took place, the prisoner had been heard to make threats against the life of Wiggins, in the event of another dispute occurring between them; that soon after this the deceased, with three other men, went to the prisoner’s house in the night with a view of chastising him, and required him to open the door, he refused to do so, upon which the door after several attempts, was pushed open, and the deceased entered and as he did so the prisoner struck him with an axe burying the blade up to the helve in his bowels. The prisoner instantly fled and the deceased very soon died of his wound. After a lucid charge from Judge Donnell, the jury retired and in about ten minutes brought in a verdict of manslaughter.

The third case, was an indictment against Polly Carter alias Polly Harrison, a free woman of color, for the Murder of Nancy Combs, likewise a free woman of color. It appeared in evidence, that at the very moment when the deceased came in sight of the prisoner, the latter was listening to a conversation calculated to exasperate her against the former and immediately ran to her and struck her on the face. The deceased, who was a tall and athletic woman, and very far gone in pregnancy, threw the prisoner down with ease and while the parties were in this situation, a white man named _____ Hall came up and kicked the deceased violently in the side just above the hips. The parties were then separated, and soon afterwards the prisoner made another attempt to revive the fight. Upon this part of the case, there were direct contradictions among the witnesses. Some, and the greater number, affirmed that the person of the deceased was not touched, and others that she received a blow of some violence about the small part of her back. The deceased immediately complained of much pain in her side, and continued to linger in much distress for 6 or 7 days when she was delivered of a still born child, and did [sic]. In the opinon of the physicians who heard most of the testimony, the death was caused by the violence in the affray, and the prisoner was found guilty of woman slaughter, and imprisoned one month, and to pay the cost of the indictment. _____ Hall had fled from justice.

….

The North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 6 November 1834.

Beware the goller-headed swindler.

Beware of a Swindler.

WALTER BARROTT, of Moore county, N.C. eloped from his father’s house on the 11th December last, taking with him sundry articles of clothing and a large Sorrel Horse, belonging to his father, also a very likely bay horse, which he had just purchased from a man in Stokes county, and for which he gave a $100 counterfeit note. It is thought that he took about $4000 of counterfeit money with him. He also took away with him a free mulatto man named Berry Walden, and said that he intended to sell him and one of the horses, and then go low down in Georgia and So. Carolina, where he thought he could pass some of his counterfeit notes. Walden is about 5 feet 9 inches high, of a light copper colour. Barrott is about the same size, 30 years of age, of a dark complexion, down look, very curly black hair, black eyes, and think lips, hump-shouldered, knock-kneed and goller-headed. It is hoped the public will be on their guard against him, and that he may be arrested, and the stolen property restored. Moore County, January 1828.

Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 17 January 1828.

Floating in the river.

FOUND DROWNED.

The body of Hilliard Reid, a free mulatto, who had been employed on board the Railroad Company’s Steamer, was found this morning floating in the North East River, just above the Company’s wharves. We learn that when last seen, he was quite drunk, and the probability is, that he fell into the River and got drowned while in a state of intoxication. –Jour. of Thursday.

Weekly Commercial (Wilmington), 9 April 1852.

Attempting to sell a free woman.

From the Raleigh Register.

A man by the name of Raiford Watkins, of Johnston, was brought before Justice Thompson, in this City, on Monday, upon a charge of attempting to sell Phoebe Flowers, a Free woman of color. He was bound over, in the sum of $200, to make his appearance at the next term of Wake Superior Court, and, failing to give bond, was committed to jail, to await trial.

Tarboro’ Press, 21 September 1850.