Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

An account of an execution.


WENTWORTH, N.C., Jan. 11th, 1859.


On Friday last, according to the sentence of His Honor, Judge DICK, Lucy Hine, a free woman of color, and a resident of your county, was publicly executed about 1 ½ miles East of town, in the presence of an unusually small crowd, compared with the number generally attending executions. I was glad to see so small a crowd in attendance, as I think such spectacles have anything but a good tendency. – Instead of morality, immorality is taught on all such occasions.

The day of execution was a little damp, and the roads muddy, but not sufficiently so to be disagreeable. About 11 o’clock the Sheriff proceeded to the jail with the attending officer, robed the criminal for execution, placed her in a wagon, and conducted her to the gallows. – She was attended by three ministers, Rev’s Day, Fields and Norman. Arriving at the gallows, she ascended the scaffold with a firm and resolute step. On being asked, if she had any confessions to make, she relied, none more than she had already made to the jailor, which in substance is, that she was innocent of the murder, and that there was no plot whatever between Frank and herself to kill her husband, and that she lent no aid either for or against him, and that she helped to conceal the body after the murder was committed.

She then exhorted all persons present, mostly negroes, to beware of their acts and conduct and not so as she had done. Said that she had been a great sinner, but felt that she was forgiven, and was willing to die. After which Rev. B. Field of the Methodist Church, delivered a short and appropriate address; and at 1 o’clock, the rope being adjusted, the drop fell, and her spirit took its flight to that last resting place “whence no traveler returns.”

Much credit is due Rev. Wm. Gay of the Episcopal church at Leaksville, who visited the criminal the day before her execution, and prayed with attended her to the gallows. AVO.

The People’s Press (Winston-Salem), 14 January 1859.

In the 1840 census of Bethabara, Stokes County: Lucy Hine, a free woman of color aged 24-36, living alone.

Their eyes have been injured.

Ten Dollars Reward.

RAN AWAY from the subscriber on the 8th inst, my negro man MINGO, aged about 45 years, of ordinary size, rather dark complexion, a white streak near the sight of one of his eyes, (which eye is not recollected) has rather a bad look out of his eyes. It is supposed that he is lurking about the lower edge of Edgecombe, or the upper part of Pitt, or he may have got as low down as Washington, Beaufort county, as his wife is a free woman of color, named Julia Read, lately of Pitt and has relations in Beaufort. The eyes of both him and her have been injured, his by a splinter and hers by a burn. The above reward will be given for the apprehension of Mingo, if delivered to me near Tradesville, in Edgecombe county, or if secured in any jail so that I get him again. All persons are forbid harboring, employing, or carrying off said negro under penalty of the law. MATTHEW WHITEHEAD. Nov 15, 1843

Tarboro’ Press, 10 February 1844.

To come back to North Carolina and be a slave again.

Wants to Return.

We find in the Kinston Advocate, the annexed letter from a colored man formerly a slave in Wayne County, but who was emancipated some years since by the Legislature, and went to the Northern land of promise where negroes are as good as white people, and every body loved them so much – out of their sight.

The letter is addressed to Wm. T. Dortch, Esq., a member elect from Wayne County to the next Legislature. It will itself explain the objects and wishes of the writer, however defective it may be in spelling and composition: —

State of New York, Brooklyn L.I.   }

september 1st 1860                       }

Mr W.T. Doch sir I writ to you to let you no that I am well hoping these few lines may find you the same. I have written to you because I no you are a man I can depend on. I want to no if I pertition to come back to N.C. and be a slave again if you are a member elected this year if you will advocate it the general assembly & if you will be after gitting the consent of wayn county of her leading men you will please to writ to me & let me no what the prospect would be. Your obedient servant, D.B. Williams.

this was my old name   david Bulls Williams

If this letter is agreeable I will writ again & let you no my reason for writing at all

Direct your letter to Brooklyn L.I. Nancy St No. 152

Wilmington Journal, 27 September 1860.

Frame house burns.

FIRE. – The alarm of fire last night about 11 o’clock, proceeded from the burning of a frame house in the Eastern portion of the town, North of the Wilmington & Weldon Rail Road. The house was occupied by a free colored man named Wm. Merrick, with his family. We believe Merrick also owned the property. We do not know the exact amount of loss, but suppose it might be between six hundred and eight hundred dollars.

Wilmington Journal, 31 January 1861.

Concerning the distressing inconvenience of the emancipation of slaves by Quakers.

Edenton District, October Term 1793   )

The Grand Jurors for the aforesaid District present as a Grievance, the Distressing Inconveniences, the good people of the district lay under from the Inefficiency of the Laws intended to restrict the Emancipation of Slaves. That the people called Quakers in other respect good Citizens, have by their Conduct, made that Species of property not only of small Value, but have Rendered it dangerous to the personal Safety of the proprietores of Negroes, and those who live in the Vicinity of them, by infranchising their own Slaves and Sowing discontent and disobedience in the minds of their Neighbours Slaves. That it is now become Necessary for the preservation of good Order and the Security of the Citizens of this district that Measures should be Taken to put a stop to this Evil.

It is not for the Grand Jury to point out remedial Laws, but to declare a necessity for them; They therefore require their representatives in the next General Assembly; to lay this their presentment before the Legislature — in whose Wisdom they Confide — and whose protection as Citizens they demand trsuting that Measures will be taken so to modify the religious Enthusiasm which pervades their Quaker Neighbours: that the Citizens of this District may Enjoy a full participation of a Constitution which they have assisted to raise. Viz a protection of their Personal Liberties and properties.

1. Woolsey Hathaway Foreman 2. William Saterfield 3. Thomas E. Hare 4. J.H. Ward 5. Thomas Simons 6. Enoch Dauge 7. Thomas Davis 8. John Bevin 9. Saml. W. Johnston 10. Enoch Dailey 11. Jos. Banks 12. Willis Roberts 13. Joseph Tarkington 14. Spencer Thach 15. James Temple 16. John Campbell 17. John Jones

Records of Slaves and Free People of Color, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.