Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

One harbored slaves, the other drove away with them.

A negro named Noah C. Hanson charged with harboring two runaway slaves last summer, the property of the Hon. Walter Colcock, was tried in the criminal Court at Washington on Saturday and found guilty. He was fined 1000 dollars and to stand committed until the same was paid.

The Old North State (Elizabeth City), 15 March 1851.


Warner Harris, free colored, for driving away Chaplin’s carriage containing the two slaves belonging to Messrs. Stephens and Toombs, was ordered to pay a fine of $150 in each case.

The Old North State (Elizabeth City), 15 March 1851.

Stolen boy rescued in New Orleans.

From the New Orleans Commercial Times.

A CASE FOR THE TRIBUNE. – N. Carolina Standard. The editor of this paper calls for information regarding the fate of Hilliard Evans, a free boy of color, stolen some time ago from that State, by Wm. R. Boswell. Boswell was arrested by Capt. Winter, of the Second Municipality Police, on the charge of kidnapping Evans, and offering to sell him here for $500. He was sent to the Criminal Court, and the boy detained to bear witness against him. Boswell’s friends, however, as we are requested to state by Capt. Winter, a free man of color to bail the prisoner in sum of $1500; the man of color swearing he was worth that sum; $50 was presented to the bailor, for his services, and Boswell was liberated. He is now a fugitive from justice, and the bailor, it appears, is a mere man of straw. Hilliard Evans will now be forwarded to his home by the first convenient opportunity that offers. Capt. Winter has more than once written to his friends. Every care has been taken of the lad.

We trust that the above case will be duly noticed by certain persons at the North, who are so fond of denouncing the South for its indifference to the rights of the poor negro.

The Weekly Standard (Raleigh), 18 February 1846.

Perhaps: Hilliard Evans, 37, listed in the 1870 Mortality Schedule for Granville County. A carpenter, he died of consumption.


… And the bills to enable Daniel Skeene to emancipate his wife and daughter, and to emancipate Lewis Williams, and James G. Hostler, were each read a third time and passed.

The North-Carolinian (Fayetteville), 23 December 1848.

In the 1850 census of Lenoir County: Daniel Skein, 50, Lottie Skein, 49, and Holton Skein, 8, all mulatto, with Harriet Pate, 23, white, and Luther Hughes, 10. Next door, a household headed by Bethia Skein, 34, white. (This Daniel Skeene appears in the 1860 and 1870 censuses of Lexington, Stark County, Ohio.)

Two trials.

Superior Court. – On Thursday, the 7th instant. Negro Ephraim, the property of Dr. Simmons J. Baker, of Martin county, was tried before the Superior Court of this county, for killing Francis W. Anderson, a free boy of color, by throwing at, and striking him on the head with a stone, which occasioned his death, after lingering a few days. He was convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to receive 39 lashes.

On the following day, the trial of a young man, of mixed blood, though, to all appearance, a white man, & having a white woman for his wife, charged with attempting to commit a rape upon a white girl of about 12 years of age, took place. The jury retired about eight o’clock in the evening, and, in three of four minutes after, returned with a verdict of Not Guilty.

The North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 15 April 1825.

Run over and killed on the railroad.

A free negro by the name of Wm. Jones, was run over and killed near Goldsboro’, on the Central Railroad, a few days ago.

Asheville News, 4 October 1855.

Basically, it was his own fault.

THE DEATH OF COPES. – The sudden death of Edward Copes, a free negro, was announced in our issue of yesterday, as having took place in the street on Saturday evening. An inquest was held over the body on Sunday morning, at 9 o’clock, by Henry Whitherst, acting Coroner, with the following jury: Jas. McBrinson, Foreman; E. W. Deford, C.J. Nelson, John Mildrum, H.H. Brinson, John Sears, T.J. Barrett, John Dibble, T.J. Hughes, W.H. Bucklin, H.B. Lane, and C.S Haskins, who, after a post mortem examination by Dr Jas. Hughes, rendered a verdict to the effect that deceased came to his death by a disease of the heart consequent upon the sudden excitement of an arrest. It was the opinion of Dr. Hughes that deceased might have come to his death by excitement from any cause.

As this case has been the cause of some little speculation we deem it to be our duty to give the facts in the case as far as in our power to do so. It seems that Copes was master of a small boat or smack that was lying at the wharf, and that on Saturday night he went ashore for the purpose of getting some articles, and while in the store of J.W. Danner he was discovered by the watch, who arrested him as soon as he merged therefrom, it being past the hour that colored persons, free or slave, were allowed to be in the street. They started to the watch-house with him, but when they had gone twenty or thirty yards the negro fell and died in a few minutes. There were no marks of violence upon his person, nor had he received any punishment from the watch so it seems to us that there can be no doubts upon the minds of any but he come to his death from an affliction of the heart. In fact we learn that he had been subject to disease of the heart heretofore and had suffered considerably therefrom.

Newbern Daily Progress, 14 September 1858.

In the 1850 census of Craven County: Edward Copes, 41, boatman, wife Francis, 28, and children Isaac, 11, Jackson, 9, Margaret, 7, Jacob, 4, Henry, 8, and Jane, 9.

Lucky negro.

A colored teamster at Newark, N.J., named James Thorp, has become heir by will to an estate in North Carolina valued at $75,000. The testator is undoubtedly the father of Thorp, who owes his life and his good fortune to one of those frequent accidents at the South, by which the difference of races is rapidly fading out.

Troy (NY) Daily Times, 1 October 1858.


LUCKY NEGRO. – A gentleman well known to the merchants of the city, says the South Side Democrat, went north a few days since in search of a free negro from Rocky Mount, N.C., who had lately become heir to a large fortune.

We copy the following from the Newark Daily Advertiser, and have no doubt it refers to the same person:

A FORTUNATE TEAMSTER – It is stated that a colored teamster in this city, named James Thorp, has been left property by a gentleman in North Carolina, valued at $75,000, which will be placed in his hands as soon as his identity is legally established, of which there is no difficulty. Thorp was born on the estate in Carolina, and was afterward sent North to school at Norristown, Pa. He left school and has since been married and endeavored to sustain himself. He is represented as worthy of the good luck which has so suddenly enriched him.

Newbern Daily Progress, 4 October 1858.

In the 1860 census of Newark, Essex County, New Jersey: James Thorp, 34, teamster, born in NC, and children Emma, 3, and Wilson, 6, plus Ellen DeCamp, 10, Emaline Obey, 23, and Hannah Henderson, 50. All described as black. The children and Emaline were born in NJ, and Hannah in NY. Thorp reported owning only $1000 real property and $100, personal.

Services at Andrew Chapel.



Andrew Chapel, (colored.) –Services at 10 A.M. and 8 P.M., by the pastor, Rev. W.M. Walsh.

Newbern Daily Progress, 25 June 1859.

He was found dead in a ditch.

DISTRESSING. – A free colored man named Hugh Cherry, a carter, left this place with a horse and buggy on Wednesday last, for Williamston, for the purpose of brining a person home; but finding that the person had not arrived there, determined to return home that evening. The evening was stormy and an immense quantity of rain fell. Next morning he was found about twelve miles from this place dead in a ditch, and the horse upon him. The horse was blind and it is supposed, the man being unable to guide him in the excessive darkness, that the horse plunged into the deep ditch, which gave the buggy a sudden jerk, throwing the man forward and breaking his neck in the fall, plunging him into the ditch. The horse in his scuffle to get out got upon the man, and their [sic] remained until he was found next morning. Strange to say the horse and buggy were not injured. – Washington Dispatch.

North Carolina Argus (Wadesboro), 8 September 1859.

He flatters himself that he can shave and trim hair easily and fashionably.

The North Carolina Legislature freed Joseph Hostler during its 1833-1834 session. He did not waste time:ImageFayetteville Weekly Observer, 27 January 1835.

Image Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 15 May 1839.

ImageThe North-Carolinian (Fayetteville), 16 February 1850.