Lucky negro.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

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.