Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

No blame.

Coroner Wood held an inquest yesterday over the dead body of a free colored man, named Jordan Howard, employed at the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, who came to his death from the effects of a shot from a pistol, accidentally discharged, on Saturday last, while in the hands of Mr. Strouse, who keeps a store above the Railroad. The man died on Monday.

The verdict of the jury completely exonerates Mr. Strouse from any blame in the matter.

Wilmington Journal, 2 May 1856.

No good feelings for free negroes.

Mary Brooks, a free woman of color was drowned while drunk at one of the wharves at Washington a few days since. Wouldn’t care if all the free negroes in Newbern were drowned. Also a slave, an old man, was drowned in the river near Washington on Sunday last. Sorry for him. Can respect a slave but have no good feelings for free negroes.

Newbern Daily Progress, 23 April 1859.

Not guilty.

New Hanover Superior Court. – Last week the Spring term of the Superior Court for this county was held in this town – his Honor Judge Dick, presided. The only case which created any public interest, was the trial of John Martin (a free Mulatto) and Menus Stow (a Slave,) for the murder of Edward Kinsley, in December last. This case occupied the attention of the Court from Thursday morning till Friday afternoon about 5 o’clock. The Jury, after retiring for about half an hour, returned a verdict of “not guilty,” whereupon the prisoners were set at liberty.

Wilmington Journal, 1 May 1846.

He says he was born free in Robeson.

TAKEN up and committed to Moore County Jail on the 26th of August, a Negro man who says his name is RANDAL LOCKLIER. Said Locklier is about thirty (30) years of age, five feet eight and a half inches high; had on a dark pair of pants and coat; good teeth, dark complected; a scar on the left side of his head where his hair parts, and another a little above his left ear, and one just below his left ear. Said boy says he was free born in Robeson, and resides in Columbus; but has no free papers. If he belongs to any person, let them come forward, prove property, pay all charges, and take him away. W.K. NUNNERY, Jailor. Aug. 26.

Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 11 October 1858.

A settlement about his wife and children.

Witness: Love McDaniel

On the 30th March 1860 I was in Goldsboro with Henry Simmons. I accompanied by Simmons called upon William B. Fields for Simmons and told him that Henry Simmons had come there to have a settlement with him about his Wife & children according to their bargain & that he Simmons had the money to pay up what he owed him, when he told me to mind my own business & then left me. This was on Friday night. On the next day upon some information received by me myself & Henry Simmons attended at the Office of Wm T Dortch in Company with George B Strong Attorney for Simmons. This meeting was for the Purpose of a Compromise but we could not do so. Fields presenting and account which was Considered on the Part of those acting for Simmons as extravagant & outrageous for the Keeping of Jenny & her children making his claim to amount of $2300,00 The account being objected to he Fields offered to take $2200.00 and refusing to take anything less. Simmons through his attorney Mr Strong offered to Pay Fields $1800.00 which he refused to take. Mr. Strong then offered to Pay $1900.00 in Cash & the amount of Simmons account against Fields in addition on One part of Simmons stating that had the money and offered to pay it & I know the fact that he had the money present at the time. This Fields refused and swore that would not take less than $2200.00. I had no interest in the negroes except to befriend Simmons and had no secret understanding with him that I was to own the negroes nor did I then nor do I now desire to own any of them. I know Henry Simmons to be a good Carpenter having employed him to build a house for me and employed him at the recommendation of Wm B Fields who said he was a smart good Workman. Simmons was in my empoyment at teh time I went to Goldsboro & went at his request to take charge of his money & have a proper settlement made with Fields for the negroes. 

Cross Examined by Defendant

Did you hear Simmons admit in a conversation in Mr Dortch’s office that he had taken back from Mr Fields one hundred Dollars in small notes which were insolvent for which he had given Fields in Part Payment

Answer — I have no distinct recollection about it.  Question 2 — Was any money exhibited to Fields in this conbversation of which you speak in your examination in chief.  Answer Mr. Strong had it in his pocket & put his hand & his breast pocket & told Fields the money was there for him but did not show it. I know that Strong had it in his pocket. The money was Bank Rolls on different banks in ther State.    /s/ Love McDaniel

Sworn & Subscribed  W.A. Haskin(?) Clk & Mast

This affidavit was filed in support of the plaintiff in the bill of complaint of Henry Simmons, a free man of color of Cumberland County, against William B. Fields of Wayne County alleging that Fields had purchased for $1500 from the estate of L. Dortch slaves Jenny and her children Jane, Mary and Charles, who were Simmons’ wife and children. Fields allegedly agreed to convey the slaves to Simmons when Simmons repaid the purchase money, plus interest, but refused to turn them over when Simmons presented his cash. Documents in the file of Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.