Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Category: Births Deaths Marriages

Presentments.

Rowan County Sup’r Ct. March Term 1842

The Grand Jury present Elija Volentine a free man of colour for intermarrying & cohabiting with Nancy a slave of Sarah Brown. Witnesses Sarah Brown & Geo. Brown.

Also Susan Volentine a free woman of colour for intermarrying and conhabiting with Isaac a man slave of Wm. Thomason. Witnesses James Owens & Sam’l Marlin

Also Betsey Hollis a free woman of colour for intermarrying & cohabiting with Angus a man Slave the property of the late Nancy McCorkle Dec’d, Witnesses Jacob Correll & John C. Miller

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Rowan County Sup’r Ct. March Term 1842

The Grand Jury present Eliza Volentine a free woman of colour for intermarrying & cohabiting with Dennis a man slave the property of Jacob Krider. Witnesses William Gray & Andrew Gray.

Also Ruth Hostler a free wom of colour for intermarrying and cohabiting with Jack a man Slave the property of John Kerr, Witnesses John Johnston & John Kerr.

Also Edward Volentine a free man of colour for intermarrying & cohabiting with Jude a woman slave the property of Hezekiah Turner, Witnesses John Foard & Robert Bradshaw.

….

Records of Slaves and Persons of Color, Miscellaneous Records, Rowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 185o census, School District 36, Rowan County: Elijah Valentine, 35, mulatto, in the household of white farmer Alexander Brown, 44.

In the 1850 census, Salisbury, Rowan County: Susan Valentine, 65, black, with Camer, 47, and Rachel Valentine, 45, washerwomen. 

In the 1850 census, School District 6, Rowan County: Ruth Hosler, 50, mulatto, in the household of Jane G. Kerr, white.

Cohabiting as man and wife.

State of North Carolina, Rowan County } 1st May, A.D. 1866.

This day personally appeared Peter Mull, a free man, and Eve Crawford, late a slave of Christine Brown, who acknowledge that they have been cohabiting as man and wife since sometime in the year 1844, and wish to continue as such. Obadiah Woodson, Clerk.

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State of North Carolina, Rowan County  } 3rd May, A.D. 1866.

This day personally appeared Richard Cress (a free man of color) and Dathna Ann Latham, late a slave of Frederick Latham, who acknowledge that they have been cohabiting as man and wife since sometime in July, A.D. 1863, and wish to continue as such.   Obadiah Woodson, Clerk.

Cohabitation records, Register of Deeds Office, Rowan County Courthouse, Salisbury NC.

In March 1866, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to ratify the marriages of former enslaved persons.  Justices of the Peace were to collect and record in the County Clerk’s office so-called cohabitation records. Under penalty of misdemeanor charge, freedmen were required to register before September 1, 1866.

Neither Peter Mull nor Richard Cress found in pre-or post-Civil War census records. However,

Daily_Charlotte_Observer__13_Jun_1874

Daily Charlotte Observer, 13 June 1874.

In the old times and old Country.

State of Indiana, Marion County }

Reuben Lawhon of the age of 50 years and George Lawhon of the age of 20 years both of the County of Park and State of Indiana being duly sworn – They testify that they have been well acquainted with Primus Tyler for all the lifetime of the affiant George Lawhon also with his son Shepherd Tyler all his lifetime and with Betsey or Elizabeth Tyler in her lifetime – She was the mother of the said Shepherd Tyler – Shepherd died unmarried – He was a good and faithful son He supported his Father and Mother in her lifetime – Primus Tyler was a slave in Green Co North Carolina – his family were free and came to Indiana and raised money through the Friend Quakers to buy him – which they in 1851 when he came here to this state and leased and rented some land in the quaker settlement in Park Co Indiana for some three years or more – this said same Shepherd Tyler working for his parents during this time – Then Primus Tyler rented a small farm from Thomas Harshman which was about ten years ago – they lived on that for one year when his wife and children purchased the far – 158 acres and gave about $4000.00 for it – on which his children still owe about $1300.00 and he now lives with his children on that place – His said son gave him $100.00 Bounty when he enlisted and his son was killed before he was again paid – since which he has collected the arrears of pay and Bounty – Primus Tyler is old and feeble and has long been disabled from rheumatism — affiants have not interest in this matter.   Reuben X Lawhon, /s/ George W. Lawhorn

[Witnesses] Ben D. House, William Saulsberry

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State of Indiana, County of Parke   }

Ephraim Cook aged Sixty years and Walden Russell aged 41 years residents of the County and State aforesaid being duly sworn upon their several oaths declare that are well acquainted with the family of Primus Tyler and were acquainted with his wife Elizabeth Tyler in her lifetime who departed this life July 6th 1861 and they further declare that the said Primus and Elizabeth Tyler were the parents of Shepherd Tyler late Co C 28th Regt US.C.T. who was killed at Chickahominy Swamp June 1864.They further declare that they personally know that the said Primus and Elizabeth Tyler were married in Green Co N.C. in the year 1827 the said Primus being at that time a slave and the said Elizabeth free and that the said Elizabeth Tyler thereafter bought the said Primus Tyler affiant’s knowledge of these matters is derived from an intimate personal acquaintance with all of the above mentioned parties and a consequent personal cognizance of the matters testified of and they have no interest in this matter. /s/ Ephraim Cook, Walden Russel

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Catlin Station Ind. Mar 24th 1869

Mr Harlan Hamlin, Indianapolis

Dear Sir, Inclosed you will please find a bill of sale conveying me from Elizabeth Edwards of North Carolina to James Siler of Indiana and on the same bill under the hand of the said Siler is a writing relinquishing all claims and demands on me to Elizabeth Tyler my wife showing conclusively that the facts was known & recognized by those of that day familiar with the class With regard to living witness I don’t suppose I can produce any from they being advanced in age. I have outlived all those that was present at the time I was married according to the manor and custome of such persons in the old times and old Country which was simply to prepare a supper invite in the friends and at the proper time the groom & bride took their places at the ends of the table facing each other after supper the parties was considered duly married and was recognized by the law when not conflicting with the interest of the masters. Inclosed you please find a postage stamp with which to return the inclosed bill and I trust you will let me know immediately whether it will do any good or not if it wont do I want to know so I may look in some other direction /s/ Primus Tyler

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From the file in the Pension Application of Shepherd Tyler, deceased (by his father Primus Tyler), #171234, National Archives and Records Administration.

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In the 1850 census of Greene County, North Carolina: Elizabeth Tyler, 40, with children Shepherd, 11, Sally, 1, and Nancy, 5.

In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Reuben Lawhorn, 36, Eiza, 25, Oliver, 5, Alice, 2, George, 9 months, all born in North Carolina; plus George, 24, Nancy, 20, Hymerick, 18, Elizabeth, 17, Primus, 16, Avy, 14, and Moses Tyler, 13, all born in North Carolina.

In the 1860 census of Raccoon, Parke County, Indiana: at #386, farm laborer Reuben Lohorn, 40, Eliza, 36, Oliver, 15, Alice M., 13, George, 11, Susan, 8, Alfred, 4, Martha A., 3, and Elias, 3 months. Reuben, Eliza and the oldest two children were born in North Carolina; the remaining children in Indiana.) At #387, Primus Tyler, 60, Betsey, 45, Richard, Arcada, Primus, Moses, 18, Elizabeth, 20, Shepherd, Nancy B., Sally A., Edward F., Elwood, and Matilda J. (Note: Arcada, nee Artis, was Richard’s wife. He, too, enlisted in the Union Army, and his widow applied for a pension. In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Micajach Artis, 50, Beaty, 40, Arcada, 17, Eliza, 14, Burket, 4, and Henriette, 1; all born in North Carolina except Henriette, born in Indiana. Burkett Artis gave minor testimony in support of Primus Tyler’s application. Micajah is listed as a head of household in the 1830 census of Nash County NC and the 1840 census of Wayne County NC. A Micajah Artis married Rilly Eatmon in Edgecombe County in 1826. The three counties were contiguous at the time.)

A landmark.

The death of Green Simmons, an old and well known colored landmark, of Dudley, occurred last night.

Goldsboro Daily Argus, 7 January 1901.

In the 1850 census of South Side of the Neuse, Wayne County: cooper Green Simmons, 33, wife Betsy J., 26, and children Needham, 5, Cicero, 3, and Mary, 1.

The horrid deed.

MURDER. – An inquest was held by coroner Scott over the body of a free negro named Chaves, who was found murdered on the Fayetteville road, several miles from this city, on Friday morning last. His death was caused by a frightful wound extending from the groin upwards towards the bowls, which was doubtless made by a knife. The testimony before the coroner’s jury, we learn, implicates a free negro named Jordan, and a free woman in the horrid deed. The woman has been lodged in jail, but the man has not been taken.

The North-Carolina Star (Raleigh), 8 November 1854.

Intemperance and exposure.

Coroner’s Inquest.

On Sunday, 16th inst., a jury of inquest was held upon the dead body of Caroline Alfonzo, a free colored woman: the evidence proved her to be a drudge laborer about town. At her will, she was the wife of Ned, a superannuated slave, formerly the property of John W. Guion, dec’d. On Saturday, the 15th inst., at 3 o’clock, P.M., she parted company with Ned in good health and went to the house of Mrs. Emily Jane Fulford to fulfill an engagement with her. She left Mrs. Fulford’s about 1 ½ hours before night-fall, and took with her a tray of plates containing sausages and pigs feet to sell for Mrs. Fulford – she was under the influence of liquor at the time, — she did not return to her husband nor her employer as was her custom to do. Sunday morning Caroline was found dead in the road leading to Pembrook near the South-West part of the town: on examination there was traces of blood from where she lay to a ditch about thirty yards distant; a smooth deep cut on her right cheek was the only mark of violence found on the body. By request of the Jury, Dr. R.S. Primrose examined the wound and pronounced it insufficient to produce death and stated that it might have been the result of accident. The clothes of the deceased were wet and frozen; the ditch had water in it about 3 ½ feet deep, and showed that it had been recently disturbed; a tray, some crockery and plates, etc. lay near the body. In her pockets was ninety cents, in silver and copper coin, a snuff-box, &c.

Verdict of the Jury was: “The deceased came to her death by intemperance and exposure.”

Newbern Weekly Progress, 18 December 1860.

How did they escape with whole bones?

TERRIBLE ACCIDENT.

On Wednesday evening last, the scaffolding of a new brick building, in progress of erection on Front Street near Market, gave way, precipitating the workmen from the 3d story to the earth. – None of them were actually killed, but we learn that Solomon Nash, a colored man, is so badly injured as to be despaired of. The others, Nicholas Logan, George Barr, Joseph Deas, and Benjamin Berry, colored, and Ephram Bettencourt, do., were all more or less injured. How they escaped with whole bones, is, to us, a most miraculous.

Wilmington Journal, 26 June 1846.

[In fact, Nash died of his injuries.]

I did the best I could.

North Carolina     }           In the Superior Court October Term 1897

Sampson County }

Hardy A. Brewington, Joshua Brewington, Simon Brewington, Nathan Brewington, Nancy Goodman and her husband J.B. Goodman, Lucy Strickland and her husband J.S. Strickland, Eliza Manuel and her husband Alvin Manuel, Bashaby Brewington, Mary Wheeler, Lulu Brewington and Luther Brewington heirs at law of Raiford Brewington Jr. and Allen B. Brewington by his guardian Hardy A. Brewington, Plaintiffs

Jno. R. Jacobs, Rocia Lee Brewington and her husband J.A. Brewington, Lillie B. Brewington and her husband M.L. Brewington, and Jno. R. Jacobs, guardian ad litem of Della Jacobs and Lavinia Jacobs, Defendants

The plaintiffs complain of the defendants and allege:

I.    That on the 20th day of Nov. A.D. 1890 Raiford Brewington & his wife Bashaby Brewington executed a deed to John R. Jacobs and his wife Polly Ann Jacobs for the following described tract of land to wit: Situate in Sampson County State of North Carolina and adjoining the lands of Nathan Brewington, James M. Parker and others and bounded as follows; Beginning at a stake on the lane and runs about S 550 yards to a stake at an old post oak stump the line of Jas. M. Parker & W. Royal thence west about 750 yards to a stake on the west wide of Beaver Dam swamp, thence up the edge of the swamp to a shortleaf pine at the ditch, thence East 750 yards to the beginning containing 75 acres more or less.

II.    That the deed aforesaid is duly recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds of Sampson County Book 76 p 193 a copy of which deed is marked “Exhibit A” and hereto attached and made a part of this complaint, which deed does not convey the said lands in fee simple but upon certain stipulations and conditions in words as follows: — The said Raiford Brewington & wife Bashaby Brewington excepts their life time estate in said lands and the said John R. Jacobs and Polly Ann Jacobs and their heirs are to support the said Raiford Brewington and wife Bashaby Brewington and their son Allen B. Brewington during their natural life time and furnish them with good comfortable cloths. When the said John R. Jacobs and wife Polly Ann and their heirs fails to comply with the above obligations then their right and title to the aforesaid land shall be void and a further condition in said deed is that the said Raiford Brewington & wife Bashy shall have the use of said property during their life time but shall not sell any of said property not land unless it is agreeable with J.R. Jacobs & wife Polly Ann. Neither the said J.R. Jacobs and Polly Ann shall sell any of said property nor land unless it is agreeable with Raiford Brewington & wife Bashaby.

III.     That upon the execution & delivery of said deed to wit on Nov 20th 1890 the said Jno. R. Jacobs & wife Polly Ann Jacobs went into possession of the lands described in said deed and exercised possession and full control of same until 1893 when Polly Ann Jacobs died, but during this period they did not fully comply with the conditions of said deed and Raiford Brewington & wife Bashaby were required to work and furnish their own support. After the death of Polly Ann Jacobs, her husband Jno. R. Jacobs & the heirs of Polly Ann Jacobs continued to live on the premises & exercise possession & full control of same until about Jan 1st 1896 when they quit the premises & furnished no further food or support in any way since to Raiford Brewington & wife Bashaby Brewington of their son Allen Brewington nor did the said Jno. R. Jacobs & the heirs of Polly Ann Jacobs comply with the conditions in said deed before they deserted the premises but instead wasted & used the provisions made & provided by the said Raiford Brewington & wife with whom the said Jno. R. Jacobs & family loved.

IV.     That Polly Ann Jacobs is one of the children and heirs of Raiford Brewington & Bashaby Brewington and has been fully provided for by them before said deed was executed to them. That Allen Brewington one of the children is an idiot and the only heir not provided for by Raiford Brewington, and the lands conveyed to Jno. R. Jacobs & Polly Ann Jacobs in the deed set out above was the sahe of the Raiford Brewington estate that he intended for his son Allen Brewington and for himself and wife Bashaby Brewington as long as they should live.

V.      That in January 1896 Raiford Brewington died leaving his wife Bashaby Brewington & son Allen Brewington with no one to support them, as Jno. R. Jacobs and the heirs of Polly An Jacobs had broken the conditions in said deed by leaving the premises & refusing to provide them any support.

VI.     That if said deed shall remain in full force & effect, it would be in violation of the conditions in said deed, and contrary to the will and intent, and the express declaration of the grantors therein & would leave them without any means of support.

VII.      That if said deed shall remain in full force and effect Jno. R. Jacobs and the heirs of Polly Ann Jacobs would thereby receive a double share of the estate of Raiford Brewington to wit: the share of Allen Brewington and the share of Polly Ann Jacobs which latter share had been allotted to her before the execution of said deed.

Wherefore the plaintiffs pray:

I.             That the deed referred to in Article I of this Complaint be declared null and void and that a suitable person be appointed by the court to take the title of said land and hold the same in trust for Bashaby Brewington and her son Allen Brewington and the rents and profits therefrom be applied to the feeding, clothing & support of them as long as they both shall live and the remainder to the heirs at law of Raiford Brewington.

II.            For cost and general relief —   Lee & Butler attys for the plaintiffs.

Hardy A. Brewington being duly sworn according to law says that he has read the foregoing complaint or heard it read and that he knows the contents thereof to be true except such matters and things as are set out on information and belief and those he believes to be true.

Subscribed & sworn to before me this the 29 day of October 1897   /s/ H.A. Brewington

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The file also contains notes from trial testimony:

Hardy Brewington — am son of Raiford Brewington – he had twelve children – Polly Ann Jacobs is my sister – My father gave her Polly Ann $300 in money & $100 in other property – My father never gave Allen Brewington anything – He is an idiot – 48 yrs old never did any work – My mother is living is 86 or 87 yrs old – not able to work – Allen lives with her – Jacobs & wife came into possession at date of deed They lived on the land with my mother 5 yrs – Polly Ann died about ’93 – Jacobs lived there 2 ½ yrs after death of wife – Jacobs went to Dudley in Wayne Co & has lived there ever since – My father was then living on the land – he died at 85 yrs – Jacobs provided very poorly for the old man wife & son provisions were poor & not plenty of it. Jacobs was liable to drink & will go off & leave them unprovided for in food & fuel. Land tolerably good when Jacobs took possession, pretty poor when he left He always had plenty to eat & good clothes – The Heirs of Polly Ann Jacobs left the old people neglected – Jacobs could have remained on the land & made them more comfortable – He cut timber & carried to Wilmington – and wasted the money – Myself & son have supported the old people since Jacobs my married defnts daughter – Jacobs has done nothing for them since ’95 – Have heard old man complain of being hungry – cold &c. – Raiford Brewington & wife did not consent to the mortgage didn’t know of it until six or eight months after – He said Jacobs had given a mortgage & he didn’t know what wd become of him – My father died in ’96 – My mother & Idiot have no means of support except this land – Whitney Royal wrote the deed – Jacobs moved from Dudley down on this land – Jacobs married 2nd time after about 1 ½ yr after wife’s death – Jacobs got money from Parker $30 & my father said he would see it paid. – Note given about 12 mos before mortgage

Jim Strickland — Live 2 ½ miles from place – I married Raiford Brewington’s daughter – He gave her $200 – Jacobs didn’t give them enough to eat – at all times – his clothes were common – Jacobs has done nothing for them since ’95 – Place was better when he came than when he left – Land not worth much now – Brother Hardy & son Arthur have been supporting them since Jacobs left

Arthur Brewington – Am son of Hardy Brewington Jacobs staid on the land about 5 years – The food was pretty poor like the most of us meat & bread – Before Jacobs went there could get as good a meal as anywhere – he wd leave land neglected – Drank every week – Raiford put me there after Jacobs left – Me & my father have been supporting the old people – They complained of want of food & fuel – I did the best I could under the circumstances – Jacobs could have done better than he did.

J.R. Jacobs – Am one of Defn’ts – When I went there but little provisions – fence gone down pretty much – I made a crop next I put 2000 [illegible] the spring I went there & clean out ditches I did the best I could – all eat at same table – He complained some like old people will do – Neither of them suffered for food or fuel I cut timber & carried to Wilmington – no profit – My wife lived about 4 yrs after I went there – I did the best I could – Arthur seemed to be their choice – We bargained for Arthur to go there & take my obligation with consent of old people – I was in debt in Clinton – I went to Parker to get the money – Old man helped to get up money – Old Man was present – gave boundaries &c — $35 note was to pay for guano – I owed Vann $25 for corn – I carried it home he carried it [illegible] – All of it was for money used on the place & for mule worked on place. Raiford [knew] all about it – I gave a lien on crop that year – The $35 mortgage was included in the $125 mortgage Raiford Brewington only once came here – The $125 mortgage was made on the plantation & he knew about it, and was willing to it – Judgmt agst me for Parker – 40 acres of cleared land on the place – Raiford Brewington asked me to cancel the deed I told him I didn’t [think] it right to do so. This was after my wife died.

J.L. Brewington – Raiford Brewington was my father – Hard to please he wanted something to drink He had a heap to feed – people & stock – Jacobs did the best he could The old man grumbled all the time – but had plenty to eat –

Jonathan Goodman – Live about ½ miles from the place – I saw the old man frequently – He lived as good as most any farmer – While Jacobs lived there – he lived as well as common run of people that had no more – Jacobs drank some – It seemed as if Jacobs wished to please him – he was off at times –

Mary Eliza Brewington – Raiford was my husbd father – I lived ½ mile from him I heard Raiford say it was a just debt as far as he [illegible] and he wanted Parker paid – The old people got along as well as one could expect

J.R. Parker – The $35 mortgage Raiford & Jacobs came to me & wanted to borrow some money – Raiford proposed to meet him in Clinton & make up the papers – which we did – I let Jacobs have some corn & bacon – This was cancelled to make up the $125 mortgage – The cash that I gave Jacobs – and the note for $35 with the money due me makes up the $125 – I know that Raiford knew of the $125 note & mortgage — $35 was all money – how much more I don’t know – over half of it – There was an indictment agst Jacobs for passing counterfeit money. Raiford came to me & didn’t say he would or wouldn’t sign the $125 –

Marshal Newman – Was J.P. – at time mortgage was made – Parker & Jacobs got me to write this mortgage – it was made at Nathan Brewington’s house Raiford was not present, and never said anything to me about it. Nathan Brewington’s was convenient to Jacobs –

Hardy Brewington (re-called) – We knew nothing about $125

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Judgment for Hardy Brewington et al. The judge found that John and Polly Ann Jacobs had not complied fully with the terms of the deed and ordered that (1) the deed from the Brewingtons to the Jacobses be declared null and void; (2) Hardy Brewington be appointed trustee of the land for the sole use and benefit of Bashaby and Allen Brewington during their lifetimes; (3) after the deaths of Bashaby and Allen, Hardy was to be discharged from his trusteeship, and (4) John Jacobs and the Parkers were to pay court costs.

From the file of Polly Ann Jacobs, Sampson County, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979, https://familysearch.org. Original, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1860 census of Honeycutts, Sampson County: Raiford Brewington, 48, farmer; wife Basheba, 45; and children Thomas, 21, Ann E., 17, James, 15, Hardy, 13, Joshua, 11, Raiford, 9, Simon P., 8, Polla A., 6, Allen B., 4, and Nathan, 1; all mulatto.

Dreadfully burnt.

DEATH BY FIRE – A Coroner’s Jury was called, Saturday at noon, to view the body of SALLY POTTS, a colored woman, who was burnt to death on Friday night, by her clothes taking fire, either from her own act or of some other person. The Jury had not been able to decide upon the case when our paper went to press. Her clothes had been impregnated with Spirits of Turpentine, and she was so dreadfully burnt that she died on Saturday. – Wil. Commercial

Raleigh Register, 5 December 1849.

Blows inflicted.

CORONER’S INQUEST.

Coroner H.R. Perkin held an inquest yesterday (Sunday) morning, at the Restaurant of Mr Morrell on Front Street, over the body of a free boy named James White who died very suddenly after a fight with another negro named George Holden. From the evidence brought before the Jury it appears that White was in the employ of Mr. Morrell, and that on Saturday evening about 6 ½ o’clock, whilst he was passing a door in the rear of the Restaurant, leading into a side alley, the negro boy Geo. Holden came up and was ordered off by the deceased; some words passed between them, when George struck White, and a scuffle then took place in the alley. They parted, and White returned to the door from whence the fight commenced, (George running off down the alley towards the river,) took his seat on a pair of steps and in a few moments fell forward and died in about fifteen minutes. A small bruised place being observed on the left side, a post mortem examination was made by Dr. A. R. Medway, assisted by several other Surgeons, when it was found that White’s spleen was enlarged to such an extent that when the blow was given by George, the spleen ruptured thereby producing death.

In consideration with above fact, the verdict of the Jury was that the deceased came to his death from blows inflicted by George Holden.

George made his escape immediately after giving the blow, and is still at large. George is a slave, and belongs to Mr. Thos. Holden, of this town. White was a free boy, and is said came from Kittrell’s Springs. It may not be improper to say that there was an old grudge between the two boys, which led to the fight on Saturday night. – Daily Journal, 26th inst.

North Carolina Argus (Wadesboro), 29 October 1863.