Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Category: Miscegenation

The Cousins brothers, dark of skin.

First Residents of Boone and Vicinity. — … There was another house which stood in the orchard near the present Blackburn hotel. It was a small clapboard house, with only one room. Ben Munday and family occupied it first and afterwards Ellington Cousins and family, dark of skin, lived there till Cousins built a house up the Blackburn branch in rear of the Judge Greer house. It is still known as the Cousins place …

John and Ellington Cousin. – The brothers came from near East Bend, Forsythe County, soon after Boone was formed, bringing white women with them. Ellington’s wife was Margaret Myers and John’s was named Lottie. Ransom Hayes sold Ellington an acre of land up the Blackburn branch, where he built a house and lived in 1857, having moved from the house in the orchard below the road near the present Blackburn hotel. He had two daughters. Sarah married Joseph Gibson and moved to Mountain City, Tenn., where he carried on a tannery for Murphy Brothers, but he afterwards returned to the state and lived at or near Lenoir, finally going West, where he remains. Ellington died at Boone and his widow and daughter, nicknamed “Tommy,” went with Gibson and wife to Mountain City, where she also married. John lived near Hodges Gap and at other places, dying at the Ed. Shipley place near Valle Crucis. He had several children.

From John Preston Arthur, A History of Watauga County, North Carolina, with Sketches of Prominent Families (1915).

In the 1850 census of Watauga, Watauga County: Johnson Cusins, 44, farmer, wife Charlotta, 41, and children Hezekiah, 18, Mary, 14, Clarkson, 11, William H., 9, Rebecca, 8, Annanias, 5, Martha, 4, W.W. and Evaline, both 3 months.  All described as mulatto, except Charlotta, white.  In the 1860 census of Boone, Watauga County: John Cuzzens, 52, farmer, wife Charlotte, 50, and children Henry, 19, Rebecca, 17, Ann, 15, Martha, 13, Wiley, 10, and Eveline, 10, all mulatto.

In the 1850 census of Northern Division, Davidson County: in jail, Francis Briant, 20, laborer, Alva Sapp, 22, laborer, and Ellington Cozzens, 41, shoemaker. Cozzens was mulatto; the others, white.  In the 1860 census of Boone, Watauga County: Ellington Cuzzens, 53, boot & shoemaker, wife Margarett, 44, and daughters Sarah, 8, and Martha J., 5; all mulatto except Margarett, was described as white.

She put her pretty gold head on his shoulder, and …

An Interview with Adora Rienshaw of 431 South Bloodworth Street, Raleigh.

I wuz borned at Beulah, down hyar whar Garner am now, an’ my parents wuz Cameron an’ Sally Perry. When I wuz a month old we moved ter Raleigh.

We wuz called ‘Ole Issues’, case we wuz mixed wid de whites. My pappy wuz borned free, case his mammy wuz a white ‘oman an’ his pappy wuz a coal-black nigger man. Hit happened in Mississippi, do’ I doan know her name ‘cept dat she wuz a Perry.

She wuz de wife of grandfather’s marster an’ dey said dat he wuz mean ter her. Grandfather wuz her coachman an’ he often seed her cry, an’ he’d talk ter her an’ try ter comfort her in her troubles, an’ dat’s de way dat she come ter fall in love wid him.

One day, he said, she axed him ter stop de carriage an’ come back dar an’ talk ter her. When he wuz back dar wid her she starts ter cry an’ she puts her purtty gold haid on his shoulder, an’ she tells him dat he am her only friend, an’ dat her husban’ won’t eben let her have a chile.

Hit goes on lak dis till her husban’ fin’s out dat she am gwine ter have de baby. Dey says dat he beats her awful an’ when pappy wuz borned he jist about went crazy. Anyhow pappy wuz bound out till he wuz twenty-one an’ den he wuz free, case no person wid ary a drap of white blood can be a slave.

When he wuz free he comed ter Raleigh an’ from de fust I can remember he wuz a blacksmith an’ his shop wuz on Wolcot’s Corner. Dar wuz jist three of us chilluns, Charlie, Narcissus, an’ me an’ dat wuz a onusual small family.

Before de war Judge Bantin’s wife teached us niggers on de sly, an’ atter de war wuz over de Yankees started Hayes’s school. I ain’t had so much schoolin’ but I teached de little ones fer seberal years.

De Southern soldiers burned de depot, which wuz between Cabarrus an’ Davie Streets den, an’ dat wuz ter keep de Yankees from gittin’ de supplies. Wheeler’s Cavalry wuz de meanest troops what wuz.

De Yankees ain’t got much in Raleigh, case de Confederates has done got it all an’ gone. Why fer a long time dar de way we got our salt wuz by boilin’ de dirt from de smoke house floor where de meat has hung an’ dripped.

I’m glad slavery is ober, eben do’ I ain’t neber been no slave. But I tell yo’ it’s bad ter be a ‘Ole Issue.’

In the 1860 census of Raleigh, Wake County: Cameron Perry, 48, blacksmith, wife Sarah, and children Adora, 7, Narcissa, 5, Charley, 3, plus Susan Cuffy, 70, and Henderson Duntson, 21; all mulatto except Susan, whose color designation was left blank.

Two years longer for the mulatto.

Charlotte DeOrmond, a white woman servant of Major John Dunn has had a white & a mulatto bastard; she must serve a year for the white bastard and two years longer for the mulatto, who, being a female, is bound to said Dunn until 21 years old.

January Term, 1769, Minutes, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Rowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.  

She mixed his blood with whiskey and drank it.

EX-SLAVE STORY AS TOLD BY MILLIE MARKHAM OF 615 ST. JOSEPH ST., DURHAM, N.C.

I was never a slave. Although I was born somewhere about 1855, I was not born in slavery, but my father was. I’m afraid this story will be more about my father and mother than it will be about myself.

My mother was a white woman. Her name was Tempie James. She lived on her father’s big plantation on the Roanoke River at Rich Square, North Carolina. Her father owned acres of land and many slaves. His stables were the best anywhere around; they were filled with horses, and the head coachman was named Squire James. Squire was a good looking, well behaved Negro who had a white father. He was tall and light colored. Tempie James fell in love with this Negro coachman. Nobody knows how long they had been in love before Tempie’s father found it out, but when he did he locked Tempie in her room. For days he and Miss Charlottie, his wife, raved, begged and pleaded, but Tempie just said she loved Squire. ‘Why will you act so?’ Miss Charlottie was crying. ‘Haven’t we done everything for you and given you everything you wanted?’

Tempie shook her head and said: ‘You haven’t given me Squire. He’s all I do want.’

Then it was that in the dark of the night Mr. James sent Squire away; he sent him to another state and sold him.

But Tempie found it out. She took what money she could find and ran away. She went to the owner of Squire and bought him, then she set him free and changed his name to Walden, Squire Walden. But then it was against the law for a white woman to marry a Negro unless they had a strain of Negro blood, so Tempie cut Squire’s finger and drained out some blood. She mixed this with some whiskey and drank it, then she got on the stand and swore she had Negro blood in her, so they were married. She never went back home and her people disowned her.

Tempie James Walden, my mother, was a beautiful woman. She was tall and fair with long light hair. She had fifteen children, seven boys and eight girls, and all of them lived to be old enough to see their great-grandchildren. I am the youngest and only one living now. Most of us came back to North Carolina. Two of my sisters married and came back to Rich Square to live. They lived not far from the James plantation on Roanoke River. Once when we were children my sister and I were visiting in Rich Square. One day we went out to pick huckleberries. A woman came riding down the road on a horse. She was a tall woman in a long grey riding habit. She had grey hair and grey eyes. She stopped and looked at us. ‘My,’ she said, ‘whose pretty little girls are you?’

‘We’re Squire Walden’s children,’ I said.

She looked at me so long and hard that I thought she was going to hit me with her whip, but she didn’t, she hit the horse. He jumped and ran so fast I thought she was going to fall off, but she went around the curve and I never saw her again. I never knew until later that she was Mis’ Charlottie James, my grandmother.

I don’t know anything about slavery times, for I was born free of free parents and raised on my father’s own plantation. I’ve been living in Durham over sixty-five years.

From Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves (1841).

Squire Walden married Tempy James on 28 March 1832 in Halifax County. John Keemer was bondsman, and clerk of court J.H. Harwell witnessed. 

In the 1850 census of Northampton County: Squire Walden, 38, laborer, wife Temperance, 34, and children Samuel, 14, William, 13, Amanda, 12, Martha, 11, James, 9, Hester, 8, Peyton, 5, and Whitman, 1, plus William Walden, 78, farmer. All born in NC, except the elder William, who was born in Virginia. All were described as mulatto.

 

Deep-rooted and virtuous prejudices.

State of North Carolina, Wayne County   } At a Superior Court of Law began and held for the County of Wayne at the Court House in Waynesborough the first Monday after the fourth Monday of March 1828. Appeared there and then into Court Jesse Barden, and by his attorney Lewis D. Henry Esq’r., filed the following Petition under the act of 1827 –

North Carolina, Wayne County   } To the Honorable the Judge of the Superior Court of Law for Said County – The Petition of Jesse Barden, Humbly Shews that he is a Citizen of this County, That he intermarried with one Ann Mariah Bradberry about the Month of April in the Year 1827, That at the time he married her he cherished a fond affection for her and believed her to be good woman, and that she would make an excellent wife, That at the time of their marriage She had a child, which he believed was his own and had been begotten by him before their intermarriage, That her Conduct and Manners were so artfully devised during their Courtship, that he entertained the opinion She was a virtuous woman and that she had never departed from the path of Moral rectitude but in the instance alluded to, and then from the excess of an ardent and imprudent passion for himself, That shortly after their intermarriage however, your Petitioner discovered that Child So born before their marriage was a black child, to his utter Horror and astonishment, and which has Completely ruined his peace and Happiness for life, That as soon as Your Petitioner was Satisfied of the Colour of the Child and of the artful wiles that the said Ann Mariah had employed during their courtship to decoy him with the Conjugal Connection, by protestations of affection that she had made to him from time to time. He was so overcome with her perfidity that he not only broke off all connection with her, but has turned her from his House.

He prays Your Honor therefore that these facts may be inquired into and that he may be divorced from the bonds of Matrimony with the said Ann Mariah his wife, and such other and further relief as You may think proper.

This affiant swears that the facts Set forth in this Petition are true to the Best of his knowledge and belief and that the Said Complaint is not made out of Levity or Collusion between him and his said wife and for the mere purpose of being freed and Separated from each other.     /s/ Jesse Barden

Sworn to Subscribed before me the 3rd day of April 1828. Rob’t Strange

Whereupon it was ordered by the Court that a Subpoena and Copy of the Petition issue to the defendant returnable to the next Term which was done and the Sheriff of Wayne made return thereon that the defendant was not to be found [in] his County. After which It was ordered by the Court that an alias subp’a and copy of Petition issue to defendant returnable to Spring Term of Said Court 1829, which was issued.

This matter reached the North Carolina Supreme Court in Jesse Barden v. Ann M. Barden, 14 NC 548 (1832). In distinguishing the case from another decided the same term, Justice Thomas Ruffin noted that “in so young an infant, whose mother was white, it might not be in the power of an ordinary man, from inspection of the face and other uncovered parts of the body, to discover the tinge, although it were so deep as to lead to the belief now, that it is the issue of a father of full African blood.”  The case was remanded to ascertain (1) that the child was mixed race; (2) that both Bardens were white; (3) that Jesse Barden believed at the time of his marriage that the child was white; (4) that his belief was based on Ann Mariah’s misrepresentations; and (5) that the child’s “real color” was not obvious. If all were true, Barden was entitled to a divorce. “This is a concession to the deep rooted and virtuous prejudices of the community on this subject.”

She was fully 5/8ths white.

“Facts in matter of James Lamms Children –

“Joe Horne – Great Grandmother of these children was Ezrit Locas _ She was about [sic] _ I think her father was a white man _ Grandmother was Wealthy Locas Think her father was a white man _ Know mother of children, Jane Lamm. Think her father was a white man _ said to be Van B. Carter _ Father of children James Lamm white _

“H.M. Rowe – Know Ezrit Locas _ she was fully 5/8 white _ her father a white man _ Grandmother is practically white. Her father was a white man. Mother of child, her father was a white man _ Jane Lamm father white _ Jane Lamm Great Grandmother was 5/8 white at least _ Grandmother _ Her father was Dallas Taylor a pure blooded white man _ Mother of child _ Her father pure blooded white man.”

This unsigned handwritten note is found among papers related to the matter of James Lamm v. J.S. Horne, Fred B. Boswell, A.A. Aycock, School Committeemen of Black Creek Township, filed in November Term, 1909, in Wilson County Superior Court.  Lamm complained that his children had been barred from the white public school in Black Creek, though they had attended for many years prior.  Based on the evidence above, a judge determined that the children, though descended from free women of color, were sufficiently white to attend white schools, and so ordered.  School Records, 1909; Wilson County Miscellaneous Records; North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1900 census of Black Creek, Wilson County: James Lamm, born 1837; wife Jane, 1869; and children Robert L., 1890, James C., 1892, Mamie, 1895 and Leona, 1897; all described as white.  Nearby: Wealthy Locas, born 1849, single, mother of eight (six living), and her children Zacariah, 1886, and Fannie, 1890; all black.  

Jane Carter Lamm died 21 February 1945 in Wilson, Wilson County.  Her death certificate lists her parents as Van Carter and Wealthy Joyner, and she is classified as white.

Daddy’s baby.

Julius A. Howell et al. v. Henry Troutman, 53 NC 304 (1860).

This Rowan County case involved a contested will.  Jacob Troutman’s last will and testament contained the following bequests and devises:

“Item 3d. I will and bequeath to Ann Allmond two hundred and fifty dollars, provided the said Ann shall live with my wife, Polly, and assist her in health and in sickness; and if the said Ann shall faithfully perform her duty to my said wife during the life of my wife or widowhood, then at the death of my said wife, I will and bequeath to the said Ann, five dollars more.”

“Item 4. All the ballance of my estate and property of every kind and description, including my gold mine and every thing else, I will and bequeath to Lucy, the infant child of the said Ann Allmond, and if the said Lucy should die without lawful children or child, then it is my will, that all I have willed to the said Lucy, shall be divided between the children of my brothers, David Troutman, John Troutman, and my sister, Sarah Earnhart’s children.”

Troutman’s execution of the will was duly proven by the three subscribing witnesses, who also testified that in their opinion he was of sound mind when he signed it.

Jacob Troutman and his wife Polly had no children.  Ann Allmond lived in their house as a housekeeper from 1849 to 1858. (Troutman died in the fall of the latter year.)  A witness at trial testified that Ann Allmond was a white woman and her daughter Lucy, in his opinion, was a mulatto; that Lucy died at about age three; and that, both before and since Lucy’s death, Troutman told him that the child was his, and accounted for her color from a fright which Ann Allmond had received while pregnant.  The witness further testified that he had done a lot of business for Jacob Troutman; that Troutman sent Ann out of the room during the drafting of the will; that the witness urged Troutman to leave his brother Henry Troutman something, but he declined, saying that Henry would spend it in litigation. The witness also stated that Troutman had become displeased with Henry because of some lawsuit they had had.

Witness James Montgomery swore that he had no doubt that Lucy was a half-blood mulatto, based on her color; that he was a neighbor and had frequent opportunities to see the child; and that Troutman believed the child was his, said he knew she was, and that he intended to make a lady of her.

Dr. J. P. Cunningham testified that he was a practicing physician in the vicinity of Jacob Troutman’s residence; that on one occasion he was called upon by Troutman to visit Lucy; that when he arrived, he found her in his arms; that he called her “daddy’s baby”; and that the child was unquestionably a negro.

Dr. John R. Wilson, also a practicing physician, testified that Lucy was, in his opinion, a mulatto, and that Troutman had once remarked to him that he loved the child as much as if she were his own, and that Allmond had gone out and picked it up somewhere.

J. C. Barnhart swore that he was a justice of the peace in the county when Ann Allmond was pregnant,  and issued a warrant for her to make her swear to the father or give bond as prescribed by law; that she gave the bond and Jacob Troutman either became her surety or procured someone to do so, he did not remember which; and that Troutman was a man of sound mind, though very illiterate.

J. M. Long, Esq., the draftsman of the will, testified that, after Lucy’s death, Troutman asked him whether another will was necessary to dispose of the part he had left for the child; that he advised him that it was not, but that the property would go over to his relatives under the provisions of the existing will.

Henry Troutman’s counsel insisted that the jury should hear testimony that the will was procured by the false representations and undue influence of Ann Allmond.  However, the County Court charged the jury that there was no evidence of such influence as would invalidate the will and, if they believed the testimony, the decedent was of sound mind; also, that the will was properly attested and executed. Henry Troutman’s counsel excepted.

The Supreme Court’s decision: The fact that Troutman bequeathed a legacy to the mulatto child of his housekeeper, a white woman, which the mother had induced him to believe was his, is no evidence that his will was obtained by fraud and undue influence. “Supposing that he did believe the child was his, and that the mother of it told him so, there is not the slightest testimony to show that she ever even asked him to make a will in favor of her and the child, or that she knew, before the will was made, that he intended to make one, or, afterwards, that he had made it.” “The truth is, that the old man, being childless by his wife, took a strange fancy to the child of his housekeeper, and whether it were his or not, he had a father’s love for it, and our law imposes no prohibition upon a man to prevent him from bestowing his property upon the object of his affection. Affection or attachment, as Sir John Nichol said, ‘would be a very strong ground of support of a testamentary act.’”

Despite their family’s care.

Nancy Midgett v. Willoughby McBryde, 48 NC 21 (1855).

“Nancy Midgett, is a white woman, but her two children are mulattoes begotten by a negro father.”  The Currituck County Court ordered that children be bound to Willoughby McBryde.  Midgett presented evidence that for the last three years she had been living near her father in a house he built for her; that he had taken charge of her children and kept them diligently and industriously employed; that he was himself an honest, respectable and industrious man, well able to take care of her and her children and willing to do so; and that she herself had, during the last three years, behaved orderly and industriously.  Accordingly, contended Midgett’s counsel, the children did not fall within the category of those liable to be bound out by the County Court.  The trial judge disagreed, upheld the County Court’s action, and Midgett appealed.

The North Carolina Supreme Court held that the County Court had power to bind out all free base-born children of color, without reference to the occupation or condition of the mother. The provision of the statute that refers to the occupation or employment of the parents is confined to cases of free negroes and mulattoes whose children are”legitimate.” “In such cases, if the parents have no honest or industrious occupation, the children may be bound out.  These considerations do not arise when the child is a bastard.” Judgment affirmed.

An Act to Invest a Right of Inheritance.

At a General Assembly, begun and held at Fayetteville, on the second Day of November, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-Nine, and in the Fourteenth Year of Independence of the said State; being the first session of the said Assembly.  Samuel Johnston, Esq., Governor.

CHAPTER XXXIII.

An Act to Invest an Indefeasible Right of Inheritance in Charles, Alley and Prudence Oggs, the Surviving Natural Children of John Oggs, of the County of Pasquotank, of such Property as was Bequeathed to them and their Deceased Brother Jesse Oggs.

Whereas, it hath been made appear to this General Assembly, that John Oggs late of the county of Pasquotank, hath departed this life, leaving behind him four natural children, Charles, Alley, Prudence and Jesse, by his negro slave Hester, to whom he bequeathed all his real and personal estate by virtue of a certain last will and testament: And whereas, by the policy of the law the said children, being bastards, are debarred from the rights of inheritance, and being recommended to this General Assembly as persons of good fame: And whereas, Jesse, one of the children is dead:

I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the above mentioned Charles, Alley and Prudence Oggs, are hereby invested in an indefeasible right of inheritance of all and singular the lands and tenements, goods and chattels which were bequeathed to them by their father John Oggs, in virtue of his last will and testament; and that they hold and take the said property to them and their heirs and assigns forever, agreeably to the directions of the said will, and the intentions of the said John Oggs therein expressed.

And whereas, the within mentioned Hester, and her children Charles, Alley and Prudence Oggs, are recommended to this General Assembly by several very respectable inhabitants of the counties of Camden and Pasquotank, as worthy of being manumitted and set free agreeable to the intention of their father John Oggs:

II. Be it therefore enacted, That the said negro woman Hester, and her children Charles, Alley and Prudence Oggs, are hereby manumitted and set free to all intents and purposes, and to possess all the rights and privileges as if they had been born free.

Acts of the North Carolina General Assembly, 1789. Colonial and State Records of North Carolina.

A bill to bind out the mulatto children of white women.

Mr. Baker moved for leave to bring in a bill to impower the Justices of the Inferior Courts to bind out Mulatto Children born of any white woman

Ordered that he have leave accordingly

Mr. Baker presented the aforementioned Bill which he read in his place and delivered in at the Table where the same was again read by the Clerk.  Then on Motion, Ordered that the said Bill lie on the Table for the perusal of the House.

From the Minutes of the Lower House of the North Carolina General Assembly, Tuesday, 25 Nov 1760, p. 495.  Colonial and State Records of North Carolina.