Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Category: Revolutionary War

He was in no battle, being a colored man.

Virginia, Powhatan County, to wit;

On this 15th day of June 1820, personally appeared in open court in the county court of Powhatan, in the state aforesaid, being a court of record, Reuben Bird, aged about fifty six years, according to the best estimate that can be made, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the provision made by the acts of Congress of the 18th March 1818 and the 1st May 1820, that he, the said Reuben Bird enlisted for and during the war of the American Revolution in April or May in the year 1780 in Hillsborough in North Carolina in the Company commanded by Captain James Gunn in the Regiment of Dragoons commanded by Col’o White of Virginia; that he continued to serve in the said Corps until the peace came, when he was discharged from service in Culpepper county, in the state of Virginia: that he was in no battle, he being a colored man, and kept as a Bowman, although he was very near the ground where several were fought; and that he has no other evidence now in his power of his said services except the certificates of Benjamin Sublett and Larkin Self herewith exhibited:

And in pursuance of the act of the 1st of may 1820, the said Reuben Bird solemnly made oath that he was a resident citizen of the United States on the 18th of March One thousand eight hundred and eighteen, and that he has not since that time, by gift, sale, or in any manner disposed of his property, or any part thereof, with intent thereby to diminish it as to bring himself within the provision of an act of Congress, entitled “An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War,” passed on the 18th day of March One thousand eight hundred and eighteen, and that he has not, nor has any person in trust for him, any property or securities, contracts, or debts due to him; nor has he any income, other than what is contained in the Schedule hereto annexed, and by him subscribed to wit: Real and personal property, none; he is by trade a Bricklayer, and is not very able to pursue his trade in consequence of a Rupture, which obliges him to wear a Truss of Steel; his family consists of his wife, who is about 37 years old, and one child, a female about seven years old; his wife is healthy, and by her industry somewhat contributes to support the family.  Reuben X Bird.

From the file of Reuben Bird, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

In the attached affidavit, Benjamin Sublett swore that he was a sergeant in Captain William Mayo’s company at the time of General Gates’ defeat at Camden, South Carolina, and “in the same company a mulatto boy appeared to be about the age of 16 or 17 years by the name of Reuben Bird,” who enlisted at “Hilsbury” in about May 1780.

Free? Yes. Clothes? No.

State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } August Term 1783

Personally appeared before me Col’o James Armstrong and being duly sworn deposeth and saith That on or about the first day of August In the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty one this deponent being at Martinborough in Pitt County and State aforesaid being appointed to Superintend the receiving of draughts deserters and Substitutes for the Continental service from the districts of Halifax and Newbern a certain William Kitchen who was then a deserter from the Continental Service having brought a certain Ned Griffin a molattoe or Mustee to this deponent as a Substitute in the room of the said Kitchen to serve for the term of Eighteen Months in the Continental Service the said Kitchen upon his delivering the said Griffin to this deponent (who ever mindful of his duty and determined strictly to adhere to the laws of the State particularly to the directions there enjoined respecting the receptions of Draught Substitutes &c) objected to the said Griffin upon this principle that he was not perfectly satisfied of his being a free man and the said Kitchen thereupon with the strongest of assurances declared that he the said Griffin was a free-man and as such delivered him to the deponent declaring and positively affirming at the same time that he had purchased the services of the said Griffin and upon his serving the said tour faithfully he the said Kitchen manumitted and totally discharged him from every species of further services whatsoever. That upon those terms and solemn assurances of Kitchen only he this deponent received and enrolled him the said Griffin in the Continental service accordingly. And farther this deponent saith that some time after the enrollment he met with William Griffin the person from whom Kitchen had purchased the services of the said Griffin he this deponent addressed himself to the said William Griffin in these words “So says this deponent Kitchen has purchased of you a certain Ned Griffin (meaning the said Ned Griffin that he had received as a free man of Kitchen) for a substitute for him the said Kitchen upon which the said William Griffin answered yes this deponent then demanded of him Clothing for the said Ned Griffin upon which he the said William Griffin replied that he made no contract with Kitchen when he disposed of the services of the said Ned Griffin to the said Kitchen therefore was no obligation to comply with his requisition. /s/ James Armstrong  Sworn to before me this 6th August 1783 in open Court J Sessums

Slave Records, Edgecombe County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Wounded with a cannonball at the Battle of Monmouth.

North Carolina, Wake County  }  Schedule:  Court of pleas and quarter Sessions on this 25th day of august 1820 Personaly appeared in open Court it being a court of Record for the county aforesaid Drury Pettiford aged 69 years resident in Said County & State being first duly sworn according to law on his oath declare that he served in the Revolutionary war as follows, that he served 2 years in the 2nd Regiment in the company commanded by Cap’t Lewis Burwell and that he has here unto rec’d a pension certificate No. 5443 upon his original declaration made before Judge Potter on the 27th day of May 1818.  And I do solemly swear that I was a resident citizen of the U.States on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not since that time by gift Sale or any manner disposed of my Property or any part thereof with intent thereby so to diminish it. As to bring myself with in the provisions of an act of congress entitled an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land & naval service of the united States in the Revolutionary war passed on the 18th day of March 1818 and that I have not nor has any person intrust for me any property or Security contracts or debts due to me nor have I any income other than what is contained in the Schedule hereunto annexed and by me Subscribed.

Real Estate – none; Personal Estate – one blind sorrel mare; one Sow and 2 shoats; 4 chairs; 2 Dishes and 1 Basin; 1 Sett knives & forks; One pott.

Names & ages of the family now resident with him are himself aged 69, Dicy his wife aged 66, Jesse aged 18 years Nicholas aged 16 years Janey 12 years Drury aged 9 years Sally aged 7 years Franky aged 6 years & Thomas aged 9 years.  That all the assistance he has is from the labour of his two eldest sons Jesse & Nicholas that himself and wife are not able to do much & his eldest daughter only assists her and have to rent land and being verry old and infirm he is himself unable to pursue his Occupation having also been wounded with a cannon ball at the battle of Monmouth in his right knee which verry much injured the bones & sinews of his leg & knee, & much burned by the blowing up of a magazine in middlebrook.  Sworn to and subscribed in open court   Drury X Pettiford

From the file of Drury Pettiford, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

Drury Pettiford married Tycey Bass on 12 November 1781 in Granville County.  Right Bass served as bondsman, and Bennet Searcy witnessed.  In the 1830 census of Wake County, Drury Pettiford headed a household of six free people of color.

He is an East India Indian.

TEN DOLLARS REWARD.  DESERTED from me the 12th instant on their march for Halifax, two soldiers belonging to the 5th battalion of this state, William Watson and Charles Peters, Watson has deserted five times, he has also cost the public twenty odd pounds for taking him up, and jail fees, he is about five feet ten inches high, dark complected, black hair, lives on or near Bay river, below NewbernPeters is an East India Indian, formerly the property of Mr. Thomlinson in Newbern.  Whoever delivers one or both of the above deserters to me at Bath or to any continental officer, taking their receipt for the same, shall have the above reward.   BEN. STEADMAN.

North Carolina Gazette, 15 May 1778.

He was well acquainted with Genl. Washington.

State of North Carolina, Franklin County    }

On this the 18th day of June AD 1841 personally appeared before me one of the Justices of the Peace for the County aforesaid & one of the Justices of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions of the same, Solomon Bibbie, a free man of colour a resident of the County of Franklin & State aforesaid, aged ninety years, who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7 AD 1832, that he joined the Army under Genl Sumner and served under Capts Pell, Armstrong, & Brickle and others (whose names he cannot now recall) he entered the service in the Spring of the year but what year he does not now recollect, he remained in the service three years from the time he entered as aforesaid as a volunteer, he was at the battles of Eutaw Springs, Camden & Guilford Court House, and attended most of his time to the care of the horses & as protector & guard to the baggage wagons, he was not engaged in any of the said battles, he was a volunteer, & joined & continued as such whilst he was connected with the Army.  He was well acquainted with Genl Gates, Greene, and also with Genl Washington & Malbry (he thinks the name was). He has in his possession no documentary evidence & knows of no one who can testify, except one Pope who lives in the western part of the State somewhere, but at what place he does not know.  He does not know what year he was born in but he was born in this County (which was then called Bute) & State.  He has no record of his age.  He was living near Sandy Creek in the County when he volunteered & has lived ever since.  He received his discharge from service from Genl Sumner through his aid Capt but he has lost it, or it has been destroyed by age.  He states the following as persons living in his neighbourhood who can testify to his character for truth, viz: Presley Parsons, William Ransom, T. Patterson, B. Jones, Jeremiah Perry, Arch’ld Yarbrough, Philemon Hawkins & Nathan Patterson & who can testify also to his good behaviour & most of whom can testify from information received from others of his Revolutionary services, and he hereby relinquishes every claim whatsoever, and he makes oath that he served faithfully through his whole time & that he is now very needy & dependent & unable to work.

Sworn to & subscribed the day & year above before me

Thomas Howerton J.P.                                           Solomon X Bibbie

From the file of Solomon Bibbie, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

Solomon Bibby was head of a household of five free people of color listed in the 1830 census of Gills district, Franklin County.

Their first child was born the day ‘Wallis was made prisoner.

State of North Carolina, Sampson County}    On this the 11th day of November 1845, came before the undersigned one of the acting Justices of the pace and  a member of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for the said County of Sampson.  Milly Manuel a resident of the aforesaid County & State 88 years Eighty eight years who being first duly sworn according to Law doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed on the 4th July 1836 for the benefit of certain Widows.

That she is the widow of Nicholas Manuel Dec’d of the said county who was a draughted soldier in the war of the Revolution as follows one (18) Eighteen months Tour one (9) nine months Tour and one Three months Tour, in all her husband the said Nicholas Manuel served two years and a half faithfully as she has heard him say.

That her husband the said Nicholas Manuel was under the command of Captain Kinion Hubbert and others and was in the battle of Briar Creek and was in the seage of Charleston as she has often heard him say.

That she has caused diligent search to be made for her husbands discharge which she has a very perfect recollection of having seen, particularly a printed one.

That her husband the said Nicholas Manuel lived in N.C. when he was called into the service.

That she cannot now tell the date of her marriage to the said Nicholas Manuel but that he the said Nicholas Manuel served both before and after the marriage.

That she was married to the said Nicholas Manuel before Gen Wallis was taken, that her first child to wit Sheadrack was born on the day that Wallis was made prisoner.

That she was married in Duplin Co N.C. by Fleet Cooper Esqr.

That her husband the said Nicholas Manuel died the 27th day of March 1835 Eighteen hundred & thirty five

Sworn to and subscribed on this the 11th day of November 1845 before me.  /s/ Neill Campbell J.P. Milly X Manuel

From the file of Nicholas Manuel, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

Nicholas Manuel is head of a household of free people of color in the 1830 census of Sampson County.

Burrell Tabourn, Revolutionary War soldier.

State of North Carolina, Nash County  }   On this thirteenth day of August Eighteen hundred and Forty four Personally appeared in open Court Hardiman Tabourn a resident of the County of Nash and maketh the following declaration in order to obtain a pension under the act of Congress passed on the seventh day of June Eighteen hundred and thirty two and after being duly sworn according to law doth declare on his oath that he is the son of Burrell Tabourn who Enlisted in the war of the revolution in the year Seventeen hundred and eighty-one For the term of Twelve months under Capt Lytle and after he had served out that time he was drafted for a twelve month tour in the year of Seventeen hundred and eighty two as he has always heard his said father say who will more fully appear by two certificates which he has procured from the Secretary of the State of North Carolina, which he submits as evidence in Connection with his own of his Said Fathers services.

And further declares that his said Father Burrell Tabourn died leaving no widow and that his said father Burrell Tabourn died on the Ninth day of January Eighteen hundred and fortytwo and that he was Eighty one years old when he died and that he himself is forty nine years old and that he has three Brothers and two Sisters Namely Larkin Tabourn forty seven years old, Caleb Tabourn Thirtyfive years old, Boling Tabourn twentyeight years old, Beady Tabourn who intermarried with one Berry Locust Thirtytwo years old and Elizabeth Tabourn Thirty years old and he Further declares that his said Father was at the time he entered the Service a resident of the County of Nash and remained as Such up to this death and that he himself and all his brothers and sisters are Residents of the County of Nash and State aforesaid

And he Further declares that he has always heard his Father Say that he served the last Tower under the same Capt as he did the first two and he said Hardiman Further declares that he hims [sic]and he in behalf of his Brother and Sisters do hereby relinquish all Right to a pension whatever Except this

Sworn and subscribed to the day and date before written Before me  Francis M. Taylor CCC  Hardiman X Tabourn

From the file of Burrell Tabourn, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

In the 1850 census of Nash County: Caleb Tayborne, 51, wife Susan, 50, and children Quilly, 20, Jane, 15, Owen, 15, Martha, 12, Larkin, 12, and Sallie, 10.  Also, Larkin Tayborne, 57, Rebecca, 68, Ricks, 24, and Levenia, 15.  Also, Berry Locust, 50, wife Beedy, 45, and children Arthur, 25, Eliza, 19, Hepsy A., 16, Ivah, 15, Alsey, 12, Henry, 10, and Leymon, 8.  Hardy is not listed, but does appear in the 1860 census of Old Fields, Wilson County, as a 70 year-old living alone.

I was stolen from my parents.

State of Virginia, Southampton County  } SS.

On this 7 day of March 1834 personally appeared in open court before the Justices of the county court of Southampton now acting Drewry Tann (a Free man of Colour) a Resident of said county aged about seventy five years who being first duly sworn according to Law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June the 7th 1832.

That he enlisted under Capt. Hadley in the County of Wake in the State of North Carolina (and states the manner he came in the service as follows) that being born free in the county of Wake he was stolen from his parents when a small boy by persons unknown to him, who were carrying him of to sell him into to [sic] Slavery, and had gotten with him and other stolen property, as far as the mountains on their way, that his parents made complaint to a Mr. Tanner Alford who was then a magistrate in the county of Wake State of N. Carolina to get me back from those who had stolen me, and he did pursue the Rogues & overtook them at the mountains and took me from them & my parents agreed that I should serve him (Tanner Alford) until I was twenty one years old, when he had served Alford several years (Six years) it came Alfords time to go in the army (or he told me so) and told me if I would go in the army he would set me free on which conditions I readily listed under Capt. Hadley for eighteen months as he was told and marched to Charleston and thence to Jameses Isleand where he served out his term of enlistment that he had a discharge and was about returning home when a Capt. Benjamin Coleman (who told me he lived in Bladen County N. Carolina) took his discharge from him and tried to compel him to remain in the service & be his waitingman – his name is to be found in the Records of the State of North Carolina as he is informed by Mr. Deverieux of the City of Raleigh N. Carolina & the term of his enlistments as well as the fact of his enlisting under Capt. Hadley as state above – he cannot state at what period of the war he entered the service. General Green was the commander in chief, Col Lightly & Capt Lightly. Adjutant Ivy that he served in the N. Carolina Regiment, that he has no other documentary evidence than that refered to in the Archives in the State of N. Carolina at the City of Raileigh and knows of no person living who can testify to his service. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present & declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.  Drewry X Tann

The said Drewry Tann states that he was born in the county of Wake N. Carolina in what year he does not know, that he has no Record of his age, that he was living in Wake County N. Carolina when he was Enlisted and that he has lived since the Revolution in the countys of Northampton N. Carolina and Southampton Virginia. That he lives in the county of Southampton at this time.  That he listed volluntarily in the army under Capt. Hadley. He since as before stated on Jameses isleand near Charleston S. Carolina when there were some English prisoners & he was sometimes stationed as a guard on them, Gen Green was the commanding officer Col and Capt Lightley & Adjutant Ivy are all the names he can at this time remember he does not know what regiments he served with – he did secure a discharge from the service & Capt. Coleman took it from him & what has become of it he cannot say. He is known to Mr. Edwin G. Hart Mr. W. Owens John Hart Col. Clements Rochelle James Maggett Davis Bryant and many others.    Drewry X Tann

Sworn to and subscribed in open court this 17 day of May 1834

From the file of Drewry Tann, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

John Ellis, Revolutionary War soldier.

State of No Carolina, Wake County }

This day personally appeared before us R. Cannon & R. Smith two of the acting Justices of the Peace for Wake County, John Ellis a man of colour, and made oath that he was a Soldier in the Revolutionary war, in the continental line of No. Carolina, the length of tume the Deponent does not precisely recollect, but which will appear by reference to the musterrolls of the said Army.  This Deponent further deposeth and saith that he never drew any land himself, nor did he ever authorize any person to do it for him.

Sworn to & subscribed before me, this 27th July 1820    John X Ellis

R. Cannon J.P.   R. Smith, J.P.

Additional documents in the file note that Ellis resided in Washington County, Illinois, at the time of his application; that he was born in Virginia in 1754 and moved to North Carolina with his mother as a child;  that he moved to the “Western Country” in about 1799; that he died 21 October 1850; that his heirs were James, William, Polley, Mahaliah and Henry Ellis; and that his son James Ellis was executor of his estate.

From the file of John Ellis, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

Too infirm to support himself and family by his labour.

Original Claim

State of North Carolina, District of Edenton, County of Pasquotank.  On this 8th day of March 1825 personally appeared in open Court being a Court of record for Pasquotank Samuel Overton a free man of Colour, resident in said County aged [illegible] six Years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration In order to obtain the provision made by the acts of Congress of the 18th March 1815 and the first May 1820.  That the said Samuel Overton enlisted for the term of three Years in the Year 1776 in the State of North Carolina in the Company commanded by Captain Isaac Moore, in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Peter Lange in the line of the State of North Carolina, on  the continental establishment, that he continued to serve in said Corps until the death of Captain Moore, when a certain Devisha[?] Davis commanded that he continued in the Service of the United States until the taking of Yorktown in Virginia, when he was discharged in the City of Philadelphia in the Year 1781, that he was at the battles of Germantown, Charlestown S.C. and at the taking of Yorktown in Virginia, and at the Battle of Germantown received two wounds. That he hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension, except this present, that his name is not on the roll od any State, and that the following are the reasons for not making earlier application for a pension. That as long as he was able he was desirous to maintain himself; but now he is to infirm to support himself and family by his labour, and in addition had the misfortune to lose all his property by fire in July 1824.  And in pursuance of the act of the first May 1820 I do solemnly swear, that I was a resident Citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not since that time, by gift, sale, or in any manner disposed of my property or any part thereof, with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an Act of Congress entitled “An Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval Service of the United States in the Revolutionary War” passed on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not, nor has any person in Trust for me, any property or securities, contract or debts, due to me, nor have I any income, other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed and my be subscribed To wit one Cow and two shoats. That since the 18th of March the change in my property has been its loss by fire in July 1824.  My family consist of my wife and Son David five years old        Samuel X Overton

From the file of Samuel Overton, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.