Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Category: Runaways

I’ve got her children.

Ten Dollars Reward.

RUNAWAY from Nixenton, Pasquotank County, some time in January last, a negro woman by the name of BECK, formerly the property of Mr. Morris of said county, who emancipated her and two children. She was apprehended and sold, agreeable to an act of Assembly of North Carolina. I expect she had a free pass, and will endeavor to pass for a free wench. I suppose she will go to Norfolk, as she has a free husband that is acquainted there. She is very large, rather light complexioned, about 22 years old. Any person apprehending and securing her in any jail, to that I get her again, or delivering her to me in Halifax county, North-Carolina, shall receive the above reward.   JOHN PONS.

N.B. I have got the two children from Mr. Morris, since the wench went away.

April 8, 1794

Virginia Chronicle, Norfolk, 12 May 1794.

The 1,000th post!

He has fine white teeth; I have his indentures.

$25 Reward.

WILL be given for the delivery to me, or for the confinement in the Jail of Cumberland county, of DAVID BOOKER, who ranaway from me about the middle of last June.

DESCRIPTION. – Booker is about 5 feet 10 inches high, very black, has fine white teeth, speaks pleasingly when in conversation, is about forty years old, and in walking bends forward considerably. He is a Blacksmith by trade.

I have his indentures for two years from 1st of May 1854, for costs and charges in State case vs. him, in the Superior Court of Cumberland county; and all persons are cautioned not to employ him without my consent.  T.R. UNDERWOOD.  Dec. 19, 1854.

Semi-Weekly Fayetteville Observer, 22 February 1855.

Runaway bound girl may try to pass.


ALL persons are forbid harboring my bound girl SUSAN, as the law will be enforced against all such. Susan ran away on Saturday evening last, the 10th inst; she is a bright mulatto, about 13 years old, and may try to pass for white. I expect she is making towards Raleigh.  WM. McLEOD.

Goldsboro’, Sept. 14, 1853.

New Era, Goldsboro, 27 October 1853.

He has probably gone to his parents; his father is a free man.

$50 Reward.

RAN AWAY from my residence about 14 miles from Newbern on the 1st of July last, a negro boy named POLLOCK. His complexion is jet black – about 19 years old, and 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high. On first looking at any person, he looks straight, but if he continues to look any length of time he squints with one eye. He is probably lurking about J.C. Stanly’s plantation on the Washington road, where his parents reside. I will give the above reward to any person who will deliver him to me, or lodge him in any Jail in this State so that I can get him.  Masters of vessels are hereby fowarned against carrying him away, as it is probable he will attempt to get to a free country. It is possible that he may have a forged free pass, as his father is a free man.   MARY PALMER.  October 5th, 1836.

North Carolina Sentinel, New Bern, 14 December 1836.

He answers very quick; she has a brazen look.

One hundred dollars reward.

RUNAWAY from the subscriber, on the 3rd July 1819, two negroes, one man named Jacob, about thirty five years old, of yellow complexion, about five feet ten inches high, when spoken to, answers very quick. When he runaway from me he carried with him one blue coat and pantaloons of common broad cloth, one pair ditto of green homespun, double wove, and one new furred hat and one pair of boots. The woman Jude, about forty years old, little inclined to yellow, of a thin visage, thick lips, with a brazen look. When she left me she carried off two silk frocks, one of them were black, and the other checked, one bonnet of a red changeable silk. Jacob is a very sensible cunning fellow and will try to pass a free person of colour. I think it likely they have procured free passes, Jacob will likely pass by the name of John Bell, he can read — Jude will pass by the name of Vilet Horn, as she has procured a pass from a woman by that name. I think it most likely they will make for the north. I will give the above reward to any person delivering them to me or securing them in any jail so that I get them again.   EZEKIEL STATON.  Tarborough, July 25, 1819.

Star, Raleigh, 27 August 1819.

Runaway bound boy, no. 9.


RANAWAY from the subscriber, about the first of January last, a negro boy, (an indented Apprentice,) named WASHINGTON. Said boy is between 19 and 20 years of age, and rather under statue, of light complexion, — no particular marks or scars recollected. – I understand that Washington has been seen near Durham’s Creek, in the neighbourhood of which place he is not no doubt lurking.

The above reward, and all reasonable expences, will be paid on his delivery to me in Newbern, or secured in any Jail so that I get him again. – All persons are forwarned from harboring said boy as I am determined to enforce the law against all such as may offend.  JOHN GILDERSLIEVE. March 8, 1828.

Newbern Sentinel, 19 April 1828.

Runaway redux.

RUNAWAY from the subscriber on Saturday night, the 27th inst. his negro boy TOM, about fifteen years of age, he was clad in dark homespun clothes, has a scar over his right eye near the brow – he rode away a bay mare; she has a star in her forehead.

Said boy Tom runaway some weeks ago and passed in Orange county for a free boy by the name of Tom Pettiford, and will probably attempt to pass for a free boy again. Any person who will apprehend said boy, and confine him in jail so that I get him again, shall be generously rewarded.  J.M. JELKS. Wake County, 9 miles west of Raleigh, February 23, 1820.

Star, Raleigh, 3 March 1820.

He is making for the Western Country.

One Hundred Dollars Reward.

RANAWAY from the subscriber on the 6th day of March last, a mulatto man by the name of JACK, well built, about five feet five or six inches high, 28 years of age, a tolerable shoe maker, and has been much in the habit of driving a wagon – He has a scar on his forehead, and a part of one of his upper foreteeth is broken off, one of his wrists broke and crooked, and his right leg pretty much shot with small shot which will shew very plainly. He has been seen on his way making for the Western Country, and passes as a free man but the name of John Revill, having obtained a pass from a black free man of that name which was written and signed by John Taylor Clerk of the County Court of Orange, (State of North-Carolina) – Any person who will deliver the aforesaid mulatto man to the Subscriber at Hillsborough in the state aforesaid, shall receive the above reward, and all reasonable charges paid from time of his being taken until delivered.  LEVI WHITTED.

Hillsborough Record, April 8, 1812.

P.S. The Subscriber was somewhat mistaken before in a part of the description given of this fellow, that is with respect to his height.

The Editor of the paper at Knoxville, is hereby requested to give this advertisement an insertion in his paper and continue the same about 6 weeks, for which he will be good enough to forward his account to the subscriber living at Hillsborough, and the money shall be duly forwarded.   L. WHITTED.

A reward for apprehending a slave.


We take Monday’s proceedings from the Standard. Our Reporters’ letters annexed furnish those of Tuesday and Wednesday.

… Wednesday, Jan’y 30th.

Mr Peebles, a bill to pay to Evans Ferguson and Ben Smith, free persons of color, of Northampton County, $400, the reward by the Governor for the apprehension of Ephraim, a slave, for the murder of his master, Mr. Woodruff. Passed and sent to the Senate.

Carolina Observer, 4 February 1861.

Yankees and negroes.


During the past three or four weeks, those counties in North Carolina bordering upon the Virginia lines of the Federal army, have been subjected to a series of the most dastardly and vindictive guerilla raids that have yet characterized the war in that quarter. The counties of Pasquotank, Camden, Currituck and Gates have suffered the most severely, from arrests of many of their principal citizens, robberies and burnings of property, and the excitement of negroes to revolt and escape.

About two weeks ago, ninety-four slaves and a party of free negroes, through the medium of Yankee inducement, stampeded from the upper part of Pasquotank and fled into the Dismal Swamp. The comprised whole families – old and young, male and female. One of the free negroes, who was doubtless dictator of the whole party, was an “aristocrat” at home, and worth some four or five thousand dollars. A number of the inhabitants of the county immediately followed in pursuit, and recovered fifty or sixty of the slaves, and found a considerable quantity of ammunition in their camp.

On the following night, a young and estimable man, named Joseph Williams, in company with two others, went on patrol to the halfway house on the Dismal Swamp Canal, and kept watch for the runaways. They soon perceived a party of negroes, about thirty in number, approaching, led by white men, supposed to be Yankees, and upon hailing them, they were fired upon by the approaching party, and young Williams was mortally wounded. He, however, raised his gun, took aim, and together with his companions, fired upon them, wounded one negro and killed two others. The rest fled, and the wounded negro was captured. Young Williams died on the spot from the effect of his wound.

…  Richmond Enquirer, 31st.

Carolina Observer, Fayetteville, 4 August 1862.