Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Category: Uncategorized

Joe the wagoner.

Ten Dollars Reward.

Ran away from the subscriber, living in Granville county, on 19th October last, a likely Negro Man, named PLEASANT, aged about 27 years, dark complected, no particular marks recollected, only on his left thumb, cut with an axe, and is strong built. I understand he is aiming for the course of Fayetteville as a wagoner, and has a wagon whip with him. He calls himself Joe, or perhaps Joe Curtin, a free negro. Any person apprehending said slave, can receive the above reward of ten dollars, if said negro is confined in any gaol in the State, or delivered to the subscriber. Letters directed to Oxford or Red Mountain Post Office, will be immediately received. ALFRED CARRINGTON Nov. 20th, 1829.

The North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 10 December 1829.

Wheelwright shop destroyed by fire.

Fire Last Night.

Last evening about half past seven o’clock, a fire broke out in wooden building on Seventh Street, between Market and Dock Street, occupied as a Wheelwright Shop by SAM HOOPER, a free negro. The Wheelwright Shop, with an adjoining Blacksmith Shop, and some small outhouses were destroyed. We have no estimate of the amount of loss. The buildings destroyed were, we should think, of very little value. – Daily Journal, 18th.

Wilmington Journal, 24 March 1864.

Jail break, no. 7.


BROKE the jail of Currituck County and made his escape on the 2d day of June, 1852, a free colored man named GATLING BOWYER, confined there for larceny. He is about five feet eight or ten inches high – black – about 21 or 22 years old – and has made occasional voyages by sea. It is supposed that he is lurking somewhere in the neighborhood of Roanoke Island, in Currituck County.

The above reward will be given for his apprehension and delivery at the jail of Currituck county.   THOMAS GRIGGS, Sheriff and Jailer. Currituck Co., N.C., June 22, 1852.

The Democratic Pioneer (Elizabeth City), 5 October 1851.

Barnes, or Burns, or Copage, or Farmer.


will be paid for the delivery of the said HARRY to me at Tossnot Depot, Edgecombe county, or for his confinement in any Jail in the State so that I can get home, or One Hundred and Fifty Dollars will be given for his head.

He was lately heard from in New-Bern where he called himself Henry Barnes (or Burns), and will likely continue the same name, or assume that of Copage or Farmer. He has a free mulatto woman for a wife, by the name of Sally Bozeman, who has lately removed to Wilmington, and lives in that part of the town called Texas, where he will likely be lurking.

Master of vessels are particularly cautioned against harboring, employing, or concealing the said negro on board their vessels, as the full penalty of the law will be rigorously enforced. GUILFORD HORN.   June 29th, 1850

Eastern Carolina Republican (New Bern), 20 November 1850.

Miserable man, a strange being, kidnaps free boy of color.

Our Superior Court is now in session, Judge Caldwell presiding. … The next case taken up was the State vs. John Bullock, for stealing a free boy of color, named Nelson Dudley Richardson, from his parents in Raleigh, and bringing him to this place, where he claimed the boy as his property, and offered to sell him. The case was clearly made out on the part of the State, and after an absence of ten minutes, the Jury returned a verdict of guilty. The offender in this case has been well known in the Western part of the State as a great villain, having been twice whipped, once at Wadesboro’ and once at Asheville. … Carolina Watchman.

The Weekly Standard (Raleigh), 25 March 1846.


JOHN BULLOCH – This miserable man, who has been lying in jail here for several months, for stealing a free boy of color, from his Parents in Raleigh, was discharged from prison on the 3d inst. He has been hanging about town ever since. One day this week he was detected in an attempt to decoy another negro. This is too much. Twice or thrice has he been whipped, and now just from a gloomy dungeon, he walks in our midst without the least terror of the law! Strange being! Has he common sense? Or is he led captive by the evil one at his will?

P.S. Since the above was written, this wretched man has experienced the “tender mercies” of a rail riding Court. On Wednesday night last he was rode on a rail. This is was wrong. The laws are our protection against such scamps. But the laws would not drive him from among us. We regret that he occasioned our young men to do an act they disapprove of as much as any people. We regret that he has been the means of bringing this stain upon our community; and we trust that he may never return to occasion a renewal of such a scene as our streets presented in the night of his late exit from Salisbury. – Carolina Watchman.

Weekly Raleigh Register, 17 July 1846.

Richard Artis.

There had been a photograph of Adam Artis, cousin Daisy told me, but it had been stored with other things in a barn, and rain had ruined it. She recalled an image of a  brown-skinned man, or the suggestion of one anyway in the soft sepia and charcoal portraits of the day.

If no photograph of Adam exists, however, there is one of his youngest brother. His image, in fact, is the only one known of any of Vicey Artis and Solomon Williams’ children.


Richard Artis was born in 1850 in Greene County, very near Wayne. He spent his youth out of sight of censustakers, but in 1873, he married Susanna Yelverton (also known as Susanna Hall, the daughter of free woman of color Nicey [or Caroline] Hall and a white Yelverton.) Their children included: Lucinda Artis Shearod, Emma Artis Reid, Ivory L. Artis, Loumiza Artis Grantham, Richard Artis Jr., Susan Artis Cooper, Jonah Artis, Charity Artis Coley, Frances Artis Newsome, John Henry Artis and Walter Clinton Artis.

Richard Artis farmed in northern Wayne County all his life. He died 12 February 1923 in Great Swamp township of apoplexy and was buried the next day by the son of his sister, Zilpha Artis Wilson.


Photo courtesy of Teresa C. Artis.

Simmons the bridge tender?

The official bond of Buckner Simmons, in the sum of $1000 (W.J. Warner and S.C. Kane sureties), as bridge tender was read from the President’s desk and approved. Subsequently the approval was reconsidered, whatever that may amount to, because somebody discovered that Mr. Simmons had never been even nominated to be a bridge tender. Evidently he was one of the innumerable army of office seekers who had a sure thing on an appointment and had taken time by the forelock got his bond, had it approved by the solicitor as to legality and sufficiency and chucked it in somewhere among council documents so that in the course of time it was dug up and blindly approved by the new council of civil service reformers and economists. Mr. George Warner asked how the bond came before the council. President Everett said he didn’t know but it came into his hands through the regular channel – not explaining what it was. Mr. Warner retorted that “it must be a great channel.”

Plain Dealer, Cleveland OH, 22 May 1877.

Thank you.

Fourth Generation Inclusive has reached 1,000 posts. 

I knew what I wanted to do when I began this blog last October, but had no idea how far-ranging would be the sources of information, how eye-opening the subjects, or how gratifying the search. Thank you all for following, commenting on and supporting my efforts to shine a little light on this corner of North Carolina history.

— Lisa Y. Henderson

Charles was born free, but is now confined in jail as a runaway slave.

United States of America

State of Maryland, to wit:

I, Samuel Farnandis, Notary Public, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the State of Maryland, Commissioned and duly Qualified, residing in the City of Baltimore, in the State aforesaid, do hereby CERTIFY, ATTEST, and MAKE KNOWN, that on the day of the date hereof, personally appeared Thomas Wilson and made oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God that he knew and was personally acquainted with a Negor Boy named Charles Rigby, now aged twenty two to twenty four years old black complexion, five feet two to five feet four Inches high, has one tooth broke in front, has a long face and large Head; that he knows the said Boy Charles to be free, and that he was born free, that he lived in his Family from the time he was about one year old until about four years since; said Wilson further saith he was understood and verily believes that the said Charles is now confined in Jail in the State of North Carolina as a Runaway Slave.    /s/ Thomas Wilson

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, the said deponent hath hereunto subscribed his name, and I the said Notary have hereunto set my hand, and affixed my Notarial Seal, the Eighteenth day of August in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty Six   /s/ Saml. Farnandis, Not’y Pub.


Charles Rigby Was born in Harford County and lived with Thomas Jenney until he was about 8 or 9 years old the most of the balance with me or under my controle he sail’d with Captain Bernard Johnson in the Schooner Christopher Hughes ran away & was taken and put in Fredericksburg jail I think he is hardly to tall as is mentioned in Mr. Farnandes instrument

Balt August 18th 1836                     Respectfully Yours, &&c, Thos. Wilson

Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Jack & Fax.

CRUSOE JACK AND JUDGE FAX. There is a tradition that, when the treaty of Tellico in 1789 was made, Crusoe Jack, a mulatto, got a grant to the magnificent Harden farm and that John Harden traded him out of it. Harden worked about fifty slaves on this farm, among whom was Fax, a mulatto, who bought his freedom from John Harden, whose descendants still own this farm, and settled at Fairfax, where Daniel Lester afterwards lived for many years, and where Jeremiah Jenkins afterwards lived and died. Fax was called Judge Fax and kept a public house where he supplied wagoners and other travelers with such accommodations as he could.

From John Preston Arthur, History of Western North Carolina (1914).