Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

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I am sorry that Mrs. Lynch is trying to be so large.

Camp near Kinston

Feby 22d 1864

Dear wife,

Your letter by Tom has been Read. I am glad to hear that you are all well. I am well & hearty. I am sorry that Mrs. Lynch is trying to be so large. I think the best way you can manage is for her to stay to herself. I want you to let her go Back to her house & stay there. If you & she can’t get along, there is no use trying to stay together. You may give her all that you think you can spare. I told Lynch when he came I could let him have what you could spare. You may tell Lynch that I had rather she would stay in her House as you & she can’t agree. I don’t see why she made such a bargain & then flew from it so quickly. The Best way you can do is to attend to your own Business. I think you will be better satisfied. I want you to tell Lynch that our Bargain shall all be right. I told Lynch his wife could have corn from my House & all the Bacon I could Spare. I left that to you to say what you could Spare & he & I were to settle that ourselves. You may tell Lynch that all will be right with me & him & tell his wife I rather she would not stay as one of the family. I think you had best attend to your own Business than to be run over by a negro. You know already she will not do to depend upon.

[The remainder of this letter has been lost.]

Footnotes: “Caroline Lynch was a free Negro woman born in 1837.” “Wyatt Lynch, an illiterate free Negro, was born in 1830. He was a plasterer and brickmason by occupation.”

In another letter written 23 May, 1864, Barnes told his wife, “Tell Lynch he must make my colt gentle.”

Hugh Buckner Johnston, Jr., ed., “The Confederate Letters of Ruffin Barnes of Wilson County,” North Carolina Historical Review, vol. XXI, no. 1 (January 1954).

In the 1860 census of Saratoga, Wilson County: Wyatt Lynch, 30, wife Caroline, 23, and child Frances, 3. [Sidenote: in the 1870 census, Lynch’s wife is named Nicey. Lynch married Nicey Hall on 5 June 1860 in Wilson County. It appears that Nicey and Caroline were the same woman. In the 1850 census of North Side Neuse, Wayne County: Lucy Hall, 45, and children Sarah, 16, George, 15, Nathan, 13, Nicy, 10, Samuel, 3, and Esther Hall, 6, plus Alford Artis, 15, and John Artis, 14, and Rhoda Artis, 13, and her children Julia, 12, and Rheuben Artis, 10, plus Rufus Lane, 22. – LYH] 

United States Colored Troops, no. 12.

14 H. Art’y. U.S.C.T. Hampton Reynolds. Co. A, 14 H. Art’y. U.S.C.T. Reg’t. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 38 years; height, 6 feet 0 inches; complexion, black; eyes, black; hair, black; where born, Hertford County, NC; occupation, laborer. Enlistment: when, 2 Aug 1864; where, New Bern; by whom: W.H. Wrigley; term, 3 years. Remarks: Appointed Corp, July 25, ‘65.

38 U.S.C.T. Preston Weaver. Co. G, 38 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 22 years; height, 5 feet 7 inches; complexion, “D.K.”; eyes, grey; hair, black; where born, Hertford County, NC; occupation, laborer. Enlistment: when, 23 July 1864; where, Norfolk VA; by whom: Lt. A. Roberts; term, 3 years.  Remarks: “Promoted to corporal – date unknown – Died in Post Hosp Aug 30 1865”

5 U.S.C.T. Ira Wyatt. Co. H, 5 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 32 years; height, 5 feet 7 inches; complexion, mulatto; eyes, black; hair, black; where born, Hartford County, NC; occupation, farmer. Enlistment: when, 15 August 1863; where, Circleville OH; term, 3 years.  Remarks: “Transferred from Co ‘D’  October 18 1863 Died on furlough at Circleville Ohio December 9 1863”

11 H. Art’y. U.S.C.T. Isiah Dove. Co. B, 11 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 23 years; height, 5 feet 5 ½ inches; complexion, dark; eyes, black; hair, black; where born, Newbern NC; occupation, seaman. Enlistment: when, 7 September 1863; where, Providence RI; by whom: Capt. Simon; term, 3 years. 

Combined Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers, National Archives and Records Administration; federal population schedules.

Concerning the emancipation of Chaney Moreman.

Whereas at the Autumn Term in 1833, of the Superior Court of Anson county, upon the petition of Benjamin Pratt, praying for the emancipation of Chaney Moreman, a slave, the property of said Benjamin Pratt, for meritorious services, such proceedings were had, that the said court, upon due proof of the matters stated in the said petition, did grant the prayer thereof, and did order, adjudge and declare the said Chaney to be emancipated, and entitled, by the name of Chaney Moreman, to all the privileges of a free born negro; and whereas the said petition and the memorial and record of the said proceedings have been lost or destroyed, and from the length of time since the said judgement was entered, doubts are entertained whether the said court can order the same to be now entered up as of the said term; and whereas, also, from the nature of the case, it is doubtful whether suit can be properly instituted for relief in a court of equity; and whereas the case is one of hardship and likely to result in injustice, without some provision by law in that behalf; for remedy whereof,

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 it shall and may be lawful for the said Superior Court of Law, either at the next succeeding spring or autumn term, upon the application of the said Chaney Moreman, to receive evidence of the contents of the said petition and the proceedings and judgment hereupon, and of the loss or destruction of the papers or other memorial thereof; and upon satisfactory proof of such loss or destruction and of the contents of the said petition and other proceedings, to order and direct the said petition, proceedings and judgment to be enrolled in the said court, as a record of the term when the said proceedings were had and the said judgment rendered.

II. Be it further enacted, That upon sufficient proof being made, either by parol or record, that a decree of emancipation was ordered by the court agreeable to the petition of said Pratt, and that the clerk of the court shall have neglected to enter the same on record as ordered, that upon the said proof being made, the judge of the court shall order the decree to be entered nunc pro tunc as aforesaid.

Chapter X Page 157, Public and Private Laws of North Carolina 1833-34, North Carolina State Library.


Sentence of death was pronounced.

Superior Court. – The week was occupied by several highly interesting causes, Judge Settle presiding. This is the first time the Judge has visited this section of the State, since his promotion to the Bench, and we speak the sentiments of our community, when we say, no Judge has ever given more satisfaction for his prompt and enlightened decisions as well as the urbanity of his manners. The criminal Elijah Hawkins, was put upon his trial for killing Green Mills, both free persons of color, and found guilty of murder in the first degree. Sentence of Death was pronounced upon him by Judge S. in a truly feeling and appropriate manner. The day for carrying into effect the sentence of law, is fixed on 23d May next.  Halifax Adv.

Tarborough Free Press, 9 May 1834.

Acquitted of rape of 80 year-old woman.

Wake Superior Court.

On Wednesday, Jones Kiff, a free boy of colour, about 21 years old, was tried on an indictment for Rape, committed on a free woman of colour, supposed to be 80 years of age. Verdict of acquittal.

Tarboro’ Press, 16 April 1836.

He carried a white woman there.

Fifty Dollars Reward.

Made his escape from me, on Friday evening the 4th of the present month, near Stantonsburg, a negro man, named ALLEN, (calls himself Allen Woodard) he is about 30 years of age, of a tolerable size, yellow complexion, a pretty good House Carpenter and a very ingenious negro. He formerly belonged to Wm. Dickinson, decd. – and has lately been confined in the Newbern gaol, was removed thence to Snow Hill, had his trial and was whipped – his back is pretty much scared [sic]. It is said he has forged free papers, with which he has passed as a free man. It is probable he will lurking about Newbern as he carried a white woman there, with whom he was intimate, as it was said.

The above reward will be given to any person who will deliver him to me, or lodge him in Tarborough gaol.  DANIEL DICKINSON.  Edgcomb County, 2 miles above Stantonsburg, May 8th, 1822.

Newbern Sentinel, 18 May 1822.

Principles not generally understood; or, he is not a slave, you cannot flog him.


The Fall Term of the Superior Court for Rowan County, was held in this town week before last: Judge Badger presided. There were but two criminal cases tried at this term: on one which there was a conviction of grand larceny. – Lemuel Bealey was found guilty, and sentenced to receive 30 lashes; 15 of which he received on Monday after Superior Court, the other 15 to be given him on the week of our next County Court.

There was one case tried at this term, which involves principles perhaps not generally understood. Major Haskins, and others, were indicted for a misdemeanor, in flogging a free negro, for some mischief he had done.  Maj. Haskins, it appears, procured two Justices of the Peace to authorize the infliction of the corporal punishment on the negro, supposing, no doubt, that the transaction would thereby be legalized. There is an old law of our state empowering Justices of the Peace to authorize the summary punishment of slaves, in cases of this kind; it was this law which led Maj. Haskins, and the Justices referred to, into the fatal error. The negro doubtless deserved punishing; but as he was free, the law knows no distinction between him and a white man. He should have been indicted, and brought into Court for trial, in the same manner that free white citizens are.

The jury found a verdict against the defendants of all that was charged in the indictment. Maj. Haskins was fined twelve hundred dollars; one of the justices 100, the other 100, and the constable who acted as executioner 10 shillings.

The negro David Valentine, has now commenced an action for damages against the plaintiffs in the above case.  Western Carolinian.

Newbern Sentinel, 9 November 1822.

Horse-stealer sold for payment of fines.

Superior Court. – At the late September term of Orange Superior Court, Judge DICK presiding, there was an unsual amount of business on the criminal docket to be disposed of. There were three convictions for Grand Larceny; two white men, and a free negro, whose trial was removed from Granville to this county.

Moses T. Hopkins, (alias Thomas Jones, and a half dozen other aliases,) a white man from Virginia, was convicted of stealing a Horse, and having prayed for the benefit of clergy, was sentenced by the Court to receive of clergy, was sentenced by the Court to receive thirty-nine lashes immediately, to remain in prison until Tuesday of November court, when he is again to receive thirty-nine, and then be discharged according to law. He has also been indicted fir Bigamy, and is a notorious offender.

Green Morrow, a white man, convicted of stealing money, was sentenced to receive thirty-nine lashes, and be discharged according to law.

John Mitchell, a free negro, convicted of stealing a Horse, was sentenced to pay a fine of sixty dollars, and to be sold for the payment of the fine and costs.

The remainder of the cases tried were for misdemeanors; and most of them originated, as is generally the case, in intemperance.

Hillsborough Recorder, 18 September 1845.

He died instantly.

Henry Hays, a free man of color, was shot in Fayetteville, a few days since, by John Russel, a white man. Hays died instantly, and Russel was imprisoned. – ib.

Tarboro’ Press, 16 November 1839.

He went off as a free man.

$300 REWARD. – Escaped from the fortifications in Wilmington, North Carolina, in May or June last, my man GEORGE WASHINGTON. Yellow complexion; he has a small scar on his left cheek, kinky head of hair, twenty-two or three years old, about five feet six inches high, pleasing appearance and speech.

George Washington was raised in Franklin county, North Carolina, by David Ingram, near Laurel post office. I understand that he went off from Wilmington with some Southern soldiers to Richmond as a free man. I will pay the above reward of three hundred dollars for his apprehension, and delivered to Lieutenant Colonel John L. Harris, Twenty-fourth regiment North Carolina Troops, Petersburg, or to Robert Lumpkin, Richmond, or to me at Roxboro, Person county, North Carolina.  JAMES HOLLOWAY.

Richmond Examiner, Richmond VA, 3 December 1864.