Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Brown

Puking, purging, pains.

From the Washington (N.C.) Whig.


Several cases of malignant cholera have occurred in our town. We deem it unnecessary to say much on the subject ourselves, as our readers will find below the detailed report of the Board of Health. This report was handed to us yesterday at noon, and we have heard of no case since. It is now four days since the last case occurred: our citizens are therefore recovering from the panic with which they were at first struck; and several families who then thought of withdrawing from the town, now deem that step quite unnecessary.


The undersigned, Commissioners and Physicians, constituting a Board of Health for the Town of Washington, under a sense of what they deem their duty to the community, make publick the following cases and facts and occurrences, relative to the health of this town: —

October 8th. Case 1. – A child of a coloured man, living in a low and wet, though central part of the town, and taken in the night with the following symptoms: – puking, purging, pains in the stomach and bowels. When seen by a physician, there was universal coldness of surface, and no perceptible pulse at the wrist. Died at 12 o’clock, A.M. on the 9th.

9th. Case 2. – Winney Pilgreen, a free coloured woman, age not known, but supposed to be about 50 years. When seen by a physician, she was vomiting a glareous fluid, which she said was hot and acid; purging frequent, but small, of a fluid slightly tinged with bile; had pains in the stomach and intestines; spasms of the fingers and in the muscles of the legs and feet; surface of the head, chest and abdomen, below natural temperature; and at the extremities, very cold, shriveled, and inelastic; excessive thirst; complaining of great internal heat; pulse very indistinguishable, being full, soft and feeble; tongue with a thick brown coat upon it. Died on the morning of the 16th.

9th. Case 3. – Philis Brown, mother of the former, sick in an adjoining room. When seen by a physician, had every symptom of preceding case, except that of the pulse; here it was with difficulty perceived, being very small and frequent. Died on the night of the 11th.

10th. Case 6. Jackson, a free mulatto. Habits not known; in appearance, having a strong healthy constitution; previous health not known; taken at 10 o’clock, P.M. Was seen by a physician in an hour after attack, and found with spasms in stomach and intestines; puking and purging colourless matter; cold tongue; pulseless. Died at 5 A.M., on the 11th.

12th. Case 7. – Isaac Pilgreen, a free coloured man. Habits intemperate; by trade a mason; had been intoxicated for the last week, and exposed day and night in attendance on Nancy, his wife. This patient, when taken, was in a state of inebriety. When seen by a physician, which was in less than an hour, the patient was spasmed in stomach and intestines; cramped in the extremities; had puking and purging of this fluid rice-colored matter; cold surface and tongue; pulse nearly extinct. Survived 5 ½ hours.

Newbern Spectator, 24 October 1834.

Outrageous murder.

An outrageous murder was committed about 3 miles from Weldon, N.C, on the evening of the 11th inst., by a free negro, named John Brown, on the body of James Smith, a very worthy young white man. Brown made his escape, but the Petersburg (Va.) Intelligencer understands he has been arrested in that place and taken back.

Baltimore Sun, 17 March 1848.

African Negro says he is free.

CAME to my house, on the 15th inst. An African Negro Man, who calls himself GEORGE BROWN. He says he is free, but is in possession of no document to substantiate the fact. It is supposed, that he is a Slave – a runaway from on board some vessel. He is about 6 feet high, black complexion, and spare made.

The owner (if any) if hereby requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take said fellow away.   JOHN LATHAM   Sept 26th, 1810.

True Republican, New Bern, 7 November 1810.

He formerly followed the sea.

Taken up and committed on the 17th Inst. to the jail of this county, a negro man by the name of John Brown, who has formerly followed the sea; he is a about twenty-four years of age, six feet high, spare made and speaks broken English; he says, on examination, that he was on board of the British merchant vessel “Canada,” bound from Trinidad to Newfoundland, as a sailor, and captured just before the restoration of peace, by the privateer Hero, commanded by capt. Waterman. Said vessel Canada, was brought into Beaufort in this state, condemned and sold at Washington. All the crew except himself returned to home, he remained at Greenville and passed for a freeman, until a few days past he was sold to a Mr. MacLeod of Richmond county, by whom he is not certain; on his way he absconded with an intention of returning to Greenville. It is hoped that the Marshal of this state will make enquiries into the above circumstances, and a permit will be required from his hand before the purchaser will be permitted to pay charges and take him away. Also committed on the same day, a negro man who answers to the name of Joe, about twenty one years old, five feet and a half high and remarkably black, says he was sold by William Beaton of Lenoir county, to a speculator, whose name he does not remember, and that he deserted this dealer in human flesh on Deep river. The owner of this negro is requested to prove property, pay charges and take him away.  ROBT. GULLY, jun. Shff., Smithfield, Johnston county, June 20, 1816.

Star, Raleigh, 25 June 1816.

Police report.

Reported for the Sentinel.

Office of Police, August 7th, 8th & 9th.

A vigilant police is essential to the execution of laws. The execution of the laws is essential to our security. The wicked and disorderly must be opposed, and if not done by the police, it will have to be done with our muskets. It is not expected that the violent and disorderly are to be exterminated, but they can be kept in check; and with the assistance of the posse comitatus, we are determined to do it.

The third case was that of Bob Hazle, a free negro. Bob was met at 10 o’clock at night, in a public street, by one of the patrol, and on enquiring who he was, and where going, said he “was as free a man as any body – that he had a right to travel when and where he pleased,” and added some abusive language, as a sauce to his discourse. But Bob had made a wrong estimate of his franchise, as also of his consequence; for, without much ceremony, he was arrested, conducted to the police office, tried, and found guilty of disorderly conduct, and was compelled to enter into a recognizance to the state, with security for his good behavior for twelve months.

The fifth case was that of Nancy Brown, a free mulatto woman: She had taken up a notion that she ought to parade the streets and abuse the police officer, for arresting the fellow Ned [a slave], on Sunday. To alter her singular ideas, and to set her at ease on the subject, she was arrested and tried for disorderly conduct, was found guilty, and compelled to enter into a recognizance with security for her good behavior for twelve months.

… The seventh case was of Jordon S. Carrow, the police officer. A free mulatto, whose name is not remembered, was arrested by Mr. Carrow for riotous conduct in the street. The man resisted Mr. Carrow, who inflicted on him one or two slight blows with his cane – one, about his head, which cut the skin and caused the blood to flow. The court was of the opinion that as the officer was resisted, he had a right to subdue the prisoner.

We cannot close our report without saying that the public have in Mr. Carrow, a deserving and vigilant officer.

Newbern Sentinel, 18 August 1827.

They may have obtained free passes.

Two hundred Dollars Reward. Run-away from the Subscriber on the 20th Oct. last two Negro men, named SAMPSON and JOE, Sampson is about 50 years of age, about 5 feet 5 inches high, tout made, dark complexion, wore away a tarpaulin hat, white trowsers and jacket. – Joe is about 30 years of age, about 6 feet high, and very black complexion, slender made, marked with the small pox in the face, he has lost the toe next to the great toe on the left foot, wore away a fur hat and striped homespun jacket and overalls. From a former attempt I think it probable they will try to pass as free fellows under the name of Samuel Brown and Joe Ferrel; they may have obtained free passes which I suspect is the case. – I suppose they are lurking on the sea board between Swansboro’ and Norfolk, having been informed they left the former place enquiring for Edenton. I am clearly of the opinion their intention is to get on board some vessel – The above reward will be given to any person for the delivery of said Negroes to me, or one hundred and fifty dollars for securing them in any jail so that I get them again, or a proportionate reward for either. All masters of vessels and other persons are forewarned from conveying them away, or harboring them in any way under the severity of the penalty of the law.  EASLER KILPATRICK. Duplin County, (N.C.) April 3.

Norfolk & Portsmouth Herald, 6 April 1818.

Complaint for possession of land.

North Carolina, Wayne County   } In Superior Court April Term 1892.

David Brown and wife Minta Brown vs. Sallie Simmons and Frank Winn – Complaint.

The plaintiffs for their complaint allege, I. That prior to the [blank] day of April 1854 David Simmons was the owner in fee of a tract of land in Wayne County near the town of Mount Olive on which the defendant Sallie Simmons now lives, bounded as follows, Beginning at a pine and running thence S 82 poles to a pine, then S 87 W 81 poles to a pine, the N 47 W 46 poles to a pine, then N 5 E 56 poles to a stake, then East 110 poles to the beginning containing 57 acres more or less.

II. That on said [blank] day of April 1854 the said David Simmons conveyed said tract of land for life to his mother Ita Simmons reserving an annual rent of one penny by deed duly admitted to probate and registered in Wayne County.

III. That thereafter on the 23rd day of April 1855 the said David Simmons conveyed said land in fee to one James McDuffie by deed duly admitted to probate and registered in Wayne County.

IV. That thereafter the said McDuffie died in the County of Wayne leaving a last will and testament by which he devised said land in fee to the plaintiff Minta Brown (then Minta Bryant) subject to the life estate of the said Ita Simmons.

V. That soon after the execution of said deed to Ita Simmons set out in the second paragraph of this complaint, the said Ita Simmons took possession of said land under said deed and remained in possession thereof until her death in the year 1891.

VI. That the plaintiff Minta Brown is the owner in fee of said land and in entitled to recover possession thereof.

VII. That the defendants are now in possession of said land and wrongfully withholding the same from the plaintiffs.

Wherefore the plaintiffs pray for Judgment.

1. That the plaintiff Minta Brown is the owner in fee of said land.

2. For possession & costs.

Minta Brown being duly sworn says, That the facts stated in the foregoing complaint as of her own knowledge over time and then states on information and belief she believes to be true.  Minta X Brown    Sworn to & subscribed before me this 9 day of April 1892.  Jno. D. Taylor, Clerk Superior Court, New Hanover County

In the 1850 census of the South Side of the Neuse, Wayne County: Ity Simmons, 40, born in Duplin County, with sons David, 22, cooper, and George, 20, hireling; all mulatto.  Also, Sally Bryan, 30, and her children Arimenta, 8, Penny, 6, Charley, 4, and Caroline, 4, and Charity Bryan, 70, perhaps her mother.  Arimenta and Penny were described as mulatto; the rest of the family, white.  In the 1860 census of Indian Springs, Wayne County, Minta Bryant, 23, and her children Mitchel, 4, Edith, 6, and Rufus Bryant, 2, all mulatto, lived in the household of James McDuffee, 41. [Was McDuffie the father of Bryant’s children?]

Ita Simmons Estate Papers, Estate Records, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.  US Federal Population Schedules.

All I have to make a living.

Nicholas Brown filed claim #17581 with the Southern Claims Commission. Brown was 34 years old and worked as a wagon maker in Fayetteville. He was “at Fayetteville NC up to March 1865. When Genl. Sherman’s army came I left here with a part of the army went to Wilmington NC.  From there I went to Washington City in a Government Steamer remained there about 2 months and returned home about the middle of June 1865.  My place of residence was about 2 miles from Town. I bought the land before I was of age and took the deed in my mother’s name in order to secure her a home.”  The place was about 12 ½ acres, and he farmed as much as he could. He was conscripted in 1864 and put to work making wagons at the Confederate states arsenal.  Before that, he “was at work with the man [John W. Welsh] that I served my apprenticeship with.  He made wagons for the confederate government which I worked on being in his employment.”

All his property was taken on 11 March 1865 at 10 or 11 in the morning.  Soldiers came to his house at several intervals to take the horse, some fodder and shucks. Witnesses included his mother; his brothers “Laurance”, Washington and Benjamin; and his father, now deceased.

Lawrence Brown, bootmaker, was Nicholas Brown’s brother.  When the soldiers came, “my Father and I was in Fayetteville with my brothers horse and cart hauling corn from the River, corn that my Brother had bought in Bladen County and brought up on the steam boat.  The officer said, “Old man I must have this horse and cart. We have some things to haul.” My father said, “If you take this horse you will take all I have to make a living.” The officer said he could not help that and took it all.  Lawrence then went to his brother’s place about two miles north of Fayetteville and saw the yard full of soldiers taking his property.

George W. Brown, another brother, age 26 and a laborer, testified that he also witnessed the depredation, as did their mother and sisters Mariah, Mary Eliza and Wm. Ann.

Edinboro Scurlock, 45, of Fayetteville, also a wagonmaker, testified that he worked in a shop with Nicholas.  “He always talked in favour of the United States Government said the Southern people brought on the war because they were afraid that their slaves would be freed at some day.”

John W. Welsh, 54, blacksmith, testified that he had known Brown since 1858.  “He has been in my employment nearly all the time since 1858 he finished his apprenticeship with me he worked in my wood shop at wagon making.” “I had no conversation with him about the war he was but a boy at work in my shop.”

The Commissioner of Claims noted that Brown’s father was a slave and his mother free, “so he was free born.”