Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Charlotte

Mail call.

List of Letters

Remaining in the Post Office at Charlotte, October 8, 1863. Persons calling for any of these letters will please say they are advertised.

Cain, Mary Ann (colored)

Smith, John (Free Boy)

The Charlotte Democrat, 13 October 1863.

He tore up and destroyed his free papers.


Mr. James Franklin, a blind man, and a resident of Columbia, S.C., was arrested in this city yesterday, having been detected in endeavoring to sell a free negro into bondage. It appears that Franklin, about a week ago, went to Charlotte, N.C., where he made it known that he wished to hire a free negro to go with him and take care of him on a trip to the Virginia Springs. Harmon Proctor, a free negro, was recommended, and accepted the position. Franklin, having made his arrangements, went from Charlotte to Richmond, Va., when he changed his destination, and shortly after left for Greenville, Tennessee, where he has a brother living. After remaining there a few days, Franklin went to Louisville, and thence to Cincinnati, where he chanced to meet a free negro named A.W. Thompson, whom he engaged to accompany him to New Orleans, at which point it was understood that he intended to send Proctor home, taking Thompson for his body servant. In getting as far as Vicksburg, however, Thompson (who is a very bright mulatto, and a fellow of much shrewdness) learned of the disabilities imposed on free negroes by the laws of Louisiana, and prevailed upon Mr Franklin to return, which he did on the Edward J. Gay, which reached here on yesterday afternoon. While the Gay was discharging freight, Thompson prevailed upon Franklin to stop in Memphis for a day or two, and shortly after they made an attempt to sell Harmon Proctor as a slave. Proctor discovered what they were about after they had got him to the slave-dealer’s mart, and showed to the proposed purchaser the evidence of his freedom, which being shown to Mr Franklin, he immediately tore up and destroyed in the presence of the slave-dealer. These facts coming to the knowledge of the officers, the kidnappers, James Franklin (white) and A.W. Thompson (colored), were lodged in jail to await trial, as well also the negro whom they attempted to sell.

James Franklin is said to be a man of means living in Columbia, S.C., and a little fast in his expenditures for a blind man. It is supposed that the wily Cincinnati free negro first conceived the idea of selling Harmon Proctor into slavery, and then inveigled Franklin into it. Fortunately they are all in jail, and the guilty party will be made to suffer the full penalty of the law. – Memphis Enquirer.

The Charlotte Democrat, 9 October 1860.


In the 1850 census of Cleveland County, Harmon Proctor, 18, in the household of white farmer William H. Cabaniss.

On 22 December 1856, Hermon Proctor married Anny Freeman. Rowan County Marriage Records.

Precision strike, tragically.

Remarkable Occurrence, Death by Lightning – A free colored man by the name of Foster, was killed by stroke of lightning in the vicinity of this Town on Thursday evening. He was laying in bed, with his wife on one arm and a child on the other, and while he was instantly killed, neither the woman or child was at all injured. Jeffersonian.

The North-Carolina Star (Raleigh), 13 July 1842.

Colored communicants.

Communicants reported 27 May 1857 – …  27. Polly Bethel. 28. Jerry Bethel (colored) 29. Margaret Strange (colored)

Communicants added since Convention 27 May 1857 — … 31. Annabella Wilson (colored) … 39. William Foster (colored)

22 May 1857 “Day after Ascension Day. The ordinance of confirmation was administered to the following persons by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Atkinson, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese” … Annabella Wilson (colored)

1. Nancy Williams 2. Hannah Pinckney 3. William D. Pinckney 4. Thomas B. Taylor 5. Harriet Taylor 6. Mary Jane Brown 7. William Foster 8. Mary Bethel 9. Eliza T. Bryant (the above being colored communicants) “The above confirmed by Bp. Atkinson at his visitation of the parish October 10, 1858. T.S.W. Mott, pastor.”

From W.H. Biggers, Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church, Charlotte, North Carolina, Extracts from the First Parish Register (1975). 

In the 1860 census of Western Division, Mecklenburg County: Jerry Bethel, 45, barber, “manumitted,” wife Mary Bethel, 40, and Robison Reid, 8. 

In the 1860 census of Western Division, Mecklenburg County: W.F. Strange, 54, clerk-U.S. Mint, born Scotland; Edy, 75; Caroline, 43; James, 22, coach painter[?]; Margaret, 20, “hs keeper;” Robert, 14; Anna, 12; Edward, 9; and Mary Strange, 5; plus Elizabeth Jack, 12; all except W.F. were mulatto.

In the 1860 census of Western Division, Mecklenburg County: Mary Foster, 29, laborer; William, 24, wheelwright; Annabella, 20, laborer; Mary, 2; Austin, 5 months; and Jane Clark, 7.

Confederate veteran has always been a good negro.

Old Negro in Destitute Circumstances.

William Winters, a mulatto about 70 years old and helpless, lies at his home on Poplar street, between Trade and Fourth streets, in destitute circumstances. Winter has had a rather interesting career. He was born a free negro and during the war was a soldier in the Confederate forces. He left home as the valet and cook for Col. Charles Fisher, of the Sixth North Carolina Regiment, who was killed in the first battle of Manassas. Winters was with Col. Fisher when he was shot and assisted in getting him off the field. He remained with the Confederate army during the war and afterwards cooked in Charlotte hotels and cafes until about 10 years ago when he became too feeble to work. He has always been a good negro and has had many friends among the white people, especially among the old veterans.

Charlotte Observer, 4 January 1906.

We think they are very good.


The Charlotte Whig publishes several new town ordinances for the town of Charlotte, which we think are very good. 1st. Every free negro of twelve years and upwards, is required to present him or herself for registration, stating age, occupation, &c., &c., upon heavy penalty for failing to do so.  Those who comply, will obtain a certificate, under the protection of which they will be allowed to dwell in safety, upon their good behavior.  They are to pay one dollar for the certificate.  2d. No slave, under any pretence whatever, allowed to hire his or her own time; nor shall any slave go at large at his or her own discretion, by permission of the owner, working for his or herself where and when they please. 

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 24 June 1861.