Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Cherry

He was found dead in a ditch.

DISTRESSING. – A free colored man named Hugh Cherry, a carter, left this place with a horse and buggy on Wednesday last, for Williamston, for the purpose of brining a person home; but finding that the person had not arrived there, determined to return home that evening. The evening was stormy and an immense quantity of rain fell. Next morning he was found about twelve miles from this place dead in a ditch, and the horse upon him. The horse was blind and it is supposed, the man being unable to guide him in the excessive darkness, that the horse plunged into the deep ditch, which gave the buggy a sudden jerk, throwing the man forward and breaking his neck in the fall, plunging him into the ditch. The horse in his scuffle to get out got upon the man, and their [sic] remained until he was found next morning. Strange to say the horse and buggy were not injured. – Washington Dispatch.

North Carolina Argus (Wadesboro), 8 September 1859.

He maintained ties to politics.

In 1860 Henry C. Cherry, a 24 year-old free mulatto carpenter residing in Edgecombe County, owned no property. By 1870 he owned real estate valued at $1,000 and had already served as a delegate to the North Carolina Constitution Convention in 1868 and one term in the state assembly. In addition to maintaining his carpentry firm, during the 1880s Cherry ran a combination grocery and liquor establishment in Tarboro. Although he was elected to the state legislature for only a single term, Cherry also served on the county commission of Edgecombe. Further, Cherry maintained ties to politics though his three sons-in-law. His daughter Louise married Henry P. Cheatham, and his daughter Cora married George H. White, two of the most influential black officeholders in North Carolina during the 1880s and 1890s. These rivals were elected to the U.S House of Representatives North Carolina’s Second Congressional District for a total of four terms. Further, another of Cherry’s daughter, Georgie, was the wife of Eustace E. Green, a member of the state assembly from Wilmington.

From Robert C. Kenzer, Enterprising Southerners: Black Economic Success of North Carolina 1865-1915 (1997).

In the 1860 census of Edgecombe County: Henry Bonner, 30, carpenter, wife Charity, 18, daughter Harriet, 1, Willie Bonner, 23, carpenter, and Henry Cherry, 26, carpenter.

[Sidenote: Henry C. Cherry married Mary Jones in Edgecombe County on 14 March 1861, about a year after the death of Henry Lloyd, the white man who fathered her first two children. Georgie Jones, above, was Henry Cherry’s step-daughter. – LYH]