Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Chowan County

James, an industrious, sober and honest barber and hairdresser.

State of North Carolina, Chowan County  }   June Term 1795

To the worshipful the County Clerk of Please and Quarter Sessions for the County of Chowan the petition of John Cunningham Humbly Sheweth that your petitioners Father died when he was very Young leaving a Valuable but unproductive Estate for the Support of your Petitioner and his Mother, consisting principally of Young Slaves, among whom is a Mulatto Male Slave by the Name of James, the profits of whose labour, has greatly if not principally contributed to the Maintenance & Support of your Petitioner thru a long Minority and an expensive course of Education. Your petitioner further Sheweth that the great profit which he has derived from the labour of the said Slave James has been owing as well to the great assiduity and attention of the said James in acquiring & presenting himself in the Trade of Mystery of a Barber & Hair Dresser as to his Industry sobriety and honesty Your petitioner further Sheweth that during a very dangerous and lingering Sickness last Spring (1794) the attention of the said James was such as cannot fail to inspire the highest gratitude in him in consideration whereof and as a reward for the past faithful Services of the said James, your Petitioner is willing and desirous to Manumit or set him free conceiving that no less a reward will be commiserate to the Services rendered, but as to guard against the great injuries & inconvenienced which might result from the indiscriminate Manumission of Slaves the legislature have Wisely provided that no Slave shall be manumitted except for Meritorious services to be approved of by the County Court, your petitioner is prevented from effecting his intentions without the aid and assistance of your Worships. May it thereof please your Worships taking the past character and faithful and meritorious Services of the said James into consideration to order & Decree that he may be Manumitted & Set free agreeable to the Directions of the act of the General Assembly in Such Cases Made and provided And your petitioner as in Duty bound shall ever pray &c.     John Cunningham

Miscellaneous Slave Records, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Seize and retake the prisoners.


TO ALL SHERIFFS, BAILIFFS and CONSTABLES within the State aforesaid

Whereas JAMES R. BENT, Sheriff of the County of Chowan, hath complained on oath, before me, HENRY FLURY, ESQ., one of the Justices of the County, aforesaid, that on the night of the 17th of the present month, the following persons broke and escaped from the prison of our County of Chowan, to wit:

LEON CABARRUS — a mulatto committed to the Jail of said County upon a charge of having broken open the Shop of JOSEPH F. FARIBAULT in the night time, and stealing, taking and carrying away divers articles of Jewelry and JOHN HOLLEY, committed to the prison aforesaid, by virtue of a peace warrant. — These are therefore to command you and every of you in your respective counties and precincts, to seize and retake such prisoners so escaped and going at large, and being so taken, forthwith convey, to the prison of the County where such retaking shall be, there to be kept in safe custody until he or she be thence discharged by due course of law. — Given under my hand and seal, at Edenton, the 19th of August, A.D., 1820.    HENRY FLURY (Seal)

Edenton Gazette, 21 August 1820.

The sailor quit his vessel and stayed.

State of North Carolina, Chowan County     }  Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, August Term 1856

The Jurors for the State on this oath present that Anthony Adams a free man of colour not being a citizen of the State did on the 1st day of July 1856 migrate into this State contrary to the form of the statute in such case made & provided.

The Jurors aforesaid on their oath aforesaid do further present that Anthony Adams a free man of colour not being a citizen of this State & coming into the State as a sailor did on the 1st day of June 1856 attempt to & did migrate into this State by quitting the vessel in which he came into the State & not leaving the State in the same contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made & provided.   Hines Solicitor

[On reverse] State vs Anthony Adams } Misdm’r  A True Bill

Miscellaneous Slave Records, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Impelled by the powerful feelings of a husband and father.

State of North Carolina, Chowan County   } Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, June Term 1811

To the Worshipfull the Justices of the said Court, The Petition of Thomas Barnwell a free person of colour in the Town of Edenton humbly sheweth, That your Petitioner hath intermarried with one Asa a negro woman slave late the property of Henderson Standin Esquire & hath for a long time cohabited & still doth cohabit & live with her as his wife; that your petitioner hath by his said Wife two children, to wit, Thomas & Nancy; that Mr. Standin hath lately conveyed this woman & her children to your Petitioner; that the said Asa hath always behaved as a peaceable, orderly, submissive & diligent slave & by her meritorious conduct during her servitude hath well-entitled herself to the favor of this Worshipful court — that your Petitioner, impelled by the powerful feelings of a husband & father, & anxious to reward the faithful services of the said Asa, is desirous of manumitting her & the two abovenamed infant children — He therefore prays your Worship that in consideration of the previous, you would pass an order Directing the manumission of the said slaves, upon his complying with the terms prescribed by the Acts of Assembly in such cases made and provided — And your petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray &c.  Ja. Iredell for Pet’r.


Miscellaneous Slave Records, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Sufficient meritorious-ness?

To the Worshipful the County Court of Chowan now Sitting

The Petition of Zachariah Webb humbly sheweth That he your petitioner has A Negroe Man by the name of Jack who is now far advanced in years and has been a faithful and orderly Servant ever since your petitioner was first acquainted with him which has been upwards of thirty years being raised with him. It being the wish of the said Negroe Jack to obtain his freedom, and having paid me a valurable consideration for his subsequent time induces your petitioner to apply to your worships to set free the said Negroe Jack agreeable to the laws in that case made and provided. Altho your petitioner has it not in his power to point out any very meritorious Services yet he humbly conceives in submission to your superior Judgment that a servitude of upwards of sixty years being faithfully discharged without once being accused of any misdemeanor whatever to sully his character as A slave, may be deemed meritorious services sufficient for your worships to exercise your humanity and goodness in the manumission of said Slave.   Zachariah Webb


We the Subscribers believe the facts stated in the above petition to be Just & true, we have for a long time been acquainted with the said Negro Jack, & always understood that he demeaned himself as a faithfull, Sober, obedient, & orderly Servant. And we do most cheerfully Join the Petitioner in Petitioning your Worships, to set free the Said Negro Jack.

/s/ E. Norcom, [illegible] Hasell, William Webb, Geo. W. Akins, Joshua Perkins, Thos. Rea, John Simons sen’r, Frederick Creecy, Jonathan Haughton jnr., Job Pettijohn, Ann Blount, James Sutton, Frederick Norcom, Joseph Standin, John Beasley, James Beasley, John Haughton, Thomas [illegible], T. Vail

[On the reverse: Petition of Sundry persons for the Emancipation of Negroe Man Jack, March Term 1799 — Granted]

Slave Records, Miscellaneous Records, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

He is to stand trial to be sold as a slave.

Febry the 10th 1802

Wm. Littlejohn Esqr., Sir

I am Informed by Mr. Domenick That Eli Wilkins a person of Coulour In the Town of Edenton hath been Taken Up Under Some of the Acts of Assembly & bound for his appearance to Chowan County Court at March Term 1802 where he is to Stand his Tryal for to be Sold as a Slave if my affidavit that I herewith forward to you is Not Sufficient to Extricate the sd. Boy & for you to Give Up the Recognizance of the sd. Domenick & Let the sd. Boy Stand Discharged I will forward any Other proof that May be Deemed Necessary to that Efect as I am duly able So to do & More Also bound by the Laws of Nature & humanity.

I am with Submition, Your Hu’le Serv’t Tamor Wilkins


State of No Carolina, Martin County  } Personally apeard before Me Ebenezer Seadons of The Justices for the County aforesaid Tamor Wilkins & Made Oath In Dew form That on The Seventh of July one Thousand Seventeen hundred & Eighty five She was Delivered of a Male Child which She Called Eli Wilkins a Natural Born & Child of Coulour which Child after Comeing of age to be bound She Bound as an apprintis to one John Edwards of Bertie County who Some Time Afterwards Removed to The then Cumberland Settlement & gave up the Indnturs of sd. boy to his sd. Mother She then put The sd. boy with one John Acrey to Learn The Hatters Trade the Boy as She this Deponat Has Since Understood Runaway from sd. Acre Better then Three years ago & as She has been Informed hath been Living with One Domenick Sinc that Time In the Town of Edenton which sd. boy Hath been brought to Her by this sd. Domenick on the 10th Day of February one Thousand Eighteen Hundred & Two In the County & State aforesaid & She this Deponant Doth Acknowlede & Swore him To be the Same boy In Testimony wherof She this Deponant Hath af[illegible] her hand & Declared the Same. Tamer X Wilkins


Febry the 10th 1802 This May Certify That I have Known the within Mentioned Tamer Wilkins for Several Years & Believe ther is No Doubt of Her being free Born as will more fully appear By the Testimony of Many In the County of Bertie If it is Should be Necessary given – Under My hand and Seal the day & Date above written.   E. Slade {seal}

Miscellaneous Records, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

A reward.

To the Worshipful the Justices of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for the County of Chowan at June Term 1807.

The petition of William T. Muse Sheweth, That your petitioner was a negro slave by the name of George, commonly called George Bonner, by trade a house carpenter and aged fifty five years or thereabouts; that the said negro slave from the time that he became the property of your petitioner, and always before that time as your petitioner has reason to believe has distinguished himself by his willing & faithful discharge of his duty to his master as well as by his honesty & orderly conduct. Your petitioner is therefore desirous to give the said negro slave George his freedom considering it as a reward due to his long and meritorious services and prays this worshipful Court to authorize and aid him in so doing.  And your petitioner &c, Wm. A. Littlejohn Sol’r for Pet’r.

[On the reverse: Prayer granted.]

Miscellaneous Records, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1810 census of Edenton, Chowan County, George Bonner appears as the head of a household of two free people of color.

Unlawfully did migrate, no. 3.

February Term 1851 County Court of Chowan

The Jurors for the State upon their oath present the following free negroes living in this County as having migrated into this the State of North Carolina contrary to the form of the statue in such case made and provided viz Abram Savage, Dred Copeland, Agnes Brown, Henry Copeland, Alfred Folk and June a girl living in Edenton with Thomas J. Miller

It is therefore ordered by the court that the sheriff proceed immediately after the rising of this Court to notify the said free negroes that they must leave and go beyond the bounds of this state within twenty days next ensuing after the days upon which they shall be informed of this order or they will be arrested by warrant and carried before some Justice of the Peace of this county and bound over to appear at the next term of this Court to be dealt with according to law.   Test  Wm. R. Skinner, clk.

[Notes on the reverse show that Jane, Abram Savage, Agnes Brown and Alfred Folk were served, but “Henry Copeland not in this county.”]

Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

A woman and boy child, said to be manumitted.

Rec’d September 12th 1788 from William John Skinner one negroe woman named Pations & a Boy Child with her Said to be Manumited by John Sanders Which Negroes Ware Taken by Said William J. Skinner agreable to the act of Assembly previen Domestick Insurrections   /s/ Hen. Bont

Miscellaneous Records, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives. 

Unlawfully did migrate, no. 2.

State of N Carolina, Chowan County   } Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions Aug’ts term 1859

The Jurors for the State upon there oath present that on the first day of January 1859 a free negro named Peter Cain did migrate & move from the State of Virginia into the County of Chowan in the State of North Carolina and from that time up to the time of taking this inquisition has continuously resided in the said County of Chowan State aforesaid Contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made & provided & against the peace & dignity of the State.   /s/ Ms. S. Hawks Sol.

Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Chowan County Records, North Carolina State Archives.