Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: crime against free people of color

He was the same person who had been kidnapped from his mother.

Wilmington, Oct. 2. – About eleven years ago, a white man came to the house of a free coloured woman, named Fanny Larrington, living on the sound, in the neighbourhood of this town, and requested her to lend him some assistance in bringing up some things he had landed close by. She readily sent her eldest child Dick with him. His long stay alarmed her; she went to look for him, and then she called, received no answer. She had not gone far when she heard the cry of her two younger children whom she left in the house. In returning to their relief she suddenly came upon a Negro man who had under each arm one of her children, who, he instantly dropped and made his escape into the woods. The mother knew at once the fate of her son, and while she embraced her little daughters thus fortunately rescued, she cried bitterly for the loss of her eldest child, who had been so cruelly and treacherously stolen from her. Of this son she had not heard any tidings, until a few days ago he arrived in Wilmington, and made her, as he was himself, happy by the recovery of his long lost freedom. He went before a very respectable Magistrate of this town and proved by two credible witnesses, that he was the same person who had been kidnapped from his mother as above recited, and that he was born free. He states that he went along with the white man to the landing, but saw nothing to bring away; he was obliged to go into a canoe over to the opposite side of the Creek, and when, on hearing his mother call for him he attempted to answer her, his mouth was gagged and he forced to accompany him through the woods, until, as by concert, they met on the road a wagon and team going into the back country. The apparent owner of it, who called himself “Dukes” claimed him as his property, carried him away and sold him. His last master was Mr. Wm. Walker, of Stokes county, with whom he went by the name of Prince. A subscription had been raised for the purpose of sending on a person who could identify this boy and by regular process of law, release him from his slavery. But Dick had availed himself of a favourable opportunity. He escaped, and by the exercise of considerable ingenuity, made good his way to Wilmington, where his claims to freedom have been substantiated beyond the possibility of a doubt.

Observing in the Raleigh Star an advertisement of Mr. Walker for a runway Negro, it would be well for the Editor of that paper to notice the circumstances here stated. It is hoped that by means of his last master, the perpetrators of this atrocious crime may be found out and brought to that punishment which they richly deserve.  – Gazette.

Star, Raleigh, 11 October 1810.

Woman, stolen, asks for support in old age.

Headquarters Bureau Refugee Freedmen and Abandoned Lands SC

Charleston SC Aug. 11th 1866

Major General O. O. Howard



I have the honor to present the case of Mary Richardson an aged half breed now living in Manningsville this state.

She states that when she was about thirteen years of age and living with her parents in a village in North Carolina the name of which she has forgotten she was sent to a slave for articles and while there a stranger named Jacob Whitehead immediately caught her and placing her on a saddle with him carried her away against her will, riding all day and night crossing into SC, sleeping in the woods days and riding nights, in this manner until they arrived at his home in Manningsville SC. That Jacob Whitehead kept her as a servant in his house until she arrived at the age of puberty when he kept her as his mistress with the knowledge of his wife. After living with him for about seven years, she had a son born of him and the wife took charge of the child. 

About ten years after the child was born the father Whitehead tried to sell her at auction in Charleston City SC but was unable to do so, she being free born of Indian parents and Whitehead being unable to show title.

Eight or ten years after this went the wife of Whitehead died and she (Mary) and Mr. W. were quarreling continually, and by some arrangement she was transferred to a Mr. John Reams of Manningsville, with whom she lived as a slave until Gen. Sherman went through.

She orates that her son is still living a man grown on the Santee River this state, but she has not seen him for many years nor has she heard anything of her parents since she was kidnapped. All of her repeated effort to learn of them and to tell them of her fate being intercepted before she began to grow old, by the post masters and others who were relatives and friends of Mr. Whitehead. After Mr. Whitehead sold or transferred her to Reams he married a second wife: Mr. W. died during the war and his widow now lives on the estate at Manningsville as does Nath’ Whitehead the son of the first wife of Jacob Whitehead.

She now asks that some measures may be taken to secure to her from Jacob Whitehead’s estate means of support in her old age as also to the son she had by Whitehead his just position and standing among his people.

I am General, very respectfully, your Obd. Servant

Brevet Major General, Asst. Com. SC

Records of Assistant Commissioner of the State of South Carolina; Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands; National Archives Microfilm Publication M869.