Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: crime

Acquitted of rape of 80 year-old woman.

Wake Superior Court.

On Wednesday, Jones Kiff, a free boy of colour, about 21 years old, was tried on an indictment for Rape, committed on a free woman of colour, supposed to be 80 years of age. Verdict of acquittal.

Tarboro’ Press, 16 April 1836.

Principles not generally understood; or, he is not a slave, you cannot flog him.


The Fall Term of the Superior Court for Rowan County, was held in this town week before last: Judge Badger presided. There were but two criminal cases tried at this term: on one which there was a conviction of grand larceny. – Lemuel Bealey was found guilty, and sentenced to receive 30 lashes; 15 of which he received on Monday after Superior Court, the other 15 to be given him on the week of our next County Court.

There was one case tried at this term, which involves principles perhaps not generally understood. Major Haskins, and others, were indicted for a misdemeanor, in flogging a free negro, for some mischief he had done.  Maj. Haskins, it appears, procured two Justices of the Peace to authorize the infliction of the corporal punishment on the negro, supposing, no doubt, that the transaction would thereby be legalized. There is an old law of our state empowering Justices of the Peace to authorize the summary punishment of slaves, in cases of this kind; it was this law which led Maj. Haskins, and the Justices referred to, into the fatal error. The negro doubtless deserved punishing; but as he was free, the law knows no distinction between him and a white man. He should have been indicted, and brought into Court for trial, in the same manner that free white citizens are.

The jury found a verdict against the defendants of all that was charged in the indictment. Maj. Haskins was fined twelve hundred dollars; one of the justices 100, the other 100, and the constable who acted as executioner 10 shillings.

The negro David Valentine, has now commenced an action for damages against the plaintiffs in the above case.  Western Carolinian.

Newbern Sentinel, 9 November 1822.

Horse-stealer sold for payment of fines.

Superior Court. – At the late September term of Orange Superior Court, Judge DICK presiding, there was an unsual amount of business on the criminal docket to be disposed of. There were three convictions for Grand Larceny; two white men, and a free negro, whose trial was removed from Granville to this county.

Moses T. Hopkins, (alias Thomas Jones, and a half dozen other aliases,) a white man from Virginia, was convicted of stealing a Horse, and having prayed for the benefit of clergy, was sentenced by the Court to receive of clergy, was sentenced by the Court to receive thirty-nine lashes immediately, to remain in prison until Tuesday of November court, when he is again to receive thirty-nine, and then be discharged according to law. He has also been indicted fir Bigamy, and is a notorious offender.

Green Morrow, a white man, convicted of stealing money, was sentenced to receive thirty-nine lashes, and be discharged according to law.

John Mitchell, a free negro, convicted of stealing a Horse, was sentenced to pay a fine of sixty dollars, and to be sold for the payment of the fine and costs.

The remainder of the cases tried were for misdemeanors; and most of them originated, as is generally the case, in intemperance.

Hillsborough Recorder, 18 September 1845.

A gang of bold rascals.

ROGUES CAUGHT. – A few nights ago the smoke-house of Thos. J. Curtis, in this vicinity, was robbed of some 1000 lbs. of bacon, by a gang of bold rascals who it seems took a carry-all to the spot to bring off some of their plunder. Mr. C. the next day ferreted out some of the rogues, had two of them – Enoch Manuel, a free negro, and Isaac Hobbs, a slave – arrested and committed to jail, and recovered nearly half of the bacon. He deserve [sic] the thanks of the public for his energy.

Carolina Observer, Fayetteville, 31 March 1862.

In the 1860 census of Fayetteville, Cumberland County: Caroline Manuel, 25, Enoch Manuel, 35, boat man, and Clarissa Manuel, 10. But also: Clement G. White, 35, lawyer, his wife Annett, 25, and Enoch Manuel, 36, farm hand.

Says he bought them from a free colored person.


Discovery. – The Jailer in this place, Col. John M. Logan, informed us yesterday, that he had found in possession of a negro slave from Anson county, four keys, two of which were found to belong to the United States’ Mail, and to open it as easily as the key employed for that purpose in the post office at this place.

The said negro was apprehended and confined to prison here about four months ago; and owing to his dexterity at concealment, the keys had never been found in his possession before. He says he bought them, together with two or three locks, from a free coloured person living with John Rushall on Round creek, in Anson county. This statement relative to the manner in which he obtained the keys, is thought not to be entitled to credit, as one of the other keys was a large one, with which he had probably opened some person’s storehouse, and purloined the mail keys, and three $5 bills on the Cheraw bank which were found in his possession at the time of his apprehension.

Miners’ and Farmers’ Journal, Charlotte, 21 April 1831.

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.

Beaten, bruised and mangled.

Disgraceful Outrage. – An occurrence took place in this City, on Friday night last, which has excited a great deal of feeling, and will do much towards destroying the deservedly high reputation, which our City has always enjoyed, until recently, as a law loving and law-abiding community. A free man of colour, named Allen Jones, a Blacksmith by trade, who has rendered himself somewhat obnoxious, was forcibly taken from his own house, in the dead of night by a mob, and so beaten, bruised and mangled, that doubts are entertained of his recovery.  – Ral. Reg.

Tarboro’ Press, 22 October 1842.

Not guilty.

The Superior Court for this county, his honour Judge DONNELL, presiding, commenced its session on Monday last.

On Wednesday, Nancy Quinn, a free woman of colour, upon whose case the jury, at the last term, were unable to render a verdict, was tried for the murder of her infant child. She was found “Not Guilty.”

Newbern Sentinel, 28 October 1826.

He stabbed her child.

MURDER. A man who called himself JOHN REID, a Scotchman, came to Newbern with a number of low priced watches for sale, and while here, was frequently drunk. In a state of intoxication, on the 4th inst., he entered the house of Nancy Sawyer, a free woman of color, and stabbed her child, Celia Maria Sawyer, a girl 8 years old, with a dirk, and also wounded a young coloured woman. The child died on the 11th inst. and an inquest taken before me has found that the child died of that wound.

Reid has left the County, and probably returned to Norfolk, of which place he said he was a resident. This notice is given, to the end that if met with in this State he may be delivered to the subscriber, of to the Sheriff of Craven, that he may be brought to justice. Thomas C. Masters, Coroner Craven County. Newbern, 15th April, 1819.

Newbern Sentinel, 24 April 1819.

For the suppression of disorderly conduct.

Town Ordinance.

At a meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the town of Hillsborough, held on the 3d of February, 1849, it was ordered that the following Ordinance be published in the Hillsborough Recorder and North Carolina Democrat:

Sect. 18: And be it further ordained, That is shall be the duty of the Town Constable, and the Captain of each company of patrol, to disperse all collections or assemblies of negroes and mulattoes, in the streets, and to quall all rioting, quarrelling, loud and profane cursing and swearing, whether by free persons or slaves, and to suppress all disorderly behavior of every kind, by whomsoever done; to effect which purpose, they shall have it in their power to call to their assistance any citizen of said town, who, on refusing to give his assistance, shall be fined, not exceeding four dollars; and the Magistrate of the Police shall fine not exceeding ten dollars, or imprison at his discretion, all free persons behaving in such riotous and disorderly manner, and commit him, her or them to jail, until such fine and costs thereon be paid.

It was also ordered, that the officers of the town be especially required to enforce the above ordinance, and also the following, viz: the ordinance to prevent shooting within the limits of the town; the ordinance to prevent galloping, or riding or driving immoderately through the streets; the ordinance to prevent the throwing, pitching or flinging of stones, sticks, bricks, &c., within the limits of the town; and also the ordinance to prevent the carrying of fire, unless covered, through the lots, streets, &c. of said town.

By order of the Board, E.A. HEARTT, Town Clerk. February 5.

Hillsborough Recorder, 7 February 1849.