Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Cumberland County

He offered the boy for sale.

Kidnapping. — On Thursday last, a free boy of color, named Josiah Lomax, was abducted from the house of his parents, near this place, by an unknown white man, well dressed, of genteel appearance, and riding a good bay horse, with new Saddle and Bridle. In the absence of the boy’s father, this man told the mother that he had hired the son from her husband, and that he lived in this county. She thereupon permitted him to take away the boy. He has since been heard of in Richmond County, near Laurel Hill, about 45 miles S. West of this place, where he had offered the boy for sale, but refused to sign a bill of sale, or permit any conversation with the boy. Handbills having been forwarded in all directions on Friday morning, it is hoped that the man has ere this been taken up. We learn that before the above occurrence, an unsuccessful attempt was made to carry off a boy from another family. — ib. [Fayetteville Observer]

Tarboro’ Press, 23 May 1834.

A caution against his kinsman, too.


RANAWAY from the subscriber on the 20th inst., a bound Mulatto Boy by the name of JOHN TERRY. Said boy is about 14 years of age, and is supposed to be lurking about the neighborhood of a Mr. Council in Bladen county. I will give the above reward of Five Dollars for the delivery of said boy to me at this place. All persons are hereby notified not to harbor or employ the boy, as I am determined to enforce the law against anyone doing so. And I would further caution the public against a free colored man by the name of Newsom L. Terry, as he is a dangerous fellow, and I have no doubt that John was induced to leave my premises by his advice.  J.W. POWERS. Fayetteville, Jan. 24, 1851.

Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 4 February 1851.

He has gone by a false name.

WAS TAKEN UP and committed to the Jail of Craven Co., a mulatto man by the name of Clinton Oxendine, and is of the medium size and height. Said man says, since he was put in Jail, that he was gone by a false name, but says he is a free negro and that his name is Jacob Goings, and was sold several years ago for cost in Cumberland county, and John Wright became the purchaser for five years, and afterwards the said Wright sold him to Littleton Gunn of Roberson county. The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges and take him away or he will be dealt with as the law directs. A.C. LATHAM, Sheriff. By W.S. BALLENGER, D. Sheriff. Jan. 1, 1862

Newbern Daily Progress, 21 January 1862.

A settlement about his wife and children.

Witness: Love McDaniel

On the 30th March 1860 I was in Goldsboro with Henry Simmons. I accompanied by Simmons called upon William B. Fields for Simmons and told him that Henry Simmons had come there to have a settlement with him about his Wife & children according to their bargain & that he Simmons had the money to pay up what he owed him, when he told me to mind my own business & then left me. This was on Friday night. On the next day upon some information received by me myself & Henry Simmons attended at the Office of Wm T Dortch in Company with George B Strong Attorney for Simmons. This meeting was for the Purpose of a Compromise but we could not do so. Fields presenting and account which was Considered on the Part of those acting for Simmons as extravagant & outrageous for the Keeping of Jenny & her children making his claim to amount of $2300,00 The account being objected to he Fields offered to take $2200.00 and refusing to take anything less. Simmons through his attorney Mr Strong offered to Pay Fields $1800.00 which he refused to take. Mr. Strong then offered to Pay $1900.00 in Cash & the amount of Simmons account against Fields in addition on One part of Simmons stating that had the money and offered to pay it & I know the fact that he had the money present at the time. This Fields refused and swore that would not take less than $2200.00. I had no interest in the negroes except to befriend Simmons and had no secret understanding with him that I was to own the negroes nor did I then nor do I now desire to own any of them. I know Henry Simmons to be a good Carpenter having employed him to build a house for me and employed him at the recommendation of Wm B Fields who said he was a smart good Workman. Simmons was in my empoyment at teh time I went to Goldsboro & went at his request to take charge of his money & have a proper settlement made with Fields for the negroes. 

Cross Examined by Defendant

Did you hear Simmons admit in a conversation in Mr Dortch’s office that he had taken back from Mr Fields one hundred Dollars in small notes which were insolvent for which he had given Fields in Part Payment

Answer — I have no distinct recollection about it.  Question 2 — Was any money exhibited to Fields in this conbversation of which you speak in your examination in chief.  Answer Mr. Strong had it in his pocket & put his hand & his breast pocket & told Fields the money was there for him but did not show it. I know that Strong had it in his pocket. The money was Bank Rolls on different banks in ther State.    /s/ Love McDaniel

Sworn & Subscribed  W.A. Haskin(?) Clk & Mast

This affidavit was filed in support of the plaintiff in the bill of complaint of Henry Simmons, a free man of color of Cumberland County, against William B. Fields of Wayne County alleging that Fields had purchased for $1500 from the estate of L. Dortch slaves Jenny and her children Jane, Mary and Charles, who were Simmons’ wife and children. Fields allegedly agreed to convey the slaves to Simmons when Simmons repaid the purchase money, plus interest, but refused to turn them over when Simmons presented his cash. Documents in the file of Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives. 

With the intention of holding her as a slave.

HABEAS CORPUS CASE. – Yesterday forenoon, His Honor Judge Person, had Elizabeth Post, a free woman of color, brought before him on a writ of habeas corpus, the facts as we learn them, being, that Elizabeth was sold or hired out for a term of years, by the court of Cumberland county, and her term of the balance of it, was assigned by the original hirer or purchaser, to James Bryant of Bladen county. Day before yesterday said Bryant brought the woman down to Wilmington on board one of the steamboats, on the Cape Fear, and during the passage down she overheard some conversation, leading her to believe that it was designed to carry her out of the State with the supposed intention of holding her as a slave. On a representation of the facts to His honor, he issued a writ for the production of the woman, when upon an examination of the case it appeared beyond question that she was a free woman, and she was consequently set at liberty. We believe she was found on board the Manchester cars. No one appeared to contest her claim. – Wilmington Journal.

Weekly Raleigh Register, 9 December 1857.

A centenarian.

A CENTENARIAN. – A free colored man named William Lomack died in this vicinity on Saturday last: He served as a regular soldier throughout the whole Revolutionary War, and drew a pension up to the time of his death. He is said to have been 104 years of age! – Fay. Observer.

The North-Carolinian (Fayetteville), 21 September 1850.


In the 1850 census of Cumberland County, William Lomac, 95, born in New Jersey, with Patsey Canaday, 26, and William, 7, and Sarah, 2, born in NC.

Runaway bound boy, no. 18.

SUPERIOR COURT. – The Term closed on Saturday. The three prisoners from Bladen were refused bail, and were remanded to prison.

Andrew Jackson Evans was tried for the murder of Joseph Williams, (both free colored,) in this town on the 30th ult. The jury rendered a verdict of manslaughter, and the Court sentenced the prisoner to receive 49 lashes and pay a fine of $100. For the State, B.R. Huske, Esq. (the Solicitor being indisposed.) For the prisoner, Gen. John Winslow and Messrs. C.G. Wright and Neill McKay.

A Special Term was ordered, for the trial of Civil Causes, (which were necessarily almost entirely neglected at this Term,) to be held on the 2d Monday in February. – Fay. Observer.

Wilmington Daily Herald, 21 November 1856.



NOTICE is hereby given to all persons against their employing Andrew Jackson Evans, a free boy of color, as his services belong to me, as Agent. Any one employing him after this public notice, and paying him, will subject themselves to a second payment, besides laying themselves liable for damages. G.S. DEMING, Agt. Jan’y 18.

Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 23 January 1860.

[Clarification: As I learned when I found the top article after posting the bottom, A.J. Evans was not an apprentice at all. Rather, he had been “sold” to Deming for a period of time to pay off his fines. — LYH]

Bond for Joseph Hostler.

State of North Carolina, Cumberland County  }

Know all men by these presents, that we Sophia L. Smith, John W. Huske and John Winslow, all of the County of Cumberland aforesaid, are held and firmly bound unto David L. Swain Esqr. Governor, Captain, General, and Commander in Chief in and over the State aforesaid, in the Just and full Sum of Two hundred Pounds, Currency of the said State, to be paid to his Excellency aforesaid or his Successors in Office, to which payment well and truly to be made and done, we bind ourselves, our heirs, Executors and Administrators, jointly and Severally, firmly by these presents, Sealed with our Seals and dated this 2d. day of June Anno Domini 1835.

The Condition of the above obligation is such, that whereas by an act of the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina passed A.D. 1833 Joe, a Slave, belonging to the above bounden Sophia L. Smith, was, with the consent and at the request of his Said owner, the said Sophia L. Smith, emancipated and set free and by the name of Joseph Hostler admitted to all the rights and privileges which are enjoyed by other free persons of Colour in this State,: Now if the said Joseph Hostler shall honestly and correctly demean himself as long as he shall remain in this State, and Shall Save harmless the parish of the Country, from all charges or Expenses on account of him the said Joseph Hostler, then the above obligation to be void otherwise to be and remain in full force and virtue. Sophia L. Smith {seal} [no other signatures]

Signed, Sealed and delivered In presence of [no signatures]

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

A condition of ill-feeling.

State v. Shadrach Manuel, 72 NC 201 (1875).

This indictment for malicious mischief was tried in Cumberland Superior Court.

At trial, the State introduced evidence of the “condition of ill-feeling” between Shadrach Manuel and  Sylvia Jenkins. He had threatened injury to her person and property, and in August, 1873, he had killed a couple of her hogs and had chopped her ox on the hip with an axe, seriously wounding the animal, which had be stitched and was unable to work until he healed.  Also, her hogs and ox were in the habit of breaking into Manuel’s field of the defendant and injuring his crop, and he had complained to her and threatened to kill them if they did not stop.

Manuel argued in his defense that he could not have committed “malicious mischief” because  the ox had only been wounded and had recovered from its injuries, and thus was not destroyed.  Manuel was convicted and appealed to the State Supreme Court, which held that malicious wounding of cattle, short of destruction, is not an indictable offence at common law. Judgment reversed.

In the 1870 census of Flea Hill, Cumberland County: Shadrack Manuel, 48, farmer, wife Sarah, 36, and children Martha J., 17, Dolphus W., 13, Fredrick B., 10, Shadrack, 7, John M., 5, Mary M., 3, and Elizabeth A., 6 months.  [Sidenote: Shadrach Manuel cannot be definitively identified in the pre-War censuses, but he is is likely to have been a member of one of the free colored Manuel families of Cumberland or Sampson County.]

He has fine white teeth; I have his indentures.

$25 Reward.

WILL be given for the delivery to me, or for the confinement in the Jail of Cumberland county, of DAVID BOOKER, who ranaway from me about the middle of last June.

DESCRIPTION. – Booker is about 5 feet 10 inches high, very black, has fine white teeth, speaks pleasingly when in conversation, is about forty years old, and in walking bends forward considerably. He is a Blacksmith by trade.

I have his indentures for two years from 1st of May 1854, for costs and charges in State case vs. him, in the Superior Court of Cumberland county; and all persons are cautioned not to employ him without my consent.  T.R. UNDERWOOD.  Dec. 19, 1854.

Semi-Weekly Fayetteville Observer, 22 February 1855.