Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Dennis

Privileges for Joe.

There was sentiment in both [Wilmington and Fayetteville] in favor of granting slaves special privileges. Joe, the slave of Phillis Dennis of Fayetteville, provides a good example of a person in bondage enjoying the privileges of a freeman. Joe was permitted to hire his own time and was accorded the opportunities of any freeman. In her last will and testament, Joe’s mistress conveyed him to Augustus I. Erambert and Charles A. MacMillan. Her will read that they should permit Joe “to exercise his trade without interference.” Erambert and MacMillan were instructed to allow Joe to “occupy possess, and enjoy her dwelling house during his life.” Upon the death of either party the survivor at the request of Joe was to appoint some prudent and discreet man to be named by Joe as a trustee.

From James Howard Brewer, “Legislation Designed to Control Slavery in Wilmington and Fayetteville,” North Carolina Historical Review, Volume XXX, No. 2, April 1953.

A lot in Fayetteville to Joseph and Phillis Dennis.

John P. Leonard to Joseph & Philis Dennis.

This indenture made the twenty fourth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nineteen between John P. Leonard of the Town of Fayetteville and State of North Carolina on the one part and Joseph Dennis & Fillis Dennis of the Town and State aforesaid of the other part. Witnesseth that the said John P. Leonard for and in consideration of Two hundred dollars to me in hand paid by the said Joseph Dennis and Fillis Dennis and before the signing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have bargained, sold conveyed and confirmed and by these presents do bargain sell convey and confirm unto the said Joseph Dennis & Fillis Dennis their heirs executors administrators and assigns the one half of a certain lot of land in the Town of Fayetteville bounded as follows Beginning at James McRackins So Et corner on the West side of North Street, thence along said Street to the centre of the Lot West to the back line being 5 chains it being the upper half of a lot which I bought of Samuel Pearce containing half an acre. To have and to hold the above granted and bargained premises with the appurtenances thereof unto them the said Joseph Dennis & Fillis Dennis their heirs and assigns forever to their own proper use and behoof and against the claim or claims of any person or persons whatsoever.

In witness whereof I have set my hand and affixed my seal the day and year first above written. /s/ John P. Leonard   Test D. Smith, Samuel Brooks

Deed Book 32, Page 20, Register of Deeds Office, Cumberland County Courthouse, Fayetteville.

[Sidenote: The styling of their names suggests that Joseph Dennis and Fillis Dennis were not married, but were siblings or other kin. Though Phillis Dennis’ enslaved husband was named Joe, he could not have purchased property with her. — LYH]

Two tracts on Mumford Street.

Washington Winn to Lewis W. Levy.

This Indenture made this 15th day of November in the year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred and Fifty three between Washington Winn of the County of Wayne in the State of North Carolina of the one part and Lewis W. Levy of the County of Cumberland and State abovesaid of the other part. Witnesseth, that the said Washington Wynn for and in consideration of the sum of twelve hundred Dollars to him in hand paid by the said Lewis W. Levy at and before the sealing and delivering of these presents the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge hath given, granted and bargained, Sold, aliened, remised, released, and confirmed, and doth by these presents, give, grant, bargain and sell, alien, remise, release, and confirm unto the said Lewis W. Levy his heirs & assigns all that tract or parcel of land, situate lying and being in the Town of Fayetteville in the South Side of Mumford Street and Beginning at the North East corner in the margin of Said Street and runs as the said Street about South 70 East to within three feet of Sampsons North West corner in said Street. Thence parallel with said line of Sampsons Lot to within three feet of Sampsons back on South West corner. Thence to a stake within about eight feet of the said Phillis Dennis South East corner of her back lot.  Thence to her corner, thence with her line to the beginning corner on the margin of Mumford Street. It being a lot of land Sold by Thomas J. Curtis to Phillis Dennis 13th Novr 1840 & registered in Book V, No. 2, page 475. Also one other tract of land Beginning at the intersection of Mumford and Robinson Streets on the South side of Mumford Street and runs thence South [illegible] East one chain and (50) fifty two links. Then South [illegible] West two chains & Sixty links to the corner of Lot No. 5. Thence North Seven and half degrees West one chain eighty four links to Robinson Street. Thence at Robinsons Street two chains to the Beginning. Being Lot No. 1 conveyed by Isaac Newberry to Phillis Dennis & Registered in Book K [illegible] 2, page 199. To Have and to Hold the said Land with its appurtenances to the proper use, behoof and benefit of the said Lewis W. Levy his heirs and assigns forever. And the said Washington Wynn for himself and his Heirs, Executors and Administrators doth covenant, promise and agree to and with the said Lewis W. Levy his heirs and assigns, that he the said Lewis W. Levy his heirs and assigns and every of them, shall have hold, occupy, possess and enjoy the said Land, with its appurtenances, without any let, suit, hindrance, molestation or eviction from or by the lawful claim or claims of any person or persons whatsoever, to warrant and forever defend. In testimony Whereof, the said Washington Wynn hath hereunto Set his hand affixed his seal, the day and year first above written.  Washington Winn

Sealed and Delivered in Presence of James Banks

State of North Carolina, Cumberland County  } April 18th 1854

Then was this Deed proved before me John McLaurin

Grantee Book 51, p. 542, Register of Deeds Office, Cumberland County Courthouse, Fayettevllle.