Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Fire

The house was small.


On Saturday afternoon, the house of Washington Bowditch, a very worthy free colored man, in the south part of the town, was destroyed by fire. The house was small.

Tri-Weekly Commercial (Wilmington), 8 March 1853.

Dreadfully burnt.

DEATH BY FIRE – A Coroner’s Jury was called, Saturday at noon, to view the body of SALLY POTTS, a colored woman, who was burnt to death on Friday night, by her clothes taking fire, either from her own act or of some other person. The Jury had not been able to decide upon the case when our paper went to press. Her clothes had been impregnated with Spirits of Turpentine, and she was so dreadfully burnt that she died on Saturday. – Wil. Commercial

Raleigh Register, 5 December 1849.

Wheelwright shop destroyed by fire.

Fire Last Night.

Last evening about half past seven o’clock, a fire broke out in wooden building on Seventh Street, between Market and Dock Street, occupied as a Wheelwright Shop by SAM HOOPER, a free negro. The Wheelwright Shop, with an adjoining Blacksmith Shop, and some small outhouses were destroyed. We have no estimate of the amount of loss. The buildings destroyed were, we should think, of very little value. – Daily Journal, 18th.

Wilmington Journal, 24 March 1864.

Frame house burns.

FIRE. – The alarm of fire last night about 11 o’clock, proceeded from the burning of a frame house in the Eastern portion of the town, North of the Wilmington & Weldon Rail Road. The house was occupied by a free colored man named Wm. Merrick, with his family. We believe Merrick also owned the property. We do not know the exact amount of loss, but suppose it might be between six hundred and eight hundred dollars.

Wilmington Journal, 31 January 1861.

The barn.


The Barn of the free negro, named Benjamin Perry, living at the head of Little River in this County, was struck by lightning last Friday, and entirely consumed.

The Old North State (Elizabeth City), 10 August 1850.

Awful calamity.

Awful Calamity. – That devoted town, Wilmington, has been again visited with a most calamitous fire, which has destroyed a large amount of property and reduced some from situations of comfort, to poverty and distress. The worthy editor of the Cape Fear Recorder is amongst the principal sufferers, and we cannot here withhold the expression of our most cordial sympathy for his loss. A friend informs us that all the sufferers are most deserving citizens, and with one or two exceptions, unable to sustain the burden of their misfortune. … [August 2 was excessively hot, and thunderstorms developed that night. At about 11:00 o’clock, lightning struck first “the northern end of Mr. Langdon’s large wooden building on Market and Second street” and again near the partition separating the building from the office of the Recorder. Flames spread “until the whole block of wooden houses, from Second street to Mrs. Wright’s alley, was consumed.” The fire was contained by firemen blowing up and a small two-story house on the east side of the alley.]

The sufferers in this dreadful fire which did not last much longer than two hours, were, Samuel Langdon, Esq., Mr. Chambers, Mr. John Brown, E.P. Hall, Esq., Mrs. Scatt, Wm. C. Lord, Esq., Ancrum Berry, Esq., Mrs. Wright, Gabriel Holmes, Esq., Mr. Tibbitts, Archibald M. Hooper, and Henry Sampson, a coloured man.

…  Ral. Reg.

Free Press, Tarboro, 20 August 1830.