Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: free women of color

She had been ailing for some years.


Coroner Jones held an inquest on yesterday, over the body of a free negro woman, named Betsey Hagan, aged about 60 years, found dead on the lot of Mr. J.W. Potter, in the Eastern portion of the town. It appears that the woman lived in a small house on Mr. P’s lot, and that early in the morning, as himself and brother came out of his house, they found the woman lying dead in the yard. She had been “ailing” for some years, and it is supposed, that in going out that morning to attend to some duty, she fell dead. The verdict of the Jury was that she came to her death from natural causes.

Wilmington Daily Journal, 9 September 1860

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.

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.

An account of an execution.


WENTWORTH, N.C., Jan. 11th, 1859.


On Friday last, according to the sentence of His Honor, Judge DICK, Lucy Hine, a free woman of color, and a resident of your county, was publicly executed about 1 ½ miles East of town, in the presence of an unusually small crowd, compared with the number generally attending executions. I was glad to see so small a crowd in attendance, as I think such spectacles have anything but a good tendency. – Instead of morality, immorality is taught on all such occasions.

The day of execution was a little damp, and the roads muddy, but not sufficiently so to be disagreeable. About 11 o’clock the Sheriff proceeded to the jail with the attending officer, robed the criminal for execution, placed her in a wagon, and conducted her to the gallows. – She was attended by three ministers, Rev’s Day, Fields and Norman. Arriving at the gallows, she ascended the scaffold with a firm and resolute step. On being asked, if she had any confessions to make, she relied, none more than she had already made to the jailor, which in substance is, that she was innocent of the murder, and that there was no plot whatever between Frank and herself to kill her husband, and that she lent no aid either for or against him, and that she helped to conceal the body after the murder was committed.

She then exhorted all persons present, mostly negroes, to beware of their acts and conduct and not so as she had done. Said that she had been a great sinner, but felt that she was forgiven, and was willing to die. After which Rev. B. Field of the Methodist Church, delivered a short and appropriate address; and at 1 o’clock, the rope being adjusted, the drop fell, and her spirit took its flight to that last resting place “whence no traveler returns.”

Much credit is due Rev. Wm. Gay of the Episcopal church at Leaksville, who visited the criminal the day before her execution, and prayed with attended her to the gallows. AVO.

The People’s Press (Winston-Salem), 14 January 1859.

In the 1840 census of Bethabara, Stokes County: Lucy Hine, a free woman of color aged 24-36, living alone.

Their eyes have been injured.

Ten Dollars Reward.

RAN AWAY from the subscriber on the 8th inst, my negro man MINGO, aged about 45 years, of ordinary size, rather dark complexion, a white streak near the sight of one of his eyes, (which eye is not recollected) has rather a bad look out of his eyes. It is supposed that he is lurking about the lower edge of Edgecombe, or the upper part of Pitt, or he may have got as low down as Washington, Beaufort county, as his wife is a free woman of color, named Julia Read, lately of Pitt and has relations in Beaufort. The eyes of both him and her have been injured, his by a splinter and hers by a burn. The above reward will be given for the apprehension of Mingo, if delivered to me near Tradesville, in Edgecombe county, or if secured in any jail so that I get him again. All persons are forbid harboring, employing, or carrying off said negro under penalty of the law. MATTHEW WHITEHEAD. Nov 15, 1843

Tarboro’ Press, 10 February 1844.

An affray; a fatal accident.

From the Weldon Patriot.

ANOTHER. __ On Sunday last an affray occurred in the neighborhood of Gaston, between mulattoes, Dick Graham and Bob Carter, both Boatmen, which terminated in the death of the latter. Graham has been taken and confined in jail.

FATAL ACCIDENT. – On Monday evening last, Betsey Douse, a free woman of color, attempted to cross the Rail Road on Quankey Bridge as the Wilmington train of cars for this place was approaching, when she fell and was caught under the wheels, and so seriously injured that her life is despaired of. Betsy was no doubt, at the time, afflicted with “tangle legs.”

Weekly Commercial (Wilmington), 25 April 1851.

Barnes, or Burns, or Copage, or Farmer.


will be paid for the delivery of the said HARRY to me at Tossnot Depot, Edgecombe county, or for his confinement in any Jail in the State so that I can get home, or One Hundred and Fifty Dollars will be given for his head.

He was lately heard from in New-Bern where he called himself Henry Barnes (or Burns), and will likely continue the same name, or assume that of Copage or Farmer. He has a free mulatto woman for a wife, by the name of Sally Bozeman, who has lately removed to Wilmington, and lives in that part of the town called Texas, where he will likely be lurking.

Master of vessels are particularly cautioned against harboring, employing, or concealing the said negro on board their vessels, as the full penalty of the law will be rigorously enforced. GUILFORD HORN.   June 29th, 1850

Eastern Carolina Republican (New Bern), 20 November 1850.

Diligent search has been made for her.


PATTY, a free negro, aged about 60 years, has a dark complexion and stout frame, is insane, though harmless and in feeble health. She left my farm near Hillsborough a few days since, where she has been living several years with her relations. Diligent search has been made for her, but without effect. She was seen near Mr. Parrish’s, and between the race ground and Mr. Huntington’s old place. Any information concerning her will be thankfully received, and any person who will bring her home will be paid for his trouble by the subscriber. C. Jones.  June 17.

Hillsborough Recorder, 18 June 1834.

Not guilty!

A Coroner’s Inquest was held on Sunday last, on the dead body of a new born colored infant, found half-buried in a ditch, in a frequented part of the City. The verdict of the Jury was, that the child was born alive, and inhumanely killed by its unnatural mother, a free woman of color, named MARTHA DICKINSON.

The North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 29 January 1845.



No case involving life was taken up before Wednesday, when MARTHA DICKINSON (a free woman of color) was tried for the murder of her new-born child. The Prosecution was conducted by the Attorney General, and the Defence by C.C. BATTLE, Esq. There was no doubt, from the evidence, whether the child died from violence or neglect, and the Jury, after remaining out several hours, returned a Verdict of Not Guilty!

Weekly Raleigh Register, 4 April 1845.

He sold me a free man as a slave.


WILL be paid for the apprehension and confinement, so that he may be brought to justice, of WRIGHT ALLEN, who commonly calls himself Wm. Allen, who sold to me as a slave, a free mulatto boy named DENNIS. Said Allen is a very stout man, dark complexion, about 40 years of age, has an uncommon large hand and nose, the hand very covered with hair. I will give $200 reward for the recovery of the $500 which I paid Allen for the negro, or in proportion for any part of it. He carried with him from Fayetteville about ten days ago, a tall bright mulatto free woman named Mary, and it has been ascertained that they went North together by way of the Wilmington Rail Road. He wore a grey coatee with outside pockets without flaps, a black silk hat, made by J.R. & D. Gee, of Fayetteville, whose names are in the hat; his own name also is worked in the hat with yellow silk. Any information addressed to the Subscriber will be promptly attended to. DANIEL McKINNON. Stewartsville, Richmond County, N.C., November 27, 1838.

Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 28 November 1838.