“Probably the largest group of free negroes to be found in North Carolina was the exclusive ‘old issue’ settlement known far and wide as The Meadows, near Ransom’s Bridge on Fishing Creek in Halifax County. The people still bear the appellation ‘old issue,’ and are heartily detested by the well-to-do negroes in the adjoining counties.”
Rosser Howard Taylor, The Free Negro in North Carolina, 1920. http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/taylorrh/taylorrh.html
According to North Carolina Gazetteer, Ransom’s Bridge is a “community at the junction of Nash, Franklin, Warren and Halifax Counties, formerly thriving, now sparsely settled. There is a bridge here over Fishing Creek, and a post office by the time existed as early as 1822 and as recently as 1882. This area of North Carolina was the center of gold mining activity before the Civil War.” Ransom’s Bridge is near present-day Hollister, and maps show roads — Richardson, Evans, Silvertown — bearing the names of free families of color. These families and others, such as Mills and Lynch, make up the core of the Haliwa-Saponi Native American tribe, recognized by the state since 1953.