Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Hall

William Henry Hall, Sr.

Image WILLIAM H. HALL, SR. was the son of Eliza Hall and James B. Woodard, a white man. He is buried in Red Hill cemetery, near Stantonsburg, Wilson County. Beloved father farewell.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2013.

[Sidenote: The birthdate on William Hall’s headstone is completely different from that reported in the Lewis Ellis Bible. Of course, neither he nor his family had access to this Bible, and he may not have known his actual birthdate. — LYH]

The roots of Arkansas’ largest free colored community.

DAVID HALL (1782?-1859?), described as a “colored” and “exceedingly stout man,” settled along the White River bottoms some seven miles below the mouth of the Little North Fork in 1819, the year that Congress created Arkansas Territory. The North Carolina-born Hall and his light-skinned wife Sarah, a Tennessean, built a cabin, raised corn, horses and cows, made whiskey in one of the first stills to be seen on the upper White River, and, not least of all, tended to their growing family. An 1840 surveyor’s map shows the Hall farm, which was located twenty miles west of today’s city of Mountain Home, with forty acres under cultivation, a larger operation that any other in his township. Hall paid county and state taxes for thirty years, and these records document his relative prosperity. … [His] sons Willoghby, Joe, and James, and his daughters Margaret Hall Turner and Eliza Hall Caulder established families that expanded the free black population in Marion County. These pioneer families lived in semi-isolation and in harmony with whites, a situation that attracted other free mulattoes who settled in the vicinity, forming antebellum Arkansas’s largest free black community.

Hall and his son-in-law Peter Caulder, despite state laws to the contrary, kept hounds and firearms essential to their frontier life. … Travelign about by any conveyance was legal in the territory and after statehood, but risky for free blacks since they were under the jurisdiction of any white man who cared to exercise that authority. Despite the risk, the Halls and their neighbor John Turner occasionally traveled outside the county by horse and by boat to attend tot heir business affairs.

Land ownership was one of the few legally recognized rights of Negros in slave states such as Arkansas. During the winter of 1849, David Hall and John Hall (possibly a brother) traveled one hundrted miles to the United States government land office at Batesville to pay cash for and later receive patents on their White River valley acreage. …

The settlement lasted until the Arkansas General Assembly passed a law in February 859 entitled, “An Act to Remove the Free Negroes and Mulattos from the State.” Penalties included seizure and sale into slavery, emancipation having already been made illegal in Arkansas. The enormity of the threat was enough to overcome the tenaciousness of folks in the free Negro community. More than one hundred of them abandoned good farms and departed Marion County and the state of Arkansas, a gut-wrenching turn of events, without doubt.

Today the land patented by David Hall lies beneath Bull Shoals Lake. With the exception of weathered and nameless wooden markers placed atop a stone wall alongside the Promised Land Cemetery by the Corps of Engineers before the valley was flooded, no physical trace remains of the free black community that thrived along the banks of the White River near the Missouri border. Hall disappeared from the tax and census records in 1859 when he would have been seventy-six years old. … [by] Billy D. Higgins

Adapted from Nancy A. Williams and Jeannie M. Whayne, eds., Arkansas Biography: A Collection of Notable Lives (2000).

In the 1850 census of Marion County, Arkansas: David Hall, 67, born NC, wife Sarah, 55, born Tennessee, and Mary, 18, Joseph, 12, and Henry Hall, 20, all born in Arkansas. Sons James and Jospeh are listed with theri families nearby.

Free-Issue Death Certificates: MISCELLANEOUS.

John Lassiter.  Died 15 Jan 1915, Wilson, Wilson County. Colored. Married. Age 63. Born in NC to Silas Lassiter and Ophie Simpson, both of NC. Informant, Henry Lassiter, Wilson NC.

In the 1860 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Silas Lassiter, 38, Orpie, 34, Sallie, 12, Mary, 11, James, 9, John, 7, Elizabeth, 5, Penina, 4, Hardy, 3, Silas, 1, George, 2 months, and Delpha Simpson, 14.

William Henry Hall. Died 23 June 1925, Saratoga, Wilson County. Black. Married, Lucy Hall. Born 15 Aug 1946, Wayne County, to unknown father and Exaline West of Wayne County. Buried Bethel cemetery. Informant, Sue Batts.

Louisa Johnson.  Died 15 Jan 1934, Wilson, Wilson County. Resided 503 Warren Street. Colored. Widow of Henry Johnson. Age 78. Born in NC to John and Julia Kersey. Informant, Gertrude Jones, 309 Elba Street, Wilson.

In the 1860 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John Kerney, 37, wife Julia, 31, and children Louisa, 9, Dellah, 6, John, 5, and William, 1.

Harriet Hattie Dixon. Died 16 Jan 1958, Wilson, Wilson County. Widow. Born 27 June 1865, Wilson County to Wyatt Lynch and Nicie [last name unknown.] Farmer. Informant, Mrs. Hattie Anderson.

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Wyatt Lynch, 48, wife Nicey, 35, and children Harriet, 4, and John, 1.

Council Ayers. Died 1 Dec 1915, Spring Hill, Wilson, Wilson County. Born Dec 1830 to Sampson Ayers and unknown mother. Buried Boyette NC. Informant, William Ayers.

In the 1860 census of District #9, Johnston County: Council, 11, and Henry Ayres, 9, in the household of 48 year-old white merchant James Faulk.

Henderson Brantley. Died 2 Dec 1916, Taylor’s, Wilson County. Negro. Widow. About 80 years old. Born Nash County to unknown father and Bettie Brantley. Informant, Chas. Brantley.

In the 1850 census of Nash County: Betsy Brantly, 50, with children Kimbrell, 25, Henderson, 14, and Guilford B. Brantley, 12.

Where are they now? No. 15.

R.R. was born in Wilson NC in the early 1960s.  He is descended from:

(1) Vicey Artis [ca1805-ca1868, Greene/Wilson County] via Zilpha Artis [1828-ca1885, Greene/Wayne County]

(2) Benjamin Hagans

(3) Nancy Hall via Mozana Hall [ca1829-1914, Wayne County]

(4) Rhoda Reid [ca1795-ca1865, Wayne County] via John Reid [ca1826-ca1890, Wayne County] via William Reid [1851-1926, Wayne County]

(5) John Wilson [1821-ca1890, Wayne County] via Elizabeth Wilson [1864-1947, Wayne County]

Free-Issue Death Certificates: REID.

Zannie Reid.  Died 21 May 1914, Fremont, Wayne County. Negro.  Widow.  Born 28 Aug 1829 to [blank] Hagans and Nancy Hagans, both of NC.  Buried Reid graveyard.  Informant, John G. Reid, Fremont.

Edwin Hall.  Died 22 Jan 1915, Fremont, Wayne County.  Negro.  Married.  Farmer.  Age 66.  Born to Dempsey Hall and Patsy Reid.  Buried “in country.”

Christian Coley.  Died 6 Sep 1915, Pikeville, Wayne County.  Married.  About 66 years old.  Born in NC to Washington Reid and Pennie Reid.  Buried Reid graveyard.  Informant, Henry Coley, Pikeville.

David Reid.  Died 27 Oct 1915, Great Swamp, Wayne County.  Colored. Married.  About 70 years old.  Born in NC to Jacob Coley and Bitha Reid, both of NC. Buried Fremont cemetery. Informant, Isler Reid.

Winnie Reid.  Died 15 Aug 1918, Pikeville, Wayne County NC.  Colored.  Widow.  80 years old.  Born Wayne County to Bill Hall and Nancy Hagans, both of Wayne County.  Informant, Burrell Reid, Pikeville.

William Reid.  Died 27 Jan 1926, Black Creek, Wilson County.  Colored.  Married to Bettie Reid.  76 years old.  Born in Wayne County to John Reid and Zannie Reid, both of Wayne. Buried in the Wilson graveyard.  Informant, Pinkney Reid, Fremont.

Henry Reid.  Died 28 Sep 1930, Goldsboro NC.  Colored.  Widower of Georgeana Reid.  70 years old.  Born in Wayne County to John Reid and Zania Hall.  Informant, Frances Newsome.

Auther Reid.  Died 23 Feb 1929, Township #9, Edgecombe County.  Negro.  Single.  Born 18 Nov 1842 in Edgecombe to Miles Reid and Martha Febury Reid.  Buried near Macclesfield.

Gray Reid.  Died 8 Jan 1936, Township #10, Edgecombe County.  Resided “Hal Farm.” Colored. Widower of Lucy Reid.  Born 1844 in Edgecombe to unknown parents.  Informant, Jonah Reid. Macclesfield.



Children born to free mulatress.

These are names of slaves born to free mulatress ages of the children of Eliza Hall

William Henry Hall was born Feb the 11th 1844

Patrick Hall was born October the 6th 1845

Margaret Ann Hall was born Feb the 12th 1847

Louiser Hall was born April the 9th 1849

Balam Hall was born Feb 7th 1851

These entries (the first sentence in a different hand) were inscribed in the Bible of Lewis Ellis (1794-1854) of Wilson County.  Ellis’ good friend, James Bullock Woodard (1793-1863), was the father of Eliza Hall’s five children.  (Who were, of course, as free as their mother.)  The 1850 census of Edgecombe County lists Eliza Hall, age 26, with her children Wm. (6), Patrick (4), Martha [sic] (3), and “girl” (1).  In 1860, they are in Saratoga district, Wilson County.  The Bible remains in the Ellis family.  

Free colored slaveholders in Wayne County, 1850.

Hillary Croom — 55 year-old black female; 32 year-old black male.

Levi Winn — 55 year-old black male; 22 year-old black male.

Sheppard Best — 80 year-old black female.

Tabitha Read — 50 year-old black male; 50 year-old black male; 60 year-old black male; 55 year-old black female.

Celia Artice — 60 year-old male.

Arthur Cotten — 50 year-old black male.

Rhoda Read — 70 year-old black male.

Luke Hall — 70 year-old black male.

Celia Artice and sisters Rhoda and Tabitha Read owned their husbands.  The ages of slaves held by other free people of color in the county suggests that they, too, had secured title to loved ones.

1850 United States Federal Census, Slave Schedule, Wayne County NC.