Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Harris


Jesse Harris, a free negro, charged with the murder of Matthew Russel, also a free negro, was acquitted. The Hon. Edward STANLY, for the State; and Geo. W. HAYWOOD, H.W. MILLER and D.K. McRAE, Esqrs., for the prisoner.

North Carolina Star, 13 October 1847.

He gave this boy his pass.


RANAWAY from the Subscribe, living in Orange County, N.C., on the 4th inst. a Negro man named SAM. He is about 30 or 32 year of age, about five ten inches in height, rather chunky made, no particular marks except a dimple or scar on the side of his under jaw, not recollected which side, occasioned by a rising from a tooth. He is, from all circumstances, trying to get to a free State or pass as a free man, by changing his name to JOHN HARRIS, as he has secured a pass in the above name from John Harris, a free man of colour. The pass was given to John Harris and his wife and child, and was signed by myself Jeff. Horner, J.P. The said Jno. Harris was living with the Subscriber, at the time he gave this boy Sam his pass. I will give the above Reward of Thirty Dollars for his apprehension and delivery, or confinement in any Jail so that I may get him again.  JEFF. HORNER.

June 13, 1839.

N.B. This Pass was dated the last of Sept., or the first of October, 1838, or thereabouts.

Raleigh Register, 10 August 1839.

One harbored slaves, the other drove away with them.

A negro named Noah C. Hanson charged with harboring two runaway slaves last summer, the property of the Hon. Walter Colcock, was tried in the criminal Court at Washington on Saturday and found guilty. He was fined 1000 dollars and to stand committed until the same was paid.

The Old North State (Elizabeth City), 15 March 1851.


Warner Harris, free colored, for driving away Chaplin’s carriage containing the two slaves belonging to Messrs. Stephens and Toombs, was ordered to pay a fine of $150 in each case.

The Old North State (Elizabeth City), 15 March 1851.

He has known James Harris since childhood.

State of North Carolina, Granville County   }

This day John Dickerson personaly appeard before me David A. Paschall an acting Justice of the peace for the said county and made oath that he has been acquainted with Jas. Harris from his childhood & knows him to be Free that he is a dark mulatoe has a scar upon his head & is about nineteen years of age                 John X Dickerson

Sworn to and subscribed Before me this 18th day of March 1848 D.A. Paschall J.P.

James Henry Harris Personal Collection, North Carolina State Archives.

North from North Carolina, no. 2.

In the 1830 census of Surry County: Arthur Larter listed as head of household with 4 males under 10, 2 males 10-24, 1 male 36-55, two females under 10, 1 female 10-24, and one female 24-36.

In the 1850 census of Pilot, Surry County, Arter Larter (58, farmer), wife Polly (55), with children Sally (16), Jennings (17), Sanders (13) and Parmelia (11), all mulatto.

In Owens County, Indiana, Marriage Records: Jennings Larter married Barsheba Harris, 22 Feb 1855.

In the 1860 census of  Marion, Owen County, Indiana: Jennings Larter (27, day laborer, born NC), wife Beshaba (26, b. IN), and children Leason (4), Permelia J. (2) and Mary Ann (6 mos.) In the

1860 census, Perry, Lawrence County, Indiana: Arthur Larter (67, farmer), wife Mary (63), Elizabeth (43), Sanders, Alford, John, Parmiler (28), plus E. Partridge (15).  All born in NC, save E., who was born in KY.  Next door: William Larter (36, farmer) and wife Susan (18).

James H. Harris.

ImageBorn a slave around 1830 in Granville County, James Harris was freed in 1848. After receiving his freedom, Harris was apprenticed to a carpenter and later opened his own business in Raleigh. Harris left North Carolina prior to the Civil War and attended school at Oberlin College in Ohio for two years, followed by trips to Canada and Africa. In 1863, he received a commission to organize the 28th Regiment of United States Colored Troops in Indiana. (Note: Contrary to the original marker inscription, Harris did not serve as a Union colonel. The text has been rewritten and the marker reordered.) After the Civil War, Harris moved back to his native state as a teacher affiliated with the New England Freedmen’s Aid Society. He became involved in Reconstruction politics and was one of the charter members of the state’s Republican Party after serving as a delegate to the state’s Freedmen’s Convention in 1865. A staunch advocate for the rights of African Americans, Harris sought to provide a voice for equality while maintaining a moderate tone. His philosophy was that blacks and whites had to work together to promote the interests of each race. A gifted speaker, Harris received numerous appointments, including service as a delegate to the state’s 1868 constitutional convention. He was elected a state legislator in the house, 1868-1870, and 1883 and in the senate, 1872-1874. Harris also served Raleigh as a city alderman and as an advocate for the construction of the Colored Institution for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind. Harris was appointed vice-president of the National Equal Rights Convention in 1865, president of the National Convention of Colored Men in 1869, and vice-president of the National Black Convention in 1877. He attended the 1868, 1872, and 1876 Republican National Conventions, serving as a presidential elector in 1872. Harris edited the North Carolina Republican in the 1880s and pushed for reforms for the protection of laborers, women, orphans and other disadvantaged groups. Harris died in 1891 in Washington, D.C. and was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Raleigh.

Adapted from

They ran off and was married in an old field.

State of North Carolina, Halifax County    }  On this 20th day of May, 1846, personally appeared before me Lemuel P. Johnston an acting Justice of the Peace in and for the County aforesaid, Mrs. Winaford Holley, a resident of said County and State, aged eighty eight years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth, certify that She was an eye witness to the marriage of Drury Walden to his wife Elizabeth, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Harriss; that they ran away and was married some time in the year (1780) Seventeen hundred and eighty (she well remembers) in an old field a little from the Road, in the County of Northampton North Carolina, by Herbert Harris, who was, at that time, an acting Magistrate in Said County of Northampton; and that the said Drury and wife (after their intermarriage) took supper that evening, at her Winaford Holley’s Mother’s House. That she well recollects, that at the time of the aforesaid Marriage (To Wit) in the year (1780) her husband Jesse Holley, was then a soldier in the army.

She further certifies that upon her oath, that the said Drury Walden’s family, and his wife, the aforesaid Elizabeth’s family, were at (the time of their intermarriage,) living within an half Mile of her Mother’s house; and that she very well remembers, that the aforesaid Drury Walden, did serve one, and she believes two tours in the Army of the Revolution, after he intermarried with the aforesaid Elizabeth Harriss, for all of the above named families, were living at the same places, that they were, at the time of the aforesaid marriage, when the said Drury Walden returned home, from the service; and that she saw him, when he arrived at home from the said service.   Winafred X Holley

Sworn to and subscribed on the say and year above written before me  L.P. Johnston

Jordan Harris and sons, Lewis and Andrew.

ImageImageImageJordan Harris (1822-1916) and his sons Lewis Harris (1852-1931) and Andrew Harris (1854-1932) of Wilkes County.

For more about the Harris family, see

Photos found at 

Free-born Delegates to North Carolina’s 1868 Constitutional Convention.

Parker David Robbins.

In the 1850 census of Gates County: John Robbins, 55, wife Mary, 37, and children Parker, 16, laborer, Augustus, 8, and Maranda, 4. In the 1860 census of Bertie County: Parker Robbins, 26, mechanic, wife Elizabeth, 18, and brother Augustus, 18.

Parker D. Robbins. Sgt. Maj., 2 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Cav. Field and Staff Muster Roll. Joined for duty, 1 Jan 1864, Fort Monroe, Virginia, for 3 years.

Parker David Robbins.  Died 1 November 1917, Magnolia, Duplin County. Colored. Married.  Born 1834 in Duplin County to John A. Robbins and an unknown mother.

For more about Parker Robbins:

On January 16, 2012, the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program unveiled a marker in Duplin County dedicated to Robbins.

Cuffie Mayo.

In the 1820 census of Warren County: Cuffie Mayho listed as head of household of 4 free colored people.  In the 1840 census of Granville County: Cuffie Mayho listed as head of household of 7 free colored people.  In the 1850 census of Tar River, Granville County: Cuffy Maho, 35, blacksmith, wife Glatha, 35, and children Mary, 21, Parthenia, 14, Angeline, 12, Sarah, 6, Randelia, 4, and William, 3. In the 1860 census of Oxford, Granville County: Cuffee Mayo, 57, painter, wife Juliann, 36, and children Sarah, 16, and Ludelia Mayo, 15, plus Thomas Hawley, 19, farm laborer.

James Henry Harris.

In the 1850 census of Tabs Creek, Granville County: Charles T. Allen, 28, wife Elizabeth, 28, and children Benjamin, 8, Julia, 7, and Virginia Allen, 4, plus James Callahan, 12, Thomas Avery, 7, and James Harris, 17.

For information about all of North Carolina’s free-born and freed delegates:

Free-Issue Death Certificates: GRINTON and HARRIS.

Mary Ellen Grinton. Died 27 June 1920, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Colored. Single. Housekeeper for John Stevedson. Born 1 August 1844, Wilkesboro, to Allen Grinton and Nancy Rooling. Informant, Andy Grinton.

Robert L. Grinton. Died 9 January 1929, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Married to Ellen Grinton. Farmer. Born 10 December 1848 to Allen Grinton and unknown mother. Buried at “Damaskas.” Informant, R.L. Grinton.

In the 1860 census of Lower Division, Wilkes County: Allen Grinton, 45, day laborer; wife Nancy, 35; and children Mary, 15, Thomas, 13, Robert, 9, and Phoebe, 3, all mulatto.

Lewis W. Harris.  Died 5 September 1931, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Married to Nancy Looper Harris. Farmer. Born 30 November 1852, Wilkesboro, to Jordan Harris and Rachel Grinton, both of Wilkes County. Informant, Joseph Harris.

Andrew Harris. Died 18 March 1932, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Married to Lura Harris. Farmer. Born 28 April 1854 in Wilkesboro to Jordan Harris and Rachel Grinton, both of Wilkes County. Informant, J.C. Harris, Wilkesboro.

Jourdan Harris. Died 22 October 1916, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, of “falling in the fire & being severely burned on the body.”  Colored. Widower. Farmer. Born 1 January 1822, Wilkes County, to Jahue Harris and Claircy Chafer, both of Wilkes County. Buried in Harris burying ground. Informant, John Peton.

In the 1860 census of Lower Division, Wilkes County: Jordan Harris, 38; wife Rachel, 36; and children Lewis, 9, Andrew, 8, and John, 2.

Mary Ann Anderson. Died 13 December 1913, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Widow. Born October 1843 in Wlkes County to John Evans of Guilford County and Lila Harris of Wilkes County. Buried Harris cemetery. Informant, J.P. Anderson.

Fannie Roxie Ann Ferguson. Died 22 June 1932, North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Black. Widow. Born 17 August 1838, Wilkesboro, to Jhue Harris and Clarisia Shaver. Buried Pleasant Hill. Informant, Charlie C. Harris.

Nathan Harris.  Died 8 May 1914, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. Colored. Married. Farmer – “very industris.” Born 6 May 1860 in Wilkes County to Wesley Harris and Mary Chavers, both of Wilkes County. Buried family cemetery.

In the 1860 census of Upper Division, Wilkes County: Wesley Harris, 37, farmer; wife Mary, 33; and children Joshua, 9, Lucindy, 7, Claricy, 4, John, 2, and James, 2 months, plus Nathan Bailey, 20.