Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Haywood County

Her mulatto child was nursed by a negro woman.

The Petition of John Chambers of Haywood County Humbly Sureth Your Honerable Body that about the first day of February, that a certain Theophilus Oneal who emigrated from Johnson County in this State to this Haywood County. And that after some acquaintance with the family of Mr. Theophilus Oneal Your Petitioner Maried his daughter Riney. But in Abouts two Weeks after marriage your petitioners Wife was charged With having been delivered of a Molatto Child which was Nused by a Negro Woman of the said Theophilus Oneals the Father inlaw of the Petitioner. After being Charged with the above crime, the family has since the Mariage Confessed the fact. After which time your Petitioner carried his wife Riney to her father and has never lived with her since. Your Petitioner is a poor young Man but Wish to Conduct him self in such a manner so as to render himself Respectable, as this petition May Want form, Gramar, and eloquence yet there is one thing he feels himself weel assured of that is the correctness of his Narative he therefore wish your honerable Body to take his case into serious consideration and pass a law to annul the Marriage of your unfortunate Petitioner, And in duty bound he Will ever pray, your petitioner think it needless to have paper crowded with Names he therefore Contents himself with having a few of the respectable part of his neighbours or county men placed on the petition.


The Committee on Divorce & Alimony to whom was before the Petition of John Chambers of Haywood County, have had the same under consideration and ask him to report; Your committe find that the said John Chambers intermarried with Riney ONeal the daughter of Theophilus ONeal, who was emigrated from the County of Johnson to the County of Haywood three or four years since, and that some short time afterward, the said Chambers discovered, and it appears to your committee in proof likewise, that it was the common talk previous to their removal from the County fo Johnson, and has been, subsequently acknowledged by the family that the said Riney (previously to her removal) had been delivered of a mulatto child; And it appears further to your Committe that as soon as the Petioner the said John Cahmbers had ascertained this fact, he returned or carried his wife to her parents, & with whom and himself  there has been no fellowship since __ Your Committe aware of the importance of rendering indi[illegible]ible teh marriage contract, and of that demoralizing tendency which a seperation under any circumstances produces, are yet of an opinion, that the prayer of the Petitioner in this Case should be granted, and therefore recommended the passage of the accompaning bill. All which is respectfully submitted.  /s/ J.G.A. Williamson, Ch. of the Com.

General Assembly Session Records, November 1825-January 1826, Box 4, North Carolina State Archives.

Surnames: Haywood County, 1850.

The following surnames are found among free people of color in Haywood County in 1850:


Runaway bound boys, no, 2.

Ten Cents Reward.

Ranaway from the subscriber on the 17th ultimo, mulatto apprentice boy, bound to me by the County Court of Haywood, named STEPHEN GIPSON, about 18 years old.  Said boy has a down look when spoken to.  I hereby forewarn all persons from trading with or harboring said boy under the penalty of law.  I will give the above reward for said boy if delivered to me in Waynesville, Haywood county, N.C.  S. FITZGERALD.  July 5, 1844.

Highland Messenger, Asheville, 4 Oct 1844.

In the 1850 census of Tennessee Valley, Macon County: John Gipson, 46, white farmer; wife Mourning, 38, Indian; children Lavina, 16, Carton, 12, Solomon, 10, and Elias, 8, all Indian; and Stephen Gipson, 25, mulatto.  John was born in Buncombe County; the others in Haywood.  NB: Other adult male Gipsons listed nearby are described as “mulatto,” as is John Gipson in the 1880 census of Dutch Bottom, Cocke County, Tennessee.


On the 21st November last, from James Wallace, an indented apprentice by the name WILLIAM SYDNEY McLEAN.  And from R.L. De Armond, in July, 1844, an indented apprentice, (a mulatto) by the name of JACK HARRIS.  – The subscribers, their owners, will give a reward of five cents each for the apprehension of said boys; and they forbid any person employing or harboring them, at the peril of the law.  R.L. DE ARMOND.  Feb. 28, 1845.

Mecklenburg Jeffersonian, Charlotte, 7 March 1845.

One who sells his services does not cease to be free.

James Casey v. L.S. Robards, 60 NC 434 (1864)

The issue in a case from Haywood County Superior Court: if a free man sells his services for 99 years, by deed, does he cease to be a free man?

In 1859, James Casey, a free negro, conveyed his services to James R. Love.  On 10 September 1864, Lt. L.S. Robards took Casey into custody as a conscript.  Love’s executors objected, claiming Love’s services.  Under an act of the Confederate Congress dated 17 February 1864, “all male free negroes, and other persons of color, resident in the Confederate states, between the ages of 18 and 50 years, shall be held liable to perform such duties with the army, or in connection with the military defenses of the country in the way of work upon fortifications or in government works for the production or preparation of material of war, or in military hospitals, as the Secretary of War may … prescribe; and … shall receive rations and clothing and compensation in the rate of $11 per month. …”

Casey asserted that his contract with Love degraded him from free man to slave, and therefore he was not liable to conscription.  The NC Supreme Court first pointed out that, if Casey were not free, he had no status to sue, and his case must be dismissed on that basis.  However, one who sells his services does not cease to be free, and free negroes could be compelled to render service.

James Casey, age 27, appears with George Casey, 24, and Leander Casey, 15, all described as mulatto, in the 1860 census of Haywood County in the household of James R. Love, an exceptionally wealthy farmer and slaveowner.  Casey’s death certificate, filed in Haywood County, reveals that he lived in or near Waynesville, was about 84 when he died on 11 March 1918, and was the son of Jim Moore and Harriet Casey.