Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: horse-stealing

He should have been hung.

A pardoned villain. A fellow named Carroll, a free negro, has been arrested and imprisoned for horse-stealing in Wake county, N.C. This is the third offence. According to law he should have been hung for the second offence, but escaped, in consequence of some technical discrepancy in the proceedings. – He runs a slim chance of escape in the present instance; and surely if the penalty is strictly agreeable to the turpitude of his crime, he deserves it, especially for the third offence; but for ourselves we never could perceive the reason, the justice or righteousness of the law in such cases. Horse-stealing we regard as a high misdemeanor, but one which can only deserve incarceration in a penitentiary. – What! Deprive a human being of life for a stealing a horse? Horrible.

The Newbernian and North Carolina Advocate, 26 August 1843.

Two Washington Tabourns?

Horse Stealing. — Washington Taborn, a free coloured man, has been committed to the jail of Moore county, charged with having stolen the horse of Mr. Isham Sims, of this county — the same that was recently advertised in this paper. Taborn having been once tried and found guilty of a similar offense, a second conviction will sibject him to the punishment of death!Ral. Register.

Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 30 September 1830.


Washington Taburn, a free negro, who was sentenced to be hung in Granville county, and who effected his escape last Spring, has been apprehended in Northampton county, and committed to jail.

The North-Carolina Star, 27 September 1833.

A combination has taken place.

There is great cause to suppose (says one of our correspondents) that a combination has taken place between a free mulatto man by the name of Cullen Hudnell, who lately lived on South Dividing Creek, Beaufort county, and some of his white neighbours. He left the neighborhood about the 1st of November last, and a few days afterwards one of his white neighbors went off, and soon returned with a large young sorrel stud Horse, with two white hind feet and a large blaze in his face. This horse being kept secret and disclaimed by the people who have had him in possession, together with the above circumstances, has raised this suspicion.

Weekly Raleigh Register, 31 December 1804

Twenty for the man, ten for the broken-down horse.


Horse and Money Stolen.

STOLEN from the subscriber, on Thursday night the 26th Feb’y, a BRIGHT CLAY BANK HORSE, with a white blaze in the face, low in flesh and limps a little in the right hind leg, has a sore back. He was taken by a free negro by the name of Jacob Goings alias Morgan. There was a free girl with him by the name of Sara Jane Goings.

I will give a reward of Twenty Dollars for the arrest and confinement of Jacob Goings in Lumberton Jail, or ten in any other Jail in the State, and ten dollars for the return of the horse to me. DUGALD McDUGALD. Dondarroch, Robeson Co. – Feb’y 18, 1863.

Fayetteville Semi-Weekly Observer, 16 March 1863.

The fellow went towards Wadesborough.

Ten Dollars Reward.

Ranaway from Darlington Court-House, South Carolina, on Saturday 3rd, December 1814, a man of Colour who calls himself ROBERT BYRD, a black man, aged 20 or 25 years old, who has with him a pass from William Tunstall, Clerk, Pittsylvania County, Virginia – Said Negroe stole, and carried away a chestnut sorrel MARE, about 14 1-2 hands high, with a large star in her forehead and snip on her nose, a natural trotter, rather low in order. I will give the above reward for any person who will apprehend, and confine said fellow in any Joal [sic] so that he may brought to Justice, or deliver him to me, and all reasonable expences to any one who will deliver the said Mare to me – The fellow went towards Wadesborough, N. Carolina. JEREMIAH BROWN. December 6, 1814.

Star, Raleigh, 13 January 1815

Mare missing; free negro suspected.

NOTICE. $10 REWARD. Stolen from the subscriber on the night of the 23d inst., a small bright Chestnut Sorrel MARE, about 3 years old, with a star on her face. Supposed to have been stolen by a Free Negro by the name of Penn Walden. Said Walden is a bright mulatto, about 35 years of age, about 5 ½ feet high. I will pay the above Reward for the delivery of the Mare at Carthage, N.C., or $5 for sufficient proof to convict him of the theft.  JOHN CAMPBELL.  Aug. 24, 1860.

Carolina Observer, Fayetteville, 27 August 1860.

He may have taken the horse to North Carolina.

Twenty Dollars Reward will be given for the recovery of the subscriber’s HORSE, which was taken from him about 4 miles from Portsmouth, on the stage road, on Thursday night last. Said Horse is a dark bay, with a bob tail, though not very short, about 12 ½ hands high, nine years old, large body and feet (the left hind hoof having a split in it). He was purchased of a Mr. Mullen, of Bertie county N.C. a few weeks ago. It is believed that a free negro, who was seen in the neighborhood that evening, has taken him, and made his way to Richmond or North-Carolina – The above reward will be given for the Horse and conviction of the Thief, or Ten Dollars for the Horse alone.  MARTHA CASEY, near Hodges’s Ferry.  April 1.  

Norfolk & Portsmouth Herald, 6 April 1818.

Neither purchase the horse nor harbor the boy.


RANAWAY from the subscriber, on Friday morning, 2d inst. About 2 o’clock, a bright mulatto boy named John Murray, aged about 20 or 21 years, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, square built.  He had on when he left, a white hat with a broad brim, drab colored close bodied coat, and white pantaloons.  Said boy is free and has free papers, but was hired by me – he stole from me when he left, A Gray Horse, 4 years old, nearly 5 feet high, very well set, and on his wethers he has saddle marks and a small lump.  I will give $20 reward for the apprehension of said boy and horse, if taken within this State – or $50 if without the State, and secured so that I get them again.  All persons are cautioned against purchasing the horse or harboring said boy.  DAVID McDANIEL.  Tarboro’, N.C. Nov. 6, 1838.

Tarboro’ Press, 17 Nov 1838.

Horse-stealing, redux.

STOLEN from the subscriber at Wake Court House, on Wednesday evening last, a bright bay HORSE, 4 feet 11 inches high, with remarkable small feet, canters and trots well, and is very spirited, several saddle spots on his back.  The above horse was stolen by a free mulatto man, of the name of THOMAS BOWSER, a blacksmith by trade, who formerly worked in Fayetteville, very ingenious at his business, a bushy head, and very dark complexion, can read and write well: It is suspected he is gone to Hillsborough.

Any person apprehending the thief, and recovering the horse, by leaving him with the subscriber, at Col. J. Lane’s at Wake Court-House, shall receive the above reward.  PETER BIRD.

Fayetteville Gazette, 11 Dec 1792.

They left their wives and took up horse-stealing.

Arrested on Suspicion. – On the 28th ultimo, two persons of suspicious appearance, one a white man and the other a mulatto, were arrested in this place, and after a hearing before a Magistrate, committed to Jail.  When first arrested, the white man gave his name as William Carter, and claimed the mulatto as his slave – said that they were both carpenters in search of work, and that they were from Rockingham county, N.C. After their commitment, Carter acknowledged that he had given a wrong name, that his true name is James Oliver, that the mulatto is a free man by the name of Alexander Carter.  They both state that they have wives, whom they left at Bruce’s cross roads in Guilford county. 

Oliver is about 5 feet 6 inches high, 26 or 27 years of age – Carter is about the same in height.

There is reason to believe they have been engaged in stealing horses, a gentleman having stated here that two horses had been stolen in Patrick county, Va., and traded off near Madison, N.C., and two others between Lexington and Salisbury, supposed to have done by two persons answering the description of the above.  They were well armed, each having a Pistol and a Bowie-knife, with plenty of ammunition.  The white man also carried a long Jack-knife, and the mulatto a steel walking stick with a buckhorn head.  – Camden Journal.

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 7 Oct 1847.