Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: kidnapping

Save this girl from a state of slavery.

Notice: The attention of the public is requested in the following statement.  On the evening of Saturday the 19th instant, the house of the subscriber, on Swift Creek, was entered during her absence, by John Bryan, and a free mulattoe girl named Dicey Moore, the daughter of Lydia Moore, was forcibly taken and carried away in a chair by the said Bryan.  It is believed that he has a forged bill of sale for the girl, purporting to have been executed by her mother, and it is feared that he has carried the girl to the south, with the intention of selling her.  Dicey Moore has lived with the subscriber ever since she was fifteen months old, and the fact of her freedom can be proved beyond the possibility of a doubt.  She is now about seventeen years old, five feet high, with a yellowish complexion, black bushy hair, and wears rings in her ears.  Bryan is about six feet high, has blue eyes, is a little round shouldered, and has a long nose.  The editors of southern papers are requested to give the foregoing as insertions in their respective papers, as possibly it may save from a state of slavery this girl, who has unquestionable right to her freedom.  Catherine Free, Swift Creek, Craven County, February 25, 1820.

Hillsborough Recorder,  5 April 1820.

Dicey Moore married George Carter on 12 July 1833 in Craven County. In the 1850 census of Craven County: George Carter, 63, laborer, wife Decy, 45, and daughters Margaret, 15, Ann, 13, Hannah, 10, and Betsy, 8.  [One can only hope that this is Dicey, above, happily ever after. — LYH]

In the 1840 census of Newbern, Craven County, Lydia Moore appears as the head of a household of two free colored women, both over age 55.

Beat her terribly and carried off her children.

BROAD CREEK, on Neuse River, April 9.  On Saturday night, April the 4th, broke into the house of the subscriber at the head of Green’s Creek, where I had some small property under the care of Ann Driggus, a free negro woman, two men in disguise, who with masks on their faces, and clubs in their hands, beat and wounded her terribly and carried away four of her children, three girls and a boy, the biggest of said girls got off in the dark and made her escape, one of the girl’s name is Becca, and the other Charita, the boy is named Shadrack; she says the men were William Munday and Charles Towzer, a sailor lately from Newbern, these men were on board of a boat belonging to Kelly Cason, and was with him in the boat about the middle of the day.  Fifty dollars reward will be given to any person who will stop the children and apprehend the robbers so that they may be brought to justice.  JOHN CARUTHERS.

North Carolina Gazette, New Bern, 10 April 1778.

A free mulatto child for sale!

Kidnapping.  – We learn from the Greensborough Patriot that a gentleman from Patrick county, Va. lately offered for sale, in Salisbury, a free mulatto child!  On discovering an acquaintance, as he was parading the streets in the notable character of a speculator, he made his bow, retired, so fast as not to be heard from when looked after. – Ral. Reg.

Tarboro’ Press, 13 June 1835.

A trial here would be a mere mockery.

State vs Furnifold Jurnigan   }  Selling a person of mixed blood.

The Solicitor maketh oath that he does not believe the State can have a fair trial in this County; this matter has been the subject of conversation in the County, and the defendant by the influence of several men of standing has made it much the matter of general discussion, and has as the Solicitor is informed, so many on the Court yard, in his favour, that it would be a mere mockery to enter upon this trial in Wayne.  Edw. Stanly Solicitor  Sworn to before me in Open Court this 6th of April 1837.  N. Washington Clk.

In 1837, Furnifold Jernigan was indicted for selling Betsy Dinkins, a free woman of color. In the three years prior Jernigan and at least four co-defendants appeared on the Wayne County docket ten times on charges of selling free negroes, but never went to trial. As a result of the state’s solicitor’s complaint to the judge, the case was ordered removed to Greene County, but never appeared on the docket there.  Records Concerning Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Records of Wayne County, North Carolina State Archives.

He induced a free negro to go over the mountains.

Condemned.  At Surry Superior Court, last week, Abram Weaver, who has been confined in the jail of this county for some eighteen months, was tried and convicted of selling a free negro.  An appeal was taken to the Supreme Court.  People’s Press.

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 30 September 1852.



This notorious individual, we learn, was tried for kidnapping, at the recent term of the Superior Court of Surry county – Judge Ellis presiding.  He was found guilty, and condemned to be hung on the first Friday in October; but appealed to the Supreme Court.

We understand it was in evidence that in the Spring of 1848 Weaver induced a free negro, Jim Corn, to go with him from Stokes county over the mountains into Virginia, on a trip to sell guns; that they stopped at the house of one Lowder, in Burke’s Garden, soon after which the prisoner, sold the said free negro into bondage, who was carried to Louisville, Kentucky, where the negro sued for and obtained his freedom.  Greens. Pat.

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 7 Oct 1852.

The infamous business of abducting free people of color.

Fayetteville, March 19. Kidnapping. – We learn that this infamous business is carrying on to a considerable extent, near the lines of the counties of Sampson, Wayne and Johnston, and that five free persons of color, have been abduced [sic] from that neighborhood, by a set of daring outlaws & most probably have been sold in bondage.  If these things be so it is time for the citizens of that neighborhood to be active in their exertions to bring the offenders to justice.  The cause of suffering humanity, calls upon them for a generous effort in behalf of this unfortunate class of our population.  The violated laws of the State require them, as good citizens, to use every possible means to vindicate its humane, and merciful provisions, ferreting out and bringing to punishment its invaders.  Journal.

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 29 Mar 1834.


Threatened his life if he said otherwise than that he was a slave.


On Friday last, a man whose name is supposed to be Elisha Kirkman, arrived here by the way of the Rail Road, bringing with him a black boy 14 or 15 years of age, whom he represented to be his slave.  The next day he sold the boy, for $325, to Mr. R.H. Grant, of this town, giving the usual warrantee title to him, and signing the bill of sale John Parker.  Soon after the purchase was a made and a check for the amount had been given, Mr. Grant questioned the boy as to where he came from &c., when the boy declared he was free, and gave this account of himself: That his name is Edward Bailey, and is a native of Guilford County, in this State, where his father, whose name is Samuel Bailey, and who is a bricklayer by trade, now lives.  That the County Court of Guilford, some four or five months since, bound him until twenty-one years of age, to one Alvin or Alva Kirkman,  That the man who brought him here is the brother of the man to whom he was bound, and that he bought his (the boy’s) time from his brother with two horses and a few dollars in money.  That after he got him into possession, he brought him down the country, travelling with a horse-wagon, pretending that he was going to the sea-shore to get a load of oysters.  That after they struck the Rail Road, somewhere near Rocky Mount, Kirkman threatened his life if he said otherwise than that he was his slave, and leaving the wagon, they came on here in the cars, Kirkman selling him as above mentioned.

After hearing this statement, Mr. Grant went in pursuit of Kirkman, and demanded to have the check which he had given him for the boy returned.  He returned it readily. Mr. Grant then got out a process for his apprehension.  – He was arrested as he was going on board one of the Charleston Steamers, to take passage on her, and committed to jail. He now acknowledges that the boy is free.  On Monday he was examined before Justices Nichols and Peden, and in default of bail, was remanded to jail, to stand a trial before the Superior Court for New Hanover county. – Wilmington Chronicle of the 8th inst.

Carolina Watchman, Salisbury, 16 March 1848.

In the 1850 census of Southern Division, Guilford County: Samuel Baily, 53, black, laborer, wife Nancy, 35, and children James M., 7, and Mary Jane Baily, 5. Next door, the household of James Woody, a white blacksmith.

A case of kidnapping.

A CASE OF KIDNAPPING. – A few weeks ago there came to Smithville, in Brunswick county, from Moore county, three white men, whose names are Alex. McLeod, Joseph Crawley, and _____ Crawley, bringing with them a free, bright mulatto woman, named Katy Chavers, and her three children, the oldest not being over five years of age.  The woman was brought there, as she said, for the pretended purpose of keeping house for the man.  Shortly after their arrival, the men managed to get the woman drunk, and whilst she was in that state, they took the three children and put off with them for Charleston, on board one of the Steamers.  At Charleston they were arrested, having remained there until the Steamer hence of the next day carried on the intelligence of their villainy.  They got clear from the arrest, however (in what way we never understood.) when Joseph Crawley took the children and went on by the way of the Rail Road to Augusta.  Arriving there, he was confronted with a hand-bill of particulars which had been dispatched South by a gentleman of Smithville immediately upon the men’s leaving there with the children.  He was placed in jail at Augusta, and now awaits the requisition of the Governor of this State, which will be made doubtless as soon as the Grand Jury of Brunswick shall return a bill of indictment.  There will be no Court in Brunswick until the first Monday in June. The woman was sent from Smithville to Augusta, to rejoin her children, who had been kindly taken care of there. Wil. Chronicle

Carolina Watchman, 14 May 1847. NC Newspaper Digitization Project, North Carolina State Archives Historic Newspaper Archive.

To the evil example of all others.

State of North Carolina, County of Wayne}  Superior Court of Same, Spring Term 1834. The Jurors for the State upon their oath present that Furnifold Jernigan late of the County of Wayne and David Cole late of the Same County on the first day in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty three with force and arms at and in the County aforesaid one certain free Boy of mixed blood by the name of Kilby OQuinn and the son of one Patty OQuinn a free woman then and there being found did steal take and carry away they the said Furnifold Jernigan and David Cole well knowing the said Kilby OQuinn to be free contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided to the evil example of all others in like case offending [torn] and dignity of the State.

And the Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid as further present that Furnifold Jernigan late of the County of Wayne aforesaid and David Cole late of the Same County, aforesaid (to wit) on the day and year aforesaid with force and arms at and in the County aforesaid the other free Boy of mixed blood Kilby OQuinn the son of one Patty OQuinn a free woman by violence did convey the said Kilby OQuinn from the county of Wayne to the county of Bladen [creased] and [illegible] if the said Kilby OQuinn and appropriate the same to their own use they the said Furnifold Jernigan and David Cole well knowing the said Kilby OQuinn to be free contrary to the form of the statute in such cases made and provided to the evil example of all others in like case offending to the evil example of all others in like case offending and against the peace and dignity of the State.  S. Miller Sol.

State v. Furnifold Jernigan & David Cole, Selling Free Negroes, A True Bill.

Records of Slaves and Free People of Color, Records of Wayne County, North Carolina State Archives.