Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Levy

To leave Fayetteville as soon as I possibly can.


The North Carolinian, 23 August 1851.

Despite his firm-toned notice, Lewis Levy does not seem to have left Fayetteville after all. Well after the publication of this ad, he bought land in town, and his 1876 Southern Claims Commission statement asserts that he lived three miles from Fayetteville and owned nearly 200 acres in Cumberland County.


Two tracts on Mumford Street.

Washington Winn to Lewis W. Levy.

This Indenture made this 15th day of November in the year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred and Fifty three between Washington Winn of the County of Wayne in the State of North Carolina of the one part and Lewis W. Levy of the County of Cumberland and State abovesaid of the other part. Witnesseth, that the said Washington Wynn for and in consideration of the sum of twelve hundred Dollars to him in hand paid by the said Lewis W. Levy at and before the sealing and delivering of these presents the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge hath given, granted and bargained, Sold, aliened, remised, released, and confirmed, and doth by these presents, give, grant, bargain and sell, alien, remise, release, and confirm unto the said Lewis W. Levy his heirs & assigns all that tract or parcel of land, situate lying and being in the Town of Fayetteville in the South Side of Mumford Street and Beginning at the North East corner in the margin of Said Street and runs as the said Street about South 70 East to within three feet of Sampsons North West corner in said Street. Thence parallel with said line of Sampsons Lot to within three feet of Sampsons back on South West corner. Thence to a stake within about eight feet of the said Phillis Dennis South East corner of her back lot.  Thence to her corner, thence with her line to the beginning corner on the margin of Mumford Street. It being a lot of land Sold by Thomas J. Curtis to Phillis Dennis 13th Novr 1840 & registered in Book V, No. 2, page 475. Also one other tract of land Beginning at the intersection of Mumford and Robinson Streets on the South side of Mumford Street and runs thence South [illegible] East one chain and (50) fifty two links. Then South [illegible] West two chains & Sixty links to the corner of Lot No. 5. Thence North Seven and half degrees West one chain eighty four links to Robinson Street. Thence at Robinsons Street two chains to the Beginning. Being Lot No. 1 conveyed by Isaac Newberry to Phillis Dennis & Registered in Book K [illegible] 2, page 199. To Have and to Hold the said Land with its appurtenances to the proper use, behoof and benefit of the said Lewis W. Levy his heirs and assigns forever. And the said Washington Wynn for himself and his Heirs, Executors and Administrators doth covenant, promise and agree to and with the said Lewis W. Levy his heirs and assigns, that he the said Lewis W. Levy his heirs and assigns and every of them, shall have hold, occupy, possess and enjoy the said Land, with its appurtenances, without any let, suit, hindrance, molestation or eviction from or by the lawful claim or claims of any person or persons whatsoever, to warrant and forever defend. In testimony Whereof, the said Washington Wynn hath hereunto Set his hand affixed his seal, the day and year first above written.  Washington Winn

Sealed and Delivered in Presence of James Banks

State of North Carolina, Cumberland County  } April 18th 1854

Then was this Deed proved before me John McLaurin

Grantee Book 51, p. 542, Register of Deeds Office, Cumberland County Courthouse, Fayettevllle.

My mother was an Indian woman came from Guadaloupe.

Lewis W. Levy Sr.‘s claim (#16083) with the Southern Claims Commission was submitted to Congress on 4 December 1876.  Levy lived in Cumberland County, 3 miles southeast of Fayetteville; was a free-born colored man; and owned 109 acres, of which 40 were under cultivation.  He worked as a saddle and harness maker.  During the war, he was forced to work in his trade at Fayetteville arsenal, where he was “insulted, abused and molested by the rebels.” He fed 6 Union soldiers on their way to federal lines after escaping from Florence SC, and his son Lewis Levy Jr. and Alexander Jackson, another colored man, piloted them over the Cape Fear River.

The Commissioners noted: “He was unusually well off in property for a colored man, much above the average of colored people.  He was nearly white, so much so that the confederates arrested him and tried to force him into their Army, but the surgeon discharged him on the ground of physical inability.”

“A large force of Genl. Sherman’s Army camped near him for 2 or 3 days in March 1865; & we have no doubt from the nature of the case that they stripped him of all he had. … We allow $723.00.”

“I was free born.  My mother was an Indian woman came from Guadeloupe France to this country in 1794.”

Alexander Jackson, age 60, testified that he was a colored man and that he resided in Rockfish township, Cumberland County and worked as a saddle and harness maker.  He was not related to Lewis Levy, but had known him 30 years and lived about 2 1/2 miles from him.  They sometimes worked in the same shop.

Edinboro Scurlock, age 48, testified that he was colored, lived in Cumberland County near Fayetteville and was a wagon maker.  He was not related to Lewis Levy, but knew him all his life and lived about 1/2 mile from him.

Lewis’ son Robert W. Levy was a 21 year-old farmer who lived in Rockfish township.  His testimony mentioned his mother, brothers Lewis Jr. and Matthew N. Levy, sister Ann Eliza Levy, and Wright Lambert.  Matthew N. Levy, age 23, and Lewis W. Levy Jr., 24, also testified. They lived in Fayetteville and worked as coopers.

George D. Simmons, age 39, lived in Fayetteville and worked as a barber and grocer. He had known Levy for 22 years and lived about 5 miles from him.

In the 1850 census of Fayetteville, Cumberland County: Lewis Levy, 30, saddle and harnessmaker; wife Sarah C., 25; children Robt., 6, Eliza, 8, Lewis, 4, and Matthew, 6 months; plus Abel  G. Stuart, 20, apprentice saddlemaker; Paul Jones, 23, painter; and Wm. Dunstan, 34, painter.  All were described as mulatto.