Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Mills

It did not make a slave of Mills.

John A. Philips v. Patrick Murphy, Adm’r, 49 NC 4 (1856).

This action arose in Cumberland Superior Court.

Robert Mills, a free man of color, entered into this written contract with Louis A. Nixon:

“Know all men by these presents, that I, Robert Mills, for and in consideration of sixty dollars, to me in hand paid, at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have given, granted, bargained and sold, and by these presents do give, grant, bargain and sell unto Louis A. Nixon, his executors and assigns, my active services, as a servant, for the full and entire term of five years, and the full and entire control of my person and labor during that entire time.”

Nixon died, and his administrator entered into a contract with plaintiff Phillips: “Six months after date, we, or either of us, promise to pay Charles D. Nixon, administrator of Louis A. Nixon, or order, the sum of one hundred and twenty-five dollars for value received, in hire of a certain negro, Robert Mills, for the term of four years, or so long as Louis A. Nixon was entitled to the services of the said negro.” Phillips then put Mills “against his consent … into the possession of” a Barksdale.”

The suit contended that this bond was void as being against the policy of the law because “no man could sell himself into a state of slavery …” The Court disagreed, stating, “There is nothing in the transaction against the policy of the law. The legal effect of the deed executed by Mills to Nixon, was not to make a slave of Mills, or in any way vest in Nixon a title to him as property, but simply to give Nixon a right to his service for five years, upon an executory agreement, for a breach whereof an action of covenant would lie. The fact, that Mills is a free negro, makes no difference, for a white man may bind himself in the same manner. Indeed, it is common in some portions of the State, for white men to hire themselves during crop time, or for a year. The peculiarity about this contract is, that it is for five years, and is extended, by express words, to the assigns of Nixon. …”

Father a slave.

At page 14 of Chi Chi Mills, “Descendants of William Mills Sr. of Onslow County,” www.ncgenweb-data.com/onslow/family, Eliza Ann Mills is listed as the daughter of William Mills and Nancy Whaley. Eliza Ann Mills’ son was William Kelly Mills, born 1836, who married first Anna Maria Simms, then Alvina Reeves. Eliza married Lewis Turner, but William Kelly Mills’ name carries the notation “father a slave.”

In the 1850 census of Lawrence County, Illinois: Eliza Turner, 30, born North Carolina; Kelly Turner, 13, born North Carolina; Nancy Turner, 11, born Illinois; and Mary Turner, 8, born Illinois; all were described as white.

In the 1860 census of Christy, Lawrence County, Illinois: Eliza Turner, 40, born NC; Alex, 25, NC; Kelley, 20, born NC; Nancy, 20, born Illinois; and Mary Turner, 4, born Illinois; all white.

In the 1870 census of Christy, Lawrence County, Illinois: Eliza Turner, 51, born NC; Charlotte Turner, 14, born Illinois; and William Mills, 33, born NC; all white.

In the 1880 census of Sumner, Lawrence County, Illinois: Kelley T. Mills, 43, plasterer, born NC; wife Alvina E., 30, born Illinois; and children Eliza A., 7, Laura M., 6, and Elura B., 2. Alvina was described as white; Kelley and the children as mulatto.

In the 1900, 1910 and 1920 censuses of Christy, Lawrence County, William “W.K.” Mills, NC-born plasterer, is described as mulatto. He died in Lawrenceville, Illinois, on 1 April 1927. Wm. Kelley Mills’ death certificate noted that he was born 25 August 1836 in New Bern NC to Eliza Mills.

[Sidenote: Eliza Mills Turner’s cousin, Nancy Mills Parker, and brother John Mills testified in 1860 to the free status of Nancy Henderson Dove, my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Patsey Henderson‘s sister. Their mother was a white woman. – LYH]

Permission to build a saw and gristmill.

Ord. that William Spalden have leave to Build a Saw & griss Mill in Sd County on Slade Swamp about 150 yds above Rooty Branch.

November Term, 1837, Minutes of Columbus County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions,  North Carolina State Archives.

David and Louisa Jane Mills give all.

State of North Carolina, Nash County  }

I, David Mills of the County of the State and County aforesaid, being of sound mind and memory, but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence do make this my last Will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say –

I give, devise and bequeath to my eldest son Mingo Mills forty six and one half acres of land in said State and County. Known as the Piece of land I bought of Parsons Rackley.

I give, devise and bequeath to my son Munro Mills The Joshua Mills tract of land on the north side of the Joshua Mills Spring branch containing about seventy acres.

I give, devise and bequeath to my son Henderson Thomas Mills One tract of land containing about Seventy acres and known as the land I bought from John R. Sutton.

I give, devise and bequeath to my youngest son David More Mills One tract of land containing one hundred acres more or less and known as my home tract where I now live. My will and desire is that my son David More Mills Pay to the balance of my heirs not above mentioned the Just a& full sum of fifty dollars out of the Piece of land that I give him above mentioned. The balance of my land which is the Thomas Mills Piece containing about fourteen and one half. And a part of the Joshua Mills tract lying on the South side of the Joshua Mills Spring branch containing about ten acres more or less is to be sold and the money equally divided among the following named heirs my son Joshua Mills lawfully children which is Wm. N. Mills & Arnal Mills one share. Frances Toney wife of Joseph Toney. Julie Ann Cordel, Manda Lucust, Lahara Wilkins wife of Eevin Wilkins. Nancy King, wife of Willie King Sevarine Jones, wife of Wm. Jones Lutora Hagans, wife of Frank Hagans.

All of the above mentioned heirs shall hold the above mentioned property in fee simple at my death. Provided that they maintain my wife Luizer Jane Mills, out of said property her life time or her widowhood. The balance of my property except my household and kitchen furniture, which I hereby give to my wife Luizer Jane Mills Is to be sold and equally divide among all my lawful heirs. And lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint my trusty son Munro Mills my lawful executor to all intents and purposes to execute this my last will and testament according to the true intent and meaning of the same and every part and clause thereof hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I the said David Mills do hereunto set my hand and seal this 7th day of August A.D. 1889.    David X Mills {seal}

Witnesses Jas. W. Floyd, W.W. Manning

Proved 18 May 1891. Will Book 5, page 351, Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Nash County Courthouse, Nashville. 

[Sidenote: David Mills was his brother Thomas Mills’ sole heir. See Will Book 5, page 225. Joshua Mills was their father. – LYH]

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North Carolina, Nash County   }

I Luiza J. Mills of the State and County aforesaid, being of sound mind and memory but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence do make this my last Will and testament in manner and form following — That is to say

(1)  That my executor hereinafter named shall provide for my body a decent burial, and pay all funeral expenses together with my just debts howsoever and to whomsoever owing out of the moneys that may first come into his hands as a part or parcel of my estate —

(2)  I give and bequeath to my son D.M. Mills at my death the following personal property, one bed now in his possession, one under & upper sheet one bed quilt, one blanket one pillow one bolster now in his possession one double barrel shot gun, known as his fathers gun. The balance of my household & kitchen furniture at my death is to be sold at highest bidder & money divided among the following named persons, Nick and Arnel Mills one share Amanda Lucas, one share – Lutora Hagans, one share – Lahara Wilkins, one share, Isaman S. Jones, one share – Nancy Ellen King, one share – Endy F. Toney, one share – July Ann Cordell one share.

I give & devise to my son D.M. Mills one a[illegible] named Ben now in his possession. The balance of my property if any at my death, including all notes & papers & land if any, is to be sold or collected as the case may be, and the money equally divided among my four sons which is Mingo Mills, Munro Mulls H.T. Mills and D.M. Mills.

And lastly I do hereby constitute & appoint my trusty son, Munro Mills my lawful Executor to all intents & purposes to execute this my last will and testament according to the true intent and meaning of the same and every part and clause thereof hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other wills and testiments by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I the said Luizer J. Mills do hereunto set my hand and seal, This 28th day of Feby. A.D. 1898    Luiza J. X Mills

Signed sealed published and declared by the said Luiza J. Mills to be her last will & testament in the presence of us who at her request and in her presence do subscribe our names as witnesses thereto.  J.W. Floyd, J.L. Floyd

Proved 27 October 1900, Will Book 6, page 121. Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Nash County Courthouse, Nashville. 

David Mills married Jane Spears on 12 August 1847 in Nash County.  In the 1860 census of Mannings, Nash County: David Mills, 57, farmer, wife Jane, 34, and children William J., 12, Frances, 10, Julia, 8, Amanda, 6, Lahary, 3, and Minger, 2. [Sidenote: Louisa Jane Spears was a daughter of Silvia Spears. In summary, David and Louisa Jane’s children were William Joshua Mills, Frances Mills Toney, Julia Ann Mills Cordell, Amanda Mills Locust, Laharia Mills Wilkins, Mingo Mills, Isaman Sevarine Mills Jones, Munro W. Mills, Henderson Thomas Mills, Nancy E. Mills King, Lutora F. Mills Hagans, and David More Mills. – LYH]

Sentence of death was pronounced.

Superior Court. – The week was occupied by several highly interesting causes, Judge Settle presiding. This is the first time the Judge has visited this section of the State, since his promotion to the Bench, and we speak the sentiments of our community, when we say, no Judge has ever given more satisfaction for his prompt and enlightened decisions as well as the urbanity of his manners. The criminal Elijah Hawkins, was put upon his trial for killing Green Mills, both free persons of color, and found guilty of murder in the first degree. Sentence of Death was pronounced upon him by Judge S. in a truly feeling and appropriate manner. The day for carrying into effect the sentence of law, is fixed on 23d May next.  Halifax Adv.

Tarborough Free Press, 9 May 1834.

Green, country-looking man and woman without papers.

SENT BEFORE THE GRAND JURY. – Oswald Wright, the person charged with bringing Eveline Mills, a free negro of North Carolina, into the state contrary to law, was, yesterday brought the Mayor, and after an examination into the case was required to find security for his appearance before the Hustings’ Court Grand Jury, to answer any indictment that might be found against him for the offence. The amount of security ($150) was not given by him, and he was committed to jail. The punishment should he tried and convicted is a fine of not more than $500, and imprisonment not exceeding six months. The jury may vote the accrued guilty, fine him one cent, and put him in jail one hour. Eveline Mills, the woman who was held as an adjunct of weight in the offence, produced her certificate of freedom and discharged from custody.

The Daily Dispatch, Richmond VA, 27 August 1857.

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SENT BACK. – Oswald Wright, who stands accused of bringing Evelyn Mills, a free negro, into this state from North Carolina, contrary to the law, was before the Mayor yesterday, but the case was not gone into, on account of the absence of witnesses. The defendant was sent back to jail. – Wright, a green country looking individual, says he came from Rockingham county, and was on his way back when arrested. The woman, Evelyn Mills was likewise sent back to answer for coming into the State without free papers. It is not known with certainty whether she is free as she asserts.

The Daily Dispatch, Richmond VA, 3 September 1857.

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HUSTINGS COURT. – This tribunal commences its regular monthly term on to-day next. Below we give a list of cases which will occupy the attention of the magistrates during the session …. The misdemeanor cases … will be found in the following list:

7. Oswald Wright. Bringing a free negro from North Carolina to this city, contrary to the laws of Virginia.

The Daily Dispatch, Richmond VA, 9 November 1857.

Where are they now? No. 18.

B.T. was born in the mid-1960s in Nash County NC.  He is descended from:

(1) Harriet Evans [1816-ca1890, Franklin County]

(2) Fronie Mills [1857-??, Nash County]

(3) Elizabeth Patrie [1834-ca1890, Franklin County]

(4) John Toney [1805-ca1890, Franklin County] via Joseph J. Toney [1848-??, Nash County]

(5) Jarrett Wilkins [1830-ca1890, Franklin County]

Where are they now? No. 12.

G.W. was born in the early 1960s in Wilson NC.  He is descended from these free people of color:

(1) Eliza Brantley [ca1820-??, Nash County]

(2) George Drewery [1848-1921, Canada/Michigan/Nash County]

(3) Nelson Eatmon [1816-??, Nash/Wilson County] via Wilmouth Eatmon [1836-1916, Nash/Wilson County]

(4) Martin Locus [ca1815-??, Nash County]

(5) a Lucas line

(6) Lucy Mills [Nash County]

(7) Sallie A. Mitchell [1859-??, Nash County]

(8) Starkey Pulley [1815-??, Nash County] via William Pulley [1859-1930, Nash County]

(9) Allen Taybourn [1815-c1900, Nash County] via Amanda Taybourn [1851-1898]

(10) Bitha Taybourn [1828-1860, Nash County]

(11) Abi Taylor [1843-1930, Nash/Wilson County]

(12) Augustus Wilkins via John Wilkins [1830-1914, Nash County] via William Wilkins (1862-??, Nash County]