Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Mitchell

Died from a blow to the leg.

We learn (says the Standard) that Ephraim Holmes, a free man of color, died in this place on Monday morning last, from injuries received, by a blow on his leg, given by John Mitchell a free negro who, we learn, is in Jail.

The North-Carolina Star (Raleigh), 21 January 1852.

Always free?


WILEY LOWEREY, sworn and examined, duly testified:

Q. Where do you live?  A. In Kinston, Lenoir County, North Carolina.

Q. What is your business at home?  A. Well, sir, I run drays on the street, and I have been drayer there for two or three years. I keep store besides.

Q. In the town of Kinston?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you held any public office in the county?  A. I have been county commissioner.

Q. How long?  A. About eight years.

Q. Are you county commissioner now?  A: No, sir.

Q. Were you formerly a slave?  A. No, sir.

Q. You were a freeman before the war?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you own property?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. How much, and what does it consist of?  A. Town property principally.

Q. Real estate?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you made it since the war?  A. Yes, sir; most of it.

Q. Do you own a house and lot?  A. Yes, sir; I own a right smart of houses. My renters pay me between four and five hundred dollars a year.


Q. How far is Lenoir County from Warren?  A. I think 180 miles.

Q. How long was it after you left there before you moved to the one where you are now?  A. I was raised there.

Q. You always lived there before you came to Lenoir?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you were always free?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. Always free? A. Yes, sir.

Q. What is your age now?  A. I am forty-seven years old.

Q. Were you always free?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. You were born free?  A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were your parents ever slaves?  A. No, they never was. My old grandfather was a hundred and five when he died, and was always free.

Q. Neither you or any of your ancestors were ever slaves in this country?  A. No, sir.

Q. What were your opportunities for education before the war?  A. I do not know, sir. Before the war, I did not know much; but the free colored people had a school going on in Raleigh.

Q. You said you were a county commissioner; where did you find such an education such as you found necessary in that position?  A. I just picked it up. I never went to school a day in my life.

Q. You found time to study and pick up a little arithmetic?  A. Yes, sir; I can read and write.

Wiley Lowery testified before a Senate Select Committee investigating the migration of hundreds of “colored people” from the South to Indiana in the late 1870s.

Senate Report 693, 2nd Session, 46th Congress: Proceedings of the Select Committee of the United States Senate to Investigate the Causes of the Removal of the Negroes from the Southern States to the Northern States, Washington DC, beginning Tuesday, 9 March 1880.

Willie Lowery married Winnie Tann in Warren County on 16 January 1860. Matthew Guy was bondsman, John W. White was witness, and N.A. Purefoy, Minister of the Gospel, performed the service. 

Matthew Guy married Surbina Lowery on 10 December 1850 in Warren County. In the 1860 census of Warrenton, Warren County: #84, M. Guy and family; #85, P. Lowery, 65, mulatto, washerwoman; #86, N.A. Purefoy, white, clergyman, and family; #98, W. Lowery, 24, black, stonemason, born in Warren County, W. Lowery, 22, mulatto, seamstress, born in Northampton County; and M. Mitchell, 25, black, washerwoman, born in Halifax County.

Index to Marriage Bonds Filed in the North Carolina State Archives, North Carolina Division of Archives and History, Raleigh; federal census schedules.

Runaway bound boy, no. 19.


RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the 1st of July last, a free black boy by the name of FRANK MITCHELL, an indented apprentice to the Blacksmith business. Frank is about 19 or 20 years old; of small size; and of light complexion. I hereby forewarn all persons from harboring or employing said boy under the penalty of law. The above reward, but no expenses will be paid for his delivery to me in Newbern. JAMES ARMSTRONG. NEWBERN, Feb. 24th, 1848.

The Newbernian and North Carolina Advocate, 29 February 1848.

Drowned off Cape Hatteras.

DROWNED. – The Newberne Journal of the 3d learns that a white boy, named Edward Smith, and a colored man, named William Mitchell, both of Newberne, accidentally fell from the deck of the schooner Dolphin, on Friday last, off Cape Hatteras, and were drowned.

Wilmington Journal, 12 October 1855.

He complained of being unwell.

Law. – …

We understand that Joel Mitchell, a free negro, who was arraigned at the last Halifax Superior Court for the murder of Miles Ralph another free negro, and who had his cause removed to Warren county, was attempted to be brought to trial at the Superior Court held for that county last week. On his way to the Court-house Mitchell complained of being unwell, and was suffered to take a seat in the Court-house yard – medical aid was immediately procured, but it was ineffectual, the prisoner breathing his last in a few minutes – he was much debilitated, having been severely indisposed during his confinement; and it is supposed that the alarm attendant upon the situation in which he was unhappily placed, hastened his dissolution.

North Carolina Free Press (Halifax), 27 October 1827.

A stabbing over work.

MURDER—We learn that a negro man, LAWS, belonging to Mr. FRIES, of this place, stabbed a free negro by the name of MITCHELL, at High Point, causing his death. LAWS is confined in jail. The affair originated in a quarrel about some work they were engaged in.

Peoples Press, Salem, 13 February 1857.

Free-Issue Death Certificates: MISCELLANEOUS, no. 14.

Edd Bowen. Died 18 November 1925, Ransom, Columbus County. Colored. Widower. Farmer. Born 12 June 1858 in NC to James Bowen and Esther Blanks. Buried Eastarcadia NC. Informant, Alice Andrews, Dilco NC.

In the 1860 census of Bladen County: Jas. Boon, 34, wife Esther, 24, and children James, 10, Mary M., 8, G.F., 7, Catharine, 5, W.G., 4, Eddy, 2, and Sarah, 2 months.

Catherine Jackson. Died 7 July 1932, Waccamaw, Columbus County. Indian. Widow of David Jackson. Born 12 April 1858 in Columbus County to J.A. Bowen of Columbus County and Susan Lacewell of Bladen County. Buried Holly Ridge NC. Informant, Geo. M. Mitchell.

In the 1860 census of Columbus County: John Bowen, 45, farmer, wife Susan 46, and children John, 23, Frances, 21, Lucy, 20, Anna, 17, Jane, 15, Betsey, 13, James, 10, G., 8, Henry, 5, Lydia, 3, and Caty Bowen, 2. John and Susan were born in Bladen County. They and their oldest three children were described as mulatto; the remainder as black.

John William Mitchell. Died 5 January 1934, Waccamaw, Columbus County. Indian. Married to Colista Mitchell. Farmer. Born 1 November 1858, Waccamaw, to B.F. Mitchell and Mary Frances Bowen. Buried Mitchell cemetery. Informant, Cary Mitchell, Hallsboro NC.

In the 1860 census of Bladen County: B.F. Mitchel, 24, wife Mary F., 21, and children A.E., 3, and John W., 2.

Calvin Thomas Mitchell. Died 29 February 1916, Ransom, Columbus County. Negro. Married. Farmer. Born about 1862 in Columbus County to Buckhorn Mitchell and Dalcedia Chafus. Buried Freeman. Informant, Joe Moore.

In the 1860 census of Bladen County: J.W. Mitchel, 30, turpentine, wife Dalsadid, 25, and children Anna, 9, Mary M., 8, Britton, 6, Calvin T., 4, and Davis, 2 months.

Elsie Blanks. Died 3 December 1915, Welches Creek, Columbus County. Widow. Colored. Born about 1838 to Shade Chavis. Buried Welches Creek township. Informant, McI. Spaulding.

Horse-stealer sold for payment of fines.

Superior Court. – At the late September term of Orange Superior Court, Judge DICK presiding, there was an unsual amount of business on the criminal docket to be disposed of. There were three convictions for Grand Larceny; two white men, and a free negro, whose trial was removed from Granville to this county.

Moses T. Hopkins, (alias Thomas Jones, and a half dozen other aliases,) a white man from Virginia, was convicted of stealing a Horse, and having prayed for the benefit of clergy, was sentenced by the Court to receive of clergy, was sentenced by the Court to receive thirty-nine lashes immediately, to remain in prison until Tuesday of November court, when he is again to receive thirty-nine, and then be discharged according to law. He has also been indicted fir Bigamy, and is a notorious offender.

Green Morrow, a white man, convicted of stealing money, was sentenced to receive thirty-nine lashes, and be discharged according to law.

John Mitchell, a free negro, convicted of stealing a Horse, was sentenced to pay a fine of sixty dollars, and to be sold for the payment of the fine and costs.

The remainder of the cases tried were for misdemeanors; and most of them originated, as is generally the case, in intemperance.

Hillsborough Recorder, 18 September 1845.

They are called Ephram Mitchell.


Ranaway from the subscriber on Sunday night the 29th instant, two negro slaves, (mulattoes,) by the names  of DUNCAN and JIM the former about twenty four years of age, and the latter twenty one – the said negroes belong to the estate of John Whitted, dec’d, and are hired to the subscribers and probably at this time are lurking in the neighborhood of Haywood (Chatham county, in this State) for the purpose of taking off along with them their Brother, who is also a mullatto, (by the name of Stephen) these boys having calculated on their freedom from their late masters will, and feeling disappointed in their expectation, it is therefore believed that they will make for some part of the country, where freedom is tolerated, and in the mean time pass as free persons of colour, as they are determined to effect their freedom if possible. – Duncan is likely not very stout about five feet ten inches high and has a scar on his neck occasioned by rising, any person or persons who will apprehend the same negroes and deliver them to the subscribers in Hillsborough shall be reasonably rewarded – or if taken up out of the state and secured in any Jail thereof, so that the subscribers get them shall receive a reward of five dollars each.

N.B. It is said these negroes have procured some kind of instrument of writing from a free man of colour by the name of Ephram Mitchell which was given by the Clerk of county some time past, which they will probably make use of to answer their purpose, therefore they will try to pass in his name, Ephram Mitchell.  H. Thompson, John Young. August 29th 1819.

Star, Raleigh, 10 September 1819.

A devilish confusion.

A knotty point for the civilians. – Ned Mitchell, a free man of colour, was married to his wife Cressy in the year 1820, she having had one (white) child, but that was at Chapel Hill. They lived together for ten long years in the enjoyment of domestic felicity, and in perfect harmony, during which time Cressy had five children, as much like Ned, as shot are like bullets. At length in 1830, Cressy moved to distant parts; Ned promised to follow her, but went to the Montgomery Gold Mines and has been there ever since. Cressy, in 1833, returned to Salisbury, and not finding Ned there, nor hearing of them thereabouts, she, in the course of time, gave her hand in matrimony to another gentleman, with whom she had one child. A few days since, who should make his appearance but Ned Mitchell, claiming to be restored to his matrimonial rights; and a devilish confusion is about to be the upshot of it. In the priminary, we have been professionally consulted, but not deeming the matter fairly within our province, we have turned it over to the eccelesiatics, Dan Macay and Hanibal brown, and if they should encounter any difficulty, we have advised, that they call on the “Kitchen Cabinet,” before which, matters of this kind are “peculiarly cognizable,” as the Lawyers say. – Salisbury Watchman.

Tarborough Free Press, 21 March 1834.