Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Moore County

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.

Not void, but voidable.

Cornelius Dowd v. Stephen Davis, 15 NC 61 (1833).

Cornelius Dowd charged Stephen Davis with harboring a mulatto named Lydia Burnett.  Burnett and four others (“they being born of a free woman and begot by a negro slave”) had been bound to Dowd in Moore County and had run away.  Davis claimed the indenture was defective and therefore invalid.  The state Supreme Court held that, despite numerous deficiencies, the indenture was valid as between the master and someone harboring a runaway.  The indenture was not void, but was voidable by the parties to it.  Burnett was not a party to her own indenture and therefore could not void it.  The court ordered a new trial and noted that justices across the state should be advised that defective old indentures may need to be replaced with ones that strictly observe the requirements of the law.

In the 1850 census of Moore County, Lydia Burnett, 41, with William, 19, Thomas, 17, Ann, 16, and Betsey Burnett, 10.

Adultery and fornication.

State v. Joel Fore and Susan Chestnut, __ NC __ (1841)

Joel Fore of Lenoir County, a free man of color, and Susan Chesnut, a white woman, lived together and had one or more children, and the inartful pleading of their indictment would not defeat a finding that marriages between such persons were null and void under the Act of 1838, and subsequent cohabitation between them was adultery and fornication.

Joseph [sic] Fore married Susan Chestnut on 13 January 1840 in Craven County. (See marriage records of that county.)  The 1840 census of Lenoir County shows Joel Fore as the head of household that included one white female aged 30-40, one colored male aged 24-36, and 5 slaves.  By 1860, the family had moved to Moore County, where Joel, “Susa” and their children Tootle, Elizabeth, Nancy, Anna J., Hardey, Henry and Sarah, aged 1-20, are described as white.  In 1870, Joel and Susan Fore and their children are listed in Greenwood township, Moore County.  Joel and children Augustus and Henry are classified as mulatto.  Susan and the remaining children as white.