Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Morgan

Sold to servitude for idleness and dissipation.

Law. – The Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for Edgecombe county held its sittings in this place last week. No case of public interest was tried, excepting that of Allen Morgan, a free negro, who was condemned and sold to servitude for one year, under the act of 1826, requiring free negros who are spending their time in idleless and dissipation, to give bond for the industrious and peaceable deportment for one year, or be hired out for a term of service not exceeding three years.

North Carolina Free Press (Halifax), 5 September 1828.

Two cases of murder.

From the Halifax Advocate, Oct. 29.

Our Superior Court. — …

The next case taken up was that of a free man of color named Morgan. He was indicted for the murder of James Wiggins, a white man. The prisoner was defended by Messrs. Whitaker and Spruill. The testimony, in substance, was that the prisoner and the deceased, not long before the homicide, had a quarrel and that a few days thereafter, and before the homicide took place, the prisoner had been heard to make threats against the life of Wiggins, in the event of another dispute occurring between them; that soon after this the deceased, with three other men, went to the prisoner’s house in the night with a view of chastising him, and required him to open the door, he refused to do so, upon which the door after several attempts, was pushed open, and the deceased entered and as he did so the prisoner struck him with an axe burying the blade up to the helve in his bowels. The prisoner instantly fled and the deceased very soon died of his wound. After a lucid charge from Judge Donnell, the jury retired and in about ten minutes brought in a verdict of manslaughter.

The third case, was an indictment against Polly Carter alias Polly Harrison, a free woman of color, for the Murder of Nancy Combs, likewise a free woman of color. It appeared in evidence, that at the very moment when the deceased came in sight of the prisoner, the latter was listening to a conversation calculated to exasperate her against the former and immediately ran to her and struck her on the face. The deceased, who was a tall and athletic woman, and very far gone in pregnancy, threw the prisoner down with ease and while the parties were in this situation, a white man named _____ Hall came up and kicked the deceased violently in the side just above the hips. The parties were then separated, and soon afterwards the prisoner made another attempt to revive the fight. Upon this part of the case, there were direct contradictions among the witnesses. Some, and the greater number, affirmed that the person of the deceased was not touched, and others that she received a blow of some violence about the small part of her back. The deceased immediately complained of much pain in her side, and continued to linger in much distress for 6 or 7 days when she was delivered of a still born child, and did [sic]. In the opinon of the physicians who heard most of the testimony, the death was caused by the violence in the affray, and the prisoner was found guilty of woman slaughter, and imprisoned one month, and to pay the cost of the indictment. _____ Hall had fled from justice.


The North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 6 November 1834.

Twenty for the man, ten for the broken-down horse.


Horse and Money Stolen.

STOLEN from the subscriber, on Thursday night the 26th Feb’y, a BRIGHT CLAY BANK HORSE, with a white blaze in the face, low in flesh and limps a little in the right hind leg, has a sore back. He was taken by a free negro by the name of Jacob Goings alias Morgan. There was a free girl with him by the name of Sara Jane Goings.

I will give a reward of Twenty Dollars for the arrest and confinement of Jacob Goings in Lumberton Jail, or ten in any other Jail in the State, and ten dollars for the return of the horse to me. DUGALD McDUGALD. Dondarroch, Robeson Co. – Feb’y 18, 1863.

Fayetteville Semi-Weekly Observer, 16 March 1863.

They had to leave home more than 100 times.

THE EFFECTS OF SLAVERY ON THE FREE COLORED PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH. – Mary Morgan, of No. 59 King-Street, New-York, widow of James Morgan, who died in the spring of 1834, with the small pox, says that she and her husband owned a farm of 250 acres of land in Pasquotank County, about five or six miles from Elizabeth City, North Carolina; that they had hogs, cattle, and horses, and were well to live; that they were both born free, as were both their parents; that as many as six or seven years ago [before they had been provoked to it by northern abolition] a number of the lower class of the whites went about the country to disturb the free colored people; that they frequently came to their dwelling, broke their table, and cups, and saucers, and beat James Morgan a number of times, sometimes with a club, at other times with a cowhide, and at one time so severely that his life was despaired of.

Some of the better class of whites called at the house, and said they thought he was so badly hurt he could not live. For a fortnight after, he was not able to cut a stick of wood. Seven places on his head were shaved to put on plasters, and his back and legs were also much bruised. So frequently were they attacked, that they had to leave their dwelling more than one hundred times, often in showers of rain. At one time, Mary was put on horseback, behind one of the ruffians, who rode off violently for about a mile, took her off, and placed her in a mud puddle up to her waist, in a dark night, and there left her to get as she could. These things happened so frequently that the Friends, commonly called Quakers, (who were really friends to them,) advised them to sell their property and come to the North. Those who caused them to suffer, gave no other reason for their conduct than that they were free negroes, and ought to go to the North, and that there was no law for free negroes in Carolina. Joseph Elliott, Thomas Elliott, and Aaron Elliott, of the society of Friends, were their near neighbors, and were often very kind to them, and did their best to prevent the abuse. Miles White, a merchant of Elizabeth city, knows this statement to be true; other free colored people of that neighborhood suffered pretty much in the same way. They came to New-York, where her husband was taken sick and died; Mary and the children were taken to the Almshouse, where they staid about seven weeks, and were then turned out, penniless, and had it not been for the charity of some humane persons, they might have perished from want.

The farm in Carolina was sold for the small sum of $350, which was soon eaten up by the expense of coming to New-York, and the maintenance of the family while here.

Mary Morgan has to support, by day’s work, five small children. The friends of the oppressed, who have any sympathy to spare, will do well to render her some assistance – at least, by furnishing her with work.  No. 59 King street is her residence.

The First Annual Report of the New York Committee of Vigilance (1837).

Surname swap, no. 2.

In the 1850 census of Wayne County, North Side of Neuse: Nancy Morgan, 30, Nero, 9, Caroline, 8, Gaston, 7, Dinah, 5, and Oomey, 2

But in the 1860 census of New Hope, Wayne County: Nancy Whiter, 40, Nero, 19, Gaston, 17, Primas, 12, Amos, 10, Sam, 8, Eliza, 4, and Morris, 2.

They have hunted with dog and gun and have never done any injury.

We the undersigned having understood that Benjamin Morgan and his Son George Morgan who lives in our Neighbourhood have lately had their Guns taken away By Patrols agreeably to an Act of the General Assembly we also certify that we have known the said Benjamin and George Morgan for about Fifteen years during which time they have lived directly in our Neighbourhood and hunted with Dog and Gun and we never have heard neither have we any reason to believe the said Morgans have done any Injury to any person for and by reason of their having been priviledged to hunt.  We therefore pray the Worshipful County Court of Craven now siting to grant the said Benjamin Morgan and his son George Morgan the priviledge to keep their Fire arms and also the Said Court to restore their Guns to them again.  Nov 8th 1841.  /s/ Wm Simmons, John Harris, John Fearrand, Obed Palmer, Burton Carson, James M. Beasley

Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, Craven County Records, North Carolina State Archives.