Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Native American

He has never been accused of any villainy.

To the County Court now about to Sit in Perquimans:

The Petition of the Several Subscribers Humbly Sheweth That whereas Samuel Smith a few Years ago Manumitted a Servant Man Named Peter (Whose Mother was an Indian & Father a Negroe) which said Servant Man hath not been taken up nor Sold by the Court; And as he hath hitherto Always been an Orderly Servant & never that we know of bein Accused of any Villany, But on the Contrary Hath done Several Meritorious Actions in Destroying Vermin Such as Bears Wolves wild Cats & Foxes. Therefore we pray that the Court may take it into Consideration & order & adjuge that he may remain Free & unmolested as long as he behaves himself well. And your Petitioner the Several Subscribers, as in Duty Bound shall ever Pray.  April 6th 1782.

/s/ John Smith, Benjamin Smith, Joseph Elliot Sener, Mordecai Elliot, Josiah Sanders, Joseph Sanders, Joseph Elliot, Samuel Elliot, John Goodwin, Jacob Goodwin, Richard Goodwin, Samuel Smith, Joseph Newby, Demcy Elliot, Sam’l Sitterson, Job Smith, William Sanders, Gideon Newby, John Roberts, Jacob Eason, Joshua Sanders, Samuell Williams

Slave Records, Perquimans County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

The plantation where Indian Bet lives.

State of North Carolina, October the 1 Day 1777

In the Name of God amen I Samuel Woodland of the County Tyrrel and State aforesaid being weak in body but of Sound Memory (blessed be god) Do this Day being the first Day of October in the year of one thousand Seven hundred and Seventy Seven make and Publish this my Last will and Testament in manner following: that is to Say first of all I give and bequeath unto my son Stephen Woodland one hundred & one Acres of Land lying on Southfork Creek known by the name of the hill of Dumplin Land and Plantation To him and his heirs for Ever and in Case the Said Stephen Woodland Dyes without an heir lawfully Begotten of his Body then the Said Land to be Equaly Divid between my Two Sons John Woodland and Samuel Woodland and their heirs for Ever

Item I Give and Bequeath unto my Loving Son in Law Thomas Williams the Land and Plantation where on Indian Bet Simpson Now Liveth it being the Land that I bought of John Hooper to him and his heirs for Ever

Whereof I the Said Samuel Woodland have hereunto Set my hand and Seal as my Last will and Testament in the Presenc of Jeremiah Franer, James Phelps             /s/ Samuel Woodland {seal}

Wills, Tyrrell County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Never guilty of any action to forfeit his freedom.

State of North Carolina, Craven County } To the Worshipfull, the Justices of Craven County

The Petition of James Manly an Indian humbly represents to your Honor that he was free born at Edenton and that he never has been Guilty of any Action by which his Freedom can be forfeited by any of the Laws of this or any other of the United States.

Your Petitioner further begs leave to inform your Worships that he has lived some Time past at Broad Creek and that on or about the [blank] Day of [blank] a Certain John Garland came to the dwelling House of the said James Manly and forcibly drove him away and sold him as a Slave to Colonel Levi Dawson for the Consideration of one hundred pounds Specie. Wherefore as your Petitioner is a Subject of this States; and under the present happy Constitution humbly moves that this worshipfull Court will pass an Order for liberating or Setting him free from the service of Colonel Levi Dawson aforesaid and restore him to his Freedom And as in Duty bound your Petitioner will ever pray.    Jas. Cooke Atty. For the Petitioner.

[On back.] James Manlys Petition  December Term 1782. James Gatlin & Levi Dawson  Read and Granted The Petitioner set Free   Chrisr. Neales C.C.

Miscellaneous Records 1757-1929, Craven County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Woman, stolen, asks for support in old age.

Headquarters Bureau Refugee Freedmen and Abandoned Lands SC

Charleston SC Aug. 11th 1866

Major General O. O. Howard

Commissioner

General:

I have the honor to present the case of Mary Richardson an aged half breed now living in Manningsville this state.

She states that when she was about thirteen years of age and living with her parents in a village in North Carolina the name of which she has forgotten she was sent to a slave for articles and while there a stranger named Jacob Whitehead immediately caught her and placing her on a saddle with him carried her away against her will, riding all day and night crossing into SC, sleeping in the woods days and riding nights, in this manner until they arrived at his home in Manningsville SC. That Jacob Whitehead kept her as a servant in his house until she arrived at the age of puberty when he kept her as his mistress with the knowledge of his wife. After living with him for about seven years, she had a son born of him and the wife took charge of the child. 

About ten years after the child was born the father Whitehead tried to sell her at auction in Charleston City SC but was unable to do so, she being free born of Indian parents and Whitehead being unable to show title.

Eight or ten years after this went the wife of Whitehead died and she (Mary) and Mr. W. were quarreling continually, and by some arrangement she was transferred to a Mr. John Reams of Manningsville, with whom she lived as a slave until Gen. Sherman went through.

She orates that her son is still living a man grown on the Santee River this state, but she has not seen him for many years nor has she heard anything of her parents since she was kidnapped. All of her repeated effort to learn of them and to tell them of her fate being intercepted before she began to grow old, by the post masters and others who were relatives and friends of Mr. Whitehead. After Mr. Whitehead sold or transferred her to Reams he married a second wife: Mr. W. died during the war and his widow now lives on the estate at Manningsville as does Nath’ Whitehead the son of the first wife of Jacob Whitehead.

She now asks that some measures may be taken to secure to her from Jacob Whitehead’s estate means of support in her old age as also to the son she had by Whitehead his just position and standing among his people.

I am General, very respectfully, your Obd. Servant

Brevet Major General, Asst. Com. SC

Records of Assistant Commissioner of the State of South Carolina; Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands; National Archives Microfilm Publication M869.

Taint?

State v. Harris Melton & Ann Byrd, 44 NC 49 (1852).

An indictment for fornication in Stanly Superior Court.  The defendants pleaded not guilty and offered evidence of their marriage.  “The controversy was concerning the color of the male defendant – the female being admitted to be white.”  The law: “It shall not be lawful for any free negro or person of color to marry a white person; and any marriage hereafter solemnized or contracted between any free negro or free person of color and a white person, shall be null and void.”

It was admitted that Harris Melton was of Indian descent, and he argued that the Act above did not apply to persons descended from Indian ancestors.  The Supreme Court, however, noted that it did not have to reach this issue because the jury had only found that Melton was of Indian blood, without determining to what degree.  The law “could not have intended that the most remote taint of Indian blood” would void a marriage.  As the jury had indicated that it did not know the degree of Melton’s Indian-ness, the verdict for defendants must be affirmed.