Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: New Bern

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.

Basically, it was his own fault.

THE DEATH OF COPES. – The sudden death of Edward Copes, a free negro, was announced in our issue of yesterday, as having took place in the street on Saturday evening. An inquest was held over the body on Sunday morning, at 9 o’clock, by Henry Whitherst, acting Coroner, with the following jury: Jas. McBrinson, Foreman; E. W. Deford, C.J. Nelson, John Mildrum, H.H. Brinson, John Sears, T.J. Barrett, John Dibble, T.J. Hughes, W.H. Bucklin, H.B. Lane, and C.S Haskins, who, after a post mortem examination by Dr Jas. Hughes, rendered a verdict to the effect that deceased came to his death by a disease of the heart consequent upon the sudden excitement of an arrest. It was the opinion of Dr. Hughes that deceased might have come to his death by excitement from any cause.

As this case has been the cause of some little speculation we deem it to be our duty to give the facts in the case as far as in our power to do so. It seems that Copes was master of a small boat or smack that was lying at the wharf, and that on Saturday night he went ashore for the purpose of getting some articles, and while in the store of J.W. Danner he was discovered by the watch, who arrested him as soon as he merged therefrom, it being past the hour that colored persons, free or slave, were allowed to be in the street. They started to the watch-house with him, but when they had gone twenty or thirty yards the negro fell and died in a few minutes. There were no marks of violence upon his person, nor had he received any punishment from the watch so it seems to us that there can be no doubts upon the minds of any but he come to his death from an affliction of the heart. In fact we learn that he had been subject to disease of the heart heretofore and had suffered considerably therefrom.

Newbern Daily Progress, 14 September 1858.

In the 1850 census of Craven County: Edward Copes, 41, boatman, wife Francis, 28, and children Isaac, 11, Jackson, 9, Margaret, 7, Jacob, 4, Henry, 8, and Jane, 9.

Services at Andrew Chapel.



Andrew Chapel, (colored.) –Services at 10 A.M. and 8 P.M., by the pastor, Rev. W.M. Walsh.

Newbern Daily Progress, 25 June 1859.

No thanks.


RANAWAY from the subscriber on the 15th February last, a free negro girl named EDNY MANOR, an indented apprentice. She is tall, of light complexion and about 16 years of age. All persons are hereby warned not to harbor or employ said girl, under the penalty of the law. The above reward will be given and no thanks, to any person who will apprehend and deliver her to me. E. FERGUSON. Newbern, March 7th, 1848.

The Newbernian and North Carolina Advocate, 21 March 1848.

Much credit is due.


The Schr. Dolphin, Samuel Salyear master of this port, left here 15 days ago bound for New York. Shortly after leaving the bar, the cook, James Corbell, a free colored man, seeing one of the crew, a colored man, frequently carrying water down the hold, suspected something was wrong and communicated his suspicions to the captain, who ordered the mate to make search; who on examination found a slave man secreted in the hold, named Edward, belonging to the estate of the late Mrs. Elizabeth Justice of this town. The boy had been concealed on board through the agency of two free colored men, Tom Fortune and Furny Moore, two of the crew. The captain immediately put into Norfolk Va., where the Dolphin arrived on the 10th instant. The captain immediately brought the case before the Mayor, and upon examination Edward was committed to jail to await the requisition of his owner, and Fortune and Moore were committed for trial for the abduction of the slave. Their trial of course must take place here, and the Governor of our State will demand them from the State of Virginia, Much credit is due the captain and the cook for their promptness in this matter. The above particulars we gather mostly from the Norfolk Herald of the 12th instant.   Newbernian.

The North-Carolina Star (Raleigh), 28 July 1847.



The fall term of Superior Court for this county was held last week. The most important case tried was that of a free negro sailor, Tom Fortune, for his life, charged with aiding a slave to escape into a free state. The slave was discovered in the hold of the vessel after she had got to sea, when the Captain put into Norfolk and lodged in jail the slave and the negros suspected of assisting him to escape. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty, the testimony not being sufficient to prove that he knew the slave was on board until he was discovered at sea. Messrs. Stevenson and Sparrow were employed on the defence.

Eastern Carolina Republican (New Bern), 3 November 1847.

Free colored Craven County slaveowners.

One John Carruthers Stanley, negro, was born in Craven County, N. C, in 1772. His father was a white man and his mother was an African woman purchased from a northern slave trader in the West Indies, where the woman with other negroes had been carried direct from Africa. Captain Stewart was at the time sailing one of John Wright Stanley’s vessels, running between New Bern and the West Indies. In his boyhood the young negro John was apprenticed to a barber, at that time in New Bern, named John Carruthers; J. C. Stanley was generally known as “Barber Jack” toward the end of his life. He married a woman with more negro blood than he possessed, hence she was darker in color than her husband, though he was not light. In the year 1808 his mistress, Mrs. Lydea Stewart, the captain being then dead, had him emancipated by the North Carolina legislature. Then he advanced rapidly in property until he was the owner of sixty-four slaves, and at the same time there were forty-two negroes of both sexes bound to him by law for service. At that time he owned two large plantations a few miles distant from New Bern, one on Trent River called Lion Pasture, one on or near Bachelor’s Creek called Hope; on these his negroes were employed. He resided in New Bern and owned houses there. But finally after so much success, he engaged in speculations and went down hill even faster than he had gone up. In the meantime he had reared sons and daughters and had educated them. Some of these children owned slaves up to the civil war, and they held them rigidly to account. Stanley died some years previous to the war. This family had necesarily to move in a circle of their own; yet now and then the women would be invited to dinner by a few of the best citizens. One of the Stanley boys, John Stewart, taught free school in a small way and occasionally clerked in a store. He held slaves, as did his sisters, who never married, up to the emancipation proclamation.

There was a colored brick mason in New Bern named Doncan Montford, who owned slaves; he was a dark mulatto. One of his slaves, Isaac Rue, was also a mason; he sold him to a lawyer, George S. Altmore. Isaac’s wife was a free woman, a pure-blooded negress. They had children, who under North Carolina laws were free. One of their grandsons, Edward Richardson, was at one time postmaster of New Bern, appointed to the office by a Republican president.

From Calvin D. Wilson, “Negroes Who Owned Slaves,” Popular Science Monthly, vol. LXXXI (1912).

United States Colored Troops, no. 12.

14 H. Art’y. U.S.C.T. Hampton Reynolds. Co. A, 14 H. Art’y. U.S.C.T. Reg’t. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 38 years; height, 6 feet 0 inches; complexion, black; eyes, black; hair, black; where born, Hertford County, NC; occupation, laborer. Enlistment: when, 2 Aug 1864; where, New Bern; by whom: W.H. Wrigley; term, 3 years. Remarks: Appointed Corp, July 25, ‘65.

38 U.S.C.T. Preston Weaver. Co. G, 38 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 22 years; height, 5 feet 7 inches; complexion, “D.K.”; eyes, grey; hair, black; where born, Hertford County, NC; occupation, laborer. Enlistment: when, 23 July 1864; where, Norfolk VA; by whom: Lt. A. Roberts; term, 3 years.  Remarks: “Promoted to corporal – date unknown – Died in Post Hosp Aug 30 1865”

5 U.S.C.T. Ira Wyatt. Co. H, 5 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 32 years; height, 5 feet 7 inches; complexion, mulatto; eyes, black; hair, black; where born, Hartford County, NC; occupation, farmer. Enlistment: when, 15 August 1863; where, Circleville OH; term, 3 years.  Remarks: “Transferred from Co ‘D’  October 18 1863 Died on furlough at Circleville Ohio December 9 1863”

11 H. Art’y. U.S.C.T. Isiah Dove. Co. B, 11 Reg’t U.S. Col’d Inf. appears on Company Descriptive Book of the organization named above. Description: age, 23 years; height, 5 feet 5 ½ inches; complexion, dark; eyes, black; hair, black; where born, Newbern NC; occupation, seaman. Enlistment: when, 7 September 1863; where, Providence RI; by whom: Capt. Simon; term, 3 years. 

Combined Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers, National Archives and Records Administration; federal population schedules.

Freedman’s Bank depositor, no. 3.

No. 3521. Record for James Crawford.  Date April 21, 1873. Where born: New Bern. Where brought up: ditto. Residence: East Front Street. Age 29, September 15. Complexion: dark brown. Occupation: porter for J. and J.A. Patterson. Wife: Mary Noble, married August 1, 1872. Children: None. Father: Virgil Crawford, dead. Mother: Gatsey Dove. One half-brother: Virgil A. /s/ James Crawford.

Freedman’s Bank Records, National Archives and Records Administration.

In the 1850 census of Upper Richlands, Onslow County: Virgil Crawford, 39, mechanic, in the household of Stephen Wallis, farmer. In the 1860 census of Onslow County: Gatsey Dove, 35, domestic, in the household of Edward K. Ervin, farmer. [Sidenote: in 1860, Gatsey Dove appears as Gatsey Henderson in her mother Nancy Henderson‘s household in Upper Richlands, Onslow County. — LYH]

Runaway bound boy, no. 9.


RANAWAY from the subscriber, about the first of January last, a negro boy, (an indented Apprentice,) named WASHINGTON. Said boy is between 19 and 20 years of age, and rather under statue, of light complexion, — no particular marks or scars recollected. – I understand that Washington has been seen near Durham’s Creek, in the neighbourhood of which place he is not no doubt lurking.

The above reward, and all reasonable expences, will be paid on his delivery to me in Newbern, or secured in any Jail so that I get him again. – All persons are forwarned from harboring said boy as I am determined to enforce the law against all such as may offend.  JOHN GILDERSLIEVE. March 8, 1828.

Newbern Sentinel, 19 April 1828.