Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: New Bern

Penalties for gaming and gathering.

ORDINANCES. From and after the 20th Instant, the following Ordinances will be rigidily [sic] enforced. By Order of the Commissioners, NATHAN TISDALE, C.C.

Newbern, June 16, 1827 – ‘82 83.

“In order to prevent as much as possible all indecent, riotous and scandalous behavior of free negros and slaves, It is hereby ordained, that if any negroes or mulattoes shall be found gaming at fives cat, or other games on Sundays, or shall be seen gathering together in the streets, or other places, at any time, in a quarrelsome, riotous, or disorderly manner, each of them shall, for every such offence, on conviction before a Magistrate, or the Intendent of Police, at his discretion, suffer the punishment of twenty four hours imprisonment, or whipping, not exceeding thirty-nine lashes on his or her bare back.  Passed 10th July, 1801.

Newbern Sentinel, 16 June 1827.

The hut was blown into fragments.

Outrage. – At Swift Creek, in this county, a few days ago, a most shocking and murderous attempt was made by some inhumane wretch, as yet undetected, to destroy the lives and property of a free man of colour and his family. It appears that the man had offended some one of his neighbours, who in order to be revenged, placed a keg of gunpowder under the poor fellow’s house, set fire to it, and blew it up, while its unsuspecting inmates were wrapt in sleep! The hut was blown into fragments, and the unfortunate man, his wife and child, were seriously injured. We sincerely hope that the miscreant who perpetrated this horrid deed will be discovered and punished.  Newbern Spect

Tarboro’ Press, 16 January 1835.

African Negro says he is free.

CAME to my house, on the 15th inst. An African Negro Man, who calls himself GEORGE BROWN. He says he is free, but is in possession of no document to substantiate the fact. It is supposed, that he is a Slave – a runaway from on board some vessel. He is about 6 feet high, black complexion, and spare made.

The owner (if any) if hereby requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take said fellow away.   JOHN LATHAM   Sept 26th, 1810.

True Republican, New Bern, 7 November 1810.

John P. Green.


Hon. John P. Green was born in 1845 at New Berne, N.C., of free parents. As a boy of twelve years of age, he went with his widowed mother to Cleveland, Ohio. He was educated in the Cleveland public schools, graduating from the Central High School in 1869.

He was admitted to the bar of South Carolina in 1870. Returning to Cleveland, he for nine years served as justice of the peace. In 1881 he was elected member of the Ohio Legislature, serving three terms.

In 1897 he was appointed to a position in the postoffice department by President McKinley.He was also delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1872, in 1884 and 1896.

From D.W. Culp, ed., Twentieth century Negro literature, or, A cyclopedia of thought on the vital topics relating to the American Negro.

Courtesy of New Bern-Craven County Public Library. 

Should he be a slave ….

TAKEN UP, AND committed to the Jail of this county on the 3d of August last, a Negro man who calls himself PETER GREEN, says he is free, and that he belongs to Providence, Rhode Island. He professes to have followed the sea, and exhibits an American Protection, which, however, does not correspond with his height. He appears to be about 33 or 35 years of age, very black, well made, about 5 feet high, very artful, and had on when taken, the clothing of a seaman.

Should he be a slave, the owner is notified to come forward, comply with the requisitions of the law and take him away; otherwise he will, after a reasonable time, be sold for his jail fees, and discharged form custody.   W.C. TAYLOR, Jailor.   October 11th, 1823.

New Bern Sentinel, 24 October 1823.

Entreaty from Liberia.

A gentleman has just shown us a letter which he received a few days ago from Joseph Outlaw, a coloured man, in Liberia, who emigrated from this neighbourhood four or five years ago. From the begging tone of the epistle, we are inclined to think that comforts are not superabundant in the colony. Clothing, provision, farming utensils – in short, any thing or every thing is solicited, and solicited with an earnestness that shows they are really necessary. The writer lives at Millsburg, a settlement at the distance of twenty miles from Monrovia, the principal town of the colony, and cultivates his portion of land (ten acres) for the maintenance of himself, a wife, and seven children. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that the poor fellow’s letter should be almost wholly devoted to entreaty, and to the names of those from whom he hopes for assistance. As it contains no information beyond what may be gleaned from above, we notice it merely from a desire to promote poor Outlaw’s comforts, by acquainting his benevolent friends with his unenviable condition. – Newbern Spect.

Tarboro’ Press, 24 January 1835.

One-eyed boy missing.


A free Black-Boy named BILL.

Twelve or thirteen years of age, has but one eye; formerly of the slaves belonging to the Estate of Col. WM. THOMPSON of Beaufort, Carteret County. – Said boy was placed by his mother under the care of SAM WHITNEY; who passes for a free negro in the Town of Newbern. – Said Boy disappeared about the 2nd Monday in March last, nor has his mother or any one been able to obtain any account of him. – If any information of said boy can be lodged by any one with the Editor of this paper he would thereby subserve the cause of humanity & probably of public Justice.   Newbern, 11th April, 1818.

Carolina Federal Republican, Newbern, 11 April 1818.

Police report.

Reported for the Sentinel.

Office of Police, August 7th, 8th & 9th.

A vigilant police is essential to the execution of laws. The execution of the laws is essential to our security. The wicked and disorderly must be opposed, and if not done by the police, it will have to be done with our muskets. It is not expected that the violent and disorderly are to be exterminated, but they can be kept in check; and with the assistance of the posse comitatus, we are determined to do it.

The third case was that of Bob Hazle, a free negro. Bob was met at 10 o’clock at night, in a public street, by one of the patrol, and on enquiring who he was, and where going, said he “was as free a man as any body – that he had a right to travel when and where he pleased,” and added some abusive language, as a sauce to his discourse. But Bob had made a wrong estimate of his franchise, as also of his consequence; for, without much ceremony, he was arrested, conducted to the police office, tried, and found guilty of disorderly conduct, and was compelled to enter into a recognizance to the state, with security for his good behavior for twelve months.

The fifth case was that of Nancy Brown, a free mulatto woman: She had taken up a notion that she ought to parade the streets and abuse the police officer, for arresting the fellow Ned [a slave], on Sunday. To alter her singular ideas, and to set her at ease on the subject, she was arrested and tried for disorderly conduct, was found guilty, and compelled to enter into a recognizance with security for her good behavior for twelve months.

… The seventh case was of Jordon S. Carrow, the police officer. A free mulatto, whose name is not remembered, was arrested by Mr. Carrow for riotous conduct in the street. The man resisted Mr. Carrow, who inflicted on him one or two slight blows with his cane – one, about his head, which cut the skin and caused the blood to flow. The court was of the opinion that as the officer was resisted, he had a right to subdue the prisoner.

We cannot close our report without saying that the public have in Mr. Carrow, a deserving and vigilant officer.

Newbern Sentinel, 18 August 1827.

He stabbed her child.

MURDER. A man who called himself JOHN REID, a Scotchman, came to Newbern with a number of low priced watches for sale, and while here, was frequently drunk. In a state of intoxication, on the 4th inst., he entered the house of Nancy Sawyer, a free woman of color, and stabbed her child, Celia Maria Sawyer, a girl 8 years old, with a dirk, and also wounded a young coloured woman. The child died on the 11th inst. and an inquest taken before me has found that the child died of that wound.

Reid has left the County, and probably returned to Norfolk, of which place he said he was a resident. This notice is given, to the end that if met with in this State he may be delivered to the subscriber, of to the Sheriff of Craven, that he may be brought to justice. Thomas C. Masters, Coroner Craven County. Newbern, 15th April, 1819.

Newbern Sentinel, 24 April 1819.

He passes for a free man.

TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.  Absconded from New-Bern about twelve months past, a mulatto man slave named JOHN, who passes for a free man and calls himself JOHN McCLISH. He is a taylor by trade, well made, of a middle stature and wears his hair in a queue; he has been seen at the plantation of the late George Lovick, nine miles below New-Bern, on Neuse river, about three months past. Any person who will bring the said fellow to me in New-Bern shall receive the above reward [illegible] reward and all reasonable charges paid. THO. WILLIAMS, New-Bern, Nov. 2, 1785.

North Carolina Gazette, or Impartial Intelligencer and Weekly Advertiser, 3 November 1785.