Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Newsom

Surname swap, no. 5.

In 1860, Wayne County Court of Pleas & Quarters Sessions bound James Newsom, 7, and Norfleet Newsom, 5, to Barny D. Yelverton to serve as apprentices.

But, in the 1860 census of Davis, Wayne County: Barney Yelverton’s household includes Nervy Artis, 27, and sons James Artis, 6, and Norphlet Artis, 4.

The wench made threats.

Thirty Dollars Reward.

RANAWAY from the Subscriber, on Sunday night, the 12th of March last, a negro woman, named POLLY, about 28 years old, nearly five feet high, yellow complexion, spare made, has a mild look and genteel appearance, (for a negro,) when well dressed, and is well calculated to deceive unless tightly and closely examined.  She was seduced away by a black free negro, Carter Newsom by name, a shoemaker by trade, who is about 30 years of age, 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high, thick set, has a pleasant countenance and very white teeth, which he shews very much when speaking and laughing: he is strongly suspected of being a runaway slave.  In my fomer advertisement, I stated that from threats which the wench made prior to her elopement, they would, by changing their names, and getting forged free papers, endeavor to make their escape to some free state: since that time, they have been lurking about Halifax town, in the vicinity of which, they probably are at this time.  All persons are forwarned from harboring or carrying off said negro under the penalty of the law.  The above reward, will reasonable charges, will be paid for securing said woman in any jail, so that I get her again, or for her delivery to me.  Lunsford W. Scott, Halifax co N.C. August 15, 1826.

Tarboro Free Press, 26 Sept 1826.

A faithfull & good servant.

ImageTo the Worshipfull County Court of Wayne

The petition of William Newsom humbly represents to your Worships that he is owner of a Negro man called Charles who has always conducted & demeaned himself as a faithfull & good servant who your petitioner is anxious to emancipate & intitle to the privileges of a free Citizen, he therefore prays your Worships to take the Case into consideration & do what appears to you right & proper & your petitioner will ever pray       William X Newsom

J.B.H. Martin

This undated petition is found among Wayne County Records of Slaves and Free Persons of Color, North Carolina State Archives.

A separate and distinct class.

The State v. Elijah Newsom, 27 NC 250 (1844).

The law: “Be it enacted, &c. That if any free negro, mulatto, or free person of color, shall wear of carry about his or her person, or keep in his or her house, any shot gun, musket, rifle, pistol, sword, dagger or bowie-knife, unless he or she shall have obtained a licence therefor from the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of his or her county, within one year preceding the wearing, keeping or carrying thereof, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be indicted therefor.”

In Cumberland County, Elijah Newsom, a free person of color, was indicted for carrying a shotgun without a license on 1 June 1843.  He was found guilty in Superior Court and filed an appeal.  The Supreme Court held that the law violated neither the 2nd Amendment nor Article 3 of the Bill of Rights: “From the earliest period of our history, free people of color have been among us, as a separate and distinct class, requiring, from necessity, in many cases, separate and distinct legislation.” “Free people of color in this State are not to be considered as citizens, in the largest sense of the term, or, if they are, they occupy such a position in society, as justifies, the legislature in adopting a course of policy in its acts peculiar to them — so that they do not violate those great principles of justice, which lie at the foundation of all laws.” Judgment upheld.

In the 1860 census of Cumberland County, Elijah Neuson, 80, “turpentiner,” is listed with wife Clarisa, 60.