Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Northampton County

Petition to free a dutyful wife.

State of North Carolina, Northampton County court, June term 1801.

To the worshipful the Justices of said court, the humble petition Len Kenchen free Negroe humbly complaining Shewing that he the said Len, upwards to ten years ago, purchased of a Mr. Robert Armstead, of Scotland Neck, a negroe woman called Rebecca for the sum of £45 Virg Curcy, and which said negroe, your petr. Len, had as wife, upwards of 15 years previous to said purchase, and until the present day.  And your petr. further shews that he the said Len and the said Rebecca previous to said purchase and until this date has always behaved herself as a dutyful wife and as a faithful servant.  Your petitioner therefore prays your worships will agreeable to the spirit and meaning of the act of assembly in such case Made, liberate and set free the said Rebecca, and your petitioner as in duty bound will pray   /s/ J.H. Keys

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

I was stolen from my parents.

State of Virginia, Southampton County  } SS.

On this 7 day of March 1834 personally appeared in open court before the Justices of the county court of Southampton now acting Drewry Tann (a Free man of Colour) a Resident of said county aged about seventy five years who being first duly sworn according to Law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June the 7th 1832.

That he enlisted under Capt. Hadley in the County of Wake in the State of North Carolina (and states the manner he came in the service as follows) that being born free in the county of Wake he was stolen from his parents when a small boy by persons unknown to him, who were carrying him of to sell him into to [sic] Slavery, and had gotten with him and other stolen property, as far as the mountains on their way, that his parents made complaint to a Mr. Tanner Alford who was then a magistrate in the county of Wake State of N. Carolina to get me back from those who had stolen me, and he did pursue the Rogues & overtook them at the mountains and took me from them & my parents agreed that I should serve him (Tanner Alford) until I was twenty one years old, when he had served Alford several years (Six years) it came Alfords time to go in the army (or he told me so) and told me if I would go in the army he would set me free on which conditions I readily listed under Capt. Hadley for eighteen months as he was told and marched to Charleston and thence to Jameses Isleand where he served out his term of enlistment that he had a discharge and was about returning home when a Capt. Benjamin Coleman (who told me he lived in Bladen County N. Carolina) took his discharge from him and tried to compel him to remain in the service & be his waitingman – his name is to be found in the Records of the State of North Carolina as he is informed by Mr. Deverieux of the City of Raleigh N. Carolina & the term of his enlistments as well as the fact of his enlisting under Capt. Hadley as state above – he cannot state at what period of the war he entered the service. General Green was the commander in chief, Col Lightly & Capt Lightly. Adjutant Ivy that he served in the N. Carolina Regiment, that he has no other documentary evidence than that refered to in the Archives in the State of N. Carolina at the City of Raileigh and knows of no person living who can testify to his service. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present & declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.  Drewry X Tann

The said Drewry Tann states that he was born in the county of Wake N. Carolina in what year he does not know, that he has no Record of his age, that he was living in Wake County N. Carolina when he was Enlisted and that he has lived since the Revolution in the countys of Northampton N. Carolina and Southampton Virginia. That he lives in the county of Southampton at this time.  That he listed volluntarily in the army under Capt. Hadley. He since as before stated on Jameses isleand near Charleston S. Carolina when there were some English prisoners & he was sometimes stationed as a guard on them, Gen Green was the commanding officer Col and Capt Lightley & Adjutant Ivy are all the names he can at this time remember he does not know what regiments he served with – he did secure a discharge from the service & Capt. Coleman took it from him & what has become of it he cannot say. He is known to Mr. Edwin G. Hart Mr. W. Owens John Hart Col. Clements Rochelle James Maggett Davis Bryant and many others.    Drewry X Tann

Sworn to and subscribed in open court this 17 day of May 1834

From the file of Drewry Tann, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

A dutyful wife and faithful servant.

State of North Carolina Northampton County court, June term 1801.  To the worshipful the Justices of said court, the humble petitioner Len Kenchen free negroe humbly complaining Sheweth that he the said Len, upwards to ten years ago, purchased of a Mr. Robert Armstead, of Scotland Neck, a negroe woman called Rebecca for the sum of £45 Virg money, and which said negroe, your petr Len, had as wife, upwards of 15 years previous to said purchase, and until this present day.  And your petr. further shews that he the said Len and the said Rebecca are old and infirm, and that the said Rebecca previous to said purchase and until this date has always behaved herself as a dutyful wife and as a faithful servant.  Your petitioner therefore prays your worship, will, agreeable to the spirit and meaning of the act of assembly in such case make, liberate and set free the said Rebecca, and your petitioner as in duty bound will pray.    J.H. [Keys?]

Records of Slaves and Free People of Color, Northampton County, North Carolina State Archives.