Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Pasquotank County

Some evil-disposed person sold him.

State of North Carolina, Pasquotank County   } Decem’r Term 1793

To the Worshipful the County Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions for the County of Pasquotank aforesaid.

The petition of Jeremiah Alias Jeremiah Burges Sheweth

That he was Born of the Body of Nancy Alias Nancy Burges a Free Woman of Colour late of the said County of Pasquotank that some evil disposed person during the Infancy of your Petitioner sold him as he hath been informed to Edward Everigain late of the said County of Pasquotank Esquire deceased as a Slave in who Service he has since remained and that David George administrator of the said Edward Everigain since his death continues to hold your Petitioner in Slavery all which Actings & doings are contrary to the Law of Land & of Equity & good conscience In tender consideration whereof may it please your worships to grant to your Pet’r a Writ or Writs or Subp. Commanding the said David George adm. as aforesaid to appear & answer & to grant to your Pet’r such other & further relief as under the Act of Assembly in such case made & provided & in Equity he is entitled to receive & your Pet’t as in duty bound shall ever pray &c    /s/ Will Blair Atty

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

I’ve got her children.

Ten Dollars Reward.

RUNAWAY from Nixenton, Pasquotank County, some time in January last, a negro woman by the name of BECK, formerly the property of Mr. Morris of said county, who emancipated her and two children. She was apprehended and sold, agreeable to an act of Assembly of North Carolina. I expect she had a free pass, and will endeavor to pass for a free wench. I suppose she will go to Norfolk, as she has a free husband that is acquainted there. She is very large, rather light complexioned, about 22 years old. Any person apprehending and securing her in any jail, to that I get her again, or delivering her to me in Halifax county, North-Carolina, shall receive the above reward.   JOHN PONS.

N.B. I have got the two children from Mr. Morris, since the wench went away.

April 8, 1794

Virginia Chronicle, Norfolk, 12 May 1794.

The 1,000th post!

The predicament.

As we have already noted, according to the laws of the colonial period, illegitimate children acquired the status of the mother, and this ruling explains the predicament of John Oggs’ children. Oggs was a bachelor whose housekeeper and cook was his slave, a Negro woman named Hester. By her he fathered four offspring, two males and two females. To “my gairl Alley (Alice)” and “my boy Jesse” he devised an equal interest in the plantation whereon he lived. To “my gairl Prudence” and “my boy Charles” he bequeathed the “land on the Island.” The total acreage of his real estate was between two and three hundred acres. He had failed, however, to provide for the manumission of either the mother or her children and since the law prohibited a slave from owning real property, the complications produced by the will became immediately evident. Here were properties clearly intended for individuals who were unable to exercise the privileges of ownership.

This peculiar state of affairs continued for a period of eighteen years, the boy Jesse having died in the meantime, when John Hamilton solved the problem by sponsoring a special legislative enactment, doubtless at the behest of interested persons in Camden and in Pasquotank. Following are quoted pertinent passages from the act finally passed by the State Legislature: “And whereas, the within mentioned Hester, and her children Charles, Alley and Prudence Oggs, are recommended to this General Assembly by several very respectable inhabitants of Camden and Pasquotank, as worthy of being manumitted and set free agreeable to the intentions of their father John Oggs. . . . Be it therefore enacted, that the said Negro woman Hester, and her children Charles, Alley and Prudence Oggs, are hereby manumitted and set free to all intents and purposes, and to possess all rights and privileges as if they had been born free.”

Exercising their long-delayed rights of ownership, for a few years the Oggs heirs sold and bought real estate. The father had owned one tract located in a neighborhood now known as Wickham, and the other was on Indian Island. Prudence finally purchased fifty acres on Indian Island, where she apparently spent her last days. Hester and the other two children later assumed the surname of Dixon. Eventually they sold all their possessions and departed for parts unknown.

Excerpt from Jesse F. Pugh, Three Hundred Years Along the Pasquotank (1957).

He is a free boy of colour.

This is to certify that Simeon is a free boy of colour son of Alson Brothers & Favourite his wife given under my hand and seal Dec 13th 1841   E.L. Hinton JP

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

In the 1850 census of Camden County: Alson Brothers, 62, farmer, and wife Farvur, 60, both of Pasquotank County, with children James, 17, John, 15, Milly, 13, and Lucy, 11, all born in Camden County. In the 1860 census of Camden County: Simeon Brothers, 30, “insane,” in the household of Martha Thornton.

I have known them about forty years.

This is to certify that Negrow Lucy Delilah Betsey & Mary are the daughters of Betsey Thompson which I have known her and mother Sally for about forty years to be free dated September 28th 1830  /s/ Lovey Sawyer

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

She’s old and useless, but a good midwife: rejected.

To the Worshipfull Court of Pleas & Quarter sessions to be Held in Hertford on the Second Monday in Febry 1777. I Thomas Newby of the County of Perquimans and State of North Carolina Humbly prayeth that Your Worships Will take this my petition into Consideration & Grant the Said petition. — (to wit.) The Liberateing of A Certain Negro Woman belonging to me Your Humble petitioner by the name of Hannah, for this my Reasons. In the first place, She being grown ould, And Can be Very little Service to me as to any Hard Work or Drudgery. She being an Excellent Midwife Called on Every Land turn to Both White Women & Black and from account has performed her Duty With as much Scill as any of that profession Moreover She being A peaceable Negro Woman haveing Lived in this place for the Space of forty Years with one Certain Husband & Raised a Number of Children Which are at present Divided amongst the Heirs to whom they fell. And I your Humble petitioner from being Satisfyed and Contented With the Services Which I have rec’d from her the sd. Hannah, Humbly I prayeth that your Worships may take in Consideration & Set the Sd. Negro free by your order & further your Petitioner prayeth not.   /s/ Thomas Newby

[On reverse: Thos. Newby Petition to Liberate Negroe Hannah Rejected]

Slave Records, Perquimans County, North Carolina State Archives.

Free papers.

This is to certify that Urias Morris of col. is a free Man & Resides in Pasquotank county N. Carolina  January 13th 1829    Edm. C. Blount JP

Slave Records, Pasquotank County Records, North Carolina States Archives.

In the 1860 census of Pasquotank County: Uriah Morris, 56, caulker, wife Livey, 50, and children Matilda, 14, and Laura, 13. Uriah reported owning $400 in real property.

We have known him from his infancy.

State of North Carolina, Pasquotank County   } Personally Came before me Abraham Symons one of the Justices of the peace for said county Noah Hollowell and William Pow who testifiath that James Overton of Color is a free man having known him from his infancy and also knowing his parents were free previous agreeably to the Constitution of the State Witness my hand and Seal this 23rd day of October 1830.   /s/ A. Symons JP

[In a different handwriting] Jane Parthenia Overton, 5 feet 4 of a Light Black Forty years of age, has a Scar on the left Shoulder Dianna, Simeon, George

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

In the 1830 census of Pasquotank County, James Overton was head of a household that included one male under 10; one male aged 24-35; two females aged 10-23; and one female aged 24-35.

In the 1850 census of Pasquotank County: Simeon Overton, 35, laborer, wife Elizabeth, 30, and children Daniel, 10, Josephine, 6, and Emily, 4.

He is the son of free people.

I Nathan Small one of the Justices of the Peace for Pasquotank County & State of North Carolina, Certify that Jerry Leonard is the son of London and Edy Leonard, Free People of Colour Residing in this County, Octob’r [blank] 1830     /s/ Nathan Small

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

They had to leave home more than 100 times.

THE EFFECTS OF SLAVERY ON THE FREE COLORED PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH. – Mary Morgan, of No. 59 King-Street, New-York, widow of James Morgan, who died in the spring of 1834, with the small pox, says that she and her husband owned a farm of 250 acres of land in Pasquotank County, about five or six miles from Elizabeth City, North Carolina; that they had hogs, cattle, and horses, and were well to live; that they were both born free, as were both their parents; that as many as six or seven years ago [before they had been provoked to it by northern abolition] a number of the lower class of the whites went about the country to disturb the free colored people; that they frequently came to their dwelling, broke their table, and cups, and saucers, and beat James Morgan a number of times, sometimes with a club, at other times with a cowhide, and at one time so severely that his life was despaired of.

Some of the better class of whites called at the house, and said they thought he was so badly hurt he could not live. For a fortnight after, he was not able to cut a stick of wood. Seven places on his head were shaved to put on plasters, and his back and legs were also much bruised. So frequently were they attacked, that they had to leave their dwelling more than one hundred times, often in showers of rain. At one time, Mary was put on horseback, behind one of the ruffians, who rode off violently for about a mile, took her off, and placed her in a mud puddle up to her waist, in a dark night, and there left her to get as she could. These things happened so frequently that the Friends, commonly called Quakers, (who were really friends to them,) advised them to sell their property and come to the North. Those who caused them to suffer, gave no other reason for their conduct than that they were free negroes, and ought to go to the North, and that there was no law for free negroes in Carolina. Joseph Elliott, Thomas Elliott, and Aaron Elliott, of the society of Friends, were their near neighbors, and were often very kind to them, and did their best to prevent the abuse. Miles White, a merchant of Elizabeth city, knows this statement to be true; other free colored people of that neighborhood suffered pretty much in the same way. They came to New-York, where her husband was taken sick and died; Mary and the children were taken to the Almshouse, where they staid about seven weeks, and were then turned out, penniless, and had it not been for the charity of some humane persons, they might have perished from want.

The farm in Carolina was sold for the small sum of $350, which was soon eaten up by the expense of coming to New-York, and the maintenance of the family while here.

Mary Morgan has to support, by day’s work, five small children. The friends of the oppressed, who have any sympathy to spare, will do well to render her some assistance – at least, by furnishing her with work.  No. 59 King street is her residence.

The First Annual Report of the New York Committee of Vigilance (1837).