Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Payne

A more honest, straightforward old man never lived.

Old Abel Payne‘s house, on the corner of Moore and Orange streets, has been torn down. This house though small and old, was once the residence of Abel Payne, a free colored man, who years ago was held in high esteem by the citizens of our town. A more honest, straightforward old man never lived, and his influence for good among the colored people will long be remembered.

Fayetteville Observer, 11 June 1885.

Valuable property.


The following valuable property will be sold on SATURDAY, 9th of MAY, at Eleven o’clock, at the Market House in Fayetteville: …

Dwelling House on North side of ____ Street, joins Abel Payne.

Fayetteville Observer, 11 May 1863.

As good as any mill in the state.


I have rented the Mill on Cross Creek, formerly owned by Mr. Hall. I will carry Corn to the mill and deliver MEAL or HOMINY without charge in any part of town. I have a Dray ready always for this very purpose, and I will guarantee customers as good meal or Hominy as any mill in the State can make. I will be very thankful for a liberal share of the public patronage.   ABEL PAYNE.  March 11.

Carolina Observer, Fayetteville, 11 March 1861.


The subscriber would be pleased to grind, haul to and carry from the Mill, free of charge, at the Mill near the Gas Works, formerly Mr. Hall’s.   ABEL PAYNE. July 21, 1862.

Carolina Observer, Fayetteville, 21 July 1862.

An act to emancipate Abel and Patsey Payne.

An Act to emancipate Abel Payne and his wife Patsey, slaves

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That Abel Payne and his wife Patsey, the property of Joshua Carman, of the county of Cumberland, be, and they are hereby, with the consent and at the request of their said owner, emancipated and set free; and by the names of Abel and Patsey Payne, shall hereafter possess and exercise all the rights and privileges which are enjoyed by other free persons of color in this State: Provided nevertheless, That before said slaves shall be emancipated, their said master, Joshua Carman, shall give bond and good security, in the sum of five hundred dollars, to the Governor and his successors in office, in the court of Cumberland county, that the said slave shall honestly and correctly demean themselves as long as he shall remain in the State, and shall not become a parish charge; which bond may be sued upon, in the name of the Governor for the time being, to the use of the parish, and of any person injured by the mal conduct of such said slave. [Ratified 2d day of January, 1847]

Chapter CLXI, Public and Private Laws of North Carolina Passed by the General Assembly,1846-47, North Carolina State Library.

They commenced to taking everything.

Abel Payne, age 77, filed claim #21703 with the Southern Claims Commission.  He lived in Fayetteville and worked as a builder.  He rented and operated a grist mill for three months just before and at the start of the war and did not know whether he ground any corn for Confederates.  He was arrested by an officer at the Confederate arsenal one time, but released because of his age.

“I was born a slave.  I bought myself and family and was emancipated by the Legislature of North Carolina in 1837 I think it was.”

On 11 March 1865, a group of union soldiers came to his house, took his horse from the stable on his lot, “then commenced to taking” everything else within an hour.  “Took all my good cloths and my watch, after all my property and while my house was full of soldiers an officer rode by I went to him told him that the soldiers had taken everything that I had, he put a Guard at my house, the Guard cleared the premises.”

Peter Harmon, 52, was a gardener.  He was employed by Payne as a drayman.  He drove Payne’s horse, a small sorrel about 7 or 8 years old, the night before the soldiers came and put it in the stable.  He went to Payne’s house hoping he could get some provisions and found that the soldiers had taken all.

Martha Payne, 77, was Abel Payne’s wife. She witnessed the soldiers take his property.  They asked for the keys to trunks “which was given to them or rather the trunks was opened for them.” They broke into the stable and rode off on the horse.

Mary Payne, 32, was Abel Payne’s daughter.

John Stewart, 40, brickmason, and Alexander Murphy, 45, carpenter, testified to Payne’s loyalty. Murphy worked for during the war. Murphy testified that Capt. James M. Williams threatened to send Payne to work at the breastworks “because he did not please him in some work he was doing for him. I never knew him to contribute anything in any way to aid the Confederate govt. or its officers or soldiers except to make hay presses for Capt. Williams which I suppose was for the Confederate or state government.”

In the 1860 census of Fayetteville, Cumberland County: Abel Payne, 64, carpenter, wife Martha, 65, seamstress, and daughters Jane, 31, Mary, 21, and Martha, 19.