Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Perquimans County

Hugh Cale.

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Born free in Perquimans County in 1835, Hugh Cale worked at Fort Hatteras and on Roanoke Island during the Civil War. In 1867, he moved to Elizabeth City where he worked as a merchant and held a host of offices including county commissioner. He was one of thirteen African Americans to serve in the state legislature in 1876, the first of his four terms. In 1882, Cale, an active A.M.E. Zion layman, was appointed a trustee of Zion Wesley Institute in Salisbury, which in 1885 became Livingstone College. He was among the initial group of nine trustees of the North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race (now North Carolina A. & T. State University) in Greensboro and served in that position from 1891 to 1899. He was a delegate to the Republican national convention of 1896.

In 1891, during his last legislative term, Cale introduced House Bill 383 to establish “Elizabeth City Colored Normal School” for the education of black teachers. Now known as Elizabeth City State University, the institution has honored Cale with a scholarship in his name. He died in 1910. Image

Adapted from http://www.ncmarkers.com. Photo of Cale courtesy of Museum of the Albemarle.

Mortality Schedule: Perquimans County, 1850.

Joseph Overton, age 3 months, mulatto, died October of unknown causes.

Christian Baines, age 40, black, died June of bilious fever.

Rosanna Winslow, age 90, black, widow, died June of old age.

Cintha Randol, age 23, black, died August of pleurisy.

Richard Dempsey, age 60, black, died June of consumption.

All died in 1849.  1850 US mortality schedule.

Critical technicalities of buying liquor.

State v. Trim Hopkins, 49 NC 305 (1857).

This was an indictment In Perquimans County against Trim Hopkins, a free negro, for furnishing liquor to a slave. The indictment contained two counts; one for selling spiritous liquor to a slave; and the other for giving it to him.  Hopkins was with Jack, a slave belonging to a Mr. Skinner, at a house where liquor was sold.  Jack gave Hopkins some money to buy a quart of liquor, which Hopkins bought and immediately gave to Jack. Hopkins was convicted.

On appeal, the Supreme Court emphasized the two counts: one for selling spiritous liquor to a slave, the other for giving the liquor to the slave. “The Revised Code contains two chapters on this subject: the 34th and the 107th. The 87th section of the first provides — ‘No person shall sell or deliver to any slave, for cash, or in exchange for articles delivered, or upon any consideration whatever, or as a gift, any spiritous liquor,’ &c. The 67th section of the latter chapter is as follows: ‘If any free negro shall, directly or indirectly, sell, or give to any person, bond or free, any spiritous liquor, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.’ … The question presented to us is, do the facts stated in evidence bring the defendant within either clause of the recited chapters? We think they do not.”

Where a slave handed money to a free negro in a liquor shop, who handed it to the liquor dealer, received liquor in return, and then handed it to the slave, he was not guilty of either selling or giving the slave liquor. Judgment reversed.

The court also overturned the decision in State v. Jim Wright, 49 NC 308 (1857), on substantially the same grounds. There, Jim Wright, also a free man of color, was charged with selling and delivering a quart of spirits to Sam, a slave owned by a Mrs. Barron.

Where are they now?: No. 19.

A.T. was born in the mid-1960s in Elizabeth City NC.  She is descended from the following free people of color:

Stephen Newby (ca1800-ca1865) > John D. Newby (1834-ca1905) > Arthur Newby (1859-ca1925)

Millie Dempsey (??-??) > Rhoda Dempsey (ca1800-ca1865)

Having the desier to travel to Virginia to seek better imployment.

North Carolina Perq’s County }  This may Cartefy that the Bearer Hereof a Negro man named Ben is a free Negro who formerly belonged to Mr. Jonathan Sharrod Deceased who having Many Slaves & no Children alive not Desiering his Slaves Should Serve another Master Did in his will Generously give them freedom Which if Disputed may be found on Record in the Court of the Said County aforsaid & the aforenamed Negro Man having a Desier to travel to Virginia to Seek better imployment we the Subscriber Do Cartefy that the Said Negro is a free man has Ever Sence his working for himself behaved Very honest ther fore we the Subscribers Do Recommend The Said to Such Gentlemen as Shall imploy him.

Witnes our hands this 21 Januy 1774   /s/ Richard Ratlieff

[On reverse] Benj’a Sanders’ man Taffeys Certificate

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

Surnames: Perquimans County, 1850.

ARMSTRONG, BAGLEY, BAINS, BARRINGTON, BRAYMOND, BLANCHARD, BOGIN, BOGUE, BOW, BOYCE, BURK, BUTLER, CAIL, COPELAND, COOPER, CORNELIUS, DEMPSEY, DOUGLASS, DOZIER, FAULKS, GREEN, HAMILTON, HASKET, HARE, JAMES, JENNINGS, JOHNSON, JONES, LANE, LAWRENCE, LIGHTFOOT, LILLY, MILTON, MODLIN, MOORE, MORRIS, MULLER, NEWBY, NIXON, NORFLEET, NOX, OVERTON, RANDOL, READ, ROBBINS, ROGERSON, ROOKS, RUD, SCOTT, SMITH, SPINNER, TOBSON, TRUEBLOOD, TURNER, WARD, WHITE, WINSLOW and WRIGHT.

Like all his race, a true union man.

James C. Skinner, Administrator, filed claim #477 on behalf of the estate of Isaac Towlson.  Skinner, age 62, lived in Hertford, Perquimans County.  Elizabeth Towlson, age 62, widow, testified that she lived near Woodville, Perquimans County.  Her husband died in December 1867 and left four children, all born free before the war.  She stated that in July 1864, United States cavalry soldiers took a horse and saddle from her husband.  “My husband was like all his race a true union man.”

Allowed: $140.00.

There are many worthy of confidence.

The State v. Ephraim Lane, 30 NC 256 (1848).

Ephraim Lane, a free man of color, was indicted for keeping and carrying a pistol without a license.  Lane resided in Perquimans County, but at the time of the indictment was working for a white man named Barker “getting shingles” in Pasquotank County.  Lane carried the pistol at Barker’s behest.

Per the Supreme Court, “[d]egraded as are these individuals, as a class, by their social position, it is certain, that among them are many, worthy of all confidence, and into whose hands these weapons can be safely trusted, either for their own portection, or for the protection of the property of others confided to them.” Lane did carry a weapon, but it was not unlawfully carried.