Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Pitt County

Their eyes have been injured.

Ten Dollars Reward.

RAN AWAY from the subscriber on the 8th inst, my negro man MINGO, aged about 45 years, of ordinary size, rather dark complexion, a white streak near the sight of one of his eyes, (which eye is not recollected) has rather a bad look out of his eyes. It is supposed that he is lurking about the lower edge of Edgecombe, or the upper part of Pitt, or he may have got as low down as Washington, Beaufort county, as his wife is a free woman of color, named Julia Read, lately of Pitt and has relations in Beaufort. The eyes of both him and her have been injured, his by a splinter and hers by a burn. The above reward will be given for the apprehension of Mingo, if delivered to me near Tradesville, in Edgecombe county, or if secured in any jail so that I get him again. All persons are forbid harboring, employing, or carrying off said negro under penalty of the law. MATTHEW WHITEHEAD. Nov 15, 1843

Tarboro’ Press, 10 February 1844.

I think they will aim for Washington or New Bern.

Ten Dollars Reward.

Ranaway form the Subscriber on Sunday, the 19th instant. A bright Mulatto Man named Mark. About 42 or 42 years of age, five feet 10 or 11 inches high; straight and stout built; a good countenance; a film coming on his left eye – had two or three pair of homespun Jackets and Trowsers, some of them filled with wool and dyed purple. He went off with a free mulatto woman by the name of Dill Moore, who has a free pass, and I expect she has procured one for him also. I think they will aim for Washington or Newbern, for the purpose of obtaining a passage on board some vessel bound for a Northern port. Should Dill Moore take a passage for herself only, she probably may have the man put on board privately. The above reward will be paid to any person who will deliver the said Mark to me, or secure him in any prison so that I can get him again.

Masters of vessels and all other persons, are hereby forbid to harbor, employ or carry off the said Mark, as I will prosecute with vigour the person so offending.  JAMES HANRAHAN. Washington’s Ferry, Pitt County. April 25, 1829.

North Carolina Sentinel, New Bern, 13 June 1829.

Free Colored Inhabitants of the Town of Greenville, Pitt County, 1850.

#20. R.A. Brooks, 13, servant, in the household of E.A. Long.

#44. Alvana Albertson, 13, servant, in the household of Richard Rouse, silversmith.

#50. Eunice Graham, 84, washwoman.

#51. Morning Brooks, 48, servant, in the household of M.A.M. Pearce, seamstress.

#65. Mary Norris, 28, servant, in the household of John Chestnut, laborer.

#74. Richard Keel, 40, carpenter, reported personal property valued at $3000.

#78. Jenny Hanrahan, 33, washwoman, in the household of Martha Hanrahan.  She reported owning $150 real property and $100 personal property.

US Federal Population Schedule.

Free? Yes. Clothes? No.

State of North Carolina, Edgecombe County   } August Term 1783

Personally appeared before me Col’o James Armstrong and being duly sworn deposeth and saith That on or about the first day of August In the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty one this deponent being at Martinborough in Pitt County and State aforesaid being appointed to Superintend the receiving of draughts deserters and Substitutes for the Continental service from the districts of Halifax and Newbern a certain William Kitchen who was then a deserter from the Continental Service having brought a certain Ned Griffin a molattoe or Mustee to this deponent as a Substitute in the room of the said Kitchen to serve for the term of Eighteen Months in the Continental Service the said Kitchen upon his delivering the said Griffin to this deponent (who ever mindful of his duty and determined strictly to adhere to the laws of the State particularly to the directions there enjoined respecting the receptions of Draught Substitutes &c) objected to the said Griffin upon this principle that he was not perfectly satisfied of his being a free man and the said Kitchen thereupon with the strongest of assurances declared that he the said Griffin was a free-man and as such delivered him to the deponent declaring and positively affirming at the same time that he had purchased the services of the said Griffin and upon his serving the said tour faithfully he the said Kitchen manumitted and totally discharged him from every species of further services whatsoever. That upon those terms and solemn assurances of Kitchen only he this deponent received and enrolled him the said Griffin in the Continental service accordingly. And farther this deponent saith that some time after the enrollment he met with William Griffin the person from whom Kitchen had purchased the services of the said Griffin he this deponent addressed himself to the said William Griffin in these words “So says this deponent Kitchen has purchased of you a certain Ned Griffin (meaning the said Ned Griffin that he had received as a free man of Kitchen) for a substitute for him the said Kitchen upon which the said William Griffin answered yes this deponent then demanded of him Clothing for the said Ned Griffin upon which he the said William Griffin replied that he made no contract with Kitchen when he disposed of the services of the said Ned Griffin to the said Kitchen therefore was no obligation to comply with his requisition. /s/ James Armstrong  Sworn to before me this 6th August 1783 in open Court J Sessums

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

When the Confederates sent him off, he sold me the horse.

Jacob Cherry, age 52, a farmer, filed claim #20118 with the Southern Claims Commission.  He resided at Beaufort County.  “I was a slave before the War. I belonged to Wm. Cherry.” During the war, he lived on the lands of Mr. Benjamin Brown and cultivated a farm there.  “… I had a brother in the union army by name Alfred Gorham he resides in Brunswick Co N.C., he joined the union army in 1862.” “I felt if [the Union] cause succeeded that I should be free and that it would be to my benefit.” “I was a slave at the beginning of the war.  I became free after the War. … I hired my time from my owner, and paid my hire, and saved money bought my horse.”  Cherry bought the horse in January 1865, and Union soldiers took it the next month.  He was plowing a field that he had rented from Benjaim Brown when Captain Graham’s cavalry company came to Greenville from New Bern on a raid, taking all the horses they could find.  Cherry told Captain Graham that the horse belonged to him, and the captain said, “That might be but so many colored people were claiming their owners horses that he could not tell whether they belonged to them or their owners.”  Cherry described the horse as a young bay mare with foal, “fat and in good condition, quick, a good buggy horse and a good plough horse.”  “I bought her from a free colored man who worked at the farm of Widow Parker. This colored man was impressed by the confederates to work on the breastworks and died there. His wife belonged to Mrs. Parker and when he was sent off he sold me the horse for which I paid $300.00.” The free man’s name was Wiley Taylor.

John Bartlett Sr., age 54, who resided in Washington, North Carolina, and worked as a cooper, confirmed that Cherry had bought the horse from a free man of color whose wife lived at Martha Parker’s and who was taken by Confederates to work at fortifications at Bald Head. Bartlett was working at the Confederate commissary in Greenville when he saw Cherry ride by with a federal cavalryman.  Cherry rode bareback with a plow line for a bridle.  “Jacob Cherry … was a hard working man and of excellent character. He started a very good crop but after the taking of his horse, he lost it.” Bartlett was free-born and lived within a mile of Cherry.

John Bartlett Jr., age 24, day laborer, also testified about Graham’s confiscation of horses in and around Greenville.

Claim approved: $150.00.

Surnames: Pitt County, 1850.


It is her wish and desire that her children should leave the state.

State of North Carolina, Onslow County }

Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, March Term 1860

To the Worshipful, the Justices of Said Court: The petition of Omar White, humbly complaining, showeth unto your Worships that she is a free woman of color: that her Mother, Elizabeth White was born a free person of color in the County of Pitt of the State of aforesaid and removed to this the county and state aforesaid when your petitioner was born, raised and has always resided.  Your petitioner further showeth to your Worships that she is now about sixty years, is at present residing where she has resided with her family, which is numerous, for the last twelve years on the premises of of Basil M. Barry, Esquire, and with his permission: that she is the mother of thirteen children and has [blank] grandchildren, all of whom, under the age of twenty-one years, respectively. Your petitioner further showeth that, after her said children shall have attained the age of twenty one aforesaid and shall have fulfilled all the requirements of the law in such cases made and provided for Apprentices, it is her wish and desire that they shall remove from the state aforesaid and settle in a free state.  Your petitioner further showeth unto your worships that the facts set forth in this her petition are in the knowledge of many persons now living and such knowledge is the only evidence of her freedom: that she is growing old and her witnesses are also much advanced in years: that by the time he said children shall have reached the age of twenty one aforesaid, when they shall be free to emigrate from the state aforesaid, it may not be in their power to show the facts herein set forth.

To the end therefore that such testimony may be perpetuated and become a part of the record of this Worshipful Court, your petitioner humbly prays your Worships for permission for a rule to take such depositions as may be necessary to sustain the allegations set forth in this her petition.  And your petitioner humbly begs your Worships for further and such other relief as your Worships may deem necessary and proper.

And your petitioner as in duty bound shall ever humbly pray etc.    L.W. Humphrey, Attorney for Pet.

Elizabeth “Betsey” Whitehurst’s children were apprenticed extensively in Onslow County — Omy [Naomi, also called Oma, and the petitioner here] in 1806, 1811, 1818, 1819; Joshua in 1806, twice in 1811, 1816, 1818 ; Elijah in 1811; Esther in 1813 and 1830; Ann, Bill and Edward in 1817 and 1827; and Morris in 1827.  Their last name appeared as White, Whiters and Whitehurst.  See Apprentice Records, Wayne County, North Carolina State Archives.  She is probably the “Betsey Free” listed in the 1820 census of South Richlands district, Onslow County, with a household comprising four people of color.  In the 1830 census of Onslow County, she is Betsey Whitehurst with a household of seven.  In the 1850 census, she is listed in her son Edward White’s household in Cypress Creek, Jones County.

Omy White’s children also cycled through Onslow County Court as apprentices — Betsy Jane in 1827, 1835, 1839; Nancy in 1827; Sarah in 1834; Lindey in 1834; Elijah in 1835; Linda and Jack in 1844;  Edward “Ned,” Esther and Robert “Bob” in 1844 and 1849; Naomi in 1844; and Alfred in 1849.  In the 1850 census of Half Moon district, Onslow County, Omy “Ward” and four children are listed in one household (headed by B.M. Barry, a lawyer) and son Jack is in another.