Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Reed

His papers have never been seen.


Tarborough Southerner, 15 May 1852.



$10 Reward.

RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the 1st day of April, 1852, a mulatto fellow named Jerry Manly, as he calls himself, and says that he is a free man, but his papers have never been seen. Said boy is 30 or 32 years old, and has a free woman for his wife — the woman is well known by the name of Nancy Reed, she has a sister in the neighborhood for Tarboro’, and Logsboro’, and no doubt they are lurking in that vicinity. The boy was raised in the town of Louisburg, N.C., and has a mother and several brothers in that place. The above reward will be paid for his delivery to the undersigned at Rocky Mount, or any jail so that I can get him again.  S.D. Armstrong.

Rocky Mount, April 3rd, 1852.

In the 1850 census of Nash County: Nancy Reed, 32, with Betsey, 16, Mary, 6, and William Reed, 7 months, plus Matilda Cross, 29, all mulatto.

He, his father, his mother, his grandfather AND his grandmother….

State of North Carolina, Franklin County    }

Be it known that this 1st day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty eight Came before us James Baker & Richard Arrendell two of the Justices of the peace for the County and Franklin, aforesaid, Thomas Broom and Thomas Williams both of the County & State aforesaid, and maketh oath that they are well aquainted with Frederick Reed (a man of Colour, the bearer hereof, and that he has always passed as a free borned man; that they new his father & mother, and his Grandfather & grandmother, and that they were also reputed to be free persons; that the Said Frederick is about 36 years old, of dark yellow complexion, about 5 ¾ feet high and by profession farmer.    /s/ Thomas Williams    Thos. Broom

Sworn to & subscribed before us, this date & Date above written Attest Richd. Arrendell J.P. Jas. Baker J.P.

Miscellaneous Records, Franklin County, North Carolina State Records.

Set off and divide.

State of North Carolina, Wayne County   }  In obedience to an order of Court to me Olin Coor Sheriff directed, Issued from Aug Term 1863. I have proceeded to Summon the following man as commissioners to Set-off and divide the land Deeded to Rody Reed and Isaac Reed by Jno. Hollowell as by reference to said and will more fully show. Viz – Said Rody Reed is to have one fourth of said land and Isaac Reed three fourths which division is in manner and form following to witt viz. –

Beginning for J.P. Rogers (who has become the purchaser of the interest of Said land belonging to Isaac Reed) at a stake on the main run of Aycocks Swamp H.B. Ballance corner and runs N 5 W 272 poles to two small pines Thomas F. Davis & H.B. Ballance’s corner then N 33 E 24 poles to a hickory Said Davis corner then with his line So 70 E 157 ¾ Poles to a Stake then with his line N 55 E 27 poles Stake then South 40 E a strate line to a Stake on the run of Aycocks Swamp then up the various courses of Said run as it meanders to the beginning containing one hundred and ninty five acres Also one other tract adjoining the lands of Said Ballance & others beginning at a maple in a small branch then up said branch 30 poles to a black Gum the dividing corner between Said Rogers and Rody Read then down the run of Said branch to a white Oak then N 86 E 72 poles to the beginning continuing twenty and one fourth acres.

Beginning for Rody Reed at a Stake on the run of Aycocks Swamp the corner of said J.P. Rogers and runs with his line N 40 W 59 poles to a State said Rogers corner in Thomas F. Davis’ line then N 55 E 18 poles to a Sassafras then N 27 ½ W 60 poles to a maple on the run of Newsums Branch then down the run of said Branch as it meanders to the run of Aycocks Swamp then up the run of said Swamp as it meanders to the beginning, containing Seventy two acres Also another tract adjoining the Lands of said Davis and others. Beginning at a black Gum said Rogers’s corner then with his line S 82 W 33 poles to a small sweet Gum in a small branch then up said to a pine said Davis’s corner then N 82 E 21 poles to a Small black Gum at the head of a Small drain then down the same as it meanders to the beginning, containing five and one fourth acres.

Al of which is respectfully submitted under our hands and Seals this the 24th day of Aug 1863  /s/ Henry Martin, W.P. Peacock, H.B. Ballance, L.J. Sauls

Witness O. Coor Sheriff

Recording Docket Book 14, page 9. Office of Clerk of Superior Court, Wayne County Courthouse, Goldsboro.

James Edward Reed.

ImageMr. J. E. Reed was born of free parents in North Carolina, and knew nothing of slavery. He came to New Bedford, Mass., in 1878, where he attended school for two years; at the end of that time, in 1880, he secured employment as errand boy in Mr. G. F. Parlow’s photograph galleries of that city. Mr. Parlow found that the young man possessed very excellent qualities of mind, and as an evidence of his appreciation, asked him if he would like to learn photography. I need not add that Mr. Reed was only too glad to accept the offer. After mastering the profession he worked as an assistant to Mr. Parlow until 1888, when he formed a partnership with Mr. P. C. Headly, a young white man. The two young men bought out the gallery where Mr. Reed had learned his profession. This firm of Headly & Reed continued in business until 1895, when Mr. Reed bought out the interest of Mr. Headly. These young men were regarded as by far the best work-men in their line the city afforded. Their patrons were numbered among the very best people in New Bedford. To me, the most interesting phase of Mr. Reed’s work was his partnership with Mr. Headly, for I have always felt that one of the very best things that could be done, in solving what is called in this country the “Race question,” would be to bring white and colored men together in a business way, where they will have an opportunity to study each other as only those whose financial interests are blended can. I have no doubt but many comments, and doubtless unpleasant ones too, were made about the co-partnership of a white and colored man. But the fact that they succeeded, and won the respect and confidence of the best people in New Bedford, makes me hope we may hear of more such firms, in other parts of the country, for I am sure that it will prove helpful to both races to be brought more together in a business way. I can speak for Mr. Reed’s ability as an artist, having had work done in his gallery. I am also pleased to note that Mr. Reed is a very useful and energetic church and Sunday-school worker.

From G.F. Richings, Evidence of Progress Among Colored People (1902).

In the 1870 census of Parkville, Perquimans County: John Reed, 33, wife Mary Adeline, 31, and sons William Henry, 8, and James Edward, 6. In the 1880 census of New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts:on Sherman Street, John Reed, 45, carpenter, born Virginia; wife Mary A., 42, born NC; and sons James E., 16, and John, 7, both born in NC.

[Sidenote: The wording of the status of John Reed’s parents is ambiguous, and they are not found in the 1860 census. — LYH]

Beat, wound and ill treat.

State of North Carolina, Warren County    } Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions August Term 1852.  The Jurors for the State upon their oath present that James Reed a freeperson of Color at and in the said County of Warren on the first day of August in the AD 1852 with force and arms did assault one John Harris and him the said John Harris did then and there beat wound and illtreat against the peace and dignity of the State.    Ransom Sol.

Miscellaneous Records, Warren County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Person binds five.

Ordered that Bitha Reed now of the age of Ten years, Vinia Reed now of the age of Eight years, Sion Reed now of the age of Six years, Washington Reed now of the age of Three years, and also William Hagans not of the age of Six Years, all of Colour be bound unto Thomas Person untill they arrive at Lawful age

November Term, 1821, Wayne County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions

Free colored slaveholders in Wayne County, 1850.

Hillary Croom — 55 year-old black female; 32 year-old black male.

Levi Winn — 55 year-old black male; 22 year-old black male.

Sheppard Best — 80 year-old black female.

Tabitha Read — 50 year-old black male; 50 year-old black male; 60 year-old black male; 55 year-old black female.

Celia Artice — 60 year-old male.

Arthur Cotten — 50 year-old black male.

Rhoda Read — 70 year-old black male.

Luke Hall — 70 year-old black male.

Celia Artice and sisters Rhoda and Tabitha Read owned their husbands.  The ages of slaves held by other free people of color in the county suggests that they, too, had secured title to loved ones.

1850 United States Federal Census, Slave Schedule, Wayne County NC.