Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Revolutionary War

A centenarian.

A CENTENARIAN. – A free colored man named William Lomack died in this vicinity on Saturday last: He served as a regular soldier throughout the whole Revolutionary War, and drew a pension up to the time of his death. He is said to have been 104 years of age! – Fay. Observer.

The North-Carolinian (Fayetteville), 21 September 1850.


In the 1850 census of Cumberland County, William Lomac, 95, born in New Jersey, with Patsey Canaday, 26, and William, 7, and Sarah, 2, born in NC.

They talked about their service and privations together.

State of North Carolina Wak County pearsonally appeared before us Nancey Whitehead widow of Burwell Whitehead Aged ninety years and made oath in Dew form of Law to following affidaved

That She was Raised in the County of hallifax and State of North Carolina and that She was pearsonally Acquanited with Axum Scot and that they was Both Raised in the Same neighbourhood and Lived in a mile of Each other and that She well recollects that he married Alley Sweat and in a Short time after thear mariage had a Son they named him Zachariah and further this Deponent Saith not Sworn to and Subscribed before is August 13th 1846  Nancey X Whitehead

[illegible} JP, Tignall Jones JP


State of North Carolina, Wake County   }  Personally appeared before me Tignal Jones an acting Justice of the peace for said County on the 13th day of August 1845 Gilbert Evans aged fifty seven years and made oath to the following affidavit

That he was personally acquainted with Exum Scott for many years and often heard him speak of his services in the revolutionary War and heard him talk of his distress in leaving home to enter the army. And this deponent further saith that he has often heard his father (William Evans) who was also a revolutionary Soldier speak of the said Exum Scott as a Soldier of the revolution and also has heard them talking together of their services & privations together in the war and saith that the said Scott was always bore the Character of a revolutionary Soldier and always treated as such

Sworn to and subscribed before me the day & date first written    Gilbert X Evans


State of North Carolina, Wake County   }  This day Barney Scott of Granville County appears before me Tignal Jones a Justice of the peace of said County and made oath that he is the third son of Exum and Alley Scott that he is now as he believes 68 years of age and that he recollects when his father returned home from the War and that he has often heard his father say that he served under Col Long of Halifax and often heard him talk of the War and his services in the War and heard him say he served eighteen months under Col Long and further that his father was always called an old revolutionary Soldier & always treated as such and also had heard his father say that Jesse Potts was his Captain and that his father died in Wake County about the year 1823. Sworn to & subscribed before me this 23rd day of July AD 1845  Barney X Scott

Witness Tignall Jones JP


Widow Alley Sweatt Scott and son Zachary Scott, among others, also gave affidavits attesting to Exum Scott’s marital status and war service. There was testimony that Exum and Alley married in 1774 in Halifax County and that they moved to Wake County about 1801. George Pettiford of Granville County, himself a Revolutionary War veteran,  gave an affidavit concerning Scott’s service, and other documents named a third son, Guilford Scott.

From the file of Exum Scott, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

In the 1790 census of Edgecombe District, Halifax County: Exum Scott listed as head of a household of 9 free people of color.

Carter, Revolutionary War soldier.

State of North Carolina, Sampson County   } Superior Court of Law Fall Term 1820

On this 25th day of October 1820 Personally appeared in Open Court being a Court of Record held in & for the County of Sampson, Moses Carter (a Man of Colour) aged Sixty Nine years who being first duly Sworn, according to Law, doth on his Oath, make the following declaratory in order to obtain the Provisions made by the Acts of Congress of the 18th March 1818 and the 1st of May 1820, that he the said Moses Carter enlisted for the Term of eighteen months on the 19th of July 1782, that he served in Captain Joseph T. Rhodes Company in the first Regiment of the North Carolina line in the Continental Establishment in the time of the Revolutionary War from the first of August 1782 until the first of July 1783 at which time he was discharged, and in Pursuance of the Act of the 1st of May 1820, I do solemly swear that I was a Resident Citizen of the United States on the 18th of March 1818 and that I have not since that time, by gift, sale of in any manner disposed of my Property or any part thereof, with intent thereby to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an Act of Congress Entitled “An Act to provide for Certain Persons engaged in the Land and Naval Service of the United States in the Revolutionary War,” passed on the 18th day of March 1818; that I have not nor has any Person in trust for me, any property or Securities Contracts or debts due to me, not have I any income other than what is contained in the Schedule hereunto annexed & by me Subscribed; that he has no other evidence now in his Power of his Services except what is hereunto annexed.  Moses X Carter

A Schedule of Property held by Moses Carter

3 – 2 year old hogs                                            $9.00

3 breeding sows                                                 9.00

19 year old Hoggs                                              28.50

5 Piggs                                                               2.50

2 old Pots                                                             2.00

1 skillet                                                                 40

1 old Dutch oven                                                  50

2 old Pails tubs & one Pail                                   1

5 old axes 3 hoes & 2 grubing hoes                     4

56.94            Moses X Carter


I hereby Certify that Mosses Carter is inlisted in the Continental Army for eighteen Months and has leave of absence until the first of August Next then to Join the Reg’t at Duplin Courthouse and is not to be molested by any person whatsoever   Ja’s Kenan Col    July 19th 1782

Moses Tyler testified to Carter’s service and noted that he “is old & has lost his Speech & is very feeble, is a farmer.”

From the file of Moses Carter, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

Tell them.

Tell them if I am Black I am free born American & a revolutionary soldier & therefore ought not to be thrown entirely out of the scale of notice.

Letter from John Chavis to Senator Willie Mangum, March 10, 1832; Willie P. Mangum Papers, State Library of North Carolina.

Thoroughly imbued with the patriotic sentiments of his white friends.

One morning, while the army of Cornwallis was marching through this section, Mrs. Gee was intent on household cares in her kitchen, when she was startled by the entrance of an armed Negro in British uniform, who ordered her to cook breakfast for him. There was no resisting the command, for she was alone in the house, and on the premises were only two or three young Negroes. She set about preparing the meal, making it as elaborate as possible, in order to secure delay; and, while it was cooking, she managed to slip out, and give this message to an intelligent boy: ‘Run to John Lomax and tell him to come here just as quick as he can, and to come with his gun!’ But it seemed to her that bread and meat never baked so fast before, and do what she would — the Negro all the while urging her with brutal words to hurry up — she was obliged to dish up the food. But just as her unwelcome guest had seated himself at the table, his musket across his knees, John Lomax, strode through the door, and presented a gun at his head. Lomax kept the British Negro captive till all the army of Cornwallis had passed, and then gave him up to the authorities at Fayetteville. John Lomax was a free Negro thoroughly imbued with the patriotic sentiments of his white friends and neighbors, and devoted all his life to the Gee family.

From W.J. Fletcher, The Gee Family (1937).

They ran off and was married in an old field.

State of North Carolina, Halifax County    }  On this 20th day of May, 1846, personally appeared before me Lemuel P. Johnston an acting Justice of the Peace in and for the County aforesaid, Mrs. Winaford Holley, a resident of said County and State, aged eighty eight years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth, certify that She was an eye witness to the marriage of Drury Walden to his wife Elizabeth, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Harriss; that they ran away and was married some time in the year (1780) Seventeen hundred and eighty (she well remembers) in an old field a little from the Road, in the County of Northampton North Carolina, by Herbert Harris, who was, at that time, an acting Magistrate in Said County of Northampton; and that the said Drury and wife (after their intermarriage) took supper that evening, at her Winaford Holley’s Mother’s House. That she well recollects, that at the time of the aforesaid Marriage (To Wit) in the year (1780) her husband Jesse Holley, was then a soldier in the army.

She further certifies that upon her oath, that the said Drury Walden’s family, and his wife, the aforesaid Elizabeth’s family, were at (the time of their intermarriage,) living within an half Mile of her Mother’s house; and that she very well remembers, that the aforesaid Drury Walden, did serve one, and she believes two tours in the Army of the Revolution, after he intermarried with the aforesaid Elizabeth Harriss, for all of the above named families, were living at the same places, that they were, at the time of the aforesaid marriage, when the said Drury Walden returned home, from the service; and that she saw him, when he arrived at home from the said service.   Winafred X Holley

Sworn to and subscribed on the say and year above written before me  L.P. Johnston

He has proven it.

William A. Maynor, who was born in Sampson County, is a descendant of Stephen Maynor, who was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, as the records in Washington, D. C., now show. He was also a descendant on mother’s side of the late Nicholas Emanuel. He has satisfactorily proven before the courts of North Carolina and Cumberland County that his wife was at least two-thirds Indian. He has a certificate properly signed by the officials of Cumberland County, certifying these facts.

The Maynors are said to be descendants of Manteo, the friendly Indian chief of historical times. (See McMillan’s History of the Indians of Robeson County.)

From George E. Butler, “The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina. Their Origin and Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools,” (1916).

He had Negro blood in him.


White Soldier of General Cornwallis’s Army Drank Some of His Colored Sweetheart’s Blood Before Marriage in Order to be Able to Marry Her Legally.

By JOSEPH SEWELL in Raleigh (N.C.) Observer.

Joseph Butler (white), a member of Cornwallis’s army, was severely wounded in the battle of Guilford, March 15, 1781.

In Cornwallis’s retreated toward Eastern North Carolina Butler became a straggler and was lost from the English army. He was succored by a free mulatto woman, who hid him in her home until the surrender of the English army the following October.

During Butler’s confinement he was faithfully nursed by the daughter of his benefactress, who was nearly white, and there grew between them a mutual affection. It was Butler’s ardent desire to marry the young woman, and he was greatly distressed upon realizing that, under the laws of North Carolina, to wed the woman was impossible – she had Negro blood in her, and Butler was a full-blooded white man.

Hid in the Home of his Sweetheart

Butler remained at the home of his sweetheart in an unfrequented part of the country, and cultivated the small farm where he lived – isolated and ignored, an alien enemy, a fugitive hiding under a Negro’s roof. He finally conceived and immediately acted upon a plan to thwart the law, which forbade him marrying the woman he loved.

In those times the “letting of blood” was regarded almost as a panacea in the treatment of all bodily ailments. The mulatto girl was, for some physical disorder, bled by a surgeon.

Her sympathizing lover was at hand during the operation, and to the astonishment of the surgeon, deliberately drank an appreciable portion of the patient’s blood.

He immediately departed and upon his return exhibited a duly authenticated license to wed his mulatto sweetheart. He had gone to the proper official, made affidavit that he had Negro blood in him, and had procured a license to marry a half-blooded Negro woman.

Son of Couple Still Living

Rev. John J. Young, 78, Baptist minister, now living, is the son of this colored girl and the English soldier. His grandfather, Thomas Blacknall, had this interesting history:

Thomas Blacknall was born in Granville County, North Carolina, considerably over a century ago, as the chattel of John Blacknall, a typical slave owner of the South. Tom Blacknall was not only a remarkable Negro, he was a remarkable man.

Under apprenticeship provided by his master, Tom became a blacksmith and bell maker of more than local renown. He was permitted to keep his earnings and “buy his time.”

It is history in the Blacknall family that he was absent from home at intervals of a year without intermission, and that, with his master’s  permission, Tom went as far away as Baltimore, peddling his bells and plying his trade.

Tom Blacknall, the slave, was permitted to save his earnings and buy his freedom. The price paid for his freedom was $900. He afterwards purchased the freedom of his wife and his three sons, taking title to all of his ransomed family in himself.

He afterwards purchased three additional slaves. Had Blacknall’s wife given birth to other children, which does not seem to have occurred, such children would have been chattels of their father. Blacknall’s first wife died in de facto serfdom to her husband and he afterwards married a free Negro.

Wives Owned Their Husbands

He died in 1863 and by the terms of his will his three sons passed to the ownership of their respective wives who were free Negro women. Evidently he believed in reciprocity in the marital relation. His first wife had been his de facto slave and he made his sons, who were also his slaves, the slaves of their wives.

Another astounding thing about Tom Blacknall is that he was a Negro deacon in a white Presbyterian church.

This, and the fact that he frequently led the white congregations in prayer, are established to my entire satisfaction.

I have frequently conversed with very old white people of the highest veracity and of pronounced mentality, who, as restive children, heard but did ot attentively listen to, the prolix implorations of black Tom Blacknall, fervently poured forth in the midst of white congregations in a white Presbyterian church.

The Afro-American, Baltimore MD, 26 April 1930.

He was a soldier of the Revolution.

State of North Carolina

Granville County

On this 8th day of November 18 Hundred and Fortytwo (1842) personally appeared before James Cozart — one of the acting Magistrates and a member of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for said County & State — Abigail Guy the widow of William Guy, a resident of said County & State, aged Eighty years, who having first sworn according to Law, doth on her oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of Congress passed July 4th, 1836.

That she is the widow of William Guy, who was a Pensioner, that lived in the county of Granville NC, at the rate of Forty Dollars per annum & who was a soldier of the Revolution that served in the Virginia Continental Line that was placed on the pension roll in May 1833.

She further declares that she was married to the said Wm. Guy on the 12th day of June, 17 Hundred and Eighty, and that her husband the aforesaid Wm. Guy died on the 30th day of January 1837.  And that she has remained a widow ever since that Period as will more fully appear above to the proofs here unto annexed.

Sworn and Subscribed before me the day and date first above written before —   Abigail X Guy

James C. Cozart (seal)

The said Abigail Guy is a woman of truth and by old age & and bodily infirmity is unable to attend court to make her Declaration.  James C. Cozart

From the file of William Guy, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

In the 1830 census of South Regiment, Granville County: William Guy, head of a household consisting of one free man of color.  Listed separately, “Mrs. Guy,” head of a household consisting of one 60-70 year-old white woman.

Her husband was a pensioner.

State of North Carolina, County of Granville

On this fourth day of February One thousand eight hundred and fifty six before the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions held within and for the County and State aforesaid, personally appeared Mrs. Tabitha Pettiford aged Sixty eight years a resident near Oxford in the County of Granville in the State of North Carolina who being duly Sworn according to law doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed on the third day of February A.D. 1853 granting pensions to widows of persons who Served during the Revolutionary War that she is the widow of George Pettiford deceased who was a Private in the North Carolina Continental line in the War of the Revolution that her said husband was a Pensioner of the United States under the act of March 18th A.D. 1818 at the rate of Ninety six dollars per annum which was paid to him at the agency in Fayettville in the State of North Carolina she further states that she was married to the said George Pettiford in Granville County in the Tenth day of May 1837 by one John Mallory a Minister of the Gospel and that her name before her said marriage was Tabitha Johnson that her said husband died at his residence in the County of Granville in the State of North Carolina on the Fifth day of February in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty three that She was not married to the said George Pettiford prior to the second day of January eighteen hundred but at the time above stated she further stated that there is a Public record of her marriage and that there is no Private record of her marriage and further declares that she is now a widow and has not married since his death that she cannot file herewith her husband’s original certificate of pension from the fact that it was sent to the office of the 3d addition of the treasury to which she refers in support of this her claim.

She hereby appoints J. C. Codner of Smithfield North Carolina (irrevocably) her true and lawful attorney to prosecute this her claim for pension to receive the certificate when issued and to do all other acts necessary and proper in the premises.       Tabitha X Pettiford

L. A. Paschall Ch’mn of Granville County Court

From the file of George Pettiford, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration.

In the 1850 census of Oxford, Granville County: George Petterford, age 106, and wife Tobitha, 47. Next door, Edmond Pettyford, 50, and wife Rebecca, 52.

George Pettiford married Taby Johnson, 1 May 1837, in Granville County. Edmond Pettiford was bondsman, and G.C. Wiggins witnessed.