Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: Sampson County

In the aftermath of Nat Turner …

The Edenton Gazette states, upon information received from an undoubted source, that there have been killed in Southampton county upwards of one hundred negroes, consequent upon the late insurrection in that county. Fourteen of the thoughtless, savage wretches have been tried, of whom, thirteen were convicted, and are to be hung during the present week — there are thirty more now in the jail at Jerusalem yet to be tried, besides others in jail at Bellfield.

We understand that about twenty-one negroes have been committed to jail in Edenton, on a charge of having been concerned in concerting a project of rebellion. A slave has also been arrested and imprisoned in Duplin county, upon a similar allegation. He had communicated his knowledge of the scheme in agitation to a free man of color, who gave immediate information to the whites. Serious reports in relation to a revolt of the slaves in Wilmington and Sampson county, reached this city, by the way of Smithfield, on Monday night and Tuesday morning last. On Tuesday evening, certain intelligence from various sources reached us of an insurrection having occurred on Sunday night last in a part of Sampson and Duplin counties. Its extent or the damage done is unknown to us. But, as the militia have been called out in the adjacent counties, we flatter ourselves that it will be speedily suppressed, and that the deluded wretches who are concerned in the diabolical attempt will be made to suffer severely for their temerity.…

The miserable deluded and fiendish band in Southampton have paid dearly for their stupidity and atrocious wickedness; and such will inevitably be the late of all who may ever be so silly and depraved as to intimate their example. But there are some, it seems, reckless enough to attempt it. Vigilance, therefore, becomes necessary for perfect security.

North Carolina Star, Raleigh,15 September 1831.

James Drawhorn Sampson.

ImageNegro History Bulletin, January 1940.

In a few instances …

EASILY RECOGNIZED AS INDIANS

        The … Indians will be readily recognized from their general appearance, their intelligence, the color of their eyes, their skin, their straight black hair, their facial features, their erect carriage, their clannishness, their general habits and demeanor, that they are neither white people nor negroes. They do not resemble the negroes or mulattoes, in that their hair is perfectly straight. They have high cheek bones, they do not have flat noses, or thick lips. Many of them have grey eyes, and often have rose tints on their cheeks. They are usually tall and erect, they are cleanly in their habits and mode of living. They are usually land owners, and more thrifty and industrious. They live and congregate in certain localities, and are clannish, and in numerous ways show the Indian traits. 

THEY WERE NEVER SLAVES

        These people were never slaves and from the memory of the oldest white inhabitants have always been freemen. There is no record that they ever purchased their freedom from former white men. They were never born nor sold into slavery; they were found living in this country as free and separate people as long ago as we have any record of them. In a few instances there has been some mixture of white and negro blood in them. The whites and the negroes have not been so careful in guarding against the amalgamation of those two races as have these Indians, to preserve intact and prevent their Indian blood from mixture with the other two races. In a few instances these Indians have intermarried with mulattoes, but such intermarriages have been discouraged among them, and in most cases, the parties to such marriages have been ostracised socially from the churches and schools of these Indians. 

FORMERLY THEY WERE ERRONEOUSLY CLASSED AS FREE NEGROES

        Since 1868, the white people in Sampson County, as a rule, have classed these Indians with the negroes and refused to recognize them except as negroes. They have consequently been forced, in a measure, with the negro race, but they have steadfastly refused to be classed with the negroes. They have refused to attend the churches and the schools of the negroes or to co-mingle with them on terms of social equality. It is marvellous that they have been able to maintain their racial status so well under the adverse social and political status which has been forced upon them by the white people. It shows that they have an ambition to improve their condition and to build themselves upward, morally, socially, and educationally, rather than to be pulled down to a level with the inferior race, with whom they would be socially classed. It is nothing but common justice to these people that the white race, which has done so much and is now endeavoring to do still more, for the education and material progress and welfare of all the people of the State, of every race, that the efforts of these Indians to build up and maintain their superior social and intellectual status from the negro race, should be encouraged in every proper way, as they have been encouraged and recognized in several other counties of the State, in which they are less numerous. It will make them better citizens and at no substantial extra cost to the white and colored race, for them to have their separate schools and churches. They will feel that they have not been discriminated against and that they have been treated with the same fairness and consideration that their people of the same race and blood are given in adjoining counties.

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

Free-Issue Death Certificates: GREENFIELD.

Budd Greenfield. Died 16 March 1916, Brogden, Wayne County. Age 75. Colored. Single. Common laborer. Born Wayne County to Johnson Greenfield and Harriet Greenfield. Informant, Joe Greenfield.

Joe Ingram Greenfield. Died 22 October 1924, Indian Springs, Wayne County. Colored. Widower. Age 78. Farmer. Born in Wayne County to unknown parents. Informant, Roland Greenfield.

Giles Greenfield. Died 27 August 1927, Indian Springs, Wayne County. Colored. Married to Bitha Greenfield. Farmer. Born April 1850 near Mount Olive to Johnson Greenfield and Hattie Smith Greenfield. Buried Simmons cemetery, Dudley. Informant, John H. Greenfield.

Luther Greenfield. Died 21 April 1934, Indian Springs, Wayne County. Colored. Married to Sarah Greenfield. Age 83. Farmer. Born Wayne County to Johnson Greenfield and Harriet Smith. Informant, B.F. Greenfield.

J.D. Greenfield. Died 17 August 1920, Indian Springs, Wayne County. Colored. Married to Clancy Greenfield. Farmer. Age 68. Born at Indian Springs to Johnson Greenfield and Harriet Smith. Buried Indian Springs. Informant, Miss Lilly Greenfield.

Miss Mary Greenfield. Died 5 January 1932, Indian Springs, Wayne County. Colored. Single. Age 61. Born NC to Johnson Greenfield and Hairrit Smith. Buried Indian Springs. Informant, William Street Greenfield.

George Greenfield. Died 22 August 1929, New Hope, Wayne County. Colored. Widow. Farmer. Age 70. Son of Johnson Greenfield and unknown mother. Buried Pine Level NC. Informant, Willie Mathews.

In the 1850 census of South Side of Neuse River, Wayne County: Jno. Greenfield, 45, hireling, wife Harriet, 30, and children Susan, 12, Bud, 6, Ingram, 2, and Johnston, 4 months. In the 1860 census of Indian Springs, Wayne County: Johnson Greenfield, 52, farmer, wife Harriet, 36, and children Budd, 15, Ingram, 11, Giles, 9, Luther, 6, Dellelo, 4, Mary, 2, George, 2, and Marshal, 4 months.

Bettie Greenfield. Died 18 June 1930, Indian Springs, Wayne County. Age 85. Colored. Widow of Giles Greenfield. Born Wayne County to unknown father and Millie Smith. Buried Simmons cemetery. Informant, Alonzo Greenfield.

Classie Greenfield. Died 16 January 1937, Indian Springs, Wayne County. Age. Colored. Widow of Dello Greenfield. Born in Wayne County to unknown parents. Informant, John Richardson.

In the 1860 census of Buck Swamp, Wayne County: Milly Smith, 45, and children Louisa, 25, Bitha, 15, Frances, 8, Clarissa, 4, Eliza, 5, Isam, 3, and Virginia, 1. 

Pennie Simmons. Died 4 May 1936, South Clinton, Sampson County. Indian. Widow. Age 95. Born in NC to Gray Winn and Sallie Greenfield. Buried in family cemetery. Informant, J.G. Simmons.

Elizabeth Greenfield. Died 12 October 1919, Indian Springs, Wayne County. Colored. Married to J.I. Greenfield. Age 71 years, 9 months, 17 days. Born Wayne County to John Stafford and Annie Brooks. Informant, J.H. Greenfield.

 

 

Those of negro blood have been excluded.

We have procured from the homes of these Indian families a few photographs, showing the type of these Croatan Indians today living in Sampson County. It will be readily seen that they are neither white people, negroes or mulattoes. They all have straight black hair, the Indian nose and lips, their skin a light brown hue, mostly high cheek bones, erect in their carriage, steel gray eyes and an intelligent countenance. Where the white blood predominates many of them have beards.

They are the true type of the Croatan Indian and have always resided and lived in this section and known as “free persons of color.” There are a few of these people that have intermarried with mulattoes, but all those of negro blood have been excluded from this sketch and no demands or claims are made in their behalf, as under the law they are properly classed with the negroes.

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

Joshua & Amelia Aldridge Brewington.

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JOSHUA BREWINGTON, son of Raiford Brewington and Bathsheba Manuel Brewington, was born in 1846 in Sampson County and died in 1931 in Wayne County.  His wife, AMELIA ALDRIDGE BREWINGTON, daughter of Robert Aldridge and Mary Eliza Balkcum Aldridge, was born in 1855 in Sampson County and died in 1895 in Wayne County. They are buried in the cemetery of the First Congregational Church, Dudley, North Carolina. “Sleep on and take thy rest.”

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, 2010.

Pure white and Indian.

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Enoch Manuel and wife live in Dismal Township, Sampson County. He is now 70 years old. His father was Michael Manuel and lived on South River and died in 1858. Michael’s father was Nicholas Manuel, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, in John Toomer’s Army. His father was Ephraim Manuel. The records of Sampson County show, book 5, page 222, that in the reign of George III Benjamin Williams conveyed to Ephraim Manuel 400 acres of land, lying on the east side of Great Coharie, charging annual quit rents to His Majesty. We find another deed from Solomon Hardin to Levi Manuel, dated October 10, 1778, for 125 acres on March Branch and Miry Bottom Branch in Sampson County, consideration 50 English pounds. There are numerous other old deeds to the Manuel family on record in Sampson County. The father of Ephraim Manuel was Nickey Manuel and came from Roanoke River and claimed to be half white and half Indian. There is no trace of negro blood known to exist in the Manuel family as far back as they have any record.

Enoch Manuel says that his ancestor, Nickey Manuel, raised Matthew Leary, father of Sheridan Leary, who was killed in John Brown’s insurrection at Harper’s Ferry. Sheridan Leary was a brother of John S. Leary, a lawyer of Charlotte, formerly of Fayetteville, N. C.  …  Sarah, wife of Enoch Manuel, whose picture appears above, was a daughter of Amos Hardin, a wheelright [sic] in Honeycutts Township, and was recognized as a Croatan Indian. This couple have seven children and numerous grandchildren. They have not intermarried with the negro race, and their children attend Shiloh Indian School in Dismal Township, of which school Enoch Manuel was the founder.

[“]My mother’s mother was one Lanie Jackson, a white woman. Therefore as you can plainly see, my father and mother were pure white and Indian. My wife was the daughter of Amos Harding and Cassie Lockamy, a white woman, of Irish descent.

We had in our home several sons and daughters. Jonah Emanuel, who married Luberta Bledsole, daughter of W. J. Bledsole. W.J. Bledsole was the son of Mary Bledsole, a white woman, his father unknown. He is evidently a white man, with some trace of Indian blood. Enoch Emanuel, Jr., also married a daughter of the above W. J. Bledsole. Macy Lee Emanuel married Hassie J. Jones of Robeson County, a person of white and Indian descent. All of the above are descendants of the late Nicholas Emanuel and Jonathan Harding.

Many of the members of the Emanuel family have moved to other sections. They are now living in as many as seven different States of the Union. Some have spelled our name Manuel; others Emanuel. I have followed the latter form for our name in this pamphlet. [“]

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

He was ignorant of his right.

59th CONGRESS, 1st Session}  SENATE. {DOCUMENT No. 471.

[Court of Claims. Congressional, No. 11397. Hardy A. Brewington, administrator of the estate of Raiford Brewington, deceased, v. The United States.]

STATEMENT OF CASE.

Senate Bill 4292, reading as follows, was introduced on February 10, 1904, and was referred to this court on April 28, 1904, by resolution of the Senate for findings of fact under the terms of section 14 of the act approved March 3, 1887, and commonly known as the Tucker Act.

FINDINGS OF FACT.

  1. Claimant’s decedent, Raiford Brewington, was a free colored man, residing during the late civil war in Sampson County, N.C., and throughout said war he remained loyal to the United States Government.
  2. During said war the United States military forces, under proper authority, took from claimant’s decedent, in Sampson County, N.C., for the use of the Army, quartermaster stores and commissary supplies of the kinds described in the petition, which at the time and place of taking were reasonably worth the sum of five hundred and thirty dollars ($530.) No payment appears to have been made for said property of any part thereof.
  3. It appears from the evidence that claimants decedent was a colored man, who was ignorant of his right to present a claim to the Claims Commission established by the act approved March 3, 1871, during the two years allowed by law for filing of claims before said Commission. There was no other opportunity for presentation of this claim save by petition to Congress. These facts are reported as bearing upon the question  of whether there has been delay or laches in the presentation of said claim.    By the Court.

Filed May 14, 1906.

A true copy: Test this 32st day of May, 1906 [seal.]      John Randolph, Assistant Clerk Court of Claims

United States Congressional Serial Set, Issue 4916, p. 41.

They built a school for themselves.

Prior to 1835 these people claim to have attended the schools of the whites. In 1859 they built a school for themselves, which was taught by Alvin Manuel, a Croatan. After the War they were given a public school in this community, but the effort to force the attendance of children of negro blood in this school brought on friction and finally resulted in the withdrawal of county support and disrupted the school.

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

Michael Alvin Manuel was born about 1837 in Sampson County and died in 1922 in Wayne County.

In the 1850 census of Northern District, Sampson County: Michael Manuel, 63, cooper; wife Fereby, 49; and children Gideon, 19, Cintilla, 16, Drusilla, 15, Michael, 13, Eden, 11, John, 9, William, 7, Enoch, 4, and Nancy, 1; all described as mulatto.

A distinct and separate race of people.

State of North Carolina – County of Sampson.

To the Honorable Board of Education of Sampson County, North Carolina:

The undersigned, your petitioners, a part of the Croatan Indians living in the County of Sampson, State aforesaid, having their residence here for more than two hundred years, as citizens and tax payers of the County and State, peacefully sharing all the burdens of our government, and desiring to share in all the benefits incident thereto, respectfully petition your Honorable Board for such recognition and aid in the education of their children as you may see fit to extend to them, the amount appropriated to be used for the sole and exclusive purpose of assisting your petitioners to educate their children and fit them for the duties of citizenship;

Your petitioners would show that there are, according to the bulletin of the thirteenth census of 1910, two hundred and thirteen Indians in Sampson County.  And, that there are of legal school age, for whom there [are] now no separate school provisions over one hundred Indian school children. That these children are not permitted to attend, and have no desire to attend, the white schools, and in no other section of the State are they required to attend the colored schools.

That they are a distinct and separate race of people, and are now endeavoring, as best they can, at their own expense, to build and maintain their own schools, without any appropriation from the county or state, notwithstanding, they cheerfully pay taxes for this purpose, and otherwise share in the burdens and benefits of the government.

That the Croatan Indians of this county are a quiet, peaceful and industrious people, and have been residents of this section long before the advent of the white man, with whom they have always been friendly, and with whom they have always courted and maintained most cordial relations.

There is a tradition among them that they are a remnant of White’s Lost Colony and during the long years that have passed since the disappearance of said colony, they have been struggling to fit themselves and their children for the exalted privileges and duties of American freemen, and to substantiate this historical and traditional claim, hereto append, and make a part of this petition such historical data as they have been able to collect to aid you in arriving at their proper racial status.

Your petitioners further respectfully show that they are of the same race and blood and a part of the same people, held by the same ties of racial and social intercourse as the Croatan Indians of Robeson County, many of whom were former resident of Sampson County, and with whom they have married and intermarried.  That since the State of North Carolina has been so just and generous as to provide special and separate school advantages for our brothers and kinsmen, in Robeson County, as well as in the counties of Richmond, Scotland, Hoke, Person and Cumberland, we now appeal to you for the same just and generous recognition from the State of North Carolina and from your Honorable Board, in Sampson County, that we may share equal advantages with them as people of the same race and blood, and as loyal citizens of the State.

And your petitioners ever pray.  Respectfully submitted,

Isham Ammons, H.A. Brewington, J.H. Brewington., J.R. Jones, Robbin Jacobs, R.J. Jacobs, Calvin Ammons, H.S. Brewington, Jonathan Goodman, Lucy Goodman, Jesse Jacobs, J.B. Simmons, Wm. Simmons, Sr., W.J. Bledsole, Matthew Burnette, Enoch Manuel, Jr., Gus Robinson, M.L. Brewington, R.H. Jacobs, J.W. Faircloth, Wm. Simmons, Jr., E.R. Brewington, W.L. Bledsole, Enoch Manuel (or Emanuel), G.B. Brewington, W.B. Brewington, Thomas Jones, C.O. Jacobs, J.S. Strickland, Myrtle Goodman, Enos Jacobs, K.J. Ammons, C.A. Brewington, C.D. Brewington, Martha Jones, T.J. Jacobs, J.M. West, Albert Jacobs, R.M. Williams, J.A. Brewington, Harley Goodman, W.E. Goodman, B.J. Faircloth, Percy Simmons, J.G. Simmons, J.H. Bledsole, H.J. Jones, Jonah Manuel.

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