Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Civil War USCT Recruits in New Bern, North Carolina

An interesting discovery while searching for USCT: New Bern Enlistments
Ferries, ferries, ferries...

It has been a long and difficult search to discover anything new about the location of ferries from the South Side of Neuse River to New Bern in 1853. I have found several mentions, but nothing very specific...

However, in the process of working on creating a listing of all the soldiers who enlisted in New Bern for the United States Colored Troops in 1864, I came across the following video which I think you might find very interesting.

One of the interviewers, Bernard George, is a member of my husband's family tree: his 3rd cousin. Their mutual relation was Theophilus George, the father of both Martha Ann George and James George. James was the youngest child born to Theophilus' first wife, Mary Elizabeth Morris in 1846, while my husband's great grandmother Martha Ann was the oldest child born to Theophilus' second wife, Sarah Harkley, in 1849.


I invite you to take a look at this video and absorb some of the interesting connections which still remain to our not so distant past....


The NEWBERNIAN: Meet Luke Martin
by JTrodgers Productions, April 2012



The following video is the sequel to this, 
New Bern's 
Civil War Veteran's Recognition Event.
The contingent then proceeds to three cemeteries for wreath laying.
Follow the Color Guard to:
  1. The Confederate Memorial at Cedar Grove Cemetery. Then, proceed across George Street to
  2. Greenwood Cemetery, where 5 USCT troops are buried, and then out National Avenue to
  3. The National Cemetery, where both white Union and USCT troops are buried, including Luke P. Martin, Sr. of the USCT 35th Infantry.



The NEWBERNIAN: lukemartinUtube
by Deborah Morefield, June 23, 2012


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Diving Into. . .

File Box 1, File No. 1.4, Part I.2
Franklin, John Hope. "The Free Negro In The Economic Life Of Ante-Bellum North Carolina, Parts I & II," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Volume XIX, No. 1, July 1942, pp. 239-259; and Volume XIX, No. 4, October 1942, pp. 358-375.

Occupational Restrictions Against Free Negroes
...although a large number of free Negroes made their living peddling, the legislature did not hesitate to put an effective check to it when the movement of free Negroes from place to place became distasteful to them (p. 246).
 Underlying a petition of the citizens of Lenoir County to the Assembly in 1831 was a fear that free Negroes would entice slaves to commit acts of thievery in their county, and that they provided bad morale for slaves. The petitioners also stated that 
...free Negroes from New Bern brought in cakes, tobacco, and spirituous liquors to sell... (p. 247).
The outcome was that in 1831 the  General Assembly passed a law
...requiring all free Negro peddlers to obtain a license to sell goods within the limits of their resident county (Laws, 1831-1832, p. 24).
By 1852 the free white population of the state further restricted the laws governing free Negro peddlers; and Franklin gives evidence that by 1860, the only jobs free Negroes  were engaged in were those deemed non-threatening and menial. Few skilled craftsmen were employed, competing for jobs with whites. But the competition for jobs did not end there. The practice of masters hiring out their slaves became common in North Carolina, and provided an additional obstacle for those free Negroes seeking jobs in labor, farming, turpentine and timber...and as  washerwomen, watermen and servants.

The apprentice system which sought to train a skilled workforce seemed to leave free Negroes to change jobs as they became available, and underlying the struggle remained subsistence farming as a means of meeting the family's basic needs.

The young Isaac Carter first apprenticed as a cooper and then a shoemaker may have put those skills to good use in getting extra side-jobs, or in providing for his family's daily needs, or in getting his crop to market; but, nowhere was he ever enumerated on a Census record of having been employed in either of these trades.

Following the Civil War, Isaac's occupation was enumerated as follows:

  • 1870: Farm Laborer
  • 1880: Field Hand
  • 1900: Pensioner
  • 1910: House Painter (at 70 years of age).
He died in 1918, just twenty days short of his 78th birthday. His occupation was recorded as Farmer; and, the cause of his death: Old Age.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Diving Into. . .

File Box 1, File No. 1.4, Part I.1
Franklin, John Hope. "The Free Negro In The Economic Life Of Ante-Bellum North Carolina, Parts I & II," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. XIX, No. 3, July 1942, pp. 239-259; and Vol. XIX, No. 4, October 1942, pp. 358-375.


Apprentice Bonds
As early as 1733 children of free Negro parents were being bound out as apprentices. In that year it was reported to the upper house of the General Assembly that "divers free people, Negroes and mulattoes were bound out until they came to 31 years of age, contrary to the consent of the Parties bound out." . . . On July 12, 1733, the General Assembly passed an act declaring that the binding out of free Negroes against their consent was an illegal act (p. 240).
 We've discussed apprenticeship bonds before, especially in relation to Isaac Carter and his siblings. Beyond the historical laws dictating the conditions under which minors could be apprenticed, Franklin provides a table recording the FREE NEGRO APPRENTICES IN CRAVEN COUNTY, 1800-1860.

Of 214 apprentices recorded during this period for Craven County, 32 occupations were represented. The highest occurring occupations were Carpenter (20), Cooper (41), Farmer (26), Shoemaker (13) and Spinner (55). Franklin notes that these occupations were representative of conditions in the county by areas where the labor force needed additional support.
Not infrequently free Negro children were bound out to free Negro masters. It may have been that the more affluent free Negroes took over the children of their less fortunate fellows to prevent their being bound out by the county court to some person with whom they were not acquainted. The records of Craven County show that John C. Stanly, a wealthy free Negro, was continuously binding free Negro children to himself (p. 244).

Further discussion of John Caruthers Stanly can be found here.

By the end of the period, Franklin notes that there had been nearly two-thousand free Negro children working within the homes of white people as apprentices, leading to the emergence of skilled free Negro farmers and tradesmen in the state.

Diving Into. . .

File Box 1, File No. 1.4.Part II.1
Franklin, John Hope. "The Free Negro In The Economic Life Of Ante-Bellum North Carolina, Parts I & II," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. XIX, No. 3, July 1942, pp. 239-259; and Vol. XIX, No. 4, October 1942, pp. 358-375.

Distribution of wealth

As I came to the end of the article, I was reminded of
something I had written in my application for the
NEH Unaffiliated Independent Scholar Fellowship, 2008. . . .

Page 370 displays a table entitled, FREE NEGROES HAVING PROPERTY VALUED AT MORE THAN $2,500, with the commentary,
While this table does not represent the average holdings of the free Negro in ante-bellum North Carolina, it suggests that there was a number of individual cases in which free Negroes rose to a position of economic independence, despite obstacles (p. 371).
The table contains the names, occupations and valuations of estates for fifty-three persons. Below is a table which I created to analyze the raw date within Franklin's work.

Occupation
Number
High
Low
Mean
Baker
1
$2,750
---
---
Farmer
32
20,816
$2,500
$5,601
Barber
2
4,400
3,550
4,025
Farm Hand
2
5,554
3,450
4,502
Cabinet Maker
1
4,000
---
---
Musician
1
3,100
---
---
Carpenter
3
36,000
2,500
14,167
Housekeeper
1
5,500
---
---
Unlisted
4
14,000
2,500
6,425
Confection
1
5,905
---
---
Wheelwright
1
8,150
---
---
Clerk
1
5,000
---
---
Blacksmith
1
2,800
---
---


Most of the free Negroes who owned property were possessors of small estates worth a few hundred dollars or less. . . . Craven County, with 1,332 free Negroes in 1860,had only 179 free Negro property owners. . . (p. 370).
This focus on the exemplary is exactly what I have chosen NOT to include in my work. Our society, made up of average people working side-by-side, is what forms the spirit of community. And, that is what I have chosen to research: the average family, their trials and struggles to form a better community, where family sticks together and neighbor helps neighbor.

Franklin continues. . .
On the whole, a larger number of free Negroes possessed some type of personal property, ranging from silver watches to farming tools. . . . But the poverty of the free Negro group can be seen clearly through this study of the value of the property of the group. They possessed an aggregate wealth of $1,045,643. When one considers that more than 30,000 people had to share in this wealth of slightly more than one million dollars, the realization of their plight is inescapable. The per capita wealth of the free Negroes of North Carolina was only $34 in 1860. Thousands were landless and without any kind of property. 
A second table reports the aggregate value of property owned by free Negroes in North Carolina by county. In 1860, Craven County had an aggregate of real estate valued at $29, 865, and of personal property, $21, 137.




Diving Into. . .

File Box 1, No. 1.4.Part II.2
Franklin, John Hope. "The Free Negro In The Economic Life Of Ante-Bellum North Carolina, Parts I & II, in The North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. XIX, No. 3, July 1942, pp.239-259; and Vol. XIX , No. 4, October 1942, p. 358-375.


Free Negro slave owners


Franklin discusses the two motives a free Negro owned slaves:

  1. for the purpose of advancing their economic well-being, and
  2. for benevolent reasons (p. 373).
John C. Stanly, he notes, owned slaves for both reasons. His case is famous. He was the son of John Wright Stanly. You can read more about them in the links provided.

Throughout his discussion of how many slaves were owned by free Negroes from 1790 to 1830, my mind kept going back to the case of Margaret Carter, our Isaac's grand-aunt. She was the daughter of Abel Carter, and is noted in Paul Heinegg's Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware as Margaret Fenner, sister of John Carter. He quotes Byrd's In Full Force and Virtue (p. 41), how in 1797 she petitioned the court for permission to manumit her "negro man slave," named Jack Fennel who was her husband by whom she had a number of children. Through his industry they had acquired a 200 acre plantation stocked with cattle and hogs. 

Actually, his estate records show that he owned 240 acres, and that his son Thomas and wife Penny petitioned the court against his mother's family as follows:
Your petitioners further show that they desire to hold and enjoy the shares of said land in severalty, and to that end prey your worship to not to appoint five commissioners to divide the same into fourteen equal shares by proper metes and bounds and to allot to the parties hereto the said share as follows, to Thomas Fenner & Penny his wife one share, to Amos Carter one share, to James Carter one share, to Luke Ward & Betsey his wife one share, John Martin one share for live remainder over, Jesse A Godet & Martha his wife one share, Rufus L. Carter one share, Essau J. Carter one share, Josephus Carter one share, Elija M. Carter, Isaac H.Carter, Garrison E. Carter one share each-- (Sarah George, Theophilus George, Timothy George, Tempy Jayn George and Mary George the last two infants--the children of Elijah George deceased) one share, to the children of Theophilus George deceased (viz Manuel George, James George, Theophilus George, William George, Nancy Gaudet & Martha A. Carter the last three infants,and James Gaudet) one share. . . .
 Interestingly enough, the Clerk of Courts whose signature appears on these papers is John G[reen] Stanly, the half-brother of John C[aruthers] Stanly--both sons of John Wright Stanly of New Bern.




Saturday, July 14, 2012

Diving Into. . .

File Box 1, File No. 1.3:
Farlow, Gale. "Black Craftsmen in North Carolina," in North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Volume XI, No. 1, February 1985, pp. 2-13; continued in Volume XI, No. 2, May 1985, pp. 91-103.


I had hoped that this article might discuss the various crafts in which African Americans were engaged in the period pre-1850; however, it served as a synopsis of other researchers' investigations. The author states that
Four factors were considered necessary for identification of black craftsmen working before 1850: name, trade, location by town or county, and at least one documented date. This method necessarily eliminated any referenced not having all four criteria . . . . would seem to indicate that the list of those identified is only a small part of the total number who were working in North Carolina before 1850. . . . Of the 291 craftsmen identified, 159 were free persons and 132 of them were cited as apprentices. The slaves numbered 132 with 94 of them runaways. Forty-four counties were represented, twenty of them east of Raleigh and classified as Eastern, and nineteen were located in the Piedmont area (p. 8).
Farlow cites John Hope Franklin's The Free Negro in North Carolina as the source for this information. On the next page are two tables:

  • Table 1: Black Craftsmen Listed By Trade
  • Table 2: Black Craftsmen Located By Counties
Table 2 records fifty-seven black craftsmen in Craven County (p.9).

The remainder of the article is a compiled list of names and notations extracted from apprenticeship bonds, newspaper advertisements, and various other sources. Three of our Carters are listed on page 11:
  1. CARTER, George. A free black, aged eleven years, who was apprenticed as a turner to Thomas IVES of Craven County in 1788. (Craig, p. 355);
  2. CARTER, Isaac. Aged five years he was apprenticed as a cooper to William PHYSICO of Craven County in 1811. (Boykin, p. 19);
  3. CARTER, William. Aged fourteen years, he was apprenticed as a cooper to William PHYSICO of Craven County in 1811. His younger brother (see above) and his two sisters were apprenticed to be trained as coopers at the same time to the same man. (Boykin, p. 19).
Cited Sources:

Craig, James H. The Arts and Crafts in North Carolina 1699-1840. Winston-Salem: Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, 1965.

Available at Abe Books
The Boykin source was not cited in the footnotes; but, a little searching of my own revealed the book: 
Boykin, James H. The Negro in North Carolina Prior to 1861. New York: Pageant Press, 1958.

Criticism:
At this point I cannot impress enough how important it is to follow the research trail back to the original primary documentation, for the apprenticeship bonds and Minutes of the Craven County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions reveals that there was more to the Carter apprenticeships than given here. . . and the sisters of William Carter were not apprenticed as coopers as were their brothers, but as spinsters. Also, it does not mention that four years later, the Carter siblings were removed from the Physioc household and placed in the households of Isaac Perkins, their maternal uncle, and to John Marchmont. Isaac Carter was then to be trained as a shoemaker. His brother William was apprenticed to be a blacksmith; and the girls continued as spinsters.

In Conclusion:
For this reason, and as proven by various other sources I have read, it is absolutely imperative to work with primary documentation. I wish the National Endowment for the Humanities would recognize this when determining the merits of independent scholarship. If authors rely heavily on second- and third-hand information, historical truth becomes a distortion at best, or a fabrication at its extreme. If we are to know how our ancestors lived within the context of time, location and society, we must endeavor to get to the heart of truth.




Friday, July 13, 2012

Diving Into. . .

File Box 1, File No. 1.2:
Watson, Alan D. African Americans in Early North Carolina: A Documentary History. Raleigh: Office of Archives and History, North Carolina Dept. of Cultural Resources, 2005.


Available at Amazon.com
The Contents page lists the following chapters:

Slavery and Slave Trade
Slaves: Property, Labor, and              Emancipation
Family
The Slave Code
Resistance to Slavery
Discipline and Punishment
Urban Slavery
Free African Americans

I also photocopied the Sources Cited.

When photocopying directly from book sources I always photocopy:
  1. the title page,
  2. the bibliographical information page,
  3. the table of contents, and
  4. pertinent parts of the index.
  5. When searching the index, I highlight the pages containing keywords that relate to my research; but then, I check to see if there is relevant contextual information before and after the keyword. Sometimes it may be only a paragraph or so before or after. . . other times it could be additional pages, or even a chapter en total.
  6. Then, I make a notation on the bottom left-hand corner of the title page with the name of the repository where I found the source, the catalog number, and any other notes. The notation on this source: suggested for purchase?
Four years after collecting this source information, 
I discovered that I had already checked most
of the bibliographical sources related to my research!

Additional Sources:

Boyd, William K., ed. William Byrd's Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina. Raleigh: North Carolina Historical Commission, 1929.

Carroll, Grady L., ed. Francis Asbury in North Carolina: The North Carolina Portions of the Journal of Francis Asbury. Nashville, Tenn.: Parthenon Press, 1964.

Commissioners' Minutes, Town of New Bern. North Carolina State Archives, Office of Archives and History, Raleigh.

Craven County, Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. North Carolina State Archives, Office of Archives and History, Raleigh.

Hening, William Waller, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia. 13 vols., 2d ed. Philadelphia: the editor, by Thomas Desilver, 1820-1823.

(Highlighted sources need to be investigated further in person at the State Archives.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Diving Into. . .

File Box: 1, File No. 1.1:
Franklin, John Hope. The Free Negro In North Carolina: 1790-1860. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1943.



Introduction:
Available at Amazon.com
In May of 2008 I applied for an National Endowment of the Humanities Independent Scholar Fellowship to research and write a prequel to this monumentous book, entitled: Migration and Settlement Patterns of Free Negroes in Colonial America, Part I: The Southern Colonies, 1728-1790. The problem, I was told, was that the scope was too large and that I concentrated on too many primary sources...I needed more secondary sources. They had me completely baffled on the sources issue; but, after a short period of grieving, I regrouped and continued the research from a different angle.

The years selected began with the year the Dividing Line between Virginia and North Carolina were established and the territory was opened for settlement and ended where John Hope Franklin began, but with emphasis on other aspects not covered by the author. It was to encompass sixty-two years and five states.

Presently, the historical narrative I am working on covers three generations of a family's life in Coastal North Carolina between the years 1854 to 1954. While the focus has tightened, the span of years has extended.

Selected Text:
The photocopies in this packet are from four chapters, as follows:
Chapter II: Growth of the Free Negro Population,
Chapter IV: The Free Negro in the Economic Life of North Carolina,
Chapter V: Social Life of the Free Negro, and
Chapter VII: Conclusions.

It's always interesting to review previously selected books. What caught my attention four years earlier differs from today's emphasis. Then the focus was migration patterns. Now I'm more concerned with specific points, i.e. education, apprenticeship, religion, the Free Negro Code, housing, diet and health issues.

Several quotes from the Conclusions sum up these concerns:
It was one thing to inherit or acquire freedom and quite another thing to maintain it. . . . Free Negroes in North Carolina were, moreover, a rural people. . . however, their living in the rural areas had the effect of making their presence less objectionable, since they were seldom in large numbers. . . . Had it not been for the system of apprenticing free Negro children to white masters for the purpose of training them to make a living, the economic influence of the free Negro would have been even less than it was. . . . As farmers, farm laborers, and common laborers, they were able to eke out a living if they could find an opportunity to ply their trade. . . . What literacy there was among the free Negroes came largely from the apprenticeship system. There were also religious sects, such as the Quakers, Methodists, and Presbyterians, who were engaged in the task of training free Negroes, but they touched only a very limited number (excerpted from pages 222-224).

One note of interest: At the end of the book is a section of Appendices. Appendix I is a table entitled, Free Negro Apprentices in 1860. Craven County, where our Carters and Georges lived, there were only 16 apprentices in the county.

New sources of interest: The John H. Bryan Papers: 1773-1860. Interesting observations of the free Negroes of New Bern, in the Archives of the North Carolina Historical Commission. And The John H. Bryan Papers: 1798-1860, in the Manuscript Collection in Duke University Library.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Diving Into Secondary Sources

Craven County in 1853
Sitting and staring at page after page of digital newspaper entries of a search of  <1853 "New Bern> which results in only two sources: The Fayetteville Observer and the New York Times, is getting me nowhere fast. Not much of interest appears in pages for the amount of time spent.

Pack Memorial Library, in
Modern Asheville,
by Troy Winterrowd
When we first moved to Asheville, NC in February 2007 I began an intensive dive into every known book and document available for Craven County and Eastern North Carolina at Pack Memorial Library. It was a sort of frenzied find-all-you-can-as-quick-as-you-can adventure in research. Sometimes the genealogist instinct tells us to absorb it all now because tomorrow is not promised. After several years of scouring the North Carolina Collection, my favorite local history librarian asked me if I hadn't read every book by now. Almost, I replied, almost. And so it was...

I started out taking handwritten notes in Composition notebooks and photocopying pages of books...making notations of ones for future purchase. Then, after the last Bush Tax Rebate, I purchased my first laptop computer and entered notes in MSWord 2007. (I haven't held that much money in my hand at one time since then when I handed it over to the salesman at BestBuy.)


The notebooks and photocopies were then filed away in clear, plastic file boxes, and labeled. The first of three boxes holds the following files: NC-Free Negroes, NC-Trades, Church History, Timber, NC-Civil War and NC-Physiocs. (Perhaps now might be a good time to print out those Word docs as well...)


Somewhere in all these records
must be the available data for 1853 Craven County.

I'll start here with a Bibliography of my sources and then report here on any information which might be of help in recreating the time period of the Carters' trek from North Harlowe to the Craven County Courthouse in New Bern in December 1853 and the life of an apprentice which followed.

Bibliography:
Box No. 1
File No. 1: NC-Free Negroes
  1. Franklin, John Hope. The Free Negro in North Carolina: 1790-1860. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1943.
  2. Watson, Alan D. African Americans in Early North Carolina: A Documentary History. Raleigh: Office of Archives and History, North Carolina Dept. of Cultural Resources, 2005.
  3. Farlow, Gale. "Black Craftsmen in North Carolina," in North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Feb. 1985: Bound Volume 11.
  4. Taylor, Rosser Howard. "The Free Negro in North Carolina," in The James Sprunt Historical Publications, Vol. 17, No. 1. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1920.
  5. Woodson, Carter G. Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830. Washington, D.C.: The Assoc. for the Study of Negro Life and History, 1924.
  6. Mabry, William Alexander. "Negro Suffrage and Fusion Rule in North Carolina," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Volume XII, Number 2, April 1935.
  7. Browning, James Blackwell. "The Free Negro in Ante-Bellum North Carolina," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Volume XV, Number 1, January 1938.
  8. Franklin, John Hope. "The Free Negro in the Economic Life of Ante-Bellum North Carolina, Part 1," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Volume XIX, Number 3, July 1942.
  9. Nelson, B.H. "Some Aspects of Negro Life in North Carolina During the Civil War," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Volume XXV, Number 2, April 1948.
  10. The Proposed Suffrage Amendment: The Platform and Resolutions of the People's Party. [Available online, 2 Jan 2008] http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/populist/populist.html