Archive for the ‘Slavery’ Category

Brief Report of the Services Rendered by the Freed People to the United States Army, in North Carolina, in the spring of 1862, after the battle of Newbern, by Vincent Colyer.  Printed in New York, 1864


“I commenced my work with the freed people of color, in North Carolina, at Roanoke Island, soon after the battle of the 8th of February, 1862, which resulted so gloriously for our country.”


Headquarters, Department of North Carolina.

Newbern, March 30, 1862

Mr. Vincent Colyer is hereby appointed Superintendent of the Poor, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly.

By Command of Major General Burnside
My first order from General Burnside under this appointment, was to employ as many negro men as I could get, up to the number of five thousand; to offer them eight dollars a month, one ration and clothes, to work on the building of forts.


Read more from Colyer’s report here: https://digital.lib.ecu.edu/13431

Sketch from Colyer's published report "Furney"

Sketch from Colyer’s published report, Colyer was also an artist.

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$50 reward

Ranaway from the subscriber, on the 24th of June, my negro TOM. He will probably go about where Turner Gilchrist’s widow lived in Robeson County, or in the neighborhood of Mr. Monroe’s on Big Rockfish, who owns a brother of his. I will pay the above reward for said negro or his confinement in jail so I can get him.

John Fairley

Montpelier PO, Richmond Co., June 29




From the subscriber on the 29th April, my boy Dennis, aged 27 years, about 5 feet 7 inches high; has very dark complesion, and also a scar on his left hand, caused by a burn, and weighs about 170 pounds. I will pay fifty dollars for his arrest or confinement in any Janil so that I get him again.

Hugh McGregor

Springfield NC June 28


Source: Fayetteville Observer, June 30, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org

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Wood and leather shoe for a slave

Leather upper and wooden sole. NC Museum of History, Accession number H.1914.107.1

Leather upper and wooden sole. NC Museum of History, Accession number H.1914.107.1

Hand carved wooden sole and leather upper attached with nails.  Iron heel and toe plates attached to bottom of sole with large nails. This shoe was made for a slave in Johnston County in 1864.


Slave shoe, bottom. NC Museum of History, Accession number H.1914.107.1

Slave shoe, bottom. NC Museum of History, Accession number H.1914.107.1

Source: NC Museum of History, Accession number H.1914.107.1

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Harper's Weekly, January 23, 1864. Collections of Tryon Palace, Accession Number 2012.004.001

Harper’s Weekly, January 23, 1864. Collections of Tryon Palace, Accession Number 2012.004.001


A page from Harper’s that has the image on one side and articles on the reverse about various aspects of the Civil War.  Articles on the reverse of the image include “The Old Sophism;” “Railroad Annoyances” detailing the heightened demand on Northern railways; “Foreign News;” “Army and Navy Items,” including court martials, orders, and proclamations; and “Domestic Intelligence,” including “A Skirmish in North Carolina,” which records that “An expedition under Colonel M’Chesney, of the First North Carolina Regiment, which left Newbern December 30, for Greenville, met the enemy near Washington and routed them. The lieutenant who led the union troops in a charge was killed. The loss on the other side was one lieutenant and five men. The troops engaged on our side were negroes.”


Source: Tryon Palace Collections, Accession number 2012.004.001.

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Below are two hiring out notices for enslaved men, women, and children.  Hiring out meant that owners would lease slaves to another master for a pre-defined period, usually a year.  Hiring out usually took place around the first of January for the year.  These notices reflect both someone who had slaves they wanted to hire out and someone seeking to hire slaves.  Hiring out was usual for artisans, and for executors dealing with large estates with minors who would inherit slaves when they came of age.  Terms of hire were negotiated at the hire, including lodging, clothing, meals, and conditions of work.  Slaves were valuable property and owners wanted to insure that their slaves would survive the hire.


I want to hire ten or fifteen NEGROES, stout, active boys, as laborers at the Confederate States Ordnance Works, Salisbury, North Carolina.

A.G. Brenzier

Capt. Art’y Commanding


To hire, and some to sell, on the 1st day of January next. Among them an experienced tanner, five good farm hands, men, several boys and girls.

Jed H. Lindsay

 Source: Greensborough Patriot, December 24, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org.

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One hundred dollars reward

Ranaway on the 18th September, my negro woman JENNY, ageda bout 28 years, about 5 feet high, dark complexion, looks surly unless spoken to, at which time she is very pleasant. She ranaway sometime previous and was taken up in Robeson county, N. Carolina, in the neighborhood of shoe Heel Depot, working about under the pretense of being free. She was carried off by one Lewis Oxendine, a mulatto who was hauling corn at that time, from my planation. I will give the above reward for her delivery to me or in any Jail so that I get her. I will give one hundred dollars more for proof sufficient to convict any person of harboring her.

My address is Brownsville Post Office, Marlborough District, South Carolina

John A. Hodges

Dec. 6, 1863

Source: Fayetteville Observer, December 14, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org

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High Prices for Negroes

We learn that at the sale of the late Col. Samuel Vines, in Pitt county, on Thursday last, 27 negroes sold for $58,081 dollars – and among the 27 there were two very old men (one 63 and the other 76 years of age), one very old woman aged 56, and seven small children. One boy about 16 years of age brought $4,005

Tarboro Southerner

Source: Fayetteville Observer, November 9, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org

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