Month: March 2016

Rev. Leavey J. Melton.

LJ Melton 1

LJ Melton 2

LJ Melton 3

A.B. Caldwell, ed., History of the American Negro and His Institutions, North Carolina Edition (1921).

In May 1892, Rev. Leavy J. Melton, with Rev. J.F. Jordan, jointly presided over the marriage of Samuel H. Vick and Annie M. Washington at the A.M.E. Zion church in Wilson. Vick was a staunch Presbyterian and apparently insisted on the inclusion of his pastor.

Vick Wash lic detail

Excerpt from marriage license of Vick and Washington.

Per The Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, vol. 1, edited by Edgar Sutton Robinson (1898):

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.45.20 PM

Negroes on credit at 6% interest.

Bartlett Deans vs. Wyatt Moye  }

By virtue and in pursuance of a commission to me directed from the Superior Court of Law for the County of Wilson State of North Carolina, to take the deposition of Robert S. Adams, a witness on the part of the Defendant in the above entitled Cause, I have this day caused to come before me the said Robert L. Adams, who being by me, first duly sworn to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, touching and concerning the facts in aforesaid suit, deposes as follows.

I stayed all night near Bartlett Deans on my way to Mississippi on the night of the 14th September AD 1848 with a lot of Negroes belonging to Moye & Adams and Bartlett Deans offered to sell us (Moye & Adams) two Negroes, Aberdeen and Abraham, both about twenty Six years old, for Eleven Hundred and fifty Dollars on one or two years Credit, with Six per cent Interest, and we refused to buy at that price. We then made with him the following Contract. We were to take the two Negroes above mentioned to Mississippi for the said Deans, and to hire them out for said Deans in the State of Mississippi Monroe County, or to deliver them over to some agent, and bring him the agents receipt, or if R.S. Adams could see them, so as to make them nett said Deans Eleven Hundred and fifty Dollars, then they were to be sold: but if said Adams hired them, Deans was to pay all expenses and trouble for bringing them out, And on that occasion, said Deans did offer to hand us the money for bringing them out, which money we refused, not knowing whether the negroes would be sold on his account or hired. I did not deliver the above named Negroes over to any agent, because I thought I could sell them for more money that limit set on them. And all over the Eleven Hundred and fifty Dollars, was to go to us for bringing the Negroes out, in paying us for our trouble and expense. I did sell said Negroes on the 11th day of November AD 1848 to Lewis McLendon, he giving me John Brooks for security. I consulted with several of my best friends, before consummating the trade, if it would not be a good debt, and was told, it would be undoubted, as to the solvency of the Debt. I then sold the said Negroes for the Sum of Thirteen Hundred and fifty Dollars on one and two years credit with interest from the date at the rate of Six per cent, per annum, as Deans agent, and gave the Bill of Sale, sighning Deans name by me as his agent. At the time we received the said negroes and gave our receipt for them, Deans instructed us to take them, and if we sold them to sell either on time or on Cash just as we thought best, and as Negroes at that time were very low and dull we had to sell all of our lot on time, and also sold his in the same way. When the money became due I applied to McLendon several times for the money, and he as often promised that he would pay; but we found he would not Comply with his promise, and we then put the notes in the hands of an Attorney to bring suit upon, which was brought in the United States Court for the North District of Mississippi. There he through his Attorney’s plea, the Statute then in force in the State of Mississippi declaring that any Negro over fifteen years of age, should be accompanied by a certificate, Sworned to by two freeholders before the Clerk of the Court that they were of good character. The Judge, then presiding, decided, or was about to decide, sustaining the pleas, when the Counsel in both sides agreed for each party to pay half the cost, and stop the suit, in that Court, as an appeal could not be taken from that Court to the Supreme Court of the United States at Washington City, because the Sum was under two thousand Dollars.  We then commenced suit on both the notes in the Circuit Court of Monroe County State of Mississippi. He made the same pleas in the said Circuit Court, which were made in the United States District Court, and which were not sustained there. He then took an appeal to the High Court of Errors and Appeals for the State of Mississippi in both cases. The said High Court of Errors and Appeals sustained his pleas and liberated him from both the notes. We in all the Courts employed Messrs Davis and Acker and William H. Dowd, who were considered as good Lawyers as any in the Northern portion of Mississippi. This we did in accordance with letters received from Bartlett Deans, which telling us to employ the best Counsel we could get. He in said letters recognized the suits as his and not ours. The endorsements on the receipt was put on them after the Negroes were sold; the one written by Wyatt Moye was on the receipt when I put the bottom one on written by myself, which I did at the March Superior Court of Wayne County at Waynesboro about the last week in March AD 1849. At the time I put the endorsements on the receipt Deans did not claim the money from us, but from the notes. Nor I never heard of his claiming it from us until I hear that he had sued Wyatt Moye. Always when talking to me about the debt, he spoke of it as his own, and would want to know when he would get his money from those men out in Mississippi whom he had sued.

His only object he said in getting me to put the endorsements on the receipt, stating the time the Negroes were sold, was to know from what time the claim began to draw Interest. I saw Deans several times during the time the suits were pending, and he always asked me about the suits and how they were progressing, and always spoke of the suits as his own, and never in any other way, only as his own. I am entirely uninterested in the suit in Wilson Superior Court State of North Carolina between Bartlett Deans and Wyatt Moye which grew out of the sale of the two Negroes Aberdeen and Abraham as he, the said Wyatt Moye, was given me a release both in Law an Equity, which release I annex to this deposition marked Exhibit B.   /s/ Robert S. Adams

The State of Mississippi, Monroe County   } I Newton J. Beckett Justice of the Peace in and for said State and County, do hereby Certify that I caused to come before me, at the office of William F. Dowd Aberdeen Mississippi Robert S. Adams, the witness named in the foregoing Interrogatories and whose name is signed to this depositon, who being by me first duly sworn to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth did depose thereto in the foregoing answers or statement; that the said statement of the said witness was by me reduced to writing in his presence, read to him and signed by him as his deposition in my presence. I do hereby further certify that the said deposition has not been altered, or changed since the same was subscribed by the said [illegible] and that the same has remained in my possession even to the time of sealing and delivering the same to the Post Master of Aberdeen Monroe County State of Mississippi. In witness whereof I do hereunto set my hand and affix my hand & private seal having no seal of office this the 29th day of April AD 1858   /s/ Newton J. Beckett {seal} Justice of the Peace and Commissioner

Exhibit B.

State of Mississippi Monroe County April 26th 185[illegible] I hereby Release both as law & Equity Robert L. Adams from all liability growing out of a Suit in the Wilson Superior Court State of North Carolina B. Deans vs Wyatt Moye related to two negroes Aberdeen & Abraham or any other suit which may grow out of said Transaction. Witness by hand & seal  /s/ Wyatt Moye   Witness /s/ J.E. Cunningham


It is safe to say that Wyatt Moye and Robert S. Adams were two of the largest slave traders ever to come out of Wilson County. For nearly twenty years — individually, together and in other partnerships — these men built thriving businesses facilitating the sale of enslaved men and women in eastern North Carolina “down the river” to Mississippi and Louisiana.

Moye was born in Greene County in 1793 and lived in Edgecombe until about 1845, when “soon after his wife’s death, Wyatt left for Mississippi where he established Wyatt Moye & Co., which either owned plantations or operated them for many of the wealthy landowners from Eastern North Carolina, including his future son-in-law, William Francis Dancy of Tarboro.” At least, this is way his memorial at puts it.

In fact, Moye had not left North Carolina for good. On December 20, 1848, as senator from Edgecombe County, he introduced a bill in the Senate to “incorporate Toisnot Depot and Hickory Grove in the County of Edgecombe into a town by the name of Wilson.” He is listed in the 1850 census of Edgecombe County with no occupation but owning $5000 in real property. Ten years later, he is listed in the Western Division of Monroe County, Mississippi, as a “trader” owning $5500 in real property and $7500 in personal property [read: slaves]. Simultaneously, more than 400 miles away in Saint Mary Parish, Louisiana, Wyatt Moye & Company appears in the slave schedule as the owner of 119 slaves. Moye died at Dancy, his Saint Mary plantation, in 1862 and was buried in Tarboro, North Carolina.

Moye’s long-time involvement in the slave trade is borne out in these two ads:

Newbern Spectator 9261829

Newbern Spectator, 26 September 1829.

Gboro Patriot 12251847

Greensboro Patriot, 25 December 1847.

Robert S. Adams (1813-1873) was appointed postmaster at Stantonsburg, then in Edgecombe County, in 1840. He seems to have maintained part-time residency in the Stantonsburg area into the 1850s, but otherwise lived in Aberdeen, Monroe County, Mississippi. He built a grand columned Greek Revival-style mansion there in 1856 and was counted among the town’s residents in the 1860 federal census.

The kerfuffle over Aberdeen and Abraham was not the first deal to go bad for Moye and Adams. In 1849, Moye, Adams and Stephenton Page of Edgecombe County formed a partnership to buy and sell slaves. Using Moye and Adams’ money, Page bought six slaves for $2,762.50. One, Jim, escaped, but Page took the others — Martha, John, Adeline, Viney and Mary — to Mississippi. When he could not sell them, he turned them over to Adams, who sold them for $3375. However, in an action filed in Edgecombe County in 1850, Moye and Adams alleged that Page had captured and sold Jim without sharing any profits and owed them other expenses.

Adams formed another partnership in Aberdeen, Mississippi, with Moses J. Wicks:

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Natchez Free Trader, 20 November 1852.

In the letters below, he corresponded with Ziba B. Oakes, Esq., a Charleston slave trader, concerning sending a group of slaves to Wilmington and purchasing a “small lot of negroes” in Richmond:

RS Adams to Ziba Oakes

Directions for sending Negroes to Wilmington. Letter from Robert S. Adams to Ziba B. Oakes, 29 July 1853. Rare Books Department, Boston Public Library.

Adams Wicks to Oakes

Request for remittance. Adams & Wicks, Aberdeen, Mississippi, manuscript letter signed to Ziba B. Oakes, 4 January 1854. Rare Books Department, Boston Public Library.

adams french house

Adams-French House, Aberdeen, Mississippi. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988.

Bartley Deans, Sr. (1776-1860), for his part, was a Nash County-born farmer whose last will and testament disposed of 44 enslaved people.

Records of Slaves and Free People of Color, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Entries in the funeral register of Wootten & Stevens, undertakers.

Funeral Register of Wootten and Stevens, Undertakers of Wilson, North Carolina, November 18, 1896-June 27, 1899 is an unpublished manuscript held at Wilson County Public Library. In 1977, the late Hugh B. Johnston abstracted a newly discovered volume of the records of Wootten and Stevens, the earliest undertaking firm in Wilson County. This post is the first in a series, abstracting the abstract for entries naming African-Americans.

  • _____, Mourning. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 9 May 1899. Length of coffin 5’9″. Cost $10. Billed to W.H. Farmer. Burial in colored cemetery. (Page 458)
  • Anderson, _____. Near Cockrell’s Bridge. Colored. Died 7 November 1897, aged 15 months. Length 2’9″. Child of Alford Anderson. (Page 157)
  • Anderson, Alford. Nash County. Colored. Died 12 November 1897, aged 1 year 8 months. Length 2’6″. Burial at Cockrell’s Bridge. (Page 163)
  • Anderson, Harry. Stantonsburg township. Colored. Died 3 February 1897, aged 70, of paralysis. Length 5’9′. Attended by Dr. Crocker. Funeral at grave on Dr. Nathan Anderson’s place. Cost $10. Billed to Chester Jordan. (Page 30)
  • Austin, _____. Black Creek, Colored. Died 20 November 1898, aged 35 years, of “womb trouble.” Length 5’6″. Wife of Sandy Austin near Black Creek. Cost $5. Attended by Dr. Hoover. Burial in John P. Barden cemetery. Billed to L.P. Woodard. (Page 378).
  • Bagley, Mattie. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 2 May 1898, aged 16 years, of lung trouble. Attended by Dr. Williams. Burial in Hilliard Ellis cemetery. Billed to T.J. Hadley. (Page 242)
  • Barefoot, Easter. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 1 September 1897, aged 70 years. Length 5’9″. Burial in S[ilas]. Lasiter cemetery. Cost $2.50. Billed to Jacob Short. (Page 125)
  • Barham, Hattie. Wilson. Colored. Died 30 April 1898, aged 22 years, of consumption. Length 5’9″. Wife of Alex Barham. Cost $15. Billed to J.T. Williams and R.J. Grantham. Church funeral and burial at Oak Dale cemetery. (Page 241)
  • Barnes, _____. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 2 April 1898 of internal hemorrhage. Length 5’9″. Wife of Lemon Barnes. Attended by Drs. C.E. Moore and Albert Anderson. Cost $10. Billed to F.W. Barnes. Burial at Edwin Moore place. (Page 222)
  • Barnes, Aima. Wilson township. Colored. Died 6 May 1898, of old age. Aged 95. Length 5’9″. Cost $10. Billed to G.C. Wills. Attended by Dr. E.G. Moore. Burial in old homestead cemetery. (Page 244)
  • Barnes, Claudie. Wilson township. Colored. Died 17 June 1898, aged 12 months. Length 2’6″. Cost $4. Billed to W.T. Farmer. Burial in the Forbes cemetery. “Lived on the old R.S. Kingsmore place.” (Page 276)

Philis can choose whom she will live with.

In the name of God Amen

I Jethro Harrison of the County of Nash & State of North Carolina on this 20th Day of April in the year of our Lord 1811, do Make and ordaine Publish & Declare this to be my Last Will and Testement In manner and form following Viz.

Item  I give unto my son William Harrison five Hundred acers of land that I bought of William & Jethro Philips, a line to be Run East and West so as to leave that Number of acers North of my Manner Plantation; one Negro Man namd Dick and one Brandey Still to him and his heirs forever.

Item  I give unto my son Jethro Harrison the Land and Plantation whereon I Now live as far as the south pronge of the Spring Branch one negro woman namd Grace and one Brandey Still that is set up on the lands one horse bridle and sadle two cows three Ewes and two Lambs two sows and piggs one fetheur Beed and furniture and the Boefutt that is in the house to him and his heirs forever.

Item  I give unto my son Dempsey Harrison the Lands that I Bought of John Sanders and all the Remainder of my Land not as yet given a Line to be Run up the Afore sd. Spring Branch to my Back Line and one negro man namd Dave and my Blacksmith tools to him and his heirs forever.

Item  I give unto my Daughter Nancy Horn one Negro Boy that she has in her procession namd Ben and one Negro woman namd Hannah to hur and hur heirs forever.

Item  I give unto my Daughter Polly Grice one Negro boy that she has in her possession namd Hardey and one Negro woman namd Ginney to hur and hur heirs forever.

Item  I give unto my Daughter Temperance Holden one Negro girl that she has in her Possession namd Silvea and one negro boy namd Washington to hur and hur heirs forever.

Item  I give unto my Daughter Elizebeth Harrison one Negro Woman namd Seleth and one Negro Boy named Jacob, two cows & calves, three ewes and lambs, one bed and furniture to her and her heirs forever.

Item  I give unto my Daughter Milbreay Harrison one Negro woman namd Jane and one Negro man namd Jack three ewes and lambs two cows and calves one beed and furniture to her and her heirs forever.

Item  I give unto my Two Grandsons James & Jethro Ricks sons of my Daughter Morning Ricks Dsd. Fiftey Dollars each to be all that I now give them or hereafter them and their heirs forever.

I likewise give unto my two daughters Elizebeth and Milbreay one Negro girl named Sarah to be divided Equaly among them.

My will is that my old Negro Woman named Philis be at Liberty to choose which of my children she will live with and if it is thought she is not able to Work sufficient to maintain her self that the one she chuseth to live with shall be allowed a sum of money out of my estate for the support of sd. negro during her Life time.

My will and desire further is that after my Just Debts and Leguces be paid that the Remainder of my property be Equley divided among all my Children then Living.

My will further is that Henry Atkins William Horn and William Moore or any Two of them be Appinted to attend the sale of my property and bid of such of my property as they may think proper for my two daughters that is underage Elizabeth & Milbray Harrison & not to be liable to any loss for any stock or any other article that they may bid of for sd. daughters and I do hereby constitute ordain and appoint my son William Harrison Charles Coleman and William White my whole and sole Executors of this my Last Will and Testament Ratifying this and no other to be my last Will and Testament in Wintness Whereof Thence I have herunto set my hand and seal the Day and Date Above Writing. /s/ Jethro Harrison {seal}

Signed Sealed and delivered by the Sd. Jethro Harrison the Testator in the Presence of us who were Presence at the Time of Sealing & Delivery of Same    Hardy Horn, Willis (X) Morriss, Roxanne (X) Brantley


Jethro Harrison’s land was in what is now Wilson County.

North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line],

They are all the time playing with the gun.

North Carolina, Wilson County }

We the undersigned Jury summoned by L.O. Hays coroner of Wilson County to investigate the killing of Abraham Harris, met on the premises on this the 15 day of January 1899, and after being duly sworn, and viewing the body of deceased, and hearing the evidence of the following Witnesses to wit: Jack Hilliard, Laura Hilliard, John Hilliard, Dutch Bennet, Mattie Harris and Mintus Woodard do render the following verdict to wit: That the deceased Abraham Harris came to his death from a shot from a gun in the hands of Robt Hilliard and we find that said shooting was accidental.   /s/ [torn] Farmer, [torn], J.F. Mayo, B.F. Taylor, W.C. Mayo, A.G. Winstead. I hereby approve the same 1 15 1899. /s/ L.O. Hayes Cor.

Witnesses in case of Death of Abraham –

Jack Hilliard.

Is the father of the boy who killed Abraham Harris. Lives in this house. Saw Abraham early this morning. Dutch Bennet Robt Hilliard and Dutch Bennett were together playing had no stick time was after sun up. Sun about two hours and a half high. Robt lives with me. Robt left here after sun up to go to [illegible] House. Abrham married Robt sister. Did not all go in the house. They were playing at gate and Robt slammed the gate too run in the house and hid between the beds and Abraham came in the house after him. Abraham grabbed Johnnie for Robert and shook him. My wife said that is not Robert yonder is Robert. Then Robert kneeled down. Soon as Robert kneeled down the gun struck the bed and went off. Robert had hold of the gun. The gun was sitting back of gun [sic] Robert reached and got the gun as Abraham turned John loose and started towards him. Abraham did not say anything to Robert. Robert did not say anything. Single barrel Breech loder. Robert had the gun in his hand sitting with face towards Abraham. As Robert dropped down towards him it struck the bed. Robert did not have gun pointed toward him. Both were laughing. I was near fire place. My wife was in front of me. Don’t know that my wife had hold of him or not. She eased him down. Abraham did not say a word. Robt said Lord Lord have I killed my brother in law. They are all time playing with the gun. Took the gun I think to point at him. Don’t think he intended to shoot him. Robert about sixteen. Abraham and Robert had no fuss had not been drinking. Abraham has been married around 8 years. Saw him when he was squatted down and had the gun. Do not know whether the gun was cocked or not. Did not see his hand at that time. When the gun struck the floor hit hard cant tell whether barrel struck bed or floor. Jack (X) Hilliard

Laura Hilliard.

I was comeing in the door. They were laughing. Abraham caught hold of Johnnie and Johnnie said this is not Robt. Johnnie went out doors. I pointed my finger at Robt and said yonder is Robt. Robt stooped down the gun fired. As I turned my head to look Robt said Lord Ma I aint I shot my brother in law. I said no he aint hurt. He is standing here laughing. When I laid him down on the floor he was smiling. I felt the blood then was the time I knew he was hurt. He did not live many minutes after he was shot. Laura (X) Hilliard

John Hilliard.

I got up started out to tell Dutch Bennet to come in house and heard gun fire. Turned round he was falling. As I went out Abraham came in Robt had gun in his hand when I went out standing up. Abraham did not say anything to me. Abraham run up against me and shook me. Did not know gun was loaded. Mintus Woodard was at fireplace his mule was at gate Dutch Bennet was out there I did not here ma say anything. Robt did not say anything when he got the gun. Robt had gun when Abraham came in house. John (X) Hilliard

Dutch Bennett.

Live across field no kin to parties, I first saw Abraham Harris at his house this morning Robt came to his house as were fixing to go off. Had no conversation Abraham wanted to borry Robs hat and was coming after got to playing at the gate grabbing at each other. I told Rob to bring hat to the gate. He said no let Abraham come and get it. They got to grabbing at each other playing and laughing. Rob came running to the house and Abraham after him. I stayed out and heard the gun fire. Have never heard Rob say anything about shooting Abraham. Never heard of there having any difficulty. Came in house pretty soon after gun fired. Door was open. Saw Abraham falling he did not speak after I got in house. Did not see Abraham before gun shot. When I came in aunt Laura was in house. Rest had gone out. All were out doors crying and hollering. Rob said O Lord I have killed my brother in law I would not have done it for anything. I staid out about five minutes after gun shot before I came in. Have not talked to matter over with others before this. Don’t know where Mintus Woodard was at the time. Don’t remember seeing him was not frightened. Come here right often. Intimate with family do not run with Robt know Mintus Woodard when I see him. Been over swamp today, and home. Sun was about two hours of more high when gun fired. Staid at house about an hour afterwards. Dutch (X) Bennett.

Mattie Harris.

I am the wife of Abraham Harris and sister of Robt Hilliard. Abraham left home between 8 and 9 oclock. Dutch Bennett and Rob were with him. Robt went home about eight or nine oclock. Rob and Abraham were talking about hat. Abraham asked Rob for his hat. After the talk about hat Abraham went off. Robt has not been to house often. Robt and Abraham have never had any fuss. Always mighty loving. I heard Robt saying he had shot his brother in law. I asked Mintus Woodard how come it. He said they were playing. Robt said I did not know there was a load in the gun Don’t know who was in the house at the time. When I heard gun I thought they had shot at something in the field. Mattie (X) Harris

Mintus Woodard.

I was sitting by the fire when Rob run in house — run on other side the bed and grabbed up a gun. When he run in the door he was laughing Rob had in his hand pointed towards fire place when Abraham came in. I don’t know whether it was cocked or not. Abraham came in and said where is he about that time gun fired. When gun fired he fell down. Robt did not say anything before he shot. He was stooping down. I don’t remember him slamming gun on the floor. Soon as he fell I got up and went out. Jack was in one corner & me in other. Abraham was by himself when shot. I did not hear Laura say there is Rob. Rob said I have shot my brother in law I did not know gun was loaded. Have not heard of any fuss between Rob & Abraham. Mintus (X) Woodard


In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Jack Hilliard, 44, wife Laura, 25, children Mattie, 5, John, 3, and Doctor, 1; Alford Harris, 16; plus John, 20, and Ben Wasdon, 20, both white.

In the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Jack Hilliard, 62, wife Laura, 60, and children Henry, 16, and John, 22. Laura reported 5 of 6 children living. Also in the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township: widow Mattie Harris, 25; her children Abraham, 6, Laurena, 5, Charity, 3, and Maggie, 1; brothers Dock, 21, and Robert Hilliard, 19; and boarder Eady King, 23, also a widow.

Coroner’s Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.


Even if these people are negroes ….

Five years before he was assaulting black teachers, school superintendent Charles L. Coon was writing letters to the editor complaining about vice and depravity incubating in an East Wilson theatre. In the paternalistic and unself-conciously racist language typical of the time, he limned the dangers the show place posed to “young negro school girls” and warned that even small children were carrying to school “suggestive songs” heard at the theatre.

CL Coon Vice letter 8 2 1913

Wilson Daily Times, 11 April 1913.

The Sanborn Company issued a new volume of fire insurance maps for Wilson in 1913, but no movie theatre or vaudeville hall is depicted along East Nash Street. However, check the previous volume, produced in 1908, and there it is — a “moving picture show” just across the tracks at the corner of Nash and South Railroad Street. (In 1913, this building is [mis?]marked as a restaurant.) This theatre, at 414 East Nash, predates Sam Vick‘s Globe Theatre, which at any rate was located in the next block. Who was its proprietor? What was its name?

Moving picture show

Sanborn map, Wilson, North Carolina, 1908.

[A personal aside: seventy years later, school girls were flocking to another spot in the 400 block of East Nash. In the mid to late 1970s, Midtown Lounge, located roughly where the restaurant and cobbler shop are shown above, lured in patrons in the very best smoke-and-mirror balls disco way. On Teen Night, I was one of them. — LYH]

Presiding elder emeritus passes.

Worthy Colored Man Dies.

Dr. J.W. Moore, one of Wilson’s most esteemed colored citizens passed away today at 11 o’clock at the age of 77.

The deceased has been a presiding elder in the A.M.E. Zion church for the past forty years and at the last conference held by this church he was elected presiding elder emeritus.

Dr. Moore leaves two children and a concourse of friends of both races who regret his departure.

The funeral services will be conducted Friday at the A.M.E. Zion church.

— Wilson Daily Times, 4 March 1914.

Sam Vick and Whitesboro, New Jersey.


Typescript letter signed from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, signed by George H. White (Secretary and Treasurer of the George H. White Land and Improvement Company of Cape May County, New Jersey) to Samuel H. Vick in Wilson, North Carolina, 23 June 1911. 


Testimonials from citizens of Whitesboro, N.J., and Wilson, N.C., concerning the lands owned by S.H. Vick in that place.


Front page, brochure advertising Whitesboro, New Jersey.

Cape May Ave


From Collection of printed and manuscript sales and promotional material for George H. White’s Cape May/Whitesboro, New Jersey housing project; Beinecke Digital Collection, Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Images available on-line.

State v. Jack Privett.

Documents related to State vs. Jack Privett, a bastardy action arising in Wilson County:

State of North Carolina, Wilson County} On this the 15th day of october 1866 the undersigned a Justis of the peace in and for Said Countey prceed to take examanation of Eliser Smith whereupon she Declars upon her oath that She is with Child which Child when bornd will be a bastard and liable to become charble to Said Countey She futher declars that Jack Privett is the father of her Said child     Eliser (X) Smith

Taken and subscribed before me  /s/ D.A. Scott J.P.


State of North Carolina, Wilson County}    To eney lawful to execute and return within thirtey days Sundays excepted where as Pearcy & Elizer Smith hath this day personally apeard before me and made oath in due form of law that they hath reason to beleave and just cause to fear and dose beleave and fear that Jack Privett (col’d) of your County will burn there house or do them a corporal ingury by killing imprisoning or beating them or that he will procure others so to do and that he is thereby and by reason of the said Jack Privetts threats and menaces and attempts or having lain in wait for them actually under fear of death or bodley harm and where as the said Percy and Elizer Smith complainants hath further make oath that they do not require such surety out of malice or for mere vexation

These are therefore in name of the State to command you to arrest the body of the said Jack Privett and bring him before me or some other justice of the Peace within this County immediately to the end that he may find sureties that he will keep the peace of the state towards the said complainants and all other persons untill the next Term of the Court of Please and Quarter sessions of said County or be commited to Jail in default thereof. Herein fail not Witness my hand and seal this 15th day Oct AD 1866  /s/ D.A. Scott, J.P.

Witness for the State: Ned Smith, Pearcy Smith, Eliza Smith


Privett was arrested the day after this warrant issued. On the back of the warrant, Justice of the Peace William G. Jordan noted that “it is found that the defendant Jack Privett (collored) is guilt of menaces and threats to shoot” Pearcy and Eliza Smith. Privett was unable to post a two hundred dollar bond and was committed to jail until the paternity hearing.

In the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: South Carolina-born farm laborer Jack Privett, 40; wife Quincy, 32; and daughter Malvinia, 4; plus Adeler Privett, 18, and her likely children Jane, 3, and Eli, 9 months.

Eliza Smith, age 65, died 14 July 1915 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Her death certificate lists her parents as Henry Smith and Percy Horne. In the 1870 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: Henry Smith, 41, wife Pearcy, 38, and daughter Eliza, 18, with other children (including a three year-old, James H. Smith, who may have been Eliza’s baby.)

Bastardy Records, Miscellaneous Records, Records of Wilson County, North Carolina State Archives.