I am from Wilson, N.C.; I have been here three weeks. I found employment readily, and a good home. I live and work with Mr. F.B. Gardner, a good farmer in Russell township, Putnam county. He pays me $13 per month until spring, and then he will give me more. I find him a very kind and good man to me in the way of accommodations. Mr. Gardner could not get possession of his own house for me until the first of March, but he procured from his brother-in-law, Mr. D. Evans, a good and comfortable house for us until he can get the use of his. I am well pleased with my situation, and like this country finely. I would not go back to North Carolina for any consideration, and I would advise all my friends in that State to come to this county, as they can better their condition. But they should not come unless they expect to do good work, as loafers are not wanted here.
In the 1880 census of Russell township, Putnam County, Indiana: laborer Joseph Ellis, 27, and wife Prissa, 23, both born in North Carolina.
In the 1900 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: widowed day laborer Joseph Ellis, 48; son Theodore, 16, and daughters Margaret, 10, and Vera, 8.
Senate Report 693, Part 2, 2nd Session, 46th Congress. Proceedings of the Select Committee of the United States Senate to Investigate the Causes of the Removal of the Negroes from the Southern States to the Northern States (1880). U.S. Congressional Serial Set.