apprentice

Osborne and Mariah Dunston.

photo-1

The headstones of Ausborn Dunstan and wife, Maria Dunstan, are found in Row E of Rest Haven Cemetery.  Mariah Munday Dunstan died in 1896, and Osborne Dunstan in 1905. Their graves were almost certainly removed and reinterred from Rountree cemetery or the even older Oakdale cemetery.

——

In the 1850 census of North Side of the Neuse district, Wayne County: Moriah Munda, 9, listed as farmhand in the household of white farmer John G. Barnes, 33. Maria Mundy and her brother Stephen was first apprenticed to Barnes in 1848, under a law designed to attach the labor of orphaned or “illegitimate” free children of color to a (usually white) neighbor. Apprentice records filed in Wayne County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions name their mother as Elizabeth Mundy, a white woman. For reasons not clear, the children were rebound to Barnes in 1852.

In the 1850 census of Louisburg, Franklin County, Lemuel Dunn, 60, blacksmith; Milly Dunn, 60; Jane Fog, 19; Osborn Dunstan, 14; and John Fog, 8.  The household is listed among a cluster of Dunstan households, including: Osborn Dunstan, 57, sawyer, Barbary, 50, and Sarah Dunston, 18, and Osborn May, 6. (Also, in Timberlakes township, Franklin County: Osborn Dunston, 52, and Sally Dunstan, 16.) Osborne’s parentage and his relationship to the other Osborne Dunstans in Franklin County is not clear.

In the 1860 census of the Town of Wilson, Wilson County: Asburn Dunstan, 23, laborer, in the household of H.L. Winton, boarding house operator.

Though both were free-born, and accordingly not subject to legislation creating a path to legitimation of slave marriages, Orsborn Dunson and Mariah Monday registered their five-year marriage on 24 August 1866 in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Osborn Dunstan, 37, wife Mariah, 45, and children Dora, 4, Cora, 2, Sarah, 2 months, John, 12, and Fanny, 6. [It appears that the latter two children were Mariah’s prior to her marriage to Osborne.]

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm worker Osbourn Dunston, 44, wife Mariah, 40, and children Dorah, 12, Corah, 11, Sarah, 9, Frances, 7, Hubbard, 5, Mary, 4, and Harriet, 3. Next door, in the household of farmer Henry Miller, was John Dunston, 20.

On 4 May 1882, John Simpson, 22, son of Dick Simpson and Mariah Dunston, married Tilder Rountree, 19, daughter of Dave and Nancy Rountree. P.E. Hines performed the ceremony at Disciples Church in the presence of Daniel Bess, Robert Rountree and Tilly Rountree.

On 3 March 1890, Cora Dunston, 19, daughter of Osborn and Moriah Dunston of Wilson township, married Haywood Becton [Beckwith], son of Pheraby Becton of Wilson. Freewill Baptist minister Solomon Arrington performed the service in the presence of Mariah Dunston, Crocket Best, and Mark Barnes.

On 17 January 1897, Dora Duntson, 25, married Joe Battle, 24, in Wilson County. Rev. Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony at the bride’s home in the presence of J.R. Bullock, L.D. Johnson and Fanny Rountree.

On 22 May 1897, Mary Dunstan, 21, married Walter Thorn, 27, in Wilson County. Missionary Baptist minister M. Strickland performed the ceremony.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: teamster Haywood Beckwith, 40, wife Cora, 31, and daughter Delzel, 14, plus father [in-law] Osborn Dunson, 67, who still worked as a farm laborer. Also, wagon driver Joseph Battle, 28, and wife Dora, 22.

On 11 September 1901, Sarah Dunston, 23, of Wilson, North Carolina, daughter of Osborne and Mariah Dunston, married Marshall Bells in Norfolk, Virginia.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Lodge Street, Rebecca Beckwith, 47, a widowed laundress, and daughter Dezell, 20, a teacher. On Spring Street, ice factory laborer Joe Battle, 28, and wife Dora, 32, a cook.

On 24 December 1913, Walter Whitted, 24, of Durham, married Helen Beckwith, 22, of Wilson. Rev. M.A. Talley performed the ceremony, and A.J. Townsend and Robert Haskins were witnesses. [“Helen” was Delzelle Beckwith’s first name.]

On 5 June 1917, Walter Whitted of 516 South Lodge Street, Wilson, registered with the Wilson County draft board. He reported that he was born in Durham, North Carolina, on 3 October 1889; that he was a self-employed tailor in Wilson; and that he had a wife and two children to support. He was described as medium height and weight with dark brown eyes and black hair.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 708 Spring Street, tobacco company laborer Joe Battle, 58, wife Dora, 52, and daughter Esther, 19, a private servant.

On 14 August 1920, Cora Beckwith, 45, married William G. Reeves, 37, in Wilson. Rev. Charles T. Jones performed the ceremony at J.E. Artis‘ house in the presence of Artis, Alfred Robinson and Levi H. Jones.

Cora Beckwith died 29 October 1928 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born in May 1876 in Wilson County to Osborne Duston of Louisburg, North Carolina, and Maria Moudin of Virginia, and was married to Haywood Beckwith. Dazelle Whitthead was informant.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on South Lodge Street, house carpenter Walter Whitted, 38, wife Delzle H., 35, a public school teacher, and children Walter H., 14, and Cora J. Whitted, 13.

Sarah Bell died 29 December 1930 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 54 years old, born in Wilson County to Osbourne Dunston and Mariah Monday. She was married to William Marshall Bell and resided at 710 East Vance. The informant was Hattie [Dunston] Wilkerson, 712 Blount Street, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

Dora Battle died 8 January 1943 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born about 1871 in Wilson County to Arsborn Dunston of Lewisburg, North Carolina, and Mary Mandin of Richmond, Virginia. Informant was Dezelle Whitted; Dora was buried at Rountree cemetery.

Helen Delzelle Beckwith Whitted died 15 February 1976 in Wilson.

 

In which grimly bald-faced assertions of privilege are roundly rejected, and children are returned to their family.

Letters from the files of the Goldsboro Field Office of the Freedmen’s Bureau, which had jurisdiction over Wilson County:

Wilson N.C. 4th June 1867

C.C. Compton Major U.S.A.

Sir

In answer to your Order directing me to return the boys Oscar & Marcus who were apprenticed to me by the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of Wilson County, to their parents or other kin, permit me to inform you that Samberry Battle pretending to claim them as his children has filed his Complaint against me, first before the Gentleman of the bureau at Rockymount, who made an Order on me to deliver them to him or show cause &c. I got my son G.W. Blount who knew most of the facts connected with the matter to go to Rockymount and make a statement of facts for the consideration of the Bureau and thereupon the case was dismissed. Some few weeks ago Samberry filed another complaint against me before your predecessor Capt. [blank] at Goldsborough who issued his order for me to deliver the boys to Samberry or report to him &c. Being unwell at the time and unable to attend in person I wrote to him and made a statement of facts which I requested him to consider before making his final decision. Which letter, my son G.W. Blount, who was well acquainted with most of the facts therein stated and was willing to swear to them, carried down to Goldsborough and delivered it to the Capt who considered the matter and expressed himself as perfectly satisfied and said that he would dismiss the proceedings and write to me in a few days giving me official information, which I was expecting up to the time I received your Order yesterday. I presume the Capt., your predecessor turned over to you all the papers belonging to his office and if so, be so good as to look at the statement made by me to him and I feel confident that your decision will be the same as his. The case decided by the Supreme Court of N.C. was different from this in many respects, but it is not my purpose to argue the matter but simply to present some facts showing the injustice of the claims set up by Samberry and others who never did any thing toward the support of the boys while I have worked night and day to feed and clothe them. I admit that the boys were not in court at the time of the binding, but they were in town and would have been carried into the Court room if it had been required by the Court. And as to notice — the mother has been dead several years and their fathers (they are different men) if living are not in this country and could not be notified. The boys were born mine and I have fed and clothed them until they were large enough to remunerate me in some small decree for their expenses it seems to me that it would be a very great injustice to deprive me of their services and to give them up to persons that never contributed one cent to their support. Their next of kin are too poor to provide for them and protect them properly and their means would be to hire them out as slaves and treated as such. Be so good as to look at my statement made to your predecessor, as that is more full and explicit. If you have any doubt about the truth my statement I would refer you to Mr. Dortch of your town who knows my character and has known it from his early youth. If you should decide that I must turn them out upon the cold charities of the world I shall do so promptly. Inform me of your decision at your convenience & Oblige very respectfully &c. /s/ B.H. Blount

——

I Violet Blount do hereby certify on oath that Oscar & Marcus Blount are my grand-children that their reputed father is a resident of another county & that he has no controll of them, that they were apprenticed to Mr. B.H. Blount without their knowledge or consent, that they were not in Open Court at the time of such binding, as the records of the Court will show. I further certify that I am old & infirm & am dependent upon the labor of my grand daughter & husband for support. I further certify that Marcus & Oscar have a younger brother who is unable to support himself, being only about ten years old. I further certify that I am willing that Daniel Vick should have said boys apprenticed to him that they may assist him in my support.    Violet X Blount

Sworn to & subscribed before me this 25th day of June 1867   /s/ Elisha Barnes J.P.

——

State of North Carolina, Wilson County   }

Court of P.&.Q. Sessions July Term A.D. 1867

On motion it is ordered by the Court that the Indentures of Apprenticeship between A.G. Brooks Chairman of the Court and Benj. H. Blount binding of Oscar and Marcus col’d children is canseld & it is further Ordered that the said Oscar age 16 years and Marcus age 18 years be apprenticed to Violet Blount colard woman all parties being in open court and consenting.  Witness B.F. Briggs Clerk

——

  • Daniel Vick and Fannie Blount registered their six-year cohabitation in Wilson County on August 31, 1866.
  • Sambery Battle married America Vick in Nash County on 2 May 1867. Wallace Battle served as bondsman.
  • Violet Blount, described as a 70 year-old, married mulatto woman, is listed in the 1870 mortality schedule of Wilson township, Wilson County. She had died of cancer in July 1869.
  • Benjamin Harrison Blount (1804-1876) lived and worked as a merchant in the Castalia area of northwest Nash County. It is clear that he held Marcus and Oscar Blount, if not their mother and grandmother, in slavery. The 1860 federal slave schedule records him as owner of 16 enslaved people, who lived crammed in two houses. Per a biography published at Findagrave.com, “After the Civil War, hard times saw the [Blount] family remove to Wilson where eldest son George W. Blount had married established himself as a successful attorney.” I have not found the detailed letter Blount said he sent to Major Compton’s predecessor.
  • In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: baker Samuel Williams, 30, carpenter Daniel Vick, 25, wife Fannie, 24, children Samuel, 8, Earnest, 3, and Nettie M., 5, plus Violet Drake, 52. The Blount brothers are not found.
  • Marcus W. Blount, 26, and Frank O. [Oscar] Blount, 20, appear in the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County, in the household of their brother-in-law Daniel Vick and sister Fannie Blount Vick. I have not found the younger brother referred to in their grandmother’s letter.
  • In the 1880 census of Nashville, Nash County: Sambery Battle, 57, farmer, with wife Ann, 54, daughter Bettie, 15, and grandchildren Sambery, 10, and Laura, 5.
  • On 18 January 1880, Henry Battle, 26, son of Samberry Battle, married Cornelia Boddie, 19, in Nash County. Henry was the (half-?) brother of Marcus (and maybe Oscar) Blount. On 13 August 1887, Henry married again to Mary May, 21, in Nash County.
  • As a skilled carpenter, Daniel Vick was unlikely to have been as destitute as Benjamin Blount charged. He amassed considerable property just outside Wilson’s western city limits, sent at least three of his sons — Samuel, William Henry and J. Oscar — to college, and probably paid for F. Oscar Blount’s schooling, too. (For more about Oscar Blount, see here.)
  • Unlike his brother, Marcus Blount spent his entire life in Wilson. On 27 December 1888, Mark Blount, 35, son of Sebery Battle and Margaret Blount, married Annie Smith, 27, daughter of Louisa Bryant. F.O. Blount applied for the license on his brother’s behalf. The couple were married at the A.M.E. Zion church in the presence of F.O. Blount and their nephews S.H. and W.H. Vick.
  • In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: the widower Mark Blount, 38, a cook, and his children Coneva, 10, Dotsey, 9, and Theodore W., 6, were lodgers in the household of George Faggin, just a few households away from Samuel Vick.
  • On 4 March 1903, Mark Blount, 50, married Alice Black, 23, at the residence of Thomas Johnson in Wilson. Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Willie A. Johnson, John Battle and Mamie Lucas.
  • On 14 November 1906, Coneva Blount, 21, daughter of Mark Blount, married Boston Griffin of Farmville, 24, at the residence of George Faggin in Wilson. Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony before Dotsie Blount, S.Y. Griffin, and Annie Taylor.
  • In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: cook at cafe Mark Blount, 60, wife Mary, 29, children Allen, 2, Frances E., 1, Dotsey, 19, a nurse, and Walter, 17, a tobacco factory laborer. Next door: Boston Griffin, 27, brickmason, and wife Coneva, 21, a private cook.
  • On 24 June 1916, Dotsie Bount, 24, daughter of Mark and Alice Blount, married A.B. Barnhill, 27, of Greenville. Rev. H.B. Taylor performed the ceremony before G.W. Joyner, Mrs. M. Ada Perry and C.C. McCoy.
  • On 16 August 1918, school boy Allen Blount, son of Mark Blount and Allice Black, died of pulmonary tuberculosis a month shy of his 12th birthday. (Oddly, Mark reported his birthplace as Asheville. Should this have read “Nashville”? Alice’s birthplace was listed as Fayetteville.)
  • In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Mark Blount, 67, cook at cafe; wife Alice, 31; children Florence, 10, and Hellen, 7; divorced son-in-law Boston Griffin, a furniture delivery man; and roomer David Carrol, a tobacco factory worker.
  • On 12 February 1928, Walter Mark Blunt (as his death certificate reads) died of kidney disease in Wilson. He lived at 113 East Street, was married to Mary Alice Blunt, and worked as a chef. He was 69 years old and had been born in Castalia, North Carolina, to Samberry Battle and Margaret Blunt.
  • On 11 May 1927, Florence Blount, daughter of Mark and Alice Blount, married James Hollingsworth of Norfolk, Virginia. E.H. Cox, a Freewill Baptist minister, performed the service before James Tinsley, John Lennards and Lee Lennards.
  • On 15 April 1932, Helen Blount died of the same disease that killed her brother Allen, pulmonary tuberculosis. Her death certificate noted that she was born in 1915 to Mark Blount of Nash County and Mary Alice Black of Fayetteville and lived at 113 South East Street. Sister Florence Hollingsworth was the informant.
  • On 8 February 1941, Corneva Gaston died in Wilson, though she was a regular resident of Warsaw, Duplin County. Her death certificate notes that she was born 18 July 1899 to Mark Blount and Annie Blunt and was married to Theodore Gaston.
  • On 16 January 1988, Florence English, a resident of 113 South East Street, died. Her death certificate lists her parents as Marcus Blount and Mary Alice Black.

Freedmen Bureau Records of Field Offices, 1863-1878 [database online], http://www.ancestry.com; North Carolina, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1863-1872, Goldsboro (assistant subassistant commissioner) > Roll 17, Letters received, Jul-Sep 1867 , http://www.familysearch.org 

Dick complains that I keep his sister’s children.

State of North Carolina }

Wilson County     }

I B.F. Briggs

The Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions hereby Certify that at October Term A.D. 1865 the Court apprenticed to Mrs Elizabeth Whitley seven children to wit – Drury age 10 years, George 16 years, Easter 14 years Turner 18 yrs Sophia 14 yrs Robert 12 yrs Adelade 16 years of age &c

Given under my hand and seal of office at office the 6th day of April A.D. 1867

B.F. Briggs, Clerk

——

Stantonsburg N.C. April 6th/67

[illegible] H.G. Norton

Goldsboro N.C.

Dear Sir

Yours of the 2 Int to hand contents noticed you stated that Dick Whitley (col) complains that I keep his sisters children without his consent & refuses to let the same return to him. I have not got the children nor have not had nothing to doe with them at all. My wife had the children bound to her at the time they were bound. We did not know whire Dick Whitley was and think that he had not been in the county for Several months, the children has in the neighbourhood, two uncles & grand mother & none of them has not complained at all in reguard to the children. Dick has not made any application for the children, nor does nothing for the support of his old helpless Mother, We are willing to doe any thing that is legal or right: in regard to them we send now a copy of the indentures, if you desire that I should come down inform me

Very Respectfully           /s/ Gray Whitley

——

Stantonsburg NC, Apr 22nd, 1867

Maj. N.D. Norton

Yours of April 20th is to hand regarding five children who are at present working with my wife. In reply I would State that your letter of April 2nd came duly to hand makeing inquiries about said children, and I wrote to you at one, acknowledgeing the receipt of said letter, but failed to address it to you officially in the envelope and suppose from this cause you have not received it. The children alluded to, are as you have been informed, orphans, having lost both parents. Their mother during her lifetime and while a slave belonged to my wife, and after the close of the war, they having no protector, my wife made application to the county court of Wilson and had them bound to her. In my former reply to your letter of April 2nd I give you a correct statement concerning the children and enclosed also the certificate of the county court clerk of Wilson to the effect that the said children had been bound to my wife, I regret that the letter and certificate have not reached you. If you desire it, I will obtain and forward to you another certificate from the clerk of the county; the children have been brought up by my wife from infancy and have living near them two uncles and two aunts, who seem to be willing that I should retain them, and theas I imagine should have some voice in the matter. They have never raised any objections to my keeping the children, and the children seem to be willing to remain with me. I think that as a majority of the living relatives of the children are willing that they should stay with my wife she having raised them and the children seems to be well contented thus far and I really think that we should be allowed to keep them. Dick has not been seen in this vicinity for 12 months which he has living near us an Old Mother almost helpless he does nothing for her nor seems to care nothing for her so I think if he had the children but little assistance they would get from [illegible] Hopeing to hear from you soon and also hope that the above explanation may be satisfactory I am

Yours truly, Gray Whitley

——

Farmer Gray Whitley, 55, and wife Bettie appear in the 1870 federal census of Stantonsburg, Wilson County. No black children are listed in their household, nor are any elsewhere with the names listed above.

Freedmen Bureau Records of Field Offices, 1863-1878 [database online], http://www.ancestry.com.

They’re perfectly satisfied.

Wilson N.C. Nov 6th 1867

Prev Lt Col W A Cutler

Col

The condition of my family will prevent my personal appearance at Rocky Mount on the 9th to show cause by what authority I hold in my service Edward & Esau Bagley (Col’d) But will take this method of reporting that Edward aged about 13 years was apprenticed to me by the Bureau at Goldsboro N.C. in the year 1866. Subsequently (Oct Term 1866) by the County Court of Wilson County. Said boy is an orphan, with no nearer relative than half-uncle and is perfectly satisfied & contented.

Esau is forty five years of age and is living with me as per contract made and entered into by himself and myself and with which he seems, to me, perfectly satisfied, none having made any complaint. If any informality or irregularity exists in regard to the indentures I am not aware of it, & which, if such there be the court upon motion properly made will correct – or annul the indentures. Yours &c, Alvin Bagley

——

Forty year-old white farmer Alvin Bagley is listed in the 1870 federal census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Eighteen year-old “farmer’s apprentice” Edwin [sic] Bagley appears next door in the household of 22 year-old black farm laborer Cain Atkinson. Fifty year-old farm laborer Esaw Bagley is listed in the household of 40 year-old black farmer Isaac Bell in Springhill township.

Freedmen Bureau Records of Field Offices, 1863-1878 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Captain Glavis’ district.

On the Freedmen’s Bureau “court day” in Wilson County:

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Colonel Eliphalet Whittlesey, the Freedmen’s Bureau’s first assistant commissioner for North Carolina, appended to his Congressional testimony an unattributed article from the 3 February 1866 edition of the New York Tribune, in which the writer chronicled his train voyage through the South. Found in The Reports of the Committees of the House of Representatives, Made During the First Session Thirty-Ninth, 1865-’66.

His wife raised him almost like a white child.

Wilson N.C.

Jany 5th 1865.

Col. Whittlesey

Col.

Moses Daniel (Freedman) reported to the Superintendent of Freedmen at Goldsboro that his former master Jacob Daniel a highly respectable citizen of this County refused to give to him his child Bob – whereupon the Superintendent Geo. O. Glavis ordered Mr. Daniel to give the child up and Mr. Daniel to obey the order & prevent any disturbance gave the boy up. He now appeals to you to have the boy restored to him. He is willing to have the boy bound to him and will do all in that regard that may be required. The following circumstances are the bases on which he makes his appeal. The mother of this boy Bob never had any husband and died when the boy was not over six months old. The Man Moses was the slave of Mr. Daniel and had a wife by whom had children at a neighbors (Mr. Farmers.) It may be that Moses is the father of the child but if so it is an illegitimate one. The Boy Bob has been raised by Mr. Daniels wife almost like a white child – and was esteemed highly and has never evinced any desire to leave his home. He is now about 15 years of age. The Reputed father by reason of the order aforesaid has taken the boy and hired him as common laborer to a Mr Barefoot in this County, as Mr. Daniel has been informed.

Common justice it is thought would restore the boy until he is twenty one to the one who has been at all the trouble and expense of raising him. Your Kind offices are respectfully prayed for in behalf of Mr. Daniel.

By Your Obt Servant     G.W. Blount

——

Farmer Jacob Daniels, 64, appears in the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County. There is no Bob or Moses Daniel in Wilson County, but in adjoining Nahunta township, Wayne County: Moses Daniel, 27, wife Clarkey, 40, plus Smith, 18, Harry, 21, and Jane Daniel, 10.

Records of Assistant Commissioner of the State of North Carolina; Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands; Record Group 105, National Archives; Freedmen Bureau Records of Field Offices, 1863-1878 [database on-line], Ancestry.com.

Write me that my title is good.

Wilson N.C.

Sept. the 5th, 1867

Maj. Compton,

Sir:

I proceed to address you on a particular subject, simply for your instruction.

There was a white woman living in my neighbourhood previous to, and during the rebellion.  She had a child (boy) that was colored, the woman was consumptive, therefore was aware that she could not live long.  This boy had been living with me two or three years, with so much satisfactory to himself, and mother, that she and he insisted, that she should give, and I accept the boy’s indentures in writing till he was twenty one years of age, which was done in ’61.  In ’63 the mother died.  The boy staied with me very well contented until sometime last winter.  He had been telling me sometime before he left, that some people (mostly of which were colored) were persuading him to leave, that he was free &c.  He appeared to be mad because they would tell him to leave, but he finally heeded their instruction.  I was good to the boy, and he seemed to be well contented as long as he stayed with me.  I took a good deal of pains in trying to teach him to conduct himself properly, which he done as long as he stayed.

I heard of him a few days ago in Johnston County, he was at court.  I suppose he is doing nothing, by the way I heard he looked.  I have deferred going after him until I heard from you, thinking, that if you should write me, that my title was good, I could tell him so, that he would not be running off any more.  The boy is between 17 & 18 years of age.

Please let hear from you concerning the above soon.

Yours verry respectfully                          E.G. Barnes

——

26 year-old student Elias G. Barnes, son of Burthany Barnes, is listed in household #297, Kirby’s District, in the 1860 federal census of Wilson County.  At #305 appears 42 year-old white farm laborer Elizabeth Taylor with her five children, Abia, 18, Bryant, 14, Jackson, 12, Kinchen, 10, and McDaniel, 7. Three were mulatto.  The boy referred to in E.G. Barnes’ letter may have been Elizabeth’s son Kinchen.

Records of Assistant Commissioner of the State of North Carolina; Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands; Record Group 105, National Archives; Freedmen Bureau Records of Field Offices, 1863-1878 [database on-line], Ancestry.com.

… whether they are paupers or not!

Synopsis of P.L. Ferrell v. Hilliard Boykin, 61 NC 9 (1866), a North Carolina Supreme Court case:

An unmarried free negro woman gave birth to a child in Nash County.  She and the child lived there until December, 1856, when they moved to Wilson County, where the child continued to reside until the time of the trial.  In June, 1857, soon after his mother’s death, the child was bound [apparently in Wilson County] by his mother’s husband, who was also his reputed father, to the defendant, Hilliard Boykin.  At November term, 1857, Nash County Court bound the child as an apprentice to the plaintiff, P.L. Farrell, who demanded that Boykin deliver up the boy. Boykin refused, and the suit was brought.

From the decision: “In the course of argument here, it was said that the County Court of Nash ought not to have assumed jurisdiction over the boy, unless that of Wilson had returned him thither, as a pauper.  The answer to this is, that it is the duty of the court to bind out all free base-born colored children, whether they are paupers or not!  At least such was the law at the time of this transaction. It was assumed by the Legislature that children in their condition would be neglected, and so the courts were directed to bind out all of that class. In the present case, the County Court of Nash County, being responsible for the proper nurture of the boy, was not to wait until he became a vagabond, and has been cast back upon it as a pauper, by the county of Wilson; but it was its duty at once to exercise its legitimate control, and bind him as an apprentice.”

Judgment for plaintiff.  The holding: “An illegitimate free negro child who has not gained a new settlement by a year’s residence in some other county is, for the purpose of being apprenticed, subject to the jurisdiction of the county in which its mother lived at the time of its birth.” “A master may recover damages of anyone who, after demand, detains an apprentice.”

——

P.L. [Pleasant Luten] Ferrell is listed as a head of household in the 1860 federal census of Bailey township, Nash County NC.  There is no free colored apprentice in his household.   On the other hand,  John, 11, and Zilpha Brantley,9, both mulatto, are listed with Hilliard Boykin in the 1860 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County.