public notice

Take notice: my wife and daughter left.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 August 1911.

This notice concerning a wife and daughter reads an awful lot like a runaway slave ad.

A Hannah Ellis is listed in the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, at 624 Darden Alley. No other Ellis is listed at that address. I have not found a mother-daughter combination named Hannah and Ida Ellis, nor the name of the man who published this notice anonymously.

Important sale.

Tarborough Southerner, 2 December 1854.

Both Jonathan D. Rountree and William D. Thorne were merchants in Wilson. When Thorne failed to repay a large loan, Rountree forced the sale of, it appears, everything Thorne had, including “three young Negroes.” Day in, day out, the lives of enslaved people were upended by their owners’ bad decisions.

Levied on one negro girl, Barbara.

Tarboro’ Press, 13 July 1833.

By time this public notice was published, Levi Daniel had migrated to Harris County, Georgia, from the Black Creek area of what is now Wilson County. He left behind an enslaved woman, Barbara, with his kinswoman Judith Daniel. Other than it involved levying of property to satisfy a debt, the nature of the civil action is not clear, but Judith Daniel claimed ownership of both Barbara and 165 acres of land Levi Daniel also left behind.

I don’t know the outcome of the suit, but when Judith Daniel made out her will in 1837, she did not mention Barbara. Rather, to her daughter Sarah Barnes, she left “negro boy Amos“; to daughter Temperance Jordan, “negro woman Rhody“; and to daughter Eliza Bass, “negro girl Ginna.”