Friday, December 16, 2016

CENTRAL HOTEL---By A. Bellamy,
Warrenton, N. C.

HAVING again taken charge of my old stand in Warrenton, (Warren County, NC), I take this method of informing the public that I am prepared to give comfortable accommodations to all who may patronize me. Considerable repairs have been effected and others are in progress that will enable me to furnish excellent bed-rooms; my table shall be set with as good as the market will afford, and stables supplied with good provender and attended by experienced Ostlers. Thirty  years experience emboldens me to believe that I shall be able to give satisfaction to the public.

   Warrenton, Feb. 20, 1853.

[Semi-Weekly Standard (Raleigh, NC) Mar 2. 1953] 

The following was written by Lizzie Montgomery in 1924.


“The information I have been able to obtain does not extend further back than 1840, as regards this old hotel. Some people consider it the oldest of all three of the hotels that were open for patronage (in Warrenton) when I was a child. It stood on the corner of Main Street and the cross street running from Main Street to Bragg. It fronted on Main, extending south to an old store building, used as the postoffice before and during the war, when Thomas Reynolds was postmaster. It was built of wood and was very ancient looking. It was quite a large house with upper and lower porches running across the entire front. The stables stood on the north-east corner of the lot, the present site of the town hall. I remember, as a child, that it was in this place that the drovers from Tennessee and Kentucky stabled the large droves of horses and mules when they brought them each spring to sell to the farmers of Warren and adjacent counties.

“In 1842 this hotel was kept by Mrs. Ann Bellamy. Her family consisted of her husband and three sons, George, Tom, and John Bellamy. George died during the war. John never married. He was a graduated physician, but I never remember that he practiced his profession. He was a very handsome man, always well and carefully dressed. He was a lonely man after his mother's death, and died alone in his room, upstairs in the small building used as a photograph gallery, immediately back of Hyman's store, on Main Street.

“Thomas was also a doctor, but, I think, never practiced but kept a drug store. He had a very nice one in one of the front rooms of his mother's hotel for a few years after the Surrender. He moved to Norfolk and married a Miss Grover of that city. They had several children. He returned to Warrenton for a summer in the eighties and took photographs. I have some of the old town houses that are his work.

"In 1842 Mrs. Bellamy's brother, Mr. Mayfield, was killed by her husband, it was said because Mr. Mayfield came to the defence of his sister when her husband was treating her very cruelly. She acted promptly in effecting his escape to Kentucky, by giving him a very good horse from her stable and all the cash money she had. He never made any effort to return. After this tragedy she built the house now owned and occupied by Richard Boyd (to the old people it was the "Cawthorn House") and moved there to live. She was a fine housekeeper and had one of the kindest hearts that ever beat in human breast! She leased the hotel for five years to Captain Peter J. Turnbull and later to H. G. Goodloe, returning to the hotel just before the war. All during that period her house was filled with refugees. She died there in 1868, quite an old woman.

“The Bellamy Hotel was entirely consumed in the great fire of June 21, 1881. On its site was built a plain wooden building called The Phoenix Hotel of two stories, and kept by Mrs. B. F. Long for some years. Stores were also built on the southern part of the old hotel lot.”

[Chapter 7, Sketches of Old Warrenton by Lizzie Wilson Montgomery, 1924.]

Saturday, October 22, 2016


            We shall get a perfect flying machine all right and pretty soon. Charles Hamilton tried out his aeroplane in Florida Sunday, but fell 325 feet on a board walk. All  he said was, “Dang it, I’ve lost my cigar!”—New York Telegram.

[The Raleigh Times (Raleigh, NC) 30 Jan 1906]

          Charles K. Hamilton, who would go on to become the twelfth person to earn an American pilot’s license, flew the device. Hamilton gripped a tow rope tied to an automobile that pulled his aircraft along the beach by driving quickly across the sand. Once Hamilton left the ground, he released the tow rope and glided, shifting his body weight left and right to steer. The glider flew for about 150 feet before one of the wing ribs broke, sending it crashing to the ground. The glider was seriously damaged, but Hamilton survived.

Preparing for Florida’s first glider flight at Ormond Beach near Daytona. Charles Hamilton would soon fly this glider into the air over Florida’s Atlantic coast (1906).
[The Florida Memory Blog:]

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Insect Caught

            A full sized locust has been caught on the Northampton race course. It is supposed to have arrived in an embryo state in the root of some foreign plant.

[North Carolina Argus (Wadesboro, NC) 2 Mar 1850]

Cicada Mania

[The Granville Whig (Oxford, NC) 26 June 1850]

Friday, September 9, 2016

[News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) 1 Feb  1883]

Digital Commonwealth, Massachusetts Collections Online

Monday, September 5, 2016

Railroad to Roper?

             The grading on the road from Williamston (Martin County) to Plymouth (Washington County) has been completed and track laying is being done as rapidly as possible. All the trestles have not yet been built, but it is thought that the road will be finished and trains will be running on it before October. The terminus of this road will be at Roper City (Washington County), six or eight miles below Plymouth, where there is plenty of water front, and it is generally believed that a line of steamers will be put on from this point direct to Baltimore. It is thought that trains will be run direct from Weldon (Halifax County) to Plymouth and Roper City in connection with the steamers to Baltimore. It is also rumored that a road will be built from Roper City to some point on Pamlico Sound (Hyde, Dare, and Pamlico Counties).—Roanoke News
            The above paragraph from the News is right so far as it speaks of the Railroad being pushed forward to completion, but, it must be wrong when it says that the terminus will be at Roper City eight miles below Plymouth. In the first place there is no water front at said town. It being situated on McKensey creek, one of the most crooked streams we ever saw, and is not navigable only by small boats.
            The terminus of this road will undoubtedly be Plymouth as the company is now at work building the depot, elevators, etc. After the road is completed to this point, it may then run a branch road to Pungo river, unless Mr. Roper can be persuaded to connect his road to this place, which it is quite likely he will do.
            The R. R. R & L Company will run their road to Washington, making this the northern terminus. As to water front, no town can offer better.

[Roanoke Beacon (Plymouth, NC) 9 August 1889

Granville Free Lance (Oxford, NC) 2 Jan 1880

Saturday, September 3, 2016

[Weekly Register (Raleigh, NC) 19 Nov 1838]

Choose Me, Mr. President!

     IN the grand Democratic celebration in Washington city, on Thursday last, a carriage filled with ladies from North Carolina joined the procession, who had inscribed upon their banner:


Pennsylvania gave her a President;
 she owes him a wife.
 Let the Union be cemented.”

            The above we take from an exchange. These are not the only ladies from North Carolina who are after the hand and heart of the President elect (James Buchanan, who never married). We know of a bevy of ugly old maids on Currituck banks, who held a Convention, and unanimously agreed to use their influence with their male relatives to vote for Mr. Buchanan so that they might go on to Washington to try to catch this distinguished fish, but taking advantage of leap year.
            Go it, old gals! Nothing like trying.
James Buchanan (1859) by George Healy
as seen in the National Portrait Gallery in Washingrton, DC

[Weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC) 24 Dec 1856]

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Story of How Man Is
Conquering the Air
and of the Toll the
Is Exacting.

Copyright, 1915, by The International Syndicate.

            FROM time immemorial man has desired to fly. Even in the Psalms we find David saying, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove, for then I would fly away and be at rest!”
            [This newspaper article, published in 1915, begins with Icarius, who according to Roman mythology, attempted to fly with wings attached to his body by wax. The article includes J. B. Dante, a mathematician flew over a lake with artificial wings, but fell an broke his leg when he attempted to fly over Notre Dame in Paris. A Scotchman, Damian, attempted to fly from Scotland to France using wings made of bird feathers, but made one leap and fell, breaking both legs. He claimed he failed because he did not use eagle feathers. Many others named in the article tried and failed.
            Gliders were once thought to be the answer to human flight. These were tried in Germany, England, France and the United States. But the glider was not totally satisfactory, either. It was not until gasoline engines were available that real flight was possible. This article relates the story of aviation, not only from early times, but also from the flight of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, Dare County, NC to the amazing advances that had taken place by early 1915. Aviation has progressed by over 100 years since this article was publlished, but the earliest stories of aviation are still amazing.]
Wright brothers third test glider at Kill Devil's Hill, Dare County, NC in 1902.
Wilbur Wright is the pilot, Orville Wright at left, and local resident Dan Tate at right.
Found at Wikimedia Commons:
After Gliders.
            This type (gliders) was soon followed by the aeroplane, and in 1903 the Wright brothers first used a petrol engine and astonished the world by their flights. Their tests were conducted with the greatest secrecy. While these experiments were going on Monsieur Voisen constructed a number of kites, and after testing their qualities as fliers he built an aeroplane along the same lines. (The Voisen brothers were early developers of airplanes in France.) This type afterward became very popular, both Farman (an Anglo-French aviator who set records in the Voisen planes) and Delgrange (a pioneering French aviator and sculptor) piloting them. In 1909 Robert Esnault-Pelterie, who was already known as the inventor of the R.E.P. motor (a seven cylinder radial engine) which appeared in 1904, built a curious looking machine which for a time created a sensation. Then came the famous Curtiss-Herring “June Bug” which did some remarkable flying at the Rheims aviation meet—the first one ever held. This was in 1909, and gave a special impetus to the heavier than air machine.

Wright Flyer in which the Wright brothers made the first powered flights on
December 17, 1903.
Wright Brothers Museum website:

            Aviation schools were started in various parts of the world and aeroplaning soon became known as a sport. (Samuel Pierpont) Langly, (Samuel Franklin) Cody [of wild west show fame], (Louis Charles Joseph) Bleriot, (Arthur Charles Hubert) Latham, (Glenn Hammond) Curtiss and (John Bevins) Moisant at once became famous, the last three named having made flights across the English Channel.
            Three years ago an American woman, Miss Harriet Quimby [first American woman to become a licensed pilot], accomplished the same feat flying in a monoplane. Miss Quimby was killed near Boston a year later by falling one thousand feet.
Unique Damage Suits.
            Soon aeroplanes became so common in France that the farmers of that country began to consider them a nuisance and several entered suit for damages, claiming that their crops had been destroyed by the machines alighting on their land. Then, too, they claimed that colts had been ruined by being frightened by the noise of the motor, that the animals are never able to overcome the fright and cannot be used for driving horses. Chickens and ducks they declared died from fright when the big machines “swooped” down over the barnyards. Some of the French farmers contend that property in soil carries with it property of the air above it and the earth beneath. These cases are still pending in the French Courts.
            During the last two years great progress has been made in aviation, and at present nearly 3,000 persons hold Aviator’s Licenses. France has the greatest number, Great Britain is second, Germany third and the United States fourth. In fancy flying France leads, for the average French aviator seems to be able to do almost anything, including looping-the-loop and flying upside down. This was accomplished first by Adolph Pegond, and later our own Lincoln Beachy did the same thing while flying in California.
Curious Accidents.
            Flying over cities was the next achievement in aeroplaning, and in one or two places this has led to curious accidents such as that which happened to Monsieur Gilbert, a French aviator, who while flying over the suburbs of Paris was compelled to drop on the roof of a factory to avoid falling into a crowded street. This was caused by his miscalculating the distance. Another curious accident which also happened in France was that which occurred during a race at Buc where the machine piloted by (Andre) Bidot, who was carrying a passenger, dropped upon another aeroplane. Both the machines took fire; the pilot of one together with his passenger was burned to death. Several times two machines have collided in the air and last year near Vienna during a mimic battle in the clouds an aeroplane collided with a dirigible balloon. This accident is said to have been caused by the pilot of the aeroplane misjudging the height at which the dirigible was flying.
            During the past year one hundred and fifty-two people have been killed in aviation accidents. This does not include those killed in war. They have been such causes as loss of control of the machine, broken planes, explosions, wind gusts, violent landings, hitting trees, machine turning turtle, collisions, air pockets, motor trouble, etc. One man, Doctor O’Ringe, died of heart failure while in the air flying over the aviation field at Johannisthal, Germany.
            One of the most remarkable air accidents occurred at Annapolis, Maryland, in 1913, when Ensign W. D. Billingsley was killed by falling from a hydroaeroplane which was flying at the height of sixteen hundred feet. He was carrying Lieutenant John Towers as a passenger. When Billingsley fell he jammed the steering gear and rendered the machine useless and the machine fell with Lieutenant Towers clinging to one of the uprights. After falling six or seven hundred feet the machine twisted and in so doing formed a sort of parachute and dropped at a slower speed. Lieutenant Towers was in the hospital for three months as a result of the accident. He is the only man alive today who has fallen sixteen hundred feet.
            It will be remembered that during the aviation meet held in Baltimore a few years ago an aeroplane driven by Arch Hoxey fell five hundred feet landing in a cabbage patch a mile of more from the grounds. When the man who was working in the field reached him he found Hoxsey standing in a dazed fashion beside his wrecked machine complaining that he had “lost his glasses.” Hoxsey was afterwards killed at an aviation meet in California.

Hoxsey took Theodore Roosevelt for his first plane ride in 1910.
From the UPI website:

Fate Plays Strange Pranks.
            Fate has played strange pranks with aviators. For instance, John Moisant, who flew across the English Channel, carried a passenger over Paris and did a lot of remarkable stunts, was killed in New Orleans when his machine dropped less than fifty feet. The same thing occurred to (Jorge) Chavez, the man who made such a great flight over the Alps and in the end died when the aeroplane fell fifteen feet. [Chavez completed the flight over the Alps, but crashed during the landing.] Colonel F. S. Cody, England’s greatest military aviator, who is said to have been one of the greatest mechanicians as well, went to his death by the collapse of a plane which he had pronounced perfect just before the flight. Fancy flying, too, has caused a number of deaths, among them Eugene Ely, who was the first man to fly from the deck of a battleship. This he accomplished successfully, but later while giving an exhibition at a county fair he attempted a “spiral glide” of the Beachey type and was killed.
Jorge Chavez, the first to fly across the Alps, beside his Farman plane.
 Found at The Early Brids of Aviation:

            The newest flier is of the self-righting type—a machine which won the Bonnet prize in France. It was driven by Morceau who flew for thirty minutes without touching his planes. During his flight the wind was blowing almost a gale and the aeroplane was tossed about but it always returned to an even keel. Lieutenant Dunne also gave an exhibition with a self-righting machine of his own invention. Recently a self-righting machine has been built in the United States but as yet its flying qualities have had no fair test.
The Aeroplane In The European War.
            When the European war began the aviators of each of the warring nations at once volunteered, fancy flying was laid aside, and a regular mobilization of aviators took place in each country. Exhibition machines were turned into military fliers over night and long before the armies were ready for the field the aviators were scouting about watching the preparations of the enemy, and before the war was a fortnight old we began to read of spectacular encounters in the air between the aeroplanes of the different nations.
Very soon these fliers became the real eyes of the armies and navies, and their scout work has surprised even the most enthusiastic believer in the use of the aeroplane in war.
            Bomb dropping and being brought down and killed has become so common that almost every day we read of military aviators being brought down by the enemy. In air battles it is no uncommon thing for both aviators to meet death.
            As the carrying power of aeroplanes is limited, all sorts of death dealing vehicles have been invented; among them what is known as the steel arrow—a tiny missile about six inches in length, rounded at one end and brought to a needle point. The other end is deeply grooved for about four inches, which gives the top the shape of a four leafed clover. The finished arrow weights about six ounces. Shortly after the war began a test was made and one of these arrows dropped from the height of fifteen hundred feet killed a horse, the arrow going entirely through the body of the animal. One thousand of these arrows are placed in a box fitted with bottoms which open with a spring release. The box is placed between the struts of the aeroplane and the aviator can drop as many as he pleases by the mere pushing of a button.

News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) 14 Apr 1915

Saturday, August 13, 2016

[Fayetteville Weekly Observer (Fayetteville, NC) 1 Jan 1850]


A FINE lot of Buggy and Wagon Collars and
 for sale by J. J. MINETREE.                          
   Louisburg, Sept. 27th, 1854.                   

[Weekly News (Louisburg, NC) 10 Feb 1855]

Sunday, August 7, 2016


            I am now running a daily mail from Scotland Neck to Halifax. I have a comfortable two horse hack, which leaves Scotland Neck every morning for Halifax and returns the same day. Will take passengers and express packages at reasonable rates. I am also prepared to entertain travelers, promising to spare no pains to make them comfortable.


[The Roanoke News (Weldon, NC) 8 Jan 1880, Page 4]

This is an undated picture of a 2 horse vehicle. It may be similar to the one advertised by Mr. Shields.
Picture from Texas Transportation Museum  at

Thursday, July 28, 2016

            Small Mistake.—An old gentleman of 84 having taken to the altar a young damsel of about sixteen, the clergyman said to  him, “The fount is at the other end of the church.”
            “What do I want with the fount?” said the old gentleman.—
            “I beg your pardon,” said the clerical wit, “I thought you had brought the child to be christened.”

[Albemarle Sentinel (Edenton, NC) 9 May 1840]

Monday, July 18, 2016

$25.00 REWARD.

            On last Saturday morning, Mr. P. J. Turnbull informed me that my sow had caught two of his chickens. I at once had the sow confined in a lot near my store, where the chickens could not get to her.
            Saturday night between midnight and day she was shot and killed, from seven little pigs, only about one week old. The sow was six and a half years old, had raised one hundred and sixty-three pigs, averaging more than one hundred pounds each; and at the time she was killed, would have weighed at least 225 pounds.
            (What encouragement has a man to try to raise his meat at home?)
            The person who did this most cowardly act wore a No. 7 shoe.
            I will pay $25.00 for information leading to the guilty party.
Toisnot N.C.

[The Sunny Home (Toisnot, Wilson Co., NC) 15 Jul 1881]

Poor Mama. Never done!
From the website Confessions of a Crazed Catlewoman

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Taxes of 1838

I have received the Tax List for the year 1838, from the Clerk. All persons who owe Taxes in Chowan, are requested to pay the same by the last day of August, as that is the longest time that can be given for the payment. All such persons as failed to give in their taxable property for the year 1838 are hereby notified that they will be required to pay a two-fold Tax, as it is made my duty by law to require it. And in no case will any person be let off, unless according to law. For the better accommodation of persons living in the country, I shall attend all musters which may take place in this county from this time until the last of August, as above mentioned, for the purpose of collecting the Taxes due in the different districts, and shall expect the people to meet me punctually, and pay up.
            All claims against the County, properly authenticated, will be received in payment of Taxes.

            Wm. D. RASCOE, Sherriff.
Edenton, July 6, 1839.

[Albemarle Senteniel (Edenton, NC) 6 Jul 1839]

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Smallpox in Williamston

     “The report of a case of smallpox has been confirmed. William Hoell, son of Alsala (?) Hoell, is said to have gone to New York and returned by sea. It is supposed he contracted the disease while in New York. The village has been thrown into great excitement. Several families have left and more will leave, perhaps in a day or two. Business is at a standstill. The school in the academy has come to a close two months sooner than planned, and the teacher, Mr. Matthews, his wife and son expect to leave this week for their home in Maine. The sick man, Hoell, has been carried about one and one-half miles from town to a school house near Samuel L. Whitley’s where he is to be attended to by a nurse, and no one else but the physicians is to visit him.”

[From the diary of Elder C. B. Hassell published in Martin County History, Vol. I
by Francis M. Manning and W. H. Booker, 1977]

Cushing Biggs Hassell was born in Martin County in 1809. His father died when he was 15. Prior to that time, he had attended school intermittently, but after his father’s death, he became the breadwinner for the rest of his family. He worked in Williamston, Halifax (Halifax Co.), and Plymouth (Washington Co.) and joined the Skewarkey Primitive Baptist Church near Williamston in 1828.

He went into partnership in a store with Henry Williams in Williamston in 1831 and later formed a partnership with Henry’s brother, William. He also became a deacon of the church in 1833. He was ordained in 1842, serving as pastor for Skewarkey and Spring Creek churches. In 1859, he became moderator of the Kehukee Association, the oldest Primitive Baptist association in America, and he served in that capacity until his death in 1880.

Mr. Hassell kept a series of diaries from 1840 until his death in 1880. These diaries are in the UNC library.

Skewarkey Primitive Baptist Church
By Ser Amantio di Nicolao (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (],
via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, July 3, 2016


Weldon News:—We learn from a gentleman from Scotland Neck, that at Edwards’ Ferry* a few days ago, one hundred bales of cotton were burnt. The cotton had been placed there for shipment. It belonged to different parties, all of whom, we hear, had bills of lading from the Roanoke Transportation Company.

[Taken from The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC) 6 Dec 1879, Page 1]

REFUSES TO PAY THE LOSSES. —The transportation company plying boats between Norfolk and landings on Roanoke river has refused to pay owners for cotton which was burned at Edwards’ ferry about six weeks ago. The company offered to compromise on paying fifty per cent. The owners of the cotton refused to accept it, and the company the offered to leave the whole matter to five arbitrators. This was also refused. We learn that the losers by the fire will bring suit against the company to recover the value of the cotton. There are several lines of steamers on the river, but we do not know which one suffers the loss.

[Taken from The Roanoke News (Weldon, NC) 8 Jan 1880, Page 3]

*Edwards' Ferry is where the iron-clad Confederate ram Albemarle was built.

Roanoke Beacon (Plymouth, Washington County,  NC) 27 September 1889


            This band was out serenading Saturday night, but owing to the fact of their playing at the entertainment at Harden’s Hall and subsequently for a short dance at the American House, could not play but two pieces at each house they visited, not wishing to encroach on the Sabbath. It lacked but a few minutes to 12 when they finished at the last house they serenaded and consequently could not play at other houses. Sunday afternoon some of the members of the band playing the dead march, marched down Main street headed by Reverend Johnson for the purpose of conveying the body of one of their number to the boat, the members acting as pall bearers. Monday morning they were up before day playing around town and on their way to the river. We heard their music some time after the boat left the wharf. The boys expressed themselves as highly pleased with their trip and as sorry to leave.
            This band is one of the oldest bands in the State, but only one or two of the old members are in the present band, and under the leadership of Prof. L. F. Ziegler, is now recognized as one of the best in eastern North Carolina.

[Taken from Windsor Ledger (Windsor, NC), 5 Oct 1887, Page 3]

[Found on the website:\

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Mr. James Blackwell, Flagman on the A.C.L.,
Shot and Killed by a Tramp Near Dunn, (Harnett Co.), N. C.
—The Murderer Escaped—A Posse in Pursuit.

            One of the most cold blooded murderers which has occurred in this State for some years was committed between Benson (Johnston Co.,) and Dunn, N. C., last Saturday night. The unfortunate victim was Mr. James Blackwell, of Foreston, S.C., flagman of the A. C. L. fast mail No. 35 and a most estimable young man. The crew of train No. 35 had been caused considerable trouble and annoyance since leaving Wilson (Wilson Co.) by several tramps, and Conductor McDonald had thought himself rid of these unpleasant and unwelcome passengers, until entering Mingo swamp (Harnett Co.), between Benson and Dunn, about twelve minutes to one o’clock, when engineer Donlanson discovered two of the tramps clambering from the tender to the baggage car. Upon reaching the water tank the train was stopped and the crew was stationed on different parts of the train to prevent the tramps getting aboard again. The most reliable statement of the shooting is that the two tramps came to that portion of the train where Flagman Blackwell was stationed and were endeavoring to get back under the train, and when stopped one picked up something from the ground, saying, “There’s — — who put us off,” whereupon Flagman Blackwell replied that it was not he but the conductor. The other tramp then spoke up and said, “I’ll fix the — —,” and pulled his pistol and fired, hitting Mr. Blackwell, the ball entering his bowels, killing him in a very few minutes.
         Engineer Donlanson hearing the firing ran back to where Mr. Blackwell was stationed, enquired the cause of firing and Mr. Blackwell’s reply was his last words on earth, “I am shot.” The train was hurried to the next station, where a doctor was secured, but too late to render any assistance, as the unfortunate victim died between ten and fifteen minutes after being shot.

            During the excitement which occurred immediately after the shooting the murderer took to the woods. The tramp was very grimy and dirty, making recognition quite difficult, but he is believed to be a man by the name of Gill, who has caused the conductors on the southern Railway between Durham (Durham Co) and Raleigh (Wake Co.) much trouble, and who is said to have been very insulting to several ladies in Johnston county.
            A special train with a posse of determined men and several bloodhounds was sent from Florence and reached the scene of the crime about six hours after the dastardly deed was committed, and are scouring the country in search of the murderer.
            The unfortunate victim’s remains were carried to Fayetteville (Cumberland Co.) Saturday night, prepared for burial and sent to ?? Sunday night, his brother accompanying them.
            Mr. Blackwell was about 27 years of age, unmarried and highly esteemed by his employers and all with whom he came in contact. He had recently, from his savings, purchased a farm at Foreston, S. C., and placed his father upon it. The A.C.L. authorities have offered a reward of $250 for the capture of the murderer.
            It is reported the bloodhounds and posse tracked the murder to the Cape Fear river near Fayetteville, where, it is thought, he crossed the river, and it is to be hoped that he will be caught, and justice will soon be meted to him in the manner he deserves.

[Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC) 17 Aug 1897]

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

            AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT. —On last Wednesday night a serious automobile accident occurred on Roanoke Avenue between Rosemary and Roanoke Rapids. The Ford car, owned by L. G. Shell, and occupied by Starkes and Eury, Starkes driving, ran into the two horse team of Mr. Short, injuring one of the horses so badly it had to be shot. Eury and Starkes state that the car was not being driving over fifteen miles an hour and the collision was due to the efforts of both teams to pass each other. The car sustained several injuries, the windshield being broken, a lamp knocked off and radiator bent up badly. —Roanoke Rapids Herald. 

[The Roanoke News (Weldon, NC) 5 Nov 1914, Page 3]

1914 Ford Model T

Thursday, June 16, 2016

[News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) 22 Oct 1880]

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


(Poyner’s Hill, about 6 miles south of the Currituck Lighthouse, was the site of a lifesaving station built in 1878.)  

            The newest thing here just now is a horseless carriage owned by the Poyner brothers. It can be seen at most all hours on our streets and avenues. The motor power is an ox of tender age.
            Easter Sunday was a fine day here, giving a good opportunity to air the Easter bonnets, which were never more beautiful in this town since we have known it. Miss Williams, the principal teacher of the Atlantic Academy, has a bonnet most admired by the young and the old. I would like to describe it if more familiar with the different parts, but not knowing the fore peak from the poop deck of one, will suffice to say it was very cute.
            I think I have failed to describe the Atlantic Academy or its location in the past. It is a single story building of modern structure, situated on the corner of Poyner street and Tarcove avenue, is bounded on the north by Poyners Hill, on the south by Piper’s Hill, on the east by the Atlantic ocean, and on the west by the Currituck Shooting Club house. It is one of the most healthy localities in Eastern Carolina, and is where the weary should cease to grumble and the lazy can take a rest. We predict a great future for the school.
            Since going into my winter habitation many changes have taken place in our little town, and one of the most notable is golf. This is the first season the game has been played in this section by any one except the members of the Currituck Shooting Club, and only during the gunning season, and as that commenced about the time we sandfiddlers leave the surface and ended before time to crawl forth again, it did not disturb our peace. But now the station crew and all the inhabitants of the town, both male and female, old and young, seem to have caught the golf fever in its worst type, and play at most all hours through the day, knocking the balls in all directions, so it has become dangerous for a fiddler crab to show himself above the earth’s surface in this section. But as there is a large quantity of sand beach where the fever has not yet reached, and probably never will, we may be happy yet.

            One thing in conclusion
                        I desire all to know,
            When our golfers meet for confusion
                        I have business down below.

[Fisherman and Farmer (Edenton, NC) 27 Apr 1900]

Monday, May 30, 2016

Neighboring Counties

   Gates.—Mr. A. F. McCotter has decided to attend the Centennial. His beard is 43 ¾
 inches long.

[The North Carolinian (Elizabeth City, NC) 29 Mar 1876]

Monday, May 23, 2016

Military Notice.

            The commissioned officers of the Atlantic Guards*, Camden Guards and Pasquotank R. & R. L. Dragoons**, are hereby ordered to attend a Court Martial of the Regiment, at Elizabeth City, on Tuesday the 23d April next, equipped as the law directs. All persons having business before the said body are hereby ordered to attend, as judgment final will be entered up against all that were fined ni si at the last Court Martial, without they attend and offer such an excuse as will be accepted by the Court Martial.

By order of the Col.       
WM. E. MANN Adj’t.
March 9th 1850

* The Atlantic Guards were authorized as a corps of cavalry in the militia of Currituck county on Jan. 15, 1847. The commander was Tully L. Dozier.
**R.  & R. L. Dragoons were the “Rough and Ready Light Dragoons.” This corps of cavalry was authorized by the North Carolina General Assembly as part of the Pasquotank militia on 16th of January, 1847. 

[Taken from The Old North State (Elizabeth City, NC) 9 Mar 1850]




Mr. Elmer Walker’s recent imitation of a malicious and spiteful spinster at a sewing circle does me a grave injustice.
            There is just enough truth in part of what he says to make it dangerous. He approached me on the 12th inst. and stated that he had put my name on a ticket, the week before at the court house, to run for county surveyor. I told him that I did not want the place and could not run, he insisted, even after I told him that the chances were that I would be unable to qualify if elected. He stated that if I did not qualify they would take care of that. He stated that the ticket had already been sent to the two papers in Elizabeth City. I made myself as plain as is usually necessary when talking to those having human intelligence. … to the average man that would have been sufficient. … done without my knowledge. If he did not state the truth, then he slipped one over on me by making me believe that I was being notified and not that I was being asked if I would run on a ticket that was being “slated” by him personally. …[H]e bears malice toward Mr. John Walker, the present county surveyor, and wished to use me to work an injury to him, even if it left the county without an official surveyor.
            … [I]f the majority of the members of my party want me then, that way, I will be proud to serve. If they do not want me I will not whine, whimper nor “sling mud.” Politics is not my way of making my living right now. I was trying to follow my profession and quietly attend to my own business, and not meddle with others, when Mr. Walker, as it appears now, appointed himself “dictator” of our county and decreed that I run for county surveyor. …
            … Elmer Walker, who was only a short time ago very anxious to “affiliate” his name with mine, so anxious that he put his name with mine without my consent. There is one truth he utters, my name has been taken off his ticket. I took it off.
            I voted for Mr. Elmer Walker two years ago and for that reason alone feel that maybe I am “mentally inefficient.” This suspicion began to dawn on me about a year ago, when I found that Mr. Walker was “swallowing whole” everything the manufacturers said about the desirability of tractors for road building. I was mentally efficient enough awhile ago to keep Mr. Walker from influencing the road commissioners to buy a tractor they did not need and could not use. Even when he was so “morally strong” for one that he objected to my being considered for road superintendent, because I was opposed to the tractor deal, before I could state that I did not want the job.
            … [I]s he trying to imitate the former leader of “the Bull-Moose” and hold that all men who do not agree with him are liars? I am willing to let the public judge who has lied in this case.
Snowden, N. C.
September 30th, 1916

[Elizabeth City Advance [Elizabeth City, NC] 5 Oct 1916

To Pension Ex-Slaves.

         The Secretary of State yesterday granted letters of incorporation to “The National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief Bounty and Pension Association of the United States of America in North Carolina.” The incorporators are Elijah Dudley, Edmond Hicks, Cornelius W. Jones, Peter Bragg, Sophia Brown, Catherine Bellamy, Abraham Forrman, Edward W. Pritchard, A. W. Rogers and Horace Brown. 
            The principal office and place of business of this association is to be Washington, Beaufort county, and the first meeting at which officers are to be elected will be held on January 15th  [1900].
            The object of the association is to render assistance to its members in good standing, and to devise and provide ways and means for the care and nourishment of ex-slaves, their widows and orphans, and to unite the efforts of all friends in securing pension legislation in favor of ex-slaves.

[Taken from News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) 2 Jan 1900, Page 6]

This medal was worn by ex-slaves who joined this Association attempting to obtain reparations in the late 19th century. It is a two piece medal with a simple top bar below from which hangs a crescent moon and star on which are printed: "National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief Bounty & Pension Ass'n of the U.S.A.
National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief bounty and Pension Association
Of the United States of America

By the 1890s there was some movement to enact legislation to provide pensions for ex-slaves. The idea was modeled after the pensions provided for Civil War veterans. Walter R. Vaughan of Omaha worked for many years to get such legislation passed. He published a pamphlet, Freedmen’s Pension Bill: A Plea for American Freedmen which circulated in the black communities. According to Walter B. Hill, Jr. in an article published in Negro History Bulletin, Vol. 59, No. 4, 1996 Special Issue on Black Genealogy, 10,000 copies of the pamphlet were sold at $1 each, and other editions were published. One person who read the pamphlet was Callie Guy House.

An MRB&PA broadside features both Isaiah Dickerson, the general manager, and Callie House, a national promoter and assistant secretary of the association, with the emblem of the United States in the center.

        “Callie House is most famous for her efforts to gain reparations for former slaves and is regarded as the early leader of the reparations movement among African American political activists.  Callie Guy was born a slave in Rutherford Country near Nashville, Tennessee.  Her date of birth is usually assumed to be 1861 but due to the lack of birth records for slaves, this date is not certain.  She was raised in a household that included her widowed mother, sister, and her sister’s husband.  House received some primary school education.

“At the age of 22, she married William House and moved to Nashville, [TN] where she raised five children.  To support her family, House worked at home as a washerwoman and seamstress.  In 1891, a pamphlet entitled Freedmen’s Pension Bill: A Plea for American Freedmen began circulating around the black communities in central Tennessee.  This pamphlet, which espoused the idea of financial compensation as a means of rectifying past exploitation of slavery, persuaded House to become involved in the cause that would become her life’s work.  

“With the help of Isaiah Dickerson, House chartered the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association in 1898, and was named the secretary of this new organization.  Eventually House became the leader of the organization. In this position she traveled across the South, spreading the idea of reparations in every former slave state with relentless zeal.  During her 1897-1899 lecture tour the Association's membership by 34,000 mainly through her efforts.  By 1900 its nationwide membership was estimated to be around 300,000.  

“House's activism was not without controversy.  Newspapers of the time often ridiculed her efforts and the federal government attempted to arrest her and other leaders of the Association.  In 1916, U.S. Postmaster General A.S. Burleson sought indictments against leaders of the association claiming that they obtained money from ex-slaves by fraudulent circulars proclaiming that pensions and reparations were forthcoming. House was convicted and served time in the Jefferson City, Missouri penitentiary from November 1917 to August 1918.  Callie House died in Nashville at the age of 67 on June 6, 1928 from cancer.”