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]