Title:  Slave conspiracy in North Carolina Bertie County

Author:  M. Gray, Francis Pugh, Dan Young et al

Date: August 1802

Subject:  Attempted Slave Revolt

Type: Court Records/Proceedings

Source: State Archive North Carolina


Court Papers

Copy of the letter found with the Negroes [faded and not clear enough for transcription]

State of North Carolina Bertie County

The examination of Sundry Negro Slaves touching a conspiracy supposed to exist among the slave to rebel taken at Windsor before Justice assigned to keep them from the County of Bertie above named taken at Windsor this ninth day of June one hour and eighteen hundred and two.

The examination of George belonging to sir Edward Watson who being duly cautioned declares that about four weeks age he saw Boy (belonging to David Horne) passing on a Saturday evening along by the despondent who was employed at Koiquiss washing hides of his master—Despondent asked Boy why he came that way, Bob answered he was anxious to get to Windsor before Sunset that he might have an opportunity to go into the stores before they were shut, that he was going that day up to the Funeral at West Henry Hill old place—and did not like to walk through the field, meaning the field of Mr. D [David] Turner where Timothy Brandon lived.  That if he, Bob, should go through the field that Brandon would get his dog after him and that if Brandon did get his dog after him he would kill him, Brandon, or his Dog?  Saw Bob and Gain in Windsor who mentioned they had made a good deal of money handle it foolishly but would hear after take more care of it.  Heard Major Clark’s Peters say the Negroes were killing the white people by the light of candles, but blamed them the Negroes for it.

The examination of Isaac (belonging to the Estate of David Forner deceased) who being duly cautioned declares that on the Sunday before the last he was at Windsor and saw Gain (belonging in to Mrs. Anne Turner) when in conversation with Gain said he wanted some powder and that he must apply to James Wallace that the other store keepers would not sell it to him did not say what he wanted with the Powder nor whether he got it.  Gain has a concourse of Negroes about him suppose the wish to him for advice about the manner of rising.  He saw Mr. dungan’s Jim buy a pound of Powder at J. Wallace aforesaid and Mr. Dungan’s saw [him] buy a pound of powder at same place—knows that his Haiss Arthur’s Bob had Powder about two years ago of a Roanoke Boat Heard Bob, (belonging to David Horne) Hereafter that if finally Brandon did fetch  dog after him or touch him he would kill (that he had as [unclear] kill him as a raccoon-would kill him and throw him away has second him make his threat three different times—did not suppose he meant to put his treats into execution—Has in conversation with Bob, (belonging to Mr. Jonathan Handley) heard him, Bob, say that he had a given and asked different to get him some powder.

That on the night on which despondent made died rode up Mr. Jaycook’s Ferry wikth Mr. Clement’s Robin that Robin told Despondent the Negroes were to rise and kill their white people.  They were to leave a meeting at Mr. George Outlaw junior’s old field—that he Robin [unclear] the white people had catched him and whipped him at Mr. Daniels he would join them—that if there had not been too many together when they whipped him.  Gain leader (belonging to Mrs. Anne Turner) Gain waited to buy some gun powder.  Later that year buying a gun and some powder.  The Negroes wanted to rise and kill white people; he would have some of their brains out.  That him Outlaw Tony, Mr. Taylor Ports, Mr. Dyuyer’s Plato, David Horne’s Bob, Mr. James Jordan, little Jack, Mr. David Turner’s Emanuel, Jim L. Despondent himself, Mr. Dongan’s Jim and Sam Major Frances Pugh’s Lohil, Ambrose and Jim, Mr. Grays’ Dick, Miss. Lenon’s Sophie, Peter and Andréa,  Mr. Handley, Bob, Mr. Outlaw’s Jim, Oliver or Sutton Harry, Mr. Purdy, Bill Mr. turner’s Gain, Mr. Haiss Arthur, Lewis and George, Captain Mr. Caufon Eli, Mr. John Clarks Peter, Malache Oliver’s Bob and Mr. Clemens Lt Robin all informed they were to meet to join to rise against the white people—Mr. Grays Dick also informed Despondent that Mr. Gray’s Jack was to join.

They were to kill all the white people to burn houses and blow them up.  Kill the people and so all they could to furnish themselves with arms from those who were first killed.

Emanuel said he had a Gun hid at James Gifford’s; her outlaws Tony said he a Livord.  Wm Dwyer’s Plato said that the Negroes were too much stronger than the white people that one black would be a match for two or three whites.  That the whites would get nothing of the Negroes.

The examination of Bob belonging to William Green, being duly cautioned declared that he knows nothing of the subject

The examination of Jack belonging to William Artibeen who being duly cautioned declares that about two years ago he heard Bob (belonging to David Stone that he understood there would be a war between the Negroes and White people knows nothing more.

The examination of Peter (belonging to Charles Jaycook), who being duly cautioned declares he knows nothing about the briefings.

The examination of George belonging to James Clark, who being duly cautioned declares he has no knowledge of the case.

The examination of London (belonging to Miss Martha Bryant, who being duly cautioned declares he has no knowledge of the subject.  The examination of Bob (belonging to Capt. Jonathan Handle, who saith he knows nothing of the affairs denies all connection with it.

The examination of Adam (belonging to Mr. James turner, who being duly cautioned saith he knows nothing concerning the matter.

The examination of Jack, called little Jack, belonging to Mr. James Jordan, he denies all knowledge of or connection with the conspiracy.

The examination of Bill, (belonging to Mr. Purdy), having any knowledge of or connection with a conspiracy of any kind.

The examination of Sam, (belonging to Mrs. Dangan), he denies all knowledge of any connection with a conspiracy—says he got the powder of Mr. Wallis—but got it by order of his mistress for her.

The examination of Ellis belonging to Captain John McGlaution) denies any knowledge of or connection with the conspiracy.

The examination of Jim, belonging to the Estate of David Turner deceased, he denies having any knowledge of or connection with the conspiracy—he heard last Monday evening from a Negroe boy of his mistress which boy said old woman about the house informed him-there was to be a meeting at Mr. George Outlaw’s old field tomorrow evening to concert a plan that they would rise up and kill the whites at Windsor first, get into the houses and kill the people as they come out of the houses—understood that Mrs. Turner’s Gain was the head man in calling the meeting.

The examination of Sas, (belonging to Joseph Limon,) he denies having any knowledge of connection with the conspiracy.

The examination of Gain, belonging to Miss Anne Turner, he denies having any knowledge of or concern with the conspiracy.

The examination Torry 9belonging to Mrs. Dragen), he denies having any knowledge of or connection with the conspiracy.

The examination of Stephen (belonging to Thomas Veal), he denies having any knowledge of or concern with the conspiracy.

The examination of Lohie (belonging to Major Frances Pugh), he denies having any knowledge of or concern in the conspiracy.

The examination of Major Francis Pugh’s Jim—knows nothing.

The examination of Mr. Pollock Manuel knows nothing.

The examination of Mr. Ruffin’s Peter knows nothing.

The examination of Charles king, Lemon Charles knows nothing.

The widow Rhodes’ Ben declares that he knows nothing [writing on the document]

Examination of Zeno No. 1 the property of Elizabeth Brimage the younger respecting to support conspiracy among the Negroes taken by Warden the 9th of June 1802 after being cautioned.  Ganzy and Peter told him he heard the Negroes had risen down the county but did not hear anything more only from whites—


Charleston the property of Anthony Drake died—heard from O’Malley’s Negro that the port rider Mr. Treadwell’s Negro man that of the rising, heard of one other Negroe the property of James Turner knows nothing.


Aaron Miguel himself says Jiles say that if any white man snide him he would kill him (place him in irons) Timothy Miguel the same as Aaron Miguel.  Bananas Curry says Jiles told him to go to hell.


Virginia the property of Mr. Assi Darga says Bob/Dr. Dargert/ said the Black people always back_____about rising down at Pasquotank__Col. Pugh’s Sam told him he heard the Negroes about Windsor were about to rise.  Sam told him on Monday he met with Mr. James (as he came from Mr. Simon’s), who [crossed out] him the Negros and Indians were rising against the Whites.


--Bob Mr. Lennon—Scipio Mr. Linnon told him then was to a night meeting at Mr. Outlaw field on Monday night last by Virginia.  There were all the meeting hand was to be given when they were to kill the White people Mr. Turner’s Gain was head man and Mr. Stone’s Bob was next head man and André Mr. [unclear] was next head man, Mr. Hare’s Arthur next head man [unclear] Bob had the powder in a log a horn full and a sword made of a scythe and had a gun at his master house Scripio Mr. Bossman told him gave Virginia.  Hear to hold night meeting on Monday nights.  They were to kill the White men and do Negro woman and take White women for wives and the yard Negro girls for waiters this conversation happened Sunday evening at Mr. Busman.


Charles (Mr. Pollock)


Robbins (Mr. Pollock)


Emanuel’s David Turner died about a month ago on Sunday at a meeting at under Bruiches [crossed out] Mr. Turner’s Gain told him he wanted to get all the Negros he could in coming Thursday night near the race Grand to begin at Mr. Ortiz and fire his barn and the house in Windsor those who had guns were to kill the whites who had guns and after having guns the[y] were to take a batter and white men were to find ammunition information to give at the field—after killing the whites sufficiently, they to have their freedom and it was to begin a day sooner at Condenter they Mr. Clemons Robbins told Gain to—Gain was to be General, Mr. Stone’s Bob next to Gain—Mr. Standup’s Bob next man- Atewood—Mr. Lenno’s—Lumbo Mr. Outlaw, who has a gun which he saw in the woods at the swamp near James Williford they had to hide it between the bank and longs in this house of McClemoln’s Robbins—Mr. Durgan’s Sae and Innis Mr. Harris Frank.  Iniobe Arthur and Lewis Mr. Dinous Bob—Mr. Dwyer’s Plato Mr. Gray Dick Mr. Garp’s Tobey—Mr. Stone’s Bob said he would kill Timothy’s Brandon also Mr. Stand Bob would also kill him Gain told him to kill 1 or 2 of family Mr. Arthur Tony—Gain told him a secret and that he would helped [original document torn and   damage and cannot be read] Isaac Mr. turner told him Jino was in the plot—Gain was to collect all the Negros [sic] he could between then and the time.


Lear/ M Cherry/


Jack ((Mr. Gray) on Sunday last Mr. Harris Incosh? to Mr. Andrews


Rpffom/Mr. Clements? Mr. Outlaw those told him he said 15 Negros taken up for rising he told him it was foolish in them.


Bob (Mr. Stone’s) Mr. Newberry Andrew told him he had power [rest of transcript not readable]


George (Mr. Outlaw)


Examination of a Negro Wolman the property of Sam Johnston she says that she learned of the affair.  Oroficity told her last Sunday night that there was Negroes in Winton Jake she asked this Sam who was the husband what they was from in for he asked for Daring murder she answered to him do not lay hand on your Martin, he then asked her if she would not, she made no answer, he hurried her and said God Dam her, she abreacted to him.  If he did not mind himself he would git [sic] shot through his jacket, he said to her that the Negroes had killed a White man and Martin shot him as he opened the door, she said that through Hart I wish they warn all killed or burned. [Rest unclear]

Examination of Harry the property of Mr. Outlaw, he says that Mr. Layette’s Sam some time ago come over to Mr. Outlaw and told this Harry that them guns we heard was in Virginia and that the Negroes was their fighting the White people about two weeks after the same come over again, and said that Mr. Gwerte’s Negroes was going to rise and that Capt. West had taken up 9 Negroes of his and denied it, but the head man confessed it and that—Capt West cut off the leader of them head.  Mr. Barco come riding by the fence of Mr. Outlaw yesterday with a gun.  Danice the property of Mr. Outlaw said that the white people would with their guns they are so afraid of the Negroes, Harry observed to him he would ride with his gun to Edmond the property of Luke Walton deceased, said they had better not interrupt him for if that they did he would soon leave Casher neck that he was as good a man as any of them he was asked where he was a going to for your master can for no friend to you, he said there is many a one as good as these masters.

The examination of Lewis the property of Edward Hace knows nothing only what he heard his own say.

The examination of Ben the property of Jess Baymore knows nothing.

Deposition of Gumbo the property of David Outlaw knows nothing.

Deposition of Sam the property of Samuel Johnston the last day of May asked Dae come in the field the property of Ruben Thompson and heard him and told him stop a little when he came up say I am very tired and weary I asked him what was the occasion, he replied, Dam White people pillaged him so bad they aught all to be killed and shall I say yes if I can get a great many to join me which I will try to do and them I will let you all know I have a gun and some powder I will tag and get all the guns and powder that I can, and if that would not do will try clubs and [unclear] want do will try lay stuff at the door.  He further says that he met Jim the property of Col. Pugh he said he and his overseer had face out.  Dam him he and all the rest ought to be killed.  He further sayeth that James peter he saw some time after and he told him that his overseer had been whipping two of the Negroes.  Boyle the property of Mr. Taylor said Dame the overseer he ought to be killed and all the rest of George of the [unclear] property come up and asked what that was he said, he repeated it over and George said yes they ought, he further saith that at a sermon at Mr. Hinton’s he heard a Negro Charles the property of Harry Johnston say after the sermon that there was a great many white people her.  Dam them they pestered him so about Mr. Pugh’s that ought to be killed and should be killed they all ought to be.

Deposition Jim the property of Col. Thomas Ought. Nothing

Deposition Dumprey the property of Abnia Eason. Nothing

Examination of a negro woman Nan the property of David Turner deceased, she sayeth some time ago Mr. Ian Stanley Bob came into her house later at night and told her that Mr. Brandon Dog had run him off in the middle part of the night, he said he had cut him a stick and after she told him he had better go away that Mr. Brandon would come and catch him, he said that if he did he would kill him if he could not get clear,

Morris (Mr. Ponce) knows nothing except from whites.

George (Mr. Veal)

Ambrose Mr. Pugh says downhill told him bitter [sic] informed him of the rising and always, afterward heard of whites.

Peter/Mr. John Clark/ he had liberty of his quarters to go to Mr. Skiles to get—Brecer, Meg and of his [unclear] the swamp had some talk with him and looked at his gun and turn and met another Sam and was informed by him of his further not having another brake toward win toward his master said Mr. [name missing] and another man shooting killed dares was called and heard [section unclear] when to his old Misses to get a pass and when to his Misses heard nothing of negros [sic] respecting the conspiracy

Harry Mr. Ruffin/ knows nothing only of his master.

Isaac/ Mr. J. Turner/ knows nothing only of a white woman.

Torry/Mr. Taylor/ knows nothing only heard his [unclear] take master sayh some time passing day the negros were rising away back,

Scipio/Mr. Lennon’s/ he came in town Saturday after and asked.  Testimony broken in parts, but its essentials is that the Negroes were planning to rise and he told there it was wrong for Negros to rise [because] they would be killed and that it would be better if they ran away and get free this way—does not recalled of setting with any Negroe at Capt. Bosman on last and had no conversation with any negro this day.

Scipio/Mr. Pollock/ he heard of this rising from old John down at [unclear] he met with Mr.? Cupichats at Dimpry Baker who told him he had an old gun.  He offered to bring it to Cape hand and Baker and would sell it to him.  He wanted the gun to kill Turkeys—Baker said he would give any among for the gun as this was enough to help pay for him.

Simon/Mr. Bageman/ when runaway was a women of Mr. hunter was also at Gates {unclear] fish for the same meeting in gates with James Parnell who told him of the negroes rising in Portsmouth, was told by Sarah Boon a free woman there was good guns a good change of David collier when they went to meeting.  Sarah Boon a free Black woman heard him say he wanted to get a gun from a poor white people along there he was willing [unclear] to except a gun that old Duke Meary D. gotten had was a good one of his old mistress [unclear] someone attempting to purchase a gun that works.  Discuss Negroes rising in Virginia, who were being taken to goals.  Hand washed children cloths and was afraid someone would take them had to get back.  During preaching camp saw several Negroes in the road talking [unclear] Gain.  Mr. turner was with them Mr. Bucess Charles was with them they were talking low—while at preaching and saw a number of negroes sturdy talking too and away from the sermon.


Examination of several Negro slaves respecting a conspiracy and taken at Windsor 14 June 1802 before Mr. William [next line unclear]

Fred/Motifs/ he went to his wife house on Tuesday night at [unclear] Davison and Mr. Frank, Mr. summers, between john Davidson and James Torrils on the road he gave him a letter to bring to Capt. King Brown—he told him to give it to King—the 10 June they were a going to make a thank and come down to the Ferry and plunge and destroy and then come to Mr. Hunter store and break open it and take powder there and come to master first he allowed he was a bad man [This section of court document us unclear] but seems concern that master was a man who whipped people to death.  Apparently, there was a letter written by a slave detailing the plan to rise.  Slave was supposed to deliver letter to mother, girl runaway and stayed away until the whites came home and gave the letter to whites instead of her mother.  He [person not identified] asked him and he denied it and he went to the justice and asked for the truth and told them.

Brigg john, Mr. Blants asked him to join to rise and take the White folks and told him he did not know if it would do or not.

Dick a low fellow at Edenton asked him if he would join and take the Whites and [he] gave no answer satisfactory.

Frank said he was full strong to carry to Art King Brown the letter he would know what to do with it—David and Dennis talked in the field and said they would rise and have no hand in the burning this conversation happened in the field since fishing and on a Monday or Tuesday—on a Saturday he saw Capt. King Brown at Mr. Bronens finishing as he and David Musty was going after Mr. Fluorite Sawyers and spoke to him among the other Negros as he there down for only common conversation.

Simon, Mr. Hunter he went to Mr. Brown one night Thursday after the 20 day of May and while he was there King Mr. Brown told him he had a letter from Frank Sumner to get all the men he could together to rise against the white people he said the word was all that don’t join are to be killed he insisted on him to join him agreed if all would be killed he may be freely or would have it done—that if or he be killed that he had an order from Frank to get the men he could in order—until further orders that then who did not join should not live among them they be killed—that all up the river were joined and ready Frank informed him.

About half an hour, Dennis (another of the fellow) came in and said they now have it in any--- to himself them who kept him to long in the rope and for particularly to revenge himself on those who kept him tied so long already to a time when he Dennis had been take up about—farm goods.  That he meant to join Dave Thorface in rising against them white people and would if he did no more punish them that kept him tied so long and finished him.  Dave said when Brown fellow Boron was to be a Major—her Drew Moornes Bob to be a fifties and our Gangery who lives over Chowan and belongs to Mr. Larry – Dave Mistress also told her the plan had been agreed upon during the Fishing----The letter found with Difonent [dependent] was left with her the week before last by Fred who lives at Mr. Feats Difonent [despondent] for the letter in—and of Cotton and---to come that night the letter was that night found—Fred faced Frank and gave it to him.  Taken before us a Windsor 15th 1802 before us David-------.

The examination of Judi a negroe woman---belonging to Mr. Les Ray [space] buy duly cautioned the Jays that—him about and weeks ago Mr. Fetts Dave Murfrey came to her house one night after the white people had gone to bed and began to laugh and talk and said there is Hell fire news.  What is it?  We black are going to rise against them white we would do this and form a nation to come with powder of that would furnaces. Kill them white men and the ugly white women and we will take the handsome wh9ite woman for wives.  We will make slaves of the negroe woman—told her that our [unclear] Who being with Reverend Reed was to furnish powder and if the powder he gave should be before the---come to give them money to buy more---to make the attack at the meeting which is to be held Friday, Saturday, Sunday or on the Sunday of it when there would be the most people to hide themselves in the woods and attack the people after they were collected to take as many as they could then kill them with the Buttes of their Muskets threatened the Witness that if he should be killed if she told—after Dave had been in the Court order that Tony the property of George Outlaw Junior receive three lashes—He laid on his bare back under the gallows and that he be committed to the Goal of the county.  Contact his mother or family other person for him enter into an obligation with the Clerk to the State in the loan of 250 to be void only on condition that the said Tony—be transported or carried immediately out of the State of North Carolina and not again to be transferred to—or go at large within the State.

Isaac the property of the Estate of David Turner having repeatedly conferred that he was one of the conspirators against the white people and having also acknowledged that he took an active part in procuring others to join in the conspiracy the Court order and a judge that he said Isaac be committed to the Goal of the County for the sum of one year or until the—who has the charge of him as Representative of the Estate of his makes that enter into an obligation to the State of north Carolina in the Sum of 250 to be void only upon the condition that he then said Isaac Shall be transported or carried immediately out of the State of north Carolina and not again suffered to return or go at large within the State.

State of North Carolina—At a court of the justices of the County Bertie County of Bertie aforesaid specifically convinced at Windsor on the 30th day of June 1802 for the lunch of certain negroe slaves by the Sheriffs of the said bounty by vertices of the of Assembly for that purpose made from all we present.  The worshipped George Aulleuo, David Somo and Joseph Eason—Esquires Justices. Ordered that Sam the property of Samuel Johnston receive thirty-nine lashes on his bare back under the Gallows and that he be committed to the Goal of the County until his master or some other person from him—an able Galion of the State of north Carolina in the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds to be void only upon condition that he then said [sentence unclear] out of the State of North Carolina and not against suffered to return or go at large within the State.

State of North Carolina

Negro all men by these presents that we Samuel Johnston & Edward Manning arch8i—and familiarly bound unto the State of North Carolina in the full and just sum of Two Hundred and Fifty pounds to which payment will truly to turn a—we find ourselves our hurt Executor Admitting traitors jointly severally firmly by these presented Sealed with our Seals and Date this 30th day June 1802.

The condition of the above able Galion is such that if the above—so Samuel Johnston shall liable transport or carry his Negroe man slave named Sam out of the State of North Carolina and riot again suffer him to return or go at large within the State aforesaid than this obligation to be void otherwise to regain in full force a—

Signed Sealed and Delivered

in presence of George Gray

Sam W. Johnston (SEAL)

E. Manning (SEAL)


State of North Carolina

Know all men by these Presents that we Francis Pugh and George Gray are held and firmly---unto those we Pugh, David Stone and Leher Nicholas Esq. and the rest of the Justices assigns to keep the beau for the county of Bertie in the full and just sum of Two Hundred and fifty Pounds to the which payment will and truly be made we being ourselves our heirs esq. Adams jointly and—firmly by these present---with our seats this 26th the June 1802.

The conditions of the obligation is such that if the Said Francis Pugh shall immediately transport and carry out of the State of North Carolina the Slave dick and not again suffer him to return or go at large within the State aforesaid, these this obligation to be read otherwise to remain in full force and affect.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered in Presence of George Gray

Francis Pugh (SEAL)

John McGlaugh (SEAL)

State of North Carolina

Know all men by these Presents that we Morgan Autterush, George Autterush Archibald firmly bound to the State of North Carolina in the full and Just Sum of Two Hundred Fifty pounds to that which payment will and surely to be made we find ourselves occurred Executions---jointly and severely firmly by these presented Sealed with our Seals and dated this 11th day of August 1802.

The Condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bounds Morgan Autterush shall immediately transport or carry his Negro man slave named Toney Gorsmerty belonging to George Auttaco Seen and if now in Goal out of the State of North Carolina and not again suffer him to return or go at large within the State aforesaid then the obligation to be v void otherwise to remain in full forces and effect.

Signed, Sealed and delivered in presence of

George Gray

Morgan Autterush (SEAL)

George Autterrush (SEAL)

We whose names and hereto subscribed do engage to contribute according to the proportion after mentioned to make payment for the Slaves who have lately been executed at Windson—that is to say the Negroes executed that be valued by ferrous indifferently chosen the Negroes belonging to us respectively that also be valued and we whose Negroes are discharged with contribute-----.  To the values of those belonging to us respectively to make payment to those whole Negroes have been executed loosing in proportion to the respective values—our hands this 15th June 1802.

The above is in the hand writing of David Honely.

O David! David! How you misled the people to pay you for Bob.  Let the justices who condemned the Negroes without giving them a legal trial pay the damage—were you one or not?


State of North Carolina

August Firm 1805

Bertie County


Ordered that Solomon Cherry sheriff be allowed Sixty Seven pounds Ten Shillings for the hire of men to guard the goal in the time of the Insurrection in June 1802.


George Grau


State of North Carolina August to Firm 1802


Bertie County.  It was on device that----below one hundred twenty six pounds for feeding the—ten—on the--

  • Document transcribed from the original by Joseph E. Holloway