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  • Collection: Prewar North Carolina

Letter from Thomas Day to David L. Swain, December 6, 1847

Hon. Sir,

Yours of the 24 Nov. came in Time. I am preparing the Timbers to shelve your rooms Earley as possible, the plank has to be of superior quality & Dried in a steam kill which I have here. You advise me to come thare to do the work, but I…

"Alabama and Mississippi Commissioners," December 22, 1860

Alabama and Mississippi Commissioners. On Thursday last Messrs. Garrett and Smith, commissioners from the State of Alabama, with Hon. Jacob Thompson, Commissioner from Mississippi, appeared before the Legislature of this State, and were received in…

"Days of Bondage: Autobiography of Friday Jones: Being a Brief Narrative of his Trails and Tribulations in Slavery," 1883

My first remembrance of my life begins when I was from 8 to 10 years of age. I was born in North Carolina in 1810, the property of Olser Hye, within 15 miles of the capital of the State-- Raleigh.They attempted to whip me in 1854 and backed me down…

"The Experience of Thomas H. Jones, Who Was a Slave for Forty-Three Years -- Chapter Second," ca. 1849


I enter now upon a new development of wrongs and woes which I, as a slave, was called to undergo. I must go back some two or three years from the time when my master died, and I was sold to Owen Holmes.The bitterness of persecution which master Jones…

"Sketches of Neighboring Slaveholders," ca. 1820s


THERE was a planter in the country, not far from us, whom I will call Mr. Litch. He was an ill-bred, uneducated man, but very wealthy. He had six hundred slaves, many of whom he did not know by sight. His extensive plantation was managed by well-paid…

Chapter 1 of The Experience of Thomas H. Jones, ca. 1820s-1830s



I was born a slave. My recollections of early life are associated with poverty, suffering and shame. I was made to feel, in my boyhood's first experience, that I was inferior and degraded, and that I must pass through life in a…

"The News," April 13, 1861

The News. The Wilmington papers of Tuesday, and the and Richmond papers of Wednesday last, contained the most startling reports in relation to the condition of affairs in Charleston harbor. It was stated that there were seven United States' war…

"To the People of Wake County," May 8, 1861

Fellow-Citizens: In The Register and The Standard of Saturday last I briefly announced myself a candidate for the State Convention. I did so at the solicitation of friends, and because of the flattering vote by which I was elected in February last My…

"Slaves and Free Persons of Color," December 7, 1859

North-Carolina Standard Front Page 1861-12-09

Slaves and Free Persons of Color.

At a time like this every thing which concerns domestic slavery is interesting and important.

We have observed for years in this community and in this State, the prevalence and the increasing prevalence of the…

"Holden's Record!," 1861

Holden's Record


Mr. Holden before he was a candidate, and Mr. Holden now.

The following extracts from the Raleigh Standard will show the position Mr. Holden has occupied for the last ten years, and the change which has come over him, now that…