Friday, July 6, 2012

Diving Into Secondary Sources

Craven County in 1853
Sitting and staring at page after page of digital newspaper entries of a search of  <1853 "New Bern> which results in only two sources: The Fayetteville Observer and the New York Times, is getting me nowhere fast. Not much of interest appears in pages for the amount of time spent.

Pack Memorial Library, in
Modern Asheville,
by Troy Winterrowd
When we first moved to Asheville, NC in February 2007 I began an intensive dive into every known book and document available for Craven County and Eastern North Carolina at Pack Memorial Library. It was a sort of frenzied find-all-you-can-as-quick-as-you-can adventure in research. Sometimes the genealogist instinct tells us to absorb it all now because tomorrow is not promised. After several years of scouring the North Carolina Collection, my favorite local history librarian asked me if I hadn't read every book by now. Almost, I replied, almost. And so it was...

I started out taking handwritten notes in Composition notebooks and photocopying pages of books...making notations of ones for future purchase. Then, after the last Bush Tax Rebate, I purchased my first laptop computer and entered notes in MSWord 2007. (I haven't held that much money in my hand at one time since then when I handed it over to the salesman at BestBuy.)

The notebooks and photocopies were then filed away in clear, plastic file boxes, and labeled. The first of three boxes holds the following files: NC-Free Negroes, NC-Trades, Church History, Timber, NC-Civil War and NC-Physiocs. (Perhaps now might be a good time to print out those Word docs as well...)

Somewhere in all these records
must be the available data for 1853 Craven County.

I'll start here with a Bibliography of my sources and then report here on any information which might be of help in recreating the time period of the Carters' trek from North Harlowe to the Craven County Courthouse in New Bern in December 1853 and the life of an apprentice which followed.

Box No. 1
File No. 1: NC-Free Negroes
  1. Franklin, John Hope. The Free Negro in North Carolina: 1790-1860. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1943.
  2. Watson, Alan D. African Americans in Early North Carolina: A Documentary History. Raleigh: Office of Archives and History, North Carolina Dept. of Cultural Resources, 2005.
  3. Farlow, Gale. "Black Craftsmen in North Carolina," in North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Feb. 1985: Bound Volume 11.
  4. Taylor, Rosser Howard. "The Free Negro in North Carolina," in The James Sprunt Historical Publications, Vol. 17, No. 1. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1920.
  5. Woodson, Carter G. Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830. Washington, D.C.: The Assoc. for the Study of Negro Life and History, 1924.
  6. Mabry, William Alexander. "Negro Suffrage and Fusion Rule in North Carolina," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Volume XII, Number 2, April 1935.
  7. Browning, James Blackwell. "The Free Negro in Ante-Bellum North Carolina," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Volume XV, Number 1, January 1938.
  8. Franklin, John Hope. "The Free Negro in the Economic Life of Ante-Bellum North Carolina, Part 1," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Volume XIX, Number 3, July 1942.
  9. Nelson, B.H. "Some Aspects of Negro Life in North Carolina During the Civil War," in The North Carolina Historical Review, Volume XXV, Number 2, April 1948.
  10. The Proposed Suffrage Amendment: The Platform and Resolutions of the People's Party. [Available online, 2 Jan 2008]

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