Free Persons of Color in Antebellum Newton County

We have limited records of free persons of color in Newton County before Emancipation. All free persons of color were required to have a white guardian and to pay a $.00 per year annual poll tax (evidently assessed every other year). As in other Georgia counties, free persons of color paid a substantially higher poll tax than free white persons.

Tax digests are microfilmed at the Georgia State Archives in Morrow. In the tax digest lists, the names of free people of color are listed under the names of their (white) guardians, and are followed by the designation "FMC" (Free man of color) or "FWC" (free woman of color). Only the 1847, 1849, and 1851 tax digests for Newton County have survived.

In some cases, FPCs registered with the Inferior Court, so those records should be consulted.

Rev. Tonie Baker (founder, Bethlehem Baptist Church) is known to have been free; although we have not a record of him paying a Free Person's tax.

Rev. Potter, d. 1851 buried in the Oxford cemetery is described on his headstone as colored methodist of the M.E. (Methodist Episcopal Church) but there is no evident record of him paying an Free Person's tax.

Ted Davis gives a partial list of FPCs in The History of Newton County, pp. 180-182, primarily from Inferior court and Tax Digest records.

Adams, Rebecca (1853) adult, Anderson Veal guardian

Agnes (1829-33) sometimes Agrius or Agrias, adut, William J. King Guardian,

Bann, Ann (1861) adult, living with Caroline Wilson, guardian. (Note in the Caroline Wilson probate records, is an payment received slip--Feb. 12, 1862-- to the estate of Caroline Wilson, paying the tax of a free woman of color.)

Billy (1824) adult, Samuel D, Echols, Guardian

Carter, Harrison (1848) adult, could be Carter Harrison, Samuel A. Dearing Guardian

Cato (1850) 50 years old, Tenn. living with Asbury Mote

Clinch, Dirck (1862) also sometimes Harper. One records of the inferior court reads, "Dick and his wife Ann Lucas Harper, free persons of color (possibly related to the Lucas family, free persons of color)

Dabney, Austin (1822-24)land owner and farmer in north part of county, William Harris guardian.

Davis Michael (1858) adult

Edinborough (1847) a woman and member of the Zion Baptist church whose records identify Edinborough as free

Edwards, Rebecca (1849) has several sons whose ages in the records are not consistent"

------------Clairborne also Claborne

Fleming, Jeremiah, Jerry (1832-1843) had property, adult. Cornelus J. McCraw, guardian.

Grant, Delilah (1860) 50 yrs old, described as a nurse, living with James E. Palmer family in Oxford.

Free persons in the 1830s:

Thomas Mitchell. Ordinary court records from 1830 and 1834 indicates that his guardian was William Jones. Mitchell held numerous notes from white citizens, indicating that they owed him money.

The 1851 Newton County Tax Digest lists the following eight free persons of color:

Abram Rainy, Guardian: Jones, Thomas B. (who has 9 slaves) Tax: 5 dollars

Carter Harrison. Guardian: L.A. Dearing. Tax: five dollars.

Rebecca Adams,. Guardian: Veal, Anderson, who owns one slave. 5 dollars. Stansell’s Dist. Tax; Five dollars

Issac Lucas. Guardian: Born, Thomas. Sheffield

William Lucas. Guardian: Crawford, Charles, who owns one slave.

Mary Lucas. Guardian: Crawford, Charles,

Ann Lucas. Guardian: Crawford, Charles,

Sally Tate. Guardian: Lard, Areht? E.,

Rhoda Moss. Guardian/agent: Wittich, LL. Tax: "double for four years"; 10 dollars.


Researched by Johnny Johnson - information from US Census of 1860