MILL BRIDGE, April 5.
Mr. Editor: — One day last week a well dressed gentleman of color, wearing a flashy, gold looking watch chain, with checks on the First National Bank of New York for $2500, put in his appearance at the house of Julius McNeely, one of our most trustworthy, hard-working darkies. Jule being of a hospitable nature did what he could to make his visitor comfortable. The said gentleman of color represented himself as Mr. Ed. Brown, a relative of Margaret (Jule’s wife), having left this country twenty-three years ago, that he had been in the U.S. Army and Navy, traveled over the world, made plenty of money and was now traveling in the interest of the Western Colored Emigration Society; he gave glorious descriptions of California and offered to furnish transportation free to all who would go with him to the land of milk and honey. Jule and Margaret listened with delight to the many wonderful stories he told of the outside world, and on last Friday morning prepared his breakfast and went to the field to work, leaving him reposing in bed. When lo! Upon returning they found he had skipped, taking with him Jule’s new double-barrel breach-loading shot gun that cost $25, a gold ring belonging to the school marm, worth $10, 50 cents in wash and a pint of Jule’s medicinal whiskey. He made his way to Cleveland, bought a ticket to Statesville with the stolen half dollar and boarded the 12 o’clock train with the gun and ring. Julius is sorrowing, and offers to pay $10 or any amount above that he can raise to anybody who will “cotch dat nigger devil.”
Said negro is of small stature, copper or ginger cake colored with a broad scar on the left side of his neck, a black spot on the upper part of his nose between his eyes and a mole on one of his cheeks. He is between 38 and 40 years of age and his hair is slightly mixed with gray. He was raised at Davidson College and came in the possession of Mrs. Kate Barnes, Dr. Kerr’s niece. He ran away from Charlotte, where his mother now lives, for stealing, and had been staying about Salisbury with Wylie Dodge and Harriet Brown previous to his coming out here. He left this neighborhood in 1866, at which time he was in the employ of a writer. He stole a gold watch from Mrs. Ray and sold it to William Stockton, of Salisbury. The watch was recovered, but Ed. Was not heard of since until he turned up at Julius McNeely’s, last week. He is a professional rogue, and the local papers will please hand him around. J.T. RAY.
The Carolina Watchman, Statesville, 11 April 1889.