Free People of Color, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Politics

Alderman and poll holder.

Despite the collapse of Reconstruction, African-Americans continued to participate in Wayne County’s political life through the end of the 19th century. Mathew W. Aldridge, in particular, was active in local governance, as announced in eastern North Carolina newspapers:

Wilm Msgr 4 27 1889

Wilmington Messenger, 27 April 1889.


Goldsboro Headlight, 1 May 1889.


Goldsboro Headlight, 8 May 1889.

Wilm Msgr 5 8 1889

Wilmington Messenger, 8 May 1889.


Goldsboro Headlight, 8 October 1890.

Other notables: C[larence] Dillard (Presbyterian minister who arrived in Goldsboro in 1884, later principal of “colored school”); Bizzell Stevens (also a minister; like William S. Hagans, married into the Burnett family, a prominent free family of color in the antebellum era; later a postal clerk at Goldsboro post office); John Frank “J.F.” Baker (postmaster at the Dudley post office; married Mary Ann Aldridge, daughter of J. Matthew Aldridge; murdered); James Winn; and Henry S. “H.S.” Reid (son of Washington and Penninah Reid; member of large prominent free family of color.)


5 thoughts on “Alderman and poll holder.

  1. I think that Wm. S. Hagans, by marrying into the Burnett family, coupled with his father having married into Dr. Ward’s family of Wilson/Greene Counties, even if it was on the “wrong” side of the racial divide, helped him acquire a good education–and vote under Jim Crow laws. It also helped that his father Napoleon “Pole” Hagans built up a 500 acre cotton farm near Fremont. Wm. S. Hagans used his training in his early 30s to assume the role of private secretary to U.S. Congressman George White of the “Black Second.” He also continued in his father’s footsteps and farmed in Wayne Co. I’m proud of my grandfather’s hard work in Goldsboro and later, in Philadelphia..

  2. Pingback: Delayed birth certificates. | Scuffalong: Genealogy.

  3. Pingback: Bison.ere’s | Scuffalong: Genealogy.

  4. Pingback: Cousin Mable meets Marian Anderson. | Scuffalong: Genealogy.

  5. Pingback: Pre-election street fracas? | Scuffalong: Genealogy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s