Agriculture, Business, Free People of Color, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Tax trouble.


Goldsboro Messenger, 2 April 1877.

Simmons & Aldridge??? I’m fairly certain that the Aldridge in this partnership was Robert Aldridge (though it could have been one of his older sons, George, Matthew and John) but which Simmons? Section 69 imposed penalties on “any manufacturer of tobacco or snuff” who failed to pay proper taxes on their products. Robert was said to have operated a brickyard near Dudley, but I’ve seen nothing else to suggest that he also had an interest in a tobacco cottage industry.

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

Our colored friend has grown richer.


ImageGoldsboro Messenger, 21 October 1880.

These propaganda pieces are part of a single article published to demonstrate that the rising tide of Democratic rule had floated all boats as land values increased while taxes fell. (In other words, the end of Republican rule meant more money in the pocket, as well as a foot on the neck of African-Americans.)

Two of the “colored friends” noted were my kin — my great-great-great-grandfather Robert Aldridge and Napoleon Hagans, the brother of my great-great-great-grandmother Frances Seaberry Artis. (And Washington Reid’s nephews William and Henry Reid, sons of John Reid, married Adam Artis’ niece Elizabeth Wilson and daughter Cora Artis, respectively.) Aldridge, Hagans and Reid (as well as Artis, Frances’ father Aaron Seaberry and Betty’s father John Wilson) were all prosperous free-born farmers.

Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Tax delinquents.


Goldsboro Headlight, 27 December 1894. 

Throughout December, local newspapers published lists of delinquent taxpayers. The list above was compiled by the tax collector for Brogden township, Wayne County.

Kinfolk in arrears included George W. Aldridge (son of Robert and Eliza Balkcum Aldridge); possibly James W. Artis (if this one is the son of Daniel and Eliza Faircloth Artis); Richard Boseman (husband of Lillie Mae Aldridge Boseman); Joshua L. Brewington (husband of Amelia Aldridge Brewington); Alexander Henderson (son of James and Louisa Armwood Henderson); Solomon Jacobs (brother-in-law of Sarah Henderson Jacobs); Abraham Martin (son of Waitman G. and Eliza Lewis Martin); Sidney Smith (brother-in-law of J. Buckner Martin); Hillary B. Simmons (husband of Ann Elizabeth Henderson Simmons); and Bryant Simmons (brother-in-law of John H. Henderson, or possibly father-in-law).