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July 2015 Final Web

July 2015

Patsy Young-- A Mulatto

Patsy Young-- A Mulatto Runaway Slave Woman by Wanda E. Hunt McLean In 2008 the Roanoke River was designated as part of the Underground Railroad story through the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program-National Park Service. Along with the Neuse and Pasquotank Rivers these are the only rivers designated as part of the UGRR in the United States, with the exception of the Choptank River in Maryland. The Roanoke River designation is interesting due to the reach of the designation which covers the historical towns of Weldon, Halifax, Hamilton, Williamston, Jamesville, and Plymouth. As all maritime UGRR designations, slaves escaped on the waterways in North Carolina in large numbers. Often a majority of these stories are unique due to the smallest details. One runaway slave ad in particular has caught my imagination since reading it almost ten years ago. On or about August 8, 1824 Patsy Young and her four year old daughter Eliza ran away, or were stolen. This information was published in the Raleigh Register & North Carolina Weekly Advertiser (1799-1840) on August 20, 1824 by Nathaniel Hunt, the subscriber and the executor for the deceased John Hunt, most likely Nathaniel’s father, uncle or brother. The reward was $100. Patsy ran away from John Hunt once before in 1808 and was captured almost 16 years later about the first of June 1824 in the town of Halifax, North Carolina. After Patsy was captured in 1824 she escaped again within about 2 months, and this time with her small child. Patsy’s real name was Piety, and it was believed that she would change her name again if necessary. What was it about this woman that made her master advertise and search for her for 16 years, and again after catching her? During her 16 years of freedom in Halifax Patsy spent 2 years employed at Rock-Landing as a cook for the men working on the Roanoke Canal. She also spent time in Plymouth, but her occupation there is unknown. She was a tall spare woman, thin face and lips with a long sharp nose, and her fore teeth were slightly decayed. Patsy was an excellent seamstress and could make ladies and gentlemen clothes. She was also an excellent cook, weaver, and baker. With all of these skills Patsy was able to make a living for herself and her child. In the Halifax, NC vicinity she was able to pass as a free woman because of her skills. This was a very common practice in Halifax and throughout the State of North Carolina during slavery-- escaped slaves who were highly skilled often escaped within North Carolina, passed as free, and found work for pay. During Patsy’s second escape she married a free man named Ahrael Johnson who had been living in Plymouth and did some boating on the Roanoke River. Since their marriage Ahrael leased a farm from a man named Mr. James Cotton of Scotland Neck where Ahrael and Patsy lived together. This is where Patsy was captured after 16 years of freedom from 1808 to 1824. It was believed that she and Ahrael would try to leave the state. Patsy had another skill that was extremely valuable; she could brew beer! I think that was Patsy’s coup de gras. Is that why the Hunt family wanted Patsy back? She could bring in a lot of money for her master brewing beer? Also, Patsy had a child during her 16 years as a fugitive and that child now belonged to her master. Did Nathaniel and Patsy grow up together as childhood friends? Were they half-siblings? Perhaps they came in constant contact with each other because her skills indicate that she worked in the ‘big house’ as opposed to in the field. These questions bring to light the human side of some of the most complicated relationships between slave and master throughout the South. Whatever the story, the answers might be somewhere in Franklin County North Carolina court records and/or Will and Deed books. Or, the answer could be as simple as economics; slave owner wanting his property back after stealing away. Tassimo Coffee Maker Coffee maker in great shape. Uses Tassimo cartridges. $25 Ask for Ken 252-562-0987 Free 24 hour news at albemarletradewinds.com Thank you Virginia Pilot for your news feed. 22 Albemarle Tradewinds July 2015 albemarletradewinds.com

The NCBA is a non-profit fraternal organization of bowhunters.Its main purpose is to help combat antihunting groups in an effort to preserve our bowhunting privileges and heritage; to assist the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and in general, to help the cause of bowhunters in NC. We work and communicate directly with the NCWRC, NC legislators, and other organizations such as the NC Wildlife Habitat Foundation, The P & Y club, The US sportsman’s association, Profwssional bowhunter’s socoety, NRA, NCWRC, National Shooting sports foundation, and many more hunting/outdoor organizations. If you love the challenge of hunting big game with a bow and arrow, if you are passionate about hunting and the exciting adventures found in the outdoors, then become a member of an organizatin that honors, respects, and works very hard to prote these concepts and ideals. Become a member of the NCBA. Talmage Dunn and Doug Green are the District 1 Wildlife representatives. Talmage can be contacted by phone or e-mail; 252-267-5437(cell), or bowhuntor@yahoo.com(e-mail). Membership in the NCBA is $30.00 annually. The website to contact the NCBA is North Carolina Bowhunters Association or on facebook. facebook.com/AlbemarleTradingPost Albemarle Tradewinds July 2015 23