Kinsearching December 18, 2005




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Professor Alan D. Watson offers fascinating insight into the colonial American world in his new book AFRICAN AMERICANS IN EARLY NORTH CAROLINA, A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY. Drawing upon sources from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Watson traces the history of black North Carolinians--both slave and free--through the year 1800.

     This volume reproduces a wide variety of carefully selected documents which provide information on a cross section of early African American life in what became the Tar Heel State. Materials include eyewitness accounts found in letters and journals, legislation, slave and court records, wills, and newspaper advertisements for runaway slaves. By maintaining the original spelling and punctuation of the records and by arranging them in thematic groups, Watson allows the documents to speak for themselves, thereby furnishing a real "feel" for the eras in which they were produced. For the different groupings, he supplies informative commentary which gives invaluable background for a further understanding of the people and the times.

     Through the interesting chosen documents, he outlines the arrival of blacks in North Carolina, mechanisms for maintaining slavery, family life in the slave community, slave resistance, manumission, urban slavery, and the challenges that free blacks encountered. As he covers these various aspects, Watson presents the African American story through their hardships, aspirations, and achievements.

     Watson's book gives researchers easy access to a wide range of primary sources on the subject. Suitable for use in the class room, the documents will also appeal to historians, genealogists, and individuals curious about the lives of early blacks in this southern state. AFRICAN AMERICANS IN EARLY NORTH CAROLINA, A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY will make a worthy addition to many library collections.

     The 200-page paperback contains a foreword, an informative introduction about African American experiences in North Carolina, full documentation of resources, a bibliography, and a name, place, and subject index. It may be purchased for $21 postpaid ($22.05 for North Carolina residents) from HistoricalPublications Section (N), Office of Archives and History, 4622 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4622. For credit card orders, call 919-733-7442, fax 919-733-1439, or use the secure online shop at The Historical Publications Section's catalog of more than 160 North Carolina publications, including other colonial titles, is online at

     Charles N. Ferguson, 811 South Market, Shawnee, OK 74801 would like to know if William Marion FURGUSON/FERGUSON, born about 1825 in Tennessee and died about 1869 in Arkansas, and wife Martha, born in 1825 in Missouri and died after 1880 in Red River County, TX, had a family Bible. If so, does anyone know where it is located?

     Children of William Marion and Martha FURGUSON/FERGUSON were

James Wesley, born in October 1848;

William Riley, born in October 1849;

John, born in 1853;

Amos, born in 1852;

Francis M., born about 1854-57;

Coleman S., born in 1858;

Richard B., born in 1861;


Charles A., born in April 1869.

     All were born in Red River Co., TX, except James Wesley, who was born in Missouri, and Charles A., who was born in Arkansas.