The lovely blog, Fourth Generation Inclusive ran this extremely interesting tidbit.
Fifty Dollars Reward. RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the 10th inst. without a fault, a Negro Man named DAVE, about 32 years of age, is about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, slender made, yellow complexion, down look when spoken to, speaks not very quick when spoken to; has not got good eyes, on account of having wild hairs in them at times. It is probably Dave will try to pass for a free man; he has travelled a good deal with the wagon in different parts of this state and Virginia, and don’t lack for want of sense. I have been told that he has gone to Virginia; and that his father lives in Meherrin, Va. near Gholson’s Bridge. His father, I have been told, is of Indian descent, and is a free man; his name is said to be Kinchen Tucker; and he will no doubt conceal him, should Dave get there. When he went away he had good clothes, and dressed equal to any servant; he had a new fur hat on, and forty or fifty dollars in cash, about forty of which was in specie. I purchased him of a Mr Ross Hutcheson, living within six miles of me, a man who raised him. I will give the above reward if taken out of the state, and if taken in the state, twenty-five dollars if put in any jail so that I get ho again. – Should said negro man Dave be taken up information can be given to me by letter, addressed to Hillsborough, or to Pleasant Grove, Orange County, N.C. John B. Vincent. August 23.
Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser, 2 September 1825.
There is a lot of implied history in this story. First, looking at a map, Gholson Bridge (shown above) crossed the Meherrin River about a mile from the location of Fort Christanna in Brunswick County, Virginia. The Sapponi and other primarily Siouian (Tutelo, Occaneechi and Nahyssan) tribes were settled there in 1714 when the fort was completed. The Meherrin and Nottoway, Iroquoian tribes, refused to live at the fort with the Siouian tribes. The Fort was decommissioned only 3 years later and closed in 1718. The Saponi and Tutelo remained on the tract, 6 miles square (or 36 square miles) for several more years, at a village called Junkatapurse (Tutelo: chunketa pasui, “horse’s head”). They began moving elsewhere in small bands around 1730. The largest part of them moved to Shamokin, Pennsylvania in 1740, where they joined the Iroquois, and were formally adopted by the Cayuga nation in New York in 1753. Meanwhile colonists had begun moving to the lands around the fort in such numbers that in 1720, Brunswick County was formed there as a separate county.
Not only does the advertisement for runaway Dave give the location of Kinchen Tucker in terms of Meherrin, but in relative proximity to the bridge as well. On the map below, the bridge is marked with a red balloon and Fort Christanna is shown to the left of the yellow Christanna Highway on Fort Hill Road.
The fact that Kinchen Tucker’s son, Dave, described as a mulatto, was a slave implies that Dave’s mother was a slave, because the child took the legal status of the mother. If Dave was 32 in 1825, he was born in about 1793 and his father would have been probably at least age 20 by then, so born in 1773 or before. The census reflects several white Tucker families, all with slaves, in Brunswick County.
There is a Kinchen Tucker in Washington County, Va. with a family of 7 in 1830, but he is a white man. This particular Tucker family moved into east Tennessee and by the 1850 census, there are several Kinchen Tuckers in Tennessee and Kentucky. It is unknown whether these families are connected, but a name like Kinchen Tucker is quite unusual. Of course, a Native man could have adopted the name of a white family that lived closeby. It would be interesting to take a close look at the Brunswick County records to see if Kinchen Tucker is found anyplace in the records. I wonder what happened to Dave, his son, and if he survived, what surname he took.