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Armstead Carter

(ca. 1803-1875)

The Carter family lived in Natchez for several decades. Armstead Carter was born in Virginia ca. 1803 and freed in 1834 in Natchez by his enslaver, Cyrus Marsh. He worked as a drayman in Natchez throughout most of his adult life, at least into the 1860s and purchased 80 acres of land in 1835. Carter was married to a woman Jeannette (surname unknown) and they had several children together. It appears that Carter’s mother Henny, 65, who was born in Virginia, was living in their household in 1850. She does not appear in the 1860 census and likely passed away.                                                                              
Armstead Carter had several controversies in Natchez. In 1837, according to William Johnson, the free Black barber, Carter was accused of stealing $400 from a man named Baker and sentenced to 150 lashes. During the 1841 crackdown on free Black people in Natchez when many were subjected to heightened scrutiny, Carter’s license to remain in Natchez was revoked. However, he appeared in the pages of Johnson’s diary again in 1843 when the barber noted that Carter was sold at the court house for five years. In 1851, he was accused of stealing a chain, but was thereafter acquitted because he was “of good character” and for a lack of sufficient evidence. Carter died in approximately 1875. 
  • 1803
    Approximate year of birth of Carter Armstead
  • 1834
    Carter is manumitted by his enslaver, Cyrus Marsh.
  • 1875
    Carter's death

Further Reading

Davis, Edwin Adams, and William Ransom Hogan. The Barber of Natchez (1954).

Davis, Edwin Adams, and William Ransom Hogan, eds. William Johnson’s Natchez: The Antebellum Diary of a Free Negro (1951).

Davis, Ronald L. F. The Black Experience in Natchez, 1720–1880 (1993)