(From a notebook belonging to William Pitt Cameron 1824-1893.)

List shared by Ellen Cameron.     Posted August 27, 2005   by Myrtle N. Bridges

Many slave records concern the patrols that were appointed to police county districts, 
watch for slaves absent from their plantations without written passes, search slave quarters 
for weapons, and break up suspicious gatherings. The patrols were first created by a law of 
1753, which called them searchers. By the time of the Revolution they were commonly called 
patrollers, often corrupted to "paddy rollers."  Records of patrols include instructions issued 
them, and matters regarding services performed. Some patrol instructions are surprising, such 
as those give in 1802 when fear of a slave insurrection was rampant in the northeastern counties:

Their duties will be to make a diligent and strict search after arms, amunition and other 
weapons of defence, to disperse all unlawful meetings or assemblies of Slaves, to apprehend 
all Slaves found off the Lots or Plantations of their owners without regular passes, and to 
take up all Slaves & free persons of Colour from whom there is reason (founded upon strong 
probable evidence)to apprehend danger, and secure them so that a proper inquiry may take 
place on the subject--In the Execution, however, of these orders. You are to take care that 
no disorders or excesses be commited. No Slaves having a regular pass and against whom there 
is no charge is to be detained or molested, and the patroll are to be conducted as far as 
may be so as not to alarm the white people, and with as little annoyance to the Blacks as 
possible. (Source: North Carolina & Research - Genealogy and Local History - 2nd Edition by 
Helen F. M. Leary, C.G., F. A. S. G. Editor)

Below is a list of patrollers taken from a notebook belonging to William Pitt Cameron 1824-1893. 
This list appears to be men patrolling Moore County, and possibly Harnett County.


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