Niles Register (Baltimore, Maryland),
September 24, 1831
Servile Insurrections, etc.—We have great pleasure in saying that the report of the destruction of Wilmington, N.C. by negroes, was altogether erroneous, though apprehended at Raleigh…. Excessive agitation prevailed in that city—the men under arms and the women and children half-distracted by their fears; and thus it was in several parts of North Carolina, and the people hastily prepared themselves to encounter reported armies of slaves.!... Every free negro at Raleigh had been arrested and examined—and some were ordered to leave the city, because they could not give a good account of their mode of subsistence; but it has not yet been stated, we think, that any free negro, either in Virginia or North Carolina, has been found guilty of participation in the outrages contemplated or committed. This surely is to the credit of this class of persons.
We earnestly sympathize with our fellow citizens in their agitations, as well as because of their actual sufferings. The general cry now is, “something must be done.” What can be done? Much might have been effected by the colonization society, and may be, if those most interested will heartily take up the subject. Years, perhaps, must pass away before the people in the lower county of the south will feel that same confidence in the security of their wives and little ones which they lately entertained;…—and something must be done.
Henry Irving Tragle, The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831: A Compilation of Source Material (Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), 89.