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Administering the law in Reconstruction North Carolina: Account book of Deputy U.S. Marshal including first arrests under the Civil Rights Act of 1866
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Detailing costs owed to Daniel R. Goodloe, U.S. Marshal, for services performed by Robert C. Kehoe, Deputy U.S. Marshal, for the Pamlico District in eastern North Carolina. Recording Kehoe’s service of writs, summonses, and warrants; his arrests and seizures; notices published; and fees. The entries generally note the suspect and the charges in criminal cases including civil rights violations; counterfeiting; theft of government horses. From the North Carolina coast, crimes include smuggling and assault on the high seas with intent to kill.

ROBERT C. KEHOE. Manuscript Account Book, with U.S. Marshal Daniel R. Goodloe, 1865-1868, Pamlico District, North Carolina. 267 pp., 7½ x 12 in.

Inventory #24688       Price: $4,500

For more than a century, U.S. marshals were paid through a fee system, collecting set amounts for performing particular tasks, and they could hire as many deputies as they wanted, so long as the fees were sufficient to support them. Not until 1896 did Congress establish a salary for marshals and their deputies. One of the most intriguing cases is the following entry:[1]

May 21, 1867: “United States vs Joseph Smith, Henry Cumbro and George Harrison, charged under the provisions of the Civil Rights bill with highway robbery in Jones Co. on one Peter Gardner colored.

Serving writs on the above defendants @ 200 Ea in Jones Co.                    6 00

Mileage for self and guard from New Bern to Jones Co. distance 28 miles @ 6¢ per mile for self and guard                                                                                               3 36

Expenses while arresting                                                                               2 00

Mileages from Jones Co. to New Bern distance 28 miles for self guard & three prisoners…

In the trial before Commissioner Robert F. Lehman (c. 1831-1876) in a “densely crowded” courtroom, attorneys for the defendants argued that the federal court had no jurisdiction. U.S. Attorney A. S. Seymour declared that witnesses would not testify in Jones County for fear of “Regulators.” Lehman decided that his court had jurisdiction, and Gardner testified that the defendants and two others robbed him at gunpoint of money and a “critter” (a horse). Fearing local authorities, Gardner went to the Freedmen’s Bureau in neighboring Craven County “to claim my rights.” At the trial, white witnesses provided alibis for the three prisoners, and some accused other men of committing the crime. The commissioner discharged the prisoners and issued warrants for four other suspects, who were likely never apprehended. Kehoe charged $2 per day for attending the U.S. Commissioner’s Court from May 16-20, 1867.[2]


December 7, 1865: “Serving warrant on Stephen Cushing and Thomas Jones. Charge. Stealing Government horses.  $2.00[3]

January 2, 1866: “warrant on Levi Anson… assault on the high seas with intent to kill.  $2.00[4]

April 15: “For summoning 22 Petit Jurors in Craven Co for above Court a 33⅓ ea  $7.37

March 22: “For seizure of the Schr Jenny Lind charge, Smuggling {D. Ireland, Master}  $2.00

March 24: “For the arrest of Capt Danl Ireland charge, Smuggling  $2.00[5]

July 26: “For serving warrant in the case of the US vs. Jno Dixon (cold) charge, Having in his possession divers cancelled US Postage stamps and offering the same for use  $2.00[6]

November 19: “U States vs. Philo Mallory Charge, Retailing liquor without a license. For serving writ in above case  $2.00

December 19: “United States vs. Henry Etheridge, Charles Midyette, Thos Culpepper Warren A. Dough, Jas W Dough, Jos L. Oliver and Bithany Wescott. Charge, Robbing and plundering goods, mdse and effects from or belonging to the Steamer Sheridan while she was lying wrecked off Bodies Island on the coast of North Carolina…

{To await trial before the U States District Court to be held at Elizabeth City in April next.}

For warrants of commitment for each prisoner issued at Roanoke Island by R. F. Lehman Esqr US Commissioner, viz.

Decr     19 [to 29, listing $2.00 each for] James W. Dough; Joseph L. Oliver; Henry Etheridge; Thos Culpepper; Warren Asbey Dough; Bithany Wescott; Charles Midyette …

Mileage from R. Island to Newbern distance 130 miles @ 10c per mile for self and the above seven prisoners                             104 00[7]

January 25, 1867: “The U States vs Vincent Dixon charge, Unlawfully and forcibly detaining in his custody and control at Dawson’s creek NC Rena Ann Bryan a child of color and the daughter of one Juno Bryan against her will and consent. Warrant issued by US Commissioner R F Lehman. / For serving warrant of arrest[8]    2 00

June 28, 1867: “US vs. L. A Todd Charge with Abstracting letters from US Post Office Sentence to 3 years hard labor at the spring term of US Circuit Court held at Raleigh June 1867 Transporting prisoner from Raleigh N. C to Albany Penitentiary New York distance 710 miles at 10 cents per mile for self Guard & Prisoner total 30¢ per mile           213 00

Mileage for self & Guard from Albany New York to New Bern N.C distance 603 miles at 10 cents each total 20¢ per mile                                         120 60             $333 60[9]

June 3: “U.S vs Peter Hughes Charged with passing Counterfeit U.S National Bank currency of the State of Pa / Service of Writ on Peter Hughes at Goldsboro           2.00[10]

August 10: “US vs David Blount. Charge with obtaining money on false personation  Warrant Issued by R. F Lehman US Commissioner Augt 10th;

For service of Warrant on the Deft at Newbern August 10th 1867      2 00[11]

May 23, [1869]: “Serving Warrant of arrest on 46 Boxes Tobaco the property of Walker Jones & others.[12]                                                              2 00

Mileage 107 miles @ 6c                                           6 42


July 6, 1866: “The US vs. Henry P Allen defaulting Postmaster at Little Washington, Beaufort Co. N.C.[13] {The aforesaid Allen could not be found in the State}…”

December 22: “The United States vs Jordan Parker  Charge, Piracy. Robbing plundering and burning the Schr Lottie while lying at anchor in Currituck Sound in or about the month of October 1864; For serving writ in above case                           2. 00[14]

January 12, 1867: “David Arthur vs. Steamer Bettie and owners.[15]

{Case in admiralty for seamen’s wages.}

For serving warrant of arrest on two parties                4 00

For attachment Libel in Rhem                                      2 00

Keeping vessel 18 days @ 2½ per diem                      45 00

                                                                                    51. 00

I. Edwin West[16]                                   Bankrupt

To Robt. C. Kehoe                              Assignee

For Publishing Notice in Standard[17]                                                  6 14

Balance By Cash on BB                                                                        5 60   $16.96

[One of 17 bankruptcy settlements handled by Kehoe.]

Robert C. Kehoe (1832-1905) was born in Ireland and immigrated to America when very young. He served in the 71st New York during the Civil War and in 1862 was transferred to the Quartermaster’s department in New Bern, North Carolina. He married Emeline Whitford in July 1865, and they had three children. After the war, Kehoe served as Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Pamlico District of North Carolina. He also served as a Deputy Collector of internal revenue in the 1870s and 1880s.

Daniel R. Goodloe (1814-1902) was born in Louisburg, North Carolina, and was apprenticed to a printer as a teenager. He moved to central Tennessee, where he attended a school in Mt. Pleasant. He served with the mounted infantry in the Second Seminole War. After publishing a newspaper in North Carolina for a year, he studied law and gain admission to the bar but was unsuccessful in practice. In 1844, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he assisted with newspapers and taught school for several years. In 1849, he obtained a federal position in the Tyler administration as a clerk. In 1846, he first published a pamphlet demonstrating how slavery retarded economic development, and it was reprinted in abolitionist newspapers. He published additional pamphlets in the 1850s, and his writings were denounced in North Carolina. He helped edit the National Era from 1853 to 1860, often acting as editor. He served as the Washington correspondent of the New York Times in 1860 and 1861. Convinced that war was inevitable as long as slavery existed, he favored emancipation with compensation to slaveowners. He also received an appointment as clerk of the Potter Commission, charged with determining the loyalty of federal employees, and held several other federal appointments during the war. President Andrew Johnson appointed Goodloe as federal marshal in North Carolina, a post he held from September 1865 to May 1869. Goodloe opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction policies, but his moderation made him a target of the radical Republicans. He also opposed the radical Republican coalition in North Carolina led by William Woods Holden. He ran against Holden for governor in 1868, though he attempted to withdraw before the campaign was over. In March 1869, his enemies had him removed as marshal, and he supported the Liberal Republicans in 1872 before returning to Washington, where he became a freelance writer and journalist. He returned to North Carolina in 1896.


All pages numbered in manuscript, but after page 41 more than half the pages are blank. Original half calf and marbled boards, covers worn and detached. Text is clear, neatly written, and very good.

[1] Newbern Journal of Commerce (North Carolina), May 14, 1867, 1:2.

[2] Newbern Journal of Commerce, May 17, 1867, 1:2-4, May 19, 1867, 1:2-3, May 21, 1867, 1:2-4.

[3] On February 3, 1866, Cushing and Jones were among fifteen prisoners, eight white and eleven African American, who escaped from the jail in New Bern. The Daily Journal (Wilmington, North Carolina), February 9, 1866, 4:2.

[4] Anson, one of the firemen on the steamship Lucy, was charged with attempting to kill Butler Jordan, the ship’s African-American cook, with a hammer. On February 3, 1866, Anson was one of the fifteen prisoners who escaped from the New Bern jail. January 3, 1866, 1:1.

[5] Kehoe arrested Ireland for smuggling five casks of rum. The defense entered a plea of insanity, but the judge reserved his judgment until Ireland’s attorney could appeal to the Secretary of War for a reprieve. The Daily Dispatch (Wilmington, North Carolina), November 1, 1866, 1:6.

[6] The postmaster and clerks in the New Bern post office had seen letters re-using canceled stamps. On July 26, they caught Daniel Havens, an African-American, depositing such a letter. He told them that John Dixon had given him the stamp. Upon questioning Dixon, they found “upon his person some ten or twelve of these old stamps.” Kehoe arrested and released them on bond of $500 to appear at the October term of the U.S. District Court. Newbern Daily Times (North Carolina), July 27, 1866, 1:1.

[7] Kehoe transported the prisoners on the U.S. Steamer Naugatuck from Elizabeth City and Roanoke Island to New Bern during a north-west gale of sleet. Newbern Journal of Commerce, January 1, 1867, 1:1.

[8] This arrest was the first under the Civil Rights Bill. Commissioner Robert F. Lehman ruled that his court had no jurisdiction in the case, as the state courts could handle the matter, and he discharged Dixon. The Charleston Daily News (South Carolina), January 31, 1867, 4:2; Newbern Journal of Commerce, January 27, 1867, 1:3.

[9] Judge George W. Brooks (1821-1882) sentenced Todd to three years imprisonment at hard labor. The Tri-Weekly Standard (Raleigh, North Carolina), June 15, 1867, 2:5.

[10] Hughes was charged with passing a counterfeit $20 bill. The court dismissed the case because Hughes was unaware of the “character of the bill.” The Charlotte Democrat (North Carolina), November 12, 1867, 2:3.

[11] Blunt represented himself as Isaiah Downing to Major A. Coats of the Freedmen’s Bureau and received $220 in Downing’s bounty money. Blunt was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment at hard labor, a $100 fine, and costs. The Charlotte Democrat, November 12, 1867, 2:3.

[12] On May 12, 1869, Kehoe and Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue Silas P. Wright seized 46 boxes of manufactured plug tobacco in Craven County, the property of Walker, Jones & Co., and condemned them because the company had not paid taxes on them. The Daily Standard (Raleigh, North Carolina), May 22, 1869, 3:6.

[13] Allen may have fled because of a pending case against him for misappropriating property he held in trust for Caroline Jewell. The Weekly Sentinel (Raleigh, North Carolina), July 9, 1866, 2:6.

[14] Kehoe arrested Parker and four others for plundering the Lottie. Appearing on Christmas Day, 1866, Judge Brooks released them on bail of $6,000 each. The Greensboro Patriot (North Carolina), January 11, 1867, 1:7.

[15] The Steamer Bettie transported freight and passengers between New Bern and Norfolk, Virginia.

[16] I. Edwin West (1832-190?) was born in New Jersey and opened a stationery and book store in New Bern, North Carolina, in 1864. He served as the city clerk of New Bern in 1867-1868 and as the clerk of the Superior Court of Craven County from 1868 to 1874.

[17] The Daily Standard, June 27, 1868, 2:3.

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