What was the crime of "F and A" in North Carolina in the United States in the 1890's?

My wife saw that one of her female ancestors was arrested and served 6 months in jail for this crime in the 1890's, but we have not been able to find out what it is exactly.

  • 4
    Was the 'and' actually part of the text, or just F. A.? F.A. might be felonious assault
    – justCal
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 4:55
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    Can you post an image of the document containing this? More information at least such as the city and date might enable a newspaper search to find another source concerning the crime.
    – justCal
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 12:09
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    The term is used in one source to indicate "from & after" -. time in custody, but not under sentence. Might that be it? Could she have been imprisoned in association with another charge? Or imprisoned but released without trial? Or some similar case?
    – MCW
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 13:59
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    Was the "and" written out? Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 16:59
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    Yes, the "and" was spelled out. It was from the site digitalnc.org in the Danbury Reporter newspaper. I'll try and find the story again so I can try to paste pic or link to it.
    – Bradley
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


The crime reported in the newspapers as "f. and a." was "Fornication and Adultery", as in this case from 1922:

Fornication & Adultery

The penalty handed down to Oakey Ferguson in this case of "one year on road" meant serving a year working in a NC road gang.

As I understand it, Fornication and Adultery remains an offence (actually a Class 2 misdemeanour) on the statute books in North Carolina.

[If you happen to live in North Carolina today, and you are thinking about dating before you are legally divorced, basic legal advice is available from a number of websites.]

  • 3
    so no sex outside of marriage in NC? Wonder how many residents of the state would go to prison if that were still enforced ;)
    – jwenting
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 11:46
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    Thanks for the answer. We thought it was probably along these lines. Just couldn't figure out the right words.
    – Bradley
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 14:43
  • 1
    @Bradley - Have fun explaining that one to your mom!
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 1:40
  • @jwenting - Well, Governor Mark Sanford for one.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 2:11
  • 1
    How many politicians would still be in office :)
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 18:58

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