Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thomas Day Wardrobe on Display in Milton

Thomas Day Wardrobe on Display in Milton
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An 1856 Thomas Day wardrobe from the estate of Lois Sydnor Angle Love (1925-2018) now is on display at the Milton Renaissance Foundation Museum in Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina. 

Thomas Archimedes Donoho (1827-1887) apparently purchased various pieces of furniture from Milton cabinetmaker Thomas Day. On a bill of sale dated 25 February 1856, Day charged Donoho $95 for a rosewood wardrobe. Because most of the other Thomas Day wardrobes sold for between $25 and $35, the increase in price suggests the use of expensive wood.

The wardrobe was used by the Donoho family at their "Longwood" home, which burned a few years ago. "Longwood" was the home of the Donoho family until November 1954 when the last surviving child of Thomas Archimedes Donoho and Isabella Glenn Garland (1832-1886) died. It was once the home of Romulus Mitchell Saunders (1791-1867), who traded it to Dr. John Tabb Garland, M.D. (c.1795-1874). And, it presumably is through this ownership that the "Longwood" property came into the hands of the Donoho family. The daughter of Dr. Garland, Isabella Glenn Garland, married Thomas Archimedes Donoho 19 April 1854.
Courtesy The Caswell Messenger

Thomas Archimedes Donoho and Isabella Glenn Garland Donoho had the following children:

Mary Lowry Donoho (1855-1929) m. John M. Shepard
Isabella Garland Donoho (1856-1858)
Kate Morrison Donoho (1858-1869)
John Tabb Donoho (1860-1937) m. Nannie Graves Mebane
Thomas Archimedes (Arch) Donoho (1862-1920)
Isabella Victoria Donoho (1865-1950)
Glenn Garland (Doney) Donoho (1867-1945) m. Emily H. Watkins
Ellen Smith Donoho (1869-1954)
Grace Donoho (1871-1954) m. John Edward Tucker
Romulus Saunders Donoho (1873-1947) m. Annette Cotter

Several of these children rest at Cedars Cemetery in Milton, North Carolina.


Milton Renaissance Foundation Museum and Visitors Center (169 Broad Street, Milton, NC).

The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, North Carolina), Wednesday, 18 July 2018, Pages 1, 6, and 14.

Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color, Patricia Phillips Marshall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll (2010) at 243 (footnote 134).

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Lewis Marion Graves (1826-1902)

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Whether Lewis Marion Graves is part of the following collections is not known:

Emory University
Graves Family Papers, 1818-1939 (Bulk 1835-1910)
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library
Atlanta, GA 30322
Permanent Link:

University of North Carolina
The Southern Historical Collection
Collection Number: 02606
Collection Title: Charles Iverson Graves Papers, 1831-1962

University of North Carolina
The Southern Historical Collection
Collection Number: 02716
Collection Title: Graves Family Papers, 1815-1901

A quick look at the online descriptions of these collections revealed no reference to a Lewis Marion Graves (or a Marion Lewis Graves).

Lewis Marion Graves (1793-1854) is a grandson of the Solomon Graves (1766-1830) who built "Mt. Pleasant" in Covington, Newton County, Georgia, Lewis Marion Graves being the son of Dr. John Lewis Graves, M.D. (1793-1854) and Martha W. Graves Graves (1801-1868).

This Dr. John Lewis Graves, M.D., is a brother of Iverson Lea Graves (1799-1864) of the Emory University Graves Family Papers collection. Thus, Iverson Lea Graves is an uncle of Lewis Marion Graves, and it would seem understandable that Lewis Marion Graves (or Marion Lewis Graves) was referenced in the collection.

Find A Grave memorial link:

Graves Family Association Gen #270 text:

Children of John L. Graves (532) and Martha W. (Graves) Dick

Lewis Marion Graves (1759), also known as Marion Lewis Graves, was born 14 July 1826 in Newton Co., GA, and died 13 Nov. 1902 in Ponce de Leon, Holmes Co., FL.  He has two headstones at his gravesite.  He married Martha Lisco.  She was born 13 March 1837 in AL, and died 5 July 1904 in Ponce de Leon, FL.  They were buried in Old Ponce de Leon Cem., Ponce de Leon, FL.  From his application for a Civil War Pension:  "I was shot through the right thigh with a minney ball at Tenson Mountain and remained sick in hospital at Atlanta, Ga. for a long time, and I am still sufering [sic] and can only walk on one foot., and I am not able to do any work att all."  His pension of $96 per year was granted on March 19, 1902, back dated to January 16, 1902. He died on 13 Nov. 1902, having only collected eleven months of his disability pension.

It was believed for some time that Lewis was descended from Capt. Thomas Graves of VA, and that the most likely connection was either from Lewis7 Graves (Robert6, Thomas5) who was born 1760 in Spotsylvania Co., VA, and died 1839 in Newton Co., GA, or from Solomon7 Graves (John6, Thomas5) who was born in 1766, married Frances Byrd Lewis, and lived in Newton Co., GA, perhaps through Solomon's son John L. Graves, born 1793.  Although none of the sons of Lewis Graves (b. 1760) is obvious candidates to be the father of Lewis Marion Graves, John L. Graves did have a son of the right age to be Lewis Marion Graves.  DNA testing in 2002 confirmed that Lewis Marion Graves was from this part of the family (although the testing could not distinguish between the two lines suggested here).  Lewis Marion Graves was probably the male in the household of John L. Graves listed as under 5 in 1830, and 15-20 in 1840.

This family was recorded on the 1880 census in Holmes Co., FL; their first two children were born in AL and the last three in FL.  (R-473, R-446).

Source: Graves Family Association Website (, Accessed 24 February 2014.

Note the Find A Grave discrepancy with the above, showing Mary Unknown Graves (1837-1904) as the wife of Lewis Marion Graves. Of course these may be (and probably are based upon the life dates) the same person.

The research documents R-473 and R-446 may prove helpful.

The following census record lists five children.

1880 United States Federal Census
Name: Louis Graves
Age: 60
Birth Date: Abt 1820
Birthplace: Georgia
Home in 1880: Precinct 1, Holmes, Florida, USA
Dwelling Number: 177
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Mary Graves
Father's Birthplace: Georgia
Mother's Birthplace: Georgia
Married During Census Year: Y
Occupation: Laborer
Cannot Read: Yes
Cannot Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Louis Graves 60
Mary Graves 40
Samantha Graves 19
Emoline Graves 15
Nansey Graves 12
Lizzie Graves 8
Columbus Graves 5

Note that William Columbus Graves is shown on the Find A Grave site.

See: 1979 Katherine Kerr Kendall letter concerning the Solomon Graves family.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Bible Record of Solomon Graves (1784-1861)

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Bible Record of Solomon Graves (1784-1861), Graves Family Association Genealogy #270. At left is page three.

Much has been attributed to the following Bible record of Solomon Graves (1784-1861), the most significant being that Joseph Graves (c.1715-1774) and Thomas Graves (1691-aft.1767) are brothers. While the Bible record may indeed give support to that conclusion, researchers are admonished to realize that, not like many other family Bibles, this record appears to be an attempt by Solomon Graves to describe his Graves family. And, unlike other family Bibles, many of the "records" were not recorded contemporaneously with the event. Note also that part of the Bible record apparently was written by someone other than Solomon Graves (without date).

Moreover, the Bible record makes no mention of a third brother, John Graves, Jr. (c.1685-aft.1772), who has better real-world primary documentation than Joseph Graves or Thomas Graves. And, no mention is made of the parents of Joseph Graves and Thomas Graves.

Note the following from Graves Family Association Genealogy #270 with respect to the earliest known member of this line:

"John Graves (1) was born about 1665 and died after 1737. His wife's name is not known. It is believed that he was an immigrant to Virginia from Northamptonshire, England (based on DNA testing, and the Bible record of Solomon Graves in the Appendix) . . . . "

The problem is that nothing in the transcript of the "Bible record of Solomon Graves" supports the conclusion that this John Graves was an immigrant to Virginia from Northamptonshire, England."

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Battle of Alamance (North Carolina)

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Battle of Alamance (North Carolina)

At a site six miles southwest was fought on May 16, 1771, the Battle of Alamance. Opposing forces were Colonial Militia, mainly from the eastern part of the province, commanded by Governor William Tryon, and a band of frontier dwellers known as Regulators, who had risen in arms against corrupt practices in local government.

On May 14 Tryon’s force of 1,100 men, arriving in the heart of Regulator country to subdue these uprisings, made camp on Alamance Creek. Already some 2,000 Regulators, armed with old muskets and makeshift weapons, had come together five miles southwest of Tryon’s position. Messages were exchanged between the camps, the Governor demanding immediate and complete surrender of the Regulators and the Regulators petitioning the Governor for reforms. Nothing came of the negotiations and on the morning of May 16 Tryon ordered his force to march. His route led along the old Hillsborough-Salisbury road which connected the two camps.

After marching about three miles, Tryon halted the militia and ordered a practice battle formation. After this maneuver the force re-formed in marching column and continued down the road. At ten o’clock Tryon’s men arrived within half a mile of the Regulators where they formed battle lines. Tryon sent ahead messages offering surrender terms while his militia marched slowly forward. When three hundred yards from the Regulators, they halted. The messengers returned to say that the Regulators had scornfully rejected surrender. Much time was then consumed in an attempt to exchange prisoners taken by both sides, but this effort failed.

Tryon feared that the Regulators were stalling for time to improve their battle position and ordered his troops to draw closer. He then sent a final warning that he was ready to open fire. To this message the Regulators replied, “Fire, fire and be damned.” A barrage from the Governor’s artillery, consisting of six swivel guns and two brass field pieces, began the engagement and was the signal for concentrated musket fire from the militia ranks.

The Regulators responded with volley after volley from their nondescript weapons. For half an hour they held their position in the open, then retreated to the protective covering of the woods at the edge of the clearing. For another hour and a half the battle raged, then the Regulator fire slackened. Tryon immediately ordered a charge and soon drove the Regulators from their positions. The fleeing frontiersmen were pursued half a mile. There Tryon halted his men and turned back toward the camp on Alamance Creek.

Two wounded militiamen, as well as many of the wounded Regulators, were brought into camp and treated by the Governor’s physicians. Regulator losses were nine killed, upward of two hundred wounded and between twenty and thirty taken prisoner. Nine of Tryon’s men were killed and sixty-one wounded. On May 17 James Few, one of the captured Regulators, was hanged as an outlaw after refusing to take an oath of allegiance to the king.

With the Battle of Alamance the Regulators were decisively crushed, but the effect of their campaign for reforms was embodied in the North Carolina Constitution. Newspapers throughout the colonies gave the battle wide publicity. In Boston and Philadelphia they cited the Regulators as martyrs and used their example to encourage the American cause on the eve of the Revolution.


William S. Powell, James K. Huhta, and Thomas J. Farnham, eds., The Regulators in North Carolina, A Documentary History 1759-1776 (1971)

William L. Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina (1886-1890)

William S. Powell, The War of the Regulation (1949)

Paul David Nelson, William Tryon and the Course of Empire: A Life in British Imperial Service (1990)

William S. Powell, ed., The Correspondence of William Tryon and Other Selected Papers, 2 volumes (1980-1981)

Alamance Battleground State Historic Site website:

ID: G-2
Militia under Governor William Tryon defeated Regulators on May 16, 1771. Six miles S.W.

NC 62 at I-85 south of Burlington
County: Alamance
Original Date Cast: 1936

Friday, June 22, 2018

John Graves of Northamptonshire and Virginia

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John Graves/Greaves of Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom and Virginia, United States of America

Northamptonshire is a landlocked county located in the southern part of the East Midlands region which is sometimes known as the South Midlands. The county contains the watershed between the River Severn and The Wash while several important rivers have their sources in the north-west of the county, including the River Nene, which flows north-eastwards to The Wash, and the "Warwickshire Avon," which flows south-west to the Severn. In 1830 it was boasted that "not a single brook, however insignificant, flows into it from any other district." The highest point in the county is Arbury Hill at 225 metres (738 ft). There are several towns in the county with Northampton being the largest and most populous. At the time of the 2011 census, a population of 691,952 lived in the county with 212,069 living in Northampton. The table below shows all towns with over 10,000 inhabitants.

Source: Wikipedia

Graves Family Association Genealogy #270

John Graves, presently shown as the earliest known ancestor in this genealogy, may have been a son of William Graves and Ann, who were named as headrights in 1658 in New Kent Co., Virginia.  The background and evidence for this is discussed in a Research Study.

"The authors are inclined to believe that John Graves Sr. was the son of William and Ann Graves, that he was the owner and operator of Graves Ferry across the York and Pamunkey Rivers between about 1703 and 1730, and that he finally relocated to Spotsylvania County in [possibly with his son, John Graves Jr. in 1729] to be nearer his sons and grandchildren where he likely died shortly after 1737."

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Jesse Franklin Graves (1829-1887)

Jesse Franklin Graves (1829-1887)

Honorable Jesse Franklin Graves

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Of a distinguished family, the late Jesse Franklin Graves made his own career distinctive as an upright and capable lawyer, a wise counsellor, a courageous leader in public life, and one of the ablest, most painstaking and conscientious judges who ever sat on the Superior Court bench of North Carolina.

He was born in August 1829, and death came to him in the maturity of his usefulness, on November 9, 1894.

Barzillai Graves, grandfather of the late Judge Jesse Franklin Graves, was born in 1759. He became a Baptist minister, distinguished for his eloquence and powerful intellect. He married a lady of like mind and heart and culture, Ursula Wright. Their seven children were: Solomon; Barzillai, who died unmarried; Elizabeth, who married James Lea; Isabella, who married Hosea McNeill; Margaret, who married William Lipscomb; Jeremiah, who married Delilah Lea; and Mary, who married Thomas W. Graves. Reverend Barzillai Graves died July 14, 1827.

General Solomon Graves, father of Jesse Franklin Graves, was born in 1784, and died April 28, 1862. He acquired the title of general through his service in the state militia.

After completing his literary education, Solomon Graves studied law under Honorable Bartlett Yancey of Caswell County. When admitted to the bar he moved from Caswell and located in Surry County. There he soon became prominent as a lawyer of sterling worth and ability, and for several terms was a member of the General Assembly, serving both in the House and Senate. For thirty-two years he was clerk and master in equity for Surry County, and was also for many years a trustee of the State University. Patriotism was a keynote to his character and he possessed a depth and sincerity of conviction beyond most of his contemporaries.

In a time when little attention was given to the subject he was a strong advocate for temperance. About 1818, General Graves married Mary Cleveland Franklin, daughter of Jesse Franklin, whose career as an early governor of North Carolina and subsequently United States senator is the subject of a sketch for other pages of this publication. Mrs. Solomon Graves died about four years before her husband. They had seven children: Meeky Ann, who married Reverend Miles Foy; Sarah Emily, who married Major J. W. Hackett; Mary Ursula, who married Colonel Harrison M. Waugh; Elizabeth Franklin; Jesse Franklin; Margaret Isabella; and Barzillai Yancey.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Reverend Raymond Lee Graves (1928-2010)

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Defiant Graves Fights "System" with Fiery Flair

Sixty-two years have passed now and the death of Herman Graves, sharecropper, bootlegger and emerging social activist, is as resonant in his son's mind as ever.

His death gave rise to a story, which over the years has been burnished into legend, of a passel of angry white men forcing a German Luger into the hand of a black man and giving him no choice but to pull the trigger and kill his friend.

The story of the father's death has, in turn, fueled in the son an anger so strong it has yet to be tempered. It also has yielded a great distrust, particularly of something he calls the system.

"It was the system that killed my daddy," he says.

So it was that the Rev. Raymond Lee Graves was propelled into a life of the ministry and social activism. And so perhaps it is fitting, if not at least a little symbolic, that the New Bethel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, where he is pastor, stands just outside Rochester's Inner Loop.

For nearly three decades now, Graves has stood defiantly outside the city's downtown boundary and established power structures, hurling angry criticism at targets large and small.

He has attacked the city police department for what he describes as a pattern of harassment and discrimination against minorities. Following the Calvin Green shooting in 1988, he dismissed as a sham the grand jury investigation and state probe that cleared the officer who killed Green, an unarmed black man. The officer was white, and many charged the killing was racially motivated.

Once, he called for the razing of the Hyatt hotel, saying its skeleton was unsafe. Another time he took to the airwaves to warn young black men not to wear watches for fear the glint of the metal would be mistaken by police officers for a weapon.