Friday, January 30, 2009

Philip Hodnett Harralson Civil War Memories

Philip Hodnett Harralson (1851-1912) Civil War Memories

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For the PDF version of the above go to Philip Hodnett Harralson Civil War Memories.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Baynes Store

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Baynes Store Ownership

James Rainey Baynes (1855-1923) and brother-in-law Leonidas Franklin Harrelson (1858-1939) were the first proprietors of Baynes Store (which did business as Baynes & Harrelson). The next owner apparently was James Macon Baynes (1896-1969), son of James Rainey Baynes. James Macon Baynes retired in 1962 and sold the store to his clerk Joseph Elliott (Cooter) Grubbs (1914-1993). When David Herman leased the store is not known. The Grubbs family still owns the property. The store apparently closed in 2018.

The date [original] Baynes Store was erected is unknown. The old stand was moved about fifty feet and the present one was built in 1908. J. R. Baynes was the operator. Many years later L. Franklin Harrelson became a partner. After John E. Herndon discontinued making coffins, Baynes Store kept factory made ones in stock for many years. The next operator was J. Macon Baynes, assisted by Chester Burton followed by J. Elliott Grubbs. The latter bought the stock in 1962 and operated it until Dec. 1, 1979. Charles English reopened the place of business in 1982 and sold it to Barry Ross in November 1983.

Source: Plumblee, Millard Quentin. From Rabbit Shuffle to Collins Hill: Stories of Southern Caswell County, North Carolina. Burlington (North Carolina): Full Service Printing, 1984, p. 23.

Click to See Larger Image
"The Country Store"

I began the morning talking with Mr. J. E. (Coot) Grubbs, proprietor of the Baynes Store. A feeling of nostalgia was evident when I first viewed the interior of the old store. It was truly a perfect picture of the average American’s idea of the old country store. There were tins of dried beans and corn along the floor, with shelves filled with pairs of coveralls and boxes of shoes. The old-timey cash register probably remembers the day when bacon was rung up at 30 cents a pound. The pot belly stove, setting in the middle of the store, still warms and welcomes its customers in 1972 just as it did 60 years ago.

The present store building, constructed in 1907, was named Baynes Store. A joint partnership later occurred and the store was renamed Baynes and Harrelson. Under the ownership of the late J. M. Baynes, it was then permanently named Baynes, as it stands today. For Mr. Grubbs, after 37 years with the store, it has become a way of life for him. He enjoys his work, but admits that ”things get boring and lonesome at times when no customers are around.” He added that usually during these times he busied himself putting up new stock and merchandise.

The store has seemingly not changed much over the years and Mr. Grubbs has had to do little adapting for the modern day. This is not a handicap, for people welcome the slow and carefree life of the country store as a retreat from the fast-paced world. Mr. Grubbs told that back in olden times, coffins were sold and bodies prepared in the upper level of the store. A few of the coffins still remain today in the Baynes Store attic. I assured Mr. Grubbs that I doubted not this fact and no need for a tour would be necessary. Too spooky for me!

There seems to be a family tie to the store also. Mr. and Mrs. Grubbs’ 13-year-old son, Joe, works constantly helping his dad. Daughter Joyce, a college student, spends a good deal of her time at the store also.

Yes, Baynes is the store loved by its community in yesterday’s world, today, and hopefully in our society’s future. A store of its kind is unique. It should be cared for and preserved for hundreds of years, so that my generation’s grandchildren can know the pleasures of the old country life.

Source: The Caswell Messenger (27 July 1972)

Stanfield-Baynes Wedding Anniversary

Reverend Clyde Henry Stanfield (1898-1981)

Martha Elizabeth Baynes Stanfield (born 1899)

On their honeymoon in 1919 (Mt. Vernon)

Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary: Daily Times-News (Burlington, North Carolina) 10 April 1969 (page 23)

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

F. W. Woolworth (Danville, Virginia)

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Above are images of Main Street in Danville, Virginia, and a 1950s menu from the F. W. Woolworth "Lunch Counter" in Danville. Many who lived in northern Caswell County shopped frequently in Danville. A stop at "Woolworth's" was always a treat.


Gradually through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Danville's business community replaced older frame buildings with fireproof masonry construction, motivated by the perennial threat of fire. Most fireproof construction was brick. In the twentieth century, steel and reinforced concrete frames came into use in buildings such as the 1921 James A. Rorer Memorial Building at 125 South Union, the 1917 Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company at 560 Patton, and the city's two 1920s skyscrapers, the Masonic Building at 105 South Union and the Hotel Danville at 600 Main. Concrete block was advertised as a building material as early as 1908 in city directories, but its first significant use in the downtown appears to be the white limestone-faced 1937 Woolworth's Building at 501 Main. Brick tile block was used in the construction of the 1923 F. W. Townes & Son Funeral Parlor at 635 Main and is exposed at the rear of 627 Main, a 1920s automobile dealership and repair shop.

In the early 1930s, Heard [architect J. Bryant Heard] began to design in a somber monumental version of the Art Deco style. The Danville Post Office at 700 Main was the principal product of Heard's new approach. The 1930s American National Bank at 336 Main and the 1937 Woolworth's Building at 501 Main are other Heard designs that feature white limestone facing and discrete Art Deco ornament. At least ten extant downtown buildings in Danville were designed by Heard during the period 1915 to 1940 or are attributable to him on stylistic grounds. Of all Danville's architects and builders, Heard made the greatest contribution to the built environment of the downtown.

24. 501 Main St. Woolworth's Building. 1937. 108-0111-024. CB. This two-story limestone-faced concrete-block building has a severe facade with a second story formed by alternating pier-like elements and metal windows and aluminum display windows and inset entries with plain surrounds. In the parapet is ornamentation such as fluting and faceted bosses. At the second-story window-sill level is a scalloped band. The rear of the building, extending along Union Street, is one story in height and has a plain limestone facing. The eastern section of the building was apparently built in 1941 as a separate establishment, and acquired and remodeled by Woolworth's in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

501 Main Street-Woolworth's--was designed by Danville architect J. Bryant Heard in 1937 and built by R. E. Clarson. The building is characteristic of Heard's commercial work of the 1930s, with simplified Art Deco massing and decorative motifs. Before the Civil Rights movement, Woolworth's had separate lunch counters for white and black patrons, and the store was the scene of sit-ins. Woolworth's closed in 1992 and vacated the building. The eastern section of the building was apparently built in 1941 as Diana Shops, a women's clothing store, and was based on a design by the Garric Construction Company of Chicago. The section originally featured a stuccoed facade with an arched parapet and large letters spelling "DIANA SHOPS."
Source: 1993 National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Downtown Danville Historic District

Prior to 1963, Danville, Virginia, was a small quiet mill town. Dan River, Inc. and the tobacco industry were the main focus of the local economy and provided the main employment opportunities within the community. Downtown Danville was a thriving business entity. Located on the North Carolina line in the “black belt” region of Virginia, Danville also operated as a segregated society. The lunch counter at Woolworth’s had separate sections for blacks and whites. In the basement at Belk-Legget’s, there were water fountains that were marked “For Blacks Only” Or “For Whites Only.” The main branch of the public library on Main Street was off limits to the black citizens of the community.

On June 3, 1985 the Danville Fire Department suffered a fatality. Captain G. Herman Knight died of a heart attack while fighting a fire at F.W. Woolworth’s on Main Street. He was a 29-year veteran of the department and had been captain for 12 years.

In 1880, Woolworth's department store was first to put manufactured Christmas tree ornaments on sale. They were immediately popular.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Here Comes Arabella"

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In the early 1930s (probably between 1930 and 1935), a group of
Yanceyville Thespians under the auspices of the Parent-Teachers
Association staged the play "Here Comes Arabella" at the Bartlett
Yancey High School auditorium in Yanceyville, North Carolina. This
was a three-act musical comedy directed by Miss Frances Griffin
accompanied by Miss Mary Hatchett.

Names Mentioned

Clyde Cole (Clyde Caviness Cole, husband of Elsie Lea Hooper Cole)

Paul Worrell (may have been a Baptist minister)

Dabney Williamson (son of Walter H. and Bertha May Williamson)

James Upchurch (James Bartlett Upchurch, son of Ernest Frederick and
Mary Constance Stroupe Upchurch)

Frederick Upchurch (probably Ernest Frederick Upchurch, Jr., son
Ernest Frederick and Mary Constance Stroupe Upchurch)

Mrs. Albert Yancey Kerr (Mary Oliver Kerr)

Mrs. J. A. Massey (Edna McGuire Massey)

Annie Gunn (Mrs. John Oliver Gunn)

Ruth Anderson (Ruth Byrd Anderson, daughter of George A. Anderson and
Mary Elizabeth Slade Anderson)

Helen Williamson (probably daughter of Walter H. and Bertha May
Williamson, and sister of Sheriff Lynn Banks Williamson)

Mrs. George A. Anderson (Mary Elizabeth Slade Anderson)

Miss Kate Blue

Miss Mary Lee Florance (daughter of Thomas Jefferson Florance and
mother of Maud Florance Gatewood)

John Oliver Gunn (husband of Annie Gunn, listed above)

Mrs. Sam Bason (Martha Eliza (Marnie) Eliza Hatchett Bason)

Miss Frances Griffin

Miss Mary Hatchett (possibly the Mary Hatchett who married Claude Lee

Margurite Dailey (Marguerite Frances Dailey, daughter of James Henry
and Emma Slade Dailey and became wife of Taylor M. Snead)

Sadie Belle

Helen Graves Hodges (daughter of Lynwood Fielding and Mary Elizabeth
Slade Hodges; wife of Bernie Wilson Poteat; mother of Sandra Poteat)

Hannah Bradner (Hannah Estelle Bradner, daughter of Bruce and Nannie
Caroline Smith Bradner; married Arch Slade Crumpton)

Nettie Shelton (Nettie Malloy Shelton, daughter of William Thomas and
Martha Elizabeth Page Shelton; married James Clarence McDaniel)

Jessie Bradner (Jessie Beatrice Bradner, daughter of Bruce and Nannie
Caroline Smith Bradner; married Thomas Cole)

Katherine Malloy (Katharine Yancey Malloy, daughter of Dr. Stephen
Arnold Malloy and Nannie Emma Kerr Malloy)

Jeanette Harrison

Katherine Mebane (daughter of Giles and Edna Earl Watkins Mebane,
married George Wilson Clark)

Marjorie Sullivan

Pemberton Slade (Pemberton Harrison Slade, son of Irvin Hodges and
Frances Woodson Wilson Slade)

Carl Moser

Sue Hodges (possibly Alice Sue Hodges, daughter of Lynwood Fielding
and Mary Elizabeth Slade Hodges)

Doris Giles

Elsie Mae Satterfield

Katherine Kerr (Eliza Katharine Kerr, daughter of Albert Yancey and
Mary Johnston Oliver Kerr, married Colonel Henry E. Kendall)


Bledsoe Furniture (Danville, Virginia)

Crowell Auto Company (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

Robert T. Wilson (attorney at law) (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

J. A. Boswell, Caswell Cafe (Yanceyville, North Carolina

A. Yancey Kerr (Insurance and Bonds) (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

P. T. Dodson (Fancy and Heavy Groceries (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

Justice Chevrolet (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

Warren & Giles Funeral Directors (Hightowers, North Carolina)

T. J. Florance and Son Store (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

Efird's Department Store (Danville, Virginia)

The "Here Comes Arabella" Program and some of the lines for the part
of Abraham Levinski (played by John Oliver Gunn) seen above also may be viewed at:

Caswell County Photograph Collection

These documents are courtesy the John Oliver Gunn Family Archives.

Yanceyville vs. Danville Baseball Game (1920s)

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This article also can be found as part of the Caswell County Photograph Collection.

Courtesy the John Oliver Gunn Family Archives.


Cunningham Railroad Station

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This railroad station once stood in the Cunningham Community of northwest Person County, North Carolina. Waverly is the center of this community. At one time there existed a Cunningham Station on the Richmond and Danville Railroad which passed through this community, then to the west through Semora and Milton in Caswell County. See the web page for the cemetery located at Waverly. Gazetteer includes: "Named for John W. Cunningham, local landowner and planter. Post office, Cunningham's Store, est. as early as 1822."

Yarbrough Family Buried at Red House Presbyterian Church

Yarbrough Family Buried at Red House

Yarbrough Family Plot

Peter Layton Yarbrough
Ella Graves McSherry Yarbrough
Robert Marvin Yarbrough
Ola Vanhook Yarbrough
Madie Taylor Yarbrough Pulliam
Eugene H. Pulliam, Jr.
John Layton Pulliam
John B. Yarbrough


Hester Vernon Receives Farm Bureau Award

NCFB 73rd Annual Convention Award Winners
Greensboro December 7-9, 2008

Public Relations Award—NCFB Vice President Elton Braswell (right) presented the award to Caswell County Farm Bureau President Hester Vernon.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Nathaniel Greene (1742-1786)

A major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. When the war began, Greene was a militia private, the lowest rank possible; he emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington's most gifted and dependable officer. Many places in the United States are named for him. The son of a Quaker farmer and smith, he was born at Potowomut in the township of Warwick, Rhode Island, on July 27, 1742 (old style)/August 7, 1742 new style. Though his father's sect discouraged "literary accomplishments," Greene educated himself, with a special study of mathematics, history of military tactics and law. The Rev. Ezra Stiles, later president of Yale University, was a strong influence in the young Nathanael's life. In 1770, Greene moved to Coventry, Rhode Island, to take charge of the family-owned forge (foundry), shortly prior to his father's death. There, he was the first to urge the establishment of a public school and in the same year he was chosen as a member of the Rhode Island General Assembly, to which he was re-elected in 1771, 1772 and 1775. It is debatable that he was a member of the General Assembly since there is no mention of his participation in his personal papers and because there were several of his contemporaries with the same name from Rhode Island. He sympathized strongly with the "Whig," or Patriot, element among the colonists.

In 1774, he married Catherine Littlefield Greene of Block Island. "Caty," as she was known by friends, had been living in East Greenwich with her aunt and uncle (William and Catharine [Ray] Greene of Greene Farm, East Greenwich, R.I.) since her mother died when she was ten years old. Her uncle was a Whig Party leader and governor of Rhode Island. Her aunt and namesake, Catherine Ray, was a close friend and correspondent of Benjamin Franklin from 1751-1784.Nathanael Greene and Catherine Littlefield were married in the "best parlor" at Greene Farm, East Greenwich, R.I. where a framed invitation to their wedding hangs on the back wall to this day (2008).Greene Homestead in Coventry, pictured in 1902.In August 1774, Greene helped organize a local militia, which was chartered as the Kentish Guards in October. His participation in the group was challenged because he had a slight limp. It was at this time, he began to acquire many expensive volumes on military tactics, and began to teach himself the art of war. In December 1774, he was on a committee appointed by the assembly to revise the militia laws. It has been speculated that his zeal in attending to military duty led to his expulsion from the Quakers. However, his separation from the Society of Friends was more gradual and actually began with his marriage to Cathy. At this time, marriage to a non-Quaker was grounds for expulsion.

On May 8, 1775, he was promoted from private to Brigadier General of the Rhode Island Army of Observation formed in response to the siege of Boston. He was appointed a brigadier of the Continental Army by the Continental Congress on June 22, 1775. Washington assigned Greene the command of the city of Boston after it was evacuated by Howe in March 1776.Greene's letters of October 1775 and January 1776 to Samuel Ward, then a delegate from Rhode Island to the Continental Congress, favored a declaration of independence. On August 9, 1776, he was promoted to be one of the four new major generals and was put in command of the Continental Army troops on Long Island; he chose the place for fortifications, and built the redoubts and entrenchments of Fort Putnam (the site of current day Fort Greene) east of Brooklyn Heights. Severe illness prevented him from taking part in the Battle of Long Island. Greene was also a Rhode Island Freemason and bore a masonic jewel, the gift of his comrade Marquis de Lafayette, on his person throughout the whole of the revolution.

Greene was prominent among those who advised a retreat from New York City and the burning of the city so that the British might not use it. He was placed in command of Fort Lee on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. On October 25, 1776, he succeeded General Israel Putnam in command of Fort Washington, across the river from Fort Lee. He received orders from Washington to defend Fort Washington to the last extremity, and on October 11, 1776, the Congress passed a resolution to the same effect; but later Washington wrote to him to use his own discretion. Greene ordered Colonel Magaw, who was in immediate command, to defend the place until he should hear from him again, and reinforced it to meet General Howe's attack. Nevertheless, the blame for the losses of Forts Washington and Lee was put upon Greene, but apparently without him losing the confidence of Washington, who himself assumed the responsibilityAt the Battle of Trenton, Greene commanded one of the two American columns. After the victory there, he urged Washington to push on immediately to Princeton, but was overruled by a council of war. At the Battle of Brandywine, Greene commanded the reserve. At Germantown, Greene's command, having a greater distance to march than the right wing under Sullivan, failed to arrive in good time: a failure which Greene himself thought would cost him Washington's trust. But when they arrived at length, Greene and his troops distinguished themselves.

At the urgent request of Washington on March 2, 1778, at Valley Forge, he accepted the office of Quartermaster General. His conduct in this difficult office, of which Washington heartily approved, has been characterized as "as good as was possible under the circumstances of that fluctuating uncertain force." However, he had become Quartermaster General on the understanding that he should retain the right to command troops in the field. Thus we find him at the head of the right wing at Monmouth on June 28, 1778. In August, Greene and Lafayette commanded the land forces sent to Rhode Island to co-operate with the French admiral d'Estaing, in an expedition (the Battle of Rhode Island) which proved unsuccessful. In June 1780, Greene was in command at the Battle of Springfield. In August, he resigned the office of Quartermaster General after a long and bitter struggle with Congress over the interference in army administration by the Treasury Board and by commissions appointed by Congress. Greene had vehemently argued with Congress over how to supply the Continental Army. Congress was in favor of having the individual states provide equipment, which had already proven to be ineffective since the federal government held little to no power over the states. A month before Washington appointed him commander of West Point, it fell to Greene to preside over the court which, on September 29, 1780, condemned Major John André to death.

Place of birth: Warwick, Rhode Island

Place of death: Edisto, South Carolina

Allegiance: United States of America

Years of service: 1775-1783

Rank: Brigadier General 1775-1776; Major General 1776-1783

Battles/Wars: American Revolutionary War; Siege of Boston; Battle of Harlem Heights; Battle of Fort Washington; Battle of Trenton; Battle of Brandywine; Battle of Germantown; Battle of Monmouth; Battle of Rhode Island; Battle of Springfield; Battle of Guilford Court House; Battle of Hobkirk's Hill; Siege of Ninety-Six; Battle of Eutaw Springs.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Griers Presbyterian Church


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For more photographs go to Griers Presbyterian Church.

Griers Presbyterian Church in Caswell County, North Carolina, is on the National Register of Historic Places (1985).

The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 27 ("Griers Presbyterian Church" by M. Q. Plumblee):

Upper Hyco (now Griers) Church, the first organized church still in Caswell County, was organized in 1753 and was located near the headwaters of North Hyco Creek. Samuel Bell, his brothers, son-in-law, Donnell, removed from Pennsylvania and settled on the forks of Hyco Creek. They were staunch Presbyterians. It appears that a Mr. Black from the southern part of the state helped organize Upper Hyco Presbyterian Church. The first services were probably held under bush arbors and in the homes of members. During the ministry of Reverend William Moore, the congregation decided to build a new church on lands owned by James Richmond and Jim Grier. Before the signing of a deed to the property, Jim Grier probably died. Presumably his widow was Ann Grier. Therein may lie the clue as to the change of the name of the church from Upper Hyco to Griers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Will of Joseph Talbert

Will of Joseph Talbert
Will Book "A" Page 56 Proved March Term 1794

I, Joseph Talbert, of the State of South Carolina, County of Edgefield. I lend unto my loving wife, Sarah Talbert, 200 acres of land whereon I now live, also Negro woman, Ader, and her two children all my household furniture and plantation tools.

Executors sell a certain sorrel mare lately purchased from Garrett Freeman and buy a Negro boy to be used by wife.

That 80 pounds sterling money that John McCoy is owing if said McCoy should have it in his power to make a good and lawful title with dower acknowledged to a certain tract of 100 acres lying on Savannah River in Wilkes County opposite my lands now in dispute with Ezekial Harling and Phillip Jones my Executors will release the above McCoy from the note (mentioned ferry). Divided among Children. Eldest daughter, Mary Carson, daughter Elizabeth Miles, granddaughter Permelia Talbert, daughter Nancy Ware, son John Talbert, daughter Sarah Ware, daughter Peggy Ginnins, son Jeremiah Talbert, daughter Phoebe Talbert, Stephen Talbert, Agnes Talbert, Fanny Talbert, and youngest son Ansel Talbert.

Ordain and appoint loving son John Talbert and Henry Key to be executors.

Dec. 29, 1793 Joseph Talbert (Seal)

Allen Robinson
Thomas Jennings
Jeremiah Talbert


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

The following article is courtesy of the Chicago Tribune newspaper, which retains all rights:

Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

ATLANTA — In a major advance in genealogical research, African-Americans will be able to trace the routes of slave ships that transported 12.5 million of their ancestors from Africa as early as the 16th Century. The free Internet database gives African-Americans the opportunity for the first time to explore their African heritage the way whites have long been able to chart their migration from Europe.Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database is the result of 40 years of research by hundreds of scholars. Two years ago, Emory University researchers, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, began compiling maps, images and other records of about 35,000 slave-trade voyages from Africa to North America, Brazil, the Caribbean and Europe. It is the first time such a large amount of data on the subject has been available to the public.

"Everybody wants to know where they came from, and for people from Europe, it has been possible for several centuries now to trace migrant communities," said David Eltis, a history professor at Emory and a director of the project. "Now it is possible to do the same for people of African descent.

"The records for people of Africa and the Americas are better than the records of connections between Europe and the Americas for the simple reason that slaves were property," he said. "No one cared what happened to free migrants. They did care what happened to slaves, because they were making money from them."

While the database can establish the regions slave ships launched from in Africa and where they arrived in the United States, it generally is impossible to determine which ancestors were on board, researchers said, because the records have African names that were changed when the slaves arrived in North America. "The data certainly is not going to be helpful in tracing individual ancestors. You can't say your ancestor came on this vessel, except in a tiny handful of cases," Eltis said. "What it can do is provide context. The big advantage is that it establishes connections between parts of Africa and parts of the Americas."

African-Americans have had a fascination with discovering their African heritage since the miniseries "Roots," based on the Alex Haley novel, was televised in 1977. Since 2003, a Washington, D.C., company called African Ancestry Inc. has offered mail-order DNA tests for $349. In recent years, other DNA research projects have been developed, attracting such celebrity clients as Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee and civil rights icon Andrew Young. The problem with DNA testing, according to researchers, is that insufficient samples of DNA have been collected from Africa, making it difficult to provide matches from many parts of the continent. The Voyages database will help reinforce DNA data, researchers said.

"People may not be able to trace their particular ancestor, but it is the most complete accounting of individual lives, individual ships, individual journeys to date," said Leslie Harris, an Emory genealogist and author of "In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863." It is more difficult for African-Americans in Illinois to use the database because many of their families traveled North in the Great Migration from 1916 to 1930. To find those records, Illinois residents would have to know where in the South their ancestors were enslaved. "During the slave trade, we don't have people who were dropped off in Illinois. The ships landed on the East Coast," Harris said. "So we are talking about people who started out on the East Coast and then, one way or another, ended up in Illinois, not necessarily as enslaved people but as free people."

The database, which is expected to become a classroom tool, contains the records of 10.5 million slaves, more than 85 percent of the slave trade. It identifies more than 67,000 of them by their African name, age, sex, origin and place of embarkation.
Though many Americans view slavery as a U.S. phenomenon, the United States represented only 4 percent of the slave trade, far behind Brazil, the leader, which imported about 45 percent of the slaves, Eltis said. "During the time the slave trade was at its peak, it was considered to be an ordinary business, not something immoral. Slave ship owners used to name their voyages after their family members," Eltis said. "So the difference between attitudes then and now is quite considerable."


Caswell County Pauper Home

Caswell County Pauper Home History Summary (Updated August 2021)

"I was in Miss Maude Faucette's 7th grade class. Every year, this lady took her class to present a Christmas program at the County Home. I think it was run by a Mrs. Moorefield. Miss Faucette used her own money to buy presents for the people living there. She would purchase toiletries and pajamas, etc. She would even buy cigarettes and other tobacco products for them even though she did not smoke and was opposed to smoking. We sang Christmas Carols for them and came away with a better understanding of what it was like to live there.

"Of course it was the understanding of a 7th grader. I had already been there many times as a relative of mine lived there. I only knew him as Uncle Rich. I think his name was Richard Aldridge. He was not my father's brother but he may have been my father's uncle. According to my Aunt Ida Lee Aldridge, the Aldridge clan in Caswell County had three branches (Anderson, Yanceyville and Reidsville). They called each other Uncle and cousin even though the bloodline was more half-sibling and step-sibling."

Source: Carroll Aldridge 28 August 2021 Post to Rick Frederick Facebook Page.

1787: By 1787, Wardens of the Poor had been elected for Caswell County, and Robert Dickens, representative from Caswell, secured passage of a bill to empower the Wardens "to purchase lands and build a house for the reception of the Poor in the County." A tax was authorized not only to build a house or houses but also to maintain both the poor and "persons . . . distracted or otherwise deprived of their senses." Whether any buildings were constructed is not known.


During its 1825 session, the Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions (which functioned as the county's executive authority until 1868) took the following actions:

April: "Appointed commission of Alex. Henderson, Azariah Graves, Geo. Williamson, William Lea, John P. Harrison, Gen. Azariah Graves, Benjamin C. West, Hosea McNeil, Alex. Gordon, and James Yancey to receive propositions for the purchase of a suitable situation on which to erect a poor house and also for the Building of the same and report to next term of court."

July: "Determine after taking into consideration an act of Gen. Assembly of this State relative to the erection of a poor house that it was expedient to erect the same. It was ordered that the same commissioners who at the last meeting were instructed to receive plans for the bldg. of the poor house and to receive propositions of the sales of lands and report to the next court and to obtain such information as may be convenient on this subject from the wardens of the poor and other counties who may have poor houses and that the clerk give to each of the Justices of the Peace information that the subject of a poor house will be acted upon at the next term of the court on the first day."

October: "Following appointed commissioners for the purchase of lands for the building of the Poor House and also to contract for the building of same: B. Yancey, B. Brown, Anderson Harrison, Jr., Quinton Anderson, Thomas Williamson, William Lea, and Major James Currie."


The first documented Caswell County Poor House was built at a cost of $863 on land purchased for $750. This building must have been of good construction as it was used until the early 1920s. The following is from the minutes of the Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, October 1826 session:

"Commissioners appointed to purchase land and erect a Poor and Workhouse made their report stating the building had been let and completed where upon Court ordered that the Wardens of the Poor be informed that the building was ready for reception of the poor and that they be received as soon as the necessary preparation can be made for them."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Caswell County: 1855 Slave Sale Petition

Petition 21285516 Details
Location: Caswell, North Carolina
Salutation: To The Worshipfull the Justices of said court
Filing Court and Date: Common Pleas, 1855-October
Ending Court and Date: Common Pleas, 1855-October
General Petition Information
Abstract: The joint owners of three slaves ask that they be sold and the proceeds divided.
Result: granted
# of Petition Pages: 2
Related Documents: Order of Sale, October 1855
Pages of Related Documents: 1
People Associated with Petition 21285516
Slaves: 3

Daniel (male)
Juda (female)
Samuel (male)

Free Persons of Color: 0
Defendants: 0
Petitioners: 13

COUSINS, William
WILSON, Jackson
WILSON, Lucinda
WILSON, Marion
WILSON, Thadeus
WILSON, Thomas
WILSON, William

Other People: 1
Citation Information
Repository: North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina
Records of the County Courts, Miscellaneous Records, Slave Records 1836-1864

Source: Digital Library on American Slavery


Lewis Slave Sale Petition (1854)


Ellen P. Lewis
John W. Lewis
R. W. Lewis
Robert H. Lewis


Dawson (male)
Milly (female)
Nancy (female)
Robin (male)

Petition 21285414
Court Location: Caswell, North Carolina
Salutation: To the Worshipfull the Justices of the Court aforesaid
Filing Court and Date: Common Pleas, 1854-October-0
Ending Court and Date: Common Pleas, 1854-October-0
General Petition Information
The joint owners of four slaves, noting the "great difference in their values," ask that the slaves be sold and the proceeds divided among heirs.
Result: granted
# of Petition Pages: 2
Related Documents:
Order, October Term 1854; Report of Sale, January Term 1855
Pages of Related Documents: 3
People Associated with Petition 21285414
Slaves: 4
Free Persons of Color: 0
Defendants: 0
Petitioners: 4
Other People: 1
Citation Information
Repository: North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina
Records of the County Court, Miscellaneous Records, Slave Records, 1836-1864

Source: Digital Library on American Slavery