Saturday, October 31, 2009

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 1840-1841

The University of Pennsylvania is the oldest and one of the finest medical schools in the United States. Penn is rich in tradition and heritage and at the same time consistently at the forefront of new developments and innovations in medical education and research. Since its founding in 1765 the School has been a strong presence in the community and prides itself on educating the leaders of tomorrow in patient care, biomedical research, and medical education.

Included in the 1840-1841 University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine class were eight students from Caswell County, North Carolina.


Name County State
Anderson, John Q. Caswell, North Carolina.
Collins, Allen T. Caswell, North Carolina.
Currie, Shelby S. Caswell, North Carolina.
Price, James A. Caswell, North Carolina.
Walker, James C. Caswell, North Carolina.
Watt, William M. Caswell, North Carolina.
Wright, Weldon E. Caswell, North Carolina.
Yancey, Albert G. Yanceyville, North Carolina.

THE Medical Department is under the immediate government of the Medical Professors, who constitute the Faculty of Medicine, subject to the rules and statutes of the Board of Trustees. It includes:

A Professorship of ANATOMY,
A Professorship Of CHEMISTRY,
A Professorship of SURGERY,
A Professorship of the INSTITUTES OF MEDICINE.

The Medical Faculty hold meetings for the purpose of arranging and conducting the business of their department, and establishing proper rules and regulations for the preservation of order and decorum among the medical students. They appoint one of their own members to act as Dean, whose duty it is to keep the Minutes of the Faculty, to arrange the business of examining the candidates for medical degrees, to conduct the business of the Faculty at their meetings, and to attend to correspondence. The Session for the Medical Lectures begins annually on the first Monday of November, and ends in March.

The Commencement for conferring Medical Degrees is held by a special mandamus of the Board of Trustees, early in April, and within as short a time as possible after the examinations of candidates are over.

The following are the regulations at present in force in relation to the degree of Doctor of Medicine.

1. Every candidate for this degree must have attained the age of twenty-one years, have applied himself to the study of Medicine for three years, and have been, during that time, the private pupil, for two years at least, of a respectable practitioner of Medicine.

2. The candidate must have attended two complete courses of the following lectures in this Institution:

Practice of Physic and Clinical Medicine,
Materia Medica and Pharmacy,
Obstetrics and the Diseases of Women and Children,
Institutes of Medicine.

3. He must also have attended one course of Clinical Instruction in the Philadelphia Hospital, (Blockley) or the Pennsylvania Hospital, or some other Institution approved of by the Faculty of Medicine.

4. Medical students who have attended one complete course in a respectable Medical School, where the attendance on two complete courses is necessary to a degree, where the same branches are taught as in this, and which is placed upon the ad Eundem
of this school, are permitted to become candidates by attendance here for one full course.

5. When candidates for a Medical Degree apply to the Dean for admission, they must exhibit their tickets to prove that the above regulations have been complied with.

6. Each candidate, at the time of his application, which should be on or before the first day of February, must deliver to the Dean of the Medical Faculty, a Thesis, composed by himself, on some medical subject. This Thesis* is referred to one of the
Professors who shall examine the candidate upon it and must be written uniformly on paper of the same size, the alternate pages being left blank.

10. General bad spelling in a Thesis, or general inattention to the rules of grammar, will preclude a candidate from examination for a degree.

11. A Thesis may be published by the candidate if he desire it, the permission of the Professor by whom he was examined thereon being first obtained; but no alteration shall be made therein without the consent of the Professor.

12. The voting on the case of each candidate is by private ballot, and three negative votes reject him.

13. Each candidate shall pay the fees of graduation, at the time of his examination, or before receiving notice of his success; and before his name can be entered on the Register of passed candidates, for the purpose of being reported to the Board of Trustees and included in the mandamus for a degree.

14. Candidates who have passed their examination, and in other respects complied with the regulations, are to be reported by the Dean to the Provost, who will communicate such report to the Board of Trustees, in order that, if approved of by them, their mandamus be issued for conferring the degree.

15. The degree will not be conferred upon a candidate who absents himself from the public commencement, except by special permission of the Medical Faculty.

16. Graduates of Medical Schools, on the ad Eundem list, by attending one complete course in this Institution, are put upon the same footing with students who have attended two complete courses here.

*The Essay must be written on Thesis paper, which can be procured at the Medical bookstores; this is for the purpose of convenient binding together into volumes.
The following form of the title page is to be observed:

An Essay on Medicine in the University of Pennsylvania, by
(name in full) of Town
Residence in City,
Duration of studies,
Presented (date;
for the Degree of Doctor of
County, State of

Rule of Examinations for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

The names and essays of the candidates are to be presented to the Dean on or before the first day of February in each year. The candidates are then to be divided, either by their own arrangement or by that of the Dean, into classes of eight persons
each. These classes will be designated numerically and according to lot. The examinations will begin on the last Monday in February or the first Monday in March, and be so conducted as to have the commencement early in April. No person's name will be received on a class unless his essay is in possession of the Dean-neither is his name to be attached to a class by any other than the Dean, except he has signified his desire to that effect.

The classes are to call at the houses of the several Professors, or at some other place designated by the latter; and when in attendance, each of the individuals composing a class is to be examined separately, and in the order of his name on the list of his class.

Each Professor is to keep a list of those examined by him, and opposite to the name of each individual examined is to note the result, so as, on consulting his paper, to be able to vote in the affirmative or negative as to the qualifications for a degree. As the examinations of each group of classes shall be completed, the Faculty is to meet-the names of the candidates examined are to be read by the Dean-and as each name is called off, the Professors are to consult their memoranda, and if no remarks be made, are to proceed to vote by ballot. If there shouldnot be three negative votes, the candidate is to be considered as having passed, and is to be entitled to his degree. Should three black balls be cast against any individual, he is not to be considered as absolutely rejected, but is to have the privilege of another examination before the whole Faculty in general session.

If, upon the name of a candidate being called out, one or more of the Faculty have any remarks to make in relation to his gualifications, they are to be heard before the vote is taken.

At the close of each meeting, the Dean is to make known the result of the ballot, by note, to each of the successful candidates, who is to pay his graduation fees before the note referred to will be delivered by the Janitor.

The candidates in classes being thus disposed of, the Faculty is then to proceed to the examination of those who may have preferred the old plan, and afterwards of those who, having received three negative votes, may still choose to avail themselves
of the opportunity of a final examination offered by the Faculty.

If any candidate who may not have succeeded in the first ballot, shall decline an examination before the Faculty in general session, he is to have the privilege of withdrawing his Thesis, without being considered as rejected.

If a Thesis be found remarkable for any good quality, the fact is to be reported by the Professor possessing it to the Faculty at their meeting, who may take upon it such action as they may deem advisable.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thomas Taylor Boswell

(click on photograph for larger image)

Forceful, sagacious and resourceful, Thomas Taylor Boswell, president of the Big Vein Pocahontas Coal Company, is recognized as one of those who are closest to the business concerns and financial interests of Baltimore. Prominently identified for nearly forty years with the social and commercial life of our city, he has proved himself to be possessed of those sterling traits of character which are needed and are sure to be appreciated in every community. Mr. Boswell comes of ancient Virginia stock, being descended on both sides from leading families of the Old Dominion. His maternal line can be traced back to Major Lewis Burwell, who settled about 1640 on Carter's creek, in Gloucester county, Virginia. He was descended from Edward Burwell, of Harlington, Bedfordshire, whose father was also Edward. Robert Walpole, Earl of Oxford, premier of England, and Horatio, Lord Nelson, were descendants of the Burwells through female lines. Lewis Burwell, the immigrant, owned the great plantation of Fairfield, the mansion being one of the most unusual in Virginia. It was like some medieval castle, or fortress, standing staunch and timeworn until a few years ago, when it was burned to the ground. After the Burwells had left it, which was about the beginning of the nineteenth century, it passed through many successive hands and came to be called Carter's Creek. The tombs are fit for princes, but are now, unhappily, crumbling to decay.

The Burwells, who went from Gloucester county, established handsome seats in other parts of Virginia, notably "The Grove", near Williamsburg, "Carter Hall", in Clarke county, "Stoneland", in Mecklenburg, and "King's Creek". The communion service now used at Old Abingdon, the parish church of Fairfield, on Carter's creek, was presented by Lewis Burwell, and has "L. B." inscribed upon it. Lewis Burwell was a member of the deputation sent to invite Charles II. to come to Virginia, which remained loyal throughout the period of the civil wars and the protectorate. He married Lucy, daughter of the "valiant Captain Higginson, one of the first commanders who subdued the country of Virginia from the power of the heathen". Lewis Burwell died November 19, 1658, and was buried at his seat, "Fairfield", where his tomb and that of his wife are still to be seen. Their son, also Lewis Burwell, married Abigail Smith, niece and heiress of the Hon. Nathaniel Bacon Sr., president of the council, whose whole estate, which had been intended for his nephew, Nathaniel Bacon, the rebel, was bequeathed to her and her descendants. The Burwells are thus shown to have been one of the richest as well as one of the oldest families in Virginia. Their arms are as follows : A saltire between four griffins' heads, erased ; crest, a griffin's claw with three talons grasping a twig with four leaves.

Thomas Taylor Boswell, son of William C. and Mary Armistead (Burwell) Boswell, was born October 13, 1856, in Henry county, Virginia. Mrs. Boswell was a daughter of Peyton Randolph Burwell, of Chase City, Virginia. Mr. Boswell died June 21, 1906. Thomas Taylor was the oldest of four sons, the others being John L., living in Wheeling, West Virginia ; Dr. H. H., living in Buffalo, New York, and William C., deceased. There were also three daughters : Nannie R. ; Lucy S., who married N. R. Edwards, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, formerly of Kentucky; and Mary A., who is the wife of James Burgess, of Roland Park, Baltimore. Thomas Taylor Boswell was educated in the public and private schools of his native place, and in 1874 came to Baltimore, which has ever since been his home and the scene of his business career. On his arrival he became clerk for A. Schumacher & Company, and through his own individual efforts, strict application and hard work, rose to the position of superintendent of lines. Later, in connection with H. G. Hilken and W. G. Atkinson, he formed the Elbarge Transfer Company, which became extinct in 1906. He was also instrumental in organizing the Chesapeake and Lighterage Towing Company, which is still in existence. With these two companies he was connected for ten years.

In 1893, while still associated with A. Schumacher & Company, he founded and organized the Merchants' Coal Company, becoming its president, an office which he retained until two years ago, when the business was purchased by J. S. and W. S. Kuhns, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr. Boswell then organized, in April, 1909, the Big Vein Pocahontas Coal Company, with mines at Pocahontas, Virginia. Of this organization he is still president. He is a typical business man. quick to see an emergency and equally quick in devising a plan to meet it ; decisive in his methods, keenly alive to any business proposition and its possibilities, and finding that pleasure in the solution of a difficult business problem without which there can be no real success, as otherwise there is indicated a lack of that intense interest which must be the foundation of all progress in commercial and industrial lines. In addition to his presidency of the company, Mr. Boswell is also president of the Bear Run Coal & Coke Company, a new enterprise, which has recently moved its offices to Baltimore.

The welfare of his adopted city is always an object of his solicitude and an appeal in behalf of any institution or project designed to further that end never fails to secure an interested hearing and the utmost aid which it is in his power to bestow. He has been personally associated as trustee with St. Mary's Industrial School and other charitable and benevolent institutions. He contributes to the coffers of different societies, notwithstanding the fact that he is a member of none. In politics he is a staunch Democrat, taking great interest in public affairs, but has never been induced to accept office.

Mr. Boswell married, April 6, 1881, in Baltimore, Sallie E., daughter of Andrew and Jane (Stewart) Brown. Mr. Brown, who is now deceased, was a well-known contractor. Mr. and Mrs. Boswell have one son: Edward T., born August 13, 1882 ; he is a member of the Baltimore Athletic Club. He married, April 6, 1903, Winifred H. Dillinger, and they are the parents of two children : Winifred Dillinger and Sarah Catherine.

Mr. Boswell Sr. is the owner of a stock farm of one thousand and sixty acres, in Long Green valley, seventeen miles from Baltimore, and there he and his family spend the summer months. He is extremely fond of animals and finds in the management of this farm congenial recreation after the unremitting cares and strenuous toils of business. Mr. Boswell is a man of serious aims, far-sighted in business, broad in views, cherishing generous ideals, entertaining in society, and finding his friends among the young and old, rich and poor, conscious of the dignity of life, these are traits which shine in his character and make him an object of universal esteem and a representative of those interests which have most largely conserved the growth and progress of the Monumental City.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Herndon Haralson 15 April 1843 Letter

This is a transcript of a letter from Herndon Haralson in Brownsville, Tennessee to his son Paul A. Haralson in Yanceyville, N.C. At that time Herndon and his wife were living with their son William Henry Haralson.

Transcribed October 26, 2001 from original letter by Tommy Booker. Paragraph breaks were not in the original, but are added to aid readability. All rights reserved.

Oliver - Page Deed (14 January 1857)

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William P. Womack
Matilda Womack

Henry F. Adkins
Frances Adkins

John F. Wagstaff
Elizabeth Caroline Wagstaff

Henderson House
Linsey Oliver
John G. Oliver
W. W. Oliver

Property Description

Louis H. Love
Black Jack McKenny
Potash Page

The transferors listed appear to be the children (and husbands of daughters) of Durett Oliver and Matilda Lea Oliver.

1. Matilda Oliver m. William Peeples Womack
2. Frances Oliver m. Henry F. Adkins
3. Ann C. Oliver m. Henderson House
4. Elizabeth Caroline Oliver m. John F. Wagstaff
5. John G. Oliver (son of Durett Oliver)
6. Linsey/Lindsay Oliver (son of Durett Oliver)
7. W. W. Oliver could be William Oliver (son of Durett Oliver)


Zachariah Page


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tobacco Thieves in Caswell County (1926)

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Thomas v. Palmer (1854)

Lucy Thomas and Others against Nathaniel J. Palmer
North Carolina Supreme Court
54 N.C. 249 (1954)

Emancipation, followed by immediate removal from the State, is not forbidden by our laws. But where it is provided in a will, that certain slaves shall have their own time, and may work or not, as they see proper, having the care and protection of a nominal master, and a fund for their support and maintainance, such a state of qualified slavery is regarded by the Court as unlawful, and the bequests void.

Cause removed from the Court of Equity of Caswell county, at the Spring Term, 1854.

Nathaniel P. Thomas, among other things, devised and bequeathed as follows:

"My mill tract of land, situate in Caswell county, containing eighty-five acres, on the waters of Pumpkin Creek, adjoining the lands of Carter Powell, and others, and the Crowder tract of land, containing about sixty-six acres, adjoining the same. I do hereby devise to my executor, to be sold on a liberal credit, and the proceeds of the said sale to be placed at interest, after investing a portion of the same in purchasing a suitable home for my mulatto woman, Lucy, and children, purchased of the trustees of Robert A. Crowder; the interest in the said two tracts to be appropriated towards their support, and until the amount of said sale becomes due, I direct my executor to appropriate a sufficient amount out of the proceeds of my estate generally, for their maintainance and support.

3rd. My mulatto woman, Lucy, as aforesaid, I do hereby devise and bequeath, to Nathaniel J. Palmer, together with her children, Mary Jane, James and Newton, and any other children that she may have, in trust and confidence, nevertheless, that he will provide for them a suitable home, as aforesaid, and for her support, and that of her children, until they are able to support themselves, out of the proceeds of the real estate aforesaid. And in the event of the death of the said Nathaniel J. Palmer, the said woman, and children are to be held by my friend, William Bryant, of Pittsylvania county, Virginia, as trustee aforesaid, and in the event of his death, they are to be held by such trustee as he may select, and the County Court of Caswell approve and appoint, it being understood that the said woman and children are not to be removed from the county of Caswell, without her free will and consent, and a copy of this will recorded in the clerk's office of the county, to which she may remove."

In a codicil to this will the testator provides as follows: "In the event that the laws of North Carolina, or the policy of the same, as construed by the Supreme Court, shall present any obstacle to the fulfillment of the trust mentioned in the foregoing will in relation to my mulatto woman, Lucy, and her children, I do hereby authorise and direct my executor, to send them to such State, territory or country as she may select, and he may think best, and I do hereby charge my estate with a sum sufficient to provide for their removal to such State, territory, and country, and for their comfortable settlement there; it being my will and desire, that she shall not be continued in slavery."

The woman Lucy, being advised that the policy of the laws of the State forbade her remaining in the State, and obtaining any of the advantages proposed in this will or codicil removed with her children to the State of Ohio, where they are now domiciled, and are, by the laws of that State, free persons.

The plaintiffs (the woman Lucy and her children) in their bill, allege that by their own exertions, and by the partial aid of Mr. Palmer, the executor, they were enabled to get to Ohio, but that they have not been provided with a home or settlement as the will directs, and that they are in want, and destitution, and that the children being small, the mother is unable to support herself and them, without the assistance of the fund provided in the will. They insist that the codicil of the will, above recited, made good and valid, the provision made for them in the will, and that they are entitled to the proceeds of the sale of the two tracts of land, which amounts to some $1,500; but besides this, they are entitled to the expenses of their removal, and to a comfortable settlement out of the estate of the testator. And accordingly such is the prayer of the bill as well as for general relief.

The answer of the executor, Palmer, objects to the construction insisted on by the plaintiffs, but says that he is advised, that there is nothing in the codicil to validate, and set up the deficient and illegal devises in the body of the will, so that the plaintiffs are not entitled to any thing but the expenses of their removal, and a comfortable settlement in the land to which they have gone; that he has already advanced funds to them to assist in removing them to Ohio, and that as soon as the condition of the estate will allow, he intends to provide for a comfortable settlement of them in Ohio. But he submits to the advice and direction of this Court in the premises.

The cause was set for hearing on bill, answer, and exhibit, and sent to this Court by consent.

Morehead for plaintiffs.

Norwood for defendants.

Thomas and others v. Palmer.

Pearson, J. Emancipation is not forbidden by our laws; but a negro, who is set free, is required forthwith to leave the State; for it is against public policy to have the number of free negroes increased, or to allow negroes to remain among us in a qualified state of slavery.

The latter is, if any thing, the worse evil of the two. Free negroes constitute a distinct class; and the poor creatures seldom prosper so well as to become objects of envy. Whereas, slaves, who have the care and protection of a master, have houses provided for them, and a fund set apart for their support and maintenance, so that they can have the control of their own time, and may work or not, as they see proper, necessarily become objects of envy to those who continue to look upon them as fellow slaves. So that nothing can be more calculated to make our slaves discontented; accordingly such a state of things is expressly forbidden by statute. It follows that the provision in the will by which Lucy and her children were to remain in this State under the care and protection of one, who was to act nominally as master, but was to provide a house for them to live in, and apply the interest of a certain fund for their support and maintenance, so as to let them have the control of their own time, is void. Fortunately for the complainants, the testator became aware of this in time to make provision by a codicil for their emancipation and removal to another country, and "for their comfortable settlement there."

The complainants insist, that the codicil has the further effect of making valid the provision that is made for them in the will, and that they are now entitled as well to the provision which the testator intended to make for them by the will, as that which he did make for them by the codicil. In other words, that besides having the expenses of their removal and comfortable settlement in another country paid out of the estate of the testator, they are entitled to the fund produced by the sale of the two tracts of land. We do not think so.

The provision made by the codicil is intended as a substitute for that made by the will — "in the event" that the latter cannot be carried into effect. The intention is clearly this: If the negroes can be kept in this State, they are to be provided for as directed by the will. If they cannot remain here and be so provided for, then, they are to be provided for as directed by the codicil. There is not the slightest intimation that the two modes of providing for them are in any degree, or to any extent, to be cumulative.

Decree accordingly.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bible of Solomon Graves (1784-1861)

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Bible Record of Solomon Graves: Discussing Brothers Joseph Graves and Thomas Graves of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and the Family of Thomas Graves

The following information was previously published on pages 114, 118-119, 1981 Graves Family Newsletter.

Mr. William T. Graves came across a record from the Bible of Solomon Graves, son of Rev. Barzillai Graves (who died 14 July 1827 in Caswell Co., NC). The Bible belonged to Mrs. Elizabeth Burke (nee Graves) of Yanceyville, NC, and was copied by the N.C. Archives in 1971. Although it is not certain, the record (at least in part) appears to be Solomon Graves’s attempt to recall his ancestry as of 1817. Someone has added notes concerning family births and deaths occurring after 1817. Mr. William T. Graves prepared the following transcription of the Bible record (with a few minor punctuation changes). There are probably errors in this record. For example, the record states that Joseph and Thomas Graves came to Virginia from England around 1700; that is unlikely.

Ancestry, family, particulars -- according to the best information that can be at present collected --- Anno D. 1817

It seems that about the year 1700, Joseph[1] and Thomas[2] Graves emigrated to America from England. Being brothers, they both settled in the State of Virginia in the County of Spotsylvania. Each of them married in that State and from them a numerous [necessary] connection has descended. Thos intermarried with one Mary Perkins and had by this marriage only three children, two daughters and a son, and his wife died. He then married a second time and by this marriage he had many sons. John Graves, his son by the first marriage, removed into the State of North Carolina about the year A.D. 1755. He married a daughter of James Lea, formerly of Virginia, whose name was Isabell Lea. James Lea, her father, married a Herndon. From the marriage of John Graves and his wife has sprung an extensive family connection in the State of North Carolina. Barzillai Graves, their fifth son, intermarried with one Ursula Wright, the daughter of one William Wright the son of John Wright who intermarried one Miss ------ Parsons and who emigrated to the United States about beginning of the Seventeenth Century. William Wright intermarried with one Margaret Johnston, the daughter of a Mr. [Wm] Johnston who also emigrated to this Country from England. From the marriage of B. Graves and his wife there has descended three sons and four daughters, Solomon Graves, Jeremiah Graves, and Barzillai Graves, Jun., who died without issue. The daughters were named Isabella Graves, Elizabeth Graves, Margaret Graves and Mary Graves. Isabell, the eldest daughter, intermarried with one Hosea McNeill. Elizabeth, the second daughter, intermarried with one James Lea. Mary, the fourth daughter, intermarried with one Thomas W. Graves. Solomon Graves, the eldest son, intermarried with one Mary C. Franklin who was the daughter of Jesse Franklin, late a Governor of the State of North Carolina. Jeremiah Graves intermarried with one Delilah Lea, a daughter of John Lea, called Cainbrake (sic, Canebrake) John Lea. [NOTE: The handwriting for the following is different from the handwriting for the preceding. The archivist at the N.C. Archives believes that the following text was written at a later date by someone other than the author of the preceding notes.] Margaret Graves married William Lipscomb. Her descendants are all dead. James Lea removed to West Tennessee where their descendants now reside (in 1864).

Register of Ages and Deaths

S. [Solomon] Graves born 14th July 1784

Mary C. [Franklin] Graves born the 24 Feby. 1794

They were married 10th April 1817

1. Micky (?) Ann Graves their first daughter born March 23th, 1819

2. Sarah Emily their second daughter born the 10th March 1821

3. Mary Ursula their third daughter born 6th April 1823

4. Elizabeth Franklin Graves their fourth daughter born 16th June 1825

5. J. Franklin their first son born the 31st day of August 1829

6. Margaret Isabella their fifth daughter born 30th day of May 1832

7. Barzillai Yancy Graves born the 10th October 1835

Mary U. who intermarried with H. M. Waugh died the 24th of June 1851

Jesse Franklin, father of Mary C. Graves, born March 24th 1760, died in August 28th 1824 in the 64th year of his age.

Meeky Franklin, mother of Mary C. Graves, born 1765. She died the 20th of Feby. 1835 in her 69th year.

Barzillai Graves, father of S. Graves, born 1755, died 14th July 1827 in the 67th year of his age.


[1] This is the Joseph Graves whose daughter Mary Graves married Benjamin Cleveland.

[2] This is the Thomas Graves who married Ann Davenport.


Cobb Memorial High School Class 1955

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Members of the Cobb Memorial High School Class of 1955 are (front row, left to right) Margaret Crumpton Shumate, Peggy Daniel James, Annie Laurie Daniel Robertson, Frances Boswell Barbour (second row) Nancy Stroud McGee, Ruth Giles Caudle, Betty Green Myers, Adean Kendrick Harris, Betty Harrelson Regan, Jeannie Ware Dix, J.T. Goodson (back row) Wayne Yarbrough, Bobby Dove, Reid Thompson, William Irvin Regan, Richard Cook, Odell Dalton, Lelia Apple McKinney.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Loftin Brandon Scott (1845-1920)

Loftin Brandon Scott (1845-1920)

On October 24, 2009, a Confederate headstone dedication ceremony will held at the grave site of Loftin Brandon Scott (1845-1920):

From Scott family member Mrs. Roberta Hanna - The Dedication will be at Lebanon Church on Cunningham Road in Semora at 1 PM October 24th. Afterwards we will go to the Methodist Church on Hwy 119 for a covered dish meal. Only request is to bring a covered dish and join us for some social time and visit with family and friends.

Loftin Brandon Scott descends from a John Scott, who died 1781 in Caswell County, North Carolina. This John Scott is the father-in-law of the famous Rev. Hugh McAden, who also died in 1781. In 1762, Rev. Hugh McAden married John Scott's daughter Catherine Scott.

John Scott - Will - written 16 June 1781. Sons Robert, John, and deceased son William; daughters Cathrine McAden, Mary McFarland; son in law Samuel Cunningham; son in law David Logan; daughter in law Rebecca Scott; Grandchildren: John and Hannah Cunningham; David, Cathrine, and Mary Hannah Logan; Sarah, Rebecca, Cathrine, Eamy ,Elizabeth, Loften, and John Graham Scott. Executors: sons Robert and John. Witnesses: Archibald Murphey, Fed Debo, Jno. McAden.

Source: Caswell County North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814 and 1814-1843 (Two Volumes In One), Katharine Kerr Kendall (1979 and 1983) (Volume I at 8.

John Scott (d. 1781, Caswell County, North Carolina) had seven children. The name of his wife is unknown:

1. Robert Scott married Rachel Burton
2. John Scott, Jr., married Dicey Moon
3. William Scott married Rebecca Brown
4. Mary Scott married Unknown McFarland
5. Catherine Scott married Rev. Hugh McAden
6. Jean Scott married Samuel Cunningham
7. Unknown Scott married David Logan.

Following is the ancestral outline for Loftin Brandon Scott:

John Scott (d. 1871, Caswell County, North Carolina)
William Scott m. Rebecca Brown
John Graham Scott m. Jinny Turner
John Berryman Scott m. Nancy Daniel Brandon
Loftin Brandon Scott

William Scott left a will in Halifax County, Virginia (Will Book 1, p. 288) in which he mentions his two sons (including John "Gryms" Scott) and several daughters. A Brandon is a witness or surety.

Note that John Graham Scott had a brother named Loften/Loftin Scott, who may be the namesake of Loftin Brandon Scott (1845-1920).


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

James T. Mitchell 1864 Letter

Camp Near Petersburg, Virginia
July 16th 1864

Franklin Phillips

Sir I regret very much to inform you of the death of your son. He departed this life on the 7 of the month. He was confined to his bed 17 days. He had all the attention that any man could get. I visited him in his sickness. He was at a private house by the name of Perkins. Mr. & Mrs Perkins was very kind to him, done all in their power for him. He had Typhoid fever. I tried very hard to send his body home but failed, the Gen would not sign a furlough for any body to carry him. I had him decently buried in a good coffin, I attended to it myself. I marked his grave so if you wanted to get his body so you could find it. He had 50 cts in silver & a few postage stamps in his pocket book. Jarrel Powell has his pocket book. The Yankees visited the house while he was there. They stole his hat & some other things. I sent his horse to you the 14th by Mart & all his clothes. I hope they will arrive safe.

Say to his wife that he died in his right mind & expressed a great desire to see her before his died. He said he was willing to die but preferred to die at home. He died very easy like going to sleep without a struggle. Tell her any thing I can do for her in settling up his claims with (the) goverment or in any other way, I will with the greatest pleasure.

Yours with much respect
Jas. T. Mitchell
Capt. Co (B) 4th N.C. Cav

The Captain James T. Mitchell who wrote the foregoing letter is believed to be James Thomas Mitchell (1828-1898), born in Caswell County, North Carolina.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Giles Mebane (1809-1899)

Giles Mebane Served as Statesman and Railroad Builder for County
By Julian Hughes, Times-News Special Writer

Horace Greeley, founder of the New York Tribune and one of the most brilliant journalists of the 19th century, once said: "Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today will curse tomorrow, only one thing endures -- character!" Giles Mebane, statesman and railroad builder in his own right had that one thing that endures, character, the most valuable human asset. Giles Mebane was born on a plantation near the village of Haw River in February of 1809, the same month and same year as Abraham Lincoln. He passed away in April of 1899 at the age of 90. It ook a sane and sober man to live 90 years in that age of moonshine stills and barrooms, as was that portion of the 19th century from 1809 to 1899. The town of Mebane, and the Southern Railway through Alamance, stand as a monument for Giles Mebane.

Mildred Watlington Jeffers/Jeffreys (1829-1926) Obituary

Aged Caswell County Woman Died Sunday
The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 27 September 1926

Mrs. Mildred Mitchell, said to be the oldest resident of Caswell county, passed away on Saturday night [25 September 1926] at her home, "Aspen Hall," at the age of 97. She was claimed by the infirmities of old age after preserving her health, strength, and faculties in an unusual way. Last December she began to fail and throughout the year had steadily declined in health and strength. Mrs. Mitchell is believed to be the last surviving slave owner of Caswell county. She was born September 30th, 1829 -- the same year that President Andrew Jackson was inaugurated and she lived to see the administrations of 24 United States presidents. She was a daughter of the late Thomas Jeffress [Jeffreys] and Mrs. Keziah Jeffress [Jeffreys], being married in 1849 to James Thomas Mitchell who died many years ago. All of her life was spent in Caswell county where she was widely known and greatly respected. Her surviving children are James G. Mitchell, Blanch; R. L. Mitchell, Blanch; C. H. Mitchell, of Lynchburg, and Mrs. Dora Hunt, Ringgold. She also leaves nineteen grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. The funeral is being held from the home place at three o'clock this afternoon, interment to be in the family burial ground.

Mrs. Mitchell made many sacrifices while the war between the north and the south was being waged. Her husband away at the front, the Aspen Hall farm was left in her absolute charge. There were 35 slaves on this farm and to her was left the sole responsibility of their management, [a] difficult task. The farm was kept self sustaining, and from [it] much food was contributed for the upkeep of the southern armies. Mrs. Mitchell is perhaps the only living woman in Caswell who owned slaves. After the war and during the troublous days of the reconstruction period, Mrs. Mitchell was an outstanding figure in Caswell county. She gave much of her time and effort to help put the returned Confederate soldiers on their feet, and she often related her remarkable experience during the days when the Invisible Army of the K. K. K. saved this county from innumerable hardships, and was one of those Caswell women who stitched the garments, which were worn by the mysterious riders.

At the age of 11,she became a member of the New Hope Methodist church, and for 84 years had been one of its most loyal communicants. First to respond to the call of all needy objects, her familiar figure in the New Hope congregation has given, many say, a real spiritual uplift to more than three generations.

That her husband, James Thomas Mitchell (1828-1898) was the same person who participated in the murder of Senator John W. Stephens has not been confirmed. However, the reference in the above obituary to the KKK makes this a reasonable conclusion. Note the following:

In the confession of John G. Lea he implicated a Capt. James T. Mitchell as a participant in the 1871 murder of Senator John W. Stephens in the Caswell County Courthouse, Yanceyville, North Carolina:

A democratic convention was in session in the court room on the second floor of the courthouse in Yanceyville, to nominate county officers and members of the Legislature. Mr. Wiley, who was in the convention, brought Stevens down to a rear room on the ground floor, then used for the storage of wood for the courthouse. I had ordered all the Ku Klux Klan in the county to meet at Yanceyville that day, with their uniforms under their saddles, and they were present. Mr. Wiley came to me and suggested that it would be a better plan, as Stevens had approached him to run on the republican ticket for sheriff and he had told him that he would let him know that day, to fool him down stairs, and so just before the convention closed, Wiley beckoned to Stevens and carried him down stairs, and Captain Mitchell, James Denny and Joe Fowler went into the room and Wiley came out. Mitchell proceeded to disarm him (he had three pistols on his body). He soon came out and left Jim Denny with a pistol at his head and went to Wiley and told him that he couldn't kill him himself. Wiley came to me and said, "You must do something; I am exposed unless you do." Immediately I rushed into the room with eight or ten men, found him sitting flat on the floor. He arose and approached me and we went and sat down where the wood had been taken away, in an opening in the wood on the wood-pile, and he asked me not to let them kill him. Captain Mitchell rushed at him with a rope, drew it around his neck, put his feet against his chest and by that time about a half dozen men rushed up: Tom Oliver, Pink Morgan, Dr. Richmond and Joe Fowler. Stevens was then stabbed in the breast and also in the neck by Tom Oliver, and the knife was thrown at his feet and the rope left around his neck. We all came out, closed the door and locked it on the outside and took the key and threw it into County Line Creek.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Daniel Merritt Caswell County Real Estate Transactions

Daniel Merrit-Purchase of 350 Acres in Caswell Co., NC, 1790

State of North Carolina No 1041
To all to whom these presents shall come Greeting Know ye that we for and in Consideration of the sum of fifty Shillings for every Hundred Acres hereby granted, paid into our Treasury by Daniel Merrit have given and granted o& by these presents do give & grant unto the siad Danl.l Merrit a tract of land containing 350 Acres lying & being in our County of Caswell on the Rosemary Creek Beginning at John Dinwiddies Corner post oak then Running with said line East 16 chains to a stake on Seth Moores line then South 130 chains 75 links to a Stake on John Cookers line then said line West 61 cha 50 links to a Stake then North 31 chains to a Stake then East with Wm Hentons line 51 cha 25 links to a Black Oak then north 52 cha 75 links to a Black Oak then West 43 cha to a Poplar then with Paul Walters line No 16 cha to Dinwoodeys line corner Black Oak then with said line East 37 cha & 25 links to a Spanish Oak then North 31 cha. To the first Station as by the plat hereunto annexed together with all Woods waters mines minerals ------ments & appurtenances to the Said land belonging or appertaining to hold to the said Dan’l Merrit his heirs and assignes for ever yielding & paying to us such Sums of money yearly or otherwise as our general Assembly from time to time may direct Provided allwise that the Said DanlMerrit shall cause this grant to be registered the Registers after (?) of our said County of Caswell within twelve months from the date hereof otherwise the same shall be void and of no effect. In Testimony where of we have caused these our Letters to be made Patent and our great Seal to be hereunto affixed Witness Alex. Martin Esq’r Our Governor ----general and Com.r in chief at Fayetteville 16th Nov’r in the xvth (15th) year of our Independence 1790

By his exech…ys Com’d
F Glasgow Secret’y Alex’r Martin

(Their signatures)


Daniel Merritt-Deed to 2 Lots in Milton, NC, purchased 1805, proven 1814

This Indenture made this 15th day of March in the year of our lord Christ One Thousand eight hundred and five between us Thomas Jeffreys James Sanders William Rainey Arch’d Murphy and Archibald Samuel Commissioners of the Town of Milton of the one part and Daniel Merritt of the Second part the receipt whereof witnesseth that we the Said Commissioners for and in consideration of the sum of forty eight dollars & ten cents in hand paid to Asa Thomas have bargained and Sold and by these presents do give grant bargain and Sell unto the Said Daniel Merritt two half acre logs in the Town of Milton No Two & three in the said town with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging which said lots we oblige Ourselves Our heirs &c. to warrant and for ever defend unto the said Daniel Merritt and to his heirs and Assigns forever. In Witness whereof we have her unto set our hands and Seals the day and year first above written---------------------

In presence of
Dan’l L. Farley State of North Carolina A Murphy………Seal
Caswell County } October Court 1814 Arch’d Samuel….Seal
Asa Thomas The executor of this Deed was duly William Rainey…Seal
Proved in open Court by the Oath of Daniel S.
Farley one of the Subscribing Witnesses thereto and on
Motion delivered to be registered…….
Ar’d Murphy CC

Daniel Merritt-Deed to 3+ acres on Holder’s Street, Milton, NC, purchased 1846, deeded 1849

This indenture made the 8th day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & forty six between Thomas Morris of the county of Person & State of North Carolina of the one part & Daniel Merritt of the county of Caswell & State of North Carolina of the other part Witnesseth that for & in consideration of the sum of four hundred dollars to the said Thomas Morris in hand paid at or before the signing sealing & delivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged the said Thomas Morris hath given granted bargained & sold and by these presents doth give grant bargain & sell & confirm unto Daniel Merritt his heirs & assigns forever a certain lot or parcel of land situate lying & being in the town of Milton County of Caswell & state aforesaid situated on Holder’s street in said town containing---------front feet & running back & running back to country line creek Bounded as follows commencing on the street near a stable on the North & running South in a straight line to a white oak on the creek aforesaid thence & down the creek to a stake four chains thence North 20 west in a straight line to the street aforesaid containing by estimation three acres & sixty two hundredths of an acre be the same more or less adjoining the lots of Warner M Lewis & others on which said lot of land is situated a good dwelling and other necessary outhouses & the said Thomas Morris for himself & his heirs executors & administrators doth hereby covenant & agree to & with the said Daniel Merritt his heirs executors administrators & assigns that he will forever warrant & defend the right & title of the lot of land & premises herein consigned to the said Daniel Merritt his heirs & assigns forever in withness whereof the said Thomas Morris doth hereunto set his hand & affixed his seal day and year first before written.
Signed & sealed & delivered in Thomas Morris Seal
The presence of Witness
John J. Jones
M. McMurray

State of North Carolina LG(?)
The execution of the foregoing deed from Thomas Morris to Daniel Merritt for the purposes therein contained was on this the 6th day of September 1849 duly acknowledged before me David F. Caldwell one of the judges of the superior courts of law & equity for the state aforesaid let the same be registered & this certificate
DF Caldwell JLEL&E

North Carolina
Caswell County} The foregoing deed and certificate were this day duly registered Feb 2nd 1849
A McAlpine PR


Daniel Merritt Deed

Daniel Merritt Purchase of Lots in Milton, NC

This Indenture made this 15th day of March in the year of Our lord Christ One Thousand eight hundred and five between us Thomas Jeffreys James Sanders William Rainey Arch’d Murphy and Archibald Samuel Commissioners of the Town of Milton of the one part and Daniel Merritt of the Second part the receipt whereof . . . . Witnesseth that we the Said Commissioners for and in consideration of the Sum of forty eight dollars & ten cents in hand paid to Asa Thomas have bargained and sold and by these presents do give grant bargain and Sell unto the Said Daniel Merritt two half acre lots in the Town of Milton No. Two & three in the Said town with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging which Said lots we Oblige Ourselves Our heirs etc to warrant and for ever defend unto the Said Daniel Merritt and to his heirs and Assigns forever I Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and Seals the day and Year first above written………..

Thomas Jeffreys
James Sanders
William Rainey
Ar’d Murphey (Seal)
Arch’d Samuel (seal)

In presence of
Dan G. Farley
Asa Thomas

State of North Carolina
Caswell County
October Court 1814
The Execution of this Deed was duly Proved in open Court by the Oath of Daniel S.
Farley one of the Subscribing Witnesses thereunto and on motion moved to be registered

Ar’d Murphey CC


Daniel Merritt is believed to be the Daniel Merritt, born 1761 in New York, who married Nancy Duncan and was the father of Daniel Tatum Merritt (1795-1866). Query why the money was paid to Asa Thomas. Was he the Milton treasurer? Was one of the subscribing witnesses Dan G. Farley or Dan S. Farley?


Friday, October 02, 2009

Caswell Engraved Brick Program

Engraved bricks may be inserted in several locations around the historic Caswell County Courthouse in Yanceyville, North Carolina:

1. The Memorial Walk from the front of the Courthouse to the Memorial Garden (east side)

2. The Veterans Walk (from the front of the Courthouse to the Agriculture Building sidewalk) for Veterans of the Armed Forces

3. The new Courtyard Memorial Garden between the Courthouse and the Agriculture Building (west side)

For more information and an order form see: Caswell Engraved Brick Program.

More examples of these memorial bricks may be seen online at:

Caswell Horticulture Club

There you also will see images of the beautiful gardens that surround the old Courthouse building, all the work of the Caswell Horticulture Club.