Wednesday, March 30, 2011

1862 Slave Letter

December 24, 1862
Messrs. McGee & Williams

Dear Sirs:

I drop you a line about the negroes I now have in Raleigh, which you will oblige me by arranging as follows: Armstead can go on as heretofore per monthly payments. It seems that he ought to return $15 per month instead of $12 as money is less valuable and more easily made. The price of negro hire however should determine what is right for him to pay. I think it best for you to let Friday keep Millie and the three girls now with her if he will pay their hire monthly until I make a more permanent arrangement. For more than one reason I do not wish to hire them out by the year. Friday wanted me to make an arrangement with him shen I was down but I declined to make any.

In case it should become necessary for me to remove them out of the way of the Yankees, I don't wish any hinderance and should you judge such a measure judicious at any future time please let me know know but say nothing to Friday or any of the others about it as I have not much confidence in his fidelity.

I thought Calvin Rogers hired the oldest girl the past year, but it turns out that Friday really hired her and her mother and two little ones. The notes for this year's hire I left with you. When paid you can remit by check the price of the woman and her three children per month you can fix according to the hire of other negroes. If Friday won't take them and pay monthly, please let me know and I will make other arrangements.

Let the negroes know that I put them under your control. See if they are well clad. I got all my furniture with but little damage. Glass and crockery not broken at all.

I am glad to hear that the Yankees who threaten Goldsboro have take the back track.

With the compliments of the season I remain as ever,

Yours Truly,

J. J. James

PS If Mr Williams is as I suppose from home, Mr. McGee will be so good as to attend to the above. Enclosed is a note for Mr. Jas. King which please hand him or his father first opportunity. If Mr. J. King applies please hand him five dollars for me and charge to my account and oblige. JJJ

While the identify of this J. J. James in not known, see: John Joshua James.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Julius (Jules) Johnston III (1943-1968)

(click on photograph for larger image)


Julius Johnston III majored in political science at UNC-CH and was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He entered the Navy in October 1965 and volunteered for submarine duty after graduation from boot camp. He was a member of the crew of the ill-fated U.S. submarine Scorpion, which was officially declared lost at sea on June 5, 1968. His family is from Yanceyville, North Carolina, and Johnston graduated from Bartlett Yancey High School in that town.

USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was a Skipjack-class nuclear submarine of the United States Navy, and the sixth ship of the U.S. Navy to carry that name. Scorpion was declared lost on 5 June 1968, one of the few U.S. Navy submarines to be lost at sea while not at war and is one of only two nuclear submarines the U.S. Navy has ever lost, the other being USS Thresher (SSN-593), which sank on 10 April 1963 off the coast of New England.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1868

After the Civil War, William W. Holden headed the new North Carolina Republican Party, which included freedmen, carpetbaggers, and native whites. The Republicans controlled the state convention of 1868 that drafted a new constitution. They also controlled the new state government, and Holden was elected governor. During this period, North Carolina sent 13 African American delegates to the state constitutional convention in 1868. One was from Caswell County.

First, the issue of whether to hold a constitutional convention was put to a vote. Here are what may be the voting results from Caswell County, North Carolina:

Branson's Business Directory (1867-1868)

Recapitulation of Canvass Returns for the State of North Carolina
Election District: Caswell County

Recapitulation from Books
Whites: 1,361
Blacks: 1,703
Total: 3,064

Aggregate from Poll List: 1,964
No. Tickets Polled: 1,981
No. of Tickets for a Convention: 1,485
No. of Tickets Against Convention: 499
Informal Tickets: None

Bureau of Civil Affairs
Citadel, Charleston, S.C., December 26, 1867

The foregoing is a correct statement from the Returns of the election held on the 19th and 20th days of November last, in and for the State of North Carolina, made to these Headquarters by the canvassers, and from the returns made by the Boards of Registration for the several registration precincts of said State, it appears thereby that a majority of the votes given at the said election were "For a Convention;" and, also, that at such election a majority of all the registered voters of said State voted on the question of holding said Convention.

A. J. Willard,
Chief Bureau of Civil Affairs

Source: Branson's North Carolina Business Directory, For 1867-8, Containing Facts, Figures, Names and Locations.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Yanceyville Airways, Inc. (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

Yanceyville Airways, Inc. ("Yanceyville Airways"), was created as a North Carolina corporation 30 November 1945 (articles of incorporation filed 5 December 1945). The authorized capital stock was $50,000, divided into 500 shares with a par value of $100 each. The incorporators and original stockholders (each purchasing five shares) were:

1. Brooks, Robert Lee (Yanceyville, North Carolina)
2. Gunn, William Laroy (Yanceyville, North Carolina)
3. Little, Thomas Arthur (Yanceyville, North Carolina)
4. Page, Ludolphous Graham (Yanceyville, North Carolina)
5. Shelton, William Thomas (Yanceyville, North Carolina)
6. Slaughter, Wilson Allen (Blanch, North Carolina)

Monday, March 07, 2011

James Wright and Martha Williamson Wright Family

James Wright, of Isle of Wight, Va., married Martha Williamson, June 22, 1809.
Martha Williamson, b. June 22nd, 1790, is the daughter of James Williamson and Ann Edmund Edwards. Martha Williamson is the sister of George "Royal George" Williamson.

Children of James and Martha Wright:
(A)Martha, (B) Anne Blount, (C) Weldon Edwards, (D) Sarah Eliza

A. Martha (born 1819, died 12/18/01), married 6/30/1841, Dr. James Addison Price of Pelham, N. C. Moved to High Shoals, Ga.


a. Mary Emma, born 4/20/42, died 6/1/55, never married.
b. Sarah Eugenia, born 11/4/43, died 10/21/67.
c. Weldon Wright, born 8/18/98.
e. Endora W., born 6/3/49.
f. Anna Corinna, born 4/3/57, died 11/10/57
g. Carmilia Isabella, born 5/20/52, died 9/15/53.
h. Wm. Pinckney, born 3/10/54, died 12/1/27.
i. Mattie Ella,. born 12/21, died 6/18/088
j. James Daniel, born 7/14/60, died 9/25/25.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Samuel Watkins Correspondence 1849

(click on photograph for larger image)


Rome, Georgia
January 27, 1849

Mr. Watkins

If I am not mistaken you were trustee to settle my father's property when he failed. I am also of the opinion that my father only had a life estate in the [negro] property held by my grandmother and of part of the land sold. Will you please inform me if such was the fact? In the course of _____ my parents cannot live many years longer and as I have dependent sisters _____ apologize for my liberty. You _____ consider my inquiries confidential. Although you _____ _____ to my husband Dr. George S. Coleman.

With respect,

Maria Coleman (formerly Maria Douglas)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Glenn Brown (1854-1932)

Glenn Brown (1854-1932), an architect from Virginia with family ties in [Caswell County] North Carolina, designed buildings in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in the Romanesque Revival style, but his most important contribution to the state was his role, as secretary of the American Institute of Architects, in nurturing the formation of the North Carolina Chapter of the AIA (1913). Glenn Brown was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, the son of Dr. Bedford Brown and Mary E. Simpson. In 1855 Dr. Brown moved the family to North Carolina to live at Rose Hill, the Caswell County plantation of his father, Bedford Brown. The elder Bedford Brown was a North Carolina planter and politician who served in the United States Senate from 1828 to 1841. Bedford Brown II practiced medicine in North Carolina, served as a surgeon for the Confederacy, then moved to Alexandria, Virginia, in 1867 and became prominent in the medical profession.