Friday, June 22, 2018

John Graves of Northamptonshire and Virginia

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

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

Source: Wikipedia

Graves Family Association Genealogy #270

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

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

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Jesse Franklin Graves (1829-1887)

Jesse Franklin Graves (1829-1887)

Honorable Jesse Franklin Graves

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Reverend Raymond Lee Graves (1928-2010)

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Defiant Graves Fights "System" with Fiery Flair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 15, 2018

Back To Slavery: Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina

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Back To Slavery

Donald Henderson, president of the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers, C.I.O., has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate and take action in the case of a "slave" notice which appeared in the Yanceyville, (N.C.) Caswell Messenger. The notice read:

"Notice: I forbid anyone to hire or harbor Herman Miles, colored, during the year 1939. -- A. P. Dobbs, Route 1, Yanceyville."

Said Mr. Henderson: "This seems to me to involve violations of civil rights so atrocious that I am calling it to your attention in the hope that the F.B.I. can investigate and take some action. It seems that this procedure is based upon an archaic statute, yet on the books, although declared unconstitutional, and maybe several times, as smacking of peonage or slavery and abridging the liberties of human beings."

The advertisement first came to notice through being quoted by the Chapel Hill Weekly, published in the home town of the University of North Carolina.

"To satisfy my curiosity," wrote the editor of the Chapel Hill Weekly, "I wrote to a friend of mine in Yanceyville, who frequents the county offices and the law courts and knows almost about everything that goes on in Caswell County and asked him what it meant.

"He replied that such advertisements are still employed to 'put the fear of God into Negroes and ignorant white folks.'

"Many of our magistrates still hold it is 'good law' and zealously support its use in upholding contentions of landlords, who resent any dissatisfactions on the part of tenants to whom they have advanced as much as 50 cents for rations. Few landlords will risk incurring the wrath of some Christian, Democratic freeholder by hiring his hand after he warned us not to. As long as folks don't know the statute is unconstitutional it can be made to serve its intended purpose. The Caswell legislator who would try to take that law off the books would lose many votes."

It would appear that the advertisement in the Caswell Messenger certainly is specific enough for the G-Men to take action through its civil liberties division as this would appear to be an open and shut case of peonage. It if weren't for publication of this, it would be difficult to conceive, however, that such a condition existed in so liberal a state as North Carolina.

The editor of the progressive Chapel Hill Weekly deserves credit for bringing this condition to light and for his research as does the president of the UCPAW for filing the formal complaint with the F.B.I. It remains now for the G-Men to get busy and give us some action on the matter as it is definitely at variance with federal laws. If such a matter is allowed to remain winked at, then we're not so far removed from slavery as we think we are.

"Back To Slavery," The New York Age (NY, NY), 20 Jan 1940, Sat, Page 12.

The Herman Miles mentioned may be the person born 1918 in Caswell County, NC, and died in 1964. He is the son of Moses Miles and Willie Ann Richmond Miles. In 1957, he married Ruth Iona Tate.

The A. P. "Dobbs" mentioned probably is Arthur Pinnix Dabbs (1891-1961).

Caswell County Board of Commissioners (2 November 1959): Left-to-right: Arthur Delbert Swann (1907-1985); Arthur Pinnix Dabbs (born c. 1891); William Wallace Pointer (1909-1965); James Worsham White (1919-2000); and Clyde Banks Rogers (1900-1980).

See: The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 94-95 (Article #25 "James White Arnold Family" by Donna Coleman Little).

Thursday, June 14, 2018

National Register of Historic Places: Caswell County, North Carolina

National Register of Historic Places: Caswell County, North Carolina

According to the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office the following twenty-three entities are on the National Register of Historic Places. To see the formal application, follow the link provided.

Brown-Graves House and Brown's Store (Locust Hill)
Application Form

Old Caswell County Courthouse (Yanceyville)
Application Form

Caswell County Training School (Yanceyville)
Application Form

Garland-Buford House (Osmond vicinity)
Application Form

Graves House (Yanceyville vicinity)
Application Form

Griers Presbyterian Church and Cemetery (Frogsboro vicinity)
Application Form

William and Sarah Holderness House (Yanceyville vicinity)
Application Form

John Johnston House (Yanceyville vicinity)
Application Form

Longwood (Gone) (Milton vicinity)
Application Form

James Malone House (Leasburg vicinity)
Application Form

Melrose (Williamson House) (Yanceyville vicinity)
Application Form

Milton Historic District (Milton)
Application Form

Milton State Bank (Milton)
Application Form

Moore House (Locust Hill vicinity)
Application Form

Poteat House (Yanceyville vicinity)
Application Form

Red House Presbyterian Church (Semora)
Application Form

Rose Hill (Bedford Brown House) (Locust Hill)
Application Form

Union Tavern (Yellow Tavern) (NHL) (Milton)
Application Form

Warren House and Warren's Store (Prospect Hill)
Application Form

Wildwood (Semora vicinity)
Application Form

Woodside (Milton vicinity)
Application Form

Bartlett Yancey House (Yanceyville vicinity)
Application Form

Yanceyville Historic District (Yanceyville)
Application Form

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

WWI African Americans Remembered: William Earnest Warren

WWI African Americans Remembered

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In preparation for the Heritage Festival on June 23, Sandra Aldridge with the Richmond-Miles History Museum in Yanceyville, researched the late William Earnest Warren, an African American who served in World War I. According to Aldridge a book was written about Caswell County veterans in 1921, but African Americans were left out. Aldridge's biography on Warren will be one piece of many on African Americans available for view next Saturday.

African Americans, who were back then called "colored" or "negroes," had a corner of the draft card folded, said Aldridge, They were made to be quickly sorted out and segregated, she said. "Guess which ones got sent off at a higher percentage?" she said. "A bad thing is that many volunteered to serve their country to prove that they weren't second class citizens. Yet, they were given labor and service roles, because people believed they shouldn't carry a gun back then. They dragged dead bodies and performed hard labor and when they came back home, nothing had changed."

Warren registered for the draft on June 5, 1917, in Yanceyville. He was listed as being 23 years old and single. There is no exact date listed for his birth, although census records indicate 1893. His occupation was listed as farm laborer, on his father's farm in the Topnot community. Warren's draft card was signed by Julius Johnston, who was serving on the Local Draft Board. Warren was inducted into military service on March 30, 1918. He was sent to Camp Grant in Rockford, Ill., for his training and was attached to the 22nd Co. of the 161st Depot Brigade until April 28, 1918.

"Most of the African Americans here went off to Charlotte, to Camp Greene," said Aldridge. Warren then served with the 24th Co. of the 161st until May 27, 1918. His last days of service were with Co. D. of the 323rd Quartermaster Labor Battalion. He departed from Hoboken, N.J., aboard the U.S.S. Manchuria on July 10, 1918. Warren died a private on July 22, 1918, as a result of a brain concussion. He is commemorated in perpetuity at the Oisne-Aisne Cemetery in Seringes-Et-Nesles, France. The 35.5 acre cemetery contains the remains of 6,012 American soldiers who lost their lives while fighting in the vicinity.

Warren is memorialized on the WWI Monument that stands in Yanceyville Town Square. His parents were Rev. Spencer P. Warren and Dina Johnson Warren. The federal census records indicated his siblings as Mollie Warren, Lunie Warren, Fannie Warren, Sam Warren, and Eurie Warren. His father served as the pastor of Sweetgum Missionary Baptist Church.

For more information or to provide information on African Americans who served in WWI, contact 336-421-9524;

Source: The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, North Carolina), 13 June 2018.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Roxboro Cotton Mills Employees in 1923 Portrait

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Roxboro Cotton Mills Employees in 1923 Portrait

On Oct. 17, 1923, employees of Roxboro Cotton Mills East Roxboro mill posed for Roxboro photographer Dan Oakley to take this photo during the noon lunch hour. The East Roxboro mill had been expanded during 1923, doubling its capacity, and 25 new mill homes had been built in the area. The photo does not show all the mill's workers since some declined to be included and watched the proceedings out the mill windows, as did Lottie Morris Harris, who was employed at the mill "off and on for 51 years."

Mrs. Harris, along with Mrs. Webb Frederick and Mr. and Mrs. Graham Morris provided the following identification for the picture (from left):

Front Row:

Jeff Solomon
Leonard Hobgood
Mancy Walker

Mr. Jackson
Elmo Powell
Red Hudgin
Henry Carver

Cruder Carver
Jack Harris
William Harris
Ozie Morris

Hudie Robertson
Tom Hudgins
Howard Morris
Charlie Knott
Oscar Jordan

Jake Cozart
George Long
Johnny Shelton
Andrew Clayton
Graham Morris

Calvin Carver
Ed Carver
Will Freeman

Back Row:

Neal Carver
Ed Walker
Pink Cozart
Henry Owens
Trick Owens

Charlie Morris
Bob Day
Tommy Taylor
Minnie Seamster
Flora Smart Cozart

Alma Davis
Mrs. Jackson
Mattie Walker
Mamie Freeman
Myrtle Kirkman

Jenny Clayton
Gracie Shelton
Ada Frederick
Nettie Long

Laura Robertson
Mamie Munday
Lula Carver
Mary Hicks

Ethel Shotwell
Beatie Morris
Sallie Walker
Kate Phillips
Addie Carver

Beulah Neighbors
Sally Bett Walker
Whitey Carver
Banks Cozart (boss
Leroy Jones

Where this article was published is not known.