Negro man Sesor.

On 11 July 1821, Hardy Williamson prepared an inventory of the property “lent” to his mother Ann Williamson under the terms of the will of his father Joseph Williamson. (“Lent” indicates that Ann Williamson received a life estate in the property. In other words, it was hers during her lifetime, but once she died, it reverted to Joseph Williamson’s estate, to be distributed under additional terms of his will.)

The first line item is astonishing: 1 Negro Man Sesor 75 years old

Caesar was born in 1746. He may have been born in Africa, though not necessarily, as there were tens of thousands of enslaved people in America at the time of his birth. What is certain, however, is that for now he is the oldest African-American documented by name in what is now Wilson County.


Estate of Ann Williamson (1822), North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line],

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