Architect Lipscomb’s entry into the slaveholding class.

From the entry “Oswald Lipscomb (1826-1891),” North Carolina Architects and Builders: A Biographical Dictionary:

“Oswald Lipscomb (July 26, 1826-Feb. 3, 1891) was a carpenter from Virginia who came to North Carolina as a young man and became a leading builder in the newly chartered railroad town of Wilson, specializing in the picturesque residential styles popular in the mid-19th century.

“Lipscomb soon established himself as a successful citizen. He married well, wedding in 1855 Penelope Rountree, daughter of a prominent and wealthy merchant, and they had two children, James and Penelope, before the mother died. Their son James went to live for a time with his uncle, James Rountree, and like his uncle became involved in the local textile industry. In 1860 Oswald Lipscomb, aged 34, headed a household that included only himself and 8-year-old Penelope. Though a carpenter by trade, he had moved into the land and slaveholding class and identified himself as a farmer, with his real estate valued at $5,000: between 1855 and 1858 Lipscomb had bought several town lots and a 345-acre farm. His personal property was valued at $17,960, much of which represented his ownership of 9 slaves, including 5 men ranging from 20 to 71 years of age, a woman of 17, and three children. By 1861, he sold his real estate including the farm for over $10,000; he may have sold his slaves as well.”

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