The auction of Harry, Violet, Eliza and child, Ben, Dan, and Edy.

Per court order, on 25 December 1856, Gatsey T. Stanton, administratrix of the estate of her husbandWashington M. Stanton, registered the outcome of her auction of seven enslaved people — Harry, Violet, Eliza and child, Ben, Dan, and Edy. The Stantons’ son George W. Stanton was the highest bidder, offering $800 for Harry; $350 for Violet; $875 for Eliza and her child; and $182 for Ben (who was either very young, or very old, or disabled.) G.W. Stanton received a credit of $112 for taking Dan and Edy, who were likely past their working years. This transaction was recorded in Deed Book 1, page 174, Wilson County Register of Deeds office.

The same day, G.W. Stanton sold the same lot of enslaved people back to his mother for what he had paid — $2095.

Deed Book 1, page 259, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office. 

Know all men by these presents that I, G.W. Stanton for & in consideration of the sum of two thousand & ninety five Dollars the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have given granted bargained & sold & doth by these presents give grant bargain & sell unto Gatsey Stantonsburg Negroes Harry, Violet, Eliza & child, Ben, Dan & Edy to have & to hold unto the said Gatsey Stanton her executors administrators & assigns in fee simple forever.

In testament whereof the said G.W. Stanton doth set his hand & seal this the 25th day of December 1856.    G.W. Stanton {seal}

Notwithstanding his status as a slaveowner, George W. Stanton was a staunch Unionist and in 1868 delivered an incendiary address to the state legislature that some claimed incited freedmen murder and burn the property of white people. (More of this later.)  In 1871, Stanton filed a claim with the Southern Claims Commission for reimbursement for property seized by the Union Army. One of the witnesses on his behalf was 48 year-old Harry Stanton of Greene County, N.C. — surely the Harry noted above. To read Harry Stanton’s detailed testimony, see here. (George W. Stanton’s claim was disallowed. The Commission acknowledged his Union sympathies, but determined that his service as a justice of the peace and in the Home Guard — even if done to avoid active military duty — disqualified him as a loyalist.)

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