When Wilson Simpson died in 1854, ownership of an enslaved man named Sampson passed to his heirs as tenants in common. In other words, each owned an equal share of his value. Led by Lovett Atkinson, administrator of the estate of Amanda Simpson (who died after Wilson Simpson), the heirs sought to divide their interests in a petition filed in October Term, 1857, of Wilson County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions.
Clerk of court T.C. Davis issued an order “to sell said slave to the highest bidder at public auction” and appointed Hardy H. Williamson to carry out the task.
A few months later, Williamson reported that W.W. Barnes had bought “Boy Sampson” for $605.00.
Estate of Amanda Simpson (1857), Wilson County, North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979, familysearch.org.