The estate of Prince Daniel (1889).

When Prince Daniel died about 1889, his modest estate reflected a life painstakingly built since the end of slavery.

Daniel died without a will, and a white farmer named Perry Renfrow, with whom he had a close relationship, was appointed administrator of the estate. On 29 February 1889, Daniel’s belongings went up for sale at auction. Among the family, friends, and neighbors that purchased farm implements, furniture, and utensils were David Rowe and his father Ruffin Rowe; husband and wife Gaston and Waity Barnes; Alford Jordan; Raiford Daniel; and Condary Barnes.


On 31 August 1866, Prince Daniel and Absley Simms registered their cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace.

In the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Prince Daniel, 55; wife Absley, 40; and Isaac, 13. Daniel reported owning $100 in personal property.

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Prince Daniel, 67, and wife Absley, 44. [Next door: farm laborer Isaac Daniel, 23; wife Zilla, 24; and daughters Virginia, 5, Ella Jane, 3, and Mobelia, 3 months.]

On 9 June 1883, a Wilson County Probate Court judge ordered Jennie Daniel, 9, and Ella Daniel, 7, bound as apprentices to Prince Daniel until they each reached 21 years of age. Perry Renfrow was witness to the transaction. [These were Isaac and Zilla Daniel’s daughters. Why were they bound to Prince?]

Prince Daniel Estate File, Wilson County, North Carolina Estate Files 1663-1979,; United States Indenture and Manumission Records, 1780-1939, database at

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