Hawthorne was one of four antebellum plantation houses included in the Upper Town Creek Rural Historic District. Forty years after nomination, none are standing.
Hawthorne in 1980.
Per the National Register of Historic Places Inventory — Nomination Form for Upper Town Creek Rural Historic District, prepared by Kate Ohno in 1982, the family of Callie (or Cally) S. Braswell (1828-1893) were long prominent in this area of the county. Braswell began acquiring land in the 1840s, and bought his home site around 1853. He married Martha Ann Trevathan in 1855, and the couple probably built Hawthorne shortly after.
At the November 1847 term of Superior Court, heirs of Benjamin Braswell, which included Callie S. Braswell, filed a petition for the division of the elder Braswell’s slaves. The petition names Lewis, Zilly, Amy, Warren, Amos, Lettice, Albert, Boston, Esther, Arden, Prissy, Charlotte, Eliza, Drew, Hilliard, John, Elisha, and Lina as the group to be divided. The court appointed W.D. Petway and David Williams, among others, to set values and apportion them, but no report identifying each heirs’ allotment can be found in Braswell’s estate file.
In the 1850 slave schedule of Edgecombe County, Cally S. Braswell is listed with ten enslaved people — women and girls aged 80, 30, 20, 6, and 1, and men and boys aged 18, 13, 10, 8, and 5.
In 1860, the slave schedule recorded twelve enslaved people occupying three houses for Calla S. Braswell: women and girls aged 42, 26, 13, 11, 11, 6, 4, and 2, and men and boys aged 26, 15, 9, and 9. [The inconsistency in ages suggests considerable turnover during that decade.]
In 1866, Hilliard Braswell and Annis Batts registered their 6-year cohabitation with an Edgecombe County justice of the peace. In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Hilliard Braswell, 29, farm laborer; wife Anniss, 41; and son Gray, 4; with Austin, 16, and Frank Batts, 13. Next door: Boston Braswell, 29, farm laborer; wife Eliza, 38; son Henry, 10; and Georgeana Jenkins, 15. In 1866, Boston Braswell and Eliza Williams had registered their 5-year cohabitation with an Edgecombe County justice of the peace.
In 1866, Amos Braswell and Lettis Braswell registered their 12-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace. In the 1870 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: Amos Braswell, 44, farm laborer; wife Lettace, 36; and children Sophy A., 16, William Ann, 15, Amanda, 13, Burtin, 7, Willis, 5, Jordan, 3, and Arden, 2.
In 1866, Pricilla Braswell and James Armstrong registered their two-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace. In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Augustus Armstrong, 30, wife Pricilla, 22, and children Sallie, 4, Stella, 2, and William, 4 months. [Is James Armstrong the same person as Augustus Armstrong? Augustus was the son of Quinnie Braswell, who registered his 33-year marriage to Venus Braswell in 1866.]
Former site of Hawthorne, off East Langley Road near the Edgecombe County line.