1870s

Rev. Joseph C. Price, educator, orator, civil rights leader.

Rev. Joseph C. Price‘s extraordinary career began in 1871 as principal of an African-American school in Wilson, likely Wilson Academy.

Rev. Joseph C. Price (1854-1893).

“Joseph Charles Price, black educator, orator, and civil rights leader, was born in Elizabeth City to a free mother, Emily Pailin, and a slave father, Charles Dozier. When Dozier, a ship’s carpenter, was sold and sent to Baltimore, Emily married David Price, whose surname Joseph took. During the Civil War, they moved to New Bern, which quickly became a haven for free blacks when it was occupied by Federal troops. In 1863 his mother enrolled him in St. Andrew’s School, which had just been opened by James Walker Hood, the first black missionary to the South and later the bishop of the A.M.E. Zion Church. Price showed such promise as a student at this and other schools that in 1871 he was offered a position as principal of a black school in Wilson. He taught there until 1873, when he resumed his own education at Shaw University in Raleigh with the intention of becoming a lawyer. But he soon changed his mind and transferred to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania to study for the ministry in the A.M.E. Zion Church. He was graduated in 1879 and spent another two years at its theological seminary. During this period, he married Jennie Smallwood, a New Bern resident he had known since childhood. They were the parents of five children.

“In 1881, soon after his ordination, Price was chosen as a delegate to the A.M.E. Ecumenical Conference in London. While there,Bishop Hood urged him to make a speaking tour of England and other parts of Europe to call attention to the plight of black education in the South and, more specifically, to raise funds to establish a black college in North Carolina. His effectiveness as an orator drew large crowds and resulted in contributions of almost $10,000. This, plus the support of white residents of Salisbury, enabled him to establish Livingstone College and to become its president in October 1882, when he was twenty-eight years old. (Originally called Zion Wesley College, its name was changed to that of the African explorer and missionary David Livingstone in 1885.) Sponsored by the A.M.E. Zion Church, Livingstone began with five students, three teachers, and a single two-story building, but it grew rapidly to become one of the South’s most important liberal arts colleges for blacks. Though he encouraged the support of southern whites, such as Josephus Daniels, and philanthropists, such as Leland Stanford and Collis P. Huntington, Price felt that blacks themselves must bear the real responsibility for educating their race. In 1888 he stated that ‘Livingstone College stands before the world today as the most remarkable evidence of self-help among Negroes in this country.’

“Price’s leadership of the college and his ability as an orator gained him national attention. In 1888 President Grover Cleveland asked him to serve as minister to Liberia, though he declined, saying he could do more for his people by remaining in Salisbury. In 1890 he was elected president of both the Afro-American League and the National Equal Rights Convention and named chairman of the Citizens’ Equal Rights Association. But conflict among the groups and lack of financial support led to their decline soon afterwards. Like Booker T. Washington, Price believed that blacks’ self-help through education and economic development was their best hope for solving the race problem, and he assured whites that social integration with them was not among their goals. But he was less conciliatory than Washington in demanding that the civil rights of blacks be upheld. Blacks were willing to cooperate and live peaceably with southern whites, but not at the cost of their own freedom of constitutional guarantees. ‘A compromise,’ he wrote, ‘that reverses the Declaration of Independence, nullifies the national constitution, and is contrary to the genius of this republic, ought not to be asked of any race living under the stars and stripes; and if asked, ought not to be granted.’

“Price’s activist role in civil rights and black education ended abruptly in 1893, when he contracted and died of Bright’s disease at age thirty-nine. He was buried on the campus of Livingstone College. W. E. B. Du Bois, August Meier, and others felt that it was the leadership vacuum created by Price’s death into which Booker T. Washington moved, and that had he lived, the influence and reputation of Price and of Livingstone College would have been as great or greater than that achieved by Washington and Tuskegee.”

Text (citations omitted) from Joseph Charles Price, www.ncpedia.org.

A closer look at the 1872 map of Wilson.

In a post about the 1872 E.B. Mayo map of Wilson, I erroneously stated that Lemon Taborn‘s barber shop was the only African-American landmark depicted. A close look at a clearer image of the map revealed two others.

Tilman McGowan‘s house was on Vance Street northwest of Pine Street. McGowan was the long-time jail keeper in Wilson. His house and the lot on which it was situated were sold at auction after McGowan’s death.

On Tarboro Street, west of Barnes, there is a reference to “Jack Williams Black Smith Shop,” which is likely to have been the workshop of blacksmith Jack Williamson.

Washington Suggs’ first real estate transaction.

State of North Carolina Wilson County

Know all men by these presents that for and in consideration of the Sum of Sixty dollars to me in hand paid the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged that I Virginia C Edwards of the State and county aforesaid hath bargained sold and conveyed and doth hereby bargain sell and convey unto Washington Sugg of the county and State aforesaid to him and his heirs and assigns a certain piece or parcel of land situate in the County of Wilson State of North Carolina and bounded as follows to wit beginning at a stake Allen Tyson corner thence with Thomas Hadley line two hundred & ten feet to a stake Calvin Blounts corner thence with said Calvin Blounts line two hundred & fifty two feet to a Stake corner grave yard Lot thence with said grave yard lot two hundred and ten feet to a stake on street leading to the African church thence with said street two hundred and fifty two feet to the beginning to have and to hold to him the said Washington Sugg his heirs and assigns in fee simple forever and I Virginia C Edwards for myself my heirs and assigns do hereby warrant and defend the title of the aforesaid land unto the said Washington Sugg his hairs and assigns free from the lawful claim of any and all persons whatsoever. In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this 23rd day of March AD 1870  /s/ V.C. Edwards

Witness M.J. Edwards

Received and registered 22 August 1870 …

——

This deed is remarkable not only as the first filed by Washington Suggs, just five years after his emancipation in Greene County, but also for its reference to the “graveyard lot” and “the African church.”

If the graveyard lot is, as it surely appears, the cemetery later known as Oakdale, this deed pushes the founding date of that burial ground back more than 25 years.

The African church appears to be the church later known as Jackson Chapel (and later still, after a merger, as Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church), which was located on Barnes Street just off Pender Street (then Stantonsburg Street), a block south of Nash Street. If so, this deed pushes back the date of the building of the congregation’s first edifice.

Sugg’s new neighbor, Calvin Blount, was also African-American and formerly enslaved. His will, drafted in 1909, contains this provision — “Fourth: To my beloved sons Wright Blount and Tillman Blount, whom I have not heard from in many years — I do hereby give and bequeath to them to share and share alike my other lot of land on the edge of the Town of Wilson, State and County aforesaid, adjoining the lands of G.W. Sugg, Cater Sugg, and the Colored Cemetery, containing about one acre.”

Deed book 4, page 135, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

 

The estate of Elijah Cox.

Less than a decade after gaining freedom, Elijah Cox passed away in southern Wilson County. He had assembled a small farm in Cross Roads township, but it would not pass intact to the next generation.

Receipt for reimbursement to Ben Cox, alias Horne, for clothing purchased “for burying father.”

Dr. R.E. Cox filed a claim against the estate for medical care provided in Elijah Cox’s final illness.

In 1874, Patience Cox applied for letters of administration in Wilson County Superior Court for her husband’s estate. His heirs were named as Haywood Sauls and wife Fannie; Sherrod Cox and wife Diana; Simon Dew and wife Telitha; Jerry Everett and wife Jane; Ben Barnes and wife Hester; Ben Cox; William Horne; and Warren Barnes. His estate file reveals that Cox owned about 56 acres at his death and that his debts were estimated at $175. For her support, Patience Cox was allotted barrels of corn, shucks, fodder, cotton seed, cattle, hogs, peas, potatoes, garden tools, plows, and household and kitchen furniture, which essentially wiped out Elijah’s personal property. As a result the court ordered Cox’s land sold to create assets to pay off his debts.

Inventory of Elijah Cox’s estate.

In a final accounting after the sale, heirs received payments of about $16 in February 1876.

Request from Cox’ daughter Fannie Sauls of Fremont, Wayne County, to have her share delivered via her husband Haywood Sauls.

——

In 1866, these formerly enslaved couples registered their cohabitations in Wayne County (Haywood Sauls and Fannie Newsome, 4 years) and Wilson County (Simon Dew and Litha King, 18 years, and Benjamin Barnes and Hester Barnes, 20 years.) I have not found cohabitation records for Elijah and Patience or their other children. (Sidenote: the multiple surnames used by Elijah’s children — Cox, Horne, Barnes, King, Newsome — suggests that they had different mothers or were held in slavery by several different owners.)

In the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: shoemaker Elijah Cox, 66; wife Patience, 65; and children (or grandchildren) Jerry, 11, Clara, 5, and Patience Cox, 3. Cox claimed $150 real estate.

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Ben Jamin Horne, 33; wife Mandy, 26; and children William Henderson, 14, Alvester, 10, Hilliard, 8, Amos, 6, and Louetta Cox, 3; and mother Patience Cox, 70.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: wagon driver Haywood Sauls, 46, and wife Fannie, 56.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Simon Dew, 55; wife Lithy, 48; children Lany, 27, Peter, 25, Lucy, 23, Diannah, 21, Isaih, 20, Hilliard, 18, Hester, 16, Aarch, 14, Liscy, 12, Patience, 10, Sarah, 8, and Simon, 6; and grandchildren Zilpha, 13, Roxie A., 2, and William, 1.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Benjaim Barnes, 52; wife Hester, 52; and children Ervin, 17, Rebecca, 16, Bettie, 13, Larry, 10, Thomas, 8, and Benjaim, 6.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Called out and shot at.

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Daily Charlotte Observer, 11 December 1878.

Raiford Yelverton married Eliza Locust in Wayne County on 17 January 1869.

In the 1870 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farm laborer Raford Yelverton, 26; wife Elizar, 24; and daughter Mary,

In the 1880 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Raford Yelverton, 30; wife Anne M., 26; and daughter Mary J., 14.

Rayford Yelverton died 9 December 1917 in Nahunta township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 84 years old; married; a farmer; and was born in Wayne County to Adam Outland and an unknown mother. William Locus of Stantonsburg was informant.

Mary Susan Artis died 7 November 1958 in Oldfield township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 85 years old; born in 1873 to Raiford Yelverton and Barbara Locust; and was a widow. Her informant was Mary E. Applewhite of Lucama.

Mortality, no. 4.

Each of the United States federal censuses from 1850 to 1880 included a mortality schedule enumerating  individuals who had died in the previous year previous. Each entry noted family number in the population schedule, name, age, sex, color, marital status, place of birth, month of death, occupation, and cause of death.

Here is the 1870 mortality schedule for part of Wilson township, Wilson County:

  • Farmer, James. Age 28, black, worked in iron foundry, died in February, consumption.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Rosa Farmer, 35, and children Gray, 16, Turner, 17, Mary, 16, Thomas, 13, Daniel, 12, Leah, 10, Jefferson, 8, Louisa, 10 months, and Anna, 3, plus Arche Barnes, 73, cooper.

  • Rountree, Louisa. Age 18, black, died in February, consumption.
  • Rountree, Jesse. Age 3 months, mulatto, died in November, hooping cough.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Rebecca Rountree, 50, and children and grandchildren Henry, 20, butcher, John, 23, barber, Dempsy, 26, farm laborer, Charles, 15, Benjamin, 24, butcher, Mary, 30, domestic servant, Joseph, 9, Willie, 8, Lucy, 20, domestic servant, Worden, 2, and Charles, 1.

  • Taylor, Marcellus. Age 1, black, died in November, scrofula.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Peter Taylor, 32; wife Classy, 37; and children Harred, 8, Haywood, 10, William, 5, and Susan, 8 months.

  • Blount, Mary. Age 30, mulatto, married, died in June, consumption.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Calvin Blount, 35; farm laborer John Bantler, 23; and Dick, 12, Tillman, 10, Frank, 6, Wright, 7, and William Blount, 4.

  • Mitchell, Maggie. Age 6 months, black, died in July, inflammation stomach.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Eliza Mitchell, 26, and daughter Rebecca, 9.

  • Renfrow, [illegible].  Age 46, black, married, farm laborer, died in October, pneumonia.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Sarah Renfrow, 45, Isaac, 14, Rosa, 30, and Dennis, 4, plus Lewis Kelly, 23.

  • Milton, Lindsey. Age 48, black, married, farm laborer, died in May, heart [illegible].

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: domestic servant Eliza Milton, 41, and children John, 13, Robert, 12, and Francy, 8; Susan Benjamin, 2; and Mark Blount, 18.

  • Ruffin, infant. Age 1, black, died in October, unknown.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Green Ruffin, 36; wife Tamer, 30; children Ora, 3, and Martha, 2; and Nicey Watson, 58.

  • Farmer, Luther. Age 19, black, died in February, farm laborer, pleurisy(?).

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Washington Farmer, 43; wife Wady, 44; and children Edith, 14, Fortin, 13, Gimsey, 11, John W., 8, Nancy, 6, and Orgius, 6; and farm laborer Nelson Thomas, 21.

  • Bell, Adeline. Age 20, black, died in February, worked on farm, consumption.
  • Battle, Manerva. Age 30, mulatto, died in May, worked on farm, asciteas.

Ascites is the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Hardy Bell, 65; Lucinda, 48; and children Wilson, 17, Isabella, 13, and Ellen, 7; and Turner, 4, Julia, 10, William, 8, Lucinda, 6, Anna, 3, and infant Battle, 10 months.

  • Not known. Age 65, black, widowed, died in March, general debility.

Remarks: “The name of the person in column 2, line 19 could not be ascertained.”

  • Barnes, Caswell. Age 1, black, died in October, cholera infantum.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Charles Barnes, 26, born in Maryland, and Jackson, 19, and Williams Barnes, 3.

  • Saunders, Jane. Age 4 months, black, died in October, pertussis.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Guilbert Sanderson, 34; wife Mary, 36; and children Nash, 12, Timothy, 9, Henry, 8, and Margrett, 6.

  • Eatman, Judea Ann. Age 8 months, black, died in September, pertussis.
  • Eatman, Zora. Age 8 months, black, died in October, pertussis.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Cynthia Eastman, 40, and children Luke, 23, domestic servant, Turner, 21, Wady, 18, and David, 6.

  • Barnes, Vilet. Age 75, black, widowed, domestic servant, died in September, died from general debility.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: blacksmith Mark Barnes, 56; wife Judea, 55; daughter Adeline, 19; and grandchildren Lara, 2, and Warren, 7; farm laborer Robert Rountree, 19; and invalid Sophia Barnes, 40.

  • Barnes Rachel. Age 1, black, died in March, epilepsy.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Short Barnes, 35, wife Rosa, 21, and daughter Rena, 5.

  • Wilder, Caroline. Age 75, black, widowed, died in March, consumption.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Charles Mathews, 68, and wife Sarah, 65; farm laborer Alfred Farmer, 26, wife Cilla, 23, and son Henry, 2; and Jane Noobly, 8.

Mortality, no. 3.

Each of the United States federal censuses from 1850 to 1880 included a mortality schedule enumerating  individuals who had died in the previous year previous. Each entry noted family number in the population schedule, name, age, sex, color, marital status, place of birth, month of death, occupation, and cause of death.

Here is the 1870 mortality schedule for part of Wilson township, Wilson County (which does not include the town of Wilson and does not specify family numbers):

  • Hines, Charles. Age 1, black, died in June, cholera infant.
  • Locust, Infant. Age 1 day, black, died in February, asphyxia.
  • Mercer, Robert. Age 1 month, black, died in December. Hooping cough.
  • Thomas, Lucy. Age 25, black, domestic servant, died in April, consumption.
  • Blunt, Vilet. Age 70, mulatto; married; domestic servant; died in July; cancer.
  • Jordan, Mary. Age 26, mulatto, domestic servant; died in May; died from child birth.
  • Edwards, Marzillie. Age 3 months, black, died in December, intermittent fever.
  • Lassiter, Jesse. Age 6, mulatto, died in November, typhoid fever.

“Remarks: 366. Lassiter Jesse. Cause of death unknown; supposed to be typhoid fever from best information obtained.” Household #366: farm laborer Silas Lassiter, 47, and children Ophelia, 25, Mary, 20, Elizabeth, 16, Handy, 14, Penninah, 15, Silas W., 12, Milly, 8, and Jerusha, 4.

  • Powell, Nannie. Age 25, mulatto, farm laborer, died in September, bowel disease.
  • Edmundson, Shepard. Age 51, black, married, farm laborer, died in September, paralysis.
  • Due, Amanda. Age 4, black, died in October, “brain inflam. of.”
  • Horn, Mary. Age 30, black, married, died in April, child birth.
  • Due, Stella A. Age 6 months, black, died in July, cutting teeth.
  • Cook, Alex’dr. Age 3, black, died in August, ascites.
  • Cook, Infant. Age 1 month, black, died in April, epilepsy.
  • Cook, Infant. Age 1 month, black, died in April, epilepsy.

 

Mortality, no. 2.

Each of the United States federal censuses from 1850 to 1880 included a mortality schedule enumerating  individuals who had died in the previous year previous. Each entry noted family number in the population schedule, name, age, sex, color, marital status, place of birth, month of death, occupation, and cause of death.

Here is the 1870 mortality schedule for Spring Hill township, Wilson County:

NCM1805_3-0941

  • Creech, Infant. Age 1 week, died in March, unknown causes.
  • Creech, Infant. Age 3 weeks, died in March, dropsy.

In the 1870 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farm laborer George Creech, 40; wife Margaret, 35; and children Lucy, 7, John, 5, and Sarah, 1. Dropsy is an archaic term for a condition characterized by an accumulation of watery fluid in the tissues or in a body cavity, as from heart failure. Dropsy was not a disease in itself. Remarks: “Infants Creech and Barnes cause unknown. It is very difficult to determine the true cause of death of a great many colord infants seldom having a physician. Sometimes it is from want of attention or hereditary disease.”

  • Deens, Simon. Age 19, farm laborer, died in February, consumption.

In the 1870 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Albert Adams, 50; wife Spicy, 37; and children Arch, 14, Arnold, 13, Frank, 7, Caroline, 5, and James, 2. Consumption is an archaic term for pulmonary tuberculosis.

Mortality, no. 1.

Each of the United States federal censuses from 1850 to 1880 included a mortality schedule enumerating  individuals who had died in the previous year. Each entry noted family number in the population schedule, name, age, sex, color, marital status, place of birth, month of death, occupation, and cause of death.

Here is the 1870 mortality schedule for Stantonsburg township, Wilson County:

  • Ward, No Name. Age 2 weeks, died in June, cholera infantum.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Nathan Ward, 46; wife Mariah, 26; and children Sarah, 15, Scott, 13, Waltin, 10, Larrence, 5, and Ida, 2; plus Lydia Moye, 58. Cholera infantum was a term for non-specific diarrhea and/or dysentery in children under age five.

  • Barnes, ____. Age 14, farm laborer, died in January, consumption.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Hardy Barnes, 50; wife Mary, 49; and children Alfred, 21, Riley, 24, Jacob, 22, Isaac, 19, Warren, 17, Lilly, 12, Mary, 9, and Wade, 6. Consumption is an archaic term for pulmonary tuberculosis.

  • Speight, Mary S. Age 1 month, died in October, cholera infantum.
  • Speight, Mary E. Age 2 months, died in November, cholera infantum.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Hilliard Speight, 22, and wife Mary, 22; Penny Thomson, 48, and son Noah, 14; and Jane Speight, 2.

  • Donald, Sylvesta. Age 2, died in April, [illegible].

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Lawson Donald, 23; wife Mariah, 20; and Ellic, 6, and Rufus, 1; and likely brother Hamilton, 12.

  • Ellis, No Name. Age 1 month, died March, cholera infantum.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, family number 67 is a Barnes family. Number 68, however, is: farm laborer Littleton Ellis, 30, wife Judah, 21, and children Bryant, 4, and Martha, 3.

  • Barnes, Jackson. Age 19, farm laborer, died in July, inflammation bowels.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Henry Barnes, 22, Nelly, 23, Mary J., 1, Henrietta, 2, Short, 9, Anaka, 50, Sherard, 16, Hilliard, 18, Clara, 40, Jason, 19, and William, 1.

  • Barefoot, No Name. Age 3 hours(?), died in January, asphyxia.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Stephen Moore, 23, wife Rodah, 23, and Lazarus, 8 months.

  • Lindsay, Susan. Age 1 month, died in April, pertussis.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Amos Ellis, 47; wife Mary, 40; children Adeline, 23, Authur, 19, Learh, 17, Mary, 15, Jane, 11, and Lewis, 10; and Authur Barnes, 60, and wife Betsey, 60.

  • Barnes, Mouring. Age 5, died in May, pertussis.
  • Barnes, Austin. Age 4, died in May, pertussis.
  • Barnes, Loyd. Age 2, died in May, pertussis.
  • Barnes, Richard. Age 1, died in May, pertussis.
  • Barnes, Mary. Age 9 months, died in April, pertussis.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Austin Barnes, 45; wife Cintha, 33; and their remaining children Fonser, 12, and Etna, 7. Remarks: “These children in this family (113) all died within a period of five weeks. The Physician attending says their deaths were due to filth as much as to the disease.” Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial respiratory disease.

  • Edmundson, No Name. Age 4 hours(?), died in September, asphyxia.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer John Edmondson, 27; wife Mary, 22; and children Richard, 2, and Kate, 10.

  • Thomson, Ally. Age 38, died in February, worked on farmer, consumption.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Lewis Ellis, 36; wife Milly, 35; and children John, 17, Daniel, 10, Adeline, 5, Mary, 3, and Martha, 1.

  • Peacock, Clara. Age 18, died in July, consumption.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Ellic Peacock, 51, and Elizabeth, 22, Soloman, 11, George W., 8, George L., 8, and Jason, 7.

  • Barnes, Redmond. Age 47, married, died in April, farm laborer, scrofula.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: George, 24, Dempsey, 23, Calvin, 22, Esther, 44, Alice, 18, Anna, 19, Robert, 20, and Jane Barnes, 19, all farm laborers except Esther. Scrofula is tuberculosis of the lymph nodes of the neck.

  • Stanton, Violet. Age 59, farm laborer, died in September, scrofula.

Remarks: “Stanton, Violet of no family. Living alone at time of death.”