More evidence from Wilson County’s earliest deed books of the sale, trade, or transfer of enslaved people:
- On 11 December 1855, John Gardner of Wilson County conveyed to Thomas Gardner of Wilson County, in trust, a 206-acre tract of land in Wilson County, various farm animals, a buggy, a wagon, four carts, “two Negro women Lucy and Betty,” furniture, a cotton gin, a man’s saddle, and a double-barrel gun. If John Gardner timely paid William D. Petway a $1000 debt, the conveyance was void. Otherwise, the property listed would be sold at auction. Deed Book 1, Page 100, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.
- On 24 July 1854, Thomas Hadley of Wayne County, North Carolina, in consideration for “love & affection,” gave his daughter Martha Amanda Rountree, wife of Willie Rountree of Wilson County, “one negro man by the name of Mingo one negro Woman by the name of Venus one negro girl by the name of Phelda & one negro girl by the name of Cathrin.” Deed Book 1, Page 115, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.
- On 7 June 1849, Henry Brinkley of Pitt County, North Carolina, conveyed to Thomas Felton of Edgecombe [later Wilson] County, North Carolina, a 329-acre parcel of land in Edgecombe County on which Brinkley formerly resided, a 65-acre tract Brinkley inherited from Abram Brinkley, “slaves Redeemed, Easter, Sarah, Caesar, Washington, Gatsey and Jerry,” various animals and farm implements, his “interest in the right of his wife in Estate of Ollison Knox,” and other assets to secure a debt. This conveyance was filed in Book 24, Page 661, Edgecombe County Register of Deeds. “Whereas the said Henry Brinkley has paid off and discharged all or a considerable portion of the debt … by the sale of two of the slaves and otherwise,” Felton returned to Brinkley his remaining property on 7 December 1855. Deed Book 1, Page 120, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.
- On 19 May 1856, Mary P. Battle of Orange County, North Carolina, for $300 paid by Margaret H. Battle, wife of Amos J. Battle, conveyed to James Davis in trust an enslaved woman named Matilda and all her children except the oldest, Eliza. Matilda and children were in the possession of Margaret H. Battle, and Battle was to retain the right to the “use” during her lifetime and, after her death, such right passed to Margaret Battle’s children. [Matilda was one of several enslaved people Margaret Battle had inherited from her father Weeks Parker of Edgecombe County.] Deed Book 1, Page 184, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.
- On 4 June 1856, Jane B. Hamlet of Wilson County conveyed to John Farmer of Wilson County a 27 year-old enslaved woman named Cherry, a wagon, and two horses to secure a debt in the amount of $520. If Hamlet timely repaid Farmer the debt, the conveyance was void. Deed Book 1, Page 185, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.