On 26 August 1852, Thomas Williamson of Nash County (brother of Hardy Williamson) penned a will whose provisions disposed of these 16 enslaved men, women and children:
- to wife Kesiah Williamson a life estate in “three negro slaves namely Turner Patrick and Dennis,” with Turner to revert to daughter Tempy Fulghum, Patrick to son Dempsey Williamson, and Dennis to son Garry Williamson
- to daughter Tempy Fulghum, negro girl Mary (and her increase) already in her possession and negro girl Bethany
- to daughter Mourning Peele, four negroes Cherry, Merica, Charity and Washington
- to daughter Rhoda Williamson, Ally, Arnold and Randal
- to daughter Sidney Boyett, Julien, Issabel and Daneil
- to son Garry Williamson, “negro man named Jack and one set of Blacksmith tools”
Kesiah Williamson died shortly after Thomas Williamson wrote out his will, and he died in October 1856 in the newly formed Wilson County. Executors Dempsey Williamson and Jesse Fulghum filed suit to resolve “certain doubts and difficulties” that arose concerning the distribution of Thomas Williamson’s slaves.
In the meantime, the estate hired out Patrick and prepared an inventory that credited Thomas Williamson with 375 acres and 33 enslaved men and women: Patrick, Denick, Jack, Tamar, Mary, Spice, Tony, Thany, Amos, Catherine, Judy, Isbell, Daniel, Randel, Harret, Dilly, Nathan, Denis, Disey, Allen, Charity, Ben, Hester, Ally, Craroline, America, Arnold, Cherry, Bitha, Chaney, Renar, Lydia and Jo.
After the Supreme Court rendered its decision, Thomas Williamson’s executors filed an “Account of Sale of the Negros belonging to the Estate of Thomas Williamson Dec’d Sold agreable to the desision of the Supreme Court on the construction of the last Will and Testament of said Dec’d for a divission among the heirs therein named Six months credit given the purcher by given Note with two approved Securites before the Rite of property is changed Sold the 16th of May A.D. 1850 By Garry Williamson and Jesse Fulghum Extrs.” Note that all sold were children. Nine men paid top dollar for 16 children, investments that would be as ash in their hands in six years.
John T. Barnes purchased Nathan, age 8, for $927.50; Denick, age 7, for $855.00, Dillicy, age 10, for $508.00; and Carolina, age 7, for $871.00.
W. Swift purchased Ben, age 7, for $800.00, and Harriet, age 9, for $950.00.
Garry Fulghum purchased Amos, age 5, for $552.00, and Catherine, age 3, for $400.00.
Wright Blow purchased Joe, age 5, for $580.00.
James Boyette purchased Allen, 3, for $381.00.
John Wilkins purchased Bethea, 8, for $807.00.
Joshua Barnes purchased Chaney, 7, for $661.00.
William Ricks purchased Renner, age 5, for $600.00.
Ransom Hinnant purchased Dizey, age 5, for $575.00.
And A.J. Taylor purchased Lyddey, age 2, for $416.00.
There’s quite enough to ponder in this post. More later on some of the individual men, women and children whose lives were upended by Thomas Williamson’s death. Estate File of Thomas Williamson, North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979, http://www.familysearch.org.