Jerry Washington buys near town.

State of North Carolina, Wilson County  }

Know all men by these presents that for and Consideration of the sum of one Thousand Dollars to me in hand paid the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged doth grant bargain sold and conveyed and doth hereby bargain and sell and by these presents convey unto Jerry Washington his heirs administrators and assigns all that certain piece or parcel of land situate in the State of North Carolina & County of Wilson, near the Town of Wilson and bounded as follows Beginning at a stake on the Barefoot roads and street leading from the African Church to said Road thence with said Road to Jerry Washingtons corner thence with said Washington line Four hundred and twenty feet to a stake thence Two hundred and ten Feet to R.W. Taylors line Thence with said Taylors line to the line of the W&W R.R. Line thence with said R.R. line to Allen Tyson Corner thence with said Tysons line to Washington Suggs Corner thence with said Suggs line to the street Thence with said street to the beginning said to Contain Ten acres Be the same more or less to have and to hold the same forever and I do hereby warrant and defend the title to my whole Interest in said piece or parcel fo land to the said Jerry Washington his heirs and assigns against the claims of any and all persons whatsoever In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this the 11th day of Oct 1872   W.M. Gay, Mary Gay


This deed, the second filed in Wilson County by Samuel H. Vick‘s future father-in-law, Jerry Washington, is notable for its reference to “the African Church.” Though Barefoot Road has not been definitely identified the reference to the church and to the Wilmington & Weldon Rail Road suggest that this parcel was located near modern Hines and Pender Streets.

Deed book 23, page 486, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

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.


Lincoln University, 1882-’83.

During academic year 1882-’83, 73 of Lincoln University’s 214 students were from North Carolina. Five of that 73, all in the collegiate division, were from Wilson County: juniors Frank O. Blount, Cato D. Suggs [Daniel Cato Suggs], and Samuel H. Vick; sophomore Braswell R. Winstead; and freshman Francis M. Hines (whose home was Toisnot.)

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N.B.: Though Francis M. Hines’ home was listed as Toisnot, now Elm City, and firmly within Wilson County, it seems certain that he was in fact from the Temperance Hall area of Edgecombe County, a few miles east and just across the county line. Hines graduated from Lincoln in 1886 and, upon his return to Edgecombe County, plunged into local politics. He quickly rose to leadership of the Knights of Labor and, on the strength of the African-American voting power in a county in which they were the majority population, was elected Register of Deeds. Tragically, Hines died of kidney disease at the age of 28. Local newspapers’ laconic reports of his death did not fail to include aspersions.

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Tarborough Southerner, 21 February 1889.

He is buried in the cemetery of Pyatt Memorial A.M.E. Church in the Temperance Hall community.

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Suggs Street project.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 January 1961.

In the winter of 1960-’61, the Wilson Housing Authority published a series of notices in the Wilson Daily Times concerning its intent to exercise eminent domain over two parcels of land at Suggs and Moore Streets for Project 20-2A. (Hence, the term “the projects.) The family who owned the land were the heirs of George Washington Suggs, who had died in 1914. (Specifically, they were heirs of his daughters Serena Suggs Moore, Edmonia Suggs Perrington, and Julia Suggs Bryant.)

The development, still occupied, remains the property of the Housing Authority.

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He is devoted to the spread of the connection.



Edward Moore was born on the 22d day of June, 1853, near the town known as Little Washington, in eastern North Carolina. He was the second of seven children born to James H. and Peggy A. Moore. The first eight years of his life were spent under the watchful care and protection of both parents, but the call to arms in our late unpleasantness deprived him for a time of a father’s attention, his father having enlisted in the United States army, and served with the prospect of freeing the slaves as well as the preservation of the Union.

These years of his absence, however, were attended with no unfavorable results in the development of young Moore, for he was under the training of a vigorous, energetic Christian mother, who appreciated the advantages made possible by the opening of the Freedmen’s schools, and Edward, with the other children, shared the benefits of the instruction given by those well-educated, painstaking New England young ladies who taught in the neighborhood immediately after the war. These self-denying Christian teachers aided him, as they did many others, in laying the foundation for an early education and a subsequent life of great usefulness.

He early gave proofs of a mind noted for vigor and acquisitiveness; through the training of these schools, by private study, and later by attending the school under the principalship of W. P. Mabson, of Tarboro, N. C., at one time having the honor of being the most distinguished teacher of eastern North Carolina, Mr. Moore was prepared for college.

It was while studying at Tarboro he met and made the acquaintance and became the stanch friend and classmate of J. C. Dancy, the distinguished layman of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the two have ever since been very sincere friends.

In the fall of 1874 he entered the freshman class of Lincoln University, Pa.; and ranked deservedly high in scholarship and manly deportment. He was here associated as classmate with the late J. C. Price, D.D.; Dr. N. F. Mossell, of the Philadelphia Medical Fraternity; Dr. Jamison, of York, Pa.; and as his college associates Rev. J. P. Williams, D.D., of the Protestant Episcopal Church; Dr. Goler, of our own Church; Dr. Weaver and Rev. W. C. Brown, of the Presbyterian, and Rev. S. P. Hood.

He graduated in 1879 with high honors. He came South and was employed as principal of the Wilson Academy, where he served successfully for two years, having in the meantime prepared for different colleges a number of young men, among whom are Professor D. C. Suggs, A.M., now vice president of the A. and M. College, Savannah, Ga.; Samuel N. Vick, Postmaster Wilson, N. C., Professor B. R. Winstead, principal of the Wilson graded school. He was also private instructor to S. A. Smith, now one of the most distinguished lawyers of the Wilson bar.

It was at Wilson that he met the accomplished Miss Serena L. Suggs, and after years of wooing succeeded in making her his wife in 1881. The result of this union has been a happy home and four healthy children, two boys and two girls, to cheer and bless his life.

In the establishment of Zion Wesley Institute, which has since become Livingstone College, Professor Moore yielded to the solicitations of his classmate, Dr. J. C. Price, and associated in the educational work of that institution. His services were of incalculable value to Dr. Price.

Professor Moore is a hard student, and possesses the ability of making the result of his study felt upon those he teaches. He is an earnest Christian, especially devoted to all that concerns Zion Church and the spread of the connection. He passed a successful examination and received the degree of Ph.D. from his alma mater in 1893. He is now spending his summer vacation in the study of medicine at San Francisco, Cal. W.H.G.

From J.W. Hood, One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; or, The Centennial of African Methodism (1895).

The last will and testament of Calvin Blount.


North Carolina, Wilson County  }

I, Calvin Blount of the Town of Wilson, County and State aforesaid, being of sound mind and recognizing the uncertainty of my earthly existence, do hereby make, publish and declare this my last will and testament.

First: My executrix hereinafter named shall at my death give my body a decent burial suitable to the wishes of my friends and pay for said funeral out of my estate.

Second: To my beloved niece by marriage Lillie Edwards — she being the wife of my beloved nephew Willie Edwards — I do hereby give and bequeath to her for the term of her natural life all of my personal property and one half the North Side of my lot of land on which I now reside adjoining the lands of G.W. Sugg and fronting on South Railroad Street in the town of Wilson, County and State aforesaid, and after her death Same to be equally divided between her children begotten upon her by her present husband Willie Edwards.

Third: To my beloved grand-children, who are the children of my beloved son, Willie Blount, whose residence is now Xenia, Ohio, I do hereby give and bequeath to them to share and share alike the Southern half of the lot on which I now reside as described above in section Two.

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.

Fifth: I do hereby constitute and appoint my beloved niece “by marriage” Lillie Edwards hereinbefore mentioned as my lawful and sole executrix to all intents and purposes to execute this my last will and testament, to take charge of my estate and administer thereon at my death without any bond whatsoever, hereby revoking all other wills and testaments, by me heretofore made.

In witness whereof, I, the said Calvin Blount, do hereunto set my hand and seal, this the 3rd day of July A.D. 1909.   Calvin (X) Blount

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Calvin Blount to be his last will and testament in the presence of us, who at his request and in his presence, and in the presence of each other, do subscribe our names as witnesses thereto.  W.R. Woods, R.W. McFarland, L.H.Peacock


On 9 August  1866, in Wilson County, Calvin Blount and Mary Atkinson registered their five-year cohabitation with the Clerk of Court, thereby legitimizing a marriage entered into during slavery. Mary Blount died within a few years after.

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Calvin Blount, 35; John Bantler, 23, born in South Carolina; and Calvin’s sons Dick, 12, Tillman, 1o, Frank, 6, Wright, 7, and William, 4.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Calvin Blount, 44, wife Emily, 48, and sons Wright, 17, William, 14, and Franklin, 16. (Next door: Washington Suggs and family.)

On 9 July 1904, Calvin Blount, 67, of Wilson married Effie Hinnant, 28, of Lucama. Missionary Baptist minister William Baker performed the ceremony at Emma Barnes’ home in the presence of Moses Dupree, Washington Suggs, and Ben Wooten.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 203 Rail Road Street, widower Calvin Blount, 72, and grandson [should be “son”] William Edwards, 47, railroad laborer, daughter-in-law Lillie, 35, and son [should be “grandson”] Kenly, 12. (Washington Suggs and family were two households away.)

Calvin Blount’s will entered probate in May 1917.

As to Calvin’s prodigal children: perhaps, in the 1900 census of Saint Louis, Missouri, at 116 1/2 Leonard, North Carolina-born day laborer Wright Blount, 33, wife Lula, “about 30,” and children Norma[n], 10, Alta, 8, Eldridge, 4, and Josephine, 2. In the 1910 census of Saint Louis, Missouri, at 2915 Lawton, North Carolina-born Wright C. Blount, 46, wife Laden, 38, and children Ettie, 20, Eldrage, 13, Josephine, 11, and Nick, 8, plus a boarder.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line],


An ideal location for colored people.

Though he never lived in Wilson as an adult, Daniel C. Suggs maintained significant real estate interests there for decades. In the early 1920s, Atlantic Coast Realty handled the division and sale of a chunk of Suggs’ land a mile or so south of Nash Street, east Wilson’s black business block. (This property had originally belonged to his father, Washington Suggs.)

Sugg property

Wilson Daily Times, 27 January 1922.

In 1920 and 1923, Suggs filed four plats for various (and overlapping) subdivisions of the southern most section of his acreage. The land was located down Stantonsburg Road (now Pender) just across from the Colored Graded School. The lots marked off were narrow (25 to 27 feet wide) and deep, and many of the houses eventually built there were shotguns, known locally as endway houses.

The plat below, dated 26 May 1920, and filed in Book 1, page 194, at the Wilson County Register of Deeds office, shows a section of New Street and an unnamed street (now Elvie) capped to the west by Railroad Street. Land owned by S.W. Smith lies to the north, and another Suggs-owned parcel to the east.


This map shows the area today. The lot lines drawn by Atlantic Coast Realty did not hold. Blount Street eliminated the 105′ deep lots extending back from New Street and its unnamed parallel (now Elvie Street), and lot widths along all streets (especially Railroad) are wider than the 25′ proposed.


The second plat is dated a day later and essentially a continuation to the east of the plat above. What is labeled Stantonsburg Road is now Pender Street. It’s not clear when the name “Elvie” was inked in for “School” Street. However, in the early 1950s, Wilson built an elementary school for African-Americans in the area shown in the northern half of the plat. (It was called Elvie Street School.) If ever there were one, there is now no perpendicular street mid-block, and Suggs Street runs several blocks north. (Lincoln Avenue, by the way, is now a Street, instead.)


On 13 January 1923, Atlantic Coast Realty commissioned a broader and more detailed survey. Though on this plat New Street that fades to nothing, today it is the street below that survives only in truncated form. (And it is not called Hines, but Blount, apparently after the adjacent landowner. Daniel Blount, 80, a carpenter, is listed in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County, with wife Susan, 45, Susana, 16, Josephine and Joseph, 14, Mary, 12, and George, 3.) The colored cemetery had been abandoned even at that time, and no trace of it now remains. As noted above, Suggs Street is now north the area depicted. Elvie Street is mislabeled “Elmer.” The area then occupied by the Contentnea Guano Company in the space between the neighborhood and the railroad is now home, via mergers and acquisitions, to Crop Production Services.

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This plat, dated 1923, and drafted for Lawrence Realty Company, depicts territory east of Stantonsburg Road/Pender Street.


The former D.C. Suggs property today: