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Flashes of Duplin's history and government

Date: 1971 | Identifier: F262.D77 M3
Flashes of Duplin's history and government. Edited by Faison Wells McGowen and Pearl Canady McGowen. Kenansville, N.C., 1971. xv, 569 p. illus., map, ports. 24 cm. more...

Duplin's History
and Government

Duplin's outstanding events during the two hundred years leading up to the Bicentennial of our Freedom, and reminders of those brave Patriots, who gave unstintingly of their courage, valor, and devotion for our American Freedom.



Copyright 1971

Faison Wells McGowen


Pearl Canady McGowen

The purpose of this book is to illuminate thousands of flashes across the voluminous pages of Duplin's rich history and its local government.

Printed in the United States of America by Edwards & Broughton Co., Raleigh, North Carolina


Faison Wells McGowen was born July 20, 1903. He is the son of the late Thomas James and Julia Robert (Stokes) McGowen.

He attended the public schools of Duplin County, James Sprunt Institute (and received J. S. I. Scholarship Medal in 1918), Grove Institute, King's Business College, and the Institute of Government of the University of North Carolina. He has a Commercial Diploma and Certificates in County Administration, and the Fundamentals of Property Tax Listing and Assessing.

In 1932 he married Miss Pearl Cynthia Canady of Hope Mills, N. C.

He is a Baptist and has served as Sunday School Superintendent (at Johnson and Kenansville Churches) for a total of more than thirty-five years. He has been chairman of the Board of Deacons for more than thirty years. He served as moderator of the Eastern Baptist Association for fifteen years.

He is a thirty-second degree Mason and Past Master of St. John's Lodge No. 13, A.F.&A.M., and a member of Wilmington Consistory. In 1957 he received the Service Award from the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina.

He is a Member of the Order of the Eastern Star and has served four terms as Worthy Patron. He is a Woodman of the World; a member of the Jr. O.U.A.M., and Past Councilor of Warsaw Council; a member and past president of Warsaw Rotary Club; and was a former member of Kenansville Lion's Club.

He served as Deputy Sheriff-Treasurer (1924-1928), and as County Accountant and Tax Supervisor (1929-1968).

He is a past president of North Carolina Association of County Accountants; past president of North Carolina Association of Assessing Officers; past State Chairman of International Association of Assessing Officers; Member of National Association of County Treasurers and Finance Officers; member and Secretary of North Carolina Committee for Study of Public School Finance (1957-1958); Chairman of Duplin County Democratic Executive Committee for 29 years; received Service Award from the N. C. State Democratic Executive Committee (1965); county chairman of Civil Defense during World War II; member of Duplin County Industrial and Agricultural Council; Secretary of Duplin General Hospital Board of Trustees; Official Spokesman for County

Hospital Building Program (1968-1970); Trustee Emeritus of Duplin General Hospital; Secretary of Liberty Hall Historical Commission; member of Board of Trustees of James Sprunt; Member James Sprunt Institute Alumni Association; member and past treasurer of Duplin County Historical Society; Founding Associate of the National Historical Society; Member North Carolina Literary and Historical Association; Member of Board of Commissioners of Neuse River Regional Planning and Development Council; Service Award from N. C. Association of County Commissioners (1962); Outstanding County Official Award by N. C. Association of County Commissioners (1963); Certificate of Service From State Association of County Accountants (1965); Service and Leadership Award from N. C. Association of County Accountants (1967). He is a member of the International Platform Association.

He is listed in these:

Who's Who in American Politics; Dictionary of International Biography (also received a Certificate of Merit from Dictionary of International Biography, London, England); Personalities of the South (and received an award plaque in 1970 in recognition of past achievements and outstanding service to community and state by Editorial Board of Personalities of the South); The National Register of Prominent Americans and International Notables.

The first building at James Sprunt Institute was dedicated in 1970, and was named the Faison Wells McGowen Building in his honor.


Pearl Canady McGowen is the daughter of the late David Murphy Canady and Martha (McNeill) Canady of Hope Mills, N. C. In 1932 she married Faison Wells McGowen of Kenansville, N. C.

Mrs. McGowen received her diploma from Grays Creek High School in Cumberland County, her B.A. Degree from Meredith College, and her M.A. Degree from East Carolina College (now East Carolina University). She did other graduate work at James Sprunt Institute and at U.N.C. in Chapel Hill.

Mrs. McGowen has taught High School English in Robeson, Bladen, Cumberland, and Duplin counties. As part of her school duties, she has coached girls’ basketball teams. One of her teams (Linden in Cumberland County) won the County and State District Tournaments for three successive years (1930, 1931, 1932).

During her career she has coached many outstanding high school plays.

Mrs. McGowen enjoyed coaching debating teams. Two of her teams placed second in the state debating contest.

For more than twenty years she has sponsored National Beta Club Chapters in high schools (B. F. Grady, Kenansville, and James Kenan).

She has sponsored high school year books in three schools (B. F. Grady, Kenansville, James Kenan), and high school papers in two schools (Linden and Kenansville). For many years she sponsored senior Educational Tours to Washington, D. C., and to New York City and the World's Fair. (B. F. Grady, Kenansville, and James Kenan.)

Mrs. McGowen is a life member of the National Education Association and regular member of the Duplin County Unit of the N.C.E.A. She has served as president of the Duplin County Unit of N.C.E.A.

She is a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma International Honor Society for teachers and has served as president of her chapter, Alpha Eta. (Alpha Eta comprises Duplin and Sampson counties.)

Mrs. McGowen has been active in the Kenansville Woman's Club. (She served as secretary and as president.)

She is a charter member of the Duplin County Historical Society. (She is now serving as vice-president of that organization.) She also served as Costume Supervisor and was a member of the cast of characters in the Duplin Story, a musical drama presented in 1949 and 1950, celebrating Duplin County's Bicentennial.

Mrs. McGowen is a charter member of Kenansville Chapter No. 215, Order of the Eastern Star, and has served as Martha, secretary, Associate Matron and as Worthy Matron of the chapter. She has served as District Deputy Grand Matron and as Grand Martha, and as a Grand Representative. For two years she served as Supreme Deputy of the Rainbows in North and South Carolina.

She is a member of the Kenansville Baptist Church and has served as Church Clerk, B.Y.P.U. Director, and teacher of the Young People's and Adult Ladies’ Classes. (Prior to her marriage she served as Southern Regional Director of B.Y.P.U. in North Carolina.)


This book is fittingly dedicated to the loving memory of Julia Robert Stokes McGowen, known to her friends as “Frosty.”

This gracious lady was born near Kenansville June 13, 1873, the daughter of Robert James Stokes and Julia A. Churchill Stokes. She died November 25, 1963.

She received her formal education at Kenansville Female Seminary where she learned the fundamentals and grace that fitted her for a wife, mother, and teacher. Under the teachings of Mr. Dick Millard, she became skilled in imparting the lessons of life and scholarship to those entrusted to her wise counsel. (She taught school at Green Pond, about three miles north of Kenansville; at the Barbecue School, near Magnolia; and at the Peirce School at Peirceville, on Turkey Branch west of Warsaw.)

When she was a young lady, she became an excellent marksman with a pistol, a hobby that might have seemed foreign to her gentle nature.

She married Thomas James McGowen. They had two children, Faison Wells McGowen and Effie McGowen Boyette.

The real quality of this elegant woman was found in her devotion to the highest ideals. In her quiet and queenly nature she fulfilled her life's compulsion to become the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. “Her children rise up and call her blessed.”—Proverbs 31:28.



The editors have endeavored to compile and edit some legislative documents, excerpts from Colonial and State records, resolutions, reports, newspaper articles, etc., which depict Flashes of Duplin County's History and Government.

Some of these documents have been copied in full. Others have been quoted partially to give relevant parts. Capitalization, spelling, and punctuation have been used as in the originals.

We express our sincere appreciation to the following for their fine cooperation and helpfulness: John Alexander McMahon, Chapel Hill, N. C.; James H. Blackmore, Wake Forest, N. C.; Mrs. Virginia Southerland Marshall, Wilmington, N. C.; Marse Grant, Editor and Business Manager of the Biblical Recorder; Ike F. Riddick, Publisher of the Duplin Times-Progress Sentinel; H. L. Oswald, Publisher The Wallace Enterprise, and The Warsaw-Faison News; Thad Eure, Secretary of State; Department of Archives and History; W. C. Blackmore, Burgaw, N. C.; State Library; University of North Carolina Library; Duplin County Dorothy Wightman Library; County Officials and their assistants; all of those persons who have furnished biographical sketches, and all others who have supplied various and sundry items. We are most thankful to Dr. W. Dallas Herring for the country drawing, and his cooperation; and also to President Dixon Hall and the James Sprunt Library staff for their help.

The other drawings are the work of Richard C. Baxley of Raleigh. To him we are very grateful. We sincerely thank Mrs. Mary Anne Jenkins for the typing.

Over the years hundreds of students from all over the State have requested information about Duplin County. This compilation will be a partial answer to such requests in the future.

The editors sincerely hope that others will be encouraged and inspired to write a complete history of the county.




Kenansville, North Carolina

December 15, 1970.


The Editorsiii
1. Duplin County and Its Boundaries1
2. Location, Climate, Water Supply, and Vegetation19
3. The Carolina Charter; A Brief Description of Carolina—166622
Duplin County Seventeenth County in N. C. 25
4. The State of North Carolina26
5. Historical Glimpses—Colonial and Early American28
Duplin—Lord Dupplin's Namesake 28; Evolution of Duplin County as a Political Subdivision of North Carolina and its Early Inhabitants 29; An Act Re-establishing Duplin County 34; Number in Militia and Number of Taxable Persons in County in 1755 36; Deed—Henry McCullock to Thomas Kenan 36; Return of the List of Taxables, 1765 38; Doctor William Houston appointed Stamp Distributor for North Carolina 38; Doctor Houston's Resignation 39; News Story concerning Dr. Houston's Resignation 39; Letter from Governor Tryon to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury 40; Letter from Dr. Houston to Governor Tryon 41; Letter from Governor Tryon To Governor Bull 42; A List of Capt. William Burney's Company 42; A list of Duplin Troops 43; Early History 43; Proceedings of the Safety Committee at Wilmington 45; The War of the Revolution 45; John Grady of Albertson Township killed at Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge 46; Extract of a Letter from Bragadier James Moore to the Honorable Cornelius Harnett 46; Ordinances of Convention, 1776 49; General John Ashe to Governor Caswell, 1770 49; Colonel James Kenan to Governor Caswell, June 6, 1778 50; Colonel James Kenan to Governor Caswell, July 1, 1778 50; State Money 51; Letter From Capt. Robert Raiford 52; General Alex Lillington to Governor R. Caswell 53; Colonel James Kenan to Governor Caswell 53; Extract from Return of the Men in Camp Sept. 5, 1780 54; Letter to Colonel James Kenan, October 8, 1780 54; Message from the Commons, January 31, 1781 55; Message from the Governor to the Senate 56; Proceedings of A General Court Marshal 56; General Cornwallis to Major General Phillips 57; Excerpts from the Dickson Letters 58; Captain George Doherty to General Sumner 61; Major Molton to Governor Burke 62; Colonel Kenan to Governor Burke, July 6, 1781 62; Colonel James Kenan to Governor Burke, July 15, 1781 63; General Wm. Caswell to Governor Burke 63; The Battle of Rockfish 64; To Governor Burke From Colonel James Kenan 65; Peace—Nov. 30, 1782 65; Colonel James Kenan Elected Brigadier General 65; James Gillespie to Governor Caswell 66; Governor Caswell to James Gillespie 66; Town of Sarecto 67; Land Grant to Thomas Kenan 69
6. Glimpses of Colonial and Early Churches in Duplin71
Oldest Presbyterian Settlement in The State 71; Grove Presbyterian

Church 71; St. Gabriel Parish 75; Wells Chapel Baptist Church 76; Rockfish Presbyterian Church 79; Bear Marsh Baptist Church 80; Methodists 84; Nahunga Baptist Church 84; Church Camp Meetings 87; Faison Presbyterian Church 88
7. Indian Burial Mounds92
8. The Spring in Kenansville95
9. The Bottomless Wells of Magnolia103
10. The First Federal Census, 1790105
11. Historical Markers in Duplin113
12. Glimpses of Public Schools115
Old or Extinct Schools 115; Partial List of the Most Prominent Teachers to 1850 116; Vote on School Law, 1839 116; Beginning of Public Schools in Duplin 116; Number of children in Duplin, 1882, and Total Allowances for all Schools 118; List of Private Schools in Duplin in 1890 119; List of Private Schools in Duplin in 1891 119; School Fund Disbursed by County Treasurer, Year Ending June 30, 1899 119; Private Schools and Academies in Duplin, 1900 120; Condition of Public Schools, 1900 120; Excerpts from The Inaugural Address of Governor Charles B. Aycock 121; R. W. Millard, Educator 122; Local School Tax Districts, 1909 123; History of Lanefield School 123; Duplin Teachers—1921 128; B. F. Grady High School Dedication 129; Schools in The Flourishing ’20's 141; Special Tax Districts, 1929 143; School Attendance, 1929-1969 144; Inventory of School Property 146; School Expenditures—County Funds 146; James Kenan Tigers 1960, State Champs 147; All-American High School Football Athlete 150; The O. P. Johnson Duplin County Public Schools Administration Building 150; Kenan Memorial Auditorium 151; Nomination and Election of the Members of the County Board of Education 152
13. Early Academies and Schools154
14. Grove Academy158
15. St. John's Lodge No. 13, A.F. & A.M.169
16. The Dickson Charity Fund178
17. Liberty Hall180
18. The Plank Road and Railroads192
19. Towns and Some of the Communities in Duplin County196
20. More Historical Glimpses198
County Agricultural Society and Fair 198; Hard Times in the mid 1800's 209
21. Glimpses of The Great War, 1861-1865:210
The Duplin Rifles 210; Confederate Greys 217; The Chaplain Service 232; Letter From a Confederate Soldier 233; Destruction in Duplin—Sword Factory In Kenansville and Freight House at Warsaw 235; Returns and Assessments on Property, 1864 (Two Assessments) 236; More Letters from Confederate Soldiers 239; Oath of Allegiance to United States of America (By Prisoners) 241; The Strength of Brotherhood 241; Destitute Conditions after the Civil War 242; The Old Hate 243
22. News Items—1874245
Glimpses of Life in Duplin the Latter Part of the Nineteenth Century 245
23. The Earthquake in 1886266

24. James Sprunt Institute (Old and New)268
25. Total Solar Eclipses in Duplin291
26. Glimpses of Country Life in Duplin the First Part of the Twentieth Century294
27. More Historical Glimpses321
New Courthouse Dedicated—1913, and Presentation of Portrait of Colonel Thomas S. Kenan 321; More Portraits Presented 333; A Charge to the Grand Jury 338
28. Glimpses of The Great Depression360
29. The Duplin Story366
Advertising the Duplin Story 366; Background and Synopsis of This Historical Play 368; Characters in the Duplin Story 375; Rare Tapestry and Art Exhibit 382; Antique Display Committee 382; A Miracle In A Corn Field 384; Distinguished Guests at Pageant 386; Thanks for Duplin's Bicentennial Celebration 387; Editorial—The Duplin Story 388; 1950 Performances 389; As Heard in the Dressing Rooms 395; As Heard Back Stage During the Pageant 396; Sam Byrd Speaks 397; That Let-Down Feeling 398; What The Pageant Meant To People 399
30. Duplin General Hospital400
31. Profiles of Some of Duplin's Outstanding Citizens405
General James Kenan 405; James Gillespie 406; Charles Hooks 406; Thomas Kenan 407; General Stephen Miller 407; Owen R. Kenan 407; Dr. James Menzies Sprunt 408; Colonel William Anderson Allen 408; Captain William James Houston 409; Benjamin Franklin Grady 409; John Nicholas Stallings 410; John Dickson Stanford 410; Colonel Thomas Stephen Kenan 411; A. R. (Abe) Middleton 411; Dr. John Miller Faison 412; Mary Lyde Hicks Williams 412; Luther Addison Beasley 413; Robert Vivian Wells 416; Rivers Dunn Johnson 417; Dr. John Daniel Robinson 417; Albert Timothy Outlaw 418; Henry Leonidas Stevens, Jr. 419; John Willard Hoffler 422; Gordon Kennedy Middleton 422; Charles Fisher Carroll 423; Herman Ward Taylor 424; Bettie Hall Williams 426; Robert Myron Carr 427; Helen Brooks Boney 427; Dr. Guy Vernon Gooding 428; Owen Pearlie Johnson 429; Lewellyn Williams Robinson 429; LeRoy Gaston Simmons 430; Dr. James H. Blackmore 431; William Dallas Herring 432; Hugh Stewart Johnson, Jr. 432; David Newton Henderson 433; Christine Whaley Williams Davis 435; Lauren Ralph Sharpe 436; Myra Winifred Townson Wells 437; James Millard Smith 438; General William M. Buck 438
32. More Historical Glimpses440
James Kenan Chapter U.D.C. 440; Public Roads 444; Lanefield Community Fair 447; The Town of Faison 448; Strawberry Festival 450; Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt's visit to Wallace 450; Stevens Sworn In As Resident Judge of Sixth District 452; Magnolia—Flowers and Bulbs 453; John Ivey Thomas Chapter U.D.C. 453; Round-up of Hazel and Her Fury 456; Our Praise to the Men Who Dealt With Hazel 456; Hazel and The Pioneer Spirit 458; Duplin Man Chosen North Carolina's First “Man of the Year In Education” 458; Veterans’ Day—Successor to Armistice Day in Warsaw 460; Faison Fruits and Vegetables Known for High Quality 461; Future Farmers of America and Future Homemakers of America 462; Duplin Courthouse Annex 463; Duplin's Newly Renovated Courtroom 463; Judge Stevens, Emergency Judge 465; Duplin County Fair at Beulaville 465; Poultry Jubilee—World's Largest Frying Pan 467; The D. A. R. and the Jubilee 468; Wallace's Diamond Jubilee 469; Kenansville Firemen Winner—$750 Prize 477; Duplin Paralyzed by

Snow and Ice 478; Plaque to Miss Dorothy Wightman 479; Resolution of Appreciation for Miss Wightman's Gift to the County Library 479; Duplin's Five County Commissioner Districts 480; Duplin County Historical Society 482; Faison Man First Duplin Astronaut 483; Famous Native Visits her Home Town 483; The Thelma Dingus Bryant Library in Wallace 485; Judge Henry L. Stevens, Jr. Honored by American Legion 487; Heritage Design Service—new Industry in Rose Hill 488; Beulaville Girl Wins “Miss Duplin” Title—1969 489; Legend of the Country Squire 491; Special Watershed Election 493; Local Option Additional Sales Tax Election 495; SENCland Awards In Duplin, 1969 495; Agricultural Growth in Duplin 495; History of Extension Homemakers Club Work in Duplin 497; Tribute to Mrs. Henry Middleton 499; Industrial Development 499; President of Southeastern Poultry and Egg Association 502; Art By Dr. Dallas Herring 504; Editorial Salute to the Boy Scouts in Duplin County 504; Tar Heel Fine Arts Society 504; Dr. Robinson, South's “Optometrist of the Year” 505
33. More Facts Relating to Duplin County507
Roster of Attorneys 507; Citizens Serving on Committees of the State Democratic Party 507; Citizens Serving on Committees of the State Republican Party 508; Citizens Currently Serving on Governmental Boards and Committees 508; Physicians, Dentists, Optometrists, and Chiropractors Registered 509; Population 511; Total Valuation All Property Listed and Assessed for County-wide Taxation 512; Bonded Indebtedness 512; Revenues and Expenditures of Other Than School Funds For Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1969 513; Local Government Cost Lower 514; 74% of Public Funds For Schools 514; Agricultural Income 515; General Election Abstract of Votes, November 5, 1968 517; Payrolls—$22 Millions in 1969 517; More Spent in Duplin for Home Improvements 518; Social Security in Duplin 519; Duplin County Workers Retiring Earlier 520; Duplin County's Estimated Income—from Sale of Farm Products and Government Payments 521; Nearly One Hundred Thousand in Scholarships Awarded James Kenan Graduates 521; Veterans In Service 523; Banks and Building and Loan Associations in Duplin 523; Revelation Singers Big Success 524
Preface 526; County Government—Historical Background 526; Editors’ Thanks to The Institute of Government 530; Members of Colonial Assembly 531; Members of Constitutional Conventions 531; Provincial Congress 531; Council of State 532; State Assembly—Senators and Representatives 532; Clerks of Superior Court of Law and Equity 534; Clerks and Masters in Equity 534; Clerk Inferior Court 534; County Treasurers 534; Board of County Commissioners 535; County Attorney 539; Clerk to the Board of Commissioners 539; County Finances 540; Tax Supervisor 541; Tax Collector 542; County Accountant 543; Sheriff 544; Coroner 545; Register of Deeds 547; The Courts 548; Clerk of Superior Court 549; District Court 550; Social Services (Public Welfare) 551; County Board of Education and Supts. 554; Public Health 557; Mental Health Program 559; County Library 559; County Jail 560; Electrical Inspector 560; Agricultural Extension 561; Rural Fire Protection 562; Civil Defense 563; Veterans Service Office 564; Alcoholic Beverage Control Stores 565; Elections 565; Conclusion 568


We are, each of us, a part of our past. Whether or not we want to acknowledge it, or even to think of it in these tumultuous times, the truth inevitably will out. The subconscious reveals our heritage in many subtle ways. Our idioms and our mannerisms betray us—even our coming and our going—some of us as though we were still stepping across the wide lowland furrows, heading for home and the bright fireside at the end of a long winter's day.

Who am I? What inscrutable forces combined to make me the kind of person I am? For all who no longer want to avoid these inevitable questions, this book about our past is a mirror to the present and, we may hope, a preview of the years to come. It is the values that it upholds, as much as the people and the events it portrays, which will endear it to everyone who cherishes what has been achieved in this land of liberty—especially this small part of it which for so many in other parts of America is still home.

No one can really measure the vast impression which the culture and the commitment of the people of “Old Duplin” have made as their descendants joined other pioneers moving south and west. Perhaps it is not so important to measure it as it is simply to be aware of it and to understand and accept it—and always to believe in it, come what may.

Faison and Pearl McGowen have put together a treasure of incalculable value to everyone who can say with feeling that this too is “my own, my native land.”


FLASHES OF DUPLIN'S HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT makes the men and women of the past live and move and talk again. It is at once a fertile field for the student, for the researcher, and for pleasure reading. The book reveals that Duplin County has a glorious history. FLASHES OF DUPLIN'S HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT is a monumental work well done.

In editing this book, Mr. McGowen has spent years in diligent research, with his wife assisting, and as a result, they offer to lovers of history a most valuable book. It is the first full history to be written of Duplin County.

No man who has taken up his pen in the last half century is so well qualified to edit such a book.



Duplin County Courthouse and Annex


Mrs. Julia Robert Stokes McGowen


Mr. and Mrs. Faison Wells McGowen
The Editors



Mr. and Mrs. Faison Wells McGowen
The Editors



Liberty Hall in Kenansville


At a General Assembly, held at New Bern, the Seventeenth day of March, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Nine. Gabriel Johnston, Esq., Governor.


An Act for Erecting the Upper Part of New-Hanover County into a County and Parish, by the Name of Duplin County, and St. Gabriel Parish, and for appointing a Place for building a Court-house, Prison and Stocks, in the said County.

I. Whereas the County of New-Hanover has now become so very extensive, that many of the Inhabitants thereof live very remote from the Place where the Court of the said County is held, whereby a great many Difficulties and Hardships arise to the upper Inhabitants thereof, not only in attending their Ordinary Business in the said Court, but also by being compelled to serve as Jurymen, and often Times as Evidences, at the said Court; For Remedy Whereof,

II. We pray that it may be Enacted, And be it Enacted by his Excellency Gabriel Johnston, Esq., Governor, by and with the Advice and Consent of his Majesty's Council, and General Assembly of this Province, and by the Authority of the same, That New-Hanover County be divided by a Line, beginning at the Mouth of Rock-Fish Creek, on the North-East River of Cape-Fear, running East to Onslow County, and Westward, by a Straight Line from the Mouth of the said Creek, to the Upper Forks of Black River, where Cohecry and the Six Runs meet, thence up Cohecry to the Head thereof; and that the Upper part of the said County be erected into a County, by the name of Duplin County, and St. Gabriel Parish: And that the said County and Parish shall enjoy all the Privileges and Advantages that any other County and Parish in this Province now holds or enjoys.

III. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That the Courts of the said County shall be held on the Second Tuesdays in January, April, July, and October.

IV. And be it further Enacted, That the Justices of the said County, or the Majority of them, shall hold their first Court at the House of William McRee, at Goshen, and then and there nominate and appoint a certain Place for building a Courthouse, Prison, and Stocks, at the most proper Place in the said County; and shall further divide the said County into Districts and appoint Commissioners of the Roads for the same; and shall also make such Orders and Rules for erecting the said Buildings, and running the dividing Line aforesaid, at the proper and equal Expence of the Inhabitants of the same, by a Poll-Tax, not exceeding One Shilling Proclamation Money, per year, for the Three Years, and no longer.

V. And be it further Enacted, That Mr. John Sampson, and Capt. Henry Hyrne, be, and are hereby appointed and authorized Commissioners; and are hereby impowered and directed to run the said Dividing Line between the Counties of New-Hanover and Duplin.

VI. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That William McRee, Jun., be, and is hereby appointed Sheriff of the said County, until the Time by Law prescribed for appointing Sheriffs for the several Counties in this Province, and shall be vested with all the Powers and Authorities any other Sheriff or Sheriffs in this Province is and are vested with. And to the End that no Action begun in New-Hanover County, be defeated by the Division aforesaid.

VII. Bt it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid That Where any Action is already commenced in the said Court of New-Hanover County, and that the Parties or Evidences shall be Inhabitants of the County of Duplin, all subsequent Process against such Parties or Evidences, shall be directed to be executed by the Sheriff of New-Hanover County: Any Law, Usage, or Custom, to the contrary, notwithstanding.

VIII. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That Mr. John Sampson, Mr. William McRee, Mr. George Meares, Mr. Francis Brice, Mr. William Houston, Mr. Joseph Williams, Mr. John Herring, Mr. Anthony Cox, Mr. Mark Phillips, Mr. John Turner, Mr. Thomas Suggs, and Mr. Charles Gavin, be, and are hereby appointed Vestrymen of St. Gabriel Parish aforesaid, until the General Election of Vestrymen, according to law; and that the said Vestrymen shall be summoned by the Sheriff of the said County of Duplin, to meet at the Place appointed by this Act where the Court is to be held, and qualify themselves as a Vestry, and proceed to Parish Business.

IX. And be it further Enacted, That all Public, County, and Parish Levies now due from many of the said Inhabitants of the said County of Duplin, shall be collected by the Sheriff of New-Hanover County, and accounted for in the same Manner as if this Act had not been made.

X. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That the said County of Duplin be, and is hereby obliged to send Jurors to the Courts of Assize, Oyer, and Terminer, and General Gaol Delivery, to be held at Wilmington, in like Manner as the Counties of Bladen and Onslow.

(SR, Vol. XXIII, Page 342.)

. . . The caption of the law establishing Duplin County is dated March 17, 1749, S. R. XXIII, 342. The journals of the General Assembly, however, indicate a different date for the formation of the county. The General Assembly met March 28, 1750. C. R. IV, 1051. On April 2, 1750, “Mr. Sampson and McLewain brought up a bill for erecting the upper part of New-Hanover County into a County, and parish, by the name of ________________ and Parish of ________________ and for appointing a place for building a Court House. In the Lower House read the first time, and passed.” C. R. IV, 1054. On April 3, 1750, the bill was read the second time and passed with amendments. C. R. 1056. On April (4), 1750, the record reads as follows: “In the Lower House read the third time and passed. Ordered to be engrossed.” C. R. IV, 1057. On April 9, 1756, the governor gave his assent to “The Bill to divide the upper part of New-Hanover County into a County and Parish & c.” C. R. IV, 1064.

(Formation of N. C. Counties, By Corbitt, Page 91.)


An Act for ascertaining the Boundary Lines between the Counties of New Hanover and Duplin.

I. Whereas desputes daily arise between the Inhabitants of New Hanover and Duplin, by reason of the boundary line not being sufficiently ascertained:

II. Be it therefore Enacted, by the Governor, Council and Assembly, and by the authority of the same, that the Honorable John Sampson, Esq., John Ashe, Felix Kenan, and Alexander Lillington, Esquires, are hereby appointed commissioners for running out the dividing Line Between the said counties of Duplin and New Hanover; which said commissioners, or any three of them, shall meet on some time within six months after the passing of this act, and shall run and lay off the boundaries between the said counties, in the following manner, to-wit, That Rock Fish Creek shall be the boundary, from the mouth thereof to where Doctor's Creek branches from the same; then up Doctor's Creek one mile above the house of Mr. George Maires; thence running a direct

line to the Corner made by Arthur McCoy on South River; and the said line when run, shall forever after be deemed the Boundary Line between the said counties of New Hanover and Duplin.

(SR, Vol. XXIII, Page 686.)


I. Whereas the upper part of Duplin County is very extensive in length, which renders it burthensome to the inhabitants of Johnston and Cumberland Counties, by reason of the said County of Duplin running up twenty miles between Johnston and Cumberland counties, not more than three miles wide, which obstructs the making of roads and keeping them in repair, much to the injury of the inhabitants of the aforesaid counties and damage of travellers:

II. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That all that part of Duplin County above Dismal Creek be added to the County of Johnston, and that it be divided by said creek, beginning at the mouth of the creek, Cumberland County line, thence running up the meanders of the said creek and East course to Johnston County Line; and that from and after the passing of this Act, that all that part of Duplin County above said creek be annexed to, and made part of the County of Johnston, and the inhabitants thereof shall be subject and liable to the same Rules, Orders, Taxes, and Privileges, as any other of the inhabitants of the County of Johnston.

(State Records of North Carolina, by Walter Clark, Vol. XXIV, Chap. XXXIII, 1777.)

An Act for dividing Duplin County.

I. Whereas by reason of the large extent of said county, it is greatly inconvenient for the inhabitants to attend the courts and other public duties by law required;

II. Be it therefore Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this Act the said county of Duplin shall be divided into two distinct counties by a line beginning on the line that divides Duplin from New Hanover county where the main road crosses Bultail, a branch of Rockfish creek; and running thence a straight line to the lower bridge on Stewart's creek, from thence a direct line to Goshen swamp at the mouth of Young's swamp, thence due-north to

the Wayne line; and all that part of the said county of Duplin which lies west of the above line, shall be established into a separate and distinct county by the name of Sampson.

III. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That Joseph Dickson, William Dickson, David Dodd, Edward Dickson and William Taylor, or a majority of them, be and they are hereby appointed commissioners to run and lay off the said dividing line between the said county of Duplin and Sampson, and the same shall be recorded in the courts of said counties.

IV. And for the due administration of justice, Be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That justices of the peace shall be nominated and commissioned, and courts shall be held in the said county of Sampson in the same manner and with the same jurisdiction as justices in other courts have and exercise, and that the courts of the said county of Sampson shall be held on the third Monday of June, September, December and March in every year; and the courts of the said county of Duplin shall be held by the justices thereof on the third Mondays of January, April, July and October in each and every year.

V. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That Thomas Hooks, John Whitehead, William Hubbard, Robert Southerland, Daniel Teachey, John Lanier, Edward Dickson and Daniel Hicks, or a majority of them, be and they are hereby appointed commissioners for fixing on the most centrical and convenient place in Duplin county for building a court house, prison and stocks, and for purchasing a quantity of land not exceeding five acres at such place and for the use and benefit of said county; and when the said place is fixed upon, and the said lands purchased, the said commissioners or a majority of them shall, and they are hereby impowered to contract with workmen for building and finishing thereat a court house, prison and stocks, and to take a deed or mesne conveyance for said land for the use of the county.

VI. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any of the said commissioners appointed by this Act die, remove or refuse to act, it shall and may be lawful for the remaining commissioners to appoint another person in his stead, who shall and may use and exercise the same power and authority as the commissioners appointed by this Act.

VII. And as it will be a considerable time before the said buildings can be completed, Be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the first court to be held for the county of Sampson shall be held at the house of James Myhand, and the justices when met and formed a court, shall either continue to hold their subsequent courts at the said house until the court house shall be built, or shall have power to adjourn to

any place more convenient in the said county, they having first duly qualified themselves by the oaths prescribed by law in such cases, and the said justices being so qualified, are hereby declared during their continuance in office, as well within their county courts as without, to have the same powers and authorities, and to be subject to the same forfeitures and penalties as justices of the peace in this State are liable to.

VIII. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That Richard Herring, Thomas Thornton, John Fort, John Owens, John Holley, Jonathan Parker, and Thomas Ivey, be, and they or a majority of them are hereby appointed commissioners to fix on a centrical and convenient place to erect the public buildings in the said county of Sampson, and purchase five acres of land, and take a deed for the same as is directed for the county of Duplin, and to agree with a workman to build a court house, prison and stocks for the use of the said county of Sampson.

IX. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the first court of the said county of Duplin shall be held at the public store of James James's, and the justices thereof may when met either continue to hold the courts there or adjourn to a more convenient place as they may judge best, and have, hold and exercise all the powers and authorities that county courts in this State hold or enjoy; and that all causes, pleas and suits, and every species of controversy and litigation whatsoever now in the county court of Duplin, shall continue and be finally determined in the court of the said county of Duplin.

X. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That a tax of one shilling specie be laid on every hundred pounds taxable property, and a tax of one shilling on every poll within the said counties of Duplin and Sampson who do not possess one hundred pounds taxable property for two years, for the purpose of defraying the expenses and purchasing said lands, erecting the public buildings thereon, and reimbursing the said commissioners what reasonable expences they may be at in the premises, which said taxes shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes are, and shall be paid into the hands of the commissioners for building the court house, &c. for the counties of Duplin and Sampson, the collector or collectors first deducting his or their commissions for the trouble of collecting and paying the same to the commissioners; in case there shall remain any surplus after defraying the expences aforesaid, the same shall be applied by the county courts towards defraying the contingent charges of the same.

XI. And be it further Enacted by the authority, That the said commissioners shall from time to time when called on by their county court

account for the monies by them received for the purposes aforesaid; and when the buildings shall be completed and other expences paid, their said county courts on settlement with them may make a reasonable allowance for their trouble and expence, and apply the surplus if any as before directed.

XII. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to stop or hinder the sheriff or collectors of Duplin, as the same stood undivided, to make distress for fees or other dues which may be owing from the inhabitants of said county at the time of passing this Act, in the same manner as if it had never been made.

XIII. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said county of Sampson shall be and remain part of the district of Wilmington, and shall furnish four freeholders to attend the superior court as Jurors at Wilmington aforesaid; and the said county of Duplin shall after the passing of this Act nominate and appoint four jurymen to attend the said superior court of Wilmington.

(State Records, Vol. XXIV, Pages 642-644.)

Because of the uncertainty of the existence of the true boundary between Duplin and Wayne counties, an act was passed in 1831 authorizing the establishment of said line.

. . . That the said line shall commence at a pine stump near the house of John Elliot, it being the dividing corner between the counties of Sampson, Wayne and Duplin. . . .

(Formation of North Carolina Counties, Corbitt, Page 225.)


The eastern boundary of Duplin County has been tacitly located and acted upon for many years, but there is no official record of its location, other than the acts of the public officials of the two counties, in assuming control up to a certain line, and land owners taking deeds calling for land along that line as the county line. To understand this, it will be necessary to give the early boundaries of Onslow County which was established in 1734, Revised statutes, Vol. 2, page 152, already mentioned above, “that a precinct be erected at New River, by the name of Onslow Precinct, that the said precinct be bounded to the northward by Whiteoak River, from the mouth to the head thereof and to the southward by a creek that comes out of the sound and comes across New River road, called the Bay Pond or Beasleys Creek.” The last mentioned boundary is a small stream just south of Holly Ridge on the road from Jacksonville to Wilmington. Just west of the highway and railroad at

this point, the water in that stream is at a standstill part of the year, and still further west flows westward in an ever widening stream into the Holly Shelter Pocosin. Nothing is said about the western boundary of Onslow County in that act, and we hear no mention of the western boundary line of Onslow until the year 1749, when Duplin embracing the territory of Sampson is cut off by Legislative enactment from New Hanover County, and the southern boundary of Duplin is there defined by a line beginning on the North East River, opposite the mouth of Rockfish Creek and running thence eastward to the Onslow County line, no distance being given and in fact the western boundary line of Onslow had never been located and was unknown. The head of Whiteoak River, called for as the end of the Northern boundary of Onslow, is south of Comfort in Jones County, and a straight line from that point to where the Boney pond or Beasley Creek enters Holly Shelter Pocosin or to where the water is at a standstill in said stream would be considerable in the boundary. However, the line has been acted upon for many years by both Duplin and Onslow and there is no dispute about the same, except between Pender and Onslow and claimants under the Allison grant in Onslow County and the State Board of Education which owns large tracts of swamp land in Pender County, under the James Caraway Grant.

(Court Minutes, Book 42, Pages 76 and 77.)


To the Honorable Board of County Commissioners of Wayne, Duplin and Lenoir Counties; Greetings:

We, Ellis Preston Lupton, Bernhardt A. Waldenmaier, and Meriwether Lewis, having been appointed as surveyors by your honorable board, and each of us having qualified before a Justice of Peace of our respective Counties, did, without partiality or prejudice, re-run the dividing lines between Wayne and Duplin Counties, and between Wayne and Lenoir Counties, in exact accordance with the recorded survey of June 12, 1834, and in accordance with all the well known land marks along each line.

In order to re-establish the Common Corner between Wayne, Duplin and Lenoir Counties, we found it necessary to reproduce the line from the head of Sandy Run Branch, Northeastward, to an intersection with the Duplin, Lenoir line from a point near Rouse's Mill, in a North westwardly

direction, and in accordance with the recorded survey of 1823.

For a more complete information regarding the latter line you are respectfully referred to a report prepared by B. A. Waldenmaier, and Meriwether Lewis, entitled “The Retracing the Duplin, Lenoir County Line.”

The lines were run in the following order:

From the head of Sandy Run Branch through the old Barwick house, near Drummersville, to its corner in a field now owned by Sam Hines. The true bearing of this line was determined by an observation on Polaris at Elongation, and was found to be, North 69 degrees, 24.92 Minutes east. The magnetic declination was found to be 3 degrees and 29 minutes West, making the magnetic bearing of this line, North 72 degrees, 53.92 Minutes east, and its length was found to be 15,884.6 ft.

For a more complete description of this line and the obstacles encountered thereon, you are respectfully referred to the map attached hereto, and made a part of this report.

In Conclusion, we respectfully call your attention to the fact that in the beginning, and near the end of this line we encountered two objects which have been regarded for several generations as being on the County line. One of these points, the head of Sandy Run Branch, is described in the report of 1834. The other point is the old Barwick house, which has been recognized for several generations by the older residents of that section as being on the County line.

Your surveyors next proceeded to investigate the existence of the stake which had been described by the report of 1834 as being in Alfred Flowers’ field. Our investigation led us to a Mr. John Flowers of Mt. Olive, N. C., who stated that he cleared the land adjacent to this field, and that he had inherited the land from his father, who in turn had inherited it from Alfred Flowers. Mr. John Flowers further stated that in breaking this land he had turned out the original stake as set by the Commissioners in 1834, and realizing the importance of the Point, had immediately driven down a large cart axle at the very point where this stake had been plowed out.

We proceeded further down the line at a point between Burke Barfield and Clyde Flowers. We found the stump of an old long leaf yellow pine, which according to the reports of the older residents had shown the fore and aft chops of the original survey. Your surveyors then ran a line joining these two irrefutable points.

This line was found to have a magnetic bearing of South 74 degrees, and 43 Minutes east. The report of 1834 gave this line of South 80 degrees East. The mean declination of the Magnetic Needle was found

to be 3 degrees and 12 Minutes west, and the mean declination of the Magnetic Needle for 1834 was found from the bulletin issued by the Department of Commerce entitled “A Magnetic Survey of North Carolina,” to be 2 degrees and 5 Minutes east making a total of 5 degrees and 17 Minutes. In simpler words, the bearing of the line joining these two irrefutable points was found to be essentially as the bearing reported in the report of 1834.

The report of 1834 called for a Corner Pine at the head of Thunder Swamp Poquosin. We found that Messrs. Jim and Jess Albritton had cleared and drained this Poquosin some twenty-five years ago, and consequently we found no corner in evidence, so we proceeded to re-establish a corner by running a line from a Black Gum on the run of the Northeast Cape Fear river, just above the mouth of Calf Pasture Branch. This point had been definitely described as above in the report of 1834.

By applying the correction of 5 degrees and 17 Minutes to the North, 56 degrees east, given in the report of 1834, we ran North 61 degrees and 17 Minutes east to an intersection with the first line. This line intersected the old Elmore house now owned by W. B. and Roy Jones of Wallace, N. C., and we found by inquiry of the older residents that for several generations this old house had been considered on the County line. This line also intersected the house of Major Graham, colored, and Cleveland Grimes, colored, in the suburbs of Mt. Olive, and came to an intersection on a very slight ridge on Messrs. Jim and Jess Albritton's field, and from the position of this intersection it was agreed by all disinterested observers that it came at a point which agreed very closely with the description given in the report of 1834. This line was 11,922 ft. long.

For a more complete description of these two lines you are respectfully referred to the map attached hereto, and made a part hereof.

This completed the re-running of the line between Duplin and Wayne County.

Your surveyors marked their line at each Corner, and at each point where it crossed a public road by means of reinforced concrete monuments triangular in cross section, and 4 ft. long, set solidly in the ground about three feet, and marked on top with the letters “W” and “D” for Wayne and Duplin Counties.

Your surveyors next proceeded to investigate the line dividing Wayne and Lenoir Counties.

They found that an act of Legislature dated in 1779 called for the division to be a due North line. They began the survey at the corner as established by them and previously described in this report, and ran

a north line corrected for the difference in declination from 1779 to 1930, which was seven degrees. They, therefore, ran North 7 degrees East to the Neuse River.

Just north of the Neuse River they encountered a Water Oak which had been recognized for several generations as being a point on the County line.

For complete data on the obstacles encountered on this survey you are respectfully referred to the map attached hereto and made a part hereof.

This line was also marked by concrete monuments triangular in cross section similar to the ones previously described except with the letters “L” and “W” for Lenoir and Wayne engraved on the top thereof.

Attached hereto you will please find a list of property owners along the line, and the amount of acreage lying in each County.

Respectfully Submitted:

B. A. Waldenmaier, Duplin County Surveyor

Ellis P. Lupton, Wayne County Surveyor

Meriwether Lewis, Lenoir County Surveyor

The authority to retrace the Duplin-Lenoir County line was given to B. A. Waldenhaier for Duplin County by an order from the Duplin County Board of County Commissioners, dated Monday, February the 3rd, 1930.

A similar order was given Meriwether Lewis by the Lenoir County Board of County Commissioners, dated Monday, March the 3rd, 1930.


Having received the order the two Surveyors—Commissioners Named, were each qualified before a Justice of the Peace of his respective county, and each swore to weigh the evidence which might be brought to his attention, to do equal and impartial justice to all parties concerned according to their several rights and according to law, and each swore also to do the work to the best of his knowledge and belief.

Agreement As To Procedure:

Your surveyors met and agreed to retrace the line under the following plan:

That in along the boundary line as originally run Natural objects are Controlling Calls; artificial objects second in importance; course third; and distance fourth. Where there is still doubt or uncertainty, that rule should be adapted most consistent with the intent of the original Commissioners.

Data on The Legal Line:

Upon investigation Your surveyors found the following data on the line in question:

1. This line was ordered run by an Act of Legislature dated December 24th, 1819. (See Volume 11—Laws of North Carolina Page 1503—printed by J. Gales of Raleigh in 1821). This Act appointed two Commissioners from each County to lay off and mark the line and provided further that the said Commissioners were to report the result of their work to the Court of Pleas and Quarter sessions when completed.

2. The report of the Commissioners was returned to the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of Duplin County during the January session of 1824, and the Court ordered this report recorded. (See North Carolina Historical Commission Records).

Agreeable to an act of the General Assembly passed in the year of 1819 appointing Daniel Glisson, Edward Alberson, Job Leary, and Joel Hines Commissioners to lay off and survey and mark the county line between Duplin and Lenoir.

We, Edward Alberson of the County of Duplin and Joel Hines & Job Leary of the County of Lenoir three of the Commissioners with Samuel Davis County Surveyor of Duplin and Stephen Herring Surveyor of Lenoir with Thomas Fleetwood Hardy & Calvin Davis of Duplin County & John Leary, Wm. Hines & Alford Ellis of the County of Lenoir Chain Carriers and Markers did on the 13th day of Nov., 1823 convene at a pine the corner of Wayne & Proceed to run and mark the lines agreeable to the above plan as follows viz:

South sixty East 1350 poles to some small pines near Croom's old road, thence South 25 East Crossing the road at the Mile post # 6 810 poles to a lightwood stump on the ridge between Matthew's Branch Pond and Trent, then South 5 East 1780 poles to a stooping pine on the Beaverdam of Tuckyeho, then South 42 East 400 poles to the Corner of Jones, which line we have marked with three chops:

Given under our hands and seals this 5th day of January, 1824.

Edw. Alberson (SEAL)

Joel Hines (SEAL)

J. Leary (SEAL)

A true copy as taken from the original. Now on file in this office.

R. V. Wells,

C.S.C. of

Duplin County

3. This report was discovered in the old files of the Clerk of the Superior Court of Duplin County on March 20th, 1930 by your surveyors.

No record of its having ever been previously recorded was found. It was then entered on the records of the Division of Lands Book “A” Duplin County by Mr. R. V. Wells, Clerk of Superior Court of Duplin County.

Your surveyors found it necessary to make two trips to Raleigh to investigate the records in the office of the Secretary of State and of the North Carolina Historical Commission to trace this valuable document to its final discovery.

Your surveyors upon investigation were unable to locate in the records of Lenoir County any information relative to the running of this line. This is probably due to the burning of all of the County records about 1877.

Your surveyors feel that it would be fitting and proper at this point to commend the efforts made by Mr. L. A. Beasley, Mr. H. D. Williams, Dr. A. R. Newsome and Mr. R. V. Wells who materially assisted them to discover the original document.

Location of Natural and Artificial Objects on The Line:

Your surveyors next proceeded to view the line in an attempt to locate as many valid natural objects and artificial objects as possible. They found the following:

1. That the graveyard on the old Hardy Place was located as being just in Lenoir County and as Thomas Fleetwood Hardy was in the original crew of surveyors they accepted this point as valid.

2. An old post oak on the Hardy plantation was marked and while it is now down and destroyed several creditable persons vouched for its former location. This was accepted as valid.

3. A marked pine tree on the road near the old Rouse Mill was shown and the chops therein were uncovered and found to be about seventy-five years old. A pine stump vouched for as having shown the original side line chops when split into rails over twenty years ago was viewed and checked closely with the first marked pine. These were accepted as valid.

4. An old chopped pine now down located on the Burn Coat Road on Paul Outlaw's plantation was vouched for by several Creditable persons and was accepted as valid.

5. A pine stump on the ridge between Matthews Branch Pond and The head of Trent River was shown and vouched for by several Creditable persons as being a corner in the line and this was accepted as valid.

6. An iron axle on the old New Bern Road on the Isaac Stroud place was vouched for by Creditable persons as having replaced a post set by Job Leary, one of the original Commissioners and this was accepted as valid.

7. A pine stump on the road to Mince Howard's was shown and another point fifty yards east on the same road was shown. It was accepted that the line must be near this point.

8. A pine stump in the old Deer Glade on the L. Harvey & Son tract of land was shown by the former owner who had known this point for forty-five years as the Jones-Duplin-Lenoir County Corner. This stump showed the chops entering, leaving, and entering from the Jones-Lenoir side. This person's knowledge of the point was vouched for by three very crediable persons and this point was accepted.

Several other points were also viewed—for example, the line as supposed to pass The Smith plantation.

One point which your surveyors reserved judgment upon was a certain well fork in the rear of T. A. Turner's store in the town of Pink Hill. They found later that if they had accepted this point they would have had to reject it as it would not conform to other and more reliable information. The same is true of an old pine stump shown by T. A. Turner on road near old Tam road on the edge of the Town of Pink Hill, west of the line as run.

As yet your surveyors had not discovered the Duplin-Wayne-Lenoir Corner. They found that many persons differed in opinion in respect to this corner and that this corner had been in question in Court a short time before.

Your surveyors decided then to replace this point by intersecting the Duplin-Wayne Line with the Duplin-Lenoir Line. In this way they were concurred with by the Wayne Board of Commissioners. They accordingly located two unrefutable points on the Duplin-Wayne line—one on the plantation of John Will Outlaw, the other on the old Alex Barwick plantation. These points define a line and this is intersected with the Duplin-Lenoir Line for the beginning corner of this survey.

Method of Survey:

Your surveyors used a “K” and “E” one Minute transit which they kept in perfect adjustment. They also used a one hundred foot steel tape as a measuring instrument.

They proceeded to work according to the plans of procedure used by Mr. George Syme (Senior Highway Engineer of the N. C. State Highway Commission) on the boundary survey recently made by him between North and South Carolina, and they refer you to his report for more complete details.

Your surveyors connected two known points on each line of the County Line by a precise traverse and computed the direct line that would connect these two points. This direct line was then run very carefully.

Your surveyors assumed the geographical coordinates of Drummersville to be latitude 35 degrees 17 minutes North, longitude 77 degrees 50 minutes west. They then computed the azimuth of Polaris at elongation for March 31st, 1930, and at the time of elongation made a series of observations which determined the true or astronomical bearing of the lines of the survey.

The computed intersection angles of the connected line of the County Line were found to check the actual measured angle to less than one quarter of a minute in each case.

The distance computed from corner to corner of the County Line traverse checked to the measured distance to an average of one in twelve thousand five hundred, (or considerable less than one half of a foot for each Mile Measured).

The bearings of the lines returned to you by your suryeyors vary from the bearings as recorded by the original surveyors by an average of one degree 38 minutes of declination from the true North.

The lines returned to you by your surveyors in each case, excepting one, pass through two bonafide points on the original survey.

In No Case Could the line have been shifted Materially at one point and not have disturbed one or more perfectly acceptable points.

In all Cases your surveyors have found the people along the line anxious to help and only too happy to cooperate with them.


Your surveyors have prepared a plat of their work showing the true bearings of the lines they have run and much other descriptive Matter. Since this plat is self explanatory they have incorporated it into and as a part of this report in lieu of a detailed verbal description.

Marking The Line:

Your surveyors caused to be made twenty-six reinforced Concrete Monuments thirty-six inches long, triangular in shape and wider at the base than at the top. These Monuments have been placed at points where the several roads Cut the line and at the several corners. The location of these Monuments is clearly shown on the accompanying plat. They have caused every tree within reach of the Act along the line to be marked with three chops.

Property Owners Along The Line:

Your surveyors have prepared a list of all property owners along the line and have attempted to approximate the acreage lying in each County.

This list is appended hereto as an appendix to this report and will be found in Appendix “A.”

Personnel of Surveying Party:

Your surveyors wish to report the following personnel of the survey:

Duplin County:

B. A. Waldenmaier, Engineer-Surveyor, J. E. Waters, J. N. Waters, B. A. Waters, E. L. Waters, and J. G. Southerland.

Lenoir County:

Meriwether Lewis, Engineer-Surveyor, Frank Crary, Garland Waller, James C. Yates, Clarence Davis.

Addenda: (The situation around Pink Hill)

After your surveyors had completed the survey as herein before described there appeared some dissatisfaction to it among the Citizens of the town of Pink Hill. A delegation from Pink Hill was granted a hearing before a joint meeting of the County Commissioners of Duplin and Lenoir Counties on February 9th, 1931, at Kenansville, N. C., at which Meeting the joint decision of the County Commissioners was that Duplin County should cede to Lenoir County a strip of land, beginning at the point which the City limits of Pink Hill Cut the County line on the North and running from thence at right angles to the County line a sufficient distance to allow a line parallel to the County line to be tangent to the City limits, said line to run south far enough to intersect a line running west at right angles from the southern intersection of the County line with the City limits.

Your surveyors proceeded to the field and in accordance with the above instructions placed a Monument on the County line S. 1 deg. 57.28 Min. E. 18341.0 ft. from the monument near the head of Trent River and Mathews Branch, and running from thence S. 88 deg. 02.72 Min. W-501.4 ft. to another Monument; thence S. 1 deg. 57.28 Min. E. 2492.9 ft. to another Monument; thence N. 88 deg. 02.72 Min. E. 501.4 ft. to Monument on the County line which is 20833.9 ft. measured S 1 deg. 57.28 Min. E. from the Monument near the head of Trent River and Mathews Branch. The area of the land so ceded is 28.8 acres.


Your surveyors feel that they have discharged their Commission as well as could be expected after an elapse of one hundred and seven years and respectfully ask that you accept their report and discharge them.

Very Respectfully,

B. A. Waldenmaier, Surveyor

Meriwether Lewis, Surveyor.


Duplin County Board of Commissioners

I. J. Sandlin, Chairman

G. A. Outlaw

G. D. Bennett (LS)

Attest: Lawrence Southerland,

Clerk Board County


See Minute Record # 9, regular

Meeting of August 4, 1930.


Lenoir County Board of Commissioners

W. H. Howell, Chairman

J. R. Fields

J. F. Skinner

J. N. Jones

J. D. Brothers

Attest: C. W. Pridgen

Register of Deeds,

Lenoir Co., N. C.

(Duplin County Public Registry, Book 356, Pages 276-278; 285-290.)


WHEREAS, there has been dispute as to the location of the boundary line between Duplin and Sampson Counties, and confusion as to the exact location of said boundary has resulted in difficulty in determining matters of jurisdiction, venue, and in governmental affairs; and

WHEREAS, the County Commissioners of the Counties of Duplin and Sampson have agreed upon the location of the boundary line separating the two counties, and the agreed location has met with the general approval of the residents of the areas of each county affected: Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina do enact:

Section 1. That the county line between Duplin and Sampson Counties is hereby established upon the location shown on maps of the State Highway Commission issued prior to January 1, 1961.

Section 2. That the location of the county line dividing the two said counties on the county road maps issued since January 1, 1961, be

disregarded, and that the true location be as the same is shown upon maps issued prior to the January 1, 1961, issue of the said county road maps.

Section 3. All laws and clauses of laws in conflict with this Act are hereby repealed.

Section 4. This Act shall be in full force and effect from and after its ratification.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified, this the 12th day of March, 1963.

(Session Laws of North Carolina, 1963, Chapter 35.)


Duplin County lies entirely within the Coastal Plain. The Northwestern part of the County is in the Middle Coastal Plain; the Southern and Eastern parts are in the lower Coastal Plain or flatwoods.

The lowest elevation in the County is 20 feet at the point where the Northeast Cape Fear River flows out. The highest reported elevation is 167 feet at Bowden.

The greater part of the County is drained by the Northeast Cape Fear River and its tributaries. The main tributaries of this river are: Doctors Creek, Maxwell Swamp, Muddy Creek, Limestone Creek, Grove Swamp, and Goshen Swamp. A small area in the Western part near Warsaw and Baltic is drained by Stewarts Creek and by Turkey Swamp.


The Atlantic Ocean and other bodies of water tend to reduce daily and seasonal changes in temperatures in Duplin County.

Precipitation and temperature are uniform throughout the County. The summers are long and commonly have short periods of very hot weather. The weather is generally humid. The average frost-free period is from April 9 to November 1.

Short droughts occasionally injure crops and interfere with transplanting. Snow is very unusual and rarely remains on the ground for more than 24 hours. Ice storms occasionally damage trees and communication and power lines.


There are many streams in Duplin County, but some of the smaller ones flow only in wet weather. Most of the larger streams flow through wide areas of bottom land that are swampy and covered by water much of the time. Goshen Swamp and Northeast Cape Fear River have several channels through which water flows most of the time. All of the streams in the county flow slowly and often overflow surrounding lands. In some of the smaller streams, ponds have been built for the production of fish and for irrigation. Streams in the county are silted because of soil erosion on the uplands.

Well water is available throughout the County from wells that are mostly 25 feet or less in depth. Flowing wells in the swamps and on uplands provide a good supply of water. Many flowing wells in the Southern part of the county are less than 100 feet deep, but on the upland many are 200 feet deep or more.


The uplands of Duplin County were covered originally by growths of oak, hickory, dogwood, wild grape, persimmon, and a mixture of pine and shrubs. The low areas along the watercourses are either swamp or marsh, and the natural growth of these areas consists of gum, ash, water and white oaks, cypress, poplar, elm, maple, and various kinds of shrubs. Beech, birch, and juniper grow in a few parts of the county, but these trees are scarce.

All of the original timber has been cut. At the present time, only second and third growth trees are in the county, and most of these are young and small. The trees are cut as soon as they are large enough for saw logs. Much of the present stand is being cut for pulpwood.

There are three forest types in Duplin County. The loblolly pine-hardwood forest type is the most extensive. It is widely distributed because trees of this type have restocked abandoned fields and cutover areas formerly in long leaf pine. The bottom land-hardwoods forest type is next in extent in the county and it occurs along all major streams. The largest areas of this type are along the Northeast Cape Fear River and along Goshen Swamp, and they range from ¼ mile to 2 miles, in width. The pond pine-hardwood type is next in extent. It occurs in the Southeastern part of the county in Angola Bay and in small bays in other parts of the county. Angola Bay and the swampland have not been cleared for cultivation and are all in forest.

All land now in cultivation was covered originally by the loblolly pine-hardwood forest type. In the Southeastern corner of the County, however, there is a small area of forest that more nearly resembles the long-leaf pine type.

Many kinds of shrubs grow in most forest areas. Angola Bay and some swamps and lesser bays contain more than 20 species of bog-type shrubs. The only native grasses are probably the wire grass of the forests and broomsedge. Most other grasses growing in the County were imported from other areas.

In the savanna-like areas of the Northeastern parts of the county, orchids, venus-flytrap, pitcherplant, trumpetplant, grasses and sedges are growing wild.

(USDA Soil Survey, March 1959, Page 2.)

The plants named in the last paragraph are also found in the Southern and Southeastern parts of the county.


The Venus-fly-trap belongs to a peculiar group of plants, part of whose food consists of animals, especially insects. It is one of the most remarkable of insect trapping plants, being found only in certain sandy swamps near Wilmington, N. C. The leaf blade is constructed so as to work like a steel trap, the two halves snapping together and the marginal bristles interlocking like the teeth of a trap. This trap is sprung by sensitive hairs, like feelers, that are developed on the leaf surfaces. When one of these is touched by a small flying or hovering insect, the trap snaps shut, and the insect is caught. In all of these cases a digestive fluid is excreted and the food material utilized.

(The New International Encyclopedia, Volume IV, Dodd, Mead & Co.)


On March 24th of 1663, King Charles II at his court in Westminster issued this document to eight of the supporters who, a few years earlier, had provided him crucial backing in his successful struggle to regain the English throne. Under the terms of the grant the eight Lords Proprietors became the owners of an immense area extending southward from Virginia to Florida (then a Spanish possession) and from the Atlantic to the “South seas” or Pacific Ocean. Although the Carolina Charter was granted by Charles II to his eight friends in settlement of political and, perhaps, other indebtedness, it is nevertheless an indispensable link in the chain of records beginning with Magna Carta that establishes and preserves our political liberties down to the present.

In the Carolina Charter are found, for example, guarantees of the representative form of government which characterizes our way of life.

The Lords Proprietors were required to

make (and) enact under their seals . . . any laws whatsoever, either pertaining to the public state of the said Province or to the private utility of particular persons, according to their best discretion, of and with the advice, assent and approbation of the freemen of the said Province, or the greater part of them, or of their delegates or deputies, whom for enacting the said laws when and as often as need shall require. We will that (the Lords Proprietors) shall from time to time assemble in such manner and form as to them shall seem best.

The original document from which these words are taken was acquired for the State of North Carolina by a group of public spirited citizens who purchased it from a British antiquarian bookseller in 1949. The venerable four-page parchment is on display in the Hall of History in Raleigh, encased in a modern fireproof safe so constructed that each page can be examined without damaging it. Each year many thousands of visitors, including entire classes of school boys and girls, view the document. It is worth noting that only six other states possess their colonial charters today. . . .

Since the actual granting of the Carolina Charter occurred in England,

there is not available in North Carolina a locale specifically associated with the year 1663 as is Jamestown for 1607 or Plymouth Rock for 1620. Moreover, the tempo of activity in the colony immediately following the issuance of the Charter was slow; it was not until October, 1664, that the first colonial official, William Drummond, was appointed “governor and Commander in chief” of Albemarle County, one of the three regions into which the colony was divided by the Lords Proprietors.

During these early years settlements were confined chiefly to the coastal region. It is estimated that by 1700 the total population of the colony did not exceed 5,000 with perhaps half this number in a small area adjoining Albemarle Sound. By 1763, however, the colony's population had grown to approximately 200,000 and settlement had extended westward to the Blue Ridge mountains.

(From The Carolina Charter, Tercentenary Commission pamphlet.)


A. Brief Description of the Province of Carolina, &c. Carolina is a fair and spacious province on the continent of America, so called in honor of his sacred majesty that now is, Charles the Second, whom God preserve; and his majesty has been pleased to grant the same to certain honorable persons, who in order to the speedy planting of the same, have granted divers privileges and advantages to such as shall transport themselves and servants in convenient time.

There is seated in this province two colonies already: One on the river Roanoak (now called Albemarle River), and borders on Virginia; the other at Cape Feare, two degrees more southerly; of which follows a more particular description.

This province of Carolina is situate on the main continent of America, between the degrees of 30 and 36, and hath on the north, the south

part of Virginia; on the south is bounded by the 30th degree of latitude, not yet fully discovered; on the east is Mare Atlanticum, part of the great ocean; and on the west the wealthy South sea is its confines.

The particular description of Cape Feare. In the midst of this fertile province, in the latitude of 34 degrees, there is a colony of English seated, who landed there 29th. May, Anno 1664, and are in all about eight hundred persons, who have overcome all the difficulties that attend the first attempts, and have cleared the way for those that come after, who will find good houses to be in whilst their own are in building; good forts to secure them from their enemies; and many things brought from other parts there, increasing to their no small advanage.

The chief of the privileges are as follows:

First there is full and free liberty of conscience granted to all, so that no man is to be molested or called in question for matters of religious concern; but every one to be obedient to the civil government worshipping God after their own way.

Secondly. There is freedom from custom for all wine, silk, raisins, currants, oil, olives, and almonds, that shall be raised in the province for seven years, after four tons of any of those commodities shall be imported in one bottom.

Thirdly. Every free man and free woman that transport themselves and servants by the 25th of March next, being 1667, shall have for himself, wife, children, and men-servants, for each, one hundred acres of land for him and his heirs forever, and for every woman-servant and slave fifty acres, paying at most ½ d. per acre per annum, in lieu of all demands, to the lords proprietors: Provided always that every man be armed with a good musket, full bore, ten pounds of powder, and twenty pounds of bullet, and six months’ provision for all, to serve them whilst they raise provision in that country.

Fourthly. Every man servant at the expiration of their time is to have of the country a hundred acres of land to him and his heirs forever, paying only ½ d. per acre per annum, and the women fifty acres of land on the same conditions: their masters also are to allow them two suits of apparel, and tools such as he is best able to work with, according to the custom of the country.

Fifthly. They are to have a governor and council appointed from among themselves, to see the laws of Assembly put in due execution; but the governor is to rule but three years, and then learn to obey; also he hath no power to lay any tax, or make or abrogate any law, without the consent of the Colony in their Assembly.

Sixthly. They are to choose annually from among themselves a certain

number of men according to their divisions, which constitute the General Assembly, with the governor and his council, and have the sole power of making laws, and laying taxes for the common good when need shall require. These are the chief and fundamental privileges, but the right honorable lords proprietors have promised (and it is their interest so to do) to be ready to grant what other privileges may be found advantageous to the good of the colony.

(Colonial Records, Vol. I, Pages 155-157.)


In 1663 Albemarle County was organized.

In 1670 Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank, and Perquimans were organized out of Albemarle County.

In 1696 Bath County was organized.

In 1705 these counties were organized out of Bath County: Beaufort County (called Pamptecough before 1712); Craven County (called Archdale before 1712); and Hyde County (called Wickham before 1712).

In 1722 Bertie County was organized out of Chowan, and Carteret County was organized out of Craven.

In 1729 New Hanover County was organized out of Craven, and Tyrrell County was organized out of Chowan, Currituck, Bertie, and Pasquotank.

In 1734 Bladen and Onslow Counties were organized out of New Hanover.

In 1741 Northampton County was organized out of Bertie.

In 1749 Duplin County was organized out of New Hanover. (Thus Duplin is the seventeenth county in North Carolina.)


North Carolina, often called the “Tar Heel state,” was the scene of the first attempt to colonize America by English-speaking people. Under a charter granted to Sir Walter Raleigh by Queen Elizabeth, a colony was begun in the 1580’s on Roanoke Island. This settlement, however, was unsuccessful and later became known as “The Lost Colony.”

The first permanent settlement was made about 1650 by immigrants from Virginia. In 1663 Charles II granted to eight Lords Proprietors a charter for the territory lying “within six and thirty degrees of the northery latitude, and to the west as far as the south seas, and so southerly as far as the River St. Mattias, which bordereth upon the coast of Florida, and within one and thirty degrees of northern latitude, and so west in a direct line as far as the south seas aforesaid; . . .” and the colony was called Carolina. In 1665 another charter was granted to these noblemen. This charter extended the limits of Carolina so that the northern line was 36 degrees and 30 minutes north latitude, and the southern line was 29 degrees north latitude, and both of these lines extended westward to the South Seas.

In 1669 John Locke wrote the Fundamental Constitutions as a model for government of Carolina. The Lords Proprietors adopted these constitutions and directed the governor to put into operation as much of them as was feasible. In 1670 there were four precincts (changed to counties in 1739): Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan, and Currituck.

Carolina on December 7, 1710, was divided into North Carolina and South Carolina; and Edward Hyde, on May 12, 1712, became the first governor of North Carolina.

In 1729 seven of the eight Lords Proprietors sold their interest in Carolina to the Crown and North Carolina became a royal colony. George Burrington was the first royal governor. Richard Everard, the last proprietary governor, served until Burrington was appointed.

North Carolina, on April 12, 1776, authorized her delegates in the Continental Congress to vote for independence, and on December 18, 1776, adopted a constitution. Richard Caswell became the first governor under this constitution. On November 21, 1789, the state adopted the United States Constitution, being the twelfth state to enter the Federal

Union. North Carolina, in 1788, had rejected the Constitution on the grounds that certain amendments were vital and necessary to a free people.

North Carolina seceded from the Union May 20, 1861, and was readmitted to the union in July, 1868.

A new State Constitution was adopted in 1868. There has not been a new constitution since 1868, but numerous amendments have been added.

(N. C. Manual, 1965.)



Many people in the State and County hold the mistaken belief that Duplin County received its name from the Irish city Dublin. To support this theory is the fact that many of the early colonists came from Ireland, at least via Ireland. Further, the close relation between the letters “b” and “p” would seem to lend strength to this supposition.

But Duplin received its name from a certain English nobleman, George Hay, Viscount Dupplin, the eldest son of the sixth Earl of Kinnoull. In 1710 Dupplin was elected to Parliament for Fowey, Cornwall, and later served as a telleer of the exchequer. In the following year he was created Baron Hay of Pedwardine, Herefordshire, one of twelve peers specially created by the tory administration of Harley and St. John to secure a majority in the House of Lords on the question of the Utrecht treaty.

The Peace of Utrecht is the general designation for a series of treaties formed in Utrecht, Netherlands, bringing to a close the War of Spanish Succession. It was at this date that England's immense commercial development began.

Dupplin was arrested in 1715 when the Jacobite rebellion broke out in Scotland. He was suspected of favoring the Pretender and was imprisoned along with Lord Landsdowne and the Earl of Jersey. Subsequently he was released on bail. The death of his father in 1719 made him Earl of Kinnoull. In the years that followed he inherited from other relatives baronies in Stratheven, Perthshire, Stirlingshire and Argylishire in Scotland.


After Kinnoull had spent several years in Constantinople as Brittish ambassador, he became involved with the Scottish ecclesiastical courts in a matter concerned with the choice of a pastor for Madderty Parish, Perthshire. Kinnoull had chosen, since he had the right to “presentation,” one George Blaikie for the pastor of the Perthshire parish. But Blaikie was so objectionable to the Scotchmen that Presbytery refused to induct him as their pastor. When the matter was brought before a commission of

the General Assembly, Kinnoull was asked to waive his right of presentation, but he refused to do this on the ground that he might weaken “the right of patronages, and of all those to whom they do belong.”

The case was ably argued on behalf of the parishioners by Robert Hawley, weaver, and John Gray, mason. The commission of the General Assembly instructed the Presbytery to induct Blaike as pastor in Madderty, but while the case was still unsolved Blaikie accepted a call in America, where he became pastor of a Presbyterian church.


Lord Duplin married Lady Abigail, daughter of Robert Harley, first Earl of Oxford. By her he had four sons and six daughters. Thomas, his eldest son became Earl of Kinnoull in 1758, and he died at the age of 77 in old Dupplin Castle in Perthshire.

Of the numerous titles borne by Lord Dupplin none are in existence at the present of any importance. And so old Dupplin remains the chiefest of his memorials. Davidson, N. C., October 26, 1936.

(In Old Duplin, By Dallas Herring.)


When Duplin was set up in 1749, as set forth in the Colonial Records, the County Justices were directed to hold Court at the house of William McRee at Goshen. William McRee lived on a tract of land on Highway Number 11, approaching Goshen Swamp from Kenansville, and then called Woodwards Chase, at what was then called the Goshen Settlement, on what is now known as the McIver tract of the Miller land. He lies buried in the little clump of trees across the branch east of the W. W. Miller cemetery. His will dated 1751, describes his home place, 500 acres granted to him as being in “Goshen Settlement.” The majority of the inhabitants were then communicants of the Church of England, the religion established by the laws of England, and the act provided for Saint Gabriels Parish, and appointed the vestrymen, whose business it was among other things to look after the poor and incidentally the spiritual affairs of the inhabitants. Court was held at the house of William McRee on Goshen till the year 1751, when the Justices, whose duty it was to hold the County Court and to provide public buildings, procured the necessary land, and erected a courthouse, stocks and prison bounds, at “The Old Courthouse” three miles west of Warsaw, on the road leading from Wilmington to Goldsboro, where the public road from Warsaw intersected the same, near the present residence and

on the farm of L. C. Carlton and near the home of Duplin County's then most distinguished and wealthiest citizen, civic and military leader, General James Kenan, whose residence was west of Turkey Swamp at the identical spot where the residence of J. F. Faison is now located. This was the courthouse for the territory now embraced in both Duplin and Sampson Counties, and it was ideally located, and it remained the county seat until after the revolution, when the General Assembly at Hillsboro, on the 19th of April, 1784, passed an act to divide Duplin County into two parts, by a line beginning on the Pender County line, where the main road crosses Bull Tail, a branch of Rockfish, which is a few miles east of Harrell Store, in Sampson County, and running thence a straight line to the lower bridge across Stewart's Creek, which is about 6 miles west of Magnolia, and thence a straight line to Goshen Swamp at the mouth of Youngs Swamp, thence due north to the Wayne County line, and further providing that all that part of Duplin County on the west side of that line should be erected into a county to be called Sampson County. The act provided that justices of the county should proceed to erect a new courthouse, prison and stocks, and for the levying of one shilling specie on each hundred pounds of taxable property for two years, which was a tax rate of about 5 cents on the hundred dollars of property. It was also provided by the act that the first court should be held at the store of James James, on his plantation, and this is located where the road to Magnolia intersects Highway Number 40, at the County Home. The court was held as directed, called the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sections, on the 18th day of October, 1784, the Justices present being William Houston, Sr., Col. James Kenan, Col. Thomas Routledge, Esquires; a solicitor or States Attorney, Plunkett Ballard was appointed, and the Court proceeded to function by ordering deeds probated and transacting other County business. (See Minutes of the County Court of Duplin County now in possession of the North Carolina Historical Commission at Raleigh, also see for a full account, the Historical Sketch read by L. A. Beasley at the opening of the New Courthouse in Kenansville at the February Term, 1913, page 203, where the two acts of General Assembly, 1749 and 1784, with reference to formation of Duplin County are copied in full.) The record shows the next Court was held at the House of James Pearsall on April 18th, 1785, the three Justices present being Thomas Routledge, Joseph Dickson, and Joseph Thomas Rhodes. On Tuesday, three more Justices came in, to wit: Kedar Bryan, Charles Ward, and James Gillespie. James Pearsall's residence was near the present residence of our Register of Deeds, A. T. Outlaw, which was on the road leading out to the residence of another of Duplin's most distinguished citizens and Revolutionary heroes, Thomas

Routledge, whose house was not far from the Routledge Graveyard, and at whose house Major James H. Craig, the British Commander stationed at Wilmington, encamped in July 1781, on his march to Newbern after routing Col. James Kenan and his raw recruits at Rockfish Bridge, just east of Wallace on his journey of intimidation, burning and pillaging, in a vain effort to intimidate the patriots of Duplin County. By July 18th, 1785, a courthouse had been constructed near the site of the present building, and the six justices named above were on hand for Court in the new building. The first case disposed of was that of William McLam vs Joseph Laiton when Joseph Godwin and John Bryan, sureties for defendant, being a poor debtor, surrendered him to the Court, and they were discharged, and he, because he could not pay a civil debt, was put in the custody of the Sheriff, and in Jail, which was located near the courthouse and the spring and was perhaps allowed prison bounds, that is, to come out of the jail and sit inside certain lines fixed by the court, from which he could not go, except under heavy penalty, until someone took pity on him or death released him. We have indeed made progress from prison bounds for failure to pay debts, balls and chains, ear pruning, slitting, branding irons and crude executions by piling around the unfortunate man and setting fire to same. (See first volume of Minutes of the Court, in Historical Commission at Raleigh.)

The old Courthouse was remodeled in 1848 and in 1911 was torn down and replaced by the present structure, at a cost of about $30,000, a modern, fireproof, up-to-date structure which will serve the County and its needs for many years to come.

William Dickson, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1740, and came with his father to Duplin County in 1745, a leading citizen and patriot, and Clerk of the County Court for many years, wrote a sketch of Duplin County in 1810, which has been edited by Dr. A. R. Newsome, Secretary of the North Carolina Historical Commission, with copious footnotes and is published in North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. 5, page 429.

He says that Duplin County was settled about the year 1736, by emigrants from Northern Ireland, and Dutch (he meant Germans) from Switzerland. Henry McCulloch, Esquire, of London, in 1735, procured a grant from George II for 72,000 acres of land, lying between the Black river and the North East Cape Fear, and he induced these people to come in and settle on this land, which he and his agents conveyed to them by numerous deeds, which appear of record in the Registry of Sampson County (and now in Duplin County). Kenansville is on this land, and the eastern boundary of the tract crosses Grove Swamp to the east of Kenansville. The Gradys are typical of the Irish settlers and the Wellses of the Swiss or German settlers of this period. The Kenans,

the Moriseys and the Torranses also came to Duplin from Northern Ireland, but with the McCulloch settlers. . . . With the Dicksons and Pearsalls from Pennsylvania, the Hollingsworths from Maryland, the Matthews, the Parkers and others from Southeastern Virginia, the English from Lower Cape Fear, and French from Newbern and other Settlers, the population of the county began.

The first settlements were at Sarecta, which McCulloch gave as his American address; at Goshen, on the McIver tract, where William McRee lived, and the Court was first held, which in his will be called Goshen Settlement; at the Grove, near Routledge Graveyard, at Kenansville, where many of the early notables of Duplin County lie sleeping. It was in this settlement that Dickson says was the first Presbyterian congregation in the county. Both he and his brother Alexander Dickson, the philanthropist, are buried there.

A typical emigrant was Jacon Wells, direct ancestor of our Clerk of the Court, R. V. Wells. He and his ancestors lived near Basle, Switzerland, the home of the International Bank, established since the World War, a city of 200,000 inhabitants at present, in the land of the lakes, the beautiful Alps, and the legend of William Tell. In after years he often spoke of Basle, and its surpassing beauty, saying that he had been there many times. This sturdy pioneer, armed with his German Bible and sublime and abiding faith in the New World, with his parents and brothers set sail from Newcastle on the Tyne, England, and landed at Newbern in 1710, and in early manhood, he married, and pushed up in the interior of the wilds of Carolina, settling about two miles west of Magnolia, on lands purchased a few years ago from his direct descendants by J. F. Croom. There is a large branch crossing the Lisbon Road, running through the land, called Yoakey Branch, a corruption of German sound for Jacobs Branch, but called in the Grants issued to him as appears from the records of the grants in Secretary of States office, Jacob Wells Branch. At the date of his settlement there, the nearest settlements to him were those at Sarecta, Goshen, the Grove, and one in Rockfish township, near the Ephraim Powers Mill, which he patronized. Other pioneer families have a like history.

In 1786, a tract of 100 acres of land on the east side of the North East River was laid out on the lands of Dr. William Houston, and incorporated into a town, the earliest town charter in the county, and among the early charters of the state. Pretentious maps of lots were drawn by skillfill engineers, on parchment, and these showed lots numbered, streets and squares, and all known as the town of Sarecta. He was the same William Houston known years before as the King's Stamp Master for North Carolina, who sought to land the hated British stamps

imposed by a tyrannical King George III, at Wilmington, and who was forced by the irate patriots to seek safety on a war vessel in the river. He lived at Saretca, and his Doctor's shop was located on the spot where the A. A. Quinn residence now stands. Many persons bought lots as the records will show, but the town failed to materialize. The oldest town in Duplin is Kenansville, which was known by the name of Duplin Court House from the time of the location of the court house there in 1784 until it was laid out about 1818, and it was incoporated as Kenansville, named in honor of Hon. Thomas S. Kenan who represented the district in Congress from 1805 to 1811, and later became resident of Selma, Ala. Magnolia is located on the farm given by David Carlton to his daughter Tabitha Strickland, and when the Wilmington and Raleigh railroad, chartered in 1833, was constructed through that farm, and completed about 5 years later, the trains stopped there at what was known as Stricklands Depot, where the Lisbon Road crossed the same, now on Main Street. It was incorporated in 1855 as Stricklandsville, and later the name was changed to Magnolia, in honor of Miss Maggie Monk, the beautiful daughter of J. B. B. Monk, a leading citizen at that time. Warsaw was incorporated also in 1855, and owed its origin to the fact that it was on the Wilmington & Raleigh railroad. It was known before as Mooresville; one of its earliest residents was a merchant, Thaddeus Love, who came there from Wilmington about 1839, whom his friends and neighbors called Thaddeus of Warsaw, and hence the name of the town, when chartered.

The first incorporated school in the county dates back to 1785, the Grove Academy (older than the State University) where Latin and Greek were taught, and where many prominent men received their training, including Vice President W. R. King, formerly of Sampson, but later of Alabama.

The first graded school incorporated and established by law, with a special tax feature was at Magnolia (Laws of 1883, Chap. 415, entitled an act to establish a graded school at Magnolia, Duplin County). Election for school and special tax was held on the first Monday in May, 1883, and the school began in 1884. Dr. J. N. Stallings and his daughters, Miss Irene and Miss Bettie, composed the first faculty. They were teachers of rare ability and skill, with visions of what a teacher should be, far ahead of most that was then offered. This school functioned until 1889, when its charter was repealed. It was in this school the writer entered in the year 1884, a little red-headed, backwoods, country boy, with previous haphazard training in hit-and-miss three months a year country schools, and the knowledge that a fourth grader would now spurn. It was in the same school, four years later, that he was able to complete the common

school course then offered, and to gain some knowledge of Greek and Latin under another gifted and able teacher, Professor J. G. Stokes. This enabled him to enter college, and ultimately secure a degree. Many others began their education in that institution. Among the youngest was Hon. J. K. Hamblin, a prominent lawyer of Union, S. C., and Speaker of the House in that state; F. M. Sawyer, a skillful architect and brilliant cartoonist, who was one of the first graduates of State College, and now a resident of California; Mrs. S. B. Hunter of Magnolia, nee Miss Alice Croom, a talented musician, who took a course at the New England Conservatory of Music.

The first graded school with a special tax feature to be established in recent years in the county was at Warsaw in 1906. H. L. Stevens, who was chairman of the Committee for many years, was instrumental in securing the same and was responsible for its signal success. Other towns followed suit, and we now have large and commodious buildings in all the towns, with splendid schools. The three best buildings are at Kenansville, Chinquapin, and B. F. Grady School. The school at Beulaville is now the largest rural school in the state. All have chemical and scientific equipment, surpassing that in any college in the State forty years ago.

This sketch was prepared at the request of Judge Henry Alexander Grady, one of the Judges of the Superior Court of the State, and resident of the sixth Judicial District, living at Clinton, Duplin being in this District. His father, Hon. Benjamin Franklin Grady, is a native son of Duplin, of whom the county is justly proud. He was County Superintendent of Schools in Duplin in 1889, when the writer began to teach in the country schools. He was afterwards Congressman from this district. He was a profound scholar, historian, scientist, mathematician, and astronomer, and the most learned man Eastern North Carolina has ever produced, and to his gifted son, the Judge, this sketch is dedicated.

Kenansville, N. C. July 24, 1933.


L. A. Beasley

County Historian

(Court Minutes, Book 42, Pages 77-80.)


I. Whereas, his Majesty, by his Orders in his Privy Council, dated the Eighth Day of April, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty Four, did repeal, declare void, and of none Effect, Twelve Acts passed at Sundry Times in this Province; which Acts are intituled, as follows, viz: . . .

An Act for erecting the upper Part of New Hanover County into a County and Parish, by the Names of Duplin County, and St. Gabriel's Parish, and for appointing a Place for building a Court House, Prison and Stocks, in the said County, Passed in the Year 1749. . . .

II. And whereas his Majesty, taking into his Royal Consideration the Humble Representation of the Assembly of this Province, setting forth that many Inconveniences, with respect to the future Settlement of this Province might arise from the Repeal of the said Acts; his Majesty has been graciously pleased by an instruction from their Excellencies the Lords Justices to the Governor of this Province dated the First Day of July, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty Five, to authorize and direct the said Governor to give his Assent to any Acts which shall be passed by the Council and Assembly of this Province, for re-establishing the several Towns, Precincts, and Counties heretofore erected by the Twelve Acts which have been repealed as aforesaid, and for confirming the rights of the People, as by the said Acts they were established, under certain Provisions and Restrictions in the said Orders mentioned; Be it therefore Enacted by the Governor, Council, and Assembly, and by the Authority of the same, That the several Divisions, Precincts or Districts of this Province, which have heretofore belonged to the several and respective Counties and Towns aforesaid, before the Repeal of the before recited Acts of Assembly, shall, and they are hereby declared to be re-established into Counties and Towns, by the several and respective Names by which each Division, Precinct or District, at the Time of repealing the aforesaid Acts, was known and denominated; and each of the said Counties shall be limited and bounded according to the Bounds and Limits heretofore known and reputed to be the Bounds and Limits thereof.

III. Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be construed deemed, or taken, to alter or derogate from the Right and Royal Prerogative of his Majesty, his Heirs or Successors, of granting Letters of Incorporation to the said Counties and Towns; of ordering, appointing, and directing the Election of a Member or Members, to represent them in Assembly; and of granting Markets and Fairs to be kept and held in them respectively: But that the said Right and Prerogative may and shall, at all Times hereafter be exercised therein by his said Majesty, his Heirs or Successors, in as full and ample Manner, to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever, as if this Act had never been made.

IV. And be it further Enacted, That all Deeds and Conveyances for the conveying of any Lands, Lots, or Tenements, in either of the Counties or Towns aforesaid, to any Person or Persons whatsoever, either to the Use of the Public, or to their own Use, in Consequence of any or either of the said Acts of Assembly so repealed as aforesaid, shall and are

hereby declared to be good and valid in Law; and shall enure and take effect as fully, to the benefit of the Grantees, their Heirs and Assigns, and all others concerned, as if the same Acts had never been repealed. . . .

(Laws of North Carolina, 1756, Chapter IX, Page 445.)

A List of the Militia and Taxable Persons in Duplin County for the Year 1755:


(Colonial Records, Vol. V, Page 575.)



Duplin County, January One Thousand Seven Hundred and fifty nine 1759. This Indenture made the thirty first day Of August in the thirty Seventh year of the Reign Of Our Sovereign Lord George the second By the grace Of God of Great Britain France And Ireland, King Defender Of the Faith &c Between Henry McCulloch Esquire Of Turnham green in the County Of Middlesex in the Kingdom of England, On the One part, And Thomas Kennan in Duplin County in the province Of North Carolina Of the Other Part.

WHEREAS HIS MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY King George the second by a grant Dated the third Day of March Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred And forty Five 1745, gave And granted to Henry McCulloch a tract of land Containing Seventy One thousand, One Hundred and Sixty Acres of land upon the Branches Of the North East Branch of Cape Fear River and also upon Black River and the Branches thereof, with all rights and Privileges of hunting, hawking, fishing and Fowling with all Woods Waters and Rivers with all proffits commodities Or Accreditaments to the same belonging or appertaining to Him the said Henry McCulloch, His heirs and assigns Forever in its full and simple manner. As of the man or of east Greenwick, Nevertheless, subject to several Conditions And Restrictions as By relation being thereunto Had, may more fully appear. Now this Indenture witnesseth as well for And in consideration Of the sum Of Fifty pounds to me in Hand paid and also for And in consideration of the Rents Covenants, Provisos And Agreements herein mentioned And contained By and On the part of Thomas Kennan his Heirs and assigns the said HENRY McCULLOCH HATH GIVEN GRANTED Bargained sold and confirmed and By these presents

do give grant Bargain sell and Confirm to the said Thomas Kennan his Heirs and assigns Forever, all that piece and Parcel of land lying and being in the County of Duplin in the province Of North Carolina in America, on the North side of Turkey Branch, being part Of a tract Of land, Belonging to Henry McCulloch Esquire, Containing Seventy One thousand, One Hundred and Sixty Acres, 71,160. Beginning at a White Oak on Turkey Branch Running North 40, West 16nf Poles to a pine, said McCulloch Corner, thence with his line North 75 East 140 poles to a red Oak thence with his Other line North 20, East, 132 poles to a white Oak, thence North 75 East 44 poles to a lightwood Stake in a Pond, thence South 40, West 242 poles to a Water Oak, On Turkey Branch and with the same, to the Beginning and Containing in the whole, THREE Hundred and thirty Eight Acres, Of land all which premises are more particularly Described, and set forth in the map of Plan thereof. Hereunto annexed with all right And privileges of Hunting Hawking fishing and Fowling with all Woods Waters and Rivers With all proffits Commodities or Acreditaments, to the same Belonging or Appertaining to him the said Thomas Kennan, his Heirs and assigns forever. Except in Case that any mines shall be found on the said lands One Half of all Gold And silver Ore, and of all Other mines and minerals Whatsoever, be Reserved for the use Of the said Henry McCulloch his Heirs and assigns Forever, and the said Thomas Kennan for himself his heirs and assigns and forever of them doth Hereby Consent promise And agree to and with the said Henry McCulloch his heirs and assigns that within Six months of the date of these presents they shall Register the said grant of Conveyance Or An Authentic Transcript thereof, together with all annexes. Survey in the Deputy Auditor's Office in North Carolina And also allow Tennants for the Payment of Quit Rents to his Majesty or to his investor after the rate of three shillings, sterling, or four shillings proclamation money for every hundred acres and according to that proportion for Any less Quantity making together thirteen shillings and seven pence. But in case therein grant or an authentic copy of this conveyance, and the said allotments is now made.

On adv in the Deputy Auditor's Office or that that Quit Rents are in arrears more than twelve months from the time due, the said Thomas Kennan his heirs and assigns shall be liable to pay to the said Henry McCulloch his Heirs or assigns Double Quit Rents for the time so Elapsed. When Registering this Conveyance, allowing for the Payment of the Quit Rents Aforesaid or for any omission or neglect which may Happen, in not paying the Quit Rents Yearly to his majesty's receiver in North Carolina and it is also Covenanted And agreed that if the said

Thomas Kennan his Heirs or assigns Hold any more lands than they are entitled to by this Conveyance they shall forfeit said Surplus lands and pay Double quit rents during the time it has been in their possession.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF THE ABOVE MENTIONED parties Have hereunto set their Hands and Seals.

Henry McCulloch (SEAL)


Alexander McCulloch (SEAL)

Be it Remembered by Virtue Of a letter Of Attorney under the Hand and seal of the said Henry McCulloch to Alexander McCulloch duly Registered in the Secretary's Office, did in the name of the said Henry McCulloch sign and subscribe the grant. And then sealed and Delivered the Same As his the said Henry McCulloch Act and Deed in the presence Of us who have hereunto Subscribed Our names as witnesses.

Felix Kenean

Jos Lafar

THE WITHIN DEED FROM HENRY McCULLOCH By Alexander McCulloch to Thomas Kenan, Containing Three Hundred And thirty Eight Acres of land was proven in Court the Fourteenth day of October One thousand seven Hundred and Fifty Eight 1758. By the Oath of Felix Kenan And Ordered to be Registered Hereunto John Dickson Clerk of Our said County of Duplin this 13th Day of October 1758.

John Dickson, Clerk of Court

(DEED: Henry McCulloch to Thomas Kenan, Book 3, Page 1.)

The return of the Lists of Taxables for the year 1765 in the Province of North Carolina:

White Men Taxables848
Blacks and Mullattors Male & Female130
Total Number in County978

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VII, Page 145.)


The following is a genuine Copy of the letter to Doctor William Houston, appointing him Stamp Distributor for this Province.

Stamp-Office London, July 11th 1765.


I am ordered by the Commissioners, to acquaint you, the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury, have been pleased to appoint

you to be Distributor of Stamps for North Carolina: you are therefore on Receipt hereof to write to this Board to propose two responsible Persons in England to be bound with you, in the Penalty of Two Thousand Pounds. As this Duty takes place on the first of November next, and no Stamps can be sent you, until your Bond is executed, you are desired to be as expeditious as possible.

I am your humble servant


(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VII, Page 130.)

On the 16th November, 1765, Dr. William Houston, the recently appointed Stamp Master, who happened to be in town on that day, was taken to the court-house in Wilmington and forced to resign his office, and to promise, in writing, not to receive any stamped paper nor to officiate in any means as Stamp Master or distributor of the stamps within the province of North Carolina, directly or indirectly.

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VII, Page VI.)

Copy of Mr. Wm. Houston's Resignation of his Office of Stamp Distributor for the Province of North Carolina.

I do hereby promise that I never will receive any stampt paper which may arrive from Europe in consequence of any Act lately passed in the Parliament of Great Britain nor officiate in any means as stamp Master or Distributor of the Stamps within the Province of North Carolina either directly or indirectly and I do hereby notify all the Inhabitants of His Majesty's province of North Carolina notwithstanding my having received information my being appointed to the said stamp office not to apply hereafter for any stampt paper or to distribute the same until such time as it will be agreeable to the Inhabitants of this Province: Hereby declaring that I do execute these presents of my own free Will and Accord without any Equivocation or mental Reservation whatsoever.

In Witness hereof I have hereunto set my Hand this 16th Day of November 1765.

Wm. Houston.

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VII, Page 131.)

NOVEMBER 20, 1765.

. . . On Saturday the 16th of this inst. William Houston Esq., Distributor of Stamps for this Province, came to this town; upon which three or four Hundred People immediately gathered together, with drums beating and Colours flying, & repaired to the House the said Stamp-Officer put up at, & insisted upon knowing Whether he intended to execute his said Office, or not. He told them, “He should be very sorry

to execute any office disagreeable to the People of the Province.” But they, not content with such a Declaration, carried him into the Court-House, where he signed a Resignation satisfactory to the Whole.

We hear from Newbern, that the Inhabitants of that Place, try'd, condemn'd, hang'd, and burn'd Doctor William Houston, in effigy, during the Sitting of their Superior Court. Mr. Houston, however, thinks that there was too much of the Star-Chamber Conduct made use of, in condemning him unheard; especially. As he had never solicited the Office; nor had he then heard he was appointed Stamp-Officer. . . . At Cross Creek, tis said, they hang'd his Effigy and M. Carter's together, (he who murder'd his Wife;) nor have they spar'd him even in Duplin, the County where he lives.

(Colonial Records, Vol. VII, Page 124.)

Dr. Houston's assertion that he was appointed Stamp Master without his knowledge seems by no means improbable, when it is remembered, that Franklin, and other Provincial Agents in London, had at one time so little hope of the repeal of the Stamp Act that they recommended their friends for positions under it.

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VII, Pages IX & X.)

(Tryon's Letter Book)

Letter from Governor Tryon, to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.

Brunswick 5th April 1766

I was honored with your Lordships Commands on the 25th of March last by the favor of Mr. Lownde's letter of the 14th September 1765 requiring me to give my assistance to the Distributor of the Stamps in the execution of his office. Some Stamps for this province arrived here from Virginia the 28th of November last in the Diligence Sloop of War; but as Mr. Houston, Distributor of the Stamps, was obliged publickly to resign his office in the Court House of Wilmington on the 16th of the same month, a copy of which I enclose, I desired Capt. Phipps to keep the Stamps on board the Diligence. They were lately removed into his Majesty's Sloop the Viper, Capt. Lobb, Commander, the Diligence having sailed for England. My endeavors, my Lords, to promote the circulation of the Stamps in this province have been accompanied with my warmest zeal, as I flatter my self the letter I wrote on that subject to Mr. Conway one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State will testify. The ill success that has attended this discharge of my duty, has given me real concern; since the riotous Assembly of men in Wilmington,

and Brunswick on the 19th 20th and 21st of February last, there has been no disturbances in this province, the ports have never been shut and entries and clearances are made in the form that was practiced before the Stamp Act was appointed by Parliament to take effect; I continue in my opinion that these Southern provinces will regulate their further conduct, agreeable to the measures that are adopted by the more formidable Colonies to the northward.

I am, My Lords, &c.

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VII, Page 195.)

Letter from Dr. Houston (Stamp Agent) to Governor Tryon.

Soracte 21st April 1766

May it please your Excellency


Before this comes to hand you will be partly informed of the Transactions at Wilmington on Tuesday the 15th inst.

I make bold to acquaint you of a part which is to be depended upon, that the Sons of Liberty never got into their hands. ’Tis a letter that Mr. Brettel Secretary to the Commissioners dated from the Stamp Office Lincolns Inn London 13th of September 1765, which is in my Possession what was took from me was the packet containing my Commission and my Deputation Instructions with a Bond ready filled up to be executed before your Excellency. In Obedience to which I should have done myself the honor to have waited on your Excellency and as affairs stand at present its impossible for me to comply by the Information the Letter gives; Those Ships are not yet arrived on Board of which the Stamps are for this Province under my care and when they arrive can I possibly take possession until the people are convinced when that is I am ready on notice. But for me who by the nature of my Commission am hated, abhor'd detested. No friend to consult or assist, Even those that would or could have not courage to do, is a great Hardship.

I beg and hope your Excellency will not expose this letter but after perusal commit it to the Flames. Necessity which make me open my want of a Friendly advice I think Mr. John Moses De Rosset would not refuse your excellency a Copy of a Bond, Instructions and Commission which is lodged in his hands I most humbly desire your Excellencys Pardon for writing to you in this manner, my only hope is your Excellencys Generous and Human Disposition for unfortunate Persons, of which I hardly know what I do.

Having Experienced the Mode of Base Persons in this Part of the

World detaining of letters and even destroying them make me send this by my son William who is going to Philadelphia with a small venture of his Own.

I am with the greatest duty &c


P. S. No Gilt Paper or I would have wrote upon it.

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VII, Page 198.)

(From Tryon's Letter Book.)

Letter from Governor Tryon to Governor Bull

Brunswick 17th June 1766

I am to acknowledge the favor of your letter giving me the intelligence of the repeal of the Stamp Act, as also your letter delivered me by Lord Hope. It is with pleasure I congratulate you on the above event. I trust the generosity and benevolence of his Majesty and his Parliament in their late conduct to the British Colonies, will engrave such grateful impressions on the minds of the Americans, as neither ambition, prejudice of education, or time will ever be able to efface. Their interest under their different circumstances are certainly mutual, and reciprocal. I have received by way of New York dispatches from the Secretary of State notifying the repeal of the Stamp Act, &c. I have inclosed the dispatches to the Governors of the Southern provinces, to Mr. Barons a packet directed to Lord Charles Montagu makes me imagine his Lordship may be arrived at his government.

I am Sir &c.

(Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VII, Page 221.)


Capt. Wm. Burney.Joshua Putnell.Benjamin Allen.
James Brooks, Lt.Michael Moss.William King.
Charles Taylor.George Williams.Jesse King.
William Taylor.William Cannon.Starkey Bell.
John May.John May.Benjamin Cory.
Archibald Addams.Peter Moss.William McGowen.
John Hardee.Pearson Toten.John Stocks, Sen'r.
Flish Cox.John Stocks, Jun'r.Lemuel Cherry.
Norlen Mills, Jun'r.William Williams.David Mills.
Norlen Mills, Sen'r.David Williams.Freid Mills.
Andrew Hardey.Simon Burney.Isaac Stocks.
Daniel Willson.William Handcock.Isaac Brooks.
Rich'd Albritton.Harry Smith.John Brooks.
James Handcock.Samuel Knight.Samuel Cannon.
Alex'd Danield.Moses Strawhorne.John Cannon.
Issac Buck.John Avary.Thomas Hardey.
Will'm Travis.Thomas Smith.Thomas Grager.
Isaac Mills.Stewart Gorden.John Haddick.
Sampson Slaughter.Robert Hardey.George McGowen.
Wm. Slaughter.Isa'h Hardey.Thomas English.
Ezechiah McAfee.Lemuel Simmons.John Mills, Sen'r.

John Mills, Jun'r.Thomas Albritton.Isaac Nobels.
John Robinson.Isaac Hardey.Margaret Tanner.
Thomas Tuton.Joseph Stevens.John Simpson.
James Quartermuss.Abraham Adams.

(State Records of North Carolina, Clark, Vol. XXII, page 415.)


A List of the Duplin Troop, Viz,:

Frederick Gregg, Capt.Saml. Gavin.Antony Miller.
John Dickson, Leut.Edwd. Matchet.Antony Cook.
Samuel McRae, Corup.John Moore.Peter Frederick.
John Miller, Quarter Master.Wm. McCann.James Mears.
Hugh McCann.Isaac C. Daniel
Thos. Kenan.Manual Lozier.Frederick A. Daniel
Wm. Wright.Jere Holdon.Ebulan Cook.
Archd. Houston.Patrick Fitsmooris.Izac (?) Savidge.
Zebulon HollinsworthJames Cookes.Robert Knowls.
Felix Keenan.James Cook.John Goss (?)
Abraham Moulton.Jos. Ken.John Matchet.
James Ratliff.Wm. Leacock.Richard Miller.
Chas. Gavin.George Miller.John Cook, Senr.
Mosses Tiller.

(—Clark, Walter, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XXII, Page 330.)

Early History

The early history of Duplin proves that, “in the days that tried men's souls” she was true to the principles of liberty.

Her delegates to the first general meeting of the Deputies of the inhabitants of this colony at Newbern, 25th August, 1774, were Thomas Gray, Thomas Hicks, James Kenan and William Dickson.

The delegates at Newbern, 3d April, 1775, were Thomas Gray and Thomas Hicks.

Delegates at Hillsboro, 21st August, 1775, James Kenan, William Dickson, Thomas Gray, Richard Clinton and Thomas Hicks.

The delegates to Halifax, 12th November, 1776, which formed our Constitution, James Kenan, Thomas Gray, William Dickson, William Taylor and James Gillaspie.

The field officers for Duplin, appointed by the Provincial Congress, 4th April, 1776, at Halifax, for Duplin County, were Thomas Rutledge, Colonel; James Moore, First Major; Robert Dickson, Second Major.

THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE AND ABJURATION, adopted with signers’ names in Duplin, from the Original, on file in the Clerk's office of Duplin.

I am indebted to the politeness of Thomas J. Morisey, Esq. (sent to me in 1844), for this ancient document, thus preserving the name of those in whose breasts glowed the true spirit of liberty.

By Act of Assembly passed at Newbern, the 15th of November, 1777. I, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, that I will be

faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina, to the powers and authorities which are or may be established for the government thereof, not inconsistent with the Constitution. And I do solemnly and sincerely declare, that I do believe in my conscience, that neither the King of Great Britain, nor the Parliament thereof, jointly with the said king or separately, or any foreign prince, person, state, or potentate, have or ought to have any right or title to the dominion or sovereignty of this State, or to any part of the government thereof. And I do renounce, refuse, and abjure any allegiance or obedience to them, or any of them, or to any person or persons put in authority by or under them, or any of them. And I will do my utmost endeavors to disclose and make known to the legislative or executive powers of the said State, all treasons and traitorous conspiracies and attempts whatsoever, which I shall know to be made or intended against the said State. And I do faithfully promise that I will endeavor to support, maintain, and defend the independence of the said State, against him the said king and all other persons whatsoever. And all of these things I do plainly and sincerely acknowledge and swear, according to these express words by me spoken, and according to the plain common sense and understanding of the same words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. And I do make this acknowledgment, abjuration, renunciation and promise, heartily, willingly, and truly, so help me God.

Henry CannonJohn MoltonWilliam Dickson
Michael KenanSamuel HoustonJ. Rand
Robert DicksonJames SampsonJohn Wright
George SmithThomas RoutledgeJames Kenan
Alexander GrayRichard HerringWilliam Taylor
Darcy FowlerJoseph DicksWilliam Ball
Richard ClintonThomas R.J. P. Ballard
J. SpillerEdward TooleJames Lockart
Fleet Cooper

Hon. Thomas Kenan was a native of this County, from whose family the County Town takes its name. He represented Duplin in 1804 in the Senate, and from 1805 to 1811 he was a member of Congress. He removed to Alabama, and was a member of Assembly in that State for many years.

He died near Selma, Alabama, 22d October, 1843, in the seventy-third year of his age.

Felix Kenan, who was Sheriff of Duplin in 1776, was brought before the bar of the Congress for his Tory principles.

Hon. Charles Hooks, from this County, was a member of the House of Commons in 1802, 1803 and 1804, and in the Senate in 1810-11, and in Congress in 1816 to 1817 and 1819 to 1825. He removed to Alabama, where he recently died.

(Historical Sketches of North Carolina (1584-1851) By John H. Wheeler, Pages 138-139.)

Proceedings of the Safety Committee at Wilmington.

MONDAY, March 6th 1775.

3 o'clock, the committee met according to adjournment.

Present: Cornelius Harnett, Chairman; Francis Clayton, Deputy Chairman.

John Robeson, Samuel Swann, A. Lillington, George Moore, Sampson Moseley, Wm. Jones, L. C., John Colvin, Samuel Marshall, Wm. Jones, W. T., Thos. Bloodworth, Archibald M'Lahe, John Ancrum, James Walker, James Wright, Timothy Bloodworth, Samuel Collier, John Hollingsworth, Joel Parish, John DeVane, George Merrick, Wm. Hooper, James Moore, Frederick Jones.

Mr. James Kenan, Chairman of the Duplin committee, pursuant to a letter from this committee at their last meeting attended.

Resolved, That all the members of the committee now present go in a body and wait on all Housekeepers in Town, with the Association before mentioned, and request their signing it, or declare their reasons for refusing, that such Enemies to their Country may be set forth to public view and treated with the contempt they merit.

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee, that all dances private as well as public, are contrary to the spirit of the 8th Article in the Association of the Continental Congress, and that as such they should be discouraged, and that all persons concerned in any dances for the future should be properly stigmatized.

Mr. Harnett desired the opinion of the Committee respecting a Negro fellow he bought in Rhode Island (a Native of that Place,) in the Month of October last, whom he designed to have brought with him to this Province, but the said Negro ran away at the time of his sailing from Rhode Island.

The question was put whether Mr. Harnett may import the said Negro from Rhode Island.

Resolved, Unanimously, That Mr. Harnett may import the said Negro from Rhode Island, and it is the opinion of this Committee that under the above circumstances, such importation will not be any infringement of the Article of the Resolves of the General Congress.

Ordered, that Mr. Grant, Messenger to this Committee, be paid for his attendance on the committee, 10 days (including to-morrow) at the rates of 8s. per day.

The Committee then adjourned till 9 o'clock to-morrow morning.

(Clark, Walter, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. IX, Page 1150.)

The “War of the Revolution” began in 1775. . . .

Until this time the colonies in America were subject to the King of

England. The country was settled by his subjects; and it was considered right, therefore, that he should govern it.

This, the colonists were willing he should do, so long as his laws were just and good. They had come from England, and they loved the English people and they respected the King, who was then George III.

But neither the King, nor the people in England, loved the Americans as much. They were at that time jealous of them. They feared that at some future time the Americans would become rich and powerful, and wish to separate from them.

The Americans were, indeed, prospering. They now amounted to more than three millions of people. The statesman in England said, they were growing too fast; they would soon become proud and independent. Something must be done to keep them in check.

At length, it was resolved to tax the Americans. This would take away their money and keep them poor. The first tax was imposed in 1764. In that year, it was ordered that the Americans should pay a certain sum on all the sugar, indigo, coffee, etc., which should be taken from England to use in America.

In 1765, the English Parliament went still farther, and passed an act, called the “Stamp Act;” that is a duty, or tax, on every piece of paper used for notes, deeds, wills, etc. It was called the “Stamp Act,” because each piece of paper had a stamp upon it, representing a crown.

This Act was very odious to the Americans. They thought it unjust; and they resolved not to submit to it.

(The United States—For Children, Liberty Hall Library.)


The only man killed at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, on the American side, was private John Grady, and a monument stands today upon the Battlefield in commemoration of his heroism. Members of this family have participated actively in every War since the United States Government was created; in the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the War Between the States, the Spanish-American War, and the great World War of 1918. They have filled important positions in the State, and have at all times shown themselves worthy of trust.

(John Grady 1710-1787 of Dobbs and Duplin, dated 7-1-30 by Benjamin Grady, Page 11)

Extract of a letter from Brigadier James Moore, in the Continental Service, to the Honourable Cornelius Harnett, Esq. President the Provincial Council, North Carolina, dated Wilmington, March 2, 1776. On the earliest intelligence that the tories were collecting and embodying

at Cross Creek, which I received on the 9th day of February, I proceeded to take possession of Rockfish-bridge, within seven miles of Cross Creek, which I considered as an important post. This I effected on the 15th, with my own regiment, five pieces of artillery and a part of the Bladen militia; but as our numbers were by no means equal to that of the tories, I thought it most advisable to entrench and fortify that pass, and wait for a reinforcement. By the 9th I was joined by Col. Lillington with one hundred and fifty of the Wilmington minutemen, Colonel Kenon with 200 of the Duplin militia, and Col. Ash with about 100 of the volunteer independent yagers, making our number then in the whole about 1100; and from the best information I was able to procure, the tory army, under command of General McDonald, amounted to about 14 or 1500. On the 20th they marched within four miles of us, and sent in, by a flag of truce, the Governor's proclamation, a manifesto and letter from the General, copies of which, together with another letter, and my answer, you have enclosed. I then waited only until Col. Martin and Col. Thackston, who I had certain intelligence were on their march, should get near enough to cut off their retreat, and determined to avail myself of the first favorable opportunity of attacking them. However, contrary to my expectations, I learnt on the 21st that they had, the night before, and that night, crossed the N. West River, at Campbelltown, with their whole army, sunk and destroyed all the boats, and taken their route the most direct way to Negro Head Point; I then dispatched an express to Col. Caswell, who was on his march to join us with about 800 men, and directed him to return and take possession of Corbert's Ferry over Black River, and by every means in his power to obstruct, harass, and distress, them in their march; at the same time I directed Col. Martin and Col. Thackston to take possession of Cross Creek, in order to prevent their return that way. Col. Lillington and Col. Ash I ordered, by a forced march, to endeavor, if possible, to reinforce Col. Caswell; but if that could not be affected, to take possession of Moore's Creek Bridge, whilst I proceeded back with the remainder of our army to cross the North West at Elizabeth Town, so as either to meet them on their way to Corbert's Ferry, or fall in their rear and surround them there. On the twenty-third I crossed the river at Elizabeth-Town, where I was compelled to wait for a supply of provisions till the 24th at night, having learnt that Col. Caswell was almost entirely without. Just when I was prepared to march, I received an express from Col. Caswell, informing that the Tories had raised a flat, which had been sunk in Black River, about five miles above him, and by erecting a bridge, had passed it with their whole army. I then determined, as the last expedient, to proceed immediately in boats down

the North West river, to Dollison's landing, about sixty miles, and take possession of Moore's Creek Bridge, about ten miles from them, at the same time acquainting Col. Caswell of my intentions, and recommending him to retreat to Moore's Creek Bridge, if possible, but if not, to follow on in the rear. The next day by four o'clock we arrived at Dollison's landing, but we could not possibly march that night for want of horses for the artillery; I dispatched an express to Moore's Creek Bridge to learn the situation of affairs there, and was informed that Col. Lillington, who had the day before taken his stand at the bridge, was that after noon reinforced by Colonel Caswell and that they had raised a small breast work, and destroyed a part of the Bridge. The next morning, the 27th, at break of day, an alarm gun was fired, immediately after which, scarcely leaving our people a moment to prepare, the Tory army, with Capt. McLeod at their head, made their attack on Col. Caswell and Col. Lillington, and finding a small entrenchment next to the Bridge, on our side empty, concluded that our people had abandoned their post, and in the most furious manner advanced within thirty paces of our breastworks and artillery, where they met a very proper reception.

Captain McLeod and Captain Campbell fell within a few paces of the breastwork, the former of whom received upwards of twenty balls through his body, and in a very few minutes their whole army was put to flight, and most shamefully abandoned their General, who was next day taken prisoner. The loss of the enemy in this action, from the best accounts we have been able to learn, is about thirty killed, and wounded; but as numbers of them must have fallen in the creek, besides many more that were carried off, I suppose their loss may be estimated about seventy. We had only two wounded, one of which died to-day. This Sir, I have the pleasure to inform you, has happily terminated a very dangerous insurrection, and will, I trust, put an effectual check to Toryism in this country.

The situation of affairs at this place made it necessary for me to return here, which, at the special request of the committee, I did last night with my regiment. The large requisitions made by the men-of-war, who now lie just before the town, gave the inhabitants reason to apprehend everything that could be suffered from their disappointed vengeance, however the committee have spiritedly determined rather to suffer the worst of human evils than afford them any supplies at all, and I have no doubt we shall be able to prevent them from doing any great injury.

In order to lessen as much as possible the expence incurred by this expedition, I some time ago directed Col. Martin to disband all the troops under his command, except 1000, including the regulars, and

with those to secure the persons and estates of the insurgents, subject to your further orders.

And then to proceed to this place, unless otherwise directed. However, as I do not think the service just now requires such a number of men in arms, I shall immediately direct him to disband all except the regulars, and with those to remain in and about Cross Creek until further orders.

(Clark, Walter, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XI, pages 283-284.)


An Ordinance for appointing Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, and Constables for the several Counties of this State, for erecting County Courts for the purposes of holding Sessions of the Peace and putting into execution the laws relative to Orphans, Guardians and highways until provisions shall be made by the General Assembly of this State for the same. . . . John Sampson, William Houston, Thomas Rutledge, Richard Clinton, James Kenan, William Ball, William Dixon, Thomas Hix, Robert Dickson, Richard Herring, William Taylor, and James Lockhart, Esquires for the County of Duplin; . . .

(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XXIII, Page 993.)


(From Executive Letter Book)

WILMINGTON, 28th July, 1777.


Since writing your Excellency yesterday, I came to this place in order to send off my dispatches to the several Cols. of this district. On my arrival I found several Scotch Tories and others from Cross Creek and Bladen, and learn from what they have told to their Friends in this town that the Insurgents you mention beyond a doubt intend to come down to this place, and under the same pretense that they give for their journey to Cross Creek, vis, salt. I find so many of the inhabitants here disaffected, and such a number of Tories from the other Counties here, and others dropping in by two or three at a time, occasions me to suspect they intend seizing the magasine by surprise. I have therefore (as I do not think it safe to trust a matter of such importance to the State to too small a guard) ordered by the whole of the well-affected part of the militia of this County on duty, but do not believe they will exceed three hundred. I have sent orders to Col. Robeson of Bladen to embody his Regiment immediately, and make his draughts, and in case he finds they leave Cross Creek, to march the whole of them against them, and to annoy and impede their marches by breaking down the bridges, and skirmishing with them at every difficult pass, in order to retard their

march, and give me time to collect as many of the Brigade as possible. I have sent similar orders to Col. Kenan of Duplin, should they take that route, and have dispatched orders to the several other Col's. of this district to hold themselves in readiness. Mr. Edward Ingraham, a warrant Capt. of the Washington, privateer, who was just setting off when I came to town, with several letters of recommendation from Gentlemen of this place to your Excellency, I thought proper to stop on this occasion. He sends his letters pr bearer hereof, I make no doubt your Excellency will give ’em all due credit, and likewise prevail on Capt. Vance to tarry at this important crisis. I shall punctually inform your Exellency of every intelligence of importance I may receive.

I am Sir with due esteem and respect,

Your Excellency's most obed't & very hum.,


(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XI, Page 546.)


(From Executive Letter Book)

DUPLIN, June 6th, 1778.


The volunteers and Drafts for this County have elected Theophilus Williams their Captain, in consequence of which he waits on your Excellency for a Commission, at the same time is somewhat doubtful of his appointment being incompatible with his commission as Lieutenant in the regular service. I shall be much obliged to your Excellency to inform me by Mr. Williams if there being any probability of money being got for the men in a short time.

I am sir with due respect your Excellency's most obedient and very humble servant.


(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XIII, Page 148.)


(From Executive Letter Book)

DUPLIN July 1st 1778.


The clothing and other things are ready for the Soldiers belonging to this county. They embody to-morrow at the same time declare they will not march until the bounty is paid them. I hope it is arrived by this, and your Excellency will direct me the most speedy way to receive it for them, as I wish them not to be detained here. If your Excellency has

received any late news from the No'ward shall be much obliged to you to favor me with it by Mr. Amis.

I am Sir, your mo. ob. & very hume, servt.


(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XIII, Page 183.)


. . . II. Be it therefore Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and by the authority of the same, That Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pounds be emitted on the Faith and Credit of this State, in Bills of the following denominations, that is to say, two thousand five hundred of one hundred dollars, five thousand bills of fifty Dollars, three thousand one hundred and twenty-five of forty Dollars, ten thousand of twenty-five Dollars, twelve thousand five hundred of twenty Dollars, fifty thousand of Ten Dollars, fifty thousand of five Dollars, twelve thousand five hundred of four Dollars, twenty five thousand of two Dollars, fifty thousand of one Dollar, one hundred thousand of Half a Dollar, one hundred thousand of one fourth of a Dollar; one hundred thousand of One Eighth of a Dollar, and two hundred thousand of one Sixteenth of a Dollar; that the same be printed in a printing press and that Henry Rhodes, Henry Horn, Jun., Nathan Bryan, Jeremiah Frazier, James Saunders, and George Alexander, be Commissioners to superintend and number the same; that James Kenan, John Lillington, James Williams, Thomas Satterwhite, Jesse Cobb, Benjamin Exum, William Sharp, James Kerr, Orcondates Davis, Benjamin Hawkins, Thomas Harvey and Joseph Jones, be commissioners to receive the same when printed and numbered, to sign the same and to pay it into the hands of the Public Treasurers.

III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the general form of the bills hereby emitted shall be as follows, to-wit:

“State of North Carolina.”

“This Bill entitles the Bearer to receive__________Spanish milled Dollars or the value thereof in Gold or Silver, agreeable to an Act of Assembly passed at Hillsborough the eighth day of August, 1778.”

And such Bill shall be impressed and printed both in the face and reverse thereof, on the edges as well as the Body thereof, with divers letters, Marks, Devices, and Words which may be difficult of imitation, and which in the opinion of the Superintendents of the Press, may most effectually secure the same from attempts to counterfeit.

IV. And be it also enacted by the authority aforesaid, that every dollar of the emission aforesaid shall be held and deemed equal to eight

shillings proclamation Money, and shall pass current at the same, and be a lawful Tender in all Payments and Contracts within this State, any Law, Custom or Usage to the contrary nothwithstanding.

V. And be it also enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the Superintendents shall to each set of signers deliver a sum not exceeding ten thousand pounds at one time taking a receipt for the numbers from the lowest to the highest inclusive, and shall deliver no more to the same set of signers until a receipt shall be produced from some one of the Public Treasurers for the same numbers duly signed.

VI. And be it also enacted by the authority aforesaid, that every Commissioner appointed by this act to superintend and number and to sign and pay the said bills of credit to the Public Treasurers shall take an oath well and truly to execute the duties and discharge the trusts by this act required and each and every Commissioner shall enter into Bond with the Governor with sufficient security to be by him approved in the sum of twenty thousand pounds for the due performance of the duties and trusts by this act required. . . .

(Laws of N. C. — 1778, Chapter 1, SR, Volume XXIV, Pages 184-187.)

By Favor of Capt. Williams.

Camp Duplin Court House

Aug. 31st, 1778


Your favor of the 23rd Instat favored by Captain Williams came to hand this morning and was exceedingly glad to have orders from you.

The men have been embodied here a considerable time and have had no Orders. Only once from Colo. Davis, who has been detained from Camp occasioned by Sickness, I have However not failed to make him acquainted with the troops, by returns, the Men has been pretty constant in camp til lately, some have furlough who are daily expected in. I have this Morning dispatches off to Bladen, Cumberland & Hanover to give Notice to the several Cols. that we intend Marching off immediately, So as if they have rec'd any Money it may be distributed to the Levies from their own County. The Hanover comp'y is not supplied with Cloaths, tho’ they are now ready which I have sent down for this Morning and am in hopes we shall be ready in ten days from this and makes no Doubt but the Men will March off without Much trouble. The Cumberland Company has never Joined here, I wrote the Commanding Officer of that Detachment to march off within ten days, from this date to Halifax & mentioned if the men would not proceed to make Weekly returns either to you Or the Commanding officer of this District. You will Inclosed receive a return of the 3 Comp'ys now in Campt which is but small & am

sorry for it but hopes before ten days is past we shall make a better appearance.

This will be delivered you by Captain Williams who can personally tell you the situation of the troops here more to your Satisfaction than I can by letter, to whom the further intelligence shall refer. The Discriptive list of Bladen and Cumberland I returned to Col. Davis & expects it will cause me a ride to his house, for which is about 45 miles. You'l see by the return that a Great part of the Men Never Joined.

I am Colo. Withe respect


Your Most Obt. Servt.

(State Records Vol. XIII, Pages 472-73.)


(From Executive Letter Book)

South Carolina, Boundary January 10th, 1780.

Please Your Excellency.


After many difficulties, I have got what Troops have come up over the line on the 6th Instant, which are on their march for Charles Town. Agreeably to your Excellency's orders I have enclosed a general return of the Men, and shall esteem it a favor done me if your Excellency will at any time be pleased to let me hear from you. You will see, Sir, by the return how backward the cols have been in turning out their Men and providing for them. The Duplin men have at this time neither Cart, pot or any other necessary for marching.

I am, Sir, your Excellency's Mo. ob. Servt.


(Walter Clark, State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XV, Page 317.)


(From Executive Letter Book)

Duplin, March 19th, 1780.


I received your favor of the 16th Inst. It gives me real pleasure to find that my taking the Command of the Militia to South Carolina meets your Excellency's apposition, and be assured, Sir, I shall do everything belonging to my duty that can be expected from an undisciplined officer. I am exceedingly happy to find that I am commanded by General Caswell, whose abilities will do honor to the officers and men under his command.

I have sent a wagon for the muskets, Bayonets, &c., according to your

request. Please to send one Cartridge Box and Bayonet properly in fix, as it will be a pattern for us to have the others done in the same way. It will be necessary to have a few pounds of powder to clean the inside of the Guns, besides what I have. I am in great want of a Marquee or some kind of Shelter from the weather. I have sent a Cart to Wilmington for Tents for the men. My Militia comes in very slow. A number, I am told, swear they will not go; those I will send after and bring in, if possible. A list of the whole men drafted I enclose you; there are five or six that are discharged, not being able to do any duty whatsoever.

Should your Excellency have received any news that you are at large to communicate, please to let me know it.

I have the honor to be your Excellency's

Mo. ob. & very humbl. Servt.


(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XV, Pages 358, 359.)

Extract from a General Return of the men now in Camp under the command of Genl. Harrington at Forks Creek near Cross Creek, Sept 5th, 1780:

Capt. Deveaun, Duplin:Lieutenants1
Totally44Capt. Page, Duplin:
Fit for Duty23Deserters0
Sick5Fit for Duty25
Absent with Leave10Dead0
Drummers0Absent With Leave19

(State Records of N. C., Vol. XV, page 73.)

Sunday, 8th October, 1780.

Ordered that the Following be made out and sent Colonel James Kenan, Duplin:


As the Army at this place stand in great need of Provisions at present, particularly Cattle, the Board of War addresses this subject to you, that you will please to call on the County Commissioners for provision Supplies,

if there is one appointed by the Justices of your County, for all the Cattle he hath on Hand, and that he have them immediately drove to this post, If there is none appointed, have five Justices summoned by the Sheriff to appoint one; and, agreeable to the Directions of the Act of Assembly in that case, he must, without delay, purchase or impress Provisions, and grant Certificates for the same until the Collection of the Specific Tax takes place. We flatter ourselves that you have or will accept this appointment; from your known zeal and Activity in the service of your own County, your undertaking this service will be very agreeable to the Board. We once more impress on your mind the immediate Necessity of having Cattle sent on, and your ordering proper persons and Guards to attend the Commissioners on this Service.

(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XIV, Page 413.)

Wednesday, 31st January, 1781.

Received from the Commons the following Message:

Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen:

We herewith send you a message from His Excellency the Governor, accompanied by a letter from Colonel Kenan of Duplin County, which we propose referring to a joint Committee, and have on our part appointed Messrs. Starkey, Gillispie and Herndon, a Committee.

The Message and Letter above referred to being read, Resolved, that James Kenan, Esquire, be appointed Colonel Commandant of the Militia in the District of Wilmington, in the absence of Brigadier General Lillington, with all the power to call out the Militia of that District as occasion may require, which are by law vested in the Brigadier General when present.

Resolved, that His Excellency the Governor, be directed to order to be raised immediately such and so many of the militia of the districts of Newbern and Wilmington as shall appear to him to be convenient and necessary to repel the Enemy lately arrived in Cape Fear River, and to take such other measures as he shall deem conducive to the defence and safety of the State. Ordered that the foregoing Resolve with the following Message be sent the Committee for concurrence.

Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen:

This House have received the Message of yours proposing that the Message from His Excellency the Governor together with the Letter from Colonel Kenan be referred to a joint Committee, with which we do not concur, but propose that the Resolve herewith sent you, relative to the subject matter thereof, be immediately adopted.

(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XVII, Pages 649-650.)

Received from His Excellency the Governor the following Message (1-31-1781):


You will receive herewith a Letter just come to my hand from Colonel Kenan, of Duplin County, giving an account of the arrival of a British fleet at Cape Fear. For my own part I have no doubt of the truth of this account, and in my opinion no time should be lost in proceeding for the immediate defence of that part of the State; and should it be the sense of the General Assembly to enable me to act in my proper Character, by removing the obstructions that have been put in my way, I could wish this was done as speedily as possible, that I might be enabled to act. I wish to proceed down the Country immediately, unless the General Assembly think it necessary I should stay a day or two longer.


(Clark, Walter, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XVII, Page 732.)

Thursday, February 1st, 1781.

Received from the Commons the following Message:

Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen:

We return the Resolve of your House appointing Mr. James Kenan, Esq., Colonel Commandant of the Militia, &c., in the district of Wilmington, &c., concurred with.

(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XVII, Page 659.)


Head Quarters Mulberry Plantation, Camp near Beaufords Bridge, 24 March, 1781.

In consequence of an order of the day for a Genl. Court Martial to sit for the Tryal of Major Dennis, charged with Mutiny, disobedience of orders and desertion; the Court met at ten o'clock.

COL. KENAN, President,

COL. ALFRED MOORE, Judge Advocate.

Col. YoungMajor Campbell
Lt. Col. BloodworthCaptain Dickinson
Lt. Col. LeonardCaptain Battle
Lt. Col. GrantCaptain Whitehead
Major AndrewsCaptain Alburton
Major TradwellCaptain Larkins

The whole Court being duly sworn, Major Dennis was Introduced, and the Crime with which he was charged, read to him; he acknowledged he had acted contrary to Genl. Lillington's order, but denied his being guilty of mutiny or desertion, whereupon the Witnesses were Introduced and sworn and examined, both by the Court and Major Dennis, the Prisoner. The Court, after mature deliberation, are of the opinion that Major Dennis is guilty of Disobedience of Orders and Desertion, and do therefore Sentence him to be Cashiered, & request that the Governor recommend it to the Assembly that Major Dennis may be rendered incapable of holding any office of Honour or trust or profit in the State.

JAS. KENAN, Col. Presdt.,

ALFRED MOORE, Judge Advocate.

(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XV, Pages 431, 432.)


Wilmington, 24th April, 1781.

Dear Phillips:

My situation here is very distressing. Greene took the advantage of my being obliged to come to this place, and has marched to South Carolina. My expresses to Lord Rawdon on my leaving Cross Creek warning him of the possibility of such a Movement have all failed. Mountaineers & Militia have poured into the back part of that province, and I much fear that Lord Rawdon's posts will be so distant from each other and his Troops so scattered as to put him in the greatest danger of being beat in detail, and the worst consequences may happen to most of the Troops out of Charlestown. By a direct Move towards Camden I cannot get time enough to relieve Lord Rawdon, and should he have fallen, my Army would be exposed to the utmost danger from the great rivers I should have to pass, the exhausted state of the Country, the Numerous Militia, the almost universal spirit of revolt which prevails in South Carolina, and the strength of Greene's Army, whose Continentals alone are at Charlestown, there being nothing at present to apprehend for that post. I shall therefore March immediately up the Country by Duplin Court House, pointing towards Hillsborough, in hopes to withdraw Green; if that should not succeed, I should be much tempted to try to form a junction with you. The Attempt is exceedingly hazardous, and many unforseen difficulties may render it totally impracticable, so that you must not take any steps that may expose your Army to the danger of being ruined. I shall March to the lowest ford of the Roanoke, which I am informed is about 20 Miles above Taylor's Ferry. Send every possible intelligence to me by the Cypher I enclose, and make every Movement in your power to facilitate our Meeting, which must be somewhere

near Petersburg, with safety to your Army. I mention the lowest ford because in a hostile Country Ferries cannot be depended upon. But if I should decide upon the measure of endeavoring to come to you, I shall endeavor to surprise the boats at some of the ferries from Halifax upwards.

I am, dear Phillips, Most faithfully yrs.


(State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XVII, Page 1019.)

First Letter (1783)

. . . Having thus brought the war to our door, I shall now give you some account of its operation here and how much it affects us and our families. About the 25th of January, 1781, Maj. Craig arrived in the Cape Fear River, landed at Wilmington with about 450 veteran troops with which he garrisoned the town and detached a party up the North East River to the great bridge about 12 miles above the town, and then demolished the bridge, seized and burned some public store ships and their contents which had been run up the river for safety, and also destroyed some private property and returned to the town, and Major Craig immediately fortified the garrison. The militia of three counties were then immediately ordered down to take post at the great bridge, and that pass was fortified by us in order to prevent the enemy from making excursions into the country. We had been there about three weeks with about 700 militia when Major Craig marched out upon us in the night with his main force and some field pieces, surprised and dispursed our piquet guard and displayed his artillery across the river upon our dirt works, but without any effect. The enemy, finding their attempt entirely fruitless, after staying and viewing us across the river for two days, returned in the night to Wilmington. About two weeks after this we received intelligence from Guilford County in the upper part of the State that a general engagement had ensued between Lord Cornwallis and General Greene; there the conflict was long and obstinate and the victory had been in favor of the Americans had it not been for misconduct of the North Carolina militia, who broke and left our part of the line exposed, which the enemy seeing, and being about to make use of the advantage, General Greene ordered a retreat and brought off the whole without any confusion. The enemy remained upon the ground. General Greene finding his troops still in high spirits and not so much diminished as might be expected, made all the necessary preparations to attack the enemy the next day, but was disappointed by Cornwallis precipitately decamping in the night; he carried off some of his wounded

and left about two hundred of his wounded at the place of action with an officer and two surgeons whom he recommended to the compassion and humanity of the American general. Cornwallis made his retreat good to Wilmington and General Greene, after pursuing him two days without any prospect of coming up with him, turned his course and marched into South Carolina, where I shall leave him for the present. Cornwallis arrived at Wilmington, and, General Greene being gone to South Carolina, seemed to strike terror on our militia then at their post. General Lillington, who then commanded the post at the great bridge, ordered our retreat from that to Kinston on the Neuse River, about 30 miles above Newbern, where, on the 28th of April, he discharged all the militia except one company to guard the artillery and stores. The militia thus discharged, we had not the name of an army in North Carolina. Every man was now to look to himself. The next day after being discharged we returned home. Cornwallis’ army was then in the middle of our county, encamped at my brother Robt. Dickson's plantation. The whole country was struck with terror, almost every man quit his habitation and fled, leaving his family and property to the mercy of merciless enemies. Horses, cattle and sheep and every kind of stock were driven off from every plantation, corn and forage taken for the supply of the army and no compensation given, houses plundered and robbed, chests, trunks, etc., broke, women and children's clothes, etc., as well as men's wearing apparel and every kind of household furniture taken away. The outrages were committed mostly by a train of loyal refugees, as they termed themselves, whose business it was to follow the camps and under the protection of the army enrich themselves on the plunder they took from the distressed inhabitants who were not able to defend it. We were also distressed by another swarm of beings (not better than harpies). These were women who followed the army in the character of officers’ and soldiers’ wives. They were generally considered by the inhabitants to be more insolent than the soldiers. They were generally mounted on the best horses and side saddles, dressed in the finest and best clothes that could be taken from the inhabitants as the army marched through the country.

Our family are all obnoxious to the enemy, although none of the brothers except myself have actually taken arms and joined the army. I will now give you some account of how we all fared while the enemy were in our neighborhood. My brother Robert had left his place and removed his family and property. The enemy encamped one day and night at his plantation and destroyed some of his stock which he had not got off. The same day my brother Joseph was surprised in his own house by the dragoons, but being determined would not surrender, fled

into a thicket or swamp, and altho pursued made good his escape. The enemy plundered his house, took all his corn, his horse and his wife's clothes, side-saddle, etc. The same day another party went to my brother James’ house, and, not finding him at home, plundered his house of everything they could find in it, took off two of his slaves and all his corn, etc., and compelled his wife and a neighbor woman, who was there, to deliver them the rings off their fingers and the buckles off their shoes. The same day my sister's husband, William McGowen, was found driving some stock out of their way; he was made a prisoner and after being some time under guard was compelled to pilot their Light Horse to his own and several of his neighbors’ houses where they took all the corn and forage, all the horses and cattle, etc., they could get. The night following they detained him under guard and went and plundered his house of everything they found in it worth carrying away, broke every lock, ransacked every chest and trunk, took away all the bedding, etc., all the apparel, even the baby's clothes, stripped the rings off my sisters fingers and the shoes and buckles off her feet, choked the children to make them confess if their father had not hid his money, and to tell where it was, etc., and many of the neighbors were treated in the same brutish manner. The day following the army encamped near my house. Sundry portions of their Light Horse called on my house, and notwithstanding I was not at home, they went away peaceably and took nothing from me, which I thought very strange, for sundry of my neighbors were plundered of almost everything they had. The enemy being destined for Virginia, made but a very short stay in our neighborhood, but immediately after they were gone came on our greatest troubles; for the Loyalists, or as we term them Tories, began to assemble and hold councils in every part of the State, and thinking the country already conquered, because the enemy had gone through us without being checked, they were audacious enough to apprehend and take several of our principal leading men prisoners and carry them down to Wilmington and deliver them to the guards. There were numbers of our good citizens thus betrayed, perished on board prison-ship and in their power. This so alarmed the inhabitants that none of us dared to sleep in our houses or beds at night for fear of being surprised by those blood-suckers and carried off to certain destruction. In the meantime the Governor of the State, and several others of the first character, were surprised in this manner, by some who had been personally acquainted with him, and carried and delivered to the guards in Wilmington, notwithstanding the attempt of sundry parties of the militia to rescue him.

Matters being thus in confusion, there was no subordination amongst men; but every proprietor or leading man raised and commanded his

own little party and defended themselves as they could. At length we got collected about 400 men under Colonel Kenan in Duplin, and about 200 under Colonel Brown in Bladen, the adjacent county. Colonel Kenan's militia had not made a stand more than ten days when Major Craig marched his main force, with field pieces, defeated and drove us out of our works, and made some of our men prisoners (here I narrowly escaped being taken or cut down by the the dragoons). The enemy stayed several days in Duplin County (this being the first week in August, 1781). The Royalists gathered together very fast and we were now reduced again to the utmost extremity. The enemy were now more cruel to the distressed inhabitants than Cornwallis’ army had been before. Some men collected and formed a little flying camp and moved near the enemys lines and made frequent sallies on their rear flanks while others fled from their homes and kept out of the enemy's reach. Major Craig marched from Duplin to Newbern, plundered the town, destroyed the public stores, and then immediately marched back to Wilmington to secure the garrison.

The Loyalists or Tories in Duplin and the other counties, now thinking the day entirely their own, became more insolent than ever; but Craig having again returned to Wilmington the Whigs again resumed their courage and determined to be revenged on the Loyalists, our neighbors or hazard all; accordingly we collected about eighty lighthorsemen and equipped them as well as we could; marched straight into the neighborhood where the Tories were embodied, surprised them, they fled, our men pursued them, cut many of them to pieces, took several and put them instantly to death. This action struck such horror on the Tories in our county that they never attempted to embody again and many of them in a short time came in and submitted and were pardoned (I was not in this action nor any afterward during this whole season of the war). I never received a wound but one, which was a shot through by right leg, though I had three narrow escapes when I was in danger of being killed or taken. . . .

(The Dickson Letters: Author Col. William Dickson, compiled and edited by James O. Carr, Esq., Duplin County Library Files.)


Duplin, June 22, 1781


I embrace the opportunity of Col. Kenan's going to the Assembly to inform you, that the tumults in this part of the Country has been the cause of the drafts & everything relative thereto being (I suppose) later, & more out of order here than in any other part of the State. We have

at present some little respite from the cursed Tories, but cannot say they are entirely subdued; the draft was made in Duplin, but the more than the half of them have been among the Tories or so disaffected that they will not appear; the number that we ought to have here is about 70 men, & there is not above 24 yet appeared, & about 20 from Onslow. The men have been so harrassed by being kept in arms, that hithereto they could not attend to providing the clohting required by law, & without clothing the troops cannot march as not one among them has got a second change, & some have hardly dudds to cover them. The Col. has used all possible means to urge the classes to cloath their Soldiers, & whenever each of them gets even part I shall march with the few we have.

If any opportunity offers from your Camp towards Wake I should be glad to hear from you; if it is directed to the care of Col. Kenan he will forward it to yr. Hum. Servt.,


(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XV, Page 490.)



June 29th, 1781


This Minute I received the Inclosed Letters from Genl. Lillington; Since the last Dispatches was sent, I have no Accts. to Communicate, but what the Inclosed Contains.

I have issued the Necessary Orders for Raising all the forces I can Speedily get into the Field, & Complying with the General's Orders with as little loss of time as I can.

I have the Honour to be yr. Excellencys Most Obedt. Hum. Servt.

Abrahm Molton,

Majr. Comdt.

His Excellency

Governor. Burke.

(State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XV, Page 499.)


Duplin, July 6th, 1781.


From the Best information we are able to get there is about two hundred & fifty foot and forty light horse of the British that is up the river at Rutherfords Mill they say to take Duplin and Onslow Counties, and drive off the Stock. Genl. Lillington had Call'd upon this County for all the men that can be raised to march to the rich land Chapple in

Onslow County about one Hundred foot has marched and we have fifty more ready to march. I hope Your Excellency will order assistance to this part of the County other wise Good people here will be under the Necessity of Giving up in order to Save their property if possible but this will be the last Step taken. We keep about 50 light horse near their lines to watch their Movements.

I am with the Greatest respect Your Excellency's most obt. Servt.


(Walter Clark, State Records of North, Vol. XV, Page 514.)


July 15, 1781


The enemy have moved out of Wilmington up to The Long Bridge and are rebuilding it is said by Several Gentlemen who left the town. Their intention is to Give no more parols but will sell every man's property who will not Join them and become British subjects; they have about 100 light horse well Equipt and about 470 foot and are Determined to be at Duplin Court on Monday Next. We have no Ammunition nor do I know where to get Some. We have no Account of Any Assistance Coming as Yet. Your Excellency will be so kind as to inform me if any be ordered on. I am with due respect Your Excellency's Most Obt. Hu. Servt.,


(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XV, Page 535.)


New Bern, July 31st, 1781.

Sir: I am happy to have it in my power to inclose your Excellency a letter from Major Craig to Lord Cornwallis, which I should have been exceedingly glad to have Deciphered, but I have it not in my power, it was yesterday taken by some Pilots off Core Sound, and the persons mentioned in the forged pass, one J. D. Wilson says (after his packet was found) that he is a Lieut. in the 82nd Regt. and was ordered to rejoin Major Craig at this place, and that the Major would shortly move here. Col. Kenan, who is at Rock Fish bridge, informs that Col. Murphy with a Party from Pee Dee, Cumberland and Bladen, fell in with Hector McNeil on Thursday afternoon, that McNeil soon gave way and continued retreating and firing until Night, that there was considerable loss on both sides, and that McNeil retreated that Night to Wilmington and Drew Arms and Ammunition, was reinforced with 60 Tories and went off the next day for Cross Creek. Col. Kenan has the few men that

remain of my Brigade with him and a few of the Militia from Duplin. Major Griffin arrived in Camp a few days past; he says that the Drafts from Nash are entitled to a Discharge about the 4th of Augu. and that the Return which I made to Your Excellency which was made to me by Capt. Hall of the same County is wrong. Shall thank your Excellency for orders respecting them as I think I cannot Discharge them sooner than my Return unless I receive your Orders for it. I was informed that the Assembly had ordered a Draught of____Men from this District and come here to see the Resolve. Am now informed by a Member that the order for a Draught must come from Your Excellency, as the Assembly did not Determine that there should be one. Should these Troops from Nash County be Discharged, shall have no men in the Field. Should Major Craig move out shall raise what men I can arm, but fear it will be very few as Arms are very Scarce, and Grain more so, as there is little or none between Tar River and Cape Fear. Part of a letter from Lieut. Gov. Bee to a friend of his dated the 18th of June at Philadelphia says That Congress in consequence of a request from the King of France had elected Plenipotentiary and properly instructed them to be ready to act for us at the Grand Congress at Vienna, which is Mr. John Adams, Doctor Franklin, Mr. Jay, Col. Henry Laurens and Governor Jefferson or any two of them or more for this purpose. I hope that Peace will be the event of their negotiations, Doctor Franklin is authorized to propose an exchange of Genl. Burgoyne for Mr. Laurens; and addition of ships and men have arrived at Boston to join the French Force already here, and before this reaches you New York will be invested. Their Garrison there is very small at present and they must keep their Fleets in Harbour to protect them in which case the French Fleet can strike a blow else where, or they must recall a great part of their Troops from the Southward and leave that Country open to us again.

Should your Excellency send orders to me please direct them to me at Kingston where I shall be until I receive your orders.

I am with the greatest respect,

Your Excellency's most obedt. Servt.


(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XXII, Pages 553-554.)


Col. Kenan to Governor Burke

Duplin, August 2nd, 1781


I imbodied all the Militia I could in this County to the Amount of about 150 men & was reinforced by Genl. Caswell with about 180 and

took past at a place Called rockfish. The British this day Came against me and the Militia again after a few rounds Broak, and it was out of my power and all my Officers to rally them. They have all Dispersed. Before the men Broak we lost none, But the light horse pursued and I am afraid have Taken about 20 or 30 men. I Cannot Give You a full acct. But the Bearer Capt. James who was in the Action Can inform your Excellency of any Particular. He acted with Becoming Bravery during the whole action. I am now Convinced this County with several others will be Overrun with the British & Tories. Your Excellency will Excuse as I cannot Give a more full accot.

I am Sir Your very Humbl. St.,


(SR, Vol. XV, Page 593.)


(From Executive Letter Book)

HALIFAX, MARCH 28th, 1782:


I have this moment received a letter from General Lillington informing me that the Tories on Wacamaw River are embodied to the number of five hundred, a copy of which I send you.

I am, Sir

Yr. Mo. ob. Hum. Serv't.,


(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XVI, Page 251.)

On the Nineteenth of October, 1781, the great “battle of Yorktown” was fought.

. . . In this battle, Lord Cornwallis commanded the British. General Washington commanded the Americans. Everything was now at stake. If the Americans could prove victorious in this battle, they might be free and independent.

They were victorious. They had the joy to see seven thousand British soldiers lay down their arms, and Lord Cornwallis surrender his sword to General Washington.

This was a great triumph for the Americans, and spread joy throughout all the land. . . .

Peace was made November 30, 1782.

(The United States—For Children, Liberty Hall Library.)

Wednesday, 28 December, 1785.

This House now proceeded agreeable to the message of yesterday, to ballot, which being ended, Mr. Payne and Mr. Brown, appointed on the

part of this House to superintend the balloting, returned and reported as followeth, vizt.:

That James Kenan, Esquire, was elected Brigadier General of the District of Wilmington.

(Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XX, Page 103.)


(From Executive Letter Book)

Duplin, Jany. 14th, 1786.

Dear Sir:

On my arrival home I immediately wrote to Mr. Bloodworth respecting the time of his going to Congress, as I wished him to assist me in procuring paper for the new money, but am sorry to find that he is not Certain as to the time of his going, this disappointment being entirely unexepected I am at a loss to know how to Act. I fear the only alternative is to go myself, as I dread very much the Getting a person I can rely on. This being an arduous task at this season of the year I wish Your Excellency's advice in the matter, as I assure you I am at a loss to know what sum will be adequate to this Service in Case I can find a person I can rely on to undertake the Business. Some are of opinion the best way is by Portsmouth and from there to the head of Elk by water. Your Excellency being well Acquainted with the different ways will much oblige me to recommend what you may judge the most Expeditious. If you have any dispatches to send North'dly I shall call at Kinston or direct whoever I may send on, if I am so lucky as to find a person to my liking. In the mean time I shall be much Obliged to your Excellency for such a recommendation as you may approve either generally or to such of your Asquaintances at Philadelphia as you may think most likely to forward me in this Business, as I assure you I regret the delay that must inevitably ensue. Please to mention if Mr. Blount is returned, and the prospect of his going to Congress.

With the Greatest respect,

I am your Excellency's Most obt.,

James Gillispie,

I purpose setting out in about 6 days.

(State Records, Vol. 18, Page 502 and 503.)


(From Executive Letter Book)

Kingston, 15th Jany., 1786

Dear Sir:

Your favor of yesterday I have now before me. I am sorry Mr. Bloodworth is not likely to go in time to procure the paper for the Currency,

and I am fearful you will not be able to get a person on whom you can rely to effect this business as you know the utmost attention must be paid to making no more of the paper than is necessary, and whoever gets the paper must see to that; nay, he ought to see that the apparatus should be either immediately destroyed or the parts so broken and disjointed as to make it difficult to imitate the paper, lines and letters. Under these considerations, if it be possible for you to go on yourself I am satisfied the business will be sooner done and Counterfeits much more likely to be Guarded against. The expense either way will be considerable, but in my judgment it ought to be submitted to.

At this Season of the year a passage from Portsmouth to the head of the Bay will be uncertain and precarious on account of the Ice. If I was going myself I should proceed by the Western side of the head of the Bay, the Rout of which from hence takes as follows:

To Halifax90 Miles,To Alexandria40 Miles,
Hanover Co. House20Susquehannah30
Bowling Green35Christiana40

The distance I will not say in every instance will be found correct but I believe most of them are right, and the way as good as any road you can go, the accommodations perhaps better & the ferries shorter.

I send you a general recommendation which may answer better than particular letters, as it may occasionally be made use of.

Mr. Blount is not returned that I have heard of, nor have I a syllable from him since I left New Bern.

If you go yourself I shall be glad to see you here on your way. My dispatches shall be made out to about the time you propose setting out; if you do not go, please to let the person who does, call on me.

I am uneasy that we have no prospect of being represented in Congress shortly.

I am, dear Sir, your mo. ob. Servt.,


(State Records, Vol. 18, Pages 504 and 505.)


Whereas a town has been laid off on the lands of Dr. William Houston, and a considerable number of lots sold by the proprietor, and the purchasers

of these lots are desirous that the town should be established by legislative authority:

I. Be it therefore Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by the authority of the same, That one hundred acres of land lying on the east side of the north-east branch of the Cape Fear River, in Duplin county, lately sold by Doctor William Houston for laying off a town and town commons, agreeable to a plan laid down by commissioners chosen for that purpose be and the same is hereby established into a town by the name of Sarecto.

II. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the passing of this Act, Charles Ward, John Hill, James Outlaw, Samuel Houston, David Murdough, George Miller and John Matchet, be, and they and every of them hereby constituted commissioners for the further designing, building and improving the said town; and they shall stand seized of an indefeasible estate in fee simple of and in the residue of the said one hundred acres of land that remain undisposed of, to and for the purposes hereby expressed and declared, except such lots as the proprietor hath made choice of, which is hereby reserved to his proper use and behoof, and his heirs and assigns forever; and the said commissioners or a majority of them, shall make and execute deeds to such respective persons, as have and shall become purchasers of any lot or lots in the said town that hath or may be sold by the proprietor aforesaid, at the cost and charges of the grantee or grantees, which lot or lots by virtue of such conveyance, shall be held to such purchaser or purchasers in fee simple to his, her or their heirs and assigns forever.

III. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all monies that shall arise from the disposal of the lots of the said town by the commissioners, shall be received by them or their successors, and after deducting their reasonable charges and expenses, the same shall be paid by them to the said proprietor, his heirs, executors, administrators or assigns. And for the continuing the succession of the said commissioners:

IV. Be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in case of death, refusal to Act or removal out of the county of any of the said commissioners, the survivor or a majority of them shall assemble, and hereby are authorized to nominate and appoint, by instrument in writing under their hands, some other person being an inhabitant and freeholder in the said county, in room of him dead, refusing to act or removed out of the county, which said commissioner or commissioners so appointed shall have and exercise all the same powers and authorities in all matters herein contained, as the person or persons in whose room and stead he or they was so appointed, had and exercised. Provided always,

That nothing in this Act contained shall be construed as to obviate any regulation, compact or agreement entered into by the commissioners lately chosen for regulating the said town, all which regulations, restrictions and agreements are hereby declared good and valid in law. . . .

(Passed Jan. 6, 1787.)

(Walter Clark, State Records of N. C., Vol. XXIV, Page 846.)


To all to whom these Presents shall come, greeting:

KNOW YE, THAT WE, for and in consideration of the Sum of Fifty Shillings for every hundred Acres hereby granted, paid into our Treasury by Thomas Kenan have given and granted, and by these Presents, do give and grant unto the said Thomas Kenan a Tract of land containing Six hundred and thirty five Acres, lying and being in the County of Duplin, Beginning at a pine James and John Torrence's Corner on a small Branch of Turkey run then North seventy West one hundred and thirty poles to a stake and pine then his line North one hundred and ninety poles to a stake and pine in S. Stanford's line, then his line North forty five West two hundred and twenty poles to a pine in his line near the road then South thirty five West sixty poles to a pine, then South one hundred and thirty poles to a pine, then South forty five West eighty two poles to a gum Joseph Osborn's Corner, then his line South two West one hundred and ninety poles to a Hickory his corner, then Thompson's line South forty five East one hundred and forty five poles to a pine Kenan's own corner, then his line North fifty eight East two hundred and fifty four poles to a pine his corner, then his other line to the Beginning—Entered 31st December 1800 as by the Plat hereunto annexed doth appear, together with all Words, Mines, Waters, Minerals, Hereditaments, and Appurtenances to the said land belonging or appertaining: TO HOLD to the said Thomas Kenan his Heirs and Assigns forever: Yielding and paying to us such Sums of Money, yearly, or otherwise, as our General Assembly from time to time may direct:

PROVIDED ALWAYS, That the said Grantee shall cause this Grant to be registered in the Register's Office of our said County of Duplin within twelve Months from the date hereof, other wise the same shall be void.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, We have caused these our letters to be made Patent, and our Great Seal to be hereunto affixed. WITNESS, JAMES TURNER, Esquire, our Governor, Captain-General, and Commander

in Chief, at RALEIGH, the 16th Day of December in the twenty seventh of our Independence and in the Year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and two.

SIGNED: G. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?





. . . The settlement of Presbyterians in Duplin county is probably the oldest large settlement of that denomination in the State. About the year 1736, or perhaps 1737, one Henry McCulloch induced a colony of Presbyterians from the province of Ulster, in Ireland, to settle in Duplin county, North Carolina, on lands he had obtained from his majesty, George II. The descendants of these emigrants are found in Duplin, New Hanover, and Sampson counties—the family names indicating their origin. The Grove congregation, whose place of worship is about three miles southeast of Duplin court-house, traces its origin to the church formed from this, the oldest Presbyterian settlement in the State, whose principal place of worship was at first called Goshen.

(C.R., Vol. V, Page 1199.)


In the early years of the settlement of Duplin County, the Synod of New York and the Synod of Philadelphia were the highest organized government of the Presbyterian Church in America. Some individual Presbyterians were in North Carolina before 1700, but none were organized into congregations. John Brickell said in 1731 that “after Quakers, Presbyterians come next in numbers” and were chiefly “settled in and about the River Neus.” Scot Highlanders and Scot-Irish settlers in this section gave impetus to the Presbyterian movement though neither had ministers in the early years of settlement.

Most of the early Presbyterians of Duplin came to North Carolina in 1736 as a part of a group persuaded by Henry McCulloch, a London merchant, to occupy the wide forests. McCulloch's grant was for 72,000 acres of land between the North East Branch of the Cape Fear River and the Black River. His settlers, Irish and Scot-Irish from Ulster, Ireland, were the first large settlement of Presbyterians in North Carolina.

The main settlements of the McCulloch colonists were (a) near Sarecta, on the Northeast River; (b) at Goshen, now on NC # 11, seven miles

northeast of Kenansville; (c) and at Golden Grove, now on NC # 24 at the Routledge Cemetery just east of Kenansville. Later, more settlers came from northern Ireland, the northern American colonies, the lower Cape Fear Valley, and from other settlements in North Carolina.

It has been said that wherever they went, Presbyterians built schools and churches with as much certainty as their log homes. Evidence seems to show that the early settlers of Golden Grove were religious and held meetings of public worship for many years without a pastor.

In 1740, the Synod of Philadelphia sent William Robinson, a missionary, to North Carolina. Since the Presbyterian settlements in Duplin were oldest and none others at that time had much strength, it is probable that Robinson visited here.

Hanover Presbytery was organized in 1755 by the Synods of New York and Philadelphia. It included Virginia, the Carolinas, and “all points west and south.” At this time, there were eleven Presbyterian churches in North Carolina.

Hugh McAden, who made a missionary tour of North Carolina in 1755-1756, recorded few organized churches, many worshipping assemblies, and no settled ministers. After preaching in the Welsh Tract, in present Pender County, McAden rode to the home of William Dickson, then Clerk of Court in Duplin, near Golden Grove. He preached “to a considerable congregation, most of whom were Irish” on March 18, 1756.

The worshippers, first referred to as the Grove congregation, built their meeting house in the heart of the settlement but had no title for it until years later when McCulloch gave a deed for one acre on the south side of the Grove swamp, near the bridge, whereon the meeting-house now stands. (The afore mentioned William Dickson was a witness to the McCulloch deed and very active in the affairs of Grove Church.)

McAden returned to Duplin County in 1757 as the first regular pastor of Grove Church as well as ministering to a church in the Welsh Tract. He bought a home near the Golden Grove settlement and there several of his children were born. After being with Grove Church for about ten years, he went to Caswell County, believing the climate of Duplin unfavorable to his health.

For a period of twenty-five years afterward, Grove Church had no pastor. The congregation was served only by the precarious and desultory labors of occasional missionaries and was dwindling away. During this period, Orange Presbytery was organized (in 1770) to include approximately the present state of North Carolina. There were at this time thirty-five Presbyterian churches in North Carolina with approximately two thousand members. The Synod of the Carolinas was organized in

1788 with twenty-five ministers and forty-six Presbyterian churches in North Carolina.

John Robinson, second regular pastor, revived Grove Church in 1794. He purchased a home near the settlement called “Goose Pond” and lived there for five years. Robinson was said to be a man of great activity and personal courage, with dignity and courtesy, and an able preacher. He founded a church near Fayetteville after leaving Grove Church.

Samuel Stanford extended his labors to include a greater part of Duplin. He married a young woman of the Kenansville area and made his home about two miles south of Kenansville on the Wilmington Road. Moderator of the Carolinas Synod in 1810, he became the first Moderator of the newly formed Fayetteville Presbytery in 1812. (There were twenty-nine ministers, seventy-seven Presbyterian churches, and four thousand members in Fayetteville Presbytery at this time.)

Stanford was well-educated and conducted a classical school. It has been said that he wore out his strength and days in the service of the people of Duplin, for he was pastor at Grove for thirty-three years and at the same time served other Presbyterian churches in Duplin. William Dickson wrote in 1810 that “tho Mr. Stanford is esteemed as a very worthy character and an able preacher of the Gospel, his Church, tho the most ancient in the county, increases very slowly. They are principally formed into two congregations, each of which has a meeting house. One is near Goshen in the upper end of the county, and one at the Grove near the Court House. There are also some families on Rockfish which have joined them but they have not yet a meeting House of their own. The number of Communicants in the county of Duplin are not accurately ascertained but may be estimated at about one hundred, perhaps some over.” In 1811, the location of Grove Church was moved to a hill just west of Kenansville near the Grove Academy.

Assistant to Mr. Stanford for the last three years of his service to Grove was Alexander McIver. Old Union and Shiloh churches were also served by McIver for the next six years until his death at age thirty-nine.

Malcolm Campbell Connoly lived near old Union Church during his service to Shiloh and Grove Churches for ten years. He became a missionary to Texas in 1850 and there organized churches and taught school.

One of Duplin's most famous educators and pastors was Rev. James Menzies Sprunt, D.D., who served Grove Church from 1851 until his death in 1884. After arriving in North Carolina in 1840 from his native Scotland, Dr. Sprunt taught in classical schools at Hallsville and Richlands

From 1845-1860, he was in charge of Grove Academy and was also associated with the Kenansville Seminary.

The house now known as the Old Presbyterian Manse was the home of Dr. Sprunt and his family. Built for them in 1858, the house and gardens were always a showplace. The grounds originally contained twenty-one acres, planted in an “Old Southern” fashion with terraced gardens, small ponds stocked with goldfish, and other picturesque ornamentations. (Later the house and several acres of the grounds came under the ownership of Grove Church and was used as a residence for ministers.)

During Dr. Sprunt's pastorate, the location of Grove Church was moved to its present site. In September, 1849, the minutes of the Session read that a committee was appointed to see congregation about the building of a new church and its location. Nothing more is noted concerning the matter until March 1855, when the minutes read “new church being constructed. Old building undergoing repairs for an academy. Unadvisable to have a sacrament (Communion) this spring.” The deed to the present site is dated May 12, 1857, and the land was donated by Owen R. Kenan.

After the Civil War, the members of the Grove congregation could not support a minister's salary. As well as retaining his pastorate, Dr. Sprunt served as Register of Deeds in Duplin County to augment his income. A wall plaque in the Sanctuary commemorates Dr. Sprunt.

Grove Church has been served by dedicated ministers, well-educated, who gave to the early community a worthy example.

. . . The impact of the Civil War was met by Grove Church on November 4, 1860. A “day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer with reference to the present solemn crisis in our national affairs; and that the members of this church assemble on said day (tomorow) to engage in special supplication for the favor of God upon the nation, the prosperity, and the perpetuity of our institution (the principles of Christianity). As yet, attempts to unite the branches of the Presbyterian Church have been unsuccessful.

Grove Presbyterian Church has long served its surrounding community. The walls of this ancient structure have watched as the community was being built in a nation where freedom of worship is a precept of government. Inside these walls is the House of God.

  • “I was glad when they said unto me—
  • Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

“Whosoever thou art that entereth this church, remember it is the House of God; be reverent, thoughtful and prayerful; and leave not

without a prayer to God for thyself, for those who minister, for those who worship here, and for all men everywhere.”

By Miss Sharon Stroud.

(Original with full documentation is on file in the Duplin County Dorothy Wightman Library.)


Soon after the County of Duplin was Established and the Inhabitants became more Numerous, Most of the People and then the Principal Characters in the County Professed themselves to be Members of the Episcopal or Established Church of England, and Readers were appointed to Read the Morning Service &c. on every Sunday at different Houses throughout the County and a Tax laid by the Vestry to pay them. About the year 1760 or soon after the Revd. William Millar was invited by the Vestry to become the Pastor of the Church of St. Gabriel Parish in Duplin County, which he accepted, and was accordingly inducted. He was a man Possessing some Talent Preached Extempore and was for a year or two very Popular, His places for Preaching were Circuitous round the County at Individuals Houses, there being no Chappels or Meeting Houses Erected for him; He soon became unpopular, Charges of Immorality, and Practices in life derogatory to the Character of a Preacher of the Gospel, were propagated against him which he could not, or did not Refute, till at length he had no friends in the County, and upon the Vestry paying him up his arrearages of Sallary &c. he consented to leave the Parish.

It was not long after Mr. Millar left the Parish when the Revd. Hobart Briggs Succeeded him and became the Parochial Minister. Mr. Briggs was an English man; came over to this Country under the Patronage of Governor Tryon, and through his influence Succeeded to the appointment, he was of a very different Character from his Predecessor; he was Sober, Grave, not addicted to any Vice, He occupied the same Circuitous appointed places for Preaching as his Predecessor, he was Considered to be of weak Intellect, but a good Reader, Read all his Sermons, which he brought in Manuscript from England. He Continued in the Parish till the Revolution, when finding his annual salary was discontinued, he disappeared without dismissal or formally takeing leave. No Preacher of the Regular Episcopal Church of England has, since him ever visited this Country. It cannot with propriety be said that Religion flourished or the Morals of the People were improved under the Patronage or Pastoral care of either of the Parochial Preachers. At present there are very few Persons in this County who Profess themselves Members of the Episcopal Established Church. Those who are disposed

to be Religious and Supporte a Religious Character, have joined themselves either to the Presbyterian or Baptist, or Methodist Churches.

(The Dickson Letters.)


1st August 1769.


I have been appointed Rector of this Parish Seven Months: it is so extensive that I have eight different places to preach at, on eight different Sundays. My parishioners behave with great attention and devotion during Divine Service. I have christened one hundred and thirty in all, including women and children. About sixteen Marriages, and ten burials have been here since my arrival. As the people under my care appear to be so desirous of instruction, I hope (thro’ the divine blessing on my endeavors) they will both know and perform their duty to God and their neighbour; and thereby become useful members of Society, happy to themselves here, and eternally so hereafter—Many of the Inhabitants under my care, who can read, and would be glad to join with me in the divine service of the Church, are so poor (as I have been informed) that they cannot purchase common Prayer Books: They would be obliged to the Society if they would send them some, with any other books they shall think proper; to whom my most respectful compliments, and please to accept the same from, Reverend Sir,

Yours &c


(Colonial Records, Vol. VII, Pages 63 & 64.)


Historical Summary of Wells Chapel Missionary Baptist Church by Mrs. J. H. Booth:

Samuel, Goerge, Jacob, and Isaac Newton were four brothers that came to this section about 1755. Samuel Newton was a great spiritual leader organizing this church and at the same time working with another group of baptized believers in Brunswick County.

Wells Chapel Missionary Baptist Church was among the first Missionary Baptist Churches in this area and was organized in 1756, with Samuel Newton as pastor. He continued until his death during the Revolutionary War. The Church was originally called “Bull Tail Meeting House,” probably named for nearby Bull Tail Creek.

Elder William Cooper was the second pastor of Bull Tail Meeting House. Mission work was going strong at that time under his leadership.

Elder William Wells was called in 1802 as pastor of Bull Tail Meeting

House and was ordained to the Baptist Ministry. He continued the mission work of this church in organizing churches in the neighboring communities, and also by training young men in the service of the Lord. During his last thirteen years of service here, there were six men ordained to the Gospel Ministry.

In January 1825, Brother Swinson applied for dismission of that branch of the church at Concord. The Church agreed to dismiss the members that composed that branch of the church with the exception of Elder William Wells, who was to continue pastor of the Church at Bull Tail.

Saturday before the second Sunday in July, 1835, it was voted unanimously to change the name of this church from Bull Tail to Wells Chapel. Two months later Brother William Wells departed this life. Wells Chapel was named for Elder William Wells.

In October, 1835, Elder George Fennell was called to the pastoral care of Wells Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and continued as pastor until 1853.

David Wells was a native of Duplin County, N. C. He married Mary Newton, a daughter of Enoch Newton who was a son of Isaac Newton, a brother of Samuel Newton, the founder of Bull Tail Baptist Church. David Wells moved his membership from Concord February, 1827. He was ordained a deacon in 1833. He was ordained to the Gospel Ministry some time between 1837 and 1853. He served as pastor January, 1854-Mar., 1856. He was a religious leader most of his life. He helped in every revival meeting from 1853 until his death Nov. 20, 1863. August, 1863, Elder W. M. Kennedy, pastor, assisted by Elder David Wells, held a revival for nine days resulting in 75 baptisms.

Sept., 1858, steps were taken to either repair or build a new church. Elder W. M. Kennedy was pastor at this time. In 1859 they decided to build and were preparing materials for the new church building. The Civil War came on, so the work was stopped. In 1859 it was discovered that a deed to the church property could not be found, so Elder David Wells gave the church a deed. Work was resumed after the war and the main body of the present building was dedicated the second Sunday in July, 1868. The old Church building was given to the Negroes and they moved it to Harrell's Store, N. C. They called it Keithern Chapel. The Negro members were given letters of dismission at the same time. (This church was repaired and remodeled not many years ago.)

It is reported that two houses of worship were erected on the old site just across the highway from the present site.

The first Missionary Society that we have any record of was organized in 1824.

Wells Chapel Missionary Baptist Church has been instrumental in constituting other churches in its history. In 1833 The First Baptist Church at Wilmington was constituted and a member of Bull Tail, Alfred Alderman, was one of the leading men in this organization. In 1833 there were 93 members dismissed in order to constitute a church at Moore's Creek.

Sept-, 1884, some members were dismissed to form a church at Willard, N. C. There were 36 members dismissed to constitute a church at Siloam.

All the records of Moore's Creek Baptist Church from 1930 back were destroyed by fire, as related by Brother Johnny Pope of Atkinson, N. C.

Rev. W. B. Oliver accepted a call to this church, May 1884, directly out of Wake Forest College. In July, 1884, Rev. David Wells Herring assisted in a revival resulting in 43 converts. September of the same year Brother Oliver resigned to attend the Seminary.

Rev. C. C. Newton was pastor for seven years and later he went to Africa as a missionary. His son, Rev. Carey Newton, was a missionary in China.

Rev. David Wells Herring was a Baptist missionary in China for about 40 years. Five of his children—George, Celia, Gordon, Alexander, and Mary—were missionaries in China.

The following members were ordained to the Gospel Ministry: William Wells, Sept. 1802; Jesse Rogers, April 1822; Hiram Stallings, July 1823; George Fennell, July 1823; David Rogers, Jan. 1826; G. W. Hufham, Jan. 1833; William J. Finley, July 1834; David Wells between 1837 and 1853; R. J. Hall, Mar. 1919; Ralph A. Herring, July 1923.

There may have been others that were ordained we have no record of since a part of the record was missing while Elder George Fennell was pastor Oct. 1835-Dec. 1853, and a part of the record is missing for about fourteen years since 1950.

We do not know when the Sunday School was organized at Wells Chapel Church, but it was reorganized some time between Mar., 1912-Feb. 1921 while Rev. J. H. Booth was pastor. Luther R. Highsmith was Superintendent just before the Reorganization. I, the compiler of these notes, was present when this change was made in Conference.

The church has kept abreast of the needs of the community and has provided ample space for the various educational activities of its members. Wells Chapel is now a large beautiful brick veneered edifice dedicated to the glory of God and the spiritual use of the community.

(The Duplin Times-Progress Sentinel, 6-4-70.)


Reverend William Robinson was the first Presbyterian Minister who preached in North Carolina. He was sent as a Missionary from the church of Virginia to visit the Presbyterian settlements in North Carolina. He did this work in North Carolina in the winter of 1742 and ’43. It is thought he visited this section and the section around Kenansville, North Carolina.

Between 1743 and 1756 there was no regular minister working with the congregations. In 1756 Rev. Hugh McAden visited these two sections as a Missionary, making personal visits from house to house. In February, 1756, he preached somewhere in this vicinity, which is believed to be Watha. That was when the Congregation called him as their pastor. This was the original Rockfish Congregation, and the beginning of Rockfish. Rev. McAden was the first settled Missionary in the state. In March, 1757, Kenansville united with this congregation in calling McAden as their pastor. He returned to his home in Pennsylvania after receiving these two calls, coming back later to become pastor of the two congregations. The Presbytery of New Castle ordained him in 1757. In 1759 he joined Hanover Presbytery, and on July 18, 1759, Rev. McAden presented his credentials on Rockfish at the Meeting of Presbytery. It is not known just where the Meeting was held. This indicates that the Rockfish Congregation existed as early as 1756. It was also an organized church at this time, in 1756. McAden remained with this Congregation for about 10 years and then moved to Caswell County and finished his work. He is buried in Caswell County.

For a long time after McAden's removal, there was no regular pastor. It was served only by occasional missionaries. In 1793, John Robinson, from Orange Presbytery was sent to serve this Congregation. Rev. Robert Tate, who was sent from Orange Presbytery, was thought to have been brought up under the Ministry of Rev. Hugh McAden. It wasn't until Rev. Tate came that the work seemed well organized. He helped this Congregation in many ways in being responsible for bringing it back to life. He was ordained in 1799. His first Communion Service was held on Rockfish near the place where the church stands today. Until 1838 Rev. Tate was the supply minister at Rockfish Church and he served it well.

From 1839 until 1840, Rev. Henry Brown worked with this congregation. When Rev. Brown retired in 1840, Rev. Tate was asked to serve this church again. Rev. Tate accepted this call and continued in this service until 1845. (In 1969, Rev. Tate's body was removed from its

burial place in Pender County and brought to Rockfish Cemetery for re-burial.)

From 1847-1893, Rev. Duncan Blue Black, from Lake View, in Moore County, was asked to serve this congregation. He served for 46 years and was loved by everyone who knew him.

In 1894, the Rev. Joseph Evans was asked to serve Rockfish and other churches. In 1896, he resigned and moved to Milton, North Carolina, to serve a few years.

Various Ministers served for the next 3 years.

Mr. R. Murphy Williams was installed pastor of Rockfish Church in October, 1899. In 1904, he resigned after receiving a call as Evangelist for Wilmington Presbytery.

Rev. William Pinchney Martin Currie was called in 1904. He served as pastor for 36 years. He was loved by all its members and served his church well. . . .

(Courtesy Mrs. A. C. Hall, Sr.)


This old church is in Duplin County, N. C., about six miles southeast of Mt. Olive. The house of worship stands on a beautiful eminence, rising twenty-five or thirty feet above the level of the swamp, from which the church takes her name.

The old church records were destroyed a few years ago, when the residence of Brother Benjamin Oliver, deceased, was destroyed by fire. My only sources of information are Burkitt's and Read's History of the Kehukee Association, such old Associational Minutes as I have been able to get, the statements of the oldest living members, and my present knowledge of her doings from the year 1867, the date of my first connection with this ancient body.

From Burkitt's and Read's History, published about 1803 at Halifax, I glean a few facts concerning the


of Bear Marsh Baptist Church—facts unascertainable from any other source, so far as I know.

Speaking of “the church on Bear Marsh, Duplin County, North Carolina,” these historians say: “Near this place were ten persons, five males and five females, who requested some Baptist brethren in Pitt County to visit them. Accordingly, Elders Jeremiah Rhame and John Nobles came about the 25th of February, 1763, who examined into their principles, and finding them sound in faith and orderly in life and conversation,

they were on that day by the said ministers constituted a church under the care of Elder Rhame”—page 288. A short time afterwards there were five additions.

Elder William Goodman, having moved into the neighborhood and united with the church, was ordained to the pastorate about the year 1775. Having removed southwardly about the year 1781, he relinquished the care of the church, and was succeeded by Elder Charles Hines, who served them until May 17, 1792, or about ten years. The term of his pastorate seems to have been a period of great prosperity, for up to the last date several branches had been established. The historians say of this prosperity, “Elder Hines’ charge appearing too great, having the charge of several branches, Elder Francis Oliver, who had been exercising his gifts in the ministry, was called, ordained, and took the care of Bear Marsh Church, and Elder Hines was dismissed on the 17th of May, 1792. The labors of Elder Oliver have been greatly blessed and several branches gathered. One branch is at Naughunga in Duplin, another at Pleasant Plains, in Wayne”—page 289.

Naughungo (or Nahunga, the present spelling) Church was near Cooper's Mill, about five miles north of Kenansville. A large hickory, on the east side of the public road and southward from the mill, marks the spot where stood the old house of worship. The church moved, several years ago, to a locality a few miles east of Warsaw, and later on moved again to a spot still farther from Warsaw, on which they erected a neat and commodious house of worship. The church is now known as Johnson's, instead of Nahunga. Pleasant Plains is a few miles from White Hall. They went off with the anti-effort brethren during the great warfare against missions over half a century ago.

It will be seen that the old preachers were missionaries as well as pastors. They preached at mission stations in the regions beyond, where lived the remote membership of the mother church, and when these branches or arms of the mother church became sufficiently strong, they became independent churches.

Elder Oliver continued to serve Bear Marsh until his death in the year 1808. Elder Benjamin Davis probably succeeded him in the pastorate. My reason for saying this is that Benedict states that Bear Marsh was represented by Elder Benjamin Davis in the Cape Fear Association, held in October, 1811, at Nahunga. The Minutes of this Association for 1822 show that the membership of Bear Marsh had fallen off from seventy in 1811 to thirty-eight in 1822. They also show that Allen Morris was a delegate that year. Some of the aged brethren say that Morris was once pastor of Bear Marsh. He was probably pastor in 1822.


I have made a considerable effort to get a complete list of the ministers who have served this church from the beginning to the present time. My success is much beyond what I had expected, though I do not claim that there are no omissions. They are as follows: Jeremiah Rhame (1763-1775), William Goodman (1775-1781), Charles Hines (1781-1792), Francis Oliver (1792-1808), Benjamin Davis, Allen Morris, George W. Wallace, Henry Swinson, Robert McNabb, Lewis F. Williams, C. C. Gordon, H. Miner, J. D. Hufham, J. N. Stallings, John R. Oliver, J. L. Britt, A. C. Dixon, R. C. Sandling, J. B. Harrell, John T. Albritton, W. L. Bilbro, and C. J. Wells. Rev. R. C. Sandling has recently taken the care of the church again.


The first house was built a few hundred yards from the present site, and back of the present residence of Bro. Frank Brock from the public road. An old graveyard marks the old site. This house was afterwards removed to the spot on which the present house stands, and was burned down about 1832 or 1833. During the construction of the second house, the church worshipped in a school-house that stood near the swamp and on the west side of it. The Minutes of the Goshen Association for 1834 say: “Their once beautiful house, it is true, was burned up, but God has enabled them to erect another on the ground thereof, in which we now have the happiness of taking sweet counsel together in an Associational capacity.” A short while before the War Between the States, the present house was erected, such parts of the old building as were suitable having been worked into the new one.


Although I can find no record of any serious internal dissensions dividing and weakening the church, yet her numerical strength and spiritual condition have been very fluctuating. Beginning with only ten members, she has had on her roll about three hundred names. Some of the oldest members have told me that at one time in her early history ber membership was reduced to seven. In 1860 she had 299 members; in 1865 she had only 199, in consequence of the withdrawal of the colored members to organize a church of their own. Her present membership is about 130. I think the principal cause that has retarded her growth has been the withdrawal of so many colonies to set up other Baptist churches. The last colony withdrew in 1869. I applied for letters for myself and about twenty others, to constitute the Mt. Olive

Church in Wayne County. Many of the ablest brethren subsequently transferred their membership from the mother church to the new one. It is a cause for devout gratitude to God that this venerable church, whatever have been her fluctuations, has never, so far as I can learn, ceased to maintain the ordinances of religion at any time since her constitution.


Bear Marsh Church has been a member of five Associations. She first joined the old Kehukee, from which she withdrew, with twenty-four other churches, to form the Neuse, which was organized at Bear Marsh, October, 1794. In October, 1806, she, with other withdrawing churches from the Neuse, formed the Cape Fear. This organization also was effected at Bear Marsh. She next united with several other churches of the Cape Fear to form the Goshen in 1827. Finally the Goshen churches, together with some from the Neuse and some from the Baptist Advisory Council, met at Kenansville, Duplin County, October, 1844, and organized the Union Association, which in 1865, changed her name to Eastern.

This sketch, imperfect as it is, would be far more so, without further mention of


He came from Virginia to Onslow County in early life. He moved thence to Duplin county, and settled on a plantation near Bear Marsh Church, on which his grandson, Mr. Joseph B. Oliver now resides.

He was a man of prominence and great usefulness. In 1795, or less than four years from his ordination, he was chosen to preside over the Neuse Association, a body whose territory embraced the counties of Wayne, Wake, Pitt, Glasgow (now Greene), Sampson, Lenoir, Jones, Johnston, Edgecombe, Duplin, Carteret, Craven, Brunswick, New Hanover, Bladen, and Robeson, and among whose ministry were such men as William and Fleet Cooper, Job Thigpen, Abram Baker, John Dilahunty and Needham Whitfield.

Elder Oliver died in 1808 while on a visit to a son in Georgia. He left in this State two sons—John and Benjamin—both of whom faithfully served Bear Marsh Church for many years and until their death—the former as clerk and the latter as deacon. John R. Oliver, a grandson of Francis Oliver, after his return from Wake Forest College, devoted his afflicted life to the gospel ministry. It was a marvel to many how one so encumbered with bodily affliction, could travel and preach as much as he did. Robert T. Bryan and Will B. Oliver, the great-grand-sons of Francis Oliver, are useful and growing ministers of the gospel. The

one is our beloved missionary to the benighted millions of China, and the other is the gifted and popular pastor of the First Baptist Church of Wilmington, N. C.


In morality and Christian beneficence, Bear Marsh will compare favorably with other country churches having only monthly preaching. She has a Sunday School and a Woman's Missionary Society, and monthly collections for the objects of the Association, State Convention, and S. B. Convention. Her present membership consists principally of poor people, there being not a single wealthy person among them, and her contributions are not so large as they were thirty or forty years ago when she was more able, and when Bro. James B. Taylor, the F. M. Secretary of the S. B. C., used to come and talk missions to the brethren. Nor are they so large now as they should be; but we are hoping for growth in the grace of giving.

The church in the early part of the present year, with hearty and practical unanimity, adopted strong resolutions against the manufacture, sale and use of all alcoholic beverages, declaring non-fellowship with such members as would persist in making or selling them. When all our churches shall have taken this advanced ground there will be some hope of redeeming the country from the blighting evils of the liquor curse.

By Rev. John T. Albritton,

Mt. Olive, N. C., April, 1897.

(Baptist Historical Papers, UNC Library, Chapel Hill.)


The first Methodist Church building was on Carr's Branch near Magnolia. The deed for the church is recorded in Book E, Page 372 of the Duplin County Public Registry, and was from James Rogers to Francis Asbury, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America. The deed was dated August 22, 1790, and is for 1 acre near the plantation of Job Rogers, and whereon the church now stands.

Other early Methodist churches in the county were: Providence in the Rockfish Community, Wesley near Kenansville, Charity, Carlton Chapel, Magnolia and Kenansville.


Nahunga Baptist Church was located about four hundred yards from Cooper's Mill, which is four miles east of Warsaw, and near Nahunga Creek, from whence it derived its name.

It was organized sometime between 1792 and 1803, for in Burkett and Reed's History of the Kehukee Association, published in 1803, the labors of the Rev. Francis Oliver (who with Rev. William Wells and others organized the church) are mentioned in connection with this church.

However, the Associational Records and the notes of Professor J. T. Alderman put the date of the organization in 1807, which is the year in which the Rev. Francis Oliver died.

The letters of William Dickson, who served Duplin County as C. S. C. for forty-four years, to The Raleigh Star on November 23, 1810, gives a resume of the work of all denominations then existing in Duplin County and I quote his reference about the Baptists: “The first Baptist preacher of note in Duplin was Philip Mulkey, a man of talents, and then a popular preacher. After him this county was frequently visited by other itinerant preachers of the Baptist profession from various parts of the State. Their first local preacher was Rev. William Goodman, who established a church at Bear Marsh on Goshen. After Mr. Goodman, the Rev. Charles Hines, and after him the Rev. Francis Oliver became the pastors of it. Under their care and patronage the church flourished, increased, and spread very considerably.

“New congregations were formed and meeting houses erected in different parts of the county, and continued to be occupied by the Rev. Silas Carter, Rev. Job Thigpen, and Rev. William Wells, their pastors.

“Since the death of Francis Oliver, which happened about three years ago (1807), the church at Bear Marsh, and others under his care have been supplied only by itinerant preachers and visitors from neighboring churches, having not yet obtained any ordained pastor.

“The Baptists are at this time the most numerous and flourishing of any religious sect in the county; they have now in Duplin seven meetings houses, regular places of worship, to wit, at Bear Marsh, at Nahunga, at Concord, at Island Creek, at Muddy Creek, at Limestone, and at Prospect near Burn Coat, the number communicants in the county in these different congregations from reports made in September, 1809, were 382 Baptists.”

(NOTE: The Methodist had 85, the Presbyterians 100, and at this time there were only 613 white males paying poll tax in the county. There were no Catholics, Quakers, or Universalists.)

Among the earlier pastors were: Rev. Francis Oliver, Rev. William Wells, Rev. Jonathan Thomas, Rev. Robert McNabb, Rev. A. J. Battle, Rev. Hiram Stallings, and Rev. B. A. Carroll.

The Associational Records of the Cape Fear Association show that in 1808 the church had a membership of thirty, and its delegates were James Rearden, who lived near the head waters of Nahunga, adjoining

the lands of Felix Frederick, which would place his home between the road to Williams Cross Roads, and the road from Bowdens to that point; and Isaac Middleton, who lived on the south side of the Grove Swamp. The report to the association in 1809 shows that one new member had been taken in, making thirty-one members. The delegate in addition to James Rearden was Edward Pearsall, who lived on the north side of the Grove. He was a brother of Captain James Pearsall, who was sheriff and legislator and on whose plantation, the county seat (Kenansville) was located in 1784.

In 1811, the Cape Fear Association met with this church, which had thirty-one members, and John Philips (Great Uncle of Abner, Vance, and Hiram Phillips) was the church clerk.

In 1812, it had thirty-two members, and from this date to 1826, the delegates to the association were William Watchman, Benjamin Best, James Rearden, John Thomas, Howell Best, Edward Pearsall, Rev. Jonathan Thomas, Elim Lee, William Harriss, and Absolom Best. The membership fluctuated during these years and only ten were shown in the report of 1824.

In 1827, this church went into the Goshen Association with twenty-one members, which were increased to fifty-eight in 1835. Roland Best was a delegate in 1834.

The names of the delegates in 1835, the last year the church was represented, before it was moved and called “Johnsons” were Norris Frederick, who lived on the place known now as the Old Irvin Beaman place, and Thomas Phillips, Sr. (the great-grandfather of Abner, Vance, and Hiram Phillips), and his son, Thomas Phillips, Jr.

In 1909, Dr. J. D. Hufham showed me the spot where Old Nahunga Church stood, and I quote his remarks on the people who composed the membership of Nahunga and Johnson churches:

“The community was wholly agricultural. The owners or their fathers or grandfathers had cleared the lands and brought them into a fine state of cultivation. They were a strong, vigorous people. They were well informed, and believed in education. The virtues of this community are traceable to the stronghold of Religion upon the people. Under its influence, men and women, strong in faith and character, grew up, led public sentiment, and gave tone to the moral and social life of the community.”

Again quoting from Dr. Hufham on the cause of the removal as related to him by his father, the Rev. G. W. Hufham, one of the earlier pastors of Johnson's Church: “In 1835 the membership had grown to fifty-eight; the majority of the members lived on the south side of the grove and in the vicinity adjacent to the new location, and at a congregational

meeting they voted to move the church, and a meeting house was erected on the lands of Benjamin Johnson, who deeded them the lands for Johnson's Church in January, 1836.”

(By Rivers D. Johnson, Biblical Recorder, Sept. 30, 1936.)


—Toward the close of the year 1800, that astonishing work which had been prevailing a short time in Kentucky and other parts made a sudden and unexpected entrance amongst them, and was attended with most of the new and unusual appearances, which, in many places, it assumed. This work was not confined to the Baptists, but prevailed at the same time amongst the Methodists and Presbyterians, both of which denominations were considerably numerous in these parts. These two last denominations, soon after the commencement of the revival, united in their communion and camp-meetings. The Baptists were strongly solicited to embark in the general-communion scheme; but they, pursuant to their consistent principles, declined a compliance. But they had camp or field-meetings amongst themselves, and many individuals of them united with the Methodists and Presbyterians in theirs. The Baptists established camp-meetings from motives of convenience and necessity, and relinquished them as soon as they were no longer needful. Their meeting-houses are generally small, and surrounded with groves of wood, which they carefully preserve, for the advantage of the cooling shade which they afford in the heat of summer. In these groves the stages were erected, around which the numerous congregations encamped; and when they could be accommodated in the meeting-houses, to them they repaired. A circumstance which led the people to come prepared to encamp on the ground was, that those who lived adjacent to the place of meeting, although willing to provide for the refreshment, as far as they were able, of the numerous congregations which assembled, yet, in most cases, they would have found it impracticable; and furthermore, they wished to be at the meetings themselves what time they must have stayed at home for the purpose. The people, therefore, would be advised by their ministers, and others, at the first camp-meetings, to come to the next and all succeeding ones prepared to accommodate and refresh themselves. In this way camp-meetings were instituted amongst the Baptists.

In nearly the same way meetings of a similar nature were established by the united body of Methodists and Presbyterians in these parts; but like many other things produced on extra-ordinary occasions they continued after the call for them had ceased. Their efficacy was by many too highly estimated. They had witnessed at them, besides much confusion and disorder, many evident and remarkable displays of Divine

power; and their ardor in promoting them, after the zeal which instituted them had abated, indicated that they considered them the most probable means of effecting a revival. . . .

Some accounts follow on the apparent genuineness of the revivals, notwithstanding the unusual manner in which the meetings were conducted.

In the progress of the revival among the Baptists, and, especially, at their camp-meetings, there were exhibited scenes of the most solemn and affecting nature; and in many instances there was heard at the same time, throughout the vast congregation, a mingled sound of prayer, exhortation, groans, and praise. The fantastic exercise of jerking, dancing, &c., in a religious way, prevailed much with the united body of Methodists and Presbyterians, towards the close of the revival; but they were not introduced at all among the Baptists in these parts. But falling down under religious impressions was frequent among them. Many were taken with these religious epilepsies, if we may so call them, not only at the great meetings where those scenes were exhibited which were calculated to move the sympathetic affections, but also about their daily employments, some in the fields, some in their houses, and some when hunting their cattle in the woods. And in some cases people were thus strangely affected when alone; so that if some played the hypocrite, with others the exercise must have been involuntary and unaffected. And besides falling down there were many other expressions of zeal, which, in more moderate people, would be considered enthusiastic and wild. . . .

(Colonial Records, Volume V, pages 1173 & 1174.)


The early records of this church were lost when the former building was destroyed by fire about ten years ago. By reason of this loss much that would be of valuable historical interest in connection with the church is not available.

We learn, however, that as early as 1740 a considerable settlement was in existence on Goshen Swamp, in the northwestern part of Duplin county, and that Presbyterian missionaries were there as early as 1742. Other missionaries came from time to time, among them Rev. Hugh McAaden, who traveled extensively over Eastern Carolina from one settlement to another, preaching the Gospel and giving spiritual ministrations to those hardy pioneers. But of the the result of these early efforts nothing in the way of a permanent church organization was accomplished.

The first definite information obtainable shows that at the Spring Meeting of Fayetteville Presbytery, of which Wilmington Presbytery

was then a part, held in Grove (Kenansville) church, Duplin county, April 2, 1824, in the statistical table giving the names of the churches, the name of “Union in Duplin” (Faison) appears. In the statistical report to Synod at the preceding Fall Meeting of Presbytery, of date October 31, 1823, the name of “Union in Duplin” is not given. We must therefore conclude that this church was organized sometime between October 31, 1823, and April 2, 1824. The first report to Presbytery from this church is made jointly with the churches of Brown Marsh and Mark's Creek, for the ecclesiastical year ending March 31, 1830, and gives the combined membership of the three churches as 79.

Nothing further of any definite character as to the early history of this church has been obtainable, so it would be mere speculation to add anything to what has already been given. But from the facts above noted it is certain that the Presbyterian church of Faison is one of the oldest religious organizations existing within the bounds of Duplin county, and, in this section of North Carolina.

Faison church is one whose membership has been of sturdy character, not carried about by every wind of doctrine. Its officers and members have never been afflicted with the desire for novelty and frequent change of pastors. This is seen in the fact that in the almost one hundred years of its organized existence it has had only six pastors.

Almost immediately following its organization, at the Spring Meeting of the Presbytery, April 2, 1824, Rev. Allan McDougal was ordered to supply Union (Duplin) Church. None of the Biographical catalogues of the various theological seminaries consulted contains the name of Mr. McDougal, so we conclude that he was one of the numerous contributions Scotland has made to American Presbyterianism. It is also a reasonable conjecture that he was trained in one of the Scottish Universities—Edinburgh, Aberdeen, or Glasgow.

The second pastor of Faison Presbyterian Church was the Rev. Alexander McIver. He served this church in connection with Grove (Kenansville) church from 1831 to 1839, and passed to his Heavenly reward on October 14, of the latter year. A most unusual and interesting fact in connection with this pastorate must here be noted, that there have been enrolled in the church's membership during all the succeeding years, descendents of Mr. McIver: First, his daughter, the late Mrs. Rachel Hicks; his granddaughter, Mrs. M. McD. Williams; his great-grandson, Dr. Louis Hicks Williams, who was also the first person to receive baptism in the present new church building. Another granddaughter of Mr. McIver, Mrs. Annie Witherington, together with a son and daughter, are also members of this church.

The third pastor to serve this congregation was the Rev. Malcolm

Connolly; he was a native of Robeson county, born near Lumber Bridge on August 20, 1807, was a graduate of Union Seminary, Hampden-Sidney, Va.; was installed pastor 1840 and was dismissed to Brazos Presbytery (Texas) 1852; he closed his work with this church in 1851. This pastorate which covered a period of 12 years, was the longest that had been given to the church up to this time.

Without question the most notable period in the life of Faison Presbyterian church was during the long and fruitful pastorate of the Rev. James M. Sprunt, D.D., which began in 1852 and closed in 1884. Dr. Sprunt was a native of Perth, Scotland, born January 14, 1818. He brought to his work in the ministry the native talent and acquired culture and learning which made his name a household word throughout all this section of North Carolina. His saintly character, his eloquent sermons, and his devotion to his church and the Kingdom of Christ are to this day frequently mentioned by the older members of the congregation. Dr. Sprunt began and ended his ministry in this church, though he was repeatedly called to other pastorates, some of these being among the strongest Presbyterian churches in America; but he chose to live, and labor, and ascend to his reward, from among the people whom he so much loved and who loved him in return.

The Rev. Peter McIntyre, a native of Nova Scotia, succeeded Dr. Sprunt and served as pastor for twenty-seven years, resigning in the summer of 1914 to accept a call to the Presbyterian church of Goldsboro, N. C. The life and work of this faithful and efficient servant of Christ is well known to the present generation. The membership of the church steadily increased during this pastorate, and when Mr. McIntre retired from the field there were on the rolls of the church the names of 115 members.

In October, 1914, a call was extended to the Rev. J. W. Purcell, D.D., then pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Palatka, Fla. Dr. Purcell did not at that time see his way clear to accept the call. In April, 1915, the call was renewed, and accepted, and the present pastorate began May 1, 1915. The results of these six-and-a-half years of service have been gratifying to the congregation, and, we believe, acceptable and pleasing to Christ the Great Head of the Church. The membership has increased from 115 to 160, the present church building has been erected during this period, and the financial contributions for maintenance of the cause of Christ at home and abroad increased four-fold.

The first building used for worship by this congregation was erected about two miles southwest of Faison, years before this site was chosen for the town. This building was moved to the town when the railroad was built through this part of the state about 75 years ago; it was

abandoned as a house of worship when the handsome and commodious structure was erected about 30 years ago in the earlier part of Mr. McIntyre's ministry. This building was struck by lightning and burned to the ground about ten years ago. For a period of about six years the congregation went back to the old church built by their fathers and worshiped there until the present beautiful brick church was completed; whereupon, in June, 1918, worship was begun and services held in the new church. The memorial auditorium is a fitting testimonial to the men and women who lived and wrought during the earlier history, and the present building a monument to the fidelity and liberality of faithful sons and daughters of worthy fathers and mothers. . . .

This congregation has always maintained a commanding influence in the religious and social life of the community, and throughout its century of life and service has had among its membership many family names that have been, and are today, well-known in this section of the State. Its members have always been faithful to the doctrines and government of the Presbyterian church, and loyal and loving to the ministers whom they have called from time to time, to the pulpit and pastorate of their church.

(By J. W. Purcell—Courtesy Mrs. J. B. Stroud, Jr.)

  • See the Gospel Church secure,
  • And founded on a Rock!
  • All her promises are sure;
  • Her bulwarks who can shock?
  • Count her every precious shrine;
  • Tell, to after-ages tell,
  • Fortified by power divine,
  • The Church can never fail.


During the year 1883 Dr. Joseph A. Holmes made an examination of Indian burial mounds in portions of eastern North Carolina. His report on mounds in Duplin County is substantially as follows:

Mound No. 1—Duplin County, located at Kenansville, about one-half mile southwest from the courthouse, on a somewhat elevated, dry, sandy ridge. In form, its base is nearly circular, 35 feet in diameter; height 3 feet. The soil of the mound is like that which surrounds it, with no evidence of stratification. The excavation was made by beginning on one side of the mound and cutting a trench 35 feet long, and to a depth nearly 2 feet below the general surface of the soil (5 feet below top of mound), and removing all the soil of the mound by cutting new trenches and filling up the old ones. In this way all the soil of the mound, and for two feet below its base, was carefully examined. The soil below the base of the mound did not appear to have been disturbed at the time the mound was built. The contents of the mound included fragments of charcoal, a few small fragments of pottery, a handful of small shells, and parts of sixty human skeletons. No implements of any kind were found. Small pieces of charcoal were scattered about in different portions of the mound, but the larger portion of the charcoal was found at one place, 3 or 4 feet square, near one side of the mound. At this place the soil was colored dark and seemed to be mixed with ashes. There were here, with the charcoal, fragments of bones, some of which were dark colored, and may have been burned; but they were so nearly decomposed that I was unable to satisfy myself as to this point. I could detect no evidence of burning, in case of the bones, in other portions of the mound. Fragments of pottery were few in number, small in size, and scattered about in different parts of the mound. They were generally scratched and cross scratched on one side, but no definite figures could be made out. The shell “beads” were small in size—10 to 12 mm. in length. They are the Marginella roscida of Redfield, a small gasteropod, which is said to be now living along the coasts of this State. The specimens, about 75 in number, were all found together, lying in a bunch near the skull and breastbones of a skeleton. The apex of each

one had been ground off obliquely so as to leave an opening passing through the shell from the apex to the anterior canal—probably for the purpose of stringing them.

The skeletons of this mound were generally much softened from decay—many of the harder bones falling to pieces on being handled, while many of the smaller and softer bones were beyond recognition. They were distributed through nearly every portion of the mound, from side to side, and from the base to the top surface, without, so far as was discovered, any definite order as to their arrangement. None were found below the level of the surface of the soil outside the mound. In a few cases the skeletons occurred singly, with no others within several feet; while in other cases, several were found in actual contact with one another; and in one portion of the mound, near the outer edge, as many as twenty-one skeletons were found placed within the space of six feet square. Here, in the case last mentioned, several of the skeletons lay side by side, others on top of these, parallel to them, while still others lay on top of and across the first. When one skeleton was located above another, in some cases, the two were in actual contact; in other cases, they were separated by a foot or more of soil.

As to the position of the parts of the individual skeletons, this could not be fully settled in the present case on account of the decayed condition of many of the bones. The following arrangement of the parts, however, was found to be true of nearly every skeleton exhumed. The bones lay in a horizontal position, or nearly so. Those of the lower limbs were bent upon themselves at the knee, so that the thigh bone (femur) and the bones of the leg (tibia and fibula) lay parallel to one another, the bones of the foot and ankle being found with or near the hip bones. The knee cap, or patella, generally lying at its proper place, indicated that there must have been very little disturbance of the majority of the skeletons after their burial. The bones of the upper limbs also were seemingly bent upon themselves at the elbow; those of the forearm (humerus) generally lying quite or nearly side by side with the bones of the thigh and leg; the elbow joint pointing toward the hip bones, while the bones of the two arms below the elbow joint (radius and ulna) were in many cases crossed, as it were, in front of the body. The ribs and vertebrae lay along by the side of, on top of, and between the bones of the upper and lower limbs, generally too far decayed to indicate their proper order or position. The skulls generally lay directly above or near the hip bones, in a variety of positions; in some cases the side, right or left, while in other cases the top of the skull, the base, or the front, was downward.

The skeletons were too much decomposed to permit the distinguishing

of the sexes of the individuals to whom they belonged; but the size of the crania (adults) and other bones seem to indicate that a portion of the skeletons were those of women. One small cranium found was evidently that of a child—the second and third pairs of incisor teeth appearing beyond the gums.

Mound No. 2.—Located 1¾ miles east of Hallsville, Duplin County, on a somewhat elevated, dry, sandy region. Base or mound nearly circular, 22 feet in diameter; height, 3 feet, surface rounded over the top. Soil similar to that which surrounds the mound—light sandy. Excavations of one-half of the mound exposed portions of eight skeletons, fragments of charcoal and pottery, arranged in much the same way as described above in case of Mound No. 1. The bones being badly decomposed, and the mound being thoroughly penetrated by the roots of trees growing over it, the excavation was stopped. No implements or weapons of any kind were found. There was no evidence of any excavation having been made below the general surface, in the building of the mound, but rather evidence to the contrary.

Mound No. 3.—Located in a dry, sandy, and rather elevated place about one-third of a mile east of Hallsville, Duplin County. In size and shape this mound resembles those already mentioned: Base circular, 31 feet in diameter; height 2½ feet. No excavation was made other than what was sufficient to ascertain that the mound contained bones of human skeletons.

Mound No. 4.—Duplin County, located in a rather level sandy region, about one mile from Sarecta post office, on the property of Branch Williams. Base of mound circular, 35 feet in diameter; height 2½ feet. Soil sandy, like that which surrounds it. Around the mound, extending out for a distance varying from 5 to 10 yards, there was a depression, which, in addition to the similarity of soils mentioned above, affords ground for the conjecture that here, as in a number of other cases, it is probable the mound was built by the throwing on of soil from its immediate vicinity. Only a partial excavation was made, with the result of finding human bones, and a few small fragments of charcoal and pottery.

(From L. A. Beasley's Scrapbook. See The Weekly Star, Wilmington, N. C., October 26, 1883, p. 3, first two columns, Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, N. C.; and report of Dr. Joseph A. Holmes on file in U. N. C. Library, Chapel Hill.)

The early settlers had very little Indian trouble in Duplin.


On September 4th, 1748, John Dickson, Joseph Carr, William Carr, and others, in, or near the original Carr settlement answered the “alarm” (see State Records Vol. 22, p. 283). This William Carr, however, was probably a brother of Joseph Carr and the same party who is referred to in the Appendix. Therefore, Joseph Carr must have arrived here prior to 1748, though it has been a family tradition that he moved to Wilmington from Ireland about 1749. Joseph was unmarried and came over with Captain Beverett and wife, Barbara Gastor Beverett, and her brother, Jacob Gastor. Captain Beverett settled his wife at, or near, the present site of Kenansville, where he built her a comfortable cottage in the colony known as the “Grove Community,” and returned to sea where he performed the duties of a sea captain. An unverified tradition says that Mrs. Beverett discovered the present town spring at Kenansville, which she dug with her own hands.

(The Carr Family of Duplin County, By James Osborn Carr. Page 7.)


Out of the one hundred counties of North Carolina, Duplin County is the only county, so far as the writer has been able to ascertain, that has a natural spring of delectable water on its courthouse lawn. There may be courthouses in the State that have wells from which water may be secured, but Kenansville, the quaint and historic county seat of Duplin, with its unique and stately old homes of colonial architecture set amid spacious lawns studded with beautiful trees, hoary with age, and to a great extent still reflecting an antebellum atmosphere is the only county seat town that affords a natural spring with a flow of water sufficient not only to quench the thirst of the judges, lawyers and officers of the court, but ample for the public and town as well.

John Keats must have had in mind such a spring when he penned in his “Ode to a Nightingale,” the lines:

  • “O for a draft of vintage, that hath been
  • Cool'd for a long age in the deep-delved earth,
  • Tasting of Flora and the country green. . . .

  • That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
  • And with thee fade away into the forest dim.”

In fact, when Sampson County was cut off from Duplin and organized into a new county in 1784, it was largely by virtue of this spring that the present site of Kenansville was selected for the new courthouse of Duplin. At that time, a large portion of what is now Kenansville, was Pearsall's plantation. And it so happened that Mr. Pearsall was sheriff of the county. Accordingly, he offered to donate to the county four acres of land, including “Cool Spring,” if the authorities would build the courthouse upon it. Subsequently, the offer was accepted and the courthouse was built immediately.

Kenansville is not exactly the geographical center of the county but the big spring with its bountiful supply of water was here and there was doubtless not a spring at the exact center of the county. Besides, Sheriff Pearsall was offering not only to give the spring but four acres of land also. Hence, in those early days as in the present times, water was a very vital and necessary item for a courthouse and a county seat town. However, an adequate water supply in those times was not as easily secured as now. Apropos this fact, together with the other favorable conditions and the political prestige of the donor, the present site of Kenansville was selected for Duplin's seat.

Therefore, for approximately one hundred and twenty-seven years this spring afforded the only water supply for the courthouse as well as for the majority of the home owners of the village. And while the town now affords a modern water supply in keeping with our modern civilization, the old spring continues to pour forth its gallons of pure, cool, crystal water every minute of the day. And it is still a favorite fountain where people go to satiate their thirst.

The spring was first discovered during the infancy of this country's civilization, in early seventeen hundreds by a local maiden whose name was Barbara Gastor. Local tradition is to the effect that this young lady while in quest of a nugget of gold that was believed to have been buried there by the Indians, was digging into the earth one day, and discovered the spring. And from that time to the present, the faithful spring has been furnishing a water supply for the thirsty.

But the spring has functioned in other roles than just that of satisfying one of nature's physical requirements. For generation on generation it has been the scene of romantic rendezvous. A trysting spot where youthful, loving, gallant and modest pairs have breathed out the tender vows in unison with the brimming, bubbling waters etched with silver moonbeams. Gentlemen who regulated their lives strictly in accordance with the code duello have escorted their lady-loves to and from the spring.

What a panoramic picture it would make, could all these peoples of the various generations and periods who have frequented the spring be projected upon a screen in one grand review. Gentlemen wearing powdered wigs, knee-breeches, silk stockings, fancy ruffled shirts, silver shoe buckles and shining swords dangling from their sides. Ladies sporting hoopskirts, trains, and pantalets concealing even the ankle when the wearer had occasion to curtsy. And behold the costumes changing from one decade to another on down to the gay nineties of the century just passed; the early nineteen hundreds with its peg-leg trousers, hobble skirts and the like.

The water of this spring is said to be exceedingly pure and replete with health giving elements. Tradition has it that any person who drinks habitually from its waters is always blessed with at least a number of the nobler and finer things of life. Even the fates seemed to have blessed the maiden discoverer. She was first married to a John or Jack Beverett, a sea captain. Shortly thereafter he was lost at sea and never returned to Kenansville. But within due course of time his widow married a Mr. Carr of this community and they lived very happily together and reared a large family of children. Some of her descendants still live in this section.

The first courthouse to be erected on this site in 1785 was an elaborate building for that day and time. It was constructed of lumber and the architecture was good. This edifice served Duplin County till 1911, when the present modern brick structure was erected.

Until the coming of the automobile, it was the custom of the people to assemble in vast throngs at Kenansville during court week. Horse trading and selling was one of the outstanding pursuits indulged in, and this business took its rank and standing only second to the court itself. A strip of land situated just across the highway from the courthouse and now covered with pine trees for the most part served for the horse trading ground and in the vernacular of the day was called “the bone yard.” A number of huge troughs were kept in the spring branch which were always full of the pure water and the people watered their horses and mules from these troughs.

Many strange and interesting events have happened within the shade of the trees of this old spring, and many are the celebrities and distinguished men who have slaked their thirst from the waters of the spring in the years past.

Dr. William Houston, a practicing physician and surgeon in Duplin County for more than forty years, in all probability drank from this spring on scores of occasions. He was instrumental in the formation of this county, 1749, and was the county's first representative in Assembly.

He was for years a justice of the peace and chairman of the County court and was appointed by the Crown to be Stamp Distributor for North Carolina under the British Stamp Act of the seventeen-sixties. However, Dr. Houston never served in this position as the colonists refused to tolerate the Stamp Act laws. He died about 1790, a few years after the courthouse was built in Kenansville and doubtless attended court here on different occasions.

Then there was Colonel James Kenan, sheriff of the county from 1762 to 1766 and again in 1785 and 1786. Not only did he drink water from this spring but doubtless the officers and men of his various military companies did. He led a company of volunteers to Wilmington in 1765 to oppose enforcement of the Stamp Act, even though Dr. William Houston, an outstanding citizen of the county had been appointed Stamp Master for North Carolina. He was also colonel of Duplin militia during the Revolution; member of the State Senate for a long time; and was a Councilor of State and Trustee of the State University. The county seat was named for the family. He died May 23, 1810.

Some of the officers who served under Colonel Kenan during the Revolutionary War and who saw service at Moore's Creek and in various other engagements were: Captains Alexander Outlaw, Daniel Williams, Joseph T. Rhodes, Richard Clinton, William Hubbard, William Rutledge, James Gillespie, George Miller, David Dodd, and Abraham Molten.

Doubtless all these men were well acquainted with the spring and at one time or another refreshed themselves with its water.

Colonel Alexander Dickson, a noted philanthropist of this section, was born and reared near the present town limits. Among other things he devised a trust fund to be used for the education of the poor children in Duplin County and is known as the Dickson Charity Fund and is still in existence. He died March 22, 1814, at the age of 68 years. He, too, was a frequent visitor of the spring.

The old spring saw other soldiers in addition to Duplin County's liberty loving patriots. Many are the stories that have come down concerning Major James H. Craig, who led a company of British soldiers through Kenansville during the American Revolution, and attempted to frighten the patriots out of their wits by plundering and pillaging. He and his soldiers camped for several days here at the home of Colonel Thomas Routledge. And since the spring was the chief water source of the place, Major Craig and his men evidently consumed many gallons of its water. Certainly they needed something to cool them off, as they not only burned Colonel Routledge's home upon vacating the village, but also the homes of Captain Gillespie and Lieut. Houston.

The famous trial of Darby and Peter, two negro slaves, and also

their conviction for the murder of their master, Colonel William Taylor, took place in the old courthouse within plain view of the spring. According to the court records, “At a special court begun on Thursday, March 15, 1787, for the immediate trial of Darby and Peter, two negro slaves, the property of the late William Taylor, Esquire, now committed and to be tried for the murder of their master, William Taylor, and were present the following justices; Thomas Routledge, Joseph Dickson and James Gillespie. And the following freeholders: Lewis Thomas, James Middleton, Sr., Isaac Hunter, and Alexander Dickson.

“The Darby negro having confessed the murder of his master, by striking him on the head with an axe, which instantly killed his master, the court sentenced him in the following words: That he, the said negro man Darby be immediately committed to Gaol under a good guard and that on tomorrow between the hours of one and four o'clock in the afternoon he be taken out thence and tied to a stake on the court house lot and there burned to death and to ashes and his ashes strewed upon the ground and that the Sheriff see this order executed.

“The said negro boy Peter, a boy about fourteen years of age, being also brought before the court and did confess that he was present when his master, the said William Taylor, was murdered and that he did aid and assist his brother the aforesaid Darby in committing the said murder; the court having taken into consideration the youth of the said Peter and considering him under the influence of his said brother Darby, have thought proper to pass his sentence in the following words, to-wit: That he, the negro boy Peter, be committed to Gaol and there to remain under a good guard, till tomorrow, and then between the hours of one and four o'clock, he be taken out thence and tied to a post on the court house lot and there to have one half of each of his ears cut off and be branded on each cheek with the letter M and receive one hundred lashes well laid on his bare back and that the Sheriff see this order executed.”

This trial and execution doubtless drew a large crowd of people to Kenansville and probably all of them drank water from the spring during the day.

The following Justices who held court at the old courthouse in April, 1861, doubtless told many interesting stories and swapped jokes and puns while helping themselves to the water from this spring: Halstead Bourden, H. Blackmore, I. B. Kelly, W. F. Ward, Houston Maxwell, James G. Branch, Joshua R. Ezzell, Geo. S. Best, R. V. Carroll, N. P. Mathis, James Cavenaugh, James E. Ward, John M. Chasten, Daniel Bowden, Bryan W. Herring, Alsa Southerland, Gibson S. Carr, Grady Outlaw, John D. Stanford, Jere. Pearsall, chairman; Needham B. Whitfield, James B. B. Monk, Blaney Williams, Hugh Maxwell, William Outlaw,

Jr., Stephen B. Winders, Jesse Swinson, Calvin Jernigan, Ben Witherington, John R. Wallace, Stephen H. Simmons, James D. Pearsall, John R. Miller, Kedar Bryan, Thomas Hall, George W. Carroll, Hugh G. Maxwell, Samuel C. Jones, Major Stricklin, and Alfred M. Rackley.

Kenansville was also beseiged by another company of soldiers during the Civil War who remained here long enough to destroy a sword factory and if they drank any water while in town, the spring was the logical place since practically everybody secured their drinking water from the said fountain at that time. It seems that Louis Froelich and Jacob H. N. Cornleson formed a partnership in January, 1864, for the purpose of manufacturing swords, arms, accouterments, horse shoes, etc. The name of the firm was Louis Froelich & Company and the capital stock amounted to $59,873.23. This sword factory was located just across the present highway from the home of Wm. M. Brinson, and the swords, of course, were manufactured for the Confederacy.

The Company of Union soldiers who destroyed this sword factory were doubtless a detachment of General Sherman's army.

Then there was the Rev. James Sprunt, D.D., who was pastor of Grove Presbyterian church here for a long time, a noted preacher, theologian, scholar and teacher who used to supply his household from the waters of this spring. He came to Kenansville in 1845, and was for a time president of Grove Academy, a school that prepared the young men for college. He was also president of the Female Seminary, a similar school for young women. He served as chaplain in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Dr. Sprunt was among other things, a botanist of no mean ability and had a flower garden along the run of this spring. It is understood that he propagated a number of flowers peculiar to this section during his residence here.

Some of the outstanding men of the state and nation were students of Grove Academy and the old spring proved a delightful mecca for the students to come and drink their fill of the refreshing water. Some of these students were: Captain W. J. Houston, lawyer, State Senator, solicitor, and Confederate officer; Dr. J. N. Stallings, lawyer, solicitor, teacher, and minister; Colonel Thomas S. Kenan, lawyer, Confederate officer, State Attorney General, and Clerk of the State Supreme Court; Captain James G. Kenan, Confederate officer, legislator, and sheriff; Lieutenant W. R. Kenan, Confederate officer and public minded citizen; Judge O. H. Allen, lawyer, solicitor, and Superior Court Judge; ex-Senator F. M. Simmons, Congressman and Senator, chairman of the State Democratic Executive Committee and an advocate of white supremacy; William R. King, Congressman, Senator, ambassador, and vice-president of the United States; B. F. Grady, teacher, superintendent of

county schools, and Congressman; and Dr. William Dickson, physician, speaker of the Tennessee house of representatives and Congressman.

Then there was one outstanding student at the Kenansville Seminary whose name should be mentioned at this place, namely Judge William Reynolds Allen, who was born in Kenansville. He became one of the leading lawyers in the State, was for a number of years a Superior Court Judge, and later of the state Supreme Court, which position he held until his death. And like many others, Judge Allen found the old spring a delightful place to refresh oneself.

Until 1909 the spring was simply walled in with brick, and moss grew thereon. Hence, one desiring to drink of its water had only to dip a glassful right out of the heart of the spring. But in 1909 the county commissioners had the spring all dressed up by having a heavy floor of concrete poured in a square about its surface. The top or mouth of the spring was covered with an iron plate. An iron pipe was inserted which reaches several feet out from the main vein of the spring where waters pour in a stream. Steps were made into the cement leading down to this pipe. Since then, any one desiring to drink from the spring only has to descend the steps and hold a glass under the pipe and catch all the water that is desired.

Many of the early patrons of the spring would scarcely recognize it in its present modern abode.

But the water of this spring has not always been used for alleviating thirst that nature causes all of her children to have at regular intervals. In the days before prohibition, when Kenansville, like hundreds of other hamlets and towns in North Carolina had bar rooms and grog shops, men who indulged in these spirits often used the water of this spring for a chaser.

Celebrations of various kinds, including picnics and political rallies galore have been held at and around this spring for the past one hundred and fifty years and the never-failing waters have always added to the refreshment and comfort of the people. Statesmen, as well as military officers and leaders have tarried to drink its waters, and then gone forth and made names that were known and revered throughout the State and nation, and then passed on to their reward, but the spring flows on.

Political rallies were being held around this spring by the people of Duplin County long years before many of our present counties were chartered and organized. The doctrines of Jefferson and Jackson and the great tenets of democracy were preached and taught by statesmen, political leaders, and orators to the people assembled around this fountain contemporaneous with the lives and careers of the said illustrious authors. The people of Duplin County heard the policies of the American Republic,

the beliefs and doctrines of our first statesmen from the very beginning of our government expounded and explained while assembled about the spring.

And so the people of Duplin County and Kenansville are very fond of their spring. They take a just pride in showing it to visiting strangers. They look upon it as a historical landmark; it is truly so. Metaphorically speaking, the old spring has been the friend of many of the State's great and near-great and has witnessed practically all of the important public meetings and gatherings in Duplin County for over one hundred and fifty years. And more significant still the spring witnessed the birth of our American Liberty, the birth of our government, and the development of our nation and country from its small and feeble beginning to the greatest nation and country on the face of the earth. And it has witnesses and fostered romance and love in the making. Verily, was there ever such a spring?

If the crystal waters continue to flow from its veins which reach deep into mother earth, this spring is destined to ultimately become as well known among the posterity of the citizenry of Duplin County as Jacob's well was to the people of ancient Israel.

(By Charles H. McSwain, Wallace Enterprise, Nov. 29, 1934.)


A few sinkholes occur on the Sunderland terrace, a nearly level plain, in the vicinity of Magnolia. They were formed through the dissolution of underlying limestone and marl and the caving in of the surface. The Bottomless Wells of Magnolia are of this origin.

(U.S.D.A. Soil Survey—March 1959, Page 2.)

An account of the natural wells near Magnolia appeared in one of the county newspapers a few years ago. The account, written at Magnolia, is substantially as follows:

On an isolated sandhill near the Magnolia-Delway highway, about one and a half miles from this little Duplin County town, are the “Natural Wells of Magnolia.”

At least one of these two waterfilled holes, according to local legend has no bottom, and if geologists or others have ever learned differently no one here knows anything about it.

Many generations ago—so far back that people hereabout do not remember—these wells were discovered in their isolated settings amid dense natural growth. Presumably they are now just as they were back in the forgotten past. Dim outlines of paths lead to the brink of the wells, for hundreds have visited them through the years. Traffic now speeds along the nearby road. Occasionally people, individually and in groups, walk through the underbrush to view these wonders that nature has provided, but they go away as greatly puzzled as ever. And man has never been able to do much about the mysterious water holes.

People of the Magnolia section take the wells as a matter of course. The wells are too ancient to be news. They still hold their secrets, just as they did when discovered back in pioneer days. They cannot be classed as a wonder that would attract throngs, for it must be admitted that a hole of water is not much to look at—especially if it is a hole that man does not dare to explore beneath the water's surface. So they remain just as nature left them.

One of them is very large, being about 100 feet across. The water in this well rises to about 35 feet of the land level. The walls of it go down in precipitous fashion. In times past steps were cut into the sides

of the well, thus enabling people to go to the water's edge, but these have now been obliterated. Timber, some of it several inches in diameter, grows up to the edge of the hole, and it is said that several large oak trees have been blown over into the well, disappearing entirely from sight. A large log now lies across the well and apparently is held in its present position by the roots.

Legend has it that something like 150 years ago a man named George Linton was determined to sound out the depth of the large well. He unraveled a woman's stitching, which had been knit from material much stronger than that from which the sheer hosiery of the present time is made; tied a weight to one end of the string and let it down as far as the string would reach, but no bottom was found.

Another attempt was made later, according to the story, to determine the hole's depth. This time a Major Taylor, now dead, tied a clock weight, which provided momentum for the old-time clocks, to a cord 600 feet long and let it down. But this effort to sound the depth was, like Linton's, a failure, and thus folks hereabout say the well has no bottom. They have found no one who can authoritatively dispute the claim.

As far as known neither of the wells has inlet or outlet. No streams are nearby, but, according to local residents, the water seems to be pure. It is as clear as that found in any sandhill stream. A few minnows have been seen darting through the water, but if there are any larger fish or other life in the wells no one here seems to know.

There was a time when the wells attracted attention of scientists, and it is said that in years past several western universities sent representatives here to investigate them. It is also said that a group of scientific men from Washington made an investigation. It was not learned here what the finds of these men were, or whether they ever definitely determined what caused the wells.

Apparently the wells are just as much a mystery as they were a century and a half ago, or perhaps longer, when they were discovered. Certainly, their secrets still remain in the depths of the water as far as Magnolia people know. School geographies have mentioned them along with other phenomena of the State, it is said, but this much remains to be determined, where does the water come from and where does it go?

(L. A. Beasley's Scrapbook.)


Names of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlavesNames of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlaves
Thomas Rutlidge69James Murrow71
James Pearsell, Esq.712Jeremiah Pearsall54
Wm. Beck, Esq.1012John Southerland4
Wm. Broadhurst4John Cooper4
Elizabeth Beck210Wm. Hunter93
Daniel Glisson, Esq.87Richard Pelcher5
George Kornagey712Nathan Waller31
Steven Herring713Charles Hooks31
Samuel Herring41David Quinn51
Wm. Stevens136Joseph Williams31
Samuel Phillips3Lewis Barfield122
Loammy Stevens37Henry Hooks7
Morris Dickson7Samuel Sanderland5
Nathaniel Kinard3Joseph Johnston11
Alexander Daniel42Wm. Rigsby82
Joseph Whitfield22Philip Thomas1
Archabald Carr82John Linear131
Charles King68Thomas Garison53
Wm. Southerland51Patrick Newton98
Samuel Sowell8Wm. Stoks10
Hezekiah Blizzard6Joseph Brook12
John Cox6Nicholas Sanderland71
Joseph Smith23Francis Oliver93
Alexander Waller6Samuel Sulivan7
Banj'n Moshburn5David Murdock1313
Andrew Federick6Wm. Wilkinson34
Edward Pearsall47Wm. Guy104
John Armstrong12James Reardon5
Benj'n Johnson21James Wright67
Lewis Thomas616James Gillispie, Esq.1030
Hardy Carrell5James Maxwell82
Thomas Johnston11John Beck513
James Morris416Joseph Orsburn5
Wm. Ann Houston3Andrus Rouse6
James Middleton812Theophilus Williams, Esq.87
Charles Brown46Thomas Hooks, Esq.816
James Patterson3Joseph Brock8

Names of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlavesNames of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlaves
John Wright59Isaac Middleton32
Wm. Brock7Frederick Bearfield76
Humphrey Sulivan1Wm. Beck32
John Evers4John A. Swinson1
Alexander Grady116Edmund Duncan41
Isaac Dawson102John Bryan4
Frederick Grady122Wm. Boyt7
James Grady1James Rogers5
Rheuben Wister3Abraham Motler57
Moses Sholders4James Williams, Senr.7
Wm. Merrett13James Outlaw128
Solomon Picket61Wm. Grady104
James Hollard9Richard Roberts5
Wm. Sholders4Thomas James, Esq.921
John Glisson7Leoin Allen3
George Smith91Robert Millar8
Wm. Gulley101John Gore13
John Worsley54James Middleton6
John Whitehead8Pelick Rogers5
Demsey Westbrook5Benjamin Delaney7
Jacob Taylor10Wm. Carr63
Edward Huston66Francis Beaman10
John Sulivan11Thomas Cramton5
Alexander Sanders7Andrew Thalley81
Elisha Jurnigan61Jacob Wills511
Aaron Hodgeson7Robert Southerland91
Jonathan Keeley9Jacob Wells, Senr.53
Benj'n Lenear6Samuel Rogers51
Joseph Hodgeson3Stephen Herring66
Benj'm Best3John Johnston5
John Best, Jr.6Benjamin Herring71
John Best, Sr.6Silus Carter8
Abraham Best3Wm. Korniagg94
John Williams6Loftus Worley8
John Million4Ann Worley21
Zidekeah Mumford5Charles Millar41
Arthur Stroud3John Neal31
Lewis Smith71Theophilus Swinson8
John Parker8Samuel Alberson95
George Gibbons7Arthur Herring4
John Housman8Samuel Gauff2
Archabald Branch5Bedford Garrin5
Andrew Gufford57Wm. Sulivan86
James Heath81James Linear9
Thomas Heath9Labin Williams6
Samson Grimes62Dennis Connor133
Benjamin Getstrap4Auston Bryan37
Samuel Taylor4Adonazab Garisson6

Names of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlavesNames of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlaves
Benjamin Rodes77Bethea Marsey5
John Turlington7Jane Joinigan43
Archabald Branch5James James1017
Jacob Brown106Michial Glisson3
Wm. Daniel32Thomas Hill724
Joseph Bray2Arthur Boyt5
Joseph Bray, Jr.8John Carr3
Wumlark Money87Ephram Boyt7
John Boney22John Matchett87
Daniel Boney71Wm. M. Gray5
Joseph Dickson, Esq.1113John Haycraft5
Wm. Savage4Nathan Gray4
Jacob Savage2John Chambers95
Jacob Tearley61John Rhodes49
Stephen Bearfield46David Slone56
John Woodward82John Carlton7
Alex'r Wilson41Thomas Carlton72
John Bradley10Robert Slone43
James Middleton105Joseah Strafford7
Charles Ward, Esq.312Mary Dolbson3
Samuel Houston, Esq.718Wm. Robert4
Benjamin Blount6Jacob Taylor3
Alex'r Dickson17James Forehead6
John Woodward1Joshua Benton9
Elisha Woodward6Jacob Glisson4
Adam Murrah7Jesse Brock8
Jesse Harris6Benjamin Brock5
John Everet5Seven Buks3
Thomas Rutledge11Edward Carter3
Warren Blount81Solomon Carter33
David Bunting47Kezzekiah Blizzard2
Thomas Wright11David Carter6
Charles Bostick91Rheuben Deaser1
Nathan Gulley1Mary Summerland3
Joseph Millard6Anthony Jones1
Charles Gauff5Benjamin Snipes9
George Millard4Lewis Pepkin71
Watson Burton31Man Carter2
Absolam Strukland7John Mainer5
John Slone4Alexander Flemming21
Elizabeth Taylor4Jesse Branch7
Martha Outlaw8Jacob Summerland12
Philip Ward13Isaac Thomson1
Michial Molton911James Moody4
Stephen Herring914Elizah Bowan6
John M. Collah4Eloderick Gray5
Theophilas Peacock2Isaac Herring8
James Joiner7Henry Johnston2

Names of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlavesNames of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlaves
Sikes Garicue1Wm. Salmon4
John Thompson3Michial Wilkins61
Elizabeth Thompson5Rading Stokes42
David Carlton5John Taylor6
Bizon Brock5John Deaver6
Walker Carter1Demsey Taylor7
Bersheba Thompson2Samuel Bowdin6
Jesse Ellison9Peter Parker3
Mathew Ward1Thomas Bennett81
Geo. Smith11John Durell8
Frederick Smith8Joel Samer6
Wm. Moore6Joseph Vick4
Ludson Stroud5John Kornegay41
James Herring77Lewis Jones5
Wm. Ray5Samuel Tanner7
Mary Mainer4Anthony Jones6
James Mathews9Jesse Sevinson7
James Dawson1Andrew Ward4
Wm. Duff8Lewis Herring51
Elizabeth Fussell8John Vick4
Simon Rivenback9Jonathan Parker8
Stephen Smith6Wm. Wilkerson8
Wm. Whitfield54James Sollus5
Samuel Slocum31Joshua Chaimbers8
James Pickett101John Wilkins3
Henry Pickett4Buckner Killibrue55
John Fleming4Wm. Bennett1
Abraham Beaman7Samuel Bennett3
John Aaron4Elif Taylor3
Wm. Federick94Edward Harris3
John Parker6Catharine Taylor58
Wm. Alberson42Parker Bowdin5
Stephen Gufford2Peter Watkins31
Joseph T. Rhodes, Esq.18Ezekiel Tunnage21
Anne Casson6Wm. Duncan5
Flood Fooley6Isaac Duncan3
James McIntim513Reubin Johnston13
Priscilla Hunter84Daniel Hicks1119
George Gaylor3Hardy Reaves10
Lilan Watkins109Adam Reaves5
Christopher Martin7Mark Rogers62
John Rutley52Samuel Ratliff7
John Winders6Hugh McCann9
John Rogers, Sr.10Wm. McCann2
Jediah Blanchard4John Gilman1
Daniel Parker8Felix Federeck8
John Rogers8Richard Chason1
Timothy Spince6James Floyd6

Names of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlavesNames of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlaves
Isaac James3John Brown4
Daniel Murrow41Joseph Williams84
Luke Bowser4David Hall5
Wm. Hall5Ezekiel Mathews4
Daniel Coock5Lott Green8
Ezekial Allen11John Wilson4
Wm. Allen11Joshua Blake3
Henry Jones6John Mathews41
Jesse Jorge7Joseph Wilson43
Hardy Parker4Hugh Boney1
Emanuel Bowser4Amos Shufield6
Benjamin Fussell3Charles Merett4
Nicholas Bryan3Arthur Mathews4
Thomas Cummings11Stephen Williams7
Lewis Hedgeman3Robert Knowls6
John Cook71Byrd Williams51
Mary Cook32Nathan Coock6
Walter Bryan2John Williams6
John Boney9Frederick Williams112
James Knowls9Taylor Holiway3
John Blanton11John Gauff, Sr.72
Joseph Williams24David Singleton7
Aron Williams42Elias James93
Lewis Newton4Ambrose Ensor6
John Green10Wm. Murphrey117
Elisha Bowan6Dan Bowan8
Thomas Cook6John Cook7
John Knowls6James Blanton6
Thomas Green4John Daniel9
Isaac Newton4Hardy Holms5
Nathan Edwards4Key Holms11
John Waters7Aron Daniel5
Aron Brown4Wm. Burnham122
David Alderman13John Hunt510
Robert Wallice9Michial Kennard115
Frederick Wills101Moses Dickson6
David Tucker7Wm. Taylor2
Simon Wood7Thomas Bradley4
Jacob Mathews6Luke Ward73
James Smith6Wm. Harris12
David Davis5Edmund Duncan5
Benjamin Thompson7Lewis Bezzell9
John Duff3John Gauff75
Michial Ezzell41Wm. Bezzell72
Reuben Ezzell4Arthur Bezzell3
Benjamin Ezzell3Willis Cherry84
Simon Revenback8Isaac Ducan3
John Young4Robert Byrd93

Names of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlavesNames of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlaves
William Branch7Wm. Hollingsworth41
William Newton3Abraham Andrews73
Burwell Mobley4James Wallace8
John Ivey28Wm. Collins8
Benjamin Lenear3Jacob Wallace4
Jesse Lenear62Robert Tuelling62
James Murson7Henry Newkirk61
John Wood5Wm. James82
John Haise6Timothy Bryan6
Joseph Serins8Brittain Powell7
Elisha Woodward51Robert Merett8
James Murrow55Elius Sutton4
John McGee72Hardy Powell5
Renatus Land9Mary Bland6
Lydia Castul8Wm. Wells5
Samuel Ward31Jonathan Willise4
Stephen Hancock41Hardy Gitstraf4
Wm. Farrior74Shadock Statlings86
James Ellis7James Cook4
Daniel Hines6Isaac Hall1
Wm. Flowers7Wm. Filman10
Nathan Fountain5David Hennesey3
Jo. Myrell1Joseph Beyen7
Wm. Halso1011Josiah Leigh9
Mary Bachelor5Wm. Bland3
John Lenear4Meshack Statlings121
Abraham Cannon1Mary Hill6
Mary Dobbson3Joshua Blanton4
James Haws3Wm. Harwell11
Thomas Shetton5John Coock4
Elizabeth Shuffield9John Rawlings7
James Johnston68Abraham Newton10
Christopher Mashbourn8Jacob Newton1
Lewis Shoulders3Reubin Rogers2
Ezekiel Sanders1Wm. Sweetman3
Isaac Baker3John Mathews5
Wm. Harp4Barbara Dickson102
Epharam Garisson5Paul Martin7
Daniel Rains6Joseph Ward9
Calop Quinn5Mary Jones8
Enoch Simpson2David Walker4
James Winders81Thomas Taylor5
Heck Millar41Richard Bradley5
Jonathan Pee4Ephram Shuffield4
John Craford9Joseph Serews4
Stephen Halso8Isaac Spence4
Jesse Lenear5Nicholas Bowan6
Henry Brinson8George Kornaagy61

Names of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlavesNames of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlaves
Dred Branch3Nathaniel Walker3
Jacob Kornegay919Mary Struts6
Roby Durele3Moses Cox6
Sarah Chandler5Matthew Edwards79
Jonathan Peas4Christan Williams6
Wm. Rogers1John Umphreys7
Mary Cannon43Syvea Williams2
Wm. Dickson1131Edward Houston56
James Dickson133Dr. Wm. Houston110
Anthony Millar62Joseph Smith23
Daniel Southerland91George Millar410
Thomas Norment543Griffith Houston8
John Hill826Jesse Jones4
Silas Page3Joseph Serews1
John Gibbs124James Hubbard1
Christopher SimplorIvey Smith56
John Walker9John Southerland7
Adam Plat6Shadrack Sowell7
Henry Stocks5Thomas Toomer5
Joshua Newell5Henry Fountain3
Thomas Phelps6Lydia Manner51
Richard Cooper5Robert Cattle7
George Rouse7Amis Parker12
Henry Allen6Margerit Pickett5
Samuel Jones4Sarah Batts72
Mikajah Pearce5Joal Pagit9
Phil Southerland5James Pagit2
Wm. McGeer12Cornelar Pagit4
Wm. McCann65Joab Thigpen10
Samuel Sanderland6James Pickett53
John Rigsby4Wm. Thomas95
Charles Grimes4Abigal Parker5
George Cooper96John Parker6
James Carr36Isaac Thomas63
John Stuckey97Stephen Williams5
Joseph Mettes27Jeremiah Williams22
John Johnston23Jacob Williams56
Owen O'Daniel57Anne Henderson4
Auston Moore5Wm. Hubbard58
Wm. Gauff62George Morisey, Esq.1235
David Williams22Daniel Teachey317
Susanna Facon98Thomas Tonans1210
Uriah Blanchard91James Kenan1137
Wm. Best94Peter Young5
Edward Dickson1012Joseph Hodgeson3
Charles James3Calop Ostean5
Richard Mares52John Balley4
John Walker91Wm. Pickett43

Names of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlavesNames of Heads of FamiliesNumber In FamilySlaves
Wm. Pickett, Sr.22John Thigpin10
Reuben Meaks9John Thomas4
Thomas Sholders3Edward Bracher31
Wm. Burton71James Whaley11
James Evans9Samuel Whaley10
Benj'n Lenear6Wm. Whaley12
Robert Cool4Stephen Millar34
Wm. Batchelor5James Chambers95
Edward Jones4Jeridiah Bass2
Stephen Martinal7(No Totals Given)
Francis Whaley5Added Totals39361278
Jeptha Medford12

(State Records, Vol. XXVI, Pages 501-514, incl.)



“The British under Major Craig defeated the North Carolina Militia, Aug. 2, 1781, 300 yards S.E.”

This Marker stands where State Highway No. 11 crosses the old Wilmington road near the Rockfish Creek Bridge (in Duplin County).


“Revolutionary leader, Member Provincial Congresses, Conventions 1788-89; Militia Brigadier General; Trustee of University. Grave 2 mi. N.”

This marker is located between Warsaw and Clinton near Baltic on State Highway No. 24.


“Presbyterian. First Church founded by Scotch-Irish who settled here about 1736.”

This Marker is located at Grove Church in the Town of Kenansville on Highways No. 24 and 50.


“Presbyterian Preacher of Note and Founder of Churches. Once lived Nearby. He later moved to Caswell County where he was buried, 1781.”

This Marker is near McAden's home site about one mile east of Kenansville on State Highway No. 24.


“Stamp Master For North Carolina, 1765. Resigned During Demonstration In Wilmington Against the Stamp Act. A physician at Sarecta, 4 miles E.”

This Marker stands where the Sarecta road enters State Highway No. 11, about two miles North of Kenansville.


“Was U. S. Consul at Monterey, Cal., 1844-1848. Played part in Winning California for the United States. Home, 1825-29, was Nearby.”

This Marker is on highway No. 41, between the Old Boney Mill and Wallace.


“Stood here. Made bowie knives, sabor-bayonets, and other small arms. Destroyed by Federal Cavalry, July 4, 1863.”

A State highway historical Marker stands on the site in the Western edge of Kenansville on Highway No. 11.


“Brigadier General, U. S. Army, in World War I. Decorated for helping break the Hindenburgh Line. His birthplace is 350 yards Northwest.”

This Marker is on U. S. Highway No. 117 in the Town of Faison.


In the early years of Duplin County, there were very few school teachers. Some lay leaders in the churches and a few missionaries comprised the teaching force. Some of the teachers established private schools.

For years the apprenticeship system which imposed the educational obligation provided most of the schooling for the poor and orphans.

The North Carolina Constitution of 1776 provided “That a school or schools shall be established by the Legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the Masters, paid by the public, as may enable them to instruct at low prices, and all useful learning shall be duly encouraged, and promoted, in one or more universities.”

In January 1839 the General Assembly passed its first statewide public school law. Under this law those counties voting for schools in August of that year were to levy a tax of $20 for each school district, to be supplemented by twice this amount from the State Literary Fund—the first state and local appropriation for public schools in the history of North Carolina.

On this foundation of state and local support, growing through the years, our public school system has been built.

As time went on, the number of grades in the “common schools” increased to seven; by the turn of the century the graded schools had ten grades; by 1920 the graded schools had eleven grades; and by 1941 the graded schools had twelve grades.

The school term lengthened to four months in the Constitution of 1868, to six months by Constitutional amendment in 1918, to eight months by legislative enactment in 1931, to nine months by legislative enactment in 1943.

Our public school system has grown immensely in the past 70 years—sparked by the leadership of Governor Charles Brantley Aycock.


The accurate historian, Rev. J. D. Hufham, informs me that two brothers, John and Joseph Elliott, both Yale men, came from New England in the closing years of the past century and became the pioneers of higher education in the region between the Neuse and the Cape Fear.

The school of Joe Elliott was in Lenoir; that of John in Duplin County, three miles North of Faison, called Green Academy. Major Hiram W. Husted, also a graduate of Yale, a lawyer of repute, towards the close of his life a resident of Raleigh, taught in the same school years afterwards, went from this school to the University, prior to Husted's incumbency. John Elliott married a Cogdale, a relative of George E. Badger, and their son was the prominent teacher, John Ghost Elliott, who taught mainly in Sampson.

(Public Documents, Session 1901, Vol. I, Document No. 9.)


Beginning after the Revolution and Before 1800:

Thomas Routledge—Grove Academy; Duplin County.

Rev. Samuel Stanford—Grove Academy, Duplin County.

Teachers Who Began 1800-’25:

John Elliott—Duplin

Joseph Elliott—Lenoir

John Ghost Elliott—Sampson and elsewhere

Teachers Beginning 1825-’50:

Rev. James Sprunt, D. D.—Duplin

(Public Documents, Session 1901, Vol. I, Document No. 9, Page 444.)


Vote on School Law:

Duplin, 371 for, 141 against.

—from Raleigh Register, Aug. 24, 1839.

(Public Education in North Carolina—a Documentary History 1790-1840, Coon Vol. II, Page 910.)


The following is the copy of the Report of the Commissioners to lay off the County into Common School districts, viz.:

To the worshipful the parties of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for the County of Duplin. The undersigned having been appointed by your worshipful body to lay off the aforesaid County into Common School districts as provided for by law have proceeded to do so as follows:

First district in neighborhood of Meadow meetinghouse; with Thomas Burton, Nathan Murray and John James as committeemen.

Second district in neighborhood of John Fountain; with Capt. Fountain, Howell Brown and Mathew Brinson as committeemen.

Third district in neighborhood of Dennis Pickett; with Dennis Pickett, James Lanier and Jesse Batts as committeemen.

Fourth district in neighborhood of John E. Hussey; with Gregory Thomas, John Bostic and Jesse Brown, Jr. as committeemen.

Fifth district in neighborhood of Henry Sandlin; and Henry Sandlin, Drew Hall and Thomas P. Hall as committeemen.

Sixth district in neighborhood of Joseph T. R. Miller; with Joseph T. R. Miller, William H. Rhodes and James L. Smith as committeemen.

Seventh district in neighborhood of Jones Smith; with Dr. James H. Jarman, William Williams and John Smith as committeemen.

Eighth district in neighborhood of William Grady; with Sherwood Grady, James P. Davis and Daniel H. Simmons as committeemen.

Ninth district in neighborhood of Bryan K. Outlaw; with William Outlaw, Bryan K. Outlaw and Edward Outlaw, Sr., as committeemen.

Tenth district in neighborhood of James Winders; with Giles T. Loftin, James Sullivan and James Winders as committeemen.

Eleventh district in neighborhood of John Carr; with Dr. James G. Dickson, Benjamin Oliver and John Carr as committeemen.

Twelfth district in neighborhood of George W. Glisson; with Harget Kornegay, William Herring and Mark Keithley as committeemen.

Thirteenth district in neighborhood of Calvin J. Dickson; with James Gillespie, Levi Swinson and Calvin Dickson as committeemen.

Fourteenth district in neighborhood of Bryan W. Herring; with Elias Faison, James Hicks and Joseph B. Hurst as committeemen.

Fifteenth district in neighborhood of Dr. Buckner L. Hill; with C. D. Hill, William W. Faison and John Shine as committeemen.

Sixteenth district in neighborhood of Alfred Guy; with A. T. Stanford, Daniel Newton and Alfred Guy as committeemen.

Seventeenth district in neighborhood of James K. Hill; with J. K. Hill, Daniel Swinson and B. Williams as committeemen.

Eighteenth district in the neighborhood of Jonathan Gore; with John Blanchard, John Pollock and Patrick Ezzell as committeemen.

Nineteenth district in neighborhood of James Patterson; with Rolin Best, John Frederick and Michael Boyette as committeemen.

Twentieth district in neighborhood of Joseph Groves, Sr.; with Jacob Wells, William Wells and Jacob Taylor as committeemen.

Twenty-first district in neighborhood of Stephen Williams; with James K. Williams, Zack Williams and John Peterson as committeemen.

Twenty-second district in neighborhood of Solomon Turner; with Wright Boney, Boney Wells and William Usher as committeemen.

Twenty-third district in neighborhood of Wimbrick Boney; with Wells Boney, Hiram Murray and Henry Teachey as committeemen.

Twenty-fourth district in neighborhood of Alfred Ward; with Alfred Ward, Stephen Williams and John W. Boney as committeemen.

Twenty-fifth district in neighborhood of James Mallard; with John Mallard, Joseph Brooks and John Powell as committeemen.

Twenty-sixth district in neighborhood of John Whitehead; with John Whitehead, James Maxwell and John Dobson as committeemen.

Twenty-seventh district in neighborhood of John D. Carroll; with John D. Carroll, William Carr and Osborn Carr as committeemen.

Twenty-eighth district in neighborhood of Grove church; with James Carroll, Henry Moore and John Forlaw as committeemen.

Twenty-ninth district in neighborhood of Dark Branch; with George E. Houston, William D. Pearsall and Richard Miller as committeemen.

Thirtieth district in neighborhood of Beaverdam church; with Thomas Stanford, William Swinson and John Swinson as committeemen.

All of which is respectfully submitted, July 21st, 1840.


(Duplin County Court Minutes 1840-1843, on file with State Department of Archives and History.)

The Court met in April, 1841, with the following named members present, to wit: Benjamin F. Grady, Chairman, Cornelius McMillan, Nicholas Hall, Thomas Stanford and Jesse Swinson. A majority of the Justices being present, it was ordered that a Board of Superintendents of Schools be appointed consisting of the following named persons, to wit: John E. Hussey, Archibald Maxwell, David Sloan, Atlas J. Grady, Joseph T. Rhodes, Benjamin Lanier, Daniel Jones, Cornelius McMillan and James G. Stokes. Capt. David Sloan was made Chairman of the board and gave bond in the sum of $2500, with Owen R. Kenan and Halstead Bourden as bondsmen. The first school tax was levied in January, 1841, at the rate of five cents on the one hundred dollars valuation of property and ten cents on the poll.

(Court Minutes.)


In 1882 there were in the County:

White Children3489
Colored Children2711

Total Allowances for all the Schools in 1882 amounted to $8,260.76.


Faison High School, FaisonJohn S. Hill65
Warsaw High School, WarsawF. L. Merritt155
Clement's School, Duplin RoadsS. W. Clement48
Seminary, KenansvilleR. W. Millard25
Kenansville Male and Female AcademyA. McArthur45
Grady's Industrial School, AlbertsonB. F. Grady, Jr.8
Kenansville Summer SchoolW. M. Shaw & B. F. Grady, Jr.30
Kenansville Normal SchoolHiram Brown21

(Public Documents, Session 1891, No. 3).


NameLocationPrincipal or PresidentEnrollmentRace
Faison High SchoolFaisonJohn S. Hill65W
Warsaw High SchoolWarsawF. L. Merritt155W
SeminaryKenansvilleR. W. Millard25W
Kenansville M & F AcademyKenansvilleW. M. Shaw and Jos. A. McArthur45W
Grady's Industrial SchoolAlbertsonB. F. Grady, Jr.8W
Kenansville Summer SchoolKenansvilleW. M. Shaw and B. F. Grady30W
Kenansville Normal SchoolKenansvilleHiram Brown21N

(Public Documents, 1891, Document No. 3, Page 94.)


Duplin County
Teachers of White Schools$4,489.00
Teachers of Colored Schools2,229.57
School Houses & Sites (White)1,282.40
School Houses & Sites (Colored)800.57
County Superintendent298.50
Treasurer's Commission183.43
Mileage & Per Diem Board of Education66.11

(Public Documents, Session 1901, Vol. I, Document No. 9, Page 268.)

Out of appropriation of $100,000 to Public Schools in the State, given to Duplin County Jan. 1900, $1,168.28.

FOR 1900

Clement Institute D. L. McBryde, Wallace40
Warsaw High School Miss Stella Middleton, Warsaw50
James Sprunt Institute Rev. Mr. Lancaster, Kenansville40
Grady School Henry A. Grady, Turkey35

(Public Documents, Session 1901, Vol. I, Document No. 9, Page 133.)


Wallace, N. C.

July 26, 1900.

Hon. C. H. Mebane:

Dear Sir:—At your request I will try to set before you the condition of educational affairs in Duplin County. In the first place, we have very few well-equipped teachers. For some reason, there has not been an Institute held in the County for several years, and consequently the teachers have had no opportunity for professional training. In the second place, the pay of teachers is so little that many of the best teachers have quit the business. I know of one good teacher who gets only $13 per month and boards herself.

In the third place, we have very poor school houses, badly located, and many without suitable seatings and desks.

These are a few of the evils under which we are laboring and the cause of all the trouble is the ignorance of the people and consequent want of interest in education.

I would suggest a few changes in the School Law: First, make the holding of Institutes obligatory; second, fix the minimum as well as the maximum salary of teachers; third, raise the fee for private examination at least $2 in order to induce the teachers to attend the public examinations; fourth, require the people to build and equip the school houses themselves. Lastly, compulsory education is surely bound to come before the children of our beloved State are educated.

I hope you will excuse these crude remarks, as I am very much pressed for time this morning.

Yours truly,

S. W. Clement,

County Superintendent.

(Document 9, 1901.)


“On a hundred platforms, to half the voters of the State, in the late campaign, I pledged the State its strength, its heart, its wealth, to universal education. I promised the illiterate poor man, bound to a life of toil and struggle and poverty, that life should be brighter for his boy and girl than it had been for him and the partner of his sorrows and joys. I pledged the wealth of the State to the education of his children. Men of wealth, representatives of great corporations, applauded eagerly my declaration. I then realized that the strong desire which dominated me for the uplifting of the whole people moved not only my heart, but was likewise the hope and aspiration of those upon whom fortune had smiled. I had loved the North Carolina people before that time, but I never knew, and appreciated the best qualities of many of our citizens until I saw the owners of many thousands as eager for the education of the whole people as I was myself. Then I knew that the hope and task before us, . . . was not an impossible one. We are prospering as never before—our wealth increases, our industries multiply, our commerce extends, and among the owners of this wealth, this multiplying industry, this extending commerce, I have found no man who is unwilling to make the State stronger and better by liberal aid to the cause of education.

“Gentlemen of the General Assembly, you will not have aught to fear when you make ample provision for the education of the whole people. Rich and poor alike are bound by promise and necessity to approve your utmost efforts in this direction. . . .

“Appropriations alone can not remove illiteracy from our State. With the appropriations must come also an increased interest in this cause, which shall not cease until every child can read and write. The preachers, the teachers, the newspapers, and the mothers of North Carolina must be unceasing in their efforts to arouse the indifferent and compel by the force of public opinion the attendance of every child upon the schools. . . . This is, therefore, the opportune moment for a revival of educational interest throughout the length and breadth of the State. We shall not accomplish this work in a day, nor can it be done by many speeches. It is a work of years: to be done day by day, with a full realization of its importance and with that anxious interest on our part which will stimulate the careless and will make all our people eager to attain the end which we seek. Our statesmen have always favored the

education of the masses, but heretofore interest in the matter has not approached universality; henceforth, in every home there will be the knowledge that no child can attain the true dignity of citizenship without learning at least to read and write.

. . . “Our government is founded upon intelligence and virtue. We shall provide for intelligence by a system of schools which is designed to reach every citizen.

. . . “We have a great State, rich in noble manhood, richer still in her high-minded womanhood; a State with countless treasures awaiting seekers; with riches in her fields and woods, streams and sounds, hills and mountains, sufficient to satisfy our dreams of wealth; with a frugal and indutrious population ready to toil just awakening fully to the possibilities before them. All that we need ‘to complete the Circle of our felicities’ is peace. Let hatred and bitterness and strife cease from among us. Let law everywhere reign supreme. The highest test of a great people is obedience to law, and a consequent ability to administer justice.”

(Public Documents—Session 1901, Vol. 1.)

The editors’ father and father-in-law was with a large group of Duplin Citizens, who met Honorable Charles B. Aycock in Clinton, and escorted him to Duplin to speak in his educational campaign for Governor of North Carolina.


In the opinion of the writer, who spent her first school day and a part of several years in his school room in the Kenansville Seminary, the ability of R. W. Millard as an educator has never been surpassed in Duplin County.

Richard Washington Millard, son of Felix Bell Millard and Sallie Osborn Millard, was born near Clinton, N. C., May 18, 1830. He went to a country school until he was about 16 years of age, then was taught by Prof. Ghost Elliott, a great educator who lived in Clinton. He taught school in Portsmouth, Va., during the war. After this was closed, he and Prof. Webster, of Canada, taught the Franklin Military School near Mt. Olive. During that time he was married to Miss Julia Fryar, of Faison, and their two oldest children, Clara and Annie, were born there. From there they moved to Kenansville and at the age of 30 he and Prof. Webster bought the Seminary and taught together till Prof. Webster sold his interest to Mr. Millard and returned to Canada. Mr. Millard taught until he sold the seminary to Wilmington Presbytery to be enlarged and known as James Sprunt Institute, and he was appointed

County Superintendent of Public Instruction. In 1896 he had a stroke of Paralysis and had to give up his work.

In Kenansville three other children were born—Octavius, Sallie, and Junius. Junius died when three weeks old. Clara, the oldest daughter, who married Wentworth Faison, died in Faison December 24, 1918. Annie married W. H. Gilbert and died in Wilmington, December 29, 1929. Sallie married John Rickman and died in Asheville October 16, 1935, while visiting relatives. Octavius married Miss Macy Williams, of Kenansville, and they live in Oklahoma City.

Mr. Millard joined the Baptist church of Turkey in Sampson County when a young man and moved his membership to Kenansville where he was a loyal member till the Master called him home March 14, 1902. Rev. John D. Larkins conducted his funeral at the home and he was buried in the family cemetery on the home lot.

Mrs. Millard died at the home of Mrs. Gilbert in Wilmington. Mr. Larkins conducted her funeral in Kenansville, and she was buried beside her husband.

Mr. Millard taught the old time pay school, teaching from “A, B, C” to highest methods and never turned any away for lack of money to pay tuition, but his Heavenly reward must be great and hundreds of his pupils have had cause for deepest gratitude for the part he had in molding their lives. He was unexcelled in his ministering to the sick. He was a great teacher and a great man.

(Sketch prepared by Miss Macy Cox.)

Local Tax DistrictsWhen VotedRate per $100 Property Valuation
WallaceAug. 1903$ .30
Teachey'sSept. 1905.30
MagnoliaAug. 1905.30
RockfishOct. 1903.30
Rose Hill, No. 1Dec. 1905.30
Lanefield, No. 2May 1906.30
Warsaw, No. 1Mar. 1906.30
BeulavilleMay 1906.15
CalypsoFeb. 1907.30
Rockfish, No. 2May 1907.30
Faison, No. 6Feb. 1908.30

(Public Documents, Session 1909, Document 3, Page 169.)

Total Schoolhouses 1906-07:

Duplin 113 — Total Value $28,055.00


(This true story, written in 1925 or 1926, is about Lanefield soon after the Civil War ended. Here is the picture of a war torn, poverty stricken community struggling to make better educational opportunities for their

children—a better tomorrow for posterity. This story is characteristic of other communities in Duplin County during the difficult, post war years.)

Nearly sixty years ago in this community a little group of men who were interested in educating their children began to discuss ways and means for starting a school. Those were not days of much money, for the effects of the Civil War were still very evident. Nor were there taxes to be spent for such things. The truth is that the taxes of those days would not have gone far toward providing either buildings or teachers even had they been available. Proof of this may be readily seen by examining an old tax receipt found recently in the neighborhood. It shows that one of this group of men who founded Lanefield was expected to pay the munificent sum of $.87 on a farm of nearly a hundred acres!

But if money was cheap, so were teachers and lumber; and these men were in dead earnest about a school. If we have heard aright, the leaders among them were Mr. H. B. Bowden, Mr. J. L. Carlton, Mr. A. W. Carlton, Mr. W. H. Winders, Mr. Ankrum Boyette, Mr. Absalom Phillips, Mr. George Middleton, Mr. D. J. Middleton, Rev. W. M. Kennedy, and Mr. Clem Gillespie. A small plot of land part of the present site, was given by Mr. Winders, and the name of the school was called Lanefield for the very simple reason that a Mr. Lane once had a house and fields hard by the building in which we meet today. As we cleaned the new grounds this spring it has been interesting to find traces of old corn rows that evidently belonged once to these same fields.

Then a house was started, a simple enough affair to be sure, but like most buildings of that day it was made strong and sturdy. Today parts of that building are still in the framework of the house we are vacating. But the time came when school must be opened and the building was not quite completed. So, for a few months the little group of pupils and their teacher, Mr. James K. Smith, found temporary quarters in the upstairs of the house now occupied by Mr. R. S. Moore. On the first roll we understand, were the names of Mrs. J. A. Powell, Mrs. P. G. Wilson, Mrs. Laura McClammy, Mr. F. G. Middleton, Mr. Tom Kelly, Mr. Carson Carlton and Mrs. L. Middleton, who, so far as we know, are the only living students of that eventful first year.

If we could see the school of that day now it would probably be hard for us to realize that this is the same school, grown up a bit. There were no lead pencils and tablets—what use when a slate could be used over and over and then handed down to a younger member of the family? Who of us old enough to remember the day of slates is willing to part with the memory of proud ownership of a new slate, its edges

bound with red wool string, not to mention the pencil with the starry flag around it? Even partial payments were possible if one wrote small figures and took care not to rub off the other side! Nor were there reports to make out, or grades to pass or state courses to follow. An old student told us that one year when the supply of text books ran low the pupils faithfully spent the hours absorbing the dictionary, word by word! Those were the days of “readin’ and writin’ and ’rithmetic” plus the inevitable Blue Back Speller, some history and geography. And we doubt not that to many a pupil in the words of an old Lanefield student describing a similar school, these branches of knowledge were often “taught to the tune of a hickory stick.” Moral persuasion and psychological methods of teaching were not so much in evidence then as now.

Apropos of the Blue Back Speller another delightful tale comes down to us from those early days. There was a certain small boy to whom the teacher gave out the word “incomprehensibility.” We pass over the wonder that any small boy should be expected to know the nineteen letters in a word seldom used, but those were the days when spelling was a fine art. For some moments the small boy wore a puzzled expression, then with the light finally breaking over his face he blurted out, “Why, Dr. Handy, I thought that were reading.”

We read with pride the list of teachers, most of whom have been men and women of college training, and practically every one of whom was not only of service in the school but also in the church and community life generally. They were, so far as we have been able to gather: Mr. J. K. Smith, Mr. O. P. Middleton (1868 or 70), Mr. J. L. Davis (1874), Mr. D. B. Nicholson (1875 or 1876), Miss Roella Davis (now Mrs Turner), Mr. J. W. Davis, Dr. S. W. Handy, Mr. Asa Alderman, Mr. D. S. Koonce, Mr. D. S. Kennedy, Miss Annie Moore, Mr. J. H. Gillespie, Mr. J. G. Stokes, Mr. G. G. Quinn, Miss Josephine Ward, Miss Bevvie Kennedy (now Mrs. B. Middleton), Miss Ella May Stokes (now Mrs. Rufus Daniel Bennett), Mr. R. B. White, Mr. Robert Pridgen, Miss Margaret Carlton, Mr. B. W. Allen, Miss Emma Middleton, Miss Carrie Powell (now Mrs. Peele), Miss Lizzie Moore, Miss Florence Boyette (later Mrs. Dr. Hawes), Miss Bowden Loftin, Miss Gertrude Chitty (now Mrs. Griffin), Miss Margaret Kennedy (now Mrs. Brown), Miss Mary Parker (now Mrs. Outland), Miss Minnie Middleton (now Mrs. Anderson), Miss Nell Chambers, Miss Lucy Middleton (now Mrs. Palmer), Miss Lucy Herring, Miss Myra Hunter (now Mrs. Carlton), Miss Lassiter (now Mrs. Ward), Miss Annie Carroll (now Mrs. Claude Best), Miss Mary White Carroll (now Mrs. Ledbetter), Miss Mattie Herring (Mrs. John Daly), Miss Carrie Chadwick (now Mrs. John Middleton), Miss Macy Jones (Mrs. Loyd Thomas), Miss Alda Howard (Mrs. Farrior

Koonce), Miss Christine Pridgen, Miss Annie May Boyette (Mrs. Quinn), Miss Alice Teague, Miss Corneva Bass, Miss Bessie Barden, Miss Alieze Lefferts, Miss Leitha Fulford, and Miss Lena Chadwick. It is interesting to note that the first time we had two teachers was during the session taught by Mr. D. S. Kennedy and Miss Margaret Carlton, and that the three teacher order of the day came in 1919 with Misses Teague, Bass and Barden. The honor for the longest term of service goes to Miss Margaret Carlton who gave thirteen lucky years to the children who were so fortunate as to to be her pupils.

For many years the salaries of these teachers were paid, not from the treasury of Duplin County, but from the pockets of that same group of men who founded and nourished the school. Even when the four months term of public school was later provided, the Lanefield Community still paid tuition for the pupils that they might have an extra two months each year. Doubtless from this very interest shown by our fathers and grandfathers came the desire for higher training which has sent thirty or more of our very own boys and girls to colleges and universities. In this fact we must confess we feel a real pride today.

Mention should be made also of the faithful service rendered by a long list of interested committeemen, but we have been unable to learn all their names. We feel very sure that much of the progress of the school has been due to them.

Time went on. The building grew too small and so first one end and then the other was torn out and enlarged. Another step was the addition of music lessons. These also were paid for by the patrons. For sometime an old-fashioned square piano, placed in the church, was used for lessons and practice. Interest was all the keener when occasionally gypsies camped on the grounds and music students were zealously guarded during practice hours by some of the older boys lest they be kidnapped! About twenty years ago a music room was added to the building, money and labor being again furnished by the community.

Scientists tell us that men who have made a study of trees can tell their age by the rings within the bark. Some more aspiring than others claim that even the more severe winters can be reckoned by the the thickness or thinness of the layers between the rings. But one wonders if there is any scientist, wise or unwise, who can look at a fallen tree and tell us what winds have sung in its branches or can tell the snow that has bent its limbs or the hail that has stung its leaves. The same kind of thing is true of any institution. We can count the rings today and say that Lanefield is nearly sixty, but we cannot count her difficulties or her achievements in so simple a fashion. Is there any way of measuring hours of weariness and discouragement that all teachers

feel at times? Is there any scale for testing the amount of joy that came from knocking the ball so far into the gallberry bushes that a Powell and a Boyette and a Carlton all made a home run before it could be found? Has anyone invented an instrument fine enough to estimate the thrills of Hail Over, and Steal-a-Beer, of Stick Frog and Shinny? And do you remember the good old days of King William when the bell rang before you could “go to the East, go to the West and choose the one that you love best?” And the spring—how about that? There were mysterious mud puppies to be dug out, green frogs to chase, the gluey clay that passed for soap, not to mention the sensational minutes when some poor unfortunate took an unexpected swim. And the water? Was there ever any sweeter or clearer or cooler? Is there anyone here who can calculate the genuine value of moss playhouses, syrup in a hole in the side of a biscuit, or the tantalizing flavor of that juicy yellow pear that used to come to school in somebody else's basket? If there is, we are waiting to be convinced that the time has come when all country schools have had their day and wholesale consolidation is not only inevitable but the panacea for all our educational problems.

These same scientists who are wise in tree lore tell us that there comes a time when every tree is ripe and needs to give way for a new one. The same is true of Lanefield today. The old tree is to be cut down, but like good foresters, we plant today a shoot from the same old tree. Lanefield, we believe, under modern methods of pruning and care, will grow into a more vigorous tree, but we hope the old spirit of co-operation and community pride will still add grace and sweetness to her life.

(By Mrs. Minnie Middleton (Anderson) Hussey—Mrs. Minnie Middleton Anderson served as missionary to China. Mrs. Minnie Middleton (Anderson) Hussey was Librarian at Woman's College at Greensboro, N. C., until she retired in 1957. From files of Duplin County Board of Education.)


About the year 1880, there seems to have been an awakening, and new interest infused into school life of the county. Things began to look up. About this time, we find the first record of a county superintendent in the person of Mr. B. F. Grady, who from records, shows long term of faithful service, and under whose supervision the cause prospered. Following in the order named, these gentlemen, all educated christian teachers, respectively filled the office of county superintendent, Viz: W. M. Shaw, R. W. Millard, S. W. Clement, and D. S. Kennedy. covering a period of thirty years, and the work continued to grow, as new methods were introduced, and new environments were thrown around the people. The necessity of public education was now fastening itself upon the minds of the people, and like every other great wave of progress

and reform, began to sweep over the land, and nothing since has been able to retard its movement.


At the close of the year 1911—the school population of Duplin County had grown from 3700 to 5500 white and colored. The public school fund had grown from $8,260. in 1882 to $34,000. in 1911. . . .


School teaching to the average mind is quite prosaic often times not very attractive, and a matter about which, people are not much concerned, but when we point to the fact that the tax payers of this county, the past year, dug up from some where nearly a quarter million dollars, against $34,000 collected and expended in 1883, it looks like we are “going some.” This is true, nevertheless. Our schools are well financed. . . .

This sketch would not be complete unless we say something about the new movement, consolidation of schools. This idea is new in North Carolina, not so however, in many other Eastern and Western sections. Not more than six months ago the writer began to talk consolidation, and to our surprise and great delight, interest was quickly aroused, and grew so rapidly, that upon reflection, especially upon the financial side of this question, we had to content ourselves by consolidating only two points in the county, at present. Others will follow, in quick succession, when encouraged. It is one bright hope for the rural child. The one-teacher school has served its purpose well indeed, in many instances, but it has seen its best days. In this day of motor vehicles and good roads, consolidation has right of way, and nothing will stop it. True it is a costly proposition, but we can't estimate, or measure, the value of the child's intellect in dollars and cents. . . .

(By M. H. Wooten, County Superintendent—The Duplin Record, Dec. 1921. Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Vestal.)


Holding Certificates: Mabele Alderman, Magnolia, N. C.; Mary Torrans, Warsaw, N. C.; Ethel Kilpatrick, Rose Hill, N. C.; Thelma Norris, Wallace, N. C.; Tippie Summerlin, Kenansville, N. C.; Francis Mercer, Beulaville, N. C.; Ruth A. Torrans, Warsaw, N. C.; Mary Nicholson, Kenansville, N. C.; Marie Carter, Wallace, N. C.; Nora Mercer, Hallsville, N. C.; Myrtle Dixon, Rose Hill, N. C.; Nannie Lee James, Beulaville, N. C.; Ernestine Whaley, Kenansville, N. C.; Alda Sandlin, Beulaville, N. C.; Mrs. G. W. Lanier, Beulaville, N. C.; Mable Sandlin, Hallsville,

N. C.; Richard Pickett, Beulaville, N. C.; Mamie Herring, Seven Springs, N. C.; Kathleen Rodgers, Rose Hill, N. C.; Carrie Casey, Mt. Olive, N. C.; Leone Best, Warsaw, N. C.; Myrtle Burch, Kenansville, N. C.; Mrs. Paul D. Parker, Beulaville, N. C.; H. R. Geddie, Rose Hill, N. C.; Estelle Kennedy, Hallsville, N. C.; Ida Mae Sanderson, Beulaville, N. C.; Audrey Farrior, Rose Hill, N. C.; Newton E. Graham, Shiloh, N. C.; Mrs. F. N. Barden, Magnolia, N. C.; Mrs. Larry Sandlin, Beulaville, N. C.; Phoebe Jones, Beulaville, N. C.; Clarissa Grady, Kenansville, N. C.; M. Louise Pridgen, Warsaw, N. C.; Josie Lou Hamilton, Magnolia, N. C.; Floy Quinn, Kenansville, N. C.; Lizzie Davis, Kenansville, N. C.; Nellie Chestnutt, Magnolia, N. C.; Adell Thomas, Beulaville, N. C.; Christine M. Pridgen, Warsaw, N. C.; Katherine McLean, Mt. Olive, N. C.; Nora Blackmore, Warsaw, N. C.; Edgar Pollock, Warsaw, N. C.; Nellie Dixon, Mt. Olive, N. C.; Lila Swinson, Mt. Olive, N. C.; Nealie Kilpatrick, Rose Hill, N. C.; Lonnie Jones, Mt. Olive, N. C.; Carrie Jones, Mt. Olive, N. C.; Lora L. Wilson, Mt. Olive, N. C.; Mary Lou Wallace, Rose Hill, N. C.


No teacher is allowed to teach in public schools, unless such teacher has attended Summer School, in past two years. All excuses for nonattendance rests with State Board of Education. Don't ask any other authority to excuse you.

(The Duplin Record, issue of December 1921—copy furnished by Mr. and Mrs. Ellis V. Vestal, Kenansville, N. C.)


Mr. Superintendent, Ladies and Gentlemen:

In Joel Chandler Harris’ classic tales of Uncle Remus, there is a story of a certain rabbit that had been caught by a fox, who was quite anxious to punish him because of an ancient grudge that existed between the two families. While he was meditating upon the character of the punishment, the rabbit said to him: “Bre'r Fox, I know I am gwiner be punished; but for de Good Lord's sake, don't throw me into any brier patch. I can stand anything but that.” Whereupon, the fox immediately cast him into a thicket of thorns, and stood by to see him torn and mangled; but the rabbit jumped out of the bushes, laughed in great glee, and exclaimed, “Lordy Massy, Bre'r Fox, here is where I was bred and borned.”

Standing here in the presence of many with whom I played as a child, almost in sight of the old Homestead where my ancestors lived, died and are buried, and where I spent the major part of my youth, from

forty to fifty years ago, I am almost overcome with many emotions; but the deepest and most abiding of them all lies in that feeling of security and satisfaction which comes to every man when he returns to his own people—those who are connected with him by blood, and those ties of tender association which have ever knitted and bound me to that community which for many generations past has been known as “Chocolate.”

I am more than glad to return once again, and to mingle with you good people, who have ever been my friends since the days of my earliest recollection.

I have read somewhere in history that when William the Conqueror saw old age creeping upon him, after he had passed the meridian of life—he was seized with an irresistible desire to return to the home of his fathers, and to spend the remaining years of his life amidst the scenes of his childhood. The historian remarks that such emotions are common to all men, and that statement is corroborated by my own experience, by my own affection for the old home, and a desire to return to the places that I knew best when I was a barefoot boy.

It was here in this community, up and down the hills of the North East River, that I romped and played with many of you who, now, like myself, are “frosted with the snows of many winters”; when I knew nothing of the cares and responsibilities of life, or dreamed of the burdens that come to all of us when the mysteries of youth have been swept away by the sober knowledge of truth. For youth is filled with many mysteries. The fallacies and superstitions that surrounded us in those old days—many of them have passed into the shadow land of memory. The old haunted houses that we used to shun have been torn down; the lonely graveyard, with its strange, unearthly noises, has been cleared up, the cobwebs have been swept away, and the ghosts of the olden times have passed into oblivion—thrust aside by the less poetic, but practical demonstration of truth.

Dreamland has become peopled with strange realities, the whisperings of spirits have now become the sighing of the pines, and the things we feared in years gone by have become more friendly, more kindly, because now we see and understand.

And so I have come back, after these more than forty years, to mingle with my childhood friends, and to join with you in doing honor to my father, for whom this building is named, which, by accident or design, stands upon the first tract of land that was ever owned by the Grady family in Duplin County; for it is a fact that the land upon which we now stand was patented by William Grady, about 1754, and this William was the ancestor of all the Gradys in North Carolina, as well as the greater part of the Outlaws, the Kornegays, the Maxwells, the Simmonses,

and many of the Herrings. This record carries us through seven generations, and began as best we know, about the year 1690. My own memory covers only about 50 years of that period, for it was just fifty years ago that my father came to Duplin County with his family, and settled on the land where his father and his grandfather lived and died.

I could tell you many stories of the things that happened in “Chocolate” when I was a boy. Some would be comic, some tragic, but whatever their nature may have been, they are all hallowed by the flight of time, and form now but a blessed memory to those who participated in them. I could tell you about “Gat” Kornegay and his brother George, and of Albert Grady and Zeb, and my brother Cleburne: How we used to meet down at the bridge, where Tom Smith kept store and Taylor Beatty ran the turpentine still on the bank of the river; and how we used to leap into the water when the freshets came and race with the current in its mad rush for the sea. I looked down that old road today, and I thought of the hundreds of times that I had traveled it, carrying butter and eggs and chickens to market; and I can remember how old man Smith used to count the eggs, holding three at a time in his fingers. That old road has taken its place in the realm of memories. Like many of the things that I knew in those days, it has been thrust aside by the ruthless hand of progress.

I could tell you how we used to hunt ’possums and ’coons, and how we used to sleep in the swamp at night, after the hunt was over, and of the strange noises that we used to hear when we passed the old graveyard in the field. And then I can remember how we used to gather at Mrs. Howard's and at Mr. Ford's and at cousin John Grady's, and how we would dance until daybreak, and then walk home in time for breakfast. My memory takes me back to “Jock” Grady and Kate Ford, and Walter Smith and Gordon. They were much younger then than they are now; and how they could dance is beyond description! And then there was “Shook” Ford with his guitar, while Craven Grady and his brother Howell played the fiddles. There were no violins in those days; they were just plain fiddles; but no Paganini has ever surpassed the magic of Craven's bow, nor could Ole Bull compete with the melody of Howell's matchless second. When those three opened up with Snow Bird on the Ash Bank, Nancy Johnson, or Old Zip Coon, not a foot could resist the temptation to pat in unison, though its owner may have been too timid to lead a partner out on the floor.

I could tell you how we used to gather at the old Davis Mill, and how Gene Ford used to turn a somersault into the pier-head from the top of the mill house; and how we used to play pranks upon unsuspecting victims who had not yet learned how to swim; and I could tell you

how the “gang” used to gather on Sundays and break in such unsophisticated bull yearlings as happened to stray within the confines of our mimic empire. It was a sad day for these wandering gentlemen when they tried to pass down the old cedar lane from Uncle Daniel Simmons’ towards Kornegay's Bridge.

I could tell you how I used to go out to Mr. Hugh Maxwell's on Saturday nights and spend Sunday with Warren and Reddin and Bob. Those visits always filled me with delight, for the Maxwell boys always kept a supply of spy-glasses, magnets, prisms and scientific toys, and they had the first bicycle that was ever seen in Duplin County—one of the old Pope kind that had a large wheel in front and a small wheel in the rear. Its greatest value lay in the field of acrobatics, and especially in teaching its rider how to land on his feet when turning a somersault. Mr. Maxwell kept the Post Office, called Reseca, while a few miles away cousin John Grady was Post Master at Albertson. Our old friend, Kinsey Jones, brought the mail from Kenansville twice a week. “Jock” was the real Post Master at Albertson, for his father never had anything to do with the mail. I could tell you a great many things about “Jock” that you people have never heard of. “Jock” was a gentleman of much distinction in those days. He was a regular customer of J. Lynn, a merchant of New York City, and always carried on hand a supply of watches, mouth organs, jews harps, and brass finger rings, which were the admiration and envy of the younger generation for miles around. “Jock” kept one of J. Lynn's catalogs on hand, and we used to sit around the fire at night, while waiting for the mail to come, and figure out what we would order if we only had the money. My greatest ambition in those days was to accumulate as much as seventy five cents at one time, so I could order a “Wilcox Breech Loading Target Bow Gun” from our friend, J. Lynn. I can see that gun now as it was pictured in the catalog. It was a wonderful thing; but my ambition was never gratified. I was never able to accumulate so much money at one time; but I am going to New York some time and take “Jock” with me, and we are going to see J. Lynn and get him to show us one of those guns. If it is at all like it was advertised, I am going to buy one and bring it home with me.

I could tell you how my brothers and myself used to walk down to our uncle Stephen's on Saturday afternoons and go fishing with Lon and Robert; and then how we used to gather around the old square piano at night and sing “Tenting” and “The Vacant Chair” and other songs that all of us knew so well. And then we would sometimes have a dance, and Kate and Lula and Myrtie and Lilla would all join in the revelry, while uncle Stephen would play “Mississippi Sawyer” on the family

fiddle. I could also tell you how uncle Stephen used to “cuss.” It was a delight to hear him at his best, for there was no man in the community who could match him in real classic swearing.

But now I must tell of a tragedy. There were many of them back in those days; but this one beats them all. It happened when I went after the mail. It was about a mile and a half from our home to cousin John's and the path led through an old pine thicket, a very lonely place, where old aunt ’Lize Jarman had seen a ha'nt way back in days gone by. I know she saw it for she told me all about it.

My father used to take the Goldsboro Messenger, the Congressional Record, and several other periodicals, and he usually received about half a bushel of letters in each mail. Old man Kinsey Jones usually arrived at Albertson around 8:00 at night, and after “Jock” had opened and distributed the mail I had to go home with my burden, straight through that pine thicket. Many a night as I passed by the old ditch bridge, back of where Julie and Nancy Grady lived, have I heard that ha'nt walking in the bushes, and heard him scream like a banshee. On such occasions I would scatter Messengers, Congressional Records and letters for about a mile in my frantic efforts to reach home before that ghost got me. I can certify to the fact that I always outran him; but he was a fearful apparition, with a voice like a screetch owl, that made my heart flutter like a leaf in the wind.

There is one more tragedy that I must tell you about, and that is how I used to break up newground in the swamp, over next to Uncle Daniel Simmons’ place. We used a coulter, and old Buck had to pull it through reed roots about six inches thick. He would do his level best for awhile, and then the yellow flies and gnats would cover him, and he would start for the branch that separated us from uncle Daniel. I would tug with all my might, but I really do not believe that there is any power on earth that could have kept old Buck out of those bushes. It was under such circumstances that I first took the name of the Lord in vain; and so, in that respect, at least, it was a tragedy.

My memory also goes back to old Sutton's Branch School House, where I used to go to school to Mr. Joe Maxwell, and where I used to play Town Ball and Three Hole Cat with Robert Simmons, Ashley Jones, Gat Kornegay, Lonnie Smith, Craven Taylor, Bertie Powell and Crocket Lee's boys.

It was there, in that old School House, that my father began his educational work in Duplin County; and this brings me to the real subject of my address.

Your very capable Superintendent, Mr. Siske, and my friends, L. A. Beasley, W. J. Grady and Robert G. Maxwell, have asked me to come

here today and speak in behalf of my father, as the representative of his family, and in appreciation of this splendid memorial which you have erected to his memory. The fact that you have named this school for my father is very gratifying to his children and to his many friends in North Carolina; and, in behalf of his family, I wish to thank those who have been so kind to his memory, who have recognized his services in this community, and who have thought it worth while to immortalize him, so far as stone and brick and mortar are capable of immortality.

My friends, you will understand the embarrassment that comes to me at this time, and how difficult it is for me to speak in eulogy of my own father, or to attempt to interpret his life as an educator of the common people. Whatever of praise he deserves should be left to others. As for myself, I shall tell you the simple story of his life, a story in which many of you are interested, for I take it as true that the majority of you are related to him, that you are of the same race to which he belonged and that the Irish pride in you will swell with my own in the knowledge that we are all honored by this happy occasion. The story is as follows:

WILLIAM GRADY came into Bertie County about the year 1690 from Donegal County in North Ireland. He was a Protestant, and married Ann Barfield, a daughter of Richard Barfield of Virginia. His son, JOHN GRADY, married MARY WHITFIELD, a daughter of William Whitfield and Elizabeth Goodman, the latter being a native also of Ireland. John Grady settled near the present residence of William G. Kornegay in 1730. He was the father of eleven children, to wit: Mary, William, John, Charity, Anne, Alexander, Louis, Elizabeth, Margaret, Frederick, and a daughter whose name I do not know, but who married William Laws. His daughter, Elizabeth, married JAMES OUTLAW, the ancestor of practically every Outlaw in Duplin County. His son, ALEXANDER GRADY, known as “BUD,” married NANCY THOMAS of Maryland, and was the father of 10 children, to wit: Henry, Alexander II, John T., Mary Ann, Thomas, Charity, Charlotte, who married William Grady, her first cousin; Mary, who married her cousin Frederick Grady; Catherine, who married William Kornegay; and Winifred, who married her cousin John Moore Grady. From these children of Alexander Grady are descended many of the Gradys and Kornegays of this community. And this includes the children of Repsy Maxwell and Hugh Maxwell, Dr. J. F. Maxwell, James H. Maxwell, Jos. C. Maxwell, Warren Maxwell, Guilbert N. Maxwell, Redin Maxwell and Robert Goodman Maxwell, who married a direct descendant of Frederick Grady, son of John, and also of James Outlaw. I refer to my cousin Cholly Maxwell, who is a daughter of William Outlaw, who was a son of William Outlaw,

Sr., son of James, and who married Charity, of Cholly Grady, a daughter of Frederick, the son of John Grady.

ALEXANDER GRADY II, son of Alexander I, married Charity Outlaw, daughter of James, and was the father of 11 children, to wit: Outlaw Grady, Alexander Grady III, Henry Grady, Goodman Grady, Hatch Whitfield Grady, Elizabeth, Putsy, Nancy, Repsy who married Hugh Maxwell, Dr. James Monroe Grady, and Mary Grady—most of whom died of the smallpox in the winter of 1854. His daughter Elizabeth married her cousin Timothy Grady, and was the mother of Charles C. Grady, the father of Mrs. William Gaston Kornegay.

HENRY GRADY, son of Alexander I, married Elizabeth Outlaw, a sister of his brother Alexander's wife, and he was the father of Alexander Outlaw Grady, Eliza Anne Grady, who married Daniel Hargett Simmons, the ancestory of all the Simmons family in Duplin County; Susan Grady, who married Abraham Kornegay, grandmother of Gaston, George, Stephen, Alice and Repsy Kornegay; Bryan Whitfield Grady, the father of Julia and Nancy Grady; Pussy Grady, who married John Jackson; Letty Grady, who married James P. White; Harriet, who married Sherwood Grady; Benjamin Franklin Grady; Atlas Jones Grady; Stephen Miller Grady, the father of Leonidas, Robert, Lula, Myrtie, Lilla and Kate; Patrick Henry Grady who died young, and Alexander Torrans Grady, the only son of his last wife, who was Elizabeth Whitfield.

FREDERICK GRADY, son of old John, was the ancestor of all the Grady family of Lenoir County. He was the father of Durham Grady, Elisha Grady, Whitfield Grady, and ten other children.

JOHN GRADY, a son of old John, married a Moore, and was the father of Williams, Frederick II, John and Arthur Grady; and this Williams married Charlotte, the daughter of Alexander Grady I, and was the father of Sherwood Grady, Ahaz Grady, John Grady, Winfrey Grady, and several daughters.

My grandfather, ALEXANDER OUTLAW GRADY, married Nancy Sloan, daughter of GIBSON SLOAN and RACHEL BRYAN, his wife, who was a daughter of KEDAR BRYAN, a descendant of William Bryan and Alice Needham, who came to America sometime about 1690. My father was named for his uncle, Benjamin Franklin Grady, Sr., who was Clerk of the Court of Duplin County for a number of years, and who died in Texas many years ago at the home of my uncle, Romulus M. S. Grady.

It will be seen from what I have said that my father was related in blood to all the Gradys, most of the Outlaws, Kornegays, Simmonses, and Maxwells in Duplin County. He was proud of that relationship, and no man was more loyal to his people than he.

I shall now tell you the story of his life, as it has already been told by another, and you will pardon me for borrowing that which modesty forbids me to utter.

Benjamin Franklin Grady was born near Hallsville, Duplin County, on his father's farm, October 10th, 1831. His ancestors came from Ireland and settled in Duplin County in the fork of North East River and Burncoat Creek in 1739, having moved to that place from Bertie County where they first located about 1690. His mother was Nancy Sloan, daughter of Gibson Sloan and Rachel Bryan; and this Rachel was a daughter of Kedar Bryan and Rachel Whitfield; so that there was mingled in his veins the blood of the Whitfields, the Bryans, the Outlaws, the Sloans, the Needhams and the Thomases of Maryland. His mother called him Franklin.

When he was about seven years of age his father moved from his birthplace to the old home in Albertson Township, where his father and grandfather lived and died; and it was there on the farm that Franklin Grady was reared, and where he worked in the fields with his father's slaves until he was old enough to attend a preparatory school at Kenansville. His early training was in the Old Field school, and under his father, who was a man of wide information, though not a graduate of any institution of learning. He was prepared for college by Rev. James Sprunt, a Scotch Presbyterian, who had immigrated to this County prior to 1850. He entered the University in 1855 and graduated with highest honors in 1857. Among his class-mates were Col. Thomas S. Kenan, Judge A. C. Avery, Major Robert Binham, Dr. Daniel Mcl. Graham, Captain John Dugger, Hon. John Graham, and various others who have been prominent in the political and educational life of North Carolina. After his graduation he returned to Kenansville where he assisted his old preceptor for about a year when he was elected Professor of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Austin College, then located at Huntsville, Texas. He held this position until the spring of 1862, when he volunteered as a private in a Cavalry Company, which was soon dismounted, and he served the balance of war as Orderly Sergeant of the Infantry. He was twice offered the Captaincy of his Company, but refused, stating at that time that he preferred to carry a gun. On January 11th, 1862, his entire command was captured at Arkansas Post and sent to Camp Butler, Ohio, as prisoners of war. In April following he was exchanged and sent to Tullahome, Tennessee, where he became a member of Grandbury's Brigade, Cleburne's Division, Hardee's Army Corps. Mr. Grady participated in many battles—notably those of Franklin, Tenn., Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga, and Atlanta. He was twice wounded at the Battle of Franklin—once in the hand and once in the face. Those who

knew him will recall the deep scar in the outer angle of his right eye—a faithful reminder of that scene of carnage, where every officer in General Cleburne's Division was killed, above the rank of Lieutenant, including both Generals Cleburne and Grandbury.

Mr. Grady developed into an expert marksman, and was often detailed to duty as a sharpshooter. It was on such an occasion that he witnessed the death of General Leonidas Polk, one of the bravest of Confederate Generals—a man who had resigned as Bishop of the Episcopal Church that he might fight for his native land.

On the day before Bentonsville, Mr. Grady was taken to Peace Institute in Raleigh, which was then used as a Hospital. The War closed while he was delirious with fever, and when he regained consciousness both Lee and Johnston had laid down their arms to the invader.

Without money, ragged, and still suffering from the effects of fever, he wandered back to “Chocolate,” the home of his fathers, where he saw his father die of a broken heart; saw the family servants scattered, the farm in ruins, credit destroyed, and his own people in actual want. Two of his brothers had been killed in the War—one at Dristoe Station and one at Snicker's Gap, while the remaining brother had lost the use of a hand. He saw that it was necessary to build up a New South on the ruins of the past. Teaching was his chosen profession, and he believed that in the education of the people lay the salvation of the country. He established a school near the present town of White Hall, afterwards moving to Clinton, where, with the assistance of Prof. Murdoch McLeod, he founded the Clinton Male Academy. In 1875 his health failed and he moved to the farm of Dr. Henry A. Bizzell, his wife's father, near Clinton, and in 1878 to his own farm in Albertson Township, Duplin County.

The life of a farmer in those days was uneventful. Its drudgery was irksome to the restless mind of the teacher. Gathering about him a few young men who were unable to attend college, he conducted a private school in his own home for several years. Here it was that the poor boy, almost without price, was enabled to gratify a thirst for knowledge, to sit at the feet of a master, who was as happy to impart as the boy was to receive knowledge. Among those who attended this private school were Robert C. Maxwell, John P. McNeill, Evander McN. Carr, Leonidas V. Grady, Mrs. Ed. Grady of Seven Springs, Caleb D. Bradhem of Newbern and others who have gone out into the world, fired with the inspiration that entered their souls in the humble home of B. F. Grady.

In addition to this private school he founded a Sunday School at old Sutton's Branch School House, the association of which were among his fondest recollections. Here he taught Music, the Bible, Mathematics,

Classical Literature, and the Sciences. Pope's Essay on Man and Scott's Lady of the Lake became familiar learning to the people in that community. Globes, charts, crucibles, and diagrams became a part of the regular program, along with history, both sacred and profane. To B. F. Grady all knowledge was sacred, and there was no department of learning that he did not touch in some way in that old school house by Sutton's Branch.

In 1881 Mr. Grady was elected Superintendent of Public Instruction for Duplin County, which position he held until March 4th, 1891, when he took his seat in the Federal Congress at Washington City. He was fitted both by education and birth for the duties of that office. During his administration the teachers were required to attain to a higher standard than ever before in the history of the County. He visited the schools often, and in the summer months conducted Institutes at Kenansville and also at the Court Houses in neighboring Counties, where many of the leading educators of the State were invited to participate as lecturers and teachers. He was by nature a teacher of men. He sought to arouse in the pupil a spirit of inquiry, believing that all culture came primarily from individual effort, stimulated and directed by proper suggestion.

Wherever he went, and with whomsoever he associated, his giant intellect left an indelible impression. His mind was omnivorous, his memory almost infallible, while his reasoning powers seemed to be without limit. There are few fields of thought that he had not traversed. He was equally at home with Goethe, the poet, or with Spencer, the philosopher and naturalist. In the realm of mathematics he had no superior, in history few equals, while in the Classics he was at perfect ease, whether it was Latin, French or Greek.

To those who knew him best his memory of things was proverbial; he seemed to have forgotten how to forget; his mind was a storehouse of knowledge, a treasure of facts, so arranged and simplified as to take on the aspect of an Encyclopoedia. Such was the impression that prevailed among those who knew him best.

I would like to close this story of my father by quoting from one of his most ardent admirers, my friend for many years, Hon. Lauchlin A. Bethune of Clinton. In one of his moods for fine writing he said this of my father: “Benjamin Franklin Grady was an outstanding exception to the general rule affecting those who are named for great personages. A name-sake of the great patriot, statesman and philosopher, Benjamin Franklin, he too was all of these as was very definitely known by those who understood him. He came of a race of which patriots are made, a race which struggled through centuries of defeat, only to come into its own within the last decade. His patriotism was of that exalted type

which consists in the love of one's own country, without hatred of any other; of a willingness to perform all the duties which a loyal citizen owes to his Country, and to make for it any needed sacrifice, gladly and without the hope of reward.

“The private life of this quiet and unobtrusive man had about it the calm dignity of the philosopher, and the modesty of virtue. It was like a majestic river in a world of babbling brooks, and one saw rather than heard its noiseless current, that had about it the silence of depth, and flowed as gently as the waters of Afton.

“B. F. Grady was a studious man both by habit and inheritance, becoming a ripe scholar and profound thinker. Education did as much for him as it could for any man of his day, and his mind became a vast storehouse of knowledge. Young men have been scholars, but no young man was ever a real philosopher. There is an ageing process which comes with experience. Mr. Grady underwent that process, carefully and deliberately, and was able to suppress those tendencies to revolution that run as a rule in the minds of advanced thinkers. He learned to accept the Universe as he found it, and his creed might be found in the lines of Alexander Pope, where he declares that—

  • ‘In spite of faith, in erring reason's spite.
  • One truth is clear—whatever is, Is Right.’

“As a statesman B. F. Grady was of that exalted type which puts public interest above all thought of self. A democrat of democrats, he believed in the people and their right to govern themselves; but he knew, as all students of history soon learn, that government may be safer at times in the hands of the educated few, than in those of an ignorant and misguided many. He knew that even with self governing people the law at times can become tyrannical, and that the tendency is often in that direction where the people become indifferent, and permit privilege and corruption to gain the ascendancy. And so, while a firm believer in democracy, Mr. Grady ever held to the idea that only in an educated electorate was it possible to establish a government of absolute justice. That is why he gave his life to educational pursuits.

“Mr. Grady was easily approached. He had a kind word for everybody. He had a keen sense of the ridiculous, and, as is usually the case with men of that kind, was lenient towards the absurdities and inconsistencies of others. He was prodigal in his habits. The material things of this life held little attraction for him. Without love of money or property the simplicity of his life and conduct was a source of wonderment to his friends. He was affectionate to his family, and loyal to his friends.

“He delighted in the companionship of children, between whom and

himself there was a perfect bond of sympathy in the carelessness with which he viewed the material things of this world.”

I am glad indeed that my father was able to merit such commendation at the hands of his friends, and I am happy to repeat these things to the people that he cared for the most, and among whom he spent the most useful period of his life. He wrote many articles for the Press; but the finest things that he has contributed to the literature of the South are his two books dealing with secession and the conflict between the Federal and Confederate Governments. The Case of the South Against The North, and The South's Burden.

My father died March 6th, 1914, and is buried in the Cemetery at Clinton. On his tomb is the simple inscription—“Benjamin Franklin Grady, Soldier, Statesman, Philosopher.”

And now, once again thanking the good people of this community, the Board of Education, the Board of Commissioners, and all who have contributed in any way towards the erection of this building for the distinguished honor that they have conferred upon my father and his family, and harking back to Chocolate as I knew it forty and fifty years ago, I repeat that I am always happy to return to these scenes and to mingle with my boyhood friends and companions. I love to come back to the old home, and I wish to close my remarks with the beautiful apostrophe of Sir Walter Scott to his native land:

  • “Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
  • who never to himself hath said,
  • This is my own, my native land!
  • Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
  • As home his footsteps he hath turned,
  • From wandering on a foreign strand!
  • If such there breathe, go hark him well;
  • For him no minstrel raptures swell;
  • High though his titles, proud his name,
  • Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
  • Despite these titles, power and pelf,
  • The wretch all centered in himself,
  • Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
  • And, doubly dying, shall go down
  • To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
  • Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.”

(Address of Judge Henry A. Grady at the Dedication of the B. F. Grady High School, September 1st, 1928, and on file in the office of the County Board of Education of Duplin County.)


“The flourishing ’20's became the boom years of our school system. The State's equalization fund which has grown only from $100,000 in 1901 to $836,000 in 1921, grew to $6,500,000 in 1929. In 1921 also a State teacher's salary schedule was adopted which, according to Dr. Allen, fixed salaries at from three to four times the average paid before that time. The State also established building loan funds to aid the counties in constructing buildings necessary for the operation of the six months term. During this period also many new special charter and special taxing districts were created, and the consolidated rural school came into its own.

“During these years, the State, the County and local districts were all investing more and more money in popular education. The money of the local units was spent only because the voters desired that it be spent. The State's money was spent, not with the idea that either the Constitution or the voters expressly required it, but because of recognition of the fact that the State did have some obligation to help the counties, and particularly the poorer counties, to bear the educational burden placed upon them by the Constitution. The counties, then, still bore the brunt of compulsory tax levying.

“When the Legislature of 1931 convened, the prosperity of the ’20's had vanished and recession was well under way. County tax collections were already in such condition that, in many instances, it was obviously impossible for them to collect their part of the six months school revenue. The Legislature thereupon assumed for the State the burden of supporting the Constitutional term. This was the first legislative recognition of any duty on the part of the State to support the schools by virtue of a direct obligation resting on the State, rather than merely to attempt to equalize the burden as between counties.

“Vocational Education began coming to the school with Federal Aid by the 1920's; Vocational Rehabilitation by the 1930's; Free Textbooks were authorized in 1937; the Teachers and State Employees’ Retirement System was authorized in 1941; Free School Lunches came in with Federal Aid in the 1940's.”

(See Background Material for The State School Finance Commission, By Dr. Albert Coates, Director.)

The citizens of the state adopted an amendment to the State Constitution in 1942 which provided for a State Board of Education of thirteen members. Ten of these members are appointed by the Governor with joint approval of the two houses of the General Assembly for staggered

terms of office. Three others are the elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Treasurer, and the Lieutenant Governor. Under the present Constitution, this Board has the responsibility for the general supervision and administration of the free public school system and of the educational funds provided for the support thereof.

The Constitution authorized the election of a State Superintendent of Public Instruction to serve as a member of the Executive Department of Government to perform such duties “as shall be prescribed by law.”

The General Assembly is the source of all school law which effects public education. The Legislature provides the machinery for the operation of the schools and the funds for the support of Education. The will of the people is expressed through Constitutional provisions, through popular election of a State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and through an elected General Assembly.

The fact that a large percentage of the funds for education is provided by the State and Federal government results in a high degree of centralization of authority for most of the phases of school policy. The fact that the State Board has generally remained a policy body has been a very fortunate circumstance. This means that local boards of education have retained a maximum of autonomy.

The County Board of education is subject to a clearly defined set of statutes with respect to the use of State and Local funds, curriculum decisions, personnel problems, buildings and equipment, and other educational functions.

The County Board of Education is a policy making body within the county. It determines, within the framework of State legislation, the programs of education for its constituents. It is responsible for budget making and the supervision of State funds. The County Board of Education is fiscally dependent upon other taxing authorities for funds.

The major responsibility of the school is classified as instructional service. This calls for various types of teaching and learning activities to meet the needs of all kinds of children from all types of environments and responding to a variety of economic needs. The program of our schools must go beyond the traditional reading, writing, and arithmetic instruction. A wider offering demands a more highly trained staff and more effective teaching. Tools with which to work are the essential right of every worker. The range of instructional materials increases with new developments in daily life, and these are subject to the same cost increase as other items. Libraries and books are the tools of education. The evaluation of the work of pupils through tests and experiments costs money but brings about dividends. Money spent in a better instructional program is a genuine investment.

A second heavy local cost is that for buildings and grounds. Adequacy, flexibility, utility, and economy are desirable goals for physical facilities.

The third area is financial support at all levels. The local unit has an obligation to build upon whatever base the State may establish. It is very important to recognize the fact that the level of state support now set up does not provide an adequate program. Minimum standards of instruction can not be maintained without some local support.

In Duplin a few years ago the County Board of Education and the Board of County Commissioners decided to look forward to a pay-as-you-go program for new school construction. Following a study of our school system by the citizens of the county under the Kellog Program, the consolidation fever broke out and our high schools were consolidated.

For several years additional funds were also included in the Capital Outlay School Fund for necessary buildings; thereby constructing new buildings from current taxes.

The greater part of principal bond maturities for several years were refunded, so that a like amount of additional funds could be included in the Capital Outlay School Fund Budget, annually.

When you enter these buildings today, it gives you a good feeling to know that they are paid for. The tax payers are not having to pay out large sums of money in interest on borrowed money for their construction.

Dr. W. D. Herring has said: “Education is costly. There is nothing more expensive than education, except ignorance. Yet the dividends from education are the greatest known from any investment.”


Special School Districts1929 Tax RateSpecial School Districts1929 Tax Rate
Beulaville$ .30Kenansville.25
Cobbs.05Rose Hill.30
B. F. Grady.25Warsaw.25


Districts1929 Tax RateDistricts1929 Tax Rate
Island Creek Road$ .10Magnolia Road.05
Kenansville Railroad Aid.05Warsaw Road.10

(Minute Book 9, pages 375 and 394.)


Average Attendance
TownshipDistrictHigh School
AlbertsonB. F. Grady50899409
Searls Field5050
Cypress CreekPin Hook3434
Cypress Creek Church2121
Island CreekWallace509118391
LimestoneCedar Fork3636
Potter's Hill8282
George Potter2626
Rose HillRose Hill323113210
SmithBay Pond4848
Long Ridge4646
Cypress CreekChinquapin121121
Tom Murray3434
Deep Bottom5151
W. M. Shaw2424
Island CreekWallace250250
Christian Chapel2323
Island Creek128128
Little Creek5454

Average Attendance
TownshipDistrictHigh School
Sandy Crossway5252
RockfishC. Vann2727
Iron Mine4848
Rose HillRose Hill132132
SmithPink Hill6060
Totals—White & Negro805711256932


B. F. Grady W.144529156605204487367
B. F. Grady N.3623432281
Branch N.237186
Chinquapin W.130517158593207525504
Chinquapin N.5212762252320191†
Tom Murray N.56
Deep Bottom N.61
Faison W.6325881236195187
Faison N.7320388250448298
Calypso W.100340102330277347
Calypso N.256159
North Duplin W.187247
Wallace W.192530168553733801
Wallace N.6918290323477353*
Rivenbark N.32
Island Creek N.75
Little Creek N.80
Teachey N.93105160130
Wallace-Rose Hill W.417579
Kenansville W.9734479343344294
Kenansville N.5915271334286374214§292
Farrior N.49
Zion N.6537
Stockinghead N.18
Stanford N.3027
Beulaville W.160782198856280637745
East Duplin749
Beulaville N.7650
Potter's Hill128
Magnolia W.12125652183180155
Magnolia N.3712069179210130
Frederick N.24
Hall N.29


Sandy Crossway N.19
C. Vann N.27
Iron Mine N.5046
Friendship N.22
Pearsall N.24
Rose Hill W.120291103340338436
Rose Hill #2 N.65148100433548422
Warsaw W.188413123493547575
Warsaw N.9534496436258583251496>‡
James Kenan W.319485
Totals—White & Negro18016856182874442548774828516918

(Audit Reports: 1939, 1949, 1959, 1969 from Principal's Final Reports.)

[note][note]DUPLIN COUNTY

DatesBuildingsFurniture and FixturesLandTotal
6-30-29$ 738,075.00$ 74,425.00$35,350.00$ 847,850.00

(Audit reports: 1929, 1939, 1949, 1959, and 1969.)


Fiscal PeriodCurrent Expense FundCapital Outlay FundDebt Service FundTotal

Fiscal PeriodCurrent Expense FundCapital Outlay FundDebt Service FundTotal


(From County Audit Reports.)

State Funds expended through the State Treasurer for public schools in Duplin County for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1969—$3,047,771.25.

(From County Superintendent's Office)

Federal E.S.E.A. Funds expended through the County Treasury for public schools in Duplin County for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1969—$975,219.50.

(Audit Report)


From Trenton to Morganton—and from all the other towns where fans had the pleasure of seeing so great a team play—came the resounding praise of 1960's State Champions, the James Kenan Tigers. . . .

James Kenan24 - 6Jones Central (AA)
19 - 6+Massey Hill (AAA)
13 - 6-+Erwin (AA)
25 - 6Richlands*
13 - 7x+Wallace-Rose Hill (AA)
37 - 0Burgaw*
(Homecoming)31 - 0+Roseboro-Salemburg (AA)
13 - 12+North Duplin*
20 - 0Mt. Olive*
Conference20 - 0+Beulaville*
District13 - 7Rohanen (at Rockingham)
Regional19 - 13Ayden (at Goldsboro)
Eastern19 - 0Benvenue (at Kinston)
STATE13 - 12N. C. School for Deaf (at Morganton)


LE—Colon Quinn (co-captain)4
LT—Mickey Askew4
LG—Mac McNeill (co-captain)4
C—Johnny Pat Harmon3
RG—Bobby Best4
RT—Virgil Lanier4
RE—Allen Wahab4

QB—Jimmy Dixon2
LH—Jimmy Benton4
RH—Pepsi Merritt4
FB—Danny Batts4
Defensive Specialists:Shannon Brown, Senior Tackle Charles Lockamy, Senior End Billy Knowles, Soph Guard Bobby Phillips, Junior Linebacker Allen Fountain, Soph Tackle

Throughout the entire week of November 26, the main topic of conversation in this area was the big trip to Morganton for the Class A State Championship game with the North Carolina School for the Deaf (NCSD).

The team was ushered out of Warsaw with a giant send-off, sponsored by our friends, the fans. After arriving at Morganton, the players received many telegrams from well-wishers who found it impossible to make the trip. Backed by this moral support, James Kenan went into the game with spirits high.

The game itself was evenly played throughout. The first half ended 6-6, but the Tigers forged ahead with a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. Batts pounded across for the score, and then cracked over for the payoff point-after-touchdown.

On the following kickoff, Bear halfback Mike Triplette scooped up the bound ball, and raced eighty-eight yards for the touchdown which pulled the Bears to within one point of a tie. That one point never materialized, however, as the impregnable Tiger defense stopped the extra point to sew up the win for the Class A State Football Championship!

At the final gun the field was immediately flooded with jubilant Tiger fans. Girls fought their way to that certain boy who had, in their eyes, made the greatest contribution of all. Parents, brothers, and sisters engulfed their favorite in hugs and endless words of praise. Coaches Taylor, Helton, and Lewis shook hundreds of hands in those ten or fifteen minutes.

But, to the victors—not the mamas, papas and girl friend—belong the spoils, and co-captains Mac McNeill and Colon Quinn, along with the coaches, were presented with the trophy. Thus, our Tigers became official holders of the 1960 State Class A Football Championship!

The championship team rolled up 215 points during the regular season to set a new ten-game scoring record. They added sixty-four more to that total during the playoffs, to finish with a sum of 279 points. They averaged 19.9 ppg, and held a 202-point margin over their opponents, who scored 76 in all. In registering five shutouts, this team scored 46 touchdowns, but was able to convert successfully after only fifteen of these. . . .

Our defensive unit yielded twelve touchdowns. However, only four of these were scored by rushing, and two are accredited to a kickoff return and a run with a fumble.

Hubert “Pepsi” Merritt led Tiger scoring in “That Wonderful Year,” as he scored eleven touchdowns and accounted for six extra points for a total of 72 points. Battering-ram fullback Danny Batts churned across enemy goal lines eleven times also, but had just two conversions for a second-place total of 68. Co-captain Colon Quinn snared six scoring tosses, added two TD's on runs with intercepted passes, and converted once for 49 points. Bob Phillips, part-time offensive halfback, scored four touchdowns for 24 points. Sophomore quarterback Jimmy Dixon, in launching what already must be termed as a brilliant high school football career, rushed for three touchdowns and five extra points for a total of 23 points.

This very successful football campaign brought many honors to Coach Bill Taylor and his “Tiger Terribles.”

Coach Taylor received the “Coach of the Year” award from the East Central Conference. In addition to this, he was chosen Assistant Coach to Wilson's Paul Marklin for the 1961 East-West High School All-Star football game, held annually at Greensboro, in Senior High Stadium.

Eight Tigers were chosen as part of the ’60 East Central All-Conference squad. Those chosen were: fullback Danny Batts, guard Bobby Best, defensive tackle Shannon Brown, tackle Virgil Lanier, guards Mac McNeill and Colon Quinn, halfback Pepsi Merritt, and quarterback Jimmy Dixon.

For their outstanding work both offensively and defensively, Colon Quinn and Bobby Best were selected to the 1960 All-East Class A High School Football Team. The selection was made by the sports staff of the News and Observer in Raleigh. By vote among the players, Colon was picked as co-captain of the dream-team. Colon was chosen by this same board of sportswriters to be a member of the All-East team, including all classifications. This is an achievement seldom achieved by a Class A player.

As a coach of the East team, Coach Taylor was able to pick two

of his players to be on the squad. He picked Colon, who had already been chosen by the News and Observer, and Mac McNeill, who went in Bobby Best's place.

During the one week of practice, Mac nailed down a starting linebacker position, and Colon was named kickoff man. Both boys played appreciably in the East's 15-13 loss.

J. P. Harmon was Principal of James Kenan High School in 1960.

(The First Half-Decade of James Kenan Football, by: Bill Rollins.)


Jimmie Jerome is the first All-American High School Football Athlete in Duplin County. He attended Wallace-Rose Hill High School in 1969-70.




Resolved, That the Duplin County Board of Education express its sincere appreciation and thanks to Mr. O. P. Johnson, County Superintendent of Schools of Duplin County, since 1935. Those of us who have the longest association with him, and those who have joined us later, know that the Duplin County Public School System, as it is today, is the outcome of his leadership. With vision, courage and ability, he has always encouraged the training of youth for usefulness to themselves and others.

Resolved, That the new Public Schools Administration Office Building be named: “THE O. P. JOHNSON DUPLIN COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATION BUILDING,” in his honor.

This Board delights to do Mr. Johnson this honor, and extends to him earnest wishes for a continuing long and useful life in public education.

This the 21 day of April, 1966.







(Minutes of County Board of Education, 4-21-66.)


Kenan Memorial Auditorium is to be finished, furnished, and up-dated in every way. This announcement was made on Friday night at the James Kenan Graduation Exercises by Thomas S. Kenan, III, of Durham, who stated that the Trustees of the William R. Kenan, Jr., Charitable Trust were giving $100,000 for this job.

Mr. Kenan presented to O. P. Johnson, Superintendent of Schools, a check for $50,000 and the promise of a second check for the same amount in January of 1967. He read to the audience a letter from the Trustees of the William R. Kenan, Jr., Charitable Trust to the Duplin County Board of Education.

Part of the letter read, “In your presentation dated November 9, 1965, you list as your most important need and number one requirement funds to complete Kenan Memorial Auditorium. The Trustees of the William R. Kenan, Jr., Charitable Trust are pleased to approve a grant of $100,000 for completion of Kenan Memorial Auditorium at Kenansville, North Carolina. This grant will be paid in two installments of $50,000 each. We are pleased to hand you herewith check of Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York in the amount of $50,000 in full payment of the first installment. The second and final installment of this grant will be paid in January, 1967.”

Mr. Kenan stated that the late Mr. William Rand Kenan, Jr., was interested in Duplin County, Kenansville, and its people, and that under Article Nine Residuary Trust of his Will, Mr. Kenan expressed the hope and wish that income be used by his trustees primarily for educational purposes.

Kenan Memorial Auditorium has never been completed. It is used for many county-wide events for both schools and civic groups for various types of entertainment. The county basketball tournament is held there each year, as are school exhibits. County Wide 4-H and Home Demonstration Clubs hold annual events in the auditorium.

Mr. Kenan stated that bleachers would be removed and chairs would be added. Air conditioning will be installed and the rest rooms and showers will be tiled. The lobby will be refinished with terrazzo floors.

A silent heating system will be installed so that the auditorium may be used for cultural as well as athletic programs. It is understood that the entire front of the building will be updated.

Kenan Memorial Auditorium was started in 1949 with a grant of $20,000 from William Rand Kenan, Jr., Mrs. Jessie Kenan Wise and

Mrs. Sarah Kenan. This family made an additional contribution each year until the building was in its present condition, all in all a total of sixty or seventy thousand dollars.

After the Kenans had given the original grant, the county added $25,000. From the proceeds of the Duplin Story in 1949 an additional $10,000 was added, and $10,000 was raised from public subscriptions.

With the present gift of $100,000, the Kenan Memorial Auditorium will be made comfortable, beautiful and adequate for sports and also for stage shows as the lighting equipment will be fixed so as to give proper stage lighting.

Many activities which have had to pass Duplin by because of lack of space and proper facilities now may be held in the auditorium.

Mr. Tom Kenan, III, expressed his pleasure at being with the James Kenan graduating class at their commencement program. He further stated that he and the late William Rand Kenan, Jr., and other members of the Kenan family had a great interest in and love for Duplin County and their original home, Kenansville.

(Duplin Times — Progress Sentinel, June 2, 1966.)

Mr. William Rand Kenan, Jr., Mrs. Sarah G. Kenan, and Mrs. Emily Kenan Wise contributed on the bleachers at James Kenan High School.

The 1950 Centralian, Kenansville High School Annual, was dedicated to the Kenan family.


An Act to provide for the nomination and election of the members of The Board of Education of Duplin County.

The General Assembly of North Carolina do enact:

Section 1. The Board of Education of Duplin County shall continue to exist and to consist of five members. Each member of the Duplin County Board of Education shall continue to hold his office on said board until his term of office shall expire and until his successor is nominated and elected and inducted into office as hereinafter provided.

Sec. 2. In the year immediately preceding the expiration of any six-year term of office of a member of the Board of Education of Duplin County his successor shall be nominated and elected in the primary and general election and the member so elected shall qualify and take office on the first Monday in April of the year following the election of said member of said board of education. The procedure herein provided shall be followed irrespective of the number of terms expiring and the number of vacancies on the board of education to be filled. Any member or

members elected to office on said board of education shall serve for term of six years each and until the successor of each member is elected and inducted into office.

Sec. 3. The primary and general election of the member or members of the Board of Education of Duplin County shall be conducted in all respects in accordance with the primary and general election laws applicable to county offices and as provided in Chapter 163 of the General Statutes as amended. Each candidate of a political party shall file notice of candidacy as required by the Primary laws and shall pay a filing fee of five dollars ($5.00).

Sec. 4. In case of any vacancy on said board of education before expiration of term of office by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, change of residence or for any other reason, then the county executive committee of the political party of the member causing the vacancy shall appoint some eligible person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term. . . .

(Chapter 1046, Session Laws 1967.)

  • “Teachers labor to lead eager youth to know:
  • Deep within his Nature is a wondrous World
  • Broader than that we gaze on, and informed
  • With a diviner beauty,
  • And that above them both, High Priest and King,
  • Youth stands supreme to choose and to combine,
  • And build from that within him, and without,
  • New forms of life, with Meaning of his own.”
  • —Author Unknown

  • “The teacher lives forever. On and on,
  • Through all the generations he shall preach
  • The beautiful evangel—on and on
  • Till our poor race has passed the tortuous years
  • That lie fore-reaching the Millennium,
  • And far into that broad and open sea
  • He shall sail singing still the songs he taught
  • To the world's youth and sing them o'er and o'er
  • To lapping waters till the thousand leagues
  • Are overpast, and Argosy and Crew
  • Ride at their port.”
  • —Author Unknown


Angel Academy: Mentioned in Duplin County Public Registry Book 3 A, Page 149.

Bethel Academy: Deed dated Dec. 23, 1843, John Oliver to Bethel Academy, Book 23, Page 415.

Dunn-Faison Academy: Oct. 17, 1842, Deed: Book 1-5-10-14-15, Page 445.

Elhanan School and Camp Ground—1904: Deed: Book 84, Page 367. Trustees: D. H. Murphy, O. W. Rouse, W. L. Bryan, George W. Gaylor, and Henry Farrior.

Faison High School (For Boys) under direction of Wilmington Presbytery—Nov. 12, 1901. Trustees: B. B. Witherington, James M. Faison, I. L. Faison, A. F. Johnson, W. M. Cummings, R. M. Williams, D. P. McGeachey, L. P. Best, S. H. Isler and Dr. W. L. Smith. Deed: Book 67, Page 555.

Faison Industrial School—1904: Trustees: H. C. Wright, N. Moore, S. C. Carroll, R. A. Spiers, Peter Johnson, A. R. Middleton, D. A. Williams, and I. S. Moore. Deed: Book 84, Page 427.

Faison Male Academy: Charter Pr. 1905, Chap. 317.

Female Seminary (In Kenansville)—1861: Needham W. Herring to Trustees: O. Carr, James Dickson, Dickson Mallard, James E. Hall, Robert B. Carr, James B. Carr, James M. Sprunt, Owen R. Kenan, Isaac B. Kelly, C. W. Graham and Willie E. Hall. Deed: Book 23, Page 599. Also, William Farrior to Trustees of Female Seminary. Deed: Book 27, Page 599.

Friendship Academy—Sept. 29, 1841, Daniel Swinson and wife to Friendship Academy and School Committee, Deed: Book 1, 5, 10, 14, 15, Page 352.

Franklin Military Institute—Located East of Faison. Operated by Captain Claude B. Denson.

Goshen Academy—1814


The Goshen Academy in Duplin County, is in want of a Teacher. A person competent to teach the Languages and Sciences, of good character,

will meet with immediate employment, on application to D. Wright, Esq. A permanent salary of $500 will be given, or the profits of the Academy which have heretofore produced a considerably large sum. June 11, 1819.”

—Raleigh Register, June 18, 1819.

(N. C. Schools and Academies, by Coon.)

Green Academy: Located three miles North of Faison, founded by John Elliott, a Yale man from New England. Major Hiram W. Husted also taught in this school.

(Public Documents, Session 1901, Vol. I, Document No. 9.)

Grove Academy—60 acres, Deed: Book 111, Page 43. (See Chapter on Grove Academy.)

Industrial Training and Educational School (Incorporated) Pr. 1909, C. 266; Pr. 1911, C. 298; Pr. 1919, C. 34; Body corporate and politic: H. C. Wright, A. R. Middleton, D. A. Williams, Peter Johnson, G. R. Raynor, Rev. N. Moore, R. A. Speers, Rev. J. N. McKnight, J. R. Coel, S. S. Stevens and J. C. Herring.

James Sprunt Institute, a High School in the Town of Kenansville, 1897. Trustees: Peter McIntire, James Sprunt, B. F. Hall, Oscar Pearsall, A. F. Johnson, J. D. Currie, I. V. Lancaster, James W. Blount and Henry Farrior.

Wilmington Presbytery has agreed to control and manage said school in the interest of education, and has elected the above Board of Trustees for such control and Management. Deeds: Book 56, Page 341; Book 102, Pages 132, 133 and 134. (See Chapter on James Sprunt Institute.)

Kenansville Seminary—1856, Deed: Book 23, Page 599. Deed to R. W. Millard and Nathan B. Webster, Book 25, Page 39; Webster Institute, Book 25, Page 455.

La Place Academy—1861, Trustees: Isham Southerland and Alex S. Davis, Deed: Book 23, Page 539.

Magnolia Male Academy, Corp.—1858, Deed: Book 23, Page 68.

Hannah Moore Academy (Female Institution)—April 14, 1837, Trustees: Jeremiah Pearsall, John Oliver, William D. Pearsall, Thomas Hill, Harold Blackmore, Harper Williams, Edward Hill, Stephen Miller, Richard Miller and James M. Larkins. Deed: Book 9, Page 6.

HANNAH MOORE ACADEMY IN 1837—This institution is now in successful operation under the direction of Miss L. E. Clarke, aided by Miss M. McDuffee, both of which ladies are eminently qualified for the stations which they fill; and from the very satisfactory manner, (both to parents and pupils) in which they conduct the school, the Trustees feel well warranted in recommending it to the public patronage.

Tuesday the 19th inst. is the closing day of the present session, when there will be a vacation till Monday 15th of Jan. next, at which time it is hoped that the young ladies for the next session will be in attendance. By order,

J. Pearsall, Secretary.

—Wilmington Advertiser, December 22, 1837.

(N. C. Schools and Academies, by Coon.)

Oak Grove Academy—1888, Trustees: L. C. Carlton, J. R. Wilson and R. F. Best, Deed: Book 47, Page 143.

The Peirce School—“Peirce School was at Peirceville, Peirceville was the name of the Thomas Buckner Peirce plantation adjoining the Isaac Franklin Blackmore plantation on Turkey Swamp about three miles west of Warsaw.

“This school was attended by the Peirces, the Blackmores, and the children of the workers in the crate factory.

“Teachers were paid by Mr. T. B. Peirce. They were carried to school by horse and buggy. Teachers and students carried lunches.

“The Peirce school was a long, large unpainted building with single desks and seats made in the Peirce factory. There was a large stove in one corner.

“The toilets were in the woods, the boys’ toilet on one side of the building and the girls’ toilet on the other.

“We were taught the phonics system.

“On Friday afternoons the literary society met. Students exhibited their ability in recitations, speeches, dialogues, etc.

“For misbehaving we often had to stand in the corner to do our studying.

“Each year at Christmas there was a large holly tree with small candles and ornaments. Every student received a bag of fruit, nuts, etc., filled from the store at Peirceville.”

(Excerpts from letter of Mrs. Anna Peirce Stafford, Washington, D. C.)

Sandhills (Deed to Naber Hood), Sept. 18, 1862, Deed: Book 32, Page 13.

“Sutton's Academy (5 miles South of Mt. Olive), Principal: Miss Corrine Barnes, enrollment in 1892, 14.”

(Public Document 3, Session 1893, Page 67.)

Teachey High and Graded School District, Trustees: H. S. Wells, C. J. Carr, J. T. Turner, J. D. Mallard and E. G. Forlaw. Deeds: Book 163, Page 427; Book 270, Page 291. Establishment: Pr. Laws 1911, C. 437.

Warsaw High School—1855, Deed: Book 21, Page 469.

Warsaw High and Graded District—Establishment: Pr. 1909, C. 248; Charter amended Pr. 1911, C. 201; Pr. 1925, C. 142.

Washington Female Academy—1848. “The Trustees of this Institution have the pleasure to inform the public that they have engaged the services of Miss Ann T. Parker, a lady of high refinement and attainments, as an instructress; and that the first session of this Seminary will commence on Monday 16th October next. From the superior qualifications of Miss Parker—the general satisfaction she has heretofore given as an Instructress in Hannah Moore Academy, Trenton Female Seminary, and in New Berne; and from the healthy location of this Institution, the Trustees flatter themselves that the school will meet with a liberal patronage. The Institution is situated in the North Eastern part of Duplin Co., one mile North East of Outlaw Bridge. Board can be had in the neighborhood, at $5 per month.


Spelling, Reading and Writing$ 6.00
Arithmetic, English Grammar and Geography8.00
Philosophy, Chemistry, Astronomy and Minerology12.00
French and Italian languages, Mathematics, &c12.00
Embroidery and Needle work10.00
Drawing and Painting12.00


Duplin County, 26th Sept., 1848.

Music, Session of five months, $20.00.”

(Copy of hand bill)

Williams Academy—1825—Near Cooper's Mill.


Whereas the establishing an academy in the said county for the education of youth will be attended with great advantages to the State in general, and the county of Duplin in particular:

I. Be it therefore Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by the authority of the same, That Thomas Routledge, James Kenan, Joseph Dickson, Thomas Gray, William Dickson, David Dodd, John James, Israel Bordeaux and James Gillespie, Esquires, be and they are hereby constituted and appointed trustees, with full power and authority to receive into their hands and possession, all monies and other property which have been or hereafter may be subscribed for the purpose of erecting an academy on the lands lately purchased of Nicholas Hunter in said county, by name of Grove Academy; and the said trustees and their successors shall be able and capable in law to ask for and demand, receive and possess of the several subscribers, all sums by them respectively subscribed, and in case of refusal of any of them to pay the same, to sue for and recover by action of debt or otherwise, in the name of the trustees, the sum which such person so refusing shall have subscribed, in any jurisdiction having cognizance thereof; and the monies when collected and received, to be applied by the said trustees or a majority of them towards paying for the lands already contracted for, and erecting thereon a suitable and convenient house, to contract with and employ a tutor or tutors, and to perform every act or thing that they or a majority of them shall think necessary and expedient for the advancement of the said academy and the promotion of learning therein.

II. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the trustees herein before-mentioned, shall previous to the entering on the execution of the trust reposed by this Act, give bond to the court of the county, payable to the chairman and his successor, in the sum of one thousand pounds, specie, with condition, that they shall well and faithfully account for and apply all gifts, donations, bequests, and monies

which they may receive of and by virtue of this Act for the purposes aforesaid.

III. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any of the trustees by this Act appointed, shall die, refuse to act or move away, that he cannot attend the duties of this appointment, the remaining trustees may appoint another in his stead, who shall exercise the same powers as trustees appointed by this Act; and when met together within the said county shall have power and authority to elect and constitute one or more tutor or tutors, and a treasurer, and also to make and ordain such rules and regulations, not repugnant to the laws of this State, for the well ordering of the students, their morals, studies and academical exercises as to them shall seem meet; and to give certificates to such students as shall leave said academy, certifying their literary merit, in general they shall or may do all such things as are usually done by other bodies corporate and politic, or such as may be necessary for the promotion of learning and virtue; and the said trustees or a majority of them are hereby empowered, and shall have lawful authority to remove the tutor or tutors, treasurer or any of them if they shall find it necessary, and on the death, resignation or refusal to Act of any of them, to appoint and elect others in the stead of those displaced, dead, or refusing to act.

IV. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the trustees by this Act appointed, or a majority of them, and their successors, shall meet annually on the First Friday of March in each and every year, or at any other time they may find more convenient, and elect a proper person out of their own body to preside for the term of one year, who may convene the trustees at any time he may find it necessary. Provided always, That he shall give ten days previous notice of such meetings, and that the president and treasurer shall be chosen on the said first Friday of March unless in cases of unavoidable accidents.

V. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the treasurer of the said board of trustees, shall enter into bond with sufficient security to the trustees, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the trust reposed to him by this Act, and that all monies and chattels that shall be in his hands at the expiration of his office, shall be immediately paid into the hands of the succeeding treasurer; and every treasurer shall receive all monies, donations, gifts, bequests, and charities that may belong or accrue to said academy during his office, and at the expiration thereof shall account with the trustees or a majority of them for the same, and on refusal to neglect to pay and deliver as aforesaid, the same mode of recovering may be had against him as is or may

be provided for the recovery of money from sheriffs or other public officers. (Passed December 29, 1785.)

(The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XXIV, Page 752, Chapter XXX.)


At our last session of the Assembly in this State we got an act passed for establishing an academy for the education of youth in the Grove neighborhood in this county. This school is fixed in the heart of the Presbyterian settlement where our family all live and we have a considerable share in conducting it. We have purchased a piece of ground pleasantly situated for the purpose, on which we are now building a house, which we expect will be finished about twelve months hence.

Last October I received your very affectionate letter of the 21st April last which was sent me by Rev. Alexander Patrick who soon after made me a visit and tarried some days with me, in which time I contracted a small acquaintance with him. I heartily thank you for the recommendation you gave me in his favor. . . . Mr. Patrick immediately on coming into this country got possession of one of the late Mr. Colvill's plantations on the N. West River and some of his slaves; the plantation he has rented out and the negroes he has hired for wages, which rent and hire he tells me amount to about one hundred and thirty pounds per annum. About Christmas he came down to our neighborhood at the Grove where we made him up a small school of fourteen or fifteen boys which is the first attempt that has ever been made to teach the languages in this part of the country. This little school will be about as good as forty or fifty pounds sterling to him. Those now under his tuition are intended to be removed to the academy when opened, when it is probable Mr. Patrick may be employed as a teacher if he is approved of; the school is in the same place where the academy is fixed. Mr. Patrick lives with my brother Joseph and has a convenient room and bed to himself. . . .

Wm. Dickson.

Duplin County, 24th Feb., 1786.

—From Carr's Dickson Letters, pp. 29 et seq.


. . . Our Grove Academy (as it is styled by the Legislature) is not in a more flourishing condition than when I wrote you last (altho’ yet short of our expectations or of what you wish it to be), the house is now finished, the school was removed into it last week, there are yet but twenty-five students under a master who teaches only the Latin and English Grammar and the Latin and Greek languages. We have

no other fund for the support of it but the fees of the students and the benevolence of public spirited gentlemen, which have as yet appeared to be very low. I wish I could with propriety give you a description of it more to your satisfaction. The Genius of the people of this part of the country is not adapted to the study of learning and science. The most desirable object that people here have in view are interest and pleasure, but I flatter myself that that period will soon arrive when an emulation will take place amongst the youth (who are of most discernment) to aspire to the attainment of that which in the end will be most permanent and profitable, and that this infant institution (altho’ far inferior to that erected at Strabane, or indeed almost any other), through the exertions of some who are concerned in it, may yet become profitable and rise to repute. . . .

November 30, 1787.

Wm. Dickson.

—From Carr's Dickson Letters, pp. 34 and 35.


This institution, located in a healthy region of country, one mile from the village of Kenansville, is now in operation, under the superintendence of the subscriber. Its design is to fit young men for college, or to prepare them for the ordinary walks of life.


Reading, writing & spelling, with Parley's geography, & Emerson's 1st. pt. arithmetic, per session$ 6.00
English grammar, geography, history, arithmetic, composition & declamation10.00
Natural, moral and intellectual philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, algebra, and geometry, per session12.00
Greek & Latin with any of the above12.50

There is an apparatus attached to the school.

Book-keeping will be taught at an extra charge of $5 to the regular scholars.

N. B.—Board may be obtained in respectable families at $6 per month.

Geo. W. Johnson.

(Weekly Chronicle (Wilmington), May 27, 1840.)


Whereas, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, the General Assembly of North Carolina duly incorporated and established the “Grove Academy” at Kenansville, North Carolina, for the

purpose of promoting learning, the charter for which is embodied in chapter thirty of “Martin's Collection of Statutes”; and whereas, the original charter has never been repealed or amended, and is insufficient for modern purposes; and whereas, the patrons and friends thereof are desirous of obtaining a more efficient and suitable charter for said institution of learning: Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina do enact:

That the said chapter thirty of “Martin's Collection of Statutes” be and the same is hereby amended so as to read as follows: SECTION 1. That Thomas S. Kenan, D. L. Farrior, S. O. Middleton, Frank Thompson, D. L. Carlton, Henry Farrior, J. G. Murphy and J. O. Carr, and such others as may be associated with them, be and they are hereby created a body corporate under the name of “The Grove Academy,” and by such name may sue and be sued, have a common seal, adopt such by-laws and regulations as may be necessary for its government, and may have and enjoy all rights, privileges and franchises pertaining to corporations.

SEC. 2. That the said “Grove Academy” shall have power and authority to establish and operate a school or schools for educational and training purposes, to hold and possess real estate or other property, to receive donations and gifts, to issue certificates of scholarship and efficiency to its students, and to do such other things as may be necessary for carrying out the purposes of this act; and the said corporation shall have an existence of thirty years. . . .

(Chapter 285, Pr. 1905, An Act to Revive and Reincorporate the “Grove Academy” at Kenansville, North Carolina.)



W. R. NewburyMagnolia, N. C.
Hon. H. D. WilliamsKenansville, N. C.
R. W. HerringWilmington, N. C.
C. J. SoutherlandKenansville, N. C.
Joseph RouseRose Hill, N. C.
Henry FarriorKenansville, N. C.
W. B. CooperWilmington, N. C.
A. J. JohnsonClear Run, N. C.
T. Q. HallWallace, N. C.
Horace Stewart, B. S., Principal



August 31—Fall Term begins; Entrance examinations.

November 25—Holiday.

December 21—Fall term ends; Holidays begin.


January 4—Holidays end; Spring term begins.

April 26—Spring term ends.

April 24-26—Commencement.


There is no village in North Carolina east of the mountains that compares in beauty and picturesqueness with Kenansville, the county seat of Duplin. It is situated upon a rolling, undulating elevation superior in every respect to any other place in Eastern North Carolina. Its drainage is natural and perfect; its trees are beautiful and symmetrical; its moral surroundings are unsurpassed; its culture and refinement are not excelled anywhere. Its genial atmosphere, its salubrious climate, its healthful surroundings and its location seven miles from the railroad—where it is neither disturbed by the hum of factory nor the immoral influence usually prevalent in such towns, make it an ideal spot for study and for the attainment of those graces and accomplishments which count in producing refinement and in building character. Unique in its records and rich in colonial history, the little town stands out preeminently as a place of interest and antiquity.

As a summer and winter resort it offers superior advantages, especially to those who seek rest and quiet instead of the rush and bustle of gayer places.

The town spring, with the capacity of more than a gallon per minute, furnishes the little village with a hundred times the amount of pure water actually needed, and every summer brings rest-seekers here, who go away much benefitted. The surrounding country offers great sport for quail shooting, and Northerners often spend the winters here.


Discipline with us is more than the outward conformity to a set of iron-clad rules. We have only one iron-clad rule and that is “Do right and be a gentleman.” Ordinarily this is sufficient, but that we may be more clearly understood, certain regulations have been adopted which are strictly enforced. These we consider none too strong, since our

main object is the development of manhood, and any student unwilling to conform to them need not apply for entrance.

No pupil will be allowed to play cards, use any intoxicating drinks or tobacco, or indulge in the use of profane language.

As a necessary requirement for the health of students, daily exercise is required; and no student, unless he is sick or physically unable, will be excused. All students, unless otherwise excused, are required to spend two hours each evening in the study hall, under the direction of a member of the Faculty, and all lights must be out and rooms dark at 10:30 each night. This insures regularity of habit and an abundance of sleep, without which the best results can not be obtained. No student will be allowed to leave the Academy grounds without permission, and loafing on the streets will not be permitted on any condition.

The students are required to attend the Sunday morning services at one of the churches of the town.


Our aim in athletics is not to train professionals but to develop allround men. We hold that to secure the best results intellectually the body must be sound and vigorous. Daily exercise is therefore required of all students. Aside from this gymnasium work, ample opportunity is given for tennis and baseball.

We hold that gymnasium exercise, in that it develops all the muscles and gives uniform & symmetrical development, is far superior to the monotonous humdrum of the military drill, which practically all boys find more or less distasteful. Many small schools have adopted military tactics solely for the sake of advertisement. We feel that what we turn out is our best advertisement, and knowing from experience and observation that a boy cannot get the best exercise when encumbered with military paraphernalia, and that if exercise would be profitable it must be pleasant also, we have adopted the gymnasium work because we believe that it will give the desired result.


Each student should bring a Bible with good print, six napkins, two clothes-bags, towels and bed-clothes for single bed, together with a pillow. All linen and articles of clothing should be marked with full name.


Attendance at church services each Sunday morning is required of every student, and at devotional exercises each morning of the school week. The Y. M. C. A., which is conducted by the boys themselves, promotes

spirituality and encourages Christian leadership. Every boy is urged to be an active member.


The Boarding department is conducted by an experienced matron who looks diligently after every need and endeavors to make everything comfortable and homelike. The table is largely supplied from the farms of the adjoining sections. Every effort is made to give the boys the best and most wholesome food.


At the end of each quarter reports on the students’ work in the different classes will be sent to parents, who will thus keep in close touch with their sons’ work. They will be able to co-operate with the teachers in admonishing or encouraging, as the case may require, so that the best results may be realized. Examinations on each study are held at the end of each term, and those failing to make an average of sixty-five in any case will be required to take such a study over.


At the outset, the Faculty of the school wish it to be understood that boys expecting to practice vicious habits will not be matriculated.

No student under the age of twelve, except under certain conditions and in special cases, will be allowed to enter. At the beginning of each year entrance examinations will be held in order to classify new students correctly.

Candidates for admission must be prepared in Arithmetic (through common and decimal fractions), Geography, Spelling, Reading, Writing, and Grammar. Candidates for any one of the upper classes must stand an examination on the work of the next lower class, or give satisfactory certificate of the same work done in other schools.


The regular charge for tuition, board, heating, and lighting is $140.00 per year, one-half payable when the student enters, the other half payable at the beginning of the spring term. The dues must be settled at the above times unless special arrangements are made with the principal.


Four regular examinations will be given during the year. They will be held at the middle and end of the fall and spring terms.


A student who completes the course of study as outlined in this catalogue, will be given a diploma of graduation.


Parents are urged not to ask for the absence of their sons from school during the session. When a holiday lasts for only one day there is not time for the student to go home without seriously affecting his work. . . .

No reduction will be made for absences, except in case of protracted illness, and then only when the student has been unable to complete the term's work. In all cases the student is expected to make up the work missed. . . .


Classical CourseLatin-Scientific course
First YearThis course included French or German—3 years, with Latin and English.
This course included 3 years of Greek with Latin and English.



This course covers four years and is based on the work required for admission into the Sophomore class of the Southern Colleges.

Textbooks:Bennett's Foundations of Latin.
Rolf & Dennison—Junior Latin Book.
Bennett—Latin Grammar.
Cicero's Orations.
Vergil's Aeneid


Textbooks:White's first Greek book
Xenophon's Anabasis
Lysia's select orations
Plato Apology and Crito
Greek prose composition


Irving—Sketch book.
Southern poets

Reed and Kellogg—Higher lessions in English
Julius Caesar
Vision of Sir Launfal
Webster's first Bunker Hill Oration
Lockwood & Emerson—Rhetoric
Selections from Milton
Macaulay's life of Johnson
Merchant of Venice
English poetry and theme writing
Selections from Tennyson, Burns, Shakespeare
Parallel reading.


The course in History covers the entire four years. De Garmo says, “It is in history that the young first learn to regard the present as the last attained stage of a mighty evolution, and thereby acquire reverence for the vicarious sacrifices of the past, regard for the civil liberties of the present, and a sense of responsibility for the civil welfare of coming generations.” . . .

Textbooks:West—Ancient World
Myer—Mediaeval and modern
Wrong—British Nation.
Hart—Essentials of American History North Carolina History


Textbooks:Colaw & Elwood—Advanced arithmetic.
Sanford—Elements of Algebra
Milne—High School Algebra
Wentworth—Plane Geometry
Wentworth—Solid geometry
Wentworth—Plane Trigonometry.

Science (only one year)

Textbooks:Tarr—New Physical geography.


Textbooks:Chardenal—Complete French course
Rollin—French reader.
Laboulaye—Contes bleues.
Selections from French authors.


German reader
Gluck Auf.


In this age of skepticism, when even the heads of some of our Universities are presenting views that border on atheism, it is of the utmost importance that our Southern schools and colleges should teach the plain truth of the Bible, and should try to implant these truths so deeply in the minds of the students that no creeds or “isms” shall be able to uproot them. . . . The aims of this course are: to give the students a general knowledge of Bible history; to enable them to interpret the Scripture correctly; and to create in them the desire to know the truth which shall make them free.

Business Course

Music and Elocution

According to arrangements made with the authorities of James Sprunt Institute, those students in the Academy desiring to take Vocal or Instrumental Music, or Elocution can get the very best instruction under the teachers of these departments at this excellent institution.

(Bulletin of Grove Academy—1909.)

15. ST. JOHN'S LODGE NO. 13, A.F. AND A.M.

DUPLIN ST. JOHN'S LODGE, NO. 13, the original Masonic Lodge in Duplin County, was instituted June 25, 1791, about three and one-half years after the Grand Lodge of North Carolina was organized. The lodge was formed at Duplin Old Court House near the Sampson and Duplin County line and near the home of General James Kenan, who was the first Master. A constitution was drawn and the original signers were well-known men of that time, to wit: General James Kenan, W.M.; Colonel Charles Ward, S.W.; Patrick Newton, J.W.; Colonel Thomas Routledge, Sr., Treasurer; George Morrisey, Secretary; John Armstrong, Tyler. The members were Captain Michael Molton, Edward Harris, Daniel Harris, John Beck, John McIlleoinea, and Thomas Routledge, Jr.

Within the next few years the reports on membership included the names of many others who were men of high character and prominence of that time, and among them were the following: Nathan Fryar, Daniel Glisson, Claborn Ivey, Thomas Kenan, William Higgins, John Linton, Nathaniel McCanne, Samuel Houston, William Wilkinson, Abraham Molton, Holden McGee, Thomas Finley, Thomas Wright, Owen O'Daniel, Loami Stevens, David Slocumb, Thomas Ivey, John Barfield, John Hurst, Stephen Beck, Rigdon Bryan, David Murdock, George P. Linton, Thomas J. Kinnear, William Wilkinson, Jr., Meschek Stallings, Shadrack Stallings, James Pheobus, George McDonald, James K. Hill, John Wilkinson, O. L. Kelly, William J. Price, David Wright, William Beck, and others.

General James Kenan was the Master from 1791 until 1800 when Thomas Wright became Master.

Thomas Wright was S.W. of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, Wilmington, N. C., in 1789, and a Past Master of said Lodge (a legitimate offspring of the Grand Lodge of England).

In 1807 General Joseph T. Rhodes made report for the Lodge to the Grand Lodge.

The Lodge became dormant about 1824.

Warren Lodge, No. 101, Kenansville, N. C., was instituted Dec. 21, 1831, with James Kenan Hill, W.M.; O. L. Kelly, S.W.; Williams Cooper, J.W.; William J. Price, Secretary; John Wilkinson, Treasurer; A. G.

Hill, S.D.; Samuel Stanford, J.D.; Wm. H. Hansley, Tyler. Other members included Samuel Houston, James Lawson, William H. Hurst, Thomas J. Kinnear, Hogan Hunter, John E. Hussey, John Farrior, Nicholas Hill, William K. Frederick, L. C. Stanford, A. G. Stanford, Lawton Houston, O. L. Kelly, R. L. Stanly, Charles H. Cooper, Thomas J. Kenan, N. Hale, and J. L. Linton.

At a meeting held Jan. 7, 1831, William Cooper was allowed the sum of twenty-five dollars for the purpose of procuring a charter.

The following members of St. John's Lodge, No. 13, became members of Warren Lodge, No. 101; Thomas J. Kinnear, Samuel Houston, John Linton, Thomas Kenan, John Hurst, Thomas Routledge, Jr., James K. Hill, Owen O'Daniel, O. L. Kelly, William J. Price, and probably others.

At a meeting held May 26, 1831, a committee consisting of John Wilkinson, O. L. Kelly and Hogan Hunter was appointed to select some suitable place to locate the Lodge.

At this meeting Brother A. G. Hill presented the Lodge with a Holy Bible as a token of his esteem for the Lodge and his respect for Masonry.

On June 24, 1831, a motion was passed ordering that the upper part of Brother Hogan Hunter's house be so altered as to make a suitable place for a Lodge. The following committee was appointed to make the necessary alterations: Thomas J. Kinnear, Williams Cooper and Samuel Stanford.

On November 12, 1831, a bill was ordered paid for altering the Lodge room.

Brother J. E. Hussey served as Grand Marshal in 1834, as Grand Sentinel in 1835, and as Grand Sword Bearer in 1836.

Brother James Kenan Hill served as Grand Marshal in 1835 and again in 1836.

The Lodge funcitoned until about 1840, when it became dormant.

Some members of Warren Lodge, No. 101, were instrumental in organizing old Belmont Lodge in the Bowden-Faison section.

Union Chapter, No. 17, of York Rite Masons, and later Corinthian Chapter, No. 43, of York Rite Masons, both were organized in Kenansville and functioned well for a long time with a large membership.

On May 1, 1852, Warren Lodge, No. 101, was reorganized with the following officers: G. W. Wallace, W.M.; O. R. Kenan, S.W.; Henry Grimes, Jr., J.W.; J. H. Judge, S.D.; D. C. Maxwell, J.D.; Joseph Carr, Treasurer; William Farrior, Secretary; N. J. Farrior, Tyler. O. R. Kenan, Joseph Carr, Henry Grimes and William Farrior were appointed a committee to draft by-laws and rules of order for the government of the Lodge. The Lodge was rechartered December 9, 1852.

From report of Warren Lodge, No. 101, 1852, it is noted that the

report is headed “General Returns from Warren Lodge, No. 101, Ancient York Masons.”

On Feb. 10, 1855, a resolution was introduced providing that the Master of the Lodge be authorized to subscribe for and in behalf of this Lodge one hundred dollars to the Female Seminary to be built in Kenansville and the Treasurer be instructed to pay the same out of Lodge funds. This resolution was passed and adopted on March 10.

At the meeting held July 10, 1858, Brother William B. Middleton was appointed to solicit subscriptions for the purpose of building a new Lodge building.

On Jan. 8, 1859, the following resolution was adopted: “Resolved that Thomas S. Watson be allowed from the evidence he has produced of his having been entered, passed, and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason by Lodge, No. 97, Edinburgh, Scotland, to be entered, passed and raised in this lodge without paying the initiation fee and be allowed membership by paying three dollars.”

May 7, 1859, a motion was made and passed that Martha Hammond Abernathy be sent to school at the expense of the Lodge for one session.

Our present Lodge building was erected in 1860, and the dedication was set for Dec. 27, 1860.

At a meeting held Aug. 8, 1863, the following committee, William A. Allen, William Farrior, and Kedar Bryan offered this resolution: “Whereas, the Masonic Fraternity, and particularly the members of Warren Lodge, No. 101, have heard that their Brother William J. Houston, Captain of Company I, 9th Regiment, N. C. T. (1st N. C. Cavalry) was killed in the late battle near Ashby's Gap, and whereas, the members of said Lodge feel that it is due to the gallant and distinguished service of their late brother, that they should express their high appreciation of the noble qualities of head and heart of the deceased, Therefore Resolved, That this lodge, in the death of Captain Houston, has lost one of its brightest ornaments, the Masonic Fraternity one of its most distinguished members, the people at large one of their most gifted citizens and successful legislators, and the service of the Confederate States, one of its bravest, most devoted and gallant officers.

“Resolved, that in common with our fellow citizens, we deplore the loss of our distinguished brother and friend and will ever cherish a fond recollection of his noble qualities as the perfect gentleman, and hereby tender to his afflicted wife and family our heartfelt condolence in this their severe trial.

“Resolved, that the members of this Lodge will wear the usual badge of Masonic mourning for thirty days in memory of our deceased brother.

“Resolved, that the Secretary of this Lodge be requested to furnish

a copy of these resolutions for publication to the Wilmington Journal, and also a copy to the afflicted wife and family of the deceased. The Raleigh Register and Fayetteville Observer will please copy and send bill to the Wilmington Journal office.”

On Mar. 12, 1864, a motion was made and carried that all monies in the hands of the Secretary and Treasurer belonging to the Lodge be funded in four per cent bonds of the Confederate States.

Furney G. Simmons, father of United States Senator Furnifold M. Simmons, who was living here at that time, was initiated in the Lodge Mar. 29, 1864.

On Sept. 10, 1864, a committee consisting of William A. Allen, William Farrior, and G. W. Lamb, offered this resolution: “Whereas we have heard with pain and regret that our young and esteemed brother, George Cooper, a gallant and patriotic soldier of Co. A, 43rd Regiment, N. C. T., and a beloved and respected member of this lodge, departed this life on the 27th day of May, last, in General Hospital No. 3, Richmond, Va., from the effects of a wound received in a skirmish with the enemy on the 24th, of the same month near Hanover Junction. Therefore, Be it Resolved, That in the death of our brother, this lodge has lost another of its patriotic and devoted members, a companionable and pleasant associate, masonry an ardent friend, the community in which he lived an enlightened and generous-hearted citizen, and the country one of its best soldiers, cut off in the full vigor and bloom of manhood, full of life and the prospect of bright and happy days before him, sealing his devotion to the cause of republican government with his life's blood.

“Resolved, that we tender to the deceased's family our warmest sympathy and condolence in their said bereavement. Their great consolation should be that he died in the full discharge of patriotic duty, nobly battling for the right of his country.

“Resolved, that as a testimony of our high regard and esteem for our departed brother the members of this Lodge be requested to wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.

“Resolved, that these proceedings be spread upon the records of this Lodge and communicated by the Secretary to the bereaved family of the deceased and a copy of the same be furnished to the Wilmington Journal with the request that they be published.”

On Dec. 27, 1864, “Bro. H. Grimes presented his bill for expenses as delegate to the Grand Lodge amounting to $162.50 ordered to be paid” (Confederate Money).

At a meeting on May 13, 1865, “The petition of Bro. J. Q. McGowan asking admission as member of this Lodge—being a member in good

standing in Stonewall Jackson Military Lodge, No. 13, Georgia, proceeded to ballot and he was duly elected a member of this Lodge.”

On July 7, 1866, a committee composed of T. S. Kenan, T. S. Watson and W. B. Middleton, offered this resolution: “Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God, by the interposition of His all-wise Providence, to remove from us our friend and brother, Captain Edward Southerland, a member of this Lodge, who died the 30th of September, 1865.

“Therefore, Be it Resolved, that in the untimely death of our brother, we recognize the Power of Him, in whose hands alone are the issues of life and death; And while we bow with humble submission to His decree, we shall ever cherish in our hearts those sentiments of esteem and friendship, with which the life and character of our deceased brother have impressed us.

“Resolved, That in his premature death, our fraternity has been bereft of a truly devoted member, and our country, in defense of which, he has so often, and so bravely periled his life, as one of its truest soldiers, has lost a citizen, whose career of usefulness had comparatively just begun, and whose prospects for long and happy life were so flattering.

“Resolved, That we tender our warmest sympathies to the relations and friends of our deceased brother—and that we wear the usual badge of mourning in respect to his memory.”

On Sept. 7, 1867, “A petition from Bros. J. J. Ward, W. N. Ellsworth, James W. Boney, D. T. McMillan, J. C. McMillan, J. E. Fussell, John W. Peterson, Jos. Sells, E. T. Pigford, and J. J. McMillan asking this Lodge to recommend their petition to the Most Worshipful Grand Master of North Carolina for a dispensation to open and hold a Lodge at Teachey's Depot—this Lodge having satisfied itself of the efficiency of the officers named in said petition, do recommend to the said Most Worshipful Grand Master to grant their prayer of the petition.”

On Dec. 19, 1871, at the request of the family the Lodge conducted a Masonic funeral for Thos. J. Kinnear, a non affiliate.

The Lodge was deeded to Brother W. B. Middleton in 1873 due to fact that the members were not able to pay debt on the building.

In 1873 there were seventy-four members of Warren Lodge, No. 101.

The Lodge was purchased from Brother W. B. Middleton in 1875.

During 1882 the Lodge became dormant again.

In 1897 the following made application to the Grand Lodge for the restoration of the Charter of Warren Lodge, No. 101: Isaac B. Kelly, Albert F. Williams, James M. Archer, Jas. W. Blount, S. O. Middleton, T. M. Lee, B. C. Bowden, Henry C. Moore, D. J. Middleton, L. Hussey, J. D. Stanford and J. D. Southerland.

On May 3, 1897, Walter E. Moore, Grand Master, issued dispensation restoring to Warren Lodge, No. 101, its Charter, jewells, books, furniture and all property to which it was entitled at the same time of forfeiture of Charter.

By virtue of the foregoing dispensation the brethren therein named met in their hall in Kenansville on the 21st day of May, 1897, and organized by electing the following officers: T. M. Lee, W.M.; James W. Blount, S.W.; J. D. Southerland, J.W.; S. O. Middleton, Treasurer; A. F. Williams, Secretary. The Worshipful Master then appointed the following officers, viz.: James M. Archer, S.D.; I. B. Kelly, J.D.; B. C. Bowden, Tyler.

At a special communication of the Lodge Dec. 16, 1897, the following visiting brethren were present; C. B. Aycock (later Governor of North Carolina); I. G. Lee, and A. J. Harvell from Wayne Lodge, No. 112, Goldsboro; H. E. Faison, Hiram Lodge, No. 98, Clinton; and J. C. McMillan of Rehoboth Lodge, No. 279, Rosehill.

Aug. 21, 1903, the Lodge donated $15.00 to Warsaw Lodge. (This was just after the organization of the Warsaw Lodge.) Members who demitted to form Warsaw Lodge were: H. G. Owens, E. J. Hill, S. A. Strickland, D. E. Best, J. A. Powell, H. S. Boyette, J. F. Bell and S. R. Bowden.

On Nov. 21, 1911, the following resolution was adopted: “Resolved, that permission is hereby given Rehoboth Lodge, No. 279, A.F. & A.M., at Teacheys, N. C., to move their Lodge to Rosehill, N. C.”

Warren Lodge became dormant again in 1918, and was reorganized as Warren Lodge, No. 639, in December, 1919.

On February 17, 1919, the Grand Lodge of N. C., met in Special Communication in Kenansville and instituted Warren Lodge, No. 639, and installed the officers.

Grand Officers were as follows: M.W. Henry A. Grady, G.M.; R.W. J. E. Williams, D.G.M.; R.W. J. L. Nelson, S.G.W.; R.W. R. D. Johnson, J.G.W.; R.W. Geo. R. Ward, G. Treasurer; R.W. E. D. Williams, Grand Sec.; R.W. C. D. Chesnutt, Grand Chaplain; J. L. Nelson, Grand Lecturer; W. H. Williams, S.G. Deacon; W. G. Kornegay, J.G. Deacon; J. E. Westbrook, Grand Marshall; N. B. Grady, G. Sword Bearer; Rufus Stroud, G. Pursuivant; J. J. Bowden, G. Steward; S. R. Chesnutt, G. Steward; and W. D. Terry, Grand Tiler. All officers were serving pro tempore except the M.W. Grand Master and Grand Tiler.

The officers of the new Lodge were: A. F. Williams, W.M.; H. D. Williams, S.W.; N. B. Grady, J.W.; M. F. Westbrook, Treasurer; J. J. Bowden, Secretary; W. G. Kornegay, S.D.; C. D. Chesnutt, J.D.; W. F. Smith and S. R. Chesnutt, Stewards; Henry W. Dail, Tiler.

A district meeting was held with our Lodge Oct. 26, 1926, with District Deputy Grand Master L. Southerland, of Wallace, presiding.

During the Masonic year 1922-23 permission was given Beulaville Lodge to get a Charter.

The Ninth District meeting was held with our Lodge Dec. 3, 1931, which was presided over by one of our members, Brother D. M. Jolly, D.D.G.M. After Brother Jolly's death in 1932, Brother James E. Jerritt was appointed to fill out his unexpired term as District Deputy Grand Master, and served another term the next year.

At the Grand Lodge meeting in 1932 our old number, 101, was restored to us. Representatives to the Grand Lodge this year were: G. V. Gooding, J. L. Williams and F. W. McGowen.

During the year 1931-32, mainly through the efforts of our Worshipful Master, Dr. G. V. Gooding and Brother James J. Bowden (former Register of Deeds and Tax Collector of Duplin County), the Lodge repurchased the old Lodge Hall from the heirs of Brother S. O. Middleton, who had come into possession of it. The building was renovated and repaired and the Lodge entered into a new era of progress. Those contributing to the fund with which to repurchase and renovate the building were as follows: G. K. Aldridge, J. E. Jerritt, W. E. Belanga, D. F. McGowen, S. L. Ferrell, I. C. Burch, G. V. Gooding, J. O. Stokes, F. W. McGowen, A. R. Chesnutt, D. S. Williamson, J. B. Wallace, F. J. Baars, J. W. Shaffer, J. L. Williams, J. J. Bowden, C. E. Quinn, L. D. Dail, S. B. Hunter.

The lower floor of the building was let to the Woman's Club to be used for a Community building.

In 1933 Victory Lodge, No. 642, Pink Hill, N. C., with permission of the Grand Lodge, consolidated with Warren Lodge, No. 101, the officers of Warren Lodge, No. 101, remaining as the officers of the consolidated Lodge. The following members were received from Victory Lodge: J. F. Tyndall, B. B. Holder, O. A. Gardner, W. R. Gooding, F. D. Gooding, W. J. Grady, R. P. Holt, S. W. Harper, W. G. Kornegay, Thad Kornegay, Alvin Kornegay, H. D. Maxwell, Magnus Outlaw, Marvin Simmons, John Ivey Smith, Albert Smith, G. A. Stroud, M. W. Sutton, J. M. Turner, J. A. Worley, and John F. Southerland.

At the meeting of the Grand Lodge in 1933 in Asheville, our old records were restored to us. Representatives at the Grand Lodge were: G. V. Gooding, J. L. Williams and G. K. Aldridge.

In 1935 the Lodge again resumed the practice of serving dinners once a month before the First Thursday night meetings. This has continued, and has been deemed beneficial in helping to create and hold interest.

Our annual Ladies’ Night and installation of Officers is the First

Thursday in January. The annual picnic is held the First Thursday afternoon in September each year at Maxwell's Mill.

During 1935 the following members of Warsaw Lodge, No. 522 (which had become dormant), became members of our Lodge: R. D. Johnson, R. E. L. Wheelis, B. C. Sheffield, W. E. Hines, Dr. J. M. Williams, John M. Pierce, R. W. Blackmore, A. Brooks, A. L. Humphrey, R. E. Wall, W. E. Taylor, W. A. Blanchard, B. C. Siske, and M. H. Hodges.

At the meeting of the Grand Lodge in 1936, our old name and number, ST. JOHN'S LODGE, NO.13, was restored to us with all of its rights and privileges. The representatives at the Grand Lodge were: G. V. Gooding, W. R. Gooding, J. M. Brock, A. T. Outlaw, R. D. Johnson, A. J. Blanton, and F. W. McGowen.

A district meeting was held here July 30, 1936, H. McN. Johnson, District Deputy Grand Master, presiding.

In 1937 the Lodge sponsored the organization of an Eastern Star Chapter, and Kenansville Chapter, No. 215, was organized with twenty-five members. The Chapter is progressing steadily, having attained the honor of being a Gold Star Chapter for the past two years.

At the meeting of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina in 1938, our Lodge had the honor of exemplifying the Third Degree. The Lodge received special commendation from the Grand Master, Past Grand Masters, Grand Lodge Officers and others present. Brother Percy C. Stott, Assistant Grand Lecturer, coached the Degree Team, which was composed of the following: A. J. Blanton, W.M.; I. C. Burch, S.W.; G. M. Honeycutt, J.W.; J. M. Brock, S.D.; R. C. Wells, J.D.; A. Q. Brinson and J. O. Smith, Stewards; E. C. Newton, Tiler; H. D. Maxwell, Jr., Dempsey Smith, Earl Smith, A. J. Dickson, O. P. Johnson, C. H. Walker, E. A. Howton, L. L. Rogers, P. E. Shoulars, Paul Williams, Jasper Tyndall, W. R. Gooding, J. H. Byrd, Alvin Kornegay. F. W. McGowen gave the lecture.

Dr. G. V. Gooding served as a member of the Oxford Orphanage Committee in 1935 and in 1936, having been appointed by the Grand Lodge.

Our Lodge contributes liberally to the Oxford Orphanage and entertains the Singing Class annually.

F. W. McGowen served as Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1938 and in 1939, by appointment of the Grand Lodge.

In 1940 Twenty-five Year Continuous Service Membership Certificates were presented by Past Master, J. E. Jerritt, to the following: R. G. Maxwell, W. A. Westbrook, J. L. Williams, R. W. Blackmore, Rivers D. Johnson, H. D. Maxwell, Sr., W. R. Gooding, Henry W. Dail,

Dr. J. M. Williams, S. B. Hunter, and S. W. Harper.

During 1940 mainly through the efforts of the Master, G. M. Honeycutt, thirty-seven pictures of Past Masters were secured and placed on the walls of the Lodge.

On January 2, 1941, the Master, J. M. Brock, appointed the following general committee to arrange for our Sesqui-Centennial Celebration, June 25, 1941: J. M. Brock, R. C. Wells, A. Q. Brinson, G. V. Gooding, J. E. Jerritt, F. W. McGowen, W. R. Gooding, O. P. Johnson, E. W. Sadler and D. Y. Hollingsworth. This committee arranged the following program:

SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 1941, 8:00 P. M.


Masonic Sermon by Rev. C. K. PROCTOR

WEDNESDAY, JUNE, 25, 1941, 4:30 P. M.



8:00 P. M.



Address by Governor J. Melville Broughton

Our Lodge metings are well attended and we have a large, active membership. As in the past, the membership includes those of the community who are actively associated with the progress of the country.

As we wear the badge of our Order, we can sing with the Poet Laureate of the Craft:

  • “There's mony a badge that's unco braw,
  • Wi’ ribbon, lace and tape on,
  • Let Kings and Princes wear them a,’
  • Gie me the Master's apron!”

(History of ST. JOHN'S LODGE, NO. 13, A.F. & A.M., Kenansville, North Carolina, 1791-1941, SESQUI-CENTENNIAL, June 25, 1941.)


The Dickson Charity Fund is from money left by Colonel Alexander Dickson under his Will for a free school or schools for the benefit of the poor of Duplin County. Colonel Alexander Dickson was a brother of Colonel William Dickson. Colonel Alexander Dickson was buried in the Routledge Cemetery east of the Town of Kenansville.


. . . “The remaining part of my estate consisting of Harris Cottle, Hogs & Sheep, Household and kitchen furniture, and Plantation Tools of every description and all kinds of crops and Produce are to be sold in the same way as my other Property & the Money arising from the said sales are to be collected by my executors when due as soon as may be. Should there be any Money, Bonds, Notes, or amounts on hand at the time of my death, my executors are to account for them, and after paying out all expenditures, that may have accrued heretofore, or may hereafter accrue, the net proceeds are then to be kept and put by my executors to the use of a Free-school, or schools for the benefit of the Poor of Duplin County.”

Executors named in will: John Dickson (nephew), son of his brother Robert Dickson, deceased, living at Blockers Ferry, Cumberland County, and Joseph McGowen (nephew), son of William McGowen, deceased.

The will was dated: June 19, 1813.

Witnesses to the Will were: Stephen Graham and William Mallard.

(Duplin County, Clerk of Court's Office—Record of Wills “A,” Pages 95, 96, and 97.)

The Audit Report of the County Board of Education for the year ending June 30, 1927, states: “We understand that this fund was originally $10,000.00, while we were able to locate $7,688.55 of Assets.”

It is understood that with the Court's permission about $1,500.00 of the original amount of the fund was used for a monument at the grave of Colonel Alexander Dickson.

The County Board of Education and the Board of County Commissioners serve as joint-trustees of the fund.

For years and years the money was loaned, and the interest received was deposited in the public school fund.

About twenty-five years ago the trustees of the fund decided to add the interest collected on investments of the fund to the principal thereof, and to make loans from the fund to worthy college students to assist with their education. The loans have to be secured, and are payable beginning twelve months after the student finishes college. The interest rate on these loans has been four per centum per annum payable at maturity.

The trustees in setting up the fund for loans to worthy college students felt that all elementary and high school students would have the opportunity to graduate from high school in the public schools of the county.

The annual Audit Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1969, showed the following assets and Liabilities for the Dickson Charity Fund: Assets—Cash $1,486.66, Certificates of deposit $6,300.00, other inyestments $5,000.00, Total $12,786.66; Liabilities: Fund Balance $12,786.66.

(County Audit Report June 30, 1969.)


The Motto of Liberty Hall was and still is: “He who enters this open gate, never comes too early, and never stays too late.”

Liberty Hall, the ancestral home of the Kenans, located in Kenansville, has been given to the County of Duplin.

The house and several acres of land plus $5,000 to start organizing plans has been donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Kenan of Durham. The transfer by deed was made to the Duplin County Commissioners and the Duplin County Board of Education about a month ago.

The Sarah Graham Kenan Foundation has contributed the bulk of the funds to restore the home to its original beauty and to maintain it. Tentative plans are to make of the home a Museum and Library. The original furniture is to be restored and it is to be decorated as it was in the period 1800-1840. The grounds are to be restored as they were in Colonial times.

Liberty Hall and the Kenan Family have been tied with the history of Duplin County and Kenansville since the middle of the 18th century. The town of Kenansville was named for the family.

The home has not been occupied for many years. It was owned for the past many years by Col. Owen Kenan until his death in Wilmington in 1964. At that time the ownership went to Thomas S. Kenan, III, Owen G. Kenan, and James G. Kenan, III, from whom Frank H. Kenan purchased the property. (Col. Owen Kenan was the last living survivor of the Lusitania ship disaster.)

Liberty Hall was the scene of the fabulous wedding of Mary Lily Kenan to Henry Morrison Flagler in August of 1901. The Hall is steeped with history of the Kenan family who have been noted for their interest in their native state and in particular, education.

The philanthropist, Frank H. Kenan, said, “I have given the home where Mary Lily Kenan and Henry M. Flagler were married to the county to use in the manner in which they desire to preserve it.”


A committee has been named to work with Mr. Tom S. Kenan III on plans to restore Liberty Hall to be used as a library and museum.

The committee is Mrs. Rachel Witherinton Stroud of Faison, Mrs.

Henry L. Stevens, Jr., of Warsaw, R. Vivian Wells of Kenansville, Honorable Howard H. Hubbard of Clinton, and Mrs. Ruth Atkins Jones of Clinton. Working with this committee will be O. P. Johnson, Superintendent of Schools and F. W. McGowen, County Auditor.

The committee has been asked to meet on Thursday morning with Mr. Tom S. Kenan who will represent the Kenan family on the commission. At this meeting plans will be made and work will begin soon.


The following resolution was adopted by the Board of County Commissioners and the Board of Education on Monday, January 4:

Whereas, Honorable Frank H. Kenan has deeded to Duplin County and the Board of Education of Duplin County two tracts of land in the Town of Kenansville as described by Deed recorded in Book 600, Page 574, of the Public Registry of Duplin County; and

Whereas, Liberty Hall is located on the first tract mentioned in said deed and was given as a museum, library or for similar purpose, and the second tract was given for a park or playground purposes, and in preserving the historical significance of Liberty Hall; and

Whereas, Liberty Hall has been the birthplace and home of many prominent members of the Kenan family, from which family the Town of Kenansville takes its name, and which is a landmark of great historical interest as the property of one of the early families and settlers of Duplin County; and

Whereas, Honorable Frank H. Kenan desires to restore Liberty Hall, making it into a museum, and to endow it so as to preserve it as a memorial to the Kenan family; now

Therefore, Be it resolved by the Board of Commissioners of Duplin County and the Board of Education of Duplin County in joint meeting on Monday, January 4, 1965, that the sincere appreciation and thanks of both boards is hereby expressed to Honorable Frank H. Kenan for this gift and for his interest in restoring Liberty Hall. Putting it back into its original state for a museum as he has indicated will make it a most fitting and lasting memorial to the Kenan family, one of the most prominent families of Duplin. We can vision this as one of the outstanding historical attractions of Eastern America.

Be it Further Resolved, that in accordance with the wishes of Mr. Kenan the Liberty Hall Historical Commission is hereby created, and the following persons are appointed as members of said commission:

Thomas S. Kenan, IIIR. Vivian Wells
Mrs. Rachel Witherinton StroudO. P. Johnson
Mrs. Henry L. Stevens, Jr.Judge Howard H. Hubbard
Mrs. Ruth Atkins Jones

It is recommended that the commission meet at an early date and organize.

Be it Further Resolved, that a copy of this Resolution be spread upon the minutes of the Board of County Commissioners; a copy spread upon the minutes of the Board of Education of Duplin County, and a copy mailed to Honorable Frank H. Kenan as a testimonial of the sincere appreciation and thanks of both boards.

This the 4 day of January, 1965.

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF DUPLIN COUNTY (s) J. W. Hoffler, Chairman. ATTEST: (s) Christine W. Williams, Clerk. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF DUPLIN COUNTY (s) William F. Dail, Chairman. ATTEST: O. P. Johnson, Secretary.

(Duplin Times, 1-14-65.)

The first Liberty Hall was built by Thomas Stephen Kenan in the late 1730's. The home was located on what was called the Turkey Branch Plantation near the present town of Turkey, N. C. Thomas Kenan was the first Kenan to come to this country and he sailed from Ireland in 1736 and landed in Wilmington, N. C., that same year. Thomas Kenan lived on this plantation until his death in 1766. His wife, Elizabeth Johnson Kenan, continued to live at the old place until her death in 1789, at which time it passed to their son James Kenan, and it was this son who named the home Liberty Hall due to the many political meetings and gatherings that took place there during this period of American History. General James Kenan took an active part in civic and military affairs of Duplin County. He was a member of the Colonial Assembly in 1773 and 1774 and of the Provincial Congress in 1774, 1775 and 1776; Chairman of the Duplin Safety Committee and the Wilmington Committee. He was a member of the North Carolina State Senate for nine consecutive terms; a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1788 and 1789, and was one of the original Trustees of The University of North Carolina. He was also Chairman of the Committee of the Whole on Ratification of the United States Constitution.

This first Liberty Hall was furnished with many pieces brought over from England and also contained several American pieces and in particular a few choice North Carolina pieces. This home burned to the ground prior to 1800, however many of the furnishings were saved. General Kenan died in 1810 and is buried on what was the Turkey Branch Plantation. His son, Thomas S. Kenan, II, had a large plantation called Lochlin located several miles east of Wallace, N. C., and there was a handsome home on this property; however, it too was destroyed by fire.

In the late 1700's Thomas S. Kenan built the present Liberty Hall in Kenansville. In 1833 he and his wife, the former Mary Rand of Raleigh and their two youngest children moved to Selma, Alabama, where he died in 1860. Owen Rand Kenan, son of Thomas and Mary Kenan moved into Liberty Hall when his father moved to Selma. He called the home Liberty Hall after his great grandfather's home in Turkey. Owen Kenan made some structural changes in the home by attaching the old kitchen on the rear of the house and by adding two porches on the north and south side of the house. Owen Kenan married Sarah Rebecca Graham and they had four children: James Graham Kenan, William Rand Kenan, Annie D. Kenan, and Thomas S. Kenan. Owen Kenan was made a Major during the War Between the States, and Liberty Hall escaped harm though Northern Troops were in the immediate area.

Maj. Owen Kenan died in 1887 and Liberty Hall was left to his unmarried daughter, Annie D. Kenan, who continued to live there during her lifetime. At her death she left the old place to her niece, Mary Lily Kenan, who had married Henry Morrison Flagler in 1901 in Liberty Hall. This wedding was certainly the most significant social event to take place in Duplin County. Henry M. Flagler had founded the Standard Oil Company with John D. Rockefeller and later set out to develop the East coast of Florida and in doing so he became the largest property owner in Florida.

This wedding attracted international attention and well known people from various parts of the country attended. The wedding party and guests arrived at Magnolia, N. C., via private train and then proceeded to Kenansville in horse drawn carriages. The marriage vows were said in the parlor at Liberty Hall in the presence of the bride's immediate family consisting of her parents, her sister, Sarah Graham Kenan and Jessie Kenan Wise, and her brother, William R. Kenan, Jr.

Mrs. Flagler deeded Liberty Hall to her first cousin, Col. Owen Hill Kenan. Col. Kenan visited the old place frequently until his death in 1964 at which time he left the place to his three great nephews, Tom, Owen, and James Kenan.

In 1965 Mr. Frank H. Kenan, a nephew, bought the property and deeded it to the Board of Education and Board of Commissioners of Duplin County to be used as a museum. In 1965 the Liberty Hall Restoration Commission was formed and plans for restoring the mansion were formulated.

The restoration of Liberty Hall has been a long drawn out affair but with the outstanding cooperation and work done by Mr. William Boney, A. I. A., of Wilmington as consulting architect, and by Mr. Robert Herring of Rose Hill, contractor, the restoration became a reality.

The interior work of Liberty Hall was under the personal supervision of John E. Winters of New York City, and the fabrics and wall papers were created from early documents by the well known New York firm of Brunchwig and Fils under the personal direction of Mrs. Roger Brunchwig.

The furnishings in Liberty Hall are identified by markers. Some of the pieces were from the original Liberty Hall and others were acquired as time went on. The Restoration Commission is especially indebted to the Kenan family for several important loans, to Mr. and Mrs. George E. London of Raleigh for the loan of many beautiful early North Carolina pieces, and to Mr. John Kalmar for the loan of some important North Carolina pieces.

The Restoration Commission has tried to re-create Liberty Hall as it looked just prior to the Civil War. The periods of furniture will start from 1736 and run up to 1850. The decorative items will also vary much in dates.

The plan of Liberty Hall denotes strength and order. There is a large T shaped hall on the first and second floor. As one enters Liberty Hall through the main entrance, he sees the parlor on the left and the living room on the right. Both of these rooms are formal in treatment.

Directly opposite the front door is the formal winter dining room. To the left of this room is the Library and office where the master of the home carried out his business. To the right of the winter dining room is the larger summer dining room, which is the only major room that contains no fireplace. The pantry opens off this room and then the kitchen is approached through a covered breezeway. The wine cellar is directly below the kitchen and the pantry.

On the second floor there are four bedrooms, all connecting to a spacious hall.

All wood used in construction is heart pine with the exception of the main stair rail which is of Walnut.

(By Thomas S. Kenan, III.)

Kenans Were Honored at Luncheon

“Not for destruction, but for preservation,” pronounced Mrs. Dan K. Moore, summing up Saturday's celebration officially opening Kenansville's proud new showplace, Liberty Hall.

Guest speaker at a community luncheon honoring the Kenan family held at Kenan Memorial Auditorium, the North Carolina Governor's wife declared it was pleasant in the present time of war to come to a place of quiet peace

Liberty Hall, an historic ante bellum mansion, was renovated by the Kenan family and given to Duplin County.

“The Kenans, who immigrated to America about 1736, were one of the greatest families ever to come to North Carolina,” Mrs. Moore said.

“Truly this family has helped build the United States and more important to us, North Carolina. They have frequently led and never hesitated to follow. The Kenans have always shared with their fellow man.”

Mrs. Moore expressed appreciation to Thomas S. Kenan III of Durham, N. C., chairman of the Liberty Hall Restoration Commission, and to his family for their gift. Thomas Kenan had shown an interest in the preservation not only of his ancestral home, but also of the Executive Mansion at Raleigh, she said.

“For more than 200 years, the Kenan family has taken its place in North Carolina in religious, educational, medical, and legal fields, and it will continue its role of leadership,” said Judge Howard Hubbard, Judge of the Superior Court. During two centuries, Kenans had contributed continuously to the growth of this country.

“The Kenan family has a strong strain of blood and brains,” Judge Hubbard said, “and I am old-fashioned enough to believe that good blood has told and will tell.”

“Liberty Hall will be a source of pride, pleasure and education to the people of the community and to all who visit it,” Judge Hubbard concluded.

Identifying himself as the brother of the oldest living Kenan and the father of the youngest (his 13-month-old daughter Lisa), Frank H. Kenan of Durham thanked the ladies of Kenansville for the delicious luncheon they prepared.

“As you go through Liberty Hall, you will get a good idea of Southern hospitality, which is known the world over,” he said. “We have an interest in things of beauty and an appreciation for them.”

“It is heartwarming to see the number of people who came to the opening and we hope will all return frequently to Liberty Hall,” Thomas S. Kenan III said.

He expressed his thanks to: his father, Frank H. Kenan; to the Sarah Graham Kenan Foundation; to the Flagler Foundation, founded by Mrs. Jessie Kenan Wise and represented at the luncheon by Lawrence Lewis, Jr., of Richmond; to the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, represented by Trustee John L. Gray, Jr., of Connecticut; architect William Boney of Wilmington; contractor Robert B. Herring of Rose Hill; Brunschwig and Fils, represented by Mrs. Murray Douglas of New York; John E. Winters of New York, Interior consultant; Mr. and Mrs.

John N. Kalmar of Faison, who loaned furnishings; and to members of the Liberty Hall Restoration Commission, especially vice-chairman O. P. Johnson and secretary F. W. McGowen.

“It has been a labor of love for us and we've enjoyed every moment of it,” declared Mr. Johnson, chairman of the luncheon meeting.

Vance B. Gavin, senior member of the Duplin County Bar Association, presented a watch to Thomas Kenan, as a token of community appreciation for his efforts in presenting Liberty Hall to Kenansville.

“While Kenansville had no keys to the city to give, Mr. Kenan, always remember you have the key to our hearts,” Mr. Gavin said.

Grace before the meal was spoken by Rev. Lauren R. Sharpe, pastor of the Kenansville Baptist Church.

During the luncheon, the ghost of Thomas Kenan, the first of the family to settle in this area, delivered a humorous sketch of the Kenan history. He was played by Tony Rivenbark of Warsaw, a student at Wilmington College.

Afterwards Mrs. Moore cut a scarlet ribbon across Liberty Hall's entrance porch and prayer was given by Bishop Thomas Wright of Wilmington. The Kenan family members and their special guests toured the mansion, filling it with laughter and chatter as they reminisced among themselves and admired the elegant furnishings.

Flowers throughout the house were contributed and arranged by the Warsaw Garden Club. Boy Scouts from the Kenansville Troop No. 50 directed traffic at the house and at the Memorial Auditorium.

The Warsaw Garden Club also provided floral decorations for the head table at the luncheon. Their unusual arrangements of ripe strawberries and yellow rosebuds set in berry boxes drew admiring comments.

Convenors for the luncheon were O. P. Johnson and F. W. McGowen, with Mrs. Mae Spicer, Duplin's extension home economist agent, in charge of the menu. Kenan family members and their special guests numbered 300 and another 200 townspeople sat down to the meal.

The townspeople contributed 30 baked hams, 125 fried chickens, 1,500 hot biscuits (of the Southern take-two-and-eat-them-while-they're-hot style), 50 pies, 30 cakes, four bushels of candied sweet potatoes, 500 deviled eggs, 100 quarts of string beans and butter beans, peach pickles, beet pickles, cucumber pickles, tea, coffee, and milk.

(Duplin Times-Progress Sentinel, May 16, 1968.)


Miss Mary Lily Kenan was the daughter of Captain William Rand Kenan, a Confederate officer, and Mary Hargrave Kenan of Chapel Hill.

She attended Peace Institute in Raleigh, and was considered an accomplished musician and singer.

She had many friends. While visiting the Pembroke Jones family in St. Augustine, Florida, she met Henry Morrison Flagler.

At seventy-one, Flagler had become a formidable figure in finance. He was one of the founders of the Standard Oil Company, and the Florida East Coast Railroad. His fortune at this time was estimated at one hundred and fifty million.

Flagler was impressed by Miss Kenan, who was described as “graceful, charming, beautifully dressed, and elegant.” He was divorced from his second wife.

After their courtship the marriage plans were announced.

Liberty Hall, ancestral home of the Kenans, looked especially lovely that late August morning in 1901, as it awaited “the wedding.”

Always a showplace, the house glowed from the work of plasterers, painters, decorators, and gardeners during the past two months.

The house had been completely refurbished from roof to cellar under the direction of the owner, James Graham Kenan. Shutters were painted dark green. The house was given a coat of white paint.

Inside, rose Chinese silk wall paper covered dining and drawing room walls; rare Aubosson and Savoronne rugs were placed on the floors. Large vases of roses were set in corners.

The only items left untouched by the workmen had been the family heirlooms gathered over the decades by the first Kenan who came to America in 1736.

The house was ready for what would later be described as the “most glittering occasion in Duplin County history,” the marriage of Mary Lily Kenan to multi-millionaire, Henry Morrison Flagler.

In an upstairs bedroom the bride-to-be dressed slowly in her white chiffon gown.

The ecru silk, trimmed in rare lace, delicate as a flower, had taken her seamstress months to create.

Mary Lily at thirty-four was well traveled, educated, and talented—the intellectual and social equal to her fiancé.

She was a descendant of one of North Carolina's oldest and most prominent families.

From a window Mary Lily could see the guests arriving on the new road that Flagler had had constructed from Magnolia past the front of the house.

His private railroad car, “The Rambler,” had traveled from New York to Wilmington the previous day, carrying dozens of friends and a fifteen-piece orchestra.

The train had made the fifty-five mile trip from Wilmington to Magnolia in one hour, adding more excitement to the festive atmosphere.

The creaking and jingling of harness in the drive and also the tuning of instruments in the drawing room warned Mary Lily that guests were arriving.

Many Duplin County residents had offered their coaches and horses for the transportation of guests from the train station.

Mary Lily looked again into the mirror, and placed the veil of ancient lace, trimmed in orange blossoms, on her hair.

Someone tapped on the door; she picked up her bouquet of white Orchids and Lillies of the Valley.

After several minutes the orchestra played the wedding march as the bride descended the stairs, escorted by her father. Louise Wise, a niece, was the flower girl and the only attendant.

Flagler looked impressive in his black Prince Albert coat and light colored trousers. In the background, the bride saw among friends and relatives, Mr. and Mrs. William R. Kenan, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Graham Kenan, and Mrs. Jessie Kenan Wise, brother and sisters to the bride.

After the ceremony, a wedding breakfast consisting of turkey, ham, roast pork, caviar, cakes, ices, and champagne was served.

The bride left her ancestral home that afternoon. She and her husband left from Magnolia for the Flagler summer estate on Long Island.

En route the husband presented his bride with a necklace of oriental pearls worth five hundred dollars, and three million dollars in cash and bonds.

Eight months after the wedding the couple moved into the new bridal home, “Whitehall,” at Palm Beach, Florida. It is a tremendous structure that cost two million, five hundred thousand dollars to build, and one and one-half million to furnish.

Henry Morrison Flagler was the son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Caldwell) Flagler of near Hopewell, N. Y. He stands out as a significant figure in American history. He was the father of Miami. It had given very little promise of growth until the Standard Oil magnate touched it with his magic millions. For all his business insight, he possessed a strong sense of human values. He had already built hospitals, helped finance schools, built the magnificent memorial Church in St. Augustine, and contributed to many churches of all denominations before his interests focused on Miami. There he donated land and money for public school construction, land and money for Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic churches, land for public buildings and parks, and helped settlers establish themselves.

(He died in May, 1913, leaving an estate valued at more than one hundred million dollars. The bulk of his fortune was left to his wife in a trusteeship which provided one hundred thousand dollars a year and the residence, “Whitehall” at Palm Beach, and Flagler's New York City realty. After the trust expired and all other bequests were made, she was to inherit the balance of the vast estate. Properties included the entire East Coast Railway System, the hotels Ponce de Leon, Alcazar, Cardova, Continental, Royal Palm, Royal Poinciana, Breakers, and other stock in the Peninsula and Occidental Steamship Company, Standard Oil, and other corporations, vast tracts of valuable Florida lands, many small manufacturing plants, and other enterprises.)

(Today, the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, “Whitehall,” is open to the public daily except Mondays. But in the early 1900's, only the socially elite received invitations to the stately functions there.)

(The Star-News, May 1, 1966, and The Kenan Family by Alvaretta Kenan Register.)


Frank H. Kenan, who donated the Old Kenan home and grounds in Kenansville for a museum and library, has recently contributed $12,235.75 for acquisition of additional furnishings of the house.

Several items of furniture have been added to Liberty Hall. These items have been selected to complement the fine old pieces that are original to the house.

Seven Hogarth engravings hang in the upstairs hall. Some beautiful and rare mirrors are located in strategic spots throughout the house. These are highly sophisticated examples. Other pieces are located where they were needed.

Even those guests who have already visited Liberty Hall will desire to revisit this restoration to view the many new additions.

Liberty Hall has been restored with grants made by Frank H. Kenan, Sarah G. Kenan Foundation, Flagler Foundation, and the William Rand Kenan Charitable Trust. This is one of the nicest restorations in eastern America.

It is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 A. M. to 4:30 P. M., Sunday 2:00 P. M. to 4:30 P. M. Closed on Monday.

(Duplin Times Progress Sentinel, Sept. 3, 1970.)


At least one Wilmington resident will recall May 7 each year with

a shudder, because it was on May 7, 1915, that he was a victim of the German torpedoing of the HMS Lusitania.

The passenger on the ill-fated vessel at that time was Dr. Owen Hill Kenan, philanthropist and retired medical doctor of 111 South Third Street.

Dr. Kenan was one of the 1,959 persons on board the vessel as it sank off the coast of Ireland on the afternoon of May 7, 1915. Of the number of passengers and crew, 1,198 were drowned.

After remaining as a patient for several weeks at a Queenstown hospital, Dr. Kenan went to Paris. He later entered the French army and fought with it until America's entry into the conflict in 1917, then he entered the American army and served until the Armistice in 1918.

Sister Recalls Disaster

The retired physician was in Florida when this article was prepared and was not available for comment. However, his sister, Miss Emily H. Kenan, recalled this week that her brother had a hard time of it after being in the icy water, exposed for so long after the Lusitania was sunk.

The luxury British liner, Lusitania, left New York at noon on the first of May, 1915, despite published notices of the German government that the ship would be attacked if she made the trip.

By the 7th of May the Lusitania had entered what was called the “danger zone,” where the German submarines were lurking. At 2:10 p.m., when 10 to 15 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, the weather being clear and the sea smooth, the captain heard the call, “There is a torpedo coming sir,” given by the second officer.

He looked to the starboard and saw a streak of foam in the wake of the German torpedo. Immediately afterwards the giant steamer was struck on the side somewhere between the third and fourth funnels.

Vessel Not Armed

The Lusitania, on being struck, took a heavy list to the starboard and in less than 20 minutes she sank in deep water. Eleven hundred and ninety-eight men, women and children were drowned.

The German government said the Lusitania was equipped with masked guns, that she was supplied with trained gunners, with special ammunition, but these statements were proved untrue. The ship was unarmed and she was transporting only innocent men and women with their children.

The Lusitania was a turbine steamship built by John Brown and Company

of Clydebank, in 1907, for the Cunard Steamship Company. She was built under Admiralty Survey and in accordance with the requirements of that agency.

Her length was 775 feet, her beam 88 feet, and her depth 60 feet 4 inches. Her tonnage was 30,395 gross and 12,611 net. Her engines were 68,000 h. p. and her speed 24½ to 25 knots. She had 23 double-ended and two single ended boilers situated in four boiler rooms. . . .

(The Star-News, 5-3-53.)


When the Wilmington and Weldon railroad was completed in 1840, Warsaw was a station and was known as Mooresville. The name was later changed to Warsaw, having been taken from the book Thaddeus of Warsaw which was being popularly read at that time. A post office was established here about this time to replace an earlier post office at the Old Duplin Courthouse. Mooresville had been a stop on the old Fayetteville-New Bern stage road. In 1849, a stock company was chartered by the State to build a plank road from Fayetteville to Warsaw by the way of Clinton. The plank road was completed in the 1850's and Plank Street in Warsaw is on the extension of this plank road which was begun in the direction of New Bern but was never completed. The toll gate in Warsaw was near the old Dr. Hussey home. . . .

. . . In 1886, the Warsaw-Clinton branch of the Wilmington and Weldon railroad was built on the bed of the old plank road. . . .

. . . The toll gate of the old plank road was located on Lisbon Street. The section of the plank road between Clinton and Fayetteville was never completed. . . .

(By Claude H. Moore, from L. A. Beasley's Scrapbook.)


. . . An issue of the old Wilmington News, dated August, 1838, carried the following story: “The Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad is now open to the depot at Mrs. Teacheys 42 miles north of Wilmington, and the cars will run regularly to that point. Within three weeks ten more miles will be thrown open to travelers. The bridge across Neuse River is ready for laying down the iron and every hour diminishes the distance to be traveled over the stages.” . . .

Another news report, dated February, 1839, is as follows: “We regret having been unable to attend the big celebration in Waynesboro on February 22, in connection with the completion of the railroad between Wilmington and Waynesboro. This is an important event and will mean much to the development of the State. Farmers near Waynesboro are now shipping their hogs and produce to Wilmington and the shipment is less than a day in transit.” Old Waynesboro here referred to was


Duplin County


Lord Dupplin's Castle in Scotland


The Spring in Kenansville


James Sprunt Institute (Old)


Country Scene in Duplin—By W. Dallas Herring


Old Farm Well


Going to Mill on the Horse and Cart


Hog Killing Time in Duplin—First Part of Twentieth Century


Mending (Cobbling) Shoes


Duplin County's Bi-Centennial Celebration

on the Neuse River just southwest of the present city of Goldsboro. By March, 1840, the railroad was fully completed all the way between Wilmington and Weldon. . . .

(Duplin Times, Sept. 16, 1949.)

The Raleigh and Wilmington Railroad, from the Roanoke River to Wilmington, was incorporated in 1833. The company was organized in March, 1836. This work was commenced in October, 1836, and finished in March, 1840, at a cost of $1,500,000. Six hundred thousand were subscribed in the stock by the State; and by act of 1840, the State endorsed the bonds of this company for $300,000, a part of which she has paid. The repairs of the road in 1850, increased the cost to another million. Gen. McRae, President.

(Historical Sketches of North Carolina From 1584 to 1851, By John H. Wheeler, Published in 1851, Page 136.)


The parent road of the Atlantic Coast Line, the Wilmington & Weldon, was opened to traffic on March 9, 1840. At that time, the Wilmington & Weldon was the longest railroad in the world. It extended 161 miles from Wilmington, N. C., almost completely across the State of North Carolina, to Weldon, at the head of navigation on the Roanoke River and near the Virginia line.

In 1840, there were 2,200 miles of railroads in the United States. In that year it became possible for passengers to reach Charleston, S. C., from New York by rail in 66 hours; from Baltimore, Md., in 42 hours; quicker than could be done by boat.


Railroad travel in those days was at the rate of about 12 miles an hour, including stops. Railroads were not connected and passengers, on reaching the terminals, walked from one train to another.

Although the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad dates its beginning to the Wilmington & Weldon, which was, for those days, part of a through system, the earliest in point of time of the more than 100 short disconnected railroads which later became a part of the Atlantic Coast Line was the short Petersburg Railroad chartered in 1830. This railroad ran 59 miles almost straight south from Petersburg, Va., to Weldon, N. C. It began operations over a part of the line in October, 1832.

This railroad ran on tracks of yellow pine on top of which were attached iron straps, one half inch by two inches, and secured by cross ties of white oak, 12 inches in diameter.

When the Wilmington & Weldon was opened, it was the first time a train of cars had been pulled continuously as far as 161 miles on a railroad. Bells were rung, 161 shots from cannons were fired, one for each mile of the line, and a barbecue was given for 550 persons.

With the completion of the Wilmington & Weldon, an important north and south route was established. Passengers going north from Wilmington took the train at Weldon for Petersburg, over the Petersburg Railroad. From Petersburg they took the Richmond & Petersburg Railroad to Richmond, a distance of 23 miles Then at Richmond they again changed cars and took the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac to the North. . . .

. . . On April 21, 1900, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company of South Carolina, the Wilmington & Weldon, the Norfolk & Carolina, and other railroads were sold to and merged into the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company of Virginia, which then changed its name to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company.

(Mr. L. A. Beasley's Scrapbook.)


The Atlantic & Carolina Railroad was chartered from Warsaw to Kenansville on March 30, 1914, the incorporators meeting and organizing the corporation at Bowden, N. C., on April 21, 1914. The incorporators were A. R. Turnbull and William J. Jones of Norfolk, Va.; T. A. Hefty, Bowden, N. C.; R. D. Johnson, Warsaw, N. C.; and H. D. Williams and L. A. Beasley, Kenansville, N. C. All present. A. R. Turnbull, President of Rowland Lumber Company, who furnished the money to build the railroad and owned the majority of the stock, was elected President of the Railroad, which position he held until his death. Wm. J. Jones was elected Secretary, the other six incorporators being made directors of the road. L. A. Beasley was elected General Counsel holding that position until the road was sold to the Atlas Plywood Corporation of Boston, Massachusetts, in 1931.

Beasley was instrumental in getting the railroad organized, and without his efforts there probably would have never been rail service into Kenansville. He drew up and secured the charter; secured the rights of way, many of them taken in his own name; performed all legal services for the road; and got a special act through the legislature authorizing an election in Kenansville Township for a $10,000 bond issue to aid in building the road. When held, this election was duly carried, no man in Kenansville or in the eastern part of the Township voting against the bond issue. There were very few adverse ballots cast at all.

In that day there were no improved roads in Duplin County, all roads

being worked by hand with local overseers. The road to Magnolia was so sandy that for most of the time it took two hours for making the trip with a team, and the roads to Warsaw were so crooked and sandy that few Model T's growled along in low gear thru the sand and mud. The haulers of freight plodded along with light loads drawn by mules and oxen. The nearest hard surface road of any length was probably the famous Shenandoah Valley Pike from Staunton Northward in Virginia. (This was the road over which General Stonewall Jackson's men rolled locomotives in the War between the States.) One prominent Duplin farmer, Andrew J. Pickett, was heard to remark that during the first year of the railroad, he saved enough in freight cost to pay his entire extra tax caused by the bond issue. Hundreds of car loads of fertilizer and other freight were hauled each year, and hundreds of passengers carried. In the peak of this service the passenger fares amounted to as much as $4,000 and freight returns to as much as $10,000 annually. The passenger service between Warsaw and Kenansville was twice daily, and for a great part of the time the United States Mail was carried over the road.

This sketch of Kenansville railroad history would be incomplete without a word about Captain J. E. Jerritt who has been connected with the Atlantic & Carolina since its first trains began to run over its tracks. He and his father were near neighbors of Mr. Turnbull who brought them south when he came, putting the younger Jerritt in charge of operating the road, handling the office work as well as acting as conductor for many years. He continued to act as General Manager of the road as long as Mr. Turnbull lived, continuing in the same capacity after it was sold to Atlas Plywood Corporation. One of the county's leading citizens recently said, “Mr. Jerritt is the most popular and beloved man in Kenansville, and liked by all who know him. He is praised by his wide circle of friends and railroad acquaintances of the larger roads as a most capable and efficient railroad operator, and a splendid citizen.”

Mr. Turnbull was a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and one of the finest, most affable, and ablest of men who ever came from the North to cast his lot with the South. He owned and managed a million dollar lumber company, and worked until he died in 1926 in Norfolk, Va.

(L. A. Beasley's Scrapbook.)


Beulaville was first known as Snatchet. Charter: Pr. 1915, C. 378; Pr. 1925, C. 16. Present Officials (1969): Leon Lanier, Mayor; Commissioners: Joe Edwards, Roland Edwards, Grady Mercer, Jr., Ricky Lynn Thomas, Mervin Whaley; Town Clerk: Mrs. J. W. Smith.

Bowdens. Charter: Pr. 1911, C. 155 (not now functioning as a town.)

Calypso. Charter: Pr. 1913, C. 264, Pr. 1915, C. 298. Present Officials (1969): B. C. Albritton, Mayor; Commissioners: Norwood Barfield, M. J. Lambert, Jr., Cecil Langley, E. B. Sutton, James Wolf; Town Clerk: Glanton Barwick.

Faison was first known as Faison Depot, a village that sprang up about 1833. Charter: Pr. 1872, C. 125; Amended Pr. 1901, C. 324, Pr. 1923, C. 235. Present Officials (1969): J. E. Andrews, Jr., Mayor; Commissioners: Curtis C. Cates, L. D. Groome, L. S. Guy, Jr., William Igoe, Charles E. Sauls; Town Clerk: Mrs. Hazel Kelly.

Kenansville was laid out in 1818. It was named for General James Kenan, and is in the Golden Grove Settlement. Charter: Laws of N. C. from 1805 to 1816, C. XXXIV, Session 1850-51, C. CCCXVIII, Session 1852, C. CCVIII, Session 1858, C. 216, Session 1879, C. 73, Session 1899, C. 174, Session 1905, C. 2. Present Officials (1969): Dixon Hall, Mayor; Commissioners: William P. Fennell, John Hall, Leo Jackson, Philip Kretsch, Lauren Sharpe; Town Clerk: Preston Holmes.

Magnolia was first known as Stricklandsville. Charter: Re-enacted Pr. 1869, C. LXXVII, Pr. 1905, C. 174. Present Officials (1969): Dr. Corbett L. Quinn, Mayor; Commissioners: Fred Archer, H. Melvin Pope, James A. Powell, Charlie J. Thomas, Millard Williams; Town Clerk: Mrs. N. T. Pickett.

Rose Hill was first known as Rosehill, and since 1961, Rose Hill. Charter: Pr. 1901, C. 67, Pr. 1903, C. 284, Pr. 1905, C. 400, Pr. 1909, C. 81. Present Officials (1969): Ben Harrell, Mayor; Commissioners: Clarence Brown, Samuel H. Carr, Felton Rackley, Dennis Ramsey, Merritt Watson; Town Clerk: C. T. Fussell, Jr.

Teacheys: Charter: Pr. 1903, C. 199, Pr. 1905, C. 173, Pr. 1919, C. 148, C. 253, Session Laws of 1957. Present Officials (1969): Mrs.

J. T. Ramsey, Mayor; Commissioners: George Brown, James Henderson, Ray MacMillan, Dan Norris, Herbert Tucker; Town Clerk: Mrs. Lois Henderson.

Wallace was first known as Duplin Roads. Charter: Pr. 1899, C. 211, Corporate limits Pr. 1931, C. 120. Present Officials (1969): T. J. Baker, Mayor; Commissioners: Harry Carlton, Charles C. Farrior, Steve W. Gowan, Thomas Covington Townsend, James E. Wells; Town Clerk: Luther Powell.

Warsaw was laid out in 1838. It was originally called Duplin Depot, changed to Mooresville, and then to Warsaw. Charter: Pr. 1861, C. 179, Pr. 1885, C. 91, Pr. 1899, C. 250, Pr. 1909, C. 197, Pr. 1911, C. 364, Pr. 1915, C. 228, Pr. 1917, C. 100, Pr. Ex. 1920, C. 77. Present Officials (1969): J. Ed Strickland, Mayor; Commissioners: Cecil Bostic, Dr. Mett Ausley, W. E. Foster, Larry P. McCullen, W. C. Tew; Town Clerk: Alfred Earl Herring.

Albertson and Chinquapin are unincorporated communities with Post Offices.

Some of the other unincorporated communities in the County are as follows: Baltic, Beautancus, Cabin, Carlton, Cedar Fork, Charity, Concord, Cypress Creek, Duplin Fork, Fountain, Friendship, Hallsville, Hadley, Herrings Crossroads, Kornegay, Leon, Lyman, Maready, Outlaws Bridge, Pin Hook, Potters Hill, Quinns Store, Red Hill, Register, Sarecta, Scotts Store, Sloan, Summerlin, and Tin City.


Organized April 23, 1854

Miss Macy Cox, 84-year-old Magnolia civic and religious leader, has always manifested a great deal of interest in the history of this section. She found the original manuscript of the records of the organization and the early years of the Duplin County Agricultural Society some years ago among the many books in her possession. The manuscript includes a wealth of old Duplin family names and Miss Cox has worked long and hard to have this book published so that all Duplinites and others interested in the history of this section may have access to it.


A portion of the citizens of Duplin County, North Carolina, taking into consideration the imperfect system of culture and other agricultural and domestic pursuits in this county, have assembled at the courthouse in the town of Kenansville on the 23rd day of April, A. D. 1854, and after consultation and reflection conclude to associate together for the purpose of improvement within our borders and which association shall be known as the Duplin Agricultural Society and for the proper regulations of the said Society, we adopt the following as our Constitution.


Article 1—Resolved that our association shall be known and styled as the Duplin Agricultural Society and that every respectable citizen shall be allowed to participate with us who shall comply with the By-Laws and regulations of this society.

Article 2—Resolved to have a president, two vice presidents, one corresponding and one secondary secretary and a treasurer who shall be elected annually by ballot as the officers of this society and in all meetings of the society the president (when present) shall preside unless he requests one of the vice presidents to do so who shall discharge the duties of the chair and to the president or the vice presidents all complaints shall be made against the society or any of its members.

Article 3—Resolved to hold quarterly meetings of the society at the courthouse in Kenansville on the first Saturday of every County Court Month and more often if deemed advisable for the transaction of any business. Any twelve members of the society shall constitute a quorum for said purpose.

Resolved that the following By-Laws shall form a part of the above Constitution and shall be observed by the members of the society.


Every member shall subscribe and pay over to the treasurer the sum of one dollar to entitle him to membership and shall also contribute annually the sum of one dollar to defray the expenses of the society. . . .

Resolved that there shall be annual exhibition at Fairs of this society held at such time and place as shall be agreed upon in meeting and such exhibitions shall be conducted according to directions of the officers of the society.

Resolved that whenever another change is proposed in the foregoing Constitution or By-Laws notice shall be given in meeting of said proposed change three months previous to the making of said alteration.


After the above Constitution and By-Laws were adopted, the society proceeded to the election of officers for the year 1854. Jeremiah Pearsall was elected president, Owen R. Kenan and James Dickson vice presidents, Stephen M. Grady, corresponding secretary, Issac B. Kelly secondary secretary and D. Needham W. Herring, treasurer.


The following are the names of the members of the society which is copied as they were signed to the paper that started by Jeremiah Pearsall on the 17th of October, 1853:

Isaac B. Kelly, Jesse Swinson, John Bennette, Harper Williams, Unoh Herring, James G. Stokes, Owen R. Kenan, David Southerland, John I. McGowen, William W. Miller, Stephen M. Grady, Clarborne J. Oates, Alfred Houston, Holsted Bowden, William J. Kornegay, John B. Hupy, David Williams, Curtis C. Oates, John C. Mallard, James Pearsall, Henry C. Kornegay, N. W. Herring, George W. Middleton, James Dickson.

William B. Middleton, C. McMillan, Bryan W. Herring, Lebb Middleton, John A. Bryan, Jere Pearsall, David J. Southerland, Gibson Carr, William B. Southerland, David Reid, Grady Outlaw, James B. Curt, John W. Gilliespie, James R. Hurst, Edward Pearsall, Robert J. Pearsall, Stokes Wells, Henry E. Rhodes, George L. Best, E. J. Middleton, Thomas

Hall, Briant Smith, Jr., Joseph W. James, James E. Ward, James Hall, James G. Branch, Howell Best, John W. Boney, John J. Whitehead, James H. Jerman.

James M. Grady, Hugh Maxwell, Robert D. Sloan, N. B. Whitfield, C. J. Houston, John D. Abernathy, Jesse P. Jordan, Henry H. Hodges, Stephen Herring, Benj. F. Cobb, Edward W. Houston, I. J. Sprunt, Thos. J. Carr, J. T. R. Miller, Almon Holmes, Henry James, Osborne Carr, Alesie A. Grady, Major J. Taylor, Stephen M. Henry, Dickson Mallard, A. G. Mosely, John D. Carroll, William D. Pearsall, Joel Lofton, William W. Farrior, Blaney Williams, Stephen Graham, William R. Ward, John M. Chartin.

Boney Wells, Jr., Henry R. Kornegay, William L. Johnson, James Alderman, William Farrior, D. C. Moore, John Smith, Thomas Hill, Francis Williams, William E. Hill, Alfred Hollingsworth, Isaac W. West, J. D. Carr, John Dobson, A. T. Stanford, C. W. Graham, Alsa Southerland, Patrick Merritt, William J. Houston, Albert R. Hicks, David F. Chambers, John Carr, James W. Blount, Isaac Brown.


On Thursday and Friday the 15th and 16th days of November, 1860, the seventh annual fair of the Duplin Agricultural Society was held at the fair grounds near Kenansville.

The weather being very favorable, a larger assembly was collected than was known on a previous occasion. The fair was a complete success. R. H. Cowan of Wilmington delivered a most excellent address, who was introduced to the vast crowd assembled by William E. Hill, Esqr., after which the reports of the different committees on premiums were read from the stand by Maj. O. R. Kenan which were as follows:


Best acre of Up Sano Corn (79½ bushels)—G. Boney—$4.00. Second best acre—(66 bushels)—John Carr—$2.00. Third best acre—(58½ bushels)—J. R. Ezzell—$1.00.

Best acre wheat—(24 1/10 bushels) E. Pearsall—$2.00.

Best acre cotton—(1800 bushels)—J. T. Shine—$4.00.

Best bale cotton—C. D. Hill—$3.00.

Best sample Seco Corn—Daniel K. Kornegay—.25. Second best—Robert H. Farlow—Diploma. Third best—Daniel T. Boney—Diploma.

Also fine samples of Seco Corn were exhibited by J. G. Kelly, O. R. Kenan, David Green, S. A. Merriman, David J. Middleton, Stephen Herring, Henry J. Johnston and Benjamin Oliver.

Best sample wheat—Daniel Kornegay—.25. Second best sample wheat—Edward Pearsall—Diploma.

Best sample rye—J. B. Kelly—.25. Second best sample— D. J. Middleton—Diploma. Fine samples were exhibited by J. B. Kelly and Jeremiah Pearsall.

Best sample oats—J. C. Mallard—.25.

Best sample field peas—Daniel K. Kornegay—.25.

Best sample cotton—Benjamin Oliver—.25.

Best sample potatoes—Stephen Herring—.25. Second best sample—William B. Middleton—Diploma. Third best sample—J. B. Kelly—Diploma. Fine specimen were also exhibited by H. J. Johnston and B. Oliver.

Best specimen turnips—David M. Pearsall—.25. Second best—J. B. Oliver—.25. Third best—J. Callalland—Diploma. Also fine specimen were exhibted by D. K. Kornegay, James Garrason, Jeremiah Pearsall, J. D. Carroll, John H. Pearsall, George M. Clamma, H. Bowden, D. Mallard, William E. Hill and Thomas Hall.

Best specimen beets—George A. McClammy—.25.

Best specimen pumpkins—Thomas Hall—.25. Second best—O. R. Kenan—Diploma.

Best specimen squash—David Brown—.25.

Best specimen Japanese Pu Melon—S. Gillespie—.25.

Best specimen watermelon—John Q. McGowen—.25.

Best specimen collards—Jeremiah Pearsall—.25.

Best specimen peanuts—George A. McClammy—.25.

Best specimen fruit trees—R. W. Middleton—.25.

Best specimen apples—Dickson Mallard—.25. Second best—Jere Pearsall—Diploma. Other fine specimen were also exhibited by H. Bowden, Benjamin Oliver and Maj. Lizzie Pearsall.

Best specimen dried apples—Mrs. H. Bowden—.25. Second best—Mrs. Linda Carr—Diploma. Third best—Mrs. C. D. Hill—Diploma. Fourth best—Mrs. Stephen Herring—Diploma.


Best bacon hams—George W. Middleton—$5.00. Second best—H. Bowden $4.00. Third best—John Green—$3.00. Fourth best—Edward Pearsall—$2.00. Fifth best—Benjamin Oliver—$1.00. Other fine specimen were also exhibited by Jere Pearsall, John Q. McGowen, J. J. Whitehead, L. A. Merriman and William N. Williams which were considered highly meritorious.

Best lot pickled pork—Mrs. Linda Carr—$3.00. Second best lot—Mrs. Jere Pearsall—$2.00. Third best lot—Mrs. George A. McCammy—$1.00.

Other fine specimen were exhibited by Mrs. John A. Bryan, Mrs. Linda Carr, G. W. Middleton, W. W. Whitehead and John Carr.

Best specimen butter—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—$1.00. Second best—Abner M. Faison—.50. Third best—Thomas Hall—.25. Fourth best—David M. Pearsall—Diploma.

Best specimen corn meal—H. Bowden—$1.00. Second best— William B. Middleton.

Best specimen soap—Mrs. G. W. Middleton—$1.00. Second best—J. B. Kelly—Diploma. Third best—John A. Bryan—Diploma.

Best specimen candles—Mrs. R. S. Stanly—.50. Other specimen of candles were exhibited by Mrs. W. Middleton, Mrs. J. B. Kelly and Mrs. Stephen Herring.

Best specimen starch—Mrs. D. J. Middleton—.25. Second best—Mrs. John A. Bryan—.25.

Best crab apples—Mrs. J. M. Sprunt—.50.

Best quince preserves—Mrs. W. W. Whitehead—.50.

Best cherry preserves—Mrs. Thomas Hall—.50.

Best apples preserves—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—$1.00. Second best—Mrs. John Green—.50.

Best peach preserves—Mrs. R. J. Pearsall—$1.00. Second best—Mrs. Jere Pearsall—.50. Third best—Mrs. J. M. Sprunt—Diploma.

Best watermelon—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—$1.00. Second best— Mrs. Thomas Hall—.50. Good specimen were also exhibited by Miss Nancy Cobb and Mrs. Daniel K. Kornegay.

Best citron—Mrs. Jere Pearsall—$1.00. Second best—Mrs. G. W. Middleton—.50. Third best—Mrs. R. J. Pearsall—Diploma.

Best pears—Mrs. J. M. Sprunt—$1.00. Second best—Miss Lizzie Pearsall—.50.

Best apple jelly—Mrs. R. J. Pearsall—.50. Second best—Mrs. David M. Pearsall—.25. Fine specimen were also exhibited by Mrs. Dickson Mallard, Mrs. J. B. Kelly, Mrs. D. A. Moore and Miss Nancy Cobb.

Best grape jelly—Mrs. R. J. Pearsall—.50. Second best—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—.25. Third best—Mrs. Jere Pearsall—Diploma.

Best quince jelly—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—.50.

Best peach jelly—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—.50.

Best persimmon jelly—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—.50.

Best brandy peaches—Mrs. John J. Whitehead—.50. Second best—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—.25. Good specimen were also exhibited by Mrs. R. J. Pearsall and Mrs. W. W. Whitehead.

Best brandy whartelberries—Stephen Herring—Diploma.

Best sweet pickles—Miss Alma Faison—.50. Second best—Mrs. John A. Bryan—.25. Third best—Mrs. Thomas Hall—Diploma.

Best black berry wine—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—.50. Second best—Mrs. G. W. Middleton—.25. Third best—Mrs. J. B. Cobb—Diploma.

Best wild grape wine—R. M. Middleton—.50. Second best—Mrs. Jere Pearsall—.25. Third best—Mrs. G. W. Middleton—Diploma.

Best strawberry wine—Mrs. B. Oliver—.50.

Best scuppernong wine—Mrs. D. M. Pearsall—.50. Second best— Mrs. James B. Carr—.25. Good specimen were also exhibited by Mrs. R. J. Pearsall and R. M. Middleton.

Best tomato wine—Mrs. Jere Pearsall—.50.

Best cider wine—James B. Carr—Diploma. Second best— Mrs. Jere Pearsall—.50.

Best cider—Mrs. H. Bowden—Diploma.

Best raspberry cordial—Mrs. N. W. Herring—.50.

Best sugar cane syrup—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—.50.

Best raspberry vinegar—Mrs. J. B. Cobb—Diploma.

Best cider vinegar—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—Diploma.

Best sour pickles—Mrs. R. J. Pearsall—$1.00. Second best—Mrs. Jere Pearsall—.50. Third best—Miss Lizzie Pearsall—.25.

Best pound cake—Mrs. C. D. Hill—.50. Second best—Miss Kate Kelly—.25. Third best—Mrs. H. Bowden—Diploma.

Best jelly cake—Mrs. R. J. Pearsall—.50.

Best gold and silver cake—Mrs. D. K. Kornegay—.50.

Best sponge cake—Mrs. D. K. Kornegay—.50.

Best silver cake—Mrs. W. W. Faison—.50.

Best marble cake—Mrs. W. W. Faison—.50.

Best fruit cake—Mrs. R. J. Pearsall—Diploma.

Best citron pie—Mrs. G. W. Middleton—.50.

Best potato pie—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—.50. Second best—Mrs. H. Bowden—.25.

Best homemade candy—Miss Kate Kelly—.50.

Best corn bread—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—.50.

Best corn pound cake—Mrs. S. B. Winden—.50. Second best—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—Diploma.

Best biscuits—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—.50. Second Best—Mrs. H. Bowden—.25.

Best potato rolls—Mrs. R. J. Pearsall—.50.

Best sugar cake—Mrs. H. Bowden—.50.


Best vest pattern—Mrs. J. W. Outlaw—$1.00. Second best—Mrs. Stephen Herring—.50. Fine patterns were also exhibited by Mrs. P. G. Cook and Mrs. J. W. Outlaw. They received diplomas.

Best coat pattern—Mrs. Stephen Herring—$2.00. Second best—Mrs. H. J. Johnston—$1.00. Third best—Mrs. Solomon Hall—.50. Fine specimen were also exhibited by Mrs. Daniel Bowden, Mrs. John Green, Mrs. John A. Bryan and B. Oliver. They each received a diploma.

Best pants pattern—Mrs. J. W. Outlaw—$2.00. Second best—Mrs. J. W. Outlaw—$1.00. Third best—Mrs. J. W. Outlaw—.50. Other fine patterns were also exhibited by Miss Nancy Cobb, Mrs. Stephen Herring, Mrs. John A. Bryan, Mrs. B. Oliver, Mrs. J. W. Outlaw, Mrs. Martha Frederick and Mrs. D. J. Middleton. They each received a diploma.

Best made pants—Mrs. D. A. Moore—.50.

Best N. C. Casimine—J. B. Kelly—$2.00.

Best carpeting (homemade)—Mrs. Thomas Hall—$1.00.

Best checks—Mrs. J. W. Outlaw—.50.

Best ladies’ homemade robes—Mrs. J. W. Outlaw—.50. Two other fine patterns by Mrs. J. W. Outlaw—Diploma.

Best dress pattern—Mrs. Dolly Edwards—$1.00. Second best—Mrs. Martha Frederick—.50. Other fine patterns were exhibited by Mrs. Stephen Herring, Mrs. R. S. Stanly and Mrs. John Green. They each received a diploma.

Best wool socks—Mrs. B. Oliver—.50. Second best—Mrs. B. Oliver—Diploma.

Best wire grass hat—G. W. Middleton—.50.

Best bed quilt—Miss Dolly Moore—$4.00. Second best—Miss Eliza Southerland—$3.00. Third best—Miss Ann E. Kenan—$2.00. Fourth best—Mrs. Eliza Southerland—$1.00. Fifth best— Mrs. T. W. Boney—.50.

A white quilt—Miss Sarah Hawes—$1.00.

A silk quilt composed of 3474 pieces—Mrs. D. W. Jones— $1.00. Other very handsome quilts by Mrs. T. W. Boney, Mrs. Jere Pearsall, Mrs. H. B. Hurst, Mrs. Daniel T. Boney, Mrs. J. W. Outlaw and Miss Ann E. Kenan. They each received a diploma.

Best woolen counterpane—Mrs. J. W. Outlaw—$2.00. Second best—D. K. Kornegay—$1.00. Third best—Mrs. D. A. Moore—Diploma. Fourth best—Mrs. James Kornegay—Diploma. Other very handsome counterpanes were exhibited by Mrs. D. A. Moore, Mrs. John A. Bryan, Mrs. Daniel Bowden, Miss Mary Southerland, Miss Eliza Southerland, Mrs. Solomon Hall, 2 by Miss Martha Frederick, 2 by Mrs. C. B. McGowen and Miss Martendale. They each received a diploma.

Best cotton knit counterpane—Mrs. D. W. Jones—$2.00. Second best—Miss Emma F. Williams—$1.00.

Best cotton woven counterpane—Mrs. A. M. Faison—$2.00. Second best—Mrs. John A. Bryan—$1.00. Third best—Mrs. Thomas Hall—Diploma. Fourth best—Mrs. J. W. Outlaw—Diploma. Other very handsome

counterpanes were exhibited by Mrs. Daniel Bowden, 2 by Miss Martha Frederick, 2 by Mrs. Abner Faison, Mrs. D. K. Kornegay, Mrs. J. C. Mallard, Mrs. J. W. Outlaw, Mrs. James Kornegay, Mrs. Solomon Hall and Miss Martendale.

Best bed spread—Miss Martha Frederick—.50. Second best—Mrs. Daniel Bowden—.25.

Best bed valance—Mrs. J. C. Mallard—Diploma.

Handsome worked table cover—Miss May Spear—.50. Best pan ottoman covers—Mrs. D. M. Pearsall—.50. Second best—Miss May Spear—.25. Third best—Miss E. F. Williams—Diploma.

Best sofa pillow—Miss Em. F. Williams—Diploma.

Best tidy (thread)—Mrs. James E. Hall—.25.

Best tidy (cotton)—Mrs. James E. Hall—.25. Second best—Miss Malissa Boney—Diploma. Third best—Miss Emma Pearsall—Diploma. A very handsome wonted tidy by Miss J. Stallon—Diploma.

Best pincushion—Mrs. C. D. Hill—Diploma. Second best—Mrs. C. V. Devane—Diploma.

Best child's embroidered dress—Mrs. C. D. Hill—$2.00. Second best—Miss Catherine Frederick—$1.00. Third best—Mrs. John D. Southerland—Diploma.

Best misses embroidered dress—Miss Nancy Cobb—$2.00.

Best needle worked collar—Miss Lizzie Dickson—$2.00. Second best—Miss Nancy Cobb—$1.00. Third best—Mrs. D. M. Pearsall—Diploma. Fourth best—Miss Dolly Moore—Diploma.

Best jaconet embroidery—Miss Almera Faison—.50. Second best—Miss Cordena Faison—.25. Third best—Miss Alice Dickson—Diploma.

Needle worked pantleletts—Miss Martha Frederick—.25.

Ladies’ tape worked skirt—Miss Sue Beaman—.50.

Needle worked cape—Miss Nancy Cobb—.50. Fine specimen of various kinds of needle work were exhibited by Miss Mary Black, Mrs. N. W. Herring, Miss Fanny Jones, Mrs. Abner Faison, Mrs. T. B. Kelly, Mrs. C. V. Devane, Miss Fanny Russell and Mrs. J. W. Outlaw.

Best tidies (zephyr work)—Miss C. Sprunt—.25. Second best—Miss Kittie Farrior—Diploma.

Best shawl (zephyr)—Miss Eugenia Hussey—.25.

Child's embroidered sack—Miss Mary J. Newall—.50.

Best zephyr undersleeves—Miss Kate S. Kelly—.25. Second best—Miss Betty Middleton—Diploma. Third best—Miss Bettie Farrior—Diploma.

Zephyr head dress—Bettie Middleton—.25.

Zephyr necklace—Miss Ann Bryan—Diploma.

Zephyr watch case—Bettie O. Pearsall—Diploma.

Zephyr Ottoman cover—Miss Vic. Dickson—Diploma.

Ottoman—Mrs. R. J. Pearsall—Diploma.

Infant's bonnett—Mrs. A. T. Stanford—.50.

Best crochet collar—Miss Mary S. Bortick—Diploma. Second best—Miss Lucy Pearsall—Diploma.

Best lamp mats—Mrs. C. D. Hill—Diploma. Second best—Miss Me. E. Kenan—Diploma. Third best—Miss Mary A. Kenan—Diploma. Fourth best—Mrs. J. B. Kelly—Diploma. Fifth best—Miss Mary Bundy—Diploma.

Shell box—Mrs. A. M. Faison—Diploma.

Silk nite cap—Miss Virginia Beasley—Diploma.


Best oil painting—Mrs. William B. Jones—$1.00.

Best crayon drawing—Mrs. William B. Jones—$1.00.

Best oriental—Miss Alice Dickson—Diploma. There were other paintings by Mrs. W. B. Jones and two paintings by Miss S. Miller. They received diplomas for these.

Best vase of flowers—Miss C. Sprunt—$1.00. Second best—Miss Isabella Sprunt—Diploma.


Best N. C. made buggy—Dibble & Brothers—$3.00. Second best—Dibble & Brothers—$1.00.

Best rockaway buggy—Dibble & Brothers—Diploma.

Mr. Dibble & Bros. and George A. Newell, Esqr., exhibited a number of fine carriages, rockaways and buggies of superior quality of Northern manufacture.

Best 2-horse N. C. made coulter—Giles Clute—$2.00.

Best N. C. made plow—P. T. Cook—$2.00. Second best—R. H. Farlow—$1.00. Third best—H. Bowden—.50.

Best 2-horse plow (N. C.)—John C. Mallard—1.00.

Best singletree (NC)—R. H. Farlow—.50.

Best pair horse hames (NC)—R. H. Farlow—.50.

Best pea dropper (NC)—George T. Bennett—$3.00.

Best corn and cotton cultivator (NC)—George T. Bennett—$3.00.

Best 4-horse wagon (NC)—William B. Middleton—$2.00.

Best horse cart (NC)—R. H. Farlow—$2.00.

Best ax helve—George W. Middleton—.25.

Best N. C. amo leather—G. A. Newell—$1.00. Second best—G. W. Middleton—.50.

Best wash machine—John A. Bryan—$3.00.

Best key basket—W. Dickson Carr—.50.

Best pair N. C. boots—John P. Wallace—$1.00.

Best set single buggy harness—George A. Newell—$2.00.

Best drawing knife—Ephraim Boney—.50.

Best round saw—Ephraim Boney—.25.


Best stallion—O. R. Kenan—$4.00.

Best brood mare—C. D. Hill—$4.00. Second best—Jere Pearsall—$3.00. Third best—John H. Carr—$2.00. Fourth best—Stephen Graham—$1.00. Fifth best—William B. Middleton—Diploma.

Fine brood mares were also exhibited by R. B. Carr, D. T. Boney, D. C. Moore, D. J. Middleton, W. W. Whitehead, J. J. Whitehead, G. T. Lofton, Abner M. Faison and William E. Hill.


Best 1 year old colt—Ward Kornegay—$2.00. Second best—Everil Herring—$1.00.

Best 2 year old colt—M. J. Faison—$2.00.

Fine colts were also exhibited by R. B. Carr, D. C. Moore, J. C. Mallard, Abner M. Faison, Davis Cottle and R. K. Williams.

Best mare and colt—D. C. Moore—$2.00.

Best mule and colt—William E. Hill—$2.00.

Best pair mules—E. J. Faison—$2.00. Second best—R. J. Pearsall—$1.00. Third best—D. C. Moore—Diploma.

Best jack—D. C. Moore—$2.00.

Also fine mules were exhibited by George McClammy and William E. Hill.


Best pair carriage horses—E. H. Stanley—$2.00. Second best—Dr. R. W. Ward—$1.00.

Fastest pair horses (time 2 min. 56 sec.)—J. P. Cobb—$2.00.

Best family horse—Dr. R. W. Ward—$2.00. Second best— C. Patrick—$1.00. Third best—W. W. Whitehead—Diploma.

Best trotter under saddle (2 min. 54 sec.)—John Barden—$2.00.

Best trotter in harness (2 minutes 56 seconds)—Edward Southerland—$2.00. Second best—(2 minutes 59 seconds)— John Barden—$1.00. Third best—(3 minutes 47 seconds)—W. W. Whitehead—.50.

Best pacing horse (2 minutes 47 seconds)—S. S. Carroll—$2.00. Second best—(2 minutes 48 seconds)—George W. Lamb—$1.00.


Best Devon bull—William A. Faison—$3.00. Second best—A. M. Faison—$2.00.

Best Durham Bull—William E. Hill—$3.00. Second best— William B. Middleton—$2.00.

Best graded bull—C. D. Hill—$3.00. Second best—William E. Hill—$2.00.

Best Durham and Devon—D. K. Kornegay—$2.00.

Best Durham bull yearling—A. M. Faison—$1.00.

Best native bull and heifer—D. C. Moore—$2.00.

Best native bull calf—J. B. Kelly—$1.00.

Best Durham cow and calf—M. J. Faison—$3.00.

Best Devon cow and calf—A. M. Faison—$3.00. Second best— D. K. Kornegay—$2.00. Third best—William A. Faison—$2.00.

Best Devon cow and twin calves—M. J. Faison—$2.00.

Best Devon heifer—William A. Faison—$2.00. Second best—A. M. Faison—$1.00.

Best Aireshire heifer—William A. Faison—$2.00.

Best Durham heifer—William A. Faison—$2.00. Second best—William A. Faison—$2.00.

Best native heifer—D. M. Pearsall—$2.00. Second best—D. C. Moore—$1.00.

Best bull, cow and calf—M. J. Faison—$2.00.

Best milch cow—D. K. Kornegay—$5.00. Second best— A. M. Faison—$4.00. Third best—D. C. Moore—$3.00. Fourth best—M. J. Faison—$2.00. Fifth best—William E. Hill—$1.00. Sixth best—M. J. Faison—.50. Seventh best—D. C. Moore—Diploma.

Best yoke oxen—A. M. Faison—$3.00.

Very fine cattle were also exhibited by David Brown, George W. Middleton, and William Dickson Carr.


Best lot large hogs (6)—D. C. Moore—$3.00. Second best lot—(7)—William B. Middleton—$2.00. Third best—(17)—J. B. Kelly—$1.00.

Pages lost here. . . .

Best Shanghair chickens—Alfred Hollingsworth—.50. Second best—Alfred Hollingsworth—.50.

Best English ducks—Thomas Hall—.50. Second best—Thomas Hall—.50.

Best Bertham chickens—B. W. Stanford—.50. Second best—Alfred Hollingsworth—.25.

Best pair Tuftid Russian Chicks—D. Mallard—.50.

Four horned native sheep—J. C. McMillan—$1.00.

(Pages lost here from original manuscript.)

(Duplin County Agricultural Society Book on file with the County Board of Education.)

In 1860 there were 84 turpentine stills in the County.


(As Told by Joe Wallace, grandson of Robert Wallace and son of Sheriff Bland Wallace)

In the mid 1800's Robert Wallace cut timber from his land and made rafts to carry barrels of turpentine down Northeast Cape Fear River to Wilmington. Two or more persons went along with each raft to look after it. At night they anchored the raft and cooked and ate. Robert Wallace went to Wilmington by horse and cart and was there when a raft arrived. On one occasion his son, Bland Wallace, was with him because he had been helping with the project and had been promised the cash from one barrel of turpentine. Robert and Bland walked by the side of the cart because they were not traveling on roads but on mere paths. The cart they took along to bring back any purchases they made in Wilmington. Bland's barrel sold for the big sum of $14.00. While he was in Wilmington he went shopping. With that $14.00 he purchased a suit of clothes and a beaver hat. These were his first “store-bought” clothes. His mother had made all of his clothes prior to this time. With these fine new clothes, he was still wearing homemade shoes. He later said that when he got back to Pasture Branch he was a real sport.

When Bland was sixteen or seventeen years old he took an examination and received his certificate to teach school. He taught at a school in Cypress Creek Township in a log building that needed repair. The wind whistled through the big holes between the logs. He was paid a salary of $5.00 per month.

Later when Bland Wallace became sheriff of Duplin County he was paid $300.00 per year. (Out of this he paid his deputy $5.00 per month and furnished him a horse to use on official duties.)

(The Editors.)

21. THE GREAT WAR 1861-1865

North Carolina seceded from the Union on May 20, 1861.


The “Duplin Rifles” (organized at Kenansville in 1859) entered the army in April, 1861, as volunteers, under Thomas S. Kenan, Captain; Thomas S. Watson, First Lieutenant; William A. Allen and John W. Hinson, Second Lieutenants; and was immediately ordered into the Camp of Instruction at Raleigh. It was mustered in for six months, and assigned to the 1st Regiment of Volunteers under Col. D. H. Hill, but as this regiment had more companies than the number allowed by army regulations, the “Duplin Rifles” and “Lumberton Guards” were taken out, and they, with eight other companies, formed the 2d Volunteers by electing Sol. Williams, Colonel; Edward Cantwell, Lieutenant-Colonel; and Augustus W. Burton, Major; the “Duplin Rifles” being Company C.

The regiment was ordered to Virginia in May, 1861, and served in and around Norfolk, without incident, except at Seawell's Point, where a detachment consisting of this and three other companies were subjected to repeated shellings from the long-ranged guns of the enemy. At the expiration of the term of service of the “Duplin Rifles” and “Lumberton Guards” they were mustered out, and the regiment supplied with other companies in their stead.

Upon the return of the company to Duplin County, it was reorganized under a notice dated December 23, 1861, and under the officers whose names appear in the following roll of Company A, 43d N. C. Regiment, and its services tendered in March, 1862, to the authorities for the war. Many of its officers and men formed other companies in Duplin, and likewise entered the Confederate army for the war.


Compiled from Muster-Roll and Memoranda by

Sergeant B. F. Hall

(This company was originally the “Duplin Rifles,” Company C. 2d N. C. Volunteers, and, after the expiration of the term of service of the

latter, was reorganized and ordered to Raleigh and put in the 43d Regiment, which was at that time being formed.)

Kenan, Thomas S., Captain, elected Lieutenant-Colonel March 25, 1862; promoted Colonel April 24, 1862; wounded at Gettysburg July 3, 1863; captured July 4 in ambulance train with other wounded men, and imprisoned on Johnson Island, Ohio; released on parole March 22, 1865, but never exchanged.

Kenan, James G., First Lieutenant, promoted Captain March 25, 1862; wounded at Gettysburg July 1, 1863; captured in ambulance train July 4, 1863; imprisoned on Johnson Island, Ohio; released on parole March 22, 1865, but never exchanged.

Carr, Robert B., Second Lieutenant, promoted First Lieutenant March 25, 1862; wounded at Gettysburg and captured in ambulance train July 4, 1863; died in hospital at Charleston, S. C., about the close of the war.

Hinson, John W., Second Lieutenant, appointed Regimental Quartermaster April 22, 1862; elected Sheriff of Duplin, 1862, and resigned commission in the army.

Bostic, Thomas J., First Sergeant, promoted Second Lieutenant April 22, 1862; slightly wounded at Washington, N. C., April 27, at Bethesda Church May 30, and again at Winchester September 19, 1864; surrendered at Appomattox.

Farrior, Stephen D., Second Sergeant, promoted to Second Lieutenant May 14, 1862; wounded at Cedar Creek October 19, 1864.

Miller, Stephen H., Third Sergeant, killed at Hanover Junction May 24, 1864.

Hall, Benjamin F., Fourth Sergeant, promoted First Sergeant; served in the field with the company during the whole war; engaged in all its battles except the Valley Campaign of 1864, during which he was disabled by sickness; was never wounded; surrendered with the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox.

Brown, Hezekiah, Fifth Sergeant, promoted Sergeant-Major August 1, 1862; promoted Lieutenant Company C., March, 1863; surrendered at Appomattox.

Carr, Joseph J., First Corporal, promoted Sergeant April 22, 1862; killed at Winchester, Va., September 19, 1864.

Brown, Isaac, Second Corporal, lost right arm at Snicker's Gap July 18, 1864, and subsequently discharged.

Brown, John W., Third Corporal, captured at Gettysburg, July, 1863; released after the war.

Carr, James O, Fourth Corporal, captured at Fisher's Hill September 22, 1864; released after the war.

Bass, William H., promoted Corporal April 22, 1862, to fill vacancy

caused by promotion of Corporal J. J. Carr; captured at fall of Richmond, Va.; released after the war.


Barden, Robert W., died at Petersburg, Va., August 11, 1862.

Bass, Lewis U., died in prison at Point Lookout, Md., March 7, ’64.

Bennett, Isaac, killed at Gettysburg July 3, ’63.

Blalock, William B., wounded in hand at Harper's Ferry July 5, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Bostic, Isaac, wounded and captured at Winchester, Va.; subsequently released; at home at close of the war on furlough.

Bostic, John M., discharged October 1, ’62.

Bradshaw, David W., disabled by wound in arm at Hanover Junction, Va., May 24, ’64, and discharged from service.

Brinson, Edward F., Sr., discharged July 15, ’62.

Brinson, Edward F., Jr., captured at Hare's Hill, Va., March 25, ’65; released after the war.

Brinson, Jonas, killed at Charleston August 21, ’64.

Brinson, William, wounded and captured at Gettysburg, July, ’63; exchanged and returned to the army in April, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Brown, James, wounded at Cold Harbor June 2, ’64; captured at Hare's Hill March 25, ’65; released after the war.

Brown, James D., wounded at Bachelor's Creek February 1, ’64; at Drewry's Bluff May 16, ’64, and Winchester September 19, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Brown, Lafayette W., surrendered at Appomattox.

Brown, Lewis U., discharged March 14, ’63.

Bryan, Benjamin B., wounded at Drewry's Bluff May 16, ’64; captured at Fisher's Hill, Va., September 22, ’64; released after the war.

Bryan, William D., captured April 6, ’65, on retreat from Petersburg; released after the war.

Bryan, Wright W., captured April 2, ’65, at Petersburg; released after the war.

Caffrey, Thomas, wounded at Plymouth April 19, ’64, Winchester September 19, ’64; captured at Hare's Hill March 25, ’65; released after the war.

Carr, Marshall D., killed at Fisher's Hill, Va., September 22, ’64.

Carr, Joseph H., captured at Hare's Hill March 25, ’65, released after the war.

Carr, Joseph W., wounded at Snicker's Gap July 18, ’64; disabled for

field duty; detailed on special duty; captured at fall of Richmond, Va.; released after the war.

Carr, William D., killed at Petersburg April 2, ’65.

Carlton, John W., killed at Bethesda Church, Va., May 30, ’64.

Carroll, James G., died at Gordonsville, Va., November 9, ’63.

Carter, James A., captured at Hare's Hill March 25, ’65, released after the war.

Casey, Lemuel, died at Goldsboro, N. C., March ’63.

Cavanaugh, John E., wounded at Hanover Junction May 24, and Snicker's Gap July 18, ’64; captured April 6 on retreat from Petersburg; released after the war.

Chambers, Alex., surrendered at Appomattox.

Chambers, Richard A., killed (or captured) at Winchester, Va., September 19, ’64.

Cooper, George, wounded at Hanover Junction May 24 and died May 27, ’64.

Dail, Stephen B., wounded at Drewry's Bluff May 16, ’64; captured at Cold Harbor, Va., June 3, ’64; released after the war.

Davis, Thomas E., surrendered at Appomattox.

Edwards, Burwell, died at Goldsboro, N. C., January 29, ’63.

Edwards, Edward, died at Goldsboro December 24, ’62.

Edwards, John H., died at Orange Court House, Va., January 1, ’64.

Edwards, John J., died at Wilmington, N. C., July 18, ’62.

Edwards, Lemon R., killed at Snicker's Gap, Va., July 18, ’64.

Evans, Samuel B., captured April 6, ’65, on retreat from Petersburg; released after the war.

Farrior, John W., wounded and captured at Gettysburg; released June 26, ’65.

Forlaw, Robert H., detailed as Quartermaster Sergeant; discharged June, ’63.

Fountain, Jere W., discharged January 12, ’63.

Futrall, Allen, captured April 2, ’65, at Petersburg; released after the war.

Futrall, David, captured April 2, ’65, at Petersburg; released after the war.

Futrall, Nathan, wounded at Hanover Junction May 24, ’64, and died in June, ’64.

Futrall, William, killed at Hanover Junction May 24, ’64.

Grady, Leonidas C., discharged September 1, ’62.

Grady, Stephen H., wounded at Charleston, Va., August 21, ’64, and absent at close of the war.

Grady, L. D. H., killed at Snicker's Gap July 18, ’64.

Grady, Atlas J., died of disease in ’64.

Grady, Lewis J., surrendered at Appomattox.

Grady, R. M. S., wounded near Washington City July 12, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Grady, Thomas N., wounded at Hare's Hill March 25, ’65; captured at fall of Richmond; released after the war.

Grady, William, detailed as shoemaker in Quartermaster's Department in Richmond in ’62.

Grisham, Lewis R., detailed on special duty, March, ’65.

Guy, Alex., wounded at Cold Harbor June 3, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Hodges, Buck L., sick at home at close of the war.

Horne, William H., died at Petersburg Sept. 7, ’62.

Horne, Jesse, surrendered at Appomattox.

Halso, James G., wounded at Winchester September 19, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Jarman, Samuel D., died in Richmond Nov. 21, ’63.

Jones, Amos, captured April 6, ’65, on retreat from Petersburg; released after the war.

Jones, George W., wounded at Gaines’ Mill June 2, ’64, and died a few days later.

Jones, Stephen, died at Orange Court House December 21, ’63.

Jones, Stephen L., discharged May, ’62.

Kenan, William R., left college at Chapel Hill and enlisted on December 13, ’63, and, having been made Sergeant-Major of the regiment, was not entered on the company roll; promoted to Junior Second Lieutenant June 10, ’64, and placed in command of corps of sharpshooters from the left wing of the regiment; wounded at Charlestown, Va., August 22, ’64, and from about November 1, ’64, acted as Adjutant of the regiment; surrendered with the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox.

Kornegay, A. S., wounded at Cold Harbor June 3, ’64, and died during the war.

Kornegay, Benj. T., sick at home at close of the war.

Kornegay, Dudley, captured April 6, ’65, on retreat from Petersburg, and died in prison at Point Lookout, Md.

Kornegay, Hargett, wounded and captured at Gettysburg; subsequently exchanged and returned to the army; wounded at Bethesda Church May 30, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Lanier, Green L., killed at Bunker Hill, Va., September 3, ’64.

Lanier, Jacob S., wounded at Bunker Hill September 3, ’64; captured at Winchester, Va., September 19, ’64; released after the war.

Loftin, Jason W., killed at Snicker's Gap, Va., July 18, ’64.

Matthis, Kedar L., killed near Washington City July 12, ’64.

Maxwell, James D., died at Staunton, Va., July 18, ’63, from wounds received at Gettysburg July 3, ’63.

McGowen, Henry J., died at Petersburg Aug. 10, ’62.

Mitchell, John, transferred to 57th N. C. Regiment March 24, ’64.

Mobley, George S., disabled by wounds received at Charlestown, Va., August 21, ’64, and discharged.

Murray, Robert F., discharged December 18, ’63.

Outlaw, James E., captured at Winchester, Va., September 19, ’64; released after the war.

Outlaw, John E., wounded at Snicker's Gap July 18, ’64; wounded at Cedar Creek, Va., October 19, ’64, and captured; left leg amputated; released after the war.

Outlaw, John H., killed at Snicker's Gap July 18, ’64.

Outlaw, John J., killed at Gettysburg July 1, ’63.

Padgett, George W., wounded at Bethesda Church, Va., May 30, ’64; died from effects of the wound after the war.

Padgett, James L., killed at Gettysburg July 1, ’63.

Padgett, William A., captured; died in prison.

Pate, William R., captured at Winchester, Va., September 19, ’64; released after the war.

Pearce, George W., discharged, May 18, ’62.

Pearsall, Jere J., captured at Fisher's Hill September 22, ’64; subsequently exchanged and returned to the army; surrendered at Appomattox.

Powell, David R., detailed on special duty in North Carolina.

Quinn, Lewis J., wounded at Plymouth April 18, ’64; killed at Charlestown, Va., August 21, ’64.

Rich, Lewis J., wounded at Hanover Junction May 24, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Rogers, Calvin I., wounded at Cold Harbor June 3, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Rogers, John B., died Jan. 29, ’63, at Goldsboro, N. C.

Rogers, William P. D., captured; died in prison.

Sharpless, William J., killed at Gettysburg July 1, ’63.

Simmons, Amos W., captured at Hare's Hill March 25, ’65; released after the war.

Simmons, Frank A., promoted Sergeant May 14, ’62; wounded at Bethesda Church May 30, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Smith, Chauncey G., captured at Gettysburg July 3, ’63; released after the war.

Smith, John E., surrendered at Appomattox.

Southerland, Ransom, at home on sick furlough at close of the war.

Southerland, Robert J., promoted to Sergeant August 1, ’62; captured at Gettysburg July 4, ’63; released after the war.

Stokes, William J., discharged September 9, ’63.

Streets, Boney W., discharged May 12, ’63.

Strickland, Jere, wounded at Harper's Ferry July 5, ’64; surrendered at Appomattox.

Strickland, John W., detailed on special duty in North Carolina.

Turner, Andrew J., died August 11, ’62 at Petersburg.

Turner, James B., wounded and captured at Fisher's Hill September 22, ’64; subsequently exchanged and returned to the army; at home on furlough at close of the war.

Turner, John M., was with the company when the army withdrew from Malvern Hill, Va., in July, ’62; has never been heard of since; supposed to have died from exhaustion during a night's march.

Wallace, Bland, disabled by wounds received at Gettysburg July 1, ’63, and discharged.

Wallace, John R., transferred to 38th N. C. Regiment, and promoted to Sergeant-Major in November, ’64.

Westbrook, Jesse E., captured near Washington City July 12, ’64; released after the war.

Whaley, Maxwell, captured at Gettysburg; released June 24, ’65.

Whaley, William, captured at Gettysburg July 3, ’63; died in prison.

Williams, Brozard, died of wounds received at Hare's Hill March 25, ’65.

Williford, John W., disabled by wounds received at Hanover Junction May 24, ’64, and discharged.

The following is a list of the members of the company who surrendered with the Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Va.: Thomas J. Bostic, William R. Kenan, Benjamin F. Hall, William B. Blalock, William N. Brinson, James D. Brown, LaFayette W. Brown, Alex. Chambers, Thomas E. Davis, Lewis J. Grady, R. M. S. Grady, Alex. Guy, James G. Halso, Jesse Horne, Hargett Kornegay, Jere J. Pearsall, Lewis J. Rich, Calvin I. Rogers, John E. Smith, Jere Strickland, Frank A. Simmons.


Commissioned and non-commissioned officers13
Privates enlisted at different times117
Total on roll during the war130

Of this number there were—killed and died of wounds, 25; died of

disease, 22; disabled by wounds, 10; discharges for disability, 12; transferred to other companies or regiments, 5; on roll at close of the war, 56; number living at close of the war, 83.

Of the fifty-six (56) on the roll at the close of the war, twenty-one (21) surrendered with the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, and the remaining thirty-five (35) were either in prison or on parole, or on detail or furlough. There was not a deserter from the company during the entire war.

(Sketch of the Duplin Rifles, Prepared in 1895 by Participants in its Movements.)





This little sketch has been prepared by a committee of the survivors of Co. E, 20th N. C. Regiment, at the request of the survivors of the company.

To B. B. Carr, mainly, is due the credit of its preparation. To his retentive memory and his unwearied efforts in obtaining information from members of the company and from other sources, is due the completeness and correctness of this sketch.

It is published with the desire to preserve to future generations a record, though incomplete, of the services of this company in defense of what they believed to be their rights.

The lapse of time and the removal—by death, disability and capture—of so many members of the original company from the active scene of operations has prevented the obtaining of information as full as desired of the services of the company during the latter part of the war.





August 24, 1904.

Among the first troops that offered their services to the Governor of the State of North Carolina, was a company composed largely of the students of Franklin Military Institute, situated six miles east of Faison, of which institute C. B. Denson was the principal.

This company was organized at Faison on the 16th day of April, 1861, and elected C. B. Denson, Captain; R. P. James, Ist Lieutenant; L. T. Hicks, 2nd Lieutenant; and L. W. Hodges, 3rd Lieutenant; and was called the “Confederate Greys.”

This company went in camp at Franklin Institute, and was quickly recruited to its full quota from the young men of the surrounding community, and was drilled in a regular course of military tactics. During this time the ladies in the vicinity of Franklin and Faison with patriotic zeal labored in the school building early and late to equip the company with uniforms, underwear, blankets, and camp equipage without cost to the State, the funds to supply the same being donated by the citizens of the Franklin and Faison communities. The farmers of the communities furnished provisions to the soldiers in camp while they were being drilled and disciplined to the stern realities of the life of a soldier.

About the first of May the Company received orders for active duty. Camp was struck and amid many sad farewells, tears and cheers, the company boarded the cars at Faison and was transported to Fort Johnston, Smithville, N. C., now known as Southport, at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, below Wilmington, N. C.

About the 20th day of June, 1861, this Company and other companies stationed at Fort Johnston and other points about the mouth of the Cape Fear River, and consisting of one company from Brunswick county, Two companies from Cabarrus county, three companies from Sampson county, and three companies from Columbus county, were organized into the 10th N. C. Regiment of Volunteers, afterwards changed into the 20th N. C. Regiment of State Troops. The field officers of this Regiment were Col. Alfred Iverson, former officer of the regular army of the U. S.; Lieutenant Col. Frank J. Faison, and Maj. Wm. H. Toon, Columbus Co.

The “Confederate Greys” was known as Co. E after the Regimental organization.

The company spent the first year of the war garrisoning different points from Wilmington to the mouth of the Cape Fear River.

About the middle of June, 1862, the 20th N. C. Regiment, of which this company was a part, was ordered to Richmond, Va., and assigned to Gen. Garland's Brigade of Gen. D. H. Hill's division, and assisted Gen. Lee in forcing Gen. McClellan from the front of Richmond, and was ever afterwards a part of and following the fortunes of Gen. Lee's army.

During the first year of the war two members of the company, Geo. L. Kornegay and John K. Flowers, died from pneumonia.

During the spring of 1862 the Confederate Congress passed the Conscript Act, retaining all the regiments then organized during the war, but discharging all the men over thirty-five years old after they had served an additional three months. There were five men only in this company entitled to discharge under this Act.

The Seven Days Battle around Richmond was over before the expiration

of their term of service, and it is sad to relate that only one, Marshall Branch, remained to claim his discharge. Of the others, Archibald Dail was in hospital in Richmond with a shattered knee, a wound received in battle at Cold Harbor, June 27, 1862, and for disability on account of this wound he was honorably discharged, and not on account of his age. Isaac Barfield, Theophilus Barfield and Riley Tew were all killed in battle at Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862.

The 20th Regiment arrived in Richmond from North Carolina on the 17th of June, 1862, and went into camp on the Charles City road in front of Richmond.

The Regiment was engaged in a severe skirmish with the enemies’ pickets on this road, and Geo. F. Kornegay and John L. Tew of Co. E both received slight wounds in this skirmish.

On the morning of the 26th of June, 1862, Gen. D. H. Hill's division, of which Co. E and the 20th Regiment was a part, broke camp on the Charles City road in the advance of Gen. Lee's army against Gen. McClellan, which precipitated the Seven Days Battle around Richmond, and was engaged in the battle of Mechanicsville on the evening of the 26th of June. On the evening of the next day, the 27th of June, it was engaged in the battle of Cold Harbor. In this battle the 20th Regiment charged and captured a section of artillery that was supported by Gen. Sykes’ Regulars of the U. S. Army. Gen. Garland said the capture of those guns was the turning point of the battle, and gave the victory to the Conferedate forces.

Co. E of the 20th Regiment lost heavily in this charge. Thomas M. McIntyre, James D. Winders, A. S. Parker and Marshall Flowers were killed on the battle field. Willis Cherry and Bryant Southerland died in hospital and John D. Shine and Cicero Rogers died after reaching home—all from wounds received in this charge. Thomas B. Wright lost an arm. Peter Davis lost part of his hand. Archie Dail had his knee shattered. Ivey Baker was badly wounded in the foot, and all were discharged on account of disability from wounds.

The company in that battle sustained a permanent loss of twelve men. Eight or ten more were wounded, but recovered and returned to duty. Lieutenant Col. Frank J. Faison was killed in this battle, and Col. Alfred Iverson was slightly wounded.

The company carried into this battle 60 men, and had a permanent loss of twelve men, one fifth of the entire number.

This battle was on Friday evening. On the following Tuesday. Co. E with the balance of the Regiment, was engaged in the battle of Malvern Hill. Isaac Barfield, Theophlius Barfield, Riley Tew and E. J. Winders were killed in this battle, and James Whitfield died after reaching home

from wounds received. Thos. M. Faison and John H. Edwards were assigned to light duty from disability on account of wounds received in this battle, making a permanent loss of seven men to the company, about one fifth of those of the company present at the battle. In addition, six others were wounded but afterwards returned to duty.

Co. E of the 20th Regiment, during what is known as the “seven days fight” around Richmond, Va., had 13 members killed or mortally wounded and 6 members permanently disabled, making a permanent loss of 19 men—over 30 per cent. of the number of the company engaged. The balance of the Regiment lost in about the same proportion.

This company with the 20th Regiment was encamped near Richmond for several weeks after the seven days battle, and had a great deal of sickness from a very malignant type of camp fever. There were carried from the camp and battle field to the hospitals in Richmond sick from fever William Bason, Lewis Bradshaw, John H. Carr, William B. Cogdell, Robert Kornegay, Benjamin Philips, John A. Swinson, Frank Swinson and John Wright—all of whom died. In addition there were several in hospital sick from fever who eventually recovered and returned to duty.

The company with the command broke camp at Richmond and marched to Manassas, arriving there just at the close of the second battle of Manassas.

The command then crossed the Potomac river at Falling Waters, and was engaged in the battle at South Mountain in checking Gen. McClellan while Gen. Jackson was capturing Harper's Ferry. This battle was on the 14th of September, 1862. In this battle John Davis was killed and David Wilson was wounded, and died from the effects of the wound after reaching home.

On the 17th day of September, 1862, Co. E participated in the Battle of Sharpsburg. Several of its members were wounded in this battle, but all recovered and returned to duty. After the Battle of Sharpsburg, Gen. Lee's army re-crossed the Potomac river and remained in camp in the valley of Virginia for some weeks.

After a series of marches and maneuvers in which Co. E., and the 20th Regiment participated, Gen. Lee's army and the Northern army finally faced each other in battle at Fredericksburg, Va., December 13th, 1862. The company was present at this battle, but was not actively engaged, the command being held in reserve. The Regiment, however, sustained slight loss.

After the Battle of Fredericksburg, Gen. Lee's army went into winter quarters on the Rappahannock River, and remained comparatively quiet until the spring.

During the winter the company lost two men from sickness, Needham Brock and Henry Galloway.

The following is the muster roll of all those who had been, or were members of the company until this time, April, 1863:

Captain, Denson, Claudius B., Duplin County.

Elected Captain at organization of the company, April 16th, 1861. In April, 1862, transferred to Engineer Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.

Captain, Hicks, Lewis T., Duplin County.

Elected 2nd Lieutenant of company at organization, April 16th, 1861. Elected Captain at re-organization, April, 1862. Captured at Gettysburg, July 1st, 1863. In prison at Johnson's Island, Ohio. Paroled and returned to Richmond, March 1865.

Chaplain, Sprunt, James M., D.D., born Perth, Scotland.

January 14, 1818. Enlisted from Duplin County, N. C., April 16th, 1861. Served until near close of war, was paroled due to poor health.

1st Lieutenant, James R. Pryor, Duplin County.

Elected 1st Lieutenant at organization, April 16th, 1861. Appointed Adjt. of Regiment at organization, June 1861. Resigned, November, 1862.

1st Lieutenant, Hicks, A. Doane, Duplin County.

Elected 1st Lieutenant at re-organization, April, 1862. Slightly wounded at Chancellorsville, May, 1863. Captured at Gettyburg, July 1st. 1863. In prison at Johnson's Island. Paroled and returned to Richmond, last of March, 1865.

2nd Lieutenant, Hodges, Lemuel W., Duplin County.

Elected 2nd Lieutenant of Company at organization, April 16th, 1861. Resigned, July, 1861. Afterwards Collector of Tithes for the Confederate Government.

2nd Lieutenant, Cogdell, Daniel A., Wayne County.

Promoted July, 1861, to 2nd Lieutenant. April, 1862, Captain Co. D, 67th N. C. Regiment. Resigned afterwards.

2nd Lieutenant, Ireland, J. Frank, Sampson County.

Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, April, 1862. Appointed Adjt. of Regiment Oct. 1862. Promoted to Captain Co. D 20th N. C. Regiment, Oct. 1863.

2nd Lieutenant, Oliver, Joseph B., Duplin County.

Promoted from Sergt. Maj. of 20th Regiment to 2nd Lieutenant Co. E, Oct. 1862. Captured at Gettysburg, July 1st, 1863. In prison at Johnson's Island, Ohio. Paroled and returned to Richmond, Va., last of March, 1865.

2nd Lieutenant, Grimes, H., Duplin County.

Elected 2nd Lieutenant at re-organization, April, 1862. Resigned, October, 1862. Transferred to Pioneer corps.

Sergeant, Baker, Henry, Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Captured at South Mountain. Wounded at Gettysburg.

Sergeant, Blalock, John H., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Captured at Harper's Ferry, July 4th, 1864. In prison until close of war.

Sergeant, Broadhurst, Geo. W., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th. Discharged for disability, Jan. 1862. Afterwards in Tithe Department.

Sergeant, Carr, John H., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in hospital, July, 1862.

Sergeant, Carr, Benjamin B., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Cold Harbor. Wounded and captured at South Mountain. Wounded and captured at Gettysburg. Exchanged and placed on light duty in Com. Dept. Discharged on account of disability, February, 1865.

Sergeant, Cogdell, Marion, Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861, Died of wounds received at Gettysburg.

Sergeant, Edwards, John H., Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Malvern Hill. Placed on light duty in Quartermaster's Department.

Sergeant, Flowers, Marshall, Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Cold Harbor.

Sergeant, Millard, Bryant J., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Chancellorsville. Captured at Fort Steadman, March 25, 1865. In prison until close of war.

Sergeant, Swinson, John A., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in hospital, July, 1862.

Sergeant, Winders, Noah, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Chancellorsville. Wounded at Strawsburg. Captured at Fort Steadman, March 25, 1865. In prison until close of war.

Corporal, Cherry, Willis D., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in hospital of wounds received at Cold Harbor.

Corporal, Bennett, Richard, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Gettysburg.

Corporal, Flowers, John K., Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in May, 1862.

Corporal, Hill, Lewis H., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Captured at Gettysburg. Exchanged. Captured at Fort Steadman, March 25, 1865. In prison until close of war.

Corporal, Kornegay, Geo. F., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded in skirmish, June, 1862. Wounded at Chancellorsville. Captured at Gettysburg. In prison until close of war.

Corporal, Parker, A. S., Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Cold Harbor.

Corporal, Wright, Thomas B., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Lost an arm at Cold Harbor. Discharged.

Drummer, Millard, Kenan, Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Captured Oct. 1864. In prison until close of war.


Baison, William, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in hospital August, 1862

Barfield, Isaac, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Malvern Hill.

Barfield, Theophilus, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Malvern Hill.

Barfield, William, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Spottsylvania. Captured at Fort Steadman. In prison until close of war.

Baker, Ivey, Greene County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Cold Harbor. Discharged.

Baker, Jesse, Greene County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Gettysburg.

Bradshaw, Lewis J., Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in hospital, August, 1862.

Benton, William, Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Color Sergeant, Aug. 1864. Killed at Strawsburg, Sept. 1864.

Blalock, David, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Ensign of Regt. Killed May, 1864.

Broadhurst, W. G., Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Transferred to Cavalry. Wounded in October, 1864.

Broadhurst, David J., Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Sergt.-Maj. Regt. Promoted March 1st, 1863, to Captain Co. K. Lost hand at Chancellorsville. Wounded at Cold Harbor.

Broadhurst, Thomas W., Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Sergt. Maj. Regt. Captured at Gettysburg. In prison until close of war.

Brock, Needham, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died Nov. 1862.

Brock, Chas., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Cold Harbor. Captured at Gettysburg. In prison until close of war.

Brock, Jonah, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th. 1861. Killed at Winchester, Sept. 1864.

Branch, Marshall, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Discharged. Afterwards joined 68th Regiment.

Branch, Reuben, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded and captured at Gettysburg. In prison until close of war.

Burnham, John F., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Captured at Cold Harbor. Captured at Gettysburg. Exchanged and returned to duty. Wounded at Wilderness, 1864.

Byrd, Henry, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at the Wilderness, May, 1864.

Carr, Robert D., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Sergt.-Maj. of Regt. from July, 1863. Wounded at Winchester, Sept. 1864. Killed at Fort Steadman, March 25, 1865.

Cherry, E. J., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Chancellorsville.

Cowley, Stephen, Portsmouth, Va.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Promoted to assistant Adjt. Gen. to Gen. Quarles, Army of Tennessee. Killed at Franklin, Tenn., 1862.

Cogdell, William B., Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in hospital 1862.

Cogdell, John A., Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Malvern Hill, Captured at Gettsyburg. In prison until close of war.

Davis, Peter, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Cold Harbor. Discharged.

Davis, John, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Transferred to Co. A, of 20th Regt. Killed at South Mountain.

Dail, Archie, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Cold Harbor and discharged. Afterwards served on Provost Guard in Goldsboro.

Denson, Joseph E., Portsmouth, Va.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Discharged for disability.

Dobson, Daniel B., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861.

Faison, Thos. M., Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Cold Harbor. Placed on light duty in Q. M. Dept. Paroled at Appomattox.

Flowers, Robt. B., Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Discharged.

Galloway, Henry, Brunswick County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died Oct. 1862.

Grant, Stafford, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861.

Grant, Jackson, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Captured at Gettsyburg. In prison until close of war.

Giddens, Lewis, Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Transferred to band of Regiment, 1861.

Hicks, E. Faison, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Chancellorsville. Wounded at Spottsylvania. Wounded at Winchester. Wounded at Strawsburg. Transferred to Co. C. 5th Cavalry.

Hicks, John M., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Discharged for disability.

Hicks, John H., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Promoted to Surgeon of Regt., 1862.

Huggins, James H., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. REgimental Quartermaster Sergeant. Promoted to Lieutenant of Co. I. Jan. 1863. Captured at Gettysburg. In prison at Johnson's Island. Paroled and returned to Richmond last of March, 1865.

Huggins, W. Henry, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Winchester. Placed on light duty in Q. M. Dept. Paroled at Appomattox.

Ireland, James D., Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Gettysburg. Placed on light duty as Brigade Postmaster. Paroled at Appomattox.

Jernigan, Geo., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Detailed on Corps Provost Guard. Captured May, 1864. Died in prison.

King, William B., Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Promoted to Lieutenant, Co. I.

Kellit, James, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Cold Harbor. Wounded at Chancellorsville and discharged.

Kellit, John, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Chancellorsville. Wounded at Hatcher's Run, Feb., 1865.

Kornegay, Joseph H., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Gettysburg and placed on light duty in hospital in Petersburg.

Kornegay, Robert, Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died August, 1862.

Lambert, Henry, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Cold Harbor.

Lane, John B., Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Transferred to Regt. Hospital Corps.

Lane, Jesse W., Sampson County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Transferred to Regt. Band, 1861.

Loftin, Major, Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Discharged. Afterwards served in cavalry.

Martin, Giles, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Sharp shooting corps. Wounded and captured at Gettysburg. Paroled and returned to duty.

McIntyre, Thos. M., New Hanover County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Cold Harbor. The first member of the Company killed in battle.

Outlaw, Alex., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded and captured at Gettysburg. Exchanged. Paroled and returned to Appomattox.

Padgett, James M., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Malvern Hill. Wounded at Chancellorsville. Discharged for disability.

Price, Dallas, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Gettysburg. Placed on light duty with Regt. hospital corps. Paroled at Appomattox.

Phillips, Benjamin, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in Hospital, Sept., 1862.

Pollock, David, Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Transferred as mechanic to Ordinance Dept., in Richmond.

Rogers, Henry, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861.

Rogers, Cicero, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died of wounds received at Cold Harbor.

Shines, John D., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Ensign of Regt. Died of wounds received at Cold Harbor.

Swinson, Erasmus, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Discharged for disability. Afterwards served in 5th Cavalry.

Swinson, B. Frank, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in hospital, 1862.

Southerland, Bryant, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died of wounds received at Cold Harbor.

Tew, Riley, Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Malvern Hill.

Tew, Ashley, Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Gettysburg.

Tew, John L., Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded in skirmish, June, 1862. Wounded at Gettysburg. Exchanged. Placed on light duty in Conscript Department.

Wallace, Geo. W., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Wounded at Chancellorsville. Wounded at the Wilderness, May, 1864.

Wallace, Thos., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in hospital, April, 1863.

Watkins, Jesse F., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Regt. hospital corps. Paroled at Appomattox.

Williams, Geo. W., Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Regimental hospital steward.

Williams, Jesse P., Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Promoted in 1862 to Captain in 55th Regt. Resigned. In 1863 to Captain 68th Regt.

Wilson, David, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died of wounds received at South Mountain.

Winders, James D., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Cold Harbor.

Winders, Edward J., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Killed at Malvern Hill.

Winders, William, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Discharged for disability in 1863.

Whitfield, James, Wayne County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died of wounds received at Malvern Hill.

Wright, John, Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Died in hospital, July, 1862.

Watson, John L., Duplin County.

Enlisted April 16th, 1861. Discharged for disability, January, 1862. . . .

The Company remained in camp near Fredericksburg until Gen. Hooker, Commander of the Federal Army, commenced his “On to Richmond” campaign by crossing the Rappahannock river near Fredericksburg (1863). Gen. Rhodes then in command of the old Gen. D. H. Hill division, went in line of battle near Hamilton's crossing and remained in front of the enemy for two days. Gen Hooker having in the meantime thrown the bulk of his army across the Rappahannock on Gen. Lee's left flank, Gen. Rhodes’ division (of which this company was part) was withdrawn and moved up towards Chancellorsville. The company participated in Jackson's march to the rear of Hooker's army, and was a part of the attacking forces on the evening of May 2nd and the morning of May 3rd. The company had in this battle ten or twelve wounded, but none killed, but James Padgett and James Killet were so badly wounded that they were discharged, and D. J. Broadhurst—then Captain of Co. K—lost his right hand.

The company was next in the Gettysburg campaign and was a part of Gen. Rhodes’ division that drove Gen. Milroy's forces from Berryville and Martinburg out of the valley. It then crossed the Potomac into Williamsport for the second time, the Brigade to which this company belonged being the first to enter Maryland and also Pennsylvania, then back to Gettysburg and was engaged in the first day's fight and lost four men, killed i.e. Marion Cogdell, Richard Bennett, Jesse Baker and Ashley Tew. Wesley Campbell, James D. Ireland, Joseph H. Kornegay, Dallas Price, John L. Tew and B. B. Carr were so severely wounded that they were either discharged or placed on light duty. Giles Martin and Reuben Branch were also severely wounded, and every one of the thirty members of the company then present that went into the fight were either killed, wounded or captured except William Barfield and he went in with the sharp shooters and not with the regular lines. Only nine were captured unhurt. Capt. L. T. Hicks and Lieuts. A. D. Hicks and J. B. Oliver were captured and remained in prison until near the close

of the war, and the company was out of a commissioned officer until the close of the war.

The 23rd, 20th, and 5th Regiments of Iverson's Brigade in this battle were nearly all killed, wounded or captured. Of the 20th Regiment every officer, 24 being present, were killed, wounded or captured. So far as known, every officer, about 250 in the Rigiment, that went into line of battle were killed, wounded, or captured. Only sixteen men of the 20th Regiment, commanded by one Lieutenant, J. F. Ireland, marched away from Gettysburg. Lieutenant Ireland and a portion of these sixteen men reached Gettysburg after the first day's fighting. The remainder were members of the skirmish corps who escaped.

Iverson's Brigade was uselessly sacrificed. Gen. Ewell, in his report said, “The left of Iverson's Brigade was thus exposed, but these gallant troops obstinately stood their ground until the greater part of three regiments (5th, 20th and 23rd) had fallen where they stood in line of battle. A few of them, being entirely surrounded, were taken prisoners. A few escaped.”

Gen. Rhodes officially reported of Iverson's Brigade: “His men fought and died like heroes. His dead lay in a distinctly marked line of battle. His left was overpowered and many of his men, being surrounded, were captured.”

The Brigade Commander, Gen. Alfred Iverson, did not go into the battle, and was relieved of his command.

The next severe campaign was in May, 1864, at the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and on in front of Gen. Grant's army to the Second Cold Harbor—one of the roughest campaigns that Gen. Lee's army ever experienced. The Company lost in that campaign, David Blalock and Henry Byrd killed, and several wounded.

The regiment of which this company was a part was highly spoken of for its action on May 15th, 1864, by Gen. Lee. This is what he said:

Headquarters Army Northern Virginia, May 16, 1864.


Yesterday evening the enemy penetrated a part of our line and planted his colors upon the temporary breastworks erected by our troops. He was immediately repulsed, and among the brave men who met him, the 20th North Carolina, under Col. T. F. Toon, of the brigade commanded by Gen. R. D. Johnson, captured his flag. It was brought to me by Major John S. Brooks of that Regiment who received his promotion for gallantry in the battle of Chancellorsville, with the request that it be given to Governor Vance. I take great pleasure in complying with the wish of the gallant captors, and respectfully ask that it be granted, and