Thousands of images, texts, and audio/video from ECU's diverse collections and beyond.

Town of Hertford bi-centennial, 1758-1958 : and historic data of Perquimans County, North Carolina

Date: 1958 | Identifier: F264.H47 N48 1958
Town of Hertford bi-centennial, 1758-1958 : and historic data of Perquimans County, North Carolina / [compiled by] W. G. Newby. [s.l. : s.n., 1958?] Owen G. Dunn.) 63 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. more...



Sunrise on The Perquimans River. Hertford, North Carolina


And Historic Data of Perquimans
County, North Carolina


The Town of Hertford celebrates its Bi-Centennial this year, 1958. The Mayor, Hon. V. N. Darden, and the Board of Town Commissioners, H. C. Sullivan, W. Ray White, Robert L. Hollowell and A. W. Hefren, have asked me to gather some of the past data of this very historic town for the coming generations.

I find that some of my forebears were very prominent in the early history of this beautiful spot along the reaches of the western shores of the Perquimans River, and it will really be a labor of love to do all I can to bring to the attention of those who will benefit from the acts that will live on and on made possible by these pioneering spirits. The Province of Carolina granted to eight Lord Proprietors by Charles II of England in 1663 was a great territory, with a shore line of 400 miles and reaching into the great hinterland to the South and West. Out of this great territory we had Albemarle County in which is located the first four counties to be named Currituck, Pasquotank, Perquimans and Chowan.

So we are proud that the beginning was here and in our humble way we shall try to glean and present some interesting facts.


Laws of North Carolina 1758—Chapter VI5
One of First Deeds for Lots in Hertford After Incorporation in 175810
Chapter XXII Laws of North Carolina—176612
The Town of Hertford15
Famous Sons of Perquimans County24
Houses 100 Years Old and Over in Hertford, N. C.31
Some Firsts in Hertford and Perquimans County37
One of the Old Cemeteries of the County—Jacocks Burying Ground39
Durant's Neck40
The Father of Our Country Visits Perquimans County in the Year 176642
Perquimans County's Schools45
Value of Perquimans County School Buildings47
A Memory51
Financial Position Town of Hertford, N. C.52
The Perquimans River54
A Perquimans County Young Man Receives a Great Honor57
Without a Past There Would Be No Present—My Valedictory59
In Retrospection62

An Act Establishing a Town On the Land of Jonathan Phelps
On Perquimans River

I. Whereas, it has been represented to this Assembly that the Land of Jonathan Phelps, lying on the south west side of Perquimans river, in Perquimans county, where the courthouse and other public buildings are erected, is a healthy, pleasant situation, well watered and commodious for commerce; and the said Jonathan Phelps having signified his free consent, by a certificate under his hand and seal, to have one hundred acres of the said land laid off for a town and 50 acres for a town common, which will greatly promote the trade and navigation of the said river:

II. Be it Enacted by the Governor, Council, and Assembly, and by the Authority of the same, That the Directors or Trustees hereafter appointed, or the majority of them, shall, so soon as may be after the passing of this Act, cause the said one hundred acres of land to be laid off in lots of half an acre each, with convenient streets, lanes, and alleys, reserving two acres of the said land for a courthouse, and other public buildings; which lots so laid off according to the directions of this Act, is hereby constituted, erected, and established a town, and shall be called Hertford.

III. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the passing of this Act John Rieussett, Joseph Sutton, John Harvey, John Clayton, and Joseph White, be, and they, and every of them, are hereby constituted directors and trustees, for designing, building, and carrying on the said town; and they shall stand seized of an indefeasible estate in fee, of the said one hundred and fifty acres of land, to and for the intents, uses and purposes, herein expressed and declared; and they or any of three of them, shall have full power and authority to meet as often as they shall think necessary, and cause a plan thereof to be made, and therein to insert a mark or number to each lot, and as soon as the said town shall be laid off as aforesaid, they, and each of them, shall have power to take subscriptions for the said lots of such persons as are willing to subscribe for them; and when the said directors have taken subscriptions for one hundred lots, or upwards, they shall appoint a day, and give public notice to the subscribers of the day appointed for drawing of the said lots, which shall be done by ballot in a fair and open manner, by the direction and in the presence, of the majority of the said directors at least; and such subscriber


Phelps Point


Shore Line of Phelps Point

shall be entitled to the lot and lots which shall happen to be drawn for him, and correspond with the mark or number contained in the plan of the said town: And the said directors, or a majority of them, shall make and execute deeds for granting and conveying the said one hundred acres of land, in half acres as aforesaid, to the subscribers, their heirs and assigns, forever; and also, to every other person who shall purchase any lot or lots in the said town, at the cost and charges of the said grantee, to whom the said lot or lots shall be conveyed; and every person claiming any lot or lots, by virtue of any such conveyance, shall and may hold and enjoy the same in fee simple.

IV. Provided, nevertheless, That every grantee of any lot or lots in the said town, so conveyed, shall within three years next after the date of the conveyance for the same, erect, build and finish, on each lot so conveyed, one well framed or brick house, sixteen feet square at the least, and nine feet pitch in the clear, proportionable to such dimensions, if such grantee shall have two or more lots contiguous, and if the owner of any lot or lots shall fail to comply with the directions of this act prescribed for building, and finishing a house thereon, then such lot or lots, upon which such house shall not be built, and finished as aforesaid shall be revested in the said directors; and the said directors, or a majority of them, may and are hereby empowered and authorized to sell such lot or lots, for the best price that can be had, to any person applying for the same; and grant and convey such lot or lots to any such person or persons, under like regulations and restrictions, as the same was or were formerly granted; and the money arising from such sales, be applied by such directors, or a majority of them, for the benefit and improvement of the said town.

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That each respective subscriber who shall subscribe for any lot or lots in the said town, shall, within one month after it shall be ascertained to whom each of said lots doth belong, in manner hereinbefore mentioned, pay and satisfy to the said directors, or to one of them, the sum of forty-five shillings proclamation money, for each lot by him subscribed for; and in the case of any refusal or neglect of any subscriber to pay the said sum, the said directors shall and may commence and prosecute a suit in their own names for the same, and therein shall recover judgment with costs of suit; and the said directors shall, as soon as they receive the said money, pay and satisfy to the said Jonathan Phelps, his heirs and assigns, the sum of forty shillings, proclamation money, for each lot, in full satisfaction for the said land, and the other five shillings shall be applied towards defraying the expense of laying


Town Pier


Perquimans River as seen from Causeway, Hertford, N. C.

off and improving the said town, as a majority of the directors shall think proper.

VI. And for continuing the succession of the directors until the said town shall be incorporated; be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, in case of death, refusal to act, or removal out of the county, or of any of the said directors, the surviving directors, or the majority of them shall assemble and are hereby empowered, from time to time, by instrument in writing under their respective hands and seals, to nominate some other person, being a freeholder of the said town, in the place of him so dying, refusing to act, or removing out of the county; which new directors so nominated and appointed, shall from thenceforth have the like power and authority, in all things in the matters herein contained, as if he had been expressly named and appointed in and by this Act; and when the said town shall be laid off, the said directors, or a majority of them, are hereby empowered to remove the courthouse, and other public buildings, to a more convenient part of the town, which may or shall be laid off for that purpose.

VII. Provided nevertheless, That the said Jonathan Phelps shall have to his own use, his dwelling house, and other out houses, with such lots as he shall choose adjoining them, not exceeding four lots, exclusive of the said one hundred acres; and the court of the said county, or their successors, shall not have power to appoint a public or other ferry at the said town, in prejudice of the said Jonathan Phelps; but that the keeping of the said ferry shall remain to the said Jonathan Phelps, his heirs and assigns, until he or they shall refuse to comply with the terms by law prescribed for the erecting and keeping public ferries.


To all people to whom these presents shall come we John Harvey, John Clayton and Nathan Newby, gents., three of the trustees, directors of Hertford, in the said province greeting: Know ye that we the said directors in pursuance of an act of General Assembly of the said province instituted an Act for establishing a town on the land of Jonathan Phelps on Perquimans River, and by virtue of the Trust in us therein and thereby reposed and vested and also for and in consideration of the sum of four pounds ten shillings proclamation money to the aforesaid directors in hand paid by Seth Sumner of the said province, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted, bargained and sold, aliened and confirmed and we the said directors by these presents do grant, bargain and sell, alien and confirm unto the said Seth Sumner, two lots or half acres of land lying and being in the said town and known and distinguished in the first plan thereof by the numbers or figures five and twenty five, and all commons, common of pastures, wages, waters, easements, profits, commodities, advantages, emoluments, and hereditaments and all and singular the other rights, profits and privileges whatsoever thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining and the reversion and reversions, remainder and remainders, rents and services thereof and all and singular the said premises and every part thereof and also all the estate, right, title, interest, claim, and demand whatsoever of us and our successors of in and to the said premises and every part and parcel thereof.

To have and to hold the said two lots or half acres and all and singular other the premises whatsoever hereby granted, bargained and sold or mentioned, to be bargained and sold with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said Seth Sumner, his heirs, and assigns, unto the only proper use and behalf of him the same, Seth Sumner, his heirs and assigns forever.

Provided, Nevertheless, that in case the said Seth Sumner his heirs or assigns shall not build or erect or cause to be built or erected on each of the said lots within three years next after the date of these presents one substantial brick or framed house not less than sixteen feet square and nine feet pitch in height for each of the said lots that then and from thenceforth this present deed of bargain and sale or conveyance and all the estate pregranted and conveyed shall cease, determine and be void for and to each, of the said lots that shall not be built on as aforesaid, and that then and from thenceforth it shall and may be lawful for us the said directors for the time being unto the said lots and

premises to reenter and the same to have again re-possess and enjoy as their former estate for the uses and purposes in the aforesaid Act declared anything herein before contained to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding, and we the said directors for ourselves and successors hereby covenant and grant to and with the said Seth Sumner, his heirs and assigns on the performance of the aforesaid conditions shall and may at all times forever hereafter peacably and quietly have, hold, use, occupy, possess and enjoy all and singular the said lots and premises above mentioned with their appurtenances without the court trouble, hindrance, interruptions and denial of the said directors or our successors.

In Witness Whereof, we the said directors have hereto set our hands and seals at Hertford the seventeenth day of April in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty Nine.

Signed, Sealed and delivered in presence of Robert Avery, Joseph Ratliff.JOHN HARVEY(Seal)

North Carolina—Perquimans County—April Court

Anno Domi—1759.

Present His Majesty's Justices

This certifies that the within deed of sale for two lots of land from the directors of the Town of Hertford unto Seth Sumner was acknowledged in Court and on motion is ordered to be registered.

Signed: Test MILES HARVEY,

Clerk of Court.

Registered in the Register's Office of Perquimans County for the Town of Hertford this 5th day of May 1759.

Test: Signed JOHN HARVEY, Register.

Author's Note. The two lots mentioned have been recognized as the plat whereon now stands the J. C. Blanchard Store and the Hertford Banking Company.


An Act to continue an Act, entitled, An Act for enlarging the time allowed for saving Lots in the Town of Hertford, and other Purposes, and to establish a Ferry from the Town of Hertford, on the west side of Perquimans River, to Newby's Point, on the East side of Said River. (This Point is now known as Nixon's Point.)

I. Whereas by Act of Assembly passed at New Bern, in the Third Year of the Reign of His Present Majesty, entitled, An Act for enlarging the Time allowed for saving of Lots in the Town of Hertford, and other purposes, among other things, it is provided, that the Grantee of every Lot in the said Town shall, within Five Years, erect and finish a House of the Dimensions specified in an Act of Assembly passed in the Thirty Second Year of the Reign of his Majesty King George the Second, entitled, an Act for establishing a Town on the Land of Jonathan Phelps, of Perquimans County; which Term of Five years is now expired, and many of the Lots in the said Town of Hertford not saved agreeable to the before recited Act.

II. Be it therefore Enacted, by the Governor, Council, and Assembly, and it is hereby Enacted by the Authority of the same That every lot in the said Town of Hertford on which a House shall be erected and built of the Dimensions mentioned in the said recited Act, within the Space of Three Years after the Date of the Conveyance made for the same, shall be and are hereby declared to be vested in the Grantee thereof, in Fee Simple; anything in either of the aforesaid Acts to the Contrary notwithstanding.

III. And Whereas several of the Directors of the said Town are dead or removed, whereby their offices are become vacant; Be it therefore Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that from and after the passing of this Act, John Harvey, John Clayton, Seth Sumner, William Skinner, and Francis Nixon, be, and are hereby appointed directors of the said Town; and may use and exercise the same Powers and Authorities, as the Directors appointed by the before recited Act could or might have exercised, used or enjoyed, by Virtue of the same; and in case of the Death or Refusal to Act, or removal out of the County of ________________________ of any of the said Directors, the surviving or other directors or the Majority of them, shall, and they are hereby impowered and required, to choose another Director or Directors, in the Room

of him or them so dying, refusing to act, or removing out of the County, agreeable to the Directions of the said Act.

IV. And whereas, the Court House in Perquimans County, is situated in the Town of Hertford, on the West Side of Perquimans River; and the Inhabitants on the East Side of the said River, are obliged to attend at the said Court House during the sitting of the Inferior Court, at the Election of members of the Assembly, and Vestrymen, General Musters and Court Martials, of the said County; and the Act of Assembly heretofore made for defraying the Expense of such Ferriage, will expire at the end of this present Session of Assembly: Be it therefore Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That the Inferior Court of the said County of Perquimans, are hereby authorized, impowered, and required, at the next Court to be held after the First day of May, yearly to lay a Tax, not exceeding Three Pence Proclamation Money, on each Taxable Person in the said County; to be collected and accounted for with Inferior Court of the said County, by the Sheriff of the said County, in the same manner, and under the like Regulations and restrictions as other Taxes of the said County are to be collected and accounted for, and to be by the said Court applied and appropriated as a Premium or Reward to the several Ferrymen now appointed or hereafter to be appointed by the Court of the said County, to keep a ferry from Hertford to Newby's Point, and from Newby's Point to Hertford; for which they shall, and are hereby obliged, to set over, Ferriage Free, all Persons resident of said County, going to, and returning from, the Court of Vestry of the said County, Elections of Burgesses and Vestrymen, Musters and Court Martials, of the said County.

V. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Inferior Court of the said County are hereby authorized, impowered and required, out of the Monies arising by the Tax so laid and Collected as aforesaid, yearly and every year, to allow and pay to the several Ferrymen attending at the Ferry aforesaid, such Sums of Money as they shall think reasonable, for their Trouble in transporting all Persons who shall or may have Occasion, to attend the said Court House, on the Days and Times aforesaid.

VI. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Ferrymen that are now appointed, or shall hereafter be appointed, by the Court of the said County to keep a Ferry at Hertford and Newby's Point are hereby required to Ferry over the said River, free of any Expense, all Persons residents in the said county, during the sitting of the Inferior Court, and Vestry of the said County. And also all Persons whatever on the Days of Election of Members of Assembly, or Vestrymen; and also all

Persons going to and returning from, the Musters, or Court Martials of the said County; under the Penalty of forfeiting and paying the sum of Ten Shillings, Proclamation money, for each Neglect or Refusal; to be recovered by a Warrant on proof made before any Magistrate of the said County.

VII. And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the Justice of the said Court to take Bond and Security of the said Ferry Keepers in the Sum of Twenty Pounds Proclamation Money, for their due and faithful Performance of the above said Act; and that all fines becoming due by Virtue of this Act, shall be paid to the Justices of said Court; to be by them applied towards defraying the Charges of the County.

VIII. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that this Act shall continue and be in force for and during the Term of Seven Years, from and after the passing thereof, and from thence to the end of the next Session of Assembly, and no longer.


The Town of Hertford is the county seat of Perquimans County. It is a peninsular bounded on the East, North and West by Perquimans River. We are South 61 miles from Norfolk, Virginia, a great port and naval center of the Atlantic Seaboard. It is estimated that it will have a population of 570,000 at an early date.

To the North East 50 miles away is located at Kill Devil Hills the pylon monument commemorating the birth of aviation by the Wright brothers.

We get our name from the borough of Hertford located in Hertfordshire, England, which has a history dating back to some


Confederate Monument


Covent Garden Street looking South from Grubb Street. You see
the beautiful residential homes.



Church Street Business Section, Hertford, N. C.

of the earliest events in that country. We are indebted to the Guide Of Hertford that the town had a settlement in the time that Julius Caesar was warring in that country.

The Castle that is used as a Municipal Building is the property of the Marquis of Salisbury, and has been in the possession of his family for 300 years. In 1911, in commemoration of the Accession


Edmundson-Fox Memorial.
Near this spot, William Edmundson, on English Friend, held in May 1672, the
First Religious Service on record in Carolina. Six months later, George Fox, Found-
er of the Religious Society of Friends, also visited this section and held meetings
among the Colonists. Here were the beginnings of the religious life of a Great
State. Erected June 11th, 1929, by North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends.



John Harris, M.D., D.D., D.S.—1798-1849—Pioneer Dentist in North Carolina
In his office at Bainbridge, Ohio, John Harris conducted the First American School
in Dental Surgery, 1825-1830. From this school there developed the modern
system of dental education that has brought to American Dentistry the highest
recognition throughout the world. Honored also as being the first dentist to appre-
ciate the result of focal infection and the effect on the general health, 1845. Died
in Hertford, July 26th, 1849. Erected by the North Carolina and the Ohio State
Dental Societies in recognition of and as a tribute to the Father of Dental Educa-
tion. Dedicated Oct. 30th, 1944.



Hyde Park Street looking South. Cedarwood Cemetery in the Distance.


Episcopal Church Built in 1859.

of King George V, he leased it to the Town Council for seventy-five years.

The entrance gates with piers and wall were the gift of the late Mr. Osmond Henry McMullen, a name quite familiar in this Town.

The population of Hertford, England, is approximately 15,000. We wish to salute this beautiful city for its beautiful parks, its rivers, churches and educational facilities. We are proud to have the same name of a place which has such an historical background.

Now our beloved Hertford with a population of approximately 2100 with suburbs. We, too, are proud of our past for here the early pioneers began to carve from a wilderness a civilization that well may be emulated by mankind.

When one is looking around for a mecca the first question he will ask is: how many churches, how many schools and what is the civic spirit of its citizens. We can point with pride to our four white and three colored churches.

Our schools are an inspiration to this town with its beautiful new grammar school and Perquimans High School built in 1927, and new gymnasium, and also we are proud of the new Negro school that has been completed in the past year. We cannot leave this subject without mentioning the very complete library under


Baptist Church, organized in 1854. First Trustees Chas. W. Skinner and Richard
Felton. Author's Note: The mound surrounding this Church was made
from earth hauled in from the country.


the efficient management of Mrs. S. M. Whedbee and Mrs. Pat Keegan.

One of the very important contributing factors in the growth of a town is transportation. We have here the Norfolk Southern Railroad traversing the county from north to south; also a great and beautiful river, The Perquimans which one day had a weekly service between Norfolk and Belvidere at the head of navigation. Now it is only used by a fleet of oil tankers that supply oil for home, U. S. Navy and other uses. However, it could be put to work for industry and we hope some day that this will come to pass.

The other great artery is U. S. Route 17, or “Ocean Highway,” originating in Maine and paralleling the Atlantic Seaboard to Punta Gorda, Florida.

The flow of traffic will increase year by year since the great movement of our neighbor, Virginia, has commenced the great projects of tunneling the waterways and building bridges across its rivers. This will increase the great armadas of cars carrying tourists to Florida and other points and also increase the vans of trucks loaded with freight for the northern markets.

Some years ago when the bridge at Hertford was built there was a discussion that a bridge by-passing what is called the “Causeway” would in the long run pay dividends as it was very expensive to keep that mile stretch in good passable condition.

When I was a young man and had the wanderlust in my make-up I visited the great Northwest Territory and California and saw even that long ago the great undertakings of men with vision making rough spots into scenic beauty. Now to the point. When we reach this “Causeway” the only approach from the North into Hertford with a potential population of 25 million wishing at sometime to travel this route, what is the decision:

This is a scenic spot. On the west is the Perquimans River with its sheen of blue water flowing down from its source near the reaches of the Great Dismal Swamp. Looking east we see the eternal vistas and we are told that it was here that the writer of songs penned the beautiful “Carolina Moon”. Along the northeast shore the oldest recorded deed conveys land from the Yeaopim Tribe of Indians to George Durant in the year 1661. And it is also reported that it is the first deed from an Indian to a white man in America.

On the southern shore we have some of the earliest history in the Commonwealth of North Carolina—Harvey's Neck, named for John Harvey who was five times speaker of Colonial Assembly, Moderator of Provincial Congress 1774-1775.

We suggest that when the planners reach the Causeway they survey a road south along the wooded area—cross the short span


Methodist Church, built in 1855. Replaced by New Church in 1901.


The Old Methodist Parsonage
Moved to its present site on Dobbs Street about 1910 or ’12. Jeremiah McMullan
was pastor during the tragic years of the Civil War 1861-1865. During those
years many hardships were encountered and if “this old house could talk” it would
touch the hearts of us all. I have one story that I can repeat here. During the
War the boys in blue bivouacked in the front yard when the parsonage was on
Market Street. Some of the children from the upper windows looked down not
knowing just what would happen that night.


of river at the end of the peninsula over to Grubb Street in the town proper and on to Edenton Road Street and Route 17.

Here would be set up an area that would be one of the most beautiful in all North Carolina with ranch houses and motels and if you please a Hotel that would be a mecca for the weary where they could view the beautiful moonlight landscape silhouetting its shadows of all colors of the rainbow.

Some will say that this is a dreamer's fantasy, but I am an old man and have seen the dawn for over 60 years along this beautiful river and can say that here you will see the eternal glory of God before you.

It is no time to bypass a town after its great past and its great hopes for the future.

Edmundson and Fox, the Quaker preachers, visited the Albemarle in 1672. William Edmundson and companions walked between two trees all night in crossing from Virginia to the Albemarle. In the morning they reached the home of Henry Phillips who came to Perquimans in 1665. The house was situated on the Albemarle (Perquimans River) where the Town of Hertford now stands. Phillips and his wife came from New England and were the first Friends in Perquimans.


Hertford Library.

Many people attended the service on Sunday morning, but they had little or no religion for they came and sat down in the meeting smoking their pipes. They had a meeting at the house of one named Toms who became the first convert. He lived about three miles from Hertford on the other side of the river. Thus ended the first missionary journey to North Carolina. It lasted three days. Only two sermons were preached, but here is the beginning of the religious life of a great state and here was laid the foundation of the “Society of Friends”.

In 1684 there were Monthly Meetings held at the home of Francis Toms and Jonathan Phelps in Perquimans County. In 1699 missionaries from England stopped in Virginia, then came on to Perquimans, lodging with Nathan Newby, who came to Perquimans in 1701, and the next stop was at the home of Francis Toms.

We have given a short story of the entry of the Friends coming to Perquimans and we think it worth while to give some later facts. In 1823, 33 years before the outbreak of the great internecine war between the states, the Quakers who bitterly opposed slavery, migrated in great numbers away from Perquimans County to the middle west.

There were great numbers who moved to Indiana and Illinois and from there many finally found their way to California. They had much to do in the establishment of schools and we recall that in business they made their way felt.


Hertford Yacht Basin
Looking West from Church Street Towards Causeway Peninsular.



Along the upper reaches of the Perquimans River meandering down its source in the Great Dismal Swamp was born William Henry Bagley July 5th, 1833. His father was Colonel Willis Holmes Bagley. Colonel Bagley was a popular and influential citizen of the County, having been sheriff, and was also Grand Master of the Masons. His portrait hangs in the town courthouse of Perquimans County. William Henry received his early education or instruction from the Rev. Benjamin F. Bronson, a scholarly and long Rector at Wilson, N. C., and a liberal education at the Academy located in Hertford.

At the age of 19 he was Register of Deeds of Perquimans County. He moved to Elizabeth City in 1855 and became editor of a paper called The Sentinel. In 1860 William Henry Bagley enlisted as a private and was on May 15th, 1861, commissioned a lieutenant of Company A, 8th Regiment of North Carolina Troops.

In 1862 he fought in the battle of Roanoke Island and was captured by the federals. He was commissioned a major on April 16th, 1864. He resigned as major on the 11th of June, 1864, in order to serve as senator from Perquimans and Pasquotank counties, to which office he had been elected.

In 1868, Major Bagley was appointed Clerk of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and held same until his death in 1886.

(Extracts from the address upon presentation of the portrait by his sons and daughters to the Supreme Court of North Carolina on the 14th day of May, 1929, by the late Charles Whedbee, of Perquimans County.)

Major Bagley was the father of Worth Bagley, who was the first to fall in the Spanish-American War at Cardenas, Cuba, in 1898, and whose monument stands on the Capitol grounds at Raleigh, N. C.

Author's note—From all reports Major Bagley was a gallant soldier in the “Lost Cause,” and was a Christian and a home loving man, gentle and without guile.

I visualize that if Major Bagley could return from his heavenly abode and view the panorama of achievement of his children he would be thrilled.

I am acquainted with the achievements of Mr. Jonathan Daniels, his grandson, an author, and aide to the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt and one of the editors of a great newspaper with a large circulation that moulds public opinion and with a great directive at its masthead.


The Ann White House, corner Covent Garden and Market Streets. Birthplace of Clinton White Toms, President of Liggett-Myers Tobacco Company for 8 years. (One of the Big Four). The residence of his sister, Mrs. Mattie Toms White.

Clinton White Toms

Clinton White Toms was born in Hertford, N. C., the son of Zachariah and Susan White Toms, on October 2, 1868. He attended the Hertford Academy and in 1889 was graduated from the University of North Carolina with the B. Ph. degree.

After graduation he established a small elementary private school in Plymouth, N. C. where he taught for several years. In 1891 he was married to Mary Newby, also of Hertford, N. C. Of this union there were seven children, six of whom lived to reach maturity.

Not long after his marriage Mr. Toms moved to Durham, N. C. where he rose to become head of the Durham public school system. In 1897 he was offered and accepted the chair of Pedagogy at the University of North Carolina but actually remained in Chapel Hill only a very short time, leaving to become associated with the American Tobacco Company in Durham.

In 1911, upon the dissolution of the American Tobacco Company, Mr. Toms became vice-president of the newly formed Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company and moved his residence to New York. On January 1, 1928 he was elected president of the Company and occupied this position until his death August 29, 1936. In the tobacco industry Mr. Toms was long recognized for his sound judgment and keen business acumen.

His remains are buried in the family plot in Durham.

Author's Note. I feel impelled to pay some slight tribute to Mr. Toms. He left this town in early manhood to establish his future elsewhere. His rise was swift and spectacular. He soon won his laurels in the Empire of Tobacco Land. However, his great success never changed his simplicity, he was without guile, kind and considerate. He never overlooked those he left behind in his native town and the civic and religious bodies were objects of his love and affection.

The Town of Hertford will always cherish the memory of Clinton White Toms.

John Elliott Wood

Born at Hertford, North Carolina, February 23, 1891, the son of John Q. A. and Julia (Elliott) Wood, he attended local private schools. Graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard; was a special student at the University School of Architecture, Venice, Italy. In World War I he was a lieutenant in the 26th Infantry Division and went to France in September of 1917 in the “First Hundred Thousand”. Served in France 1917-18; was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers, Regular Army in 1918; was with the Army of Occupation in Germany (1st Engineers) 1919-20; in November 1920 was appointed by President Wilson a member of the District of Columbia Commission where he was in charge of water works, sewers, street lighting and the design and construction of municipal structures in Washington (school buildings, fire and police stations, hospitals and other institutions, etc.) 1920-24. Served with 1st Cavalry Division, Mexican Border, 1927-30; Federal instructor-inspector with the New England National Guard 1931-34; in the Philippines as assistant department engineer (fortifications of Corregidor, Manila and Subic Bays) 1934-36; officer-in-charge, War Dept. Map Collection, Washington, 1937-40. In August 1940, was ordered to Fort Bragg to organize the 41st Engineer Regiment which he (successively major, lt. col., and colonel) trained and commanded in the Carolina Maneuvers, 1941; commanded engineer elements in amphibious operations at Onslow Beach (1941) and Cape Henry (1942); commanded Task Force “Littlejoe”, the first U. S. troops in Africa, which landed on the coast of Liberia in June, 1942. Promoted to brigadier general in August, 1942, he served as assistant division commander, 92nd Infantry Division, throughout its training, the first combat team of which went to Italy in the summer of 1944. He served in Italy on the Fifth Army front from the August offensive 1944 (Crossing of the Arno) until conclusion of hostilities with his command initially attached to 1st Armored Division; thereafter, the 92d Division advanced from Pisa to the French border, capturing


Cove Grove, built in 1833 by Benjamin Skinner in “Old Neck”. Now owned by his grandson, J. J. Skinner. It still exemplifies the charm and traditions of the South.

Genoa, Cuneo, and Alessandria in the April offensive, 1945. He commanded the 92d Infantry Division in the occupation from August until demobilized in November, 1945. Served as theater engineer, Med. Theatre of Operations (MTOUSA) 1946-47; was asst. chief of staff, G-4, Army Field Forces, 1948-49; retired after 32 years of service July 31, 1949. He is now engaged in local history writing, and stock raising at his farm on Currituck Sound. Military awards include: Silver Star Medal; Legion of Merit; Bronze Star; Army Citation Ribbon; Order of the Crown of Italy and Military Cross which were bestowed in person by ex-King Umberto, 1945; and Honorary Citizen of Viareggio, Italy.

Author's Note: The only schooling General Wood received in Hertford was in the southwest room of the Mullen House on Dobb St. Teacher Miss Virginia Newby, now Mrs. W. C. Crowell of Monroe, N. C. Roulhac McMullen was his desk mate.

Judge Robert Brooke Albertson

Judge Robert Brooke Albertson was born at Hertford in Perquimans County on December 31st, 1859. During his boyhood days he lived at the house now owned by Mrs. Kate Crawford on Church Street.

I have before me a copy of the Post-Intelligencer dated Seattle, Washington, Thursday, October 4, 1917, from which I quote:

“R. B. Albertson, Superior Court Judge, Is Dead. Career of Prominent Jurist Comes to End. Played Leading Part in the City's History.”

We quote from an editorial in The Post-Intelligencer of Seattle, Washington, the following:

“In the passing of Robert B. Albertson death takes a toll of a just and righteous judge, an honored and honorable man, and deprives Seattle of one of those who have been the great assets of its citizenship.

“The son of the South came to Seattle in young manhood and was tempered and ripened by the adversity of his early experience here. Men who saw his innate capacity gave him his chance in the study and practice of law. A short season of legislative experience followed a successful career at the bar, and then he began his great work upon the bench of the King County superior court which continued to his death.

“Many men who watched his career as a judge called him the ‘Big Judge’ and in truth he was great in all that contributes to the quality of a just and wise arbiter. This man who has just gone from among us measured his decisions not by friendship nor prejudice, but by fact and law, seasoned by justice and common sense; an ideal judge—one who held the scales and allowed no extraneous matter to disturb the balance.

“When Judge Albertson had finished giving his reasons for a decision there was no room for protests—law and justice had spoken.

“He was possessed of a fine mind as well as knowledge of the law and of precedent. He was capable of listening to the testimony of a protracted trial, of summing up the evidence, and delivering a just opinion without recourse to notes. Difficult and involved cases, and many that might have embarrassed a less independent court, were assigned to him, and when they were disposed of they were disposed of for good. His hobby was the law, and it claimed his respect and his devotion. On the bench ever the cold and formal arbiter, among his fellow men he was a companionable, dignified gentleman.

“And so, from among us has gone this fine citizen, an upright jurist. His home city, his state, and indeed the nation, can ill afford to lose his like; and in the great beyond he should receive from the Great Arbiter the recognition, the reward, the treasure that he has earned through his many years of manly, righteous judgments.”

Judge Albertson in the latter part of his career was taken down with cancer and he decided to visit his old home in Hertford, N. C. taking with him his 9 year old son, Robert Brooke

Albertson. Upon his return he called on the Mayo Bros.’ Clinic and then returned to Seattle. He returned to the bench but soon had to give up his judicial duties.

He went to his summer home at Enetal, across Lake Washington, and to which the county commissioners of King County, in recognition of his long and distinguished services as judge, gave the name of Hertford, his birthplace in North Carolina, an honor which greatly pleased him, and to which he often referred during his illness in his talks with his friends.

Author's Note: We are indebted to Mrs. R. B. Albertson, of Portsmouth, Va., for the above story. She was Miss Louise Gaither, of Hertford, N. C. and married a nephew of Judge Robert Brooke Albertson. The story of his life was preserved for 41 years in the newspapers of his adopted city of Seattle, Washington.

Blanchards Since 1832

When looking through the annals of merchandizing you will find the remarkable record made by the firm of J. C. Blanchard and Co., that has been in existence since the year 1832, or 126 years of continuous operation of the family name, Blanchard.

William Rawls Blanchard, founder of this mercantile mart, started a small store at the “Cross Roads” in Chowan County in 1832 and after 5 years there removed to Nixon's Bridge along the reaches of the Perquimans River, about three miles from Hertford. In 1866 the Blanchard dynasty moved to Hertford and after a few years moved from their store on the corner of Church and Grubb Streets to the present location upon which is standing one of the up to date stores of this section. It extends the entire south boundary of Courthouse Square and runs from Church Street on the West to Front Street on the East.

The mercantile section is on Church Street and an up to date farm equipment plant is on Front Street. They do a large business in displaying their John Deere machinery and other appliances for the farmers.

We have been looking over some statistics and we have arrived at the figure that not 2 percent of those merchants who commenced 126 years ago still survive.

The living descendants are as follows: Dr. Julian Blanchard, New York City; Alice Blanchard Bostick, Raleigh; Eugenia Blanchard Christman, Charlotte; Mrs. Sarah Blanchard Hobbs, Durham, N. C.; Mrs. Lillian Blanchard Morgan, Albuquerque, N. M.; Preston Blanchard, Hertford, N. C.; Robert Blanchard, Chicago; Miss Kate Blanchard, Hertford, N. C.; Mrs. Janie Yarborough, Louisburg, N. C.

It appears to this writer that the star of destiny guided the House of Blanchard to complete success in the art of merchandizing.

After the death of Mr. Joseph Carroll Blanchard in 1948, Mr. L. C. Winslow, of Belvidere, N. C. was elected to the position of President and Manager. Mr. Winslow is a graduate of the School of Commerce, University of North Carolina, Class of 1923. He seems to be carrying on the traditions of the House of Blanchard. Many innovations have been made and it would seem safe to predict a continued era of success for this old established concern.

Bethel Baptist Church, Organized 1806. The Rev. Martin Ross, 1762-1827. Patriot and soldier of the American Revolution, pioneer Baptist minister and traveling evangelist. Instrumental in the organization of the Chowan Baptist Association. Founder of Bethel and other Baptist churches in Eastern Carolina. Father of the State Baptist Convention of North Carolina. Erected by Chowan Baptist Association 1956.


Bethel Baptist Church, Organized 1806.


Front Street

Present OwnerPast Owner
Mrs. J. C. BlanchardP. H. Small
Claude BrinnW. S. Blanchard
Mrs. Clyde McCallumJohn S. Wood. Built between 1825-1830
Mrs. Thad ChappellJohn Wood Purchased this house in 1801

Church Street

Hazel MathewsSaid to have been built by Jonathan Phelps
Mrs. Louise Woods (Crawford)Joseph Newby
Mrs. Charles WhedbeeMonroe Whedbee (between 150 and 200 years
Miss Mary SumnerDr. Shannonhouse
L. C. WinslowThis property was purchased by Capt. James Wood, Sr., from Exum Newby and the descendants of John Harvey later owned it.
Dr. I. WardOffice. Once an ell to the Wilson Reed House. Now on Grubb St.
John Broughton, Church Street.
Stephen Skinner, Church Street.

Grubb Street

J. M. Hughes House
Wilson Reed HouseSam Hourmouis
Chas. E. JohnsonElliott House
James S. McNiderMrs. Ann White
Francis PicardJesse Lee Harris
Pennington House
S. T. Sutton House
Cecil Winslow, East AcademyOnce Ell from Grammar School

Market Street

W. C. Dozier House
Mrs. T. S. WhiteMrs. Ann White
A. L. HefrenBaker House
William Mardre Store
Jemima Barrow (Colored)
N. E. ChappellBagley House
William Mardre House
Lynch Funeral HomeFrank Barrow

J. T. BiggersW. R. Shannonhouse
Episcopal Rectory

Dobb Street

Mrs. R. T. WhiteArps
W. G. EdwardsMullen
Old Methodist ParsonageMoved from site on Market St. in 1912 or 1913.
Oscar NewboldT. A. Cox
Brace Home, King StreetPartially burned a few years ago.


The Mullen House, corner Covent Garden and Dobb Streets. The residence of W. G. Edwards.


Harvey House. This property was purchased by Captain James Wood, Sr. from Exum Newby in 1809. The Harveys later owned the home. It is now the residence of L. C. Winslow.



City Librarian

Lionel R. McColvin, C.B.E., F.L.A.

SLO. 0446

W. G. Newby, Esq.,

Town of Hertford,

Hertford, North Carolina.




Dear Sir,

Thank you for your letter.

I enclose a few notes on Hyde Park, Covent Garden and Grub Street which I hope will be of some use to you and am sending by separate post a copy of the Official Guide to Westminster.

Yours truly,


Hyde Park. This famous park, rightly described as one of the lungs of London, formerly belonged to the Monastery of St. Peter, Westminster, whose modern name is Westminster Abbey. At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century it passed to the Crown in whose hands it has remained (with a brief break of private ownership during the Commonwealth) until the present time. It is completely open to the public. The Serpentine is a popular swimming resort in the summer. Near one of the gates of the Park is an area popularly called Speaker's Corner where anyone wishing to express views on anything ranging from politics, and religion to private grievances may and does have his say.


Whedbee House, home of Monroe Whedbee. Some section of this old home is nearing the 200 year mark. The residence of Mrs. Charles Whedbee.


Home of Mr. Charles E. White, located in the Harvey's Neck section of Perquimans County and built in the early 1700's. The interior is finished with beautiful paneling. It is on a beautiful farm of 300 acres. It is, perhaps, the oldest house in the county.


The Sinclair Oil Tanker “Paul Dana” after discharging oil at her dock, passing Newby's Point (now called Nixon's) on the Perquimans River.

Covent Garden. Covent Garden is a district, a market and a theatre in the City of Westminster. Its name derives from its early days when it belonged to the Monastery of St. Peter, Westminster and was called Convent Garden. Eventually the land came into the possession of the Earls of Bedford one of whom laid out a square in the district. This square was Italian in name and design, being called the Piazza. To this then fashionable square market gardeners from nearby villages brought their produce daily and set up their stalls in the centre of it. The Earls of Bedford obtained market rights and formal stalls were erected in the square. From these early steps developed the present market whose fame is international. The theatre, popularly referred to as Covent Garden, is the Royal Opera House opened in 1732 and almost entirely rebuilt in 1792. In 1808 it was demolished by fire and rebuilt the following year. In 1856 it was again destroyed by fire and rebuilt within the next few years. The theatre devotes itself to opera and to ballet and is the theatre usually chosen by the Queen for the entertainment of foreign guests on ceremonial visits.

Grub Street. This street, afterwards Milton Street, lay in the City of London. It gained a reputation in literature from the number of writers who lived there at one time and another writing satirical pamphlets and producing other hack work.


Stevenson's Point on the farm of Col. James Leigh, born in 1781 and died in 1854. This is the eastern tip of Perquimans County. Thirty miles to the northeast of this Point is the monument of the Wright Brothers and the scene of the Lost Colony showing the drama of John White's landing in 1585. This is the area of the first recorded deed in North Carolina from Yeopim Tribe of Indians to George Durant March 1st, 1661.


Fisherman's Paradise—Mill Creek, (Government Map), on the Perquimans River, North Carolina. Known in my generation as Bright's Creek and in this generation as “Thousand Islands”.


1. Perquimans County formed out of Albemarle County 1670.

2. First deed of record in North Carolina, Yeopim Tribe of Indians to George Durant, 1661.

3. The first tombstones in the state are located in Perquimans County, North Carolina, at Harvey Point. Date 1729 and the Skinners and Harveys are buried here.

4. Caleb Calloway witnessed the first land transaction which is on record in Perquimans Courthouse, Hertford, North Carolina, with Chief Kilcocenen's mark like an egg with a prong.

5. Property qualifications were instituted for office holding and voting. No man could serve on a jury unless he owned forty acres or be a constable without owning 100 acres.

6. The first indentured servants were probably brought into the country by George Catchmaid who owned 3,333 acres on Perquimans River, at Stevenson's Point, and brought in thirty persons.

7. The First Colonial Governor was William Drummond, who served from 1665 to 1667. He lived for a while in Durant's Neck, North Carolina. Lake Drummond located in the Great Dismal Swamp, was named for William Drummond and also Drummond's Point in Chowan County.

The Irish poet, Thomas Moore, visited the lake in 1803 and wrote the melancholy ballad “The Lake of the Dismal Swamp”.

Drummond returned to Virginia and took part in Bacon's Rebellion and was captured and tried for treason by Sir William Berkley, the Tyrant, convicted and was hanged in one hour. So it would seem that the Governor of Virginia hanged the Governor of North Carolina.

8. Nathan Newby was appointed to build the first “Gaol” in 1739, a tax of 2S 6 pence for same being levied.

9. The first tax list was prepared in 1729.

10. Records point that the first Courthouse was built at Phelps Point in 1722 and was destroyed by fire. The present courthouse was built in 1732 and is the oldest in the State.

11. First woman to be appointed postmaster at Hertford, N. C. after the adoption of the Constitution, Mrs. Sarah DeCrow, in 1792.

(See story by U. S. Post Office Department.)

September 15, 1958

Hon. Herbert C. Bonner

House of Representatives

Washington 25, D. C.

Dear Congressman Bonner:

In response to your letter of September 8, I am able to tell you that we have discovered some information about Mrs. Sarah DeCrow.

Letter books of the Postmaster General indicate that Mrs. Sarah DeCrow, who was appointed on September 27, 1792, to the position of postmaster at Hertford, North Carolina, was the first woman to be appointed to the position of postmaster under the United States Post Office Department, after the adoption of the Constitution. Appointment records show that Mrs. DeCrow submitted her first accounts on March 20, 1793.

Enclosed is a copy of an interesting letter to Mrs. DeCrow from the General Post Office at Philadelphia, in which the matter of her proposed resignation from the service is discussed. Neither our records nor those in Archives indicate the date of termination of service regarding Mrs. DeCrow.

Sincerely yours,


Executive Assistant


Southeast Boundary Leigh Farm



August 25, 1793

Mrs. Sarah DeCrow


In the absence of the Postmaster General, I have received your letter in which you expressed a wish to resign your office in consequence of the small compensation that you received for your services. You are mistaken in supposing that you were entitled to no more than 20% compensation. You are entitled to 40% which is the highest rate of compensation the Postmaster General is authorized to allow to any of his deputies. I am sensible that the pecuniary advantages arising from your office cannot be much inducement to you to hold it, yet I flatter myself you will continue to do the business for the benefit of the town and neighborhood. If, however, you should decline holding the office any longer, be pleased to recommend some suitable character to succeed you. Mr. Blount's contract for carrying the mail does not expire until 1 June 1794, when proposals will again be received for the conveyance of the mail, and you will then have an opportunity of making yours which will be duly attended to.

(Signed) C. B.

From: Postmaster General Letter Book of June 13, 1792—October 27, 1793.


A monument near the center of the graveyard bears this inscription: North of this grave lies deposited the remains of Thomas Stevenson, Esq., son of Thomas, born April 1st, 1762, and died December 17th, 1801. Sarah Reed, his first wife. And died 27th January, 1796. Elizabeth Ryan, his second and last wife, born October 11th, 1767, and died 22nd of April 1815. William Stevenson, son of Thomas and Sarah, born November 16th, 1786, and drowned in Albemarle Sound, 2nd of February 1806, with Durant Reed, his cousin, son of the late George D. Reed, and both buried in the same grave. And Mary Stevenson, daughter of Thomas and Sarah, born 25th December, 1788, and died March 1809. In this family burying ground also lies interred the remains of Captain William Stevenson, the great ancestor of this family, John, his son, and Thomas, the son of John and grandfather of Margaret, together with their wives and several children. This monument is erected to the memory of the family by the husband of the affectionate Margaret.


This section of Perquimans County is known as Durant's Neck named in honor of George Durant who came from London to Northumberland County, Virginia which lies between the Rappahannock River and the Potomac.

On March 1st, 1661 a deed was made from the Tribe of Yeopim Indians to George Durant. We here enter this deed which is recorded in the Registrar's Office of Perquimans County on page No. 374—Deed Book “A”.

The Leigh Mansion is located on this grant, one of the most pretentious in this area, and displays the grandeur of other years.

The final resting place of Durant has never been located—it is possible that the waters of the Perquimans and Albemarle Sound have swept away something that we would like to know.

Also in this area was other important events that make history. On the farm of Capt. John Hecklefield was held the Albemarle Assembly of the early 1700's, the last being held on July


The House of Col. James Leigh in Durant's Neck, built about 1825

4th, 1712. Afterwards business was transacted in the Courthouse in Hertford as it now stands.

Know all men by these presents, That I Kilcocanen, King of the Yeopim, have for a valuable consideration of satisfaction received with ye consent of my people, sold and made over, and delivered to George Durant, a parcel of land lying and being on Roanoke Sound and on a river called by ye name of Perquimans which issueth out of the north side of the aforesaid sound which land at present bears ye name Wecocomicke. Beginning at a marked oak Tree which divided this land from ye lands I formerly sold to Samuel Pricklove extending westerly with said Sound to a point or turning of the aforesaid Perquimans River and up the eastward side of ye said river to the creek called by the name of Awoseake, To wit, all ye land betwixt ye aforesaid bounds of Samuel Pricklove and the said Creek, thence to the head thereof, and thence through ye woods to ye first bounds.

To have and to hold ye quiet possession of ye same to him and his heirs forever with all rights and privileges thereto forever from me or any person or persons whatsoever.

As witness my hand this first day of March, 1661.


Ye Mark of


Test: Thomas Weamouth,

Caleb Callway

This is a true Copy examined word by word out of ye original by me.


Will Lloyd,

Thomas Halett

Edward Remington,

Registered the 24th day of October, 1716


A deed was made the 6th day of April, 1766, between Marmaduke Norfleet, of the County of Perquimans, and George Washington and Fielding Lewis, his nephew in the sum of 1200 pounds paid to Marmaduke Norfleet by said George Washington and Fielding Lewis for two certain tracts of land given unto the said Marmaduke Norfleet by the last will and testament of Thomas Norfleet, deceased, and duly proved and recorded in the Clerk's Office in the County of Nansemond, being half of the tract of 275 acres dated 5th of April, 1697 and the other the said Thomas purchased from Chas Drewery for 40 acres by deed dated July 26th, 1721, also other tract of land granted unto the said Marmaduke by the Right Honorable Earl of Granville by Deed dated July 23rd, 1760 for 450 acres, all of which 3 parcels of land lies situate in the County of Perquimans. Also another tract lying and being situate partly in the said County of Perquimans and partly in the County of Chowan and Granted by Earl of Granville to said Marmaduke Norfleet July 23rd, 1760.

The 4 parcels of land estimated to contain by estimation 1093 acres.

To have and to hold the 4 parcels of land hereby conveyed unto the said George Washington and Fielding Lewis forever.

The above deed was proved before me the 25th day of May 1766 by the oath of Lemuel Riddick, one of the subscribing witnesses, let it be registered.

Registered in the Registrar's Office of Perquimans County, this 5th day of June 1766.

(Test) John Harvey, Registrar

In 1670 Perquimans and Chowan Counties were formed and the above deed to George Washington and Fielding Lewis, his nephew, was made in 1766 and recorded in Perquimans County. However, in 1779 Gates County was formed from the area of Perquimans and Chowan Counties and the land conveyed by this deed seems to be in Gates County.

In 1862 Roanoke Island was captured in February by the commander of the Federal forces under General Ambrose Everett Burnside. This was a great blow to all the Albemarle countryside as it opened up the towns on the rivers flowing into the Albemarle Sound. In that same year Burnside's marauders sailed up


Chenowith Home built in 1767 by Exum Newby. This house is located in the Belvidere Section of Perquimans County and Mrs. Chenoweth is the sister of Mrs. Inglis Fletcher, the novelist.


Thomas Newby House, now owned by Guy Webb. Thomas Mullen Newby, Jr. was killed at this house in 1862 by one of the soldiers of General Burnside's invasion of the Albemarle. See story on next page. Some additions have been made to the home since that tragic day.

the Perquimans River and stopped over at the home of Thomas Newby and killed his son, Thomas Mullen Newby. They continued on until reaching Hertford and shelled the town, one minie ball hitting the John S. Wood residence, now owned by Mrs. Clyde McCallum, and Mrs. T. B. Sumner is now the owner of a fragment of that cannon ball.

With their ships standing off Crow Point they put out in small boats and landed at the foot of Grub Street, inviting any who wished to leave the town to get aboard which some did. However, there was some confusion and fear about this time as the guerrillas had arrived and in their haste to make escape to the boats in the channel some of the small boats overturned and there was a general exodus back home.

These guerrilas were camped on what is now known as the land entry of Skinner and Speight and in later years was purchased in a timber transaction by Newby and White. One day in our saw mill located on this land we were cutting some original pine logs when suddenly we were trying to cut through iron. It was a mystery, as the iron was in the middle of the log about 36 inches in diameter. One day we were talking about this mystery to a gallant Confederate soldier, Mr. I. N. White, and we might add that he was one of those immortals in Pickett's charge up Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg. He said why that was the Camp of the Guerrillas who drove those nails and spikes in the trees.


John S. Wood House, Front Street. Built 1825.



The white schools of Perquimans County operate in three units: the Perquimans County High School, located just outside Hertford on the Edenton highway; Perquimans Central Grammar School at Winfall; and Hertford Grammar School in Hertford. Perquimans County is rather unique in that the whole county is just one school district.

The Perquimans High School, built in 1924, enrolls 427 students from all over the county and transports half of them by bus. The high school offers excellent courses in Agriculture, Home Economics, Driver Training, and Commerce, in addition to the regular liberal arts and science courses. Athletics, including football, baseball, basketball, and track, bring physical educational opportunities to its students. An imposing gymnasium, with space for the Agriculture Department, has been added in


White Hertford Grammar School, Dobb Street Extended. Built in 1957. Value $228,000.00.


White Perquimans County High School Built in 1924. Value $210,000.00.


Elementary Colored School Built in 1957, King Street. Value $287,000.00.

recent years. The faculty numbers 16. Three of these teachers are for the eighth grade.

The Perquimans Central Grammar School at Winfall draws its elementary age students from the west side of Perquimans River and has an enrollment of 435, with 15 teachers. A new wing of classrooms and a library was added to the building in 1955. The main section of the school was erected in 1937.

The Hertford Grammar School was built in 1957, replacing the old building that was destroyed by fire. 279 children from Hertford and the east side of Perquimans River are enrolled and there are 10 teachers. In architectural design this new building is modern and has three connected units: primary, grammar grade, and administrative. The central administration unit includes a library and a combination auditorium and lunch room.

All three schools operate excellent lunch rooms.

There are 1118 colored students and 43 colored teachers in Perquimans County. Two modern plants, both built within the last 10 years, are operated. The Hertford School is for elementary pupils and the Union School at Winfall is both elementary and high school. This school at Winfall boasts one of the best classes for retarded children in the state.

In 1958, from interest aroused in a study in the Hertford PTA, a Citizens’ Committee for Better Schools was formed. Through its efforts, and with the cooperation of the several PTA's, the citizens of Perquimans County voted to tax themselves to provide extra educational advantages for their children. This first year a Public School Music Teacher has been added for the white schools and equipment purchased for an Agriculture Shop at the colored school at Winfall. With the citizenry of the county awake to the great importance of advantages for its children, there is no cause to fear for the future of education here.

After the Hertford Grammar School was destroyed by fire in January 1956 and it was decided feasible to change the site of the school building, a group of citizens organized interest in preserving the school lot as a recreation area for Perquimans County. This group, through private donations from all over the county, was able to form a corporation and purchase the plot when it was sold at public auction. The old wooden building, which had been built originally for an annex to Hertford Grammar School and had later served as the County Library, remaining on the property was repaired and refurbished to be used as a recreation building for young people. A tot lot has been completed and two tennis courts are under construction on the property. Plans call for other recreational facilities as funds are raised.

Value of Perquimans County School Buildings


Perquimans High School$ 210,000.00
Perquimans High School Gymnasium115,000.00
Hertford Grammar School228,000,00
Perquimans Central Grammar School191,800.00
Total White Schools$ 744,800.00


Perquimans Union School$ 305,000.00
King Street Elementary287,000.00
Total Negro Schools$ 592,000.00
Total for County Schools$1,336,800.00
County School Garage$ 15,000.00


One of the keys to unlock the hidden treasures in any area is transportation. The great Ruler of the Universe gave us both land and water. The genius of man has wrought wonders in spanning our terrain with railroads and highways. However, our waterways have never been fully utilized. Those towns and cities that have a waterfront have the advantage of dual connections over their neighbors in the interior, and, yet when we visit these water front places we see a lack of interest, wharfs and docks in decay.

I had the privilege of being secretary to the late John H. Small, 1st District Congressman in the 1900's. His great undertaking was the Inland Waterway from Boston to Beaufort Inlet, N. C. His hobby was to cheapen freight rates and avoid the dangerous Diamond Shoals at Cape Hatteras, the graveyard of American shipping. He lived to see his dream come true. I ask this question: Has the public yet realized the great advantage of this waterway?

The Town of Hertford is fortunate to have both rail and water connections. The Norfolk and Southern Railroad, built in the 1880's, runs from Norfolk, Va., one of the greatest gateways, along the Atlantic Seaboard, to Charlotte, N. C.

We have wealth in our forests and streams and in our fertile agricultural land. We have accessibility to all these treasures in the rough and we only need to visualize the help of new blood to process and package same.

Our forests are the greatest in quick reproduction in America and we need woodworking plants and pulp mills and canning factories, and we welcome all to this, one of the most beautiful towns in the great Commonwealth of North Carolina.


The Perquimans River is thirty miles long from its source in the great Dismal Swamp. The upper reaches are very crooked and the water is deep. Here the water is tinted with juniper growth of the great Swamp and it is the habitat of bream and black Bass (or Welshman) in my day. The part of the river that reaches towards the East and flows into the Albemarle Sound is fine fishing grounds, being the home of the striped Bass (or Rock), White Perch and in the creeks that flow into the Perquimans you will find the speckled Perch and many other fish that live in such waters. We have three creeks, by name The Raccoon, The Mill and Sutton, all of which will furnish the sportsman with some good fishing. During the last decade at the mouth of the river some of the finest spots, croakers and White perch have been found and great catches of these fish have been made.

Holy Writ gives a man three score and ten years and if perchance he lives to be four score he will want to reminisce on the past and visualize on the future.

Sixty years ago there were great seine fisheries in Eastern North Carolina and we name here the fishery of the Wood's in Chowan County and the great fishery of the Capehart's at Avoca, in Bertie County. In those days it was a simple thing to haul in a million herring and two or three thousand shad at one haul. These seines reached out one or two miles and were handled by


Mouth of Raccoon Creek. Known in this generation as Skinner's Creek.

steam barges to carry out the net and winches with steam power to bring them to shore.

In bygone days it was an happy event at Easter times for the churches to give a picnic to their Sunday schools at these fisheries and such a fine treat to eat some of those fresh fried shad and herring roe, and all would come away happy.

Well do we remember the vans of covered carts and wagons that would pass through this town going to these fisheries for their year's supply of herring. Often the cost per thousand would not be over one dollar. Sometimes the catches were so large that the excess herring would be hauled out on the land to be used as fertilizer.

Where is all this wealth gone—it is not here any more. We beileve that out yonder in the blue of the Atlantic Ocean we have as many herring and shad as in the past. Let our Conservation Department work on this mystery. Perhaps we have dammed up so much of the fresh waters to the west and shoaled up our inlets in the east until we have ruined the spawning grounds in our sounds and rivers.

When we walk in these chain stores and view the prices on the cans of tuna and salmon and other foods from the deep we ponder just what we have lost from our great sounds and rivers in wealth.


We are not an archaeologist, but being interested very much in past events and ancient history, we are endeavoring in this booklet to present some of our findings. Along the reaches of Yeopim Creek we found the location of the Indian Pots. The photo does not define them clearly, yet in company with Mr. Charles E. White, who lives nearby, we made some excavations and found two. The lines are perfectly formed and this writer stood in the bottom of one which was level with the ground and about three feet deep. We estimate that they are around 400 years old. The pots are located on the farm of Mr. J. B. Perry. The outer walls seem to be composed of a clay substance and the inner walls seem to be a black substance resembling pitch.


The Eagle Hotel, a memory of bygone days, was perhaps 150 years old when it was razed in 1915. Mrs. John A. Chalk, the last occupant to live there, is authority for this date and it is verified by the date of the Carolina Bank Company which shows the date of building as 1916. Mrs. Chalk states that they were razing the north end of this old hotel when she left the building in 1915.

The building had a frontage on Church Street extending from 20 feet north of the Hertford Cafe (Sam's Place), to the north ending on Grubb Street.

It was a meeting place for the aristocracy and the gents of another age. As a boy I often went to sit on the front porch and listen to the gossip of that era. One afternoon, after Superior Court had adjourned, Judge Cooke, a gentleman of the old school, was on the porch talking, but turning his chair said to me: “Young man, can you tell me the age of this Hotel?” My answer was: “Judge, they tell me that George Washington slept in that room.” His answer was: “Well, I think Columbus also slept there.”


Eagle Hotel.


In this era of budgets in the red it is refreshing to learn that our town is in the black. During the past 20 years the financial position of our town has improved and this condition has been reached, we think, to a large degree, by the skillful handling by our mayor, Hon. V. N. Darden and his commissioners composed of H. C. Sullivan, Robt. L. Hollowell, W. Ray White and A. W. Hefren. We also wish to recall the helpful hand of the late W. H. Hardcastle.

W. G. Newby served as clerk for the Town of Hertford from September 17th, 1931 to July 16, 1955 and R. C. Elliott succeeded Newby and is the present clerk.

In 1915 the town issued bonds for fifty thousand dollars for lights and water at an interest rate of 5% and in 1920 an issue of one hundred thousand dollars for lights and water. Also in the same year bonds to the amount of seventy-five thousand dollars for improvement of streets at an interest rate of 6%.

The capital assets in the year 1937 were $271,183.25 and in the year 1957 $523,553.46, a gain of $252,370.21.

In order that the tax payer may see at a glance some of the handicaps encountered we recite the following facts:

The fifty thousand dollar issue was not made “Callable”, and no installments were payable for first 30 years (or until 1945), and at the date first installment of principal was paid in 1945, the interest payments on the fifty thousand dollar loan had been paid in total amount of seventy-five thousand dollars or one and one-half times the original loan of fifty thousand dollars. Since 1945 maturing installments of the fifty thousand bonds have been paid in total amount of thirty thousand leaving a balance of this issue still due in amount of twenty thousand dollars. The paid maturity will be in 1965.

The present balance of one hundred thousand bond issue in amount of ten thousand will be paid out in 1960, making a total of thirty thousand to be paid between now and 1965.

The audit reports have been made for the past 27 years by the firm of Williams and Wall, Raleigh, N. C. and we consider their work thorough and correct in every way.


The first courthouse was probably built at Phelps Point (Now Hertford), described as “Ye Gran Courthouse,” in Perquimans Precinct between 1694 and 1701 and soon destroyed. Our present courthouse was built in 1732, the oldest courthouse in the State.

It is a Georgian structure. Its restoration was made possible by the philanthropy of Clinton White Toms.

The following Tablet was placed at the entrance by order of County Commissioners in the year 1932:


This tablet is placed

By Perquimans County

In appreciation of

The generosity of

Clinton White Toms

In restoring the Court

House for the Citizens of

His Native County


Photo of Courthouse]



of Columbia, South Carolina

  • Down by the river,
  • Far, far away—
  • That's where I want to be,
  • And where I want to stay.
  • Down by the “Old Perquimans”
  • Where the weeping willows grow,
  • Down by the Perquimans River
  • Where moon and stars hang low.
  • On the river banks,
  • Flowers grow in fine array—
  • Down by the “Old Perquimans”
  • Where skies are never gray.
  • Down by the river,
  • Grow the cypress tall and green—
  • Down by the Perquimans,
  • The prettiest place I've seen.
  • Down by the Perquimans,
  • The pier so fine and long—
  • Down by the Perquimans,
  • The birds sing their low sweet song.
  • And when night is falling softly at the river,
  • The trees and sky make a silhouette,
  • Down by the “Old Perquimans”
  • A place I'll never forget.

Author's note. This poem was accepted as Today's Poem by Raleigh News and Observer. The age of young Hendley was 10 years. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Newby.



Perquimans County Farm Agent

Fifty years in Perquimans County has brought forth many, many changes but not any that is more significant than those in agriculture.

Where once a farm consisted of a pair of mules, two cows, 10 acres of corn, 10 acres of beans, 5 acres of peanuts, and all the cotton that the family could pick plus a couple of hogs to kill for


Above is the picture of corn on Mr. Warner L. Madre's farm, Route I, Hertford,
N. C. which produced 170 bushels of corn to the acre in 1958. This set a new
record in North Carolina for the number of bushels of corn produced to an acre.
By intensive fertilizer, and close spacing with research, corn produced in Per-
quimans County has been raised from around fifteen bushels of corn per acre to
sixty-five bushels of corn per acre at the present time.


meat, now a farm has $10,000 to $30,000 in equipment, 40 to 200 acres of corn and about the same in soybeans. In some cases there are 10 to 20 brood sows and 1,000 to 3,000 laying hens.

The changes of the farm enterprise were brought forth due to the added expense in farming. Today farm enterprises bring forth in Perquimans County four million dollars and a large percent of this are expenses. Where seed corn once was saved from year to year, now most farmers plant hybrid seed corn. A few years ago, organic sources of fertilizer were used for plant food and now inorganic sources are applied in high analysis and in some cases this is in solutions. It's not unusual for farmers to apply 700 to 800 pounds of fertilizer under a crop. This was brought about by research in which high yields have been produced with high fertilization. Where the corn yield used to be 5 to 10 bushels per acre, now it is above 60 bushels. Peanuts average close to 2,000 pounds per acre and hogs through better management and breeding are being sold at a 200 pound weight in less than five months.

This great improvement in agriculture didn't just happen. Our people were fast to adapt new ideas and have them applied to their own farms using the latest machinery and “know how” to obtain better results. At the present time, agriculture is the largest business in Perquimans County, but if 100 farmers would maintain a laying flock of 4,000 laying hens each, our income would double. This in itself is most significant in that men with machinery need more land to become more efficient and unfortunately family size farms are becoming extinct. This means that layers can be maintained on these small farms in flocks of three or four thousand.

The progress in the past fifty years has been tremendous, but the next fifty years will be more fantastic. Who would have believed fifty years ago that one man would cultivate 40 acres of land in one day or pick 1,500 bushels of corn in one day, or use chemicals to control weeds, or farm 300 acres of land with one hired helper or invest thousands of dollars in farm machinery? This has already happened. When the markets demand more food or fiber, and are willing to pay the cost, the farmers of Perquimans County have the ability and equipment to produce by being up-to-date and quick to use the latest farming methols.


For the first time in the long and distinguished history of the State, a North Carolinian has been named the National Star Farmer, the highest achievement award of the Future Farmers of America.

The young man making the achievement is Clarence C. Chappell, Jr., of Route 1, Belvidere, a 1954 graduate of Perquimans County High School and an outstanding State FFA leader.

Selection of the 21-year-old Future Farmer for the national honor was announced at the 30th annual national FFA convention in Kansas City, Mo., October 15th, 1957. Young Chappell, whose net worth after seven years of FFA projects amounts to $71,961.39, was awarded $1,000 in cash in recognition of his new achievement.

In recognition of his national achievement, the Perquimans County youth will be invited to make several network TV and radio appearances. One of his appearances will be on the popular “National Farm and Home Hour,” conducted on the NBC radio network by the veteran Everett Mitchell.

Further recognition was given to young Chappell when he rode in the lead car in a mammoth parade inaugurating the American Royal Live Stock Exposition in Kansas City.

R. J. Peeler of Raleigh, executive secretary of the North Carolina Association of the Future Farmers of America, hailed Chappell's National Star Farmer honor as “a once-in-a-generation achievement.”

Mr. Peeler continued, “Clarence is the most outstanding farm boy that I have had the privilege of working with during my 30 years in vocational agriculture and the FFA.

“His program is top quality all the way. His accomplishments in dairying, swine, beef, and crops have been excellent in both quality and profits.”

Sharing in their son's honor was Mr. and Mrs. Clarence C. Chappell of Belvidere, N. C., awarded an honorary American

Farmer Degree at the National FFA convention session recently. A special citation was presented to Mrs. Chappell.

Young Chappell's selection as the National Star Farmer was based on his extensive farming program and his community and home improvement projects covering the past seven years.

Countries, in addition to the United States, in which Chappell has sold his livestock include Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hawaii, Cuba, Panama Canal Zone, and Puerto Rico.

During a special swine sale at his home last spring, Chappell sold 32 animals for a total of $4,287.50 or an average of $133.98 per head.

Prior to setting up his seven-year supervised practice program, young Chappell conferred at length with his father; his teacher of vocational agriculture, Joe Tunnell; and his grandfather who lived in the same community.

Author's Note: Space forbids any further recital of the achievements of this young man. His County is proud of his rise in the world of agriculture and it should teach the generation of this era what grit and courage will accomplish. We might add that young Chappell will be a special guest at the coming State Fair and will have an exhibit showing “Progress and Planning for the Last 7 Years.”

A young man who wins in the cavalcade of 375 thousand contestants is to be congratulated with all the praise that it is possible to give.

My Valedictory

In this pamphlet I have tried to write some of the interesting historical data in our town and county, and perhaps am going far afield to relate anything beyond. However, in a recent political debate a gentleman north of the Mason and Dixon Line referred to the South as an area of “Egg Heads”. Looking through Webster's Dictionary I am unable to find the definition of this word and have reached the conclusion this is perhaps a slur upon our beloved Southland.

If one will read history he will be proud to find the great contribution made to the nation by men of great stature whose deeds will live in the minds of men a thousand years hence.

We desire here to give just a few of these great statesmen:

1st. George Washington, Father of Our Country, born in Virginia and our First President. It is not necessary for us to relate in detail here the great deeds and achievements of this man for his name is known by all nations for his greatness in war and peace.

2nd. Thomas Jefferson, our third president, of Virginia. He was Chairman of a Special Committee of Five to prepare a Declaration of Independence. Jefferson wrote the draft which was adopted with few changes and it was adopted to become one of the immortal documents of history.

He was elected in 1801 to be president by the House of Representatives and in 1805 he was re-elected.

One of the greatest land deals ever made was the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 from France for fifteen million dollars including the State of Louisiana and all the country occupied by Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Indian Territory, North and South Dakota and the greater part of Minnesota. It has been said that this land cost the U. S. Government about one cent an acre. Not verified by the writer.

James Madison, of Virginia, fourth president, was elected in 1808 and was one of the framers of the Constitution.

James Monroe, fifth president, of Virginia. His administration was noted for the purchase of Florida from Spain and the adoption of the Missouri Compromise and the passing of the Monroe Doctrine.


Pontoon Bridge supported by whiskey barrels in 1784.


The next bridge to supplant the pontoon bridge in 1895. In 1929 the State High-
way Commission replaced the 1895 structure.


Andrew Jackson, seventh president, born in the Waxhaw settlement of North Carolina. Jackson was a great soldier and statesman. He defeated the British General Packinham at New Orleans in 1814. Packinham had 12,000 troops and Jackson 6,000, but Jackson's victory was complete. The great and decisive victory achieved with the loss of only eight men, made Jackson the hero of the nation. Truman referred to him recently as our greatest president. Another great achievement of Jackson's was the removal of public funds from the U. S. Bank to various State Banks.

Andrew Johnson, our 17th president, born at Raleigh, N. C. He became president upon the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in April, 1865. His administration was marked with dissensions and the trial of impeachment failed by only one vote.

James K. Polk, 11th president, was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. His administration was eventful and brilliant. Texas was annexed and the Mexican war fought which with territorial purchases, added the great territory now comprising Texas, California, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and the western part of Colorado to the domain of the United States. The Oregon boundary was settled by compromise. He refused a second term.

The patriots of our beloved Southland certainly were helpful in creating the richest and best governed nation on earth and through their skillful management add to our domain fifty per cent of its present area. So we say to those who refer to us as egg heads that we are glad when we look up and see our flag flying in the gentle breeze, that we are proud to live in the commonwealths that are represented by a star and a stripe.


You will see on several of the pages of this booklet pictures of homes that were built before the Civil War. They now stand as silent sentinels of a great past and down memory lane comes the era of the horse and carriage days, great plantations of cotton, wheat and corn. Gay parties with an occasional mint julep.

At twilight the music of the guitar and banjo came floating from the “Quarters” and the Virginia Reel and the Polka were in style.

General Sherman once said: “War is Hell,” and we are glad in his march to the sea he did not come our way. If he had, perhaps, these symbols of majestic architectural beauty might have been razed and posterity would not have the chance of viewing these homes of a great and glorious past.

We wish to thank all who helped us in the preparation of this booklet. Mr. Talmadge Rose took the photos for us and we think he did a fine job.

Some of the prints were also furnished by Mr. H. C. Sullivan and we wish to thank both for their cooperation.


The above picture represents a P6M in flight. The home part will be located at the confluence of the Albemarle Sound and Perquimans River, in Perquimans County, North Carolina. It is estimated that the cost of the base will approximately be fifty million dollars. The maintenance crew will be about 2,500 and families will bring it to 7,500. It was originally planned to build two of these bases, but this is the only one of its kind now under construction. However, we are advised that another base, similar to this one, will be built in the future on the West Coast. The official title will be Naval Air Station, Harvey Point, Hertford, North Carolina. Plane built by “The Martin Company” of Baltimore, Maryland.

Printed by




MUNICIPAL BUILDING, 1952. V. N. Darden, Mayor and Manager. Commissioners: W. H. Hardcastle, Henry
C. Sullivan, Robert L. Hollowell and W. Ray White. W. G. Newby, Clerk. Fenton T. Britt, General Supt.



CROW POINT—Robert DeCrow, husband of Sarah DeCrow, first woman postmaster at Hertford, North Carolina,
after the adoption of the Constitution, purchased land along Skinner's Creek, (Government Map) Raccoon.
Being a land owner in the vicinity of Crow Point, we wonder if the “De” was not dropped and “Crow” got
its name. See story from Post Office Department.


Un-cataloged item icon

The details for this item have not yet been reviewed by cataloging.

To request review of this item, click here.