Susan Virginia Streeter was born in 1825 in Greene County, the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. In 1843, she married Peyton Ashley Atkinson of Pitt County and thereafter resided at his plantation \"Bensboro,\" north of the Tar River. Mr. Atkinson, active in local politics, was a very wealthy man who purchased several tracts of land in the area and acquired nearly 117 slaves. The couple had six children but four died before reaching their first birthday. With the death of Peyton Atkinson in 1863, Susan received nearly $250,000 from his will. For several years, she managed her holdings and her late husband's business ventures while raising their two still living children, Benjamin Streeter and Francis Marion. Susan remarried to William Whitehead in the late 1860s though this marriage was short lived as she quickly divorced him for whipping her. After suing Whitehead for her property, Susan struggled to run her plantations with the help of her two sons. Tragically, both Benjamin and Francis died in the early 1880s, leaving her virtually alone in the world. Susan Virginia Streeter Atkinson sold off almost all of her family's land and died in 1895, having outlived her entire family.