Thomas J. Pearsall was superintendent at Braswell Plantation, a historic farm-tenantary plantation. The house dated to 1790 but the rest of the property (22,000 acres) sprawled between Halifax, Nash, and Edgecombe Counties. As a business, the plantation operated off of a landlord-tenant scheme. Pearsall required each family, 150 total in 1943, maintain a cow, sow, garden, and sweet potato patch. In return, church, school and community meeting spaces were provided.