1828-1839

A Residence at Somerset

Josiah Collins III

• Josiah Collins II arranges for the construction of additional housing at Somerset Place to accommodate 79 enslaved persons he adds to the enslaved community. These people come principally from family plantations and businesses in Edenton. Most are young, single men and women who bring unrelated bloodlines into the web of kinship at the lake.

• Josiah II's eldest son, Josiah III, plans to marry and make Somerset Place his home.

• Josiah Collins III and his bride, Mary Riggs Collins, are the plantation's first resident owners. A great reorienting and redefining of the plantation's landscape begins. An owner's compound, a new house for Josiah and Mary, a chapel and hospital for the enslaved community, and a boarding school for the Collins boys and their tutors now reflect Josiah and Mary's wealthy lifestyle. They have six sons, but only three live to maturity.

• An enclave of enslaved house and personal servants is culled out of the existing enslaved community, including personal servant Dick Blount, butler Luke Davis, and coachman Wellington Roberts. Penny Gossom and Annette Horton are house servants.

Mary Riggs Collins

• Charlotte Cabarrus, a free woman of color, is employed as nursemaid for the Collins boys. She is highly educated and lives on the third floor of the Collins Family Home with the boys. She dies at Somerset Place in 1860.

• Episcopal priests begin maintaining a parish register at the chapel that documents the confirmations, marriages, baptisms, and deaths of enslaved communicants between 1837-1862. This provides a unique, although incomplete, genealogical record for the enslaved community.

• Josiah III's father, Josiah Collins II, dies in 1839. He leaves an estate of enslaved persons, nine properties in Edenton, Somerset Place, and eight heirs.