Growth and Tragedy…

list of enslaved familes

• Heirs of Josiah Collins Jr. divide 482 slaves into eight shares—and 287 live at Somerset Place. Some are taken to Edenton, others to Elizabeth City, and still others to Alabama. By the mid-1840s, two heirs suffer reversals of fortune and sell their inherited slaves to family members or others at auction.

• Josiah Collins III inherits Somerset Place with 12,400 acres, 1,500 under cultivation.

• Four boys, ten years and younger, drown while canoeing in the canal in front of the Collins home. Two, Edward and Hugh Collins, are sons of Somerset's owners, Josiah and Mary Collins. The other two are enslaved children, Zacharias Blount and Anderson Sawyer. This tragedy touches the lives of everyone living at Somerset Place. A few years later, Josiah and Mary lose a third son.

• A list of families living in the enslaved community records three four-room dwellings and 23 one-room dwellings housing 281 people. This one-of-a-kind document is an invaluable tool for determining living arrangements in the slave community.

• Slaves inherited by Louisa Collins are removed from Edenton and Somerset Place and transported to present-day Faunsdale, Alabama, where many of their descendants remain today.