#TrueInclusion

#TrueInclusion

The Division of North Carolina State Historic Sites is committed to sharing the stories of members of traditionally marginalized communities whose lives have intersected with our historic sites. We launched the #TrueInclusion initiative to highlight the broad interpretive work already happening at our sites and emphasize our continued goal of sharing an inclusive narrative from the mountains to the coast.

Memory Keepers' Aim to Tell NC's Full History

Scene from Brunswick Town Fort Anderson State Historic Site

The North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites Director Michelle Lanier spoke with Coastal Review Online about the #TrueInclusion initiative and the division's work to reach all audiences.

To learn more, check out Coastal Review Online - Memory Keepers' Aim to Tell NC's Full History

For more information on the thoughts behind the #TrueInclusion project, please see this open letter from our director, Michelle Lanier - An Open Letter for These Times: Black Lives and Historic Sites

North Carolina State Capitol - Abraham Galloway

Abraham Galloway

Abraham Galloway was born into slavery in 1837 in Brunswick County, NC, the son of Hester Hankins, a seventeen-year-old enslaved woman and John Wesley Galloway, a white ship captain. After escaping slavery in Canada in 1857, Galloway returned to North Carolina in 1862 to become a spy for the Union during the Civil War. By early 1863, Galloway had become eastern North Carolina’s most important spokesman for the rights of African Americans, and when the war ended, he traveled across North Carolina, advocating for equal rights and helping to organize the 1865 Freedmen’s Convention.

Known for his fiery oration and his passion when speaking on equality and political rights, in 1867 Galloway said, “There is a bright future before us - the day of rejoicing is at hand - Let us stand united - let there be no divisions. Let us shout that we are a people, and that our freedom is not a bar to our advancement. Let the work go on, and be hopeful, for the Great Jehovah still hears the prayers of the downtrodden.” New Hanover County chose him to attend the 1868 state Constitutional Convention and elected him to two consecutive terms in the North Carolina Senate, where he supported women’s suffrage and labor rights. He died unexpectedly of fever at the age of 33 in 1870 and was still serving in the state senate at the time of his death. Six thousand people attended Galloway’s funeral, an event the Christian Recorder, a newspaper, called “the largest ever known in this state.” 

NC Historic Sites
Instagram: @nc_historicsites
Facebook: @NCStateHistoricSites
Twitter: @NCHistoricSites

North Carolina State Capitol - George Henry White

George Henry White

George Henry White was born near present-day Rosindale, NC on December 18, 1852. It is possible that he was born enslaved and that his father, Wiley White, purchased his freedom, but evidence for this is contradictory. As a child, White attended a public school for free Black children and also studied under a teacher named David P. Allen at the Whitin Normal School in Lumberton, NC. White was encouraged to pursue his education and in 1874, began attending Howard University. After finishing school, he traveled to New Bern and became a teacher and lawyer. In 1880, he ran for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, campaigning for increased spending on African American education. He served in the House for six years before being elected to the state’s senate.

In 1896, North Carolinians elected White to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he became the last African American to be elected to that legislative body for forty years. In Congress, White fought against racial discrimination and tried without success to compel the federal government to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment in states like North Carolina, where African Americans were being denied the right to vote. In 1901, he proposed a bill making lynching a federal crime, arguing that the majority of lynchings in the Deep South were of African Americans. The House defeated the bill, and White’s outspoken position cost him his seat. He delivered his final speech to the House in 1901 saying, “This is perhaps the Negroes' temporary farewell to the American Congress, but let me say, Phoenix-like he will rise up some day and come again. These parting words are in behalf of an outraged, heart-broken, bruised and bleeding, but God-fearing people; faithful, industrious, loyal, rising people – full of potential force.”

White moved with his family to Washington, D.C. and later to Philadelphia, where he practiced law and became involved in banking. He continued to fight for the rights of African Americans and was an early member of the NAACP, after that organization’s founding in 1909. White died in 1918 at his Philadelphia home.

After George Henry White’s term, North Carolina would not elect another African American to Congress until Eva Clayton was elected to the House of Representatives in 1992. #TrueInclusion

NC Historic Sites
Instagram: @nc_historicsites
Facebook: @NCStateHistoricSites
Twitter: @NCHistoricSites

Historic Stagville - Morgan London Latta

Morgan London Latta

In these #TrueInclusion posts, we will highlight African American families from Stagville who had places named for them in Durham and Raleigh. In this post, we'll examine Latta Park in Raleigh's Oberlin Village, named for the formerly enslaved Reverend Morgan L. Latta. 
Morgan London Latta was born into slavery on the Camerons' plantations. He was 12 when slavery ended. Latta struggled to support his mother and thirteen siblings during sharecropping and Reconstruction. He valued education above all and attended school as a child when he was able to find time. After saving enough money, he was eventually able to attend Shaw University.  
Latta went on to be a teacher, returning to Cameron land to teach the children of sharecroppers. In an effort to improve the lives of African Americans, Latta founded Latta University in Raleigh, NC. Latta University primarily educated freedmen and orphans from 1892-1920. Rev. Latta built his family home next to the campus. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the house in 2007.   
Latta Park, a new city park, will be opening in the near future at Latta Home and University site, a testament to Morgan Latta’s lasting impact on Oberlin and Raleigh. Latta recounts much of his life and the operations of Latta University in his autobiography The History of My Life and Work, Autobiography by Rev. M. L. Latta, A.M., D.D.

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site:
Instagram: @fort_dobbs_shs
Facebook: @FortDobbs
YouTube@FortDobbs

Monèt Marshall, A.yoni Jeffries, and Gabrielle E. W. Carter in Conversation

In this video, Historic Stagville hosts Monèt Marshall, A.yoni Jeffries, and Gabrielle E. W. Carter in conversation at Horton Grove. These three Black North Carolina artists discuss how their farming, food, art, history, and music are gateways to healing. Together, they ask how sites of mass slavery, like Stagville, can become sites of healing for Black Americans. Their talk was recorded on the grounds of Horton Grove, the only surviving slave dwellings from the Bennehan and Cameron plantations. Stagville and Horton Grove are among the largest and best documented sites of slavery in North Carolina.  

Historic Stagville preserves the remnants of the one of the largest plantations in North Carolina. By 1860, the Bennehan-Cameron family owned over 30,000 acres of land and enslaved over 900 people. Stagville is dedicated to interpreting the lives, families, culture, and work of these enslaved people and their descendants. Today, the Historic Site includes four original slave dwellings (c. 1851), a massive barn (c. 1860), and a Bennehan family house (c. 1787-1799).

Historic Stagville
Facebook: @Stagville 

Historic Stagville - Betty Belle Holman Hayes

Betty Belle Holman Hayes

Betty Belle Holman Hayes was a descendant of the Holman family, whose ancestors were enslaved by the Bennehan-Cameron family and became sharecroppers after emancipation. Stagville sharecroppers were bound in a restrictive contract and paid with a share of their own crop. If you've visited Stagville, you've toured the Holman House, one of their family homes.

In a 1986 interview, Betty Belle Holman Hayes discussed the complicated origins of her name: Her mother named her Belle Holman after Isabelle Cameron, the daughter of the white landowner. Isabelle Cameron wanted the child named after her and brought toys and clothing to the Holmans.

Betty Belle's grandfather wanted to name her in memory of his wife, Betty. While her birth certificate states her name as Belle Holman, she was called Betty Belle to appease both her grandfather and the white landowning family.

In the decades following emancipation, families like the Holmans endured an unfair sharecropping system that was deepened by societal racism. Betty Belle's name story is a striking example of how sharecroppers navigated power inequalities and oppression.

Pictured is Betty Belle Holman Hayes during an interview at Horton Grove likely taken in the 1980s. 

Historic Stagville:
Instagram: @historicstagville
Facebook: @Stagville
Twitter: @HistStagville

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site - Native Americans, historical reenactment more than just playing a role

Malaciah G. Taylor an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

"We are still here as a people. We're composed of many different tribal nations, with distinct and unique cultures, and we're still here. It's important that the people living on our land know who we are and where we came from."

Fort Dobbs had the privilege to have tribally enrolled Native Americans take part in our annual Military Timeline program.

History has many perspectives, and we are committed to being a site where the stories of Native Americans can be shared BY Native Americans. Learn more:  Statesville Record & Landmark - Native Americans, historical reenactment more than just playing a role

Pictured is Malaciah G. Taylor an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site:
Instagram: @fort_dobbs_shs
Facebook: @FortDobbs
YouTube@FortDobbs

Blues musician Lakota John at Town Creek Indian Mound

Lakota John is a blues musician from Pembroke, North Carolina. He grew up listening to and absorbing his dad’s music library, and he picked up harmonica at age 6, and the guitar at age 7. He learned to play guitar left-handed, in standard tuning (like Carrboro’s folk matriarch Elizabeth Cotten) and was soon intrigued by the sound of the slide guitar. At age 10, he bought himself a glass slide, placed it on his pinky finger, and he has been sliding over the frets ever since. Lakota John channels traditional styles of the blues, ragtime,  jazz, and roots music through his slide guitar, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica and draws on his Native heritage with sounds of the American Indian flute. In 2009, he joined the Music Maker Relief Foundation, performing locally as one of their Next Generation Artists. He has performed at the North Carolina Museum of History, Shakori Hills Music Festival, and for The PineCone Music Series and the North Carolina Indian Heritage Celebration. 

Town Creek Indian Mound
Instagram:  @towncreekindianmound
Facebook:  @towncreekindianmound
Twitter:  @tcim

Somerset Place State Historic Site - Dave Phelps (b. 1812)

Interior of a slave dwelling at Somerset Place State Historic Site

Dave Phelps (b. 1812) was documented as living in the second two-story slave dwelling at Somerset Place in 1843. Two years later, Dave married widow Dinah Baum and they started a family of their own.  

Tragically, each of their three children passed away at or before the age of 2. The heartbreak of losing young children was all-too familiar to the enslaved families at Somerset Place. Between 1839 and 1862, the chapel register recorded the deaths of 144 children under 9 years old. 

Somerset Place State Historic Site:
Instagram: @somersetplaceshs
Facebook: @somersetplace
Twitter: @somersetplacehs
YouTube: @SomersetPlaceHS

Kora player Teli Shabu at Somerset Place

Born in Liberia, West Africa, Teli is the Musical Director and lead percussionist for The Magic of African Rhythm. He teaches drum class for adults and youth throughout North Carolina. He has traveled the U.S. and West Africa studying percussions and kora with masters. Awarded Best Original Music 2012 for his work on The Brothers Size at Manbites Dog Theater by Indy Weekly Magazine, his kora playing was recorded for the score of I Love My Hair On Good Days Then Again When it’s Defiant and Impressive in March of the same year. Teli was most recently was featured on Kim Arrington’s sophomore album Getting II Yes.

Instagram: @somersetplaceshs
Facebook: @somersetplace
Twitter: @somersetplacehs

Aycock Birthplace State Historic Site - Wilmington on Fire

As a part of North Carolina Historic Sites' True Inclusion initiative, the Aycock Birthplace State Historic Site hosted an online screening and discussion of the award-winning documentary “Wilmington On Fire.” 

The film, directed by Christopher Everett, describes the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 -- the only successful coup d’état in the U.S. -- and its long-lasting effects on the port city’s African American population. “Wilmington On Fire” features interviews with descendants of Alexander Manly, whose newspaper office was destroyed; Thomas Miller, who was a prominent businessman and property owner in Wilmington and was forced to leave the city; and Isham Quick, who was a coal and wood dealer and was also a board member of the Metropolitan Trust Company in Wilmington.

Aycock Birthplace State Historic Site:
Facebook @AycockBirthplace

Historic Halifax - Miles Howard

the Burgess Law Office, now a restored building at Historic Halifax

For the Historic Halifax #TrueInclusion campaign, would like to share more information about Miles Howard. Miles Howard was born enslaved around 1800. He was sold as a child in 1811 to Halifax Attorney Thomas Burgess for $295 by Benjamin Marriner. Miles trained as a barber and a musician, and was emancipated in 1818, becoming a Free Person of Color. Also around 1818, Miles married his first wife, Matilda, who was enslaved at the time. Miles was forced to purchase his wife from a “Mr. Burt”, in order to marry her. According to law, because Matilda was enslaved, so too were her children, although their father was free. The Howards remained in Halifax, and Miles was finally able to emancipate three of his children in 1838. By the time Howard passed away in 1857, he owned multiple real estate plots and town lots. His holdings included briefly owning the Burgess Law Office, now a restored building at Historic Halifax.

Pictured is Burgess Law Office.

Historic Halifax:
Instagram: @halifaxnc1776
Facebook: @historichalifaxnc
Twitter: @HalifaxNC1776

Country-soul singer Rissi Palmer with James Gilmore on guitar at Bentonville Battlefield

Rissi Palmer is a country, pop, R&B/Soul songwriter from Raleigh, N.C. Raised in a musical family that loved both country & R&B, she was offered her first publishing and label deals at 19. In 2007, she released her debut album with the single “Country Girl,” which hit No. 54 on the Billboard Hot Country charts, making her the first African-American woman to chart in country music since Dona Mason in 1987. Rissi has performed at The White House, Lincoln Center, and the Grand Ole Opry, has appeared on Oprah & Friends, CNN, the CBS Early Show, and the Tavis Smiley Show. She has shared stages with Taylor Swift, The Eagles, Chris Young, and Charley Crockett, and she has been featured in Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, People, Parade, Ebony, Newsweek, and The Huffington Post. This summer Rissi just launched Color Me Country, a podcast about the black and brown women of Country/Americana/Roots Music.

Instagram:  @bentonvilleSHS
Facebook:  @bentonvilleSHS
Twitter:  @bentonvilleSHS

John Chavis - Historic Halifax

Tell them if I am black, I am free born American and a revolutionary soldier and therefore ought not to be thrown entirely out of the scale of notice. John Chavis 1832

Little is known for certain about John Chavis’s early years. His name appears as an indentured servant on the 1773 inventory of Halifax, North Carolina attorney James Milner. We do not have record of the terms of his indenture, as such, the particulars of exactly how Chavis entered into the status of Free Man of Color remains unclear. During the American Revolution, the State of Virginia required all free born males, over the age of 16 to sign an Oath of Allegiance to Virginia and the United States; indentured servants were excluded from this requirement. On December 20th 1778, John Chavis took the Oath of Allegiance in Mecklenburg, Virginia. He would enlist in the 5th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army and served three years in the American Revolution.

After the war, Chavis attended Princeton University, then Washington University (later Washington and Lee University). Chavis became arguably the first African American Presbyterian minister in the United States and served as a minister in Virginia and North Carolina. He would go on to open an integrated school in Raleigh that taught both black and white students in the same classroom. John Chavis would serve as a teacher to many of Raleigh’s prominent families. Students attributed to Chavis include Priestly H. Mangum (brother of former North Carolina State Senator Willie P. Mangum); Charles Manly (former North Carolina Governor), the sons of former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Leonard Henderson; and Abram Rencher (former United States Congressman and New Mexico Territorial Governor). Chavis would receive pressure from the parents of some of his white students to segregate the school, and in 1808 he put an ad in the Raleigh Register announcing that he would began teaching white students during the day and black students at night.

In response to the 1831 Nat Turner's Rebellion, North Carolina placed additional restrictions on African Americans. New laws stripped free African Americans of their right to vote, teach, receive an education, meet in public, and minister without the presence of a white supervisor. Despite having served as a teacher for the leading families of Raleigh, John Chavis would be forced to close his school and leave the ministry. The Presbyterian Church provided Chavis $50.00, a kind of quasi-retirement payment, until his death in 1838. Chavis Park and Chavis Heights, both in Raleigh, pay homage to John Chavis, African American preacher, educator, and Revolutionary War soldier.

Historic Halifax:
Instagram: @halifaxnc1776
Facebook: @historichalifaxnc
Twitter: @HalifaxNC1776

Bentonville Battlefield - Lucy, Alexander, and Clarsie

Scene from Bentonville Battlefield
 

The Harper House, home of John and Amy Harper, built in the late 1850s, played a key role in the Battle of Bentonville, March 19-21, 1865.

Today, Bentonville Battlefield brings you the names of Lucy, Alexander, and Clarsie, people enslaved at the Harper farm who were likely witness to the battle of Bentonville and who impacted the history of North Carolina. 

Bentonville Battlefield:
Instagram:  @bentonvilleSHS
Facebook:  @bentonvilleSHS
Twitter:  @bentonvilleSHS

Historic Stagville - An enslaved man called Scrub

Newspaper advertisement seeking information about Scrub

An enslaved man called Scrub fled Stagville to gain freedom in 1784. Richard Bennehan mounted a campaign to apprehend him, offering a reward for Scrub’s capture and return.

Richard Bennehan placed an advert that gives insight into Scrubs experience and his journey to freedom. It states, “I expect he will attempt to get to Norfolk (where he was raised), and pass as a free man by the name of Charles Thompson, or Charles Fry.” How did Bennehan know these names? Had Scrub used these pseudonyms before?

Based on the archival record, it seems that Scrub was never captured and returned to Stagville. Unfortunately, researchers have not been able to trace Scrub’s life as a free person, likely due to his name change. While Richard Bennehan believed he may have called himself Charles Thompson or Charles Fry, Scrub could have chosen a different name in order to evade his pursuers. Changing his name was one way Scrub ensured and protected his life as a freeperson.

Pictured is the 1784 advert placed by Richard Bennehan for the capture and return of Scrub.

Historic Stagville
Facebook: @Stagville 

 

Somerset Place State Historic Site - Wellington Roberts

Wellington Roberts

As a part of Somerset Place State Historic Site's  #TrueInclusion campaign, we would like to share more information about Wellington Roberts (1815-1866). Wellington was born in Edenton in 1815 and arrived at Somerset Place about 15 years later with Josiah III and Mary Collins. He served as their personal coachman and drove the Collins’ large barouche, or family carriage. On July 8, 1841, Wellington married Maria, a granddaughter of Suckey Davis. Together they eventually had seven children. 

Wellington's position meant that the Roberts family was at the top of the enslaved community’s social hierarchy, as determined by the Collins family. This is why they were recorded in 1843 as living by themselves in one of the first-floor houses of the third two-story slave dwelling when usually more than one family unit occupied each home. As a result of his social status, Wellington also wore high-quality, fancy clothing, including a top hat with a large plume on the side, and he once received a Christmas pass to visit family in Edenton. 

However, Wellington was often away from his family for long periods of time because the Collinses traveled frequently. This continued during the Civil War when he accompanied the Collins family to Hillsborough while Maria and their five surviving children were sent to Franklin County. Tragically, Maria passed away in 1863. When Mary Collins could no longer afford the luxury of a coachmen, she hired out Wellington as a teamster to the Confederate Army for the following two years.

After emancipation, Wellington and his children returned to Somerset Place where he continued to work as the family driver until his death on October 16, 1866. Due to their closer association with the Collins family, the Roberts were communicants of the Episcopal Church both before and after emancipation. Wellington's son Theodore and other members of his immediate family were founding members of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Edenton in the late 19th century. Additionally, like other formerly enslaved people, Wellington’s family quickly took advantage of educational opportunities previously denied to them under slavery. Two of his grandchildren were enrolled in school by 1870, and later generations became public school teachers. 

Somerset Place State Historic Site:
Instagram: @somersetplaceshs
Facebook: @somersetplace
Twitter: @somersetplacehs
YouTube: @SomersetPlaceHS

North Carolina State Capitol - Dr. Anna Julia Haywood Cooper

Dr. Anna Julia Haywood Cooper

Dr. Anna Julia Haywood Cooper. Cooper was born enslaved on August 10, 1858, in Raleigh, NC. Her mother was Hannah Stanley, an enslaved Black woman, and her father was most likely George Washington Haywood, her mother’s enslaver. Cooper was freed from enslavement in 1865, when the 13th Amendment was ratified by the North Carolina State Legislature at the Capitol. At an early age, she showed extraordinary promise and intellect. By the age of eight Cooper was a “pupil teacher” at Raleigh’s St. Augustine’s Normal and Collegiate Institute, a school opened for the education of free Black people. In 1881 Cooper, who already knew Greek, Latin, and mathematics, was admitted to Oberlin College, where she earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees.

In 1892, Cooper founded the Colored Women’s League of Washington. Later, she helped open the first branch of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) that catered to Black women. In the 1890s, she wrote and published her landmark text A Voice From The South, in which she argued that the moral, political, and economic advancement of Black women would aid in advancing American society as a whole. Cooper eloquently stated that “a bridge is no stronger than its weakest part, and a cause is not worthier than its weakest element. Least of all can woman’s cause afford to decry the weak. We want, then, as toilers for the universal triumph of justice and human rights, to go to our homes from this Congress demanding an entrance not through a gateway for ourselves, our race, our sex, or our sect, but a grand highway for humanity.” As an American folklorist, Cooper observed society and the intersecting issues of race and gender. At the age of 67, Cooper earned her Ph.D. from the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Dr. Cooper spent her life as an educator, an activist, and an outspoken feminist. She died in 1964 at the age of 105. Her funeral service was held at St. Augustine’s Chapel, and she was laid to rest in Raleigh’s City Cemetery, a half mile east of the State Capitol.

North Carolina State Capitol:
Instagram: @NCStateCapitol
Facebook: @NCStateCapitol
Twitter: @NCStateCapitol

N.C. Heritage Award Recipient Arnold Richardson with Netye Lynch at Historic Halifax

Watch and listen to Arnold Richardson and Netye Lynch’s performance at Historic Halifax. Arnold Richardson plays a hand-carved red cedar American Indian Flute and Netye Lynch accompanies him on the hand drum at Magazine Spring, a sacred place to the Haliwa-Saponi tribe.  

Arnold Richardson is a musician, sculptor, and storyteller and member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe of eastern North Carolina. His work spans decades, starting in 1972 when he returned to North Carolina with a focus on revitalizing the cultural heritage of eastern North Carolina’s American Indians. In this performance, we hear Arnold play an American Indian Flute, the oldest melodic instrument in the Western Hemisphere. His prowess on this sacred instrument, along with his ability as a stone sculptor, gourd carver, and percussionist led him to be the American Indian Folk Artist for the North Carolina Arts Council from 1982 to 1989 and a North Carolina Heritage Award recipient in 2004.

Historic Halifax:
Instagram: @halifaxnc1776
Facebook: @historichalifaxnc
Twitter: @HalifaxNC1776

North Carolina State Capitol - Ella Baker

Ella Baker

In the next installment of our True Inclusion campaign, we wanted to share more information about Ella Baker. Baker was born on December 13, 1903 in Virginia and moved to North Carolina at the age of eight. When she was fifteen, Baker began attending Shaw University in Raleigh, just blocks from the Capitol. She graduated from both high school and college at Shaw.

Baker moved to New York City and then worked for the Works Progress Administration. In 1938, she began working with the national office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), starting as a field secretary and eventually rising to the position of a director of NAACP branches. In 1957, Baker moved to Atlanta to help organize the newly formed Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and their voter registration program.

After witnessing the sit-ins led by North Carolina A&T University students in Greensboro, Baker recognized an urgent need to organize young people and students to engage in civil rights activism. In April of 1960, she returned to Shaw University to speak at a youth leadership conference. At this conference, Baker helped form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), an organization designed to harness the power of student-led protests. With Baker’s assistance and direction, SNCC organized the Freedom Rides in the summer of 1961, sending activists into the South on interstate buses to challenge segregation. As Freedom Riders came through North Carolina, and as more sit-ins and voter registration drives were held in the state by SNCC and other groups, Governor Terry Sanford was pressured to reevaluate his formerly quiet stance on civil rights protests. In 1963, Sanford called 150 Black civic leaders to the State Capitol to discuss growing civil rights concerns.

Ella Baker spent her career - which spanned five decades - challenging racist, classist, and sexist notions about who should and could lead the Black freedom struggle. Her work organizing SNCC, coordinating voter registration drives, empowering community leaders, and building local grassroots movements increased the reach and impact of the Civil Rights Movement. By forcing Americans to confront racial injustices and pursue a more democratic nation, Baker and other activists compelled reluctant NC politicians to speak out on civil rights issues, leading to changes in legislation and increased Black [and/or minority] representation in government. Baker once said, “Remember, we are not fighting for the freedom of the Negro alone, but for the freedom of the human spirit, a larger freedom that encompasses all mankind.” Ella Baker died on December 13, 1986 in New York City.

North Carolina State Capitol:
Instagram: @NCStateCapitol
Facebook: @NCStateCapitol
Twitter: @NCStateCapitol

North Carolina State Capitol - Golden Asro Frinks

As we continue to share the stories of African Americans associated with the NC State Capitol, we wanted to share more about Golden Asro Frinks. Frinks was born in Wampee, SC on April 26, 1920 and moved with his family to Tabor City, NC when he was nine. When he was seventeen, he moved to Edenton, NC.

After serving in World War II, Frinks briefly lived in Washington, D.C., where he witnessed organized protests. In 1954, he returned to Edenton, where he began his long career in civil rights, and in 1956, with a movement to desegregate public facilities in town. He went on to lead dozens of communities in North Carolina toward desegregation with non-violent tactics. In 1963, after meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Frinks was chosen as a field secretary in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). While working for the SCLC, he led movements for the civil rights of both African Americans and American Indians in North Carolina. Often called “The Great Agitator,” Frinks was known to inspire others and lead them to victory with his brash and wild style of speaking and rousing a crowd. In 1977, Frinks stopped working with the SCLC officially, but continued to support their activities. Golden Frinks died in Edenton on July 19, 2004.

His home in Edenton, NC - the Golden and Ruth Frinks Freedom House - is currently being stabilized and renovated as part of a multi-year project through the National Park Service and @nchistoricsites. #TrueInclusion

These photographs show the Hyde County Civil Rights and School Protest March in 1969. The march was from Swan Quarter to Raleigh, and the protest led to the desegregation of public schools and the protection of historically Black school buildings in Hyde County. Frinks is in the foreground of the first image and in the middle of the second, wearing glasses and holding something in his hands. The Capitol’s dome is visible in the background, as the protesters marched through downtown Raleigh. Images from the News & Observer Collection, State Archives of North Carolina.

NC Historic Sites
Instagram: @nc_historicsites
Facebook: @NCStateHistoricSites
Twitter: @NCHistoricSites

Never Leaving the Battle: American Indian Veterans and Mental Health

Nancy Fields discusses the mental and emotional toll war service took on American Indian soldiers from the American Revolution to Vietnam. By exploring the lives of several Lumbee veterans, Ms. Fields relates the methods of healing and coping used even after the wars had long passed.

NC Historic Sites
Instagram: @nc_historicsites
Facebook: @NCStateHistoricSites
Twitter: @NCHistoricSites

Historic Halifax -Austin Curtis, AKA Austin Curtis Jones

the Preakness Stakes

Today is the Preakness Stakes, part of the “Triple Crown” of horse racing. As we continue this installment of our #TrueInclusion campaign, we wanted to share more information about Austin Curtis.
Curtis was a veteran of the American Revolution, though we have little details of his service. When the British occupied Halifax in May 1781 on their march to Yorktown, they stole livestock, especially horses, from Halifax citizens. Lord Cornwallis stayed at the home of Willie Jones, but he did not confiscate the horses because Curtis successfully hid and protected all horses under his care.
Willie Jones filed a petition to the NC General Assembly to emancipate Curtis on December 5, 1791, writing of Curtis, “by his attachment to his Country during the War by his fidelity to his Master (the said Willie Jones) and by his Honesty and good Behavior on all Occasions, has demonstrated that he deserves to be free." The Assembly granted the petition and changed Curtis’ last name to “Jones.” His family later reversed their surname to Curtis.
After being emancipated, Curtis accumulated wealth and notoriety as a free man of color. He became nationally renowned as a horse breeder and trainer. In 1832, Judge William Williams, secretary of the Nashville Jockey Club, wrote, “. . . Austin Curtis, a man of color indeed but one of judgment, skill and courteous manners. He knew how 'to get the length into them,' or to bring out their game. Under his auspices the fame of Collector grew, and the powers of Snap Dragon were developed.” (Collector and Snap Dragon were both racehorses bred and trained by Curtis.)
Curtis purchased freedom for several of his children before he died in 1808, and left the family well provided for. His obituary was featured in the January 5, 1809 edition of “The  Raleigh Minerva" which was rare for a person of color: “DIED, On the 10th ult., at Halifax (n.c.) AUSTIN JONES, a colored man, aged about so years- well known for many years past, as keeper of race horses; in the management of which useful animals, he particularly excelled. -His character was unblemished; his disposition mild and obliging- his deportment uniformly correct and complaisant- he possessed the esteem of many—the respect and confidence of all who knew him.”

Historic Halifax:
Instagram: @halifaxnc1776
Facebook: @historichalifaxnc
Twitter: @HalifaxNC1776

 

 

Alamance Battleground State Historic Site - Dina,Cuffee, and Toney

Alamance Battleground brings you the stories of Dina, Cuffee, and Toney

The Division of North Carolina State Historic Sites is committed to sharing the stories of African Americans whose lives have intersected with our historic sites. We have launched the #TrueInclusion initiative to highlight the broad interpretive work already happening at our sites and emphasize our continued goal of sharing an inclusive narrative from the mountains to the coast.
Today, Alamance Battleground brings you the stories of Dina, Cuffee, and Toney, and remembers also the many unnamed enslaved people who labored for the defense of New Bern’s citizens during the Regulator uprising. 
As part of the preparations for a militia campaign, royal governor William Tryon used the labor of enslaved people in various ways. When rumors of a Regulator attack circulated around New Bern, Tryon ordered the construction of earthworks between the Trent and Neuse rivers to defend the approach to town. Of the “sundry laborers” who worked on the project, many were enslaved. Evidence of the enslaved persons who dug these earthworks can be found in the accounting of payments made for the campaign. But many of those people are unnamed and payment went directly to their enslavers. One payment mentions a woman named Dina, who might have been paid directly for her labor. The document reads “To Mr. Cogdell's Dina,” which is different than most notations for labor that list the name of the enslaver and the notation “for Negro hire.” Two other men, listed as Cuffee** and Toney, may also have been paid directly.  
**The name “Cuffee” is believed to be originally derived from the Akan name Kofi, meaning ‘born on a Friday.’ It was a common name for enslaved persons in the 18th century, but by the 19th century was also used as a derogatory or generalized term for Black men.
 

Alamance Battleground State Historic Site:

Instagram:  @alamancebattleground
Facebook:  @alamancebattlegroundshs
Twitter:  @alamance_1771

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site - Bryan Settlement

headstone

The next installment of our series of posts highlighting the names of the enslaved inhabitants of colonial Rowan County focuses on the Bryan Settlement.
This settlement grew up around the Shallow Ford of the Yadkin River, near modern Huntsville and West Bend. By 1759, the community included approximately 18 white families and at least 10 enslaved people.
According to the Rowan County Court Minutes, James Carter sold two enslaved people to Johnathan Boone in 1756. Although we don't know the names of those two persons, we do know the names of the following enslaved people who were documented on the Rowan County Tax List for 1759 in the households of their enslavers:
“Bryan, Jos. Negro Will     2
 Ellis, John & Ellis Jno Junr, Ellis, William & Ellis, Willis & Negro Waree & Cumbe     6
Milner, Benj. & negro Sam     2”
The approximate location of the land on which these enslaved people lived can be found on this Google Map of the settlement of Western North Carolina--https://tinyurl.com/y5rrqcnw 

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site:
Instagram: @fort_dobbs_shs
Facebook: @FortDobbs
YouTube@FortDobbs

Historic Stagville - Emancipation 1865

When the Civil War ended in 1865, over 330,000 people were finally emancipated across North Carolina. Over 1,000 enslaved people were freed on the Cameron plantations. 
Here, freed people rejoiced. Amid their celebrations, they faced together the uncertainty of the future. Morgan Latta, a young boy who experienced emancipation here, recalled that people “woke up at midnight praying out that their prayers might answered. Husbands prayed that they might see their wives again, and the wives prayed that they might see their husbands again, and the children prayed that they might see their parents again, and also their sisters and brothers. They prayed several days and nights because they had been delivered.” 
Latta’s quote reminds us of the hopes and demands of freed people, as they prayed that the damages of slavery might be repaired at emancipation. This Juneteenth, we remember the hopes of everyone who struggled for freedom here, from 1776 through 1865, and beyond. 
Pictured is an 1865 list of people, including Morgan Latta, who were emancipated from the Fish Dam section of the Cameron plantations.

Historic Stagville:
Instagram: @historicstagville
Facebook: @Stagville
Twitter: @HistStagville

Duke Homestead State Historic Site - Caroline

In the next installment of our #TrueInclusion campaign, we are sharing information about Caroline, a young enslaved girl purchased in 1855 by Washington Duke. Her purchase record is pictured here. 
From this record, we know that she was separated from her mother and sister (Gracy and Emiline, listed above Caroline on the document, were sold to someone else). Life on a small farm with a family like the Dukes most likely meant working alongside the person who enslaved her, both in the home and in the fields. Caroline was around 11 years old when she was brought to live at Duke Homestead, and she likely spent several years enslaved by the Duke family. 
On the 1860 Slave Schedule of the U.S. Census, Washington Duke does not appear as an enslaver, so he may have sold Caroline by that time. However, Duke's name does not appear on the 1860 Agricultural Census, so it is possible that census workers simply failed to record him that year. When Washington Duke died in 1905, he left property to his housekeeper, an African American woman named Caroline Barnes. It is likely that this Caroline Barnes is the same Caroline that Washington Duke had enslaved decades earlier because her marriage certificate lists her mother as Gracy. 

Duke Homestead State Historic Site :
Instagram: @DukeHomestead
Facebook: @DukeHomestead
Twitter: @DukeHomestead

 

Somerset Place State Historic Site - Abagail Cabarrus Blount (1815 – 1880s)

Abagail was one of three children born to Tiney Cabarrus (2nd  ), but she and her siblings were orphaned at a young age when their mother passed away in 1829. Enslaved persons who lost or were forcibly separated from their parents usually lived with other relatives at Somerset Place, so Abagail and her brother Ben were residents of the same dwelling in 1843. 
By that time, Abagail had married Dick Blount (1809 – 1863), the enslaved personal servant to Josiah Collins III. Together, Abagail and Dick had at least four children. But the mortality rate was very high for children born into slavery on the plantation, and Abagail’s family was no exception. She lost two of her sons by 1853. 
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Abagail and Dick’s family was forcibly taken to Hurry Scurry in Franklin County. They were one of just six enslaved families to remain intact while there (3rd  ). However, Dick became ill and passed away in 1863. Abagail suffered further loss when her sister and brother-in-law passed away that same year, leaving Abagail all by herself to care for their two children alongside her own. 
In the face of these tragedies, Abagail guided her family through the Civil War and emancipation. The five of them returned to Somerset Place in 1865 as freepersons. By the time of the 1880 census, 70-year-old Abigail was recorded as living and working in the home of a white farmer, where she labored as his house servant. She passed away sometime thereafter.

Somerset Place State Historic Site:
Instagram: @somersetplaceshs
Facebook: @somersetplace
Twitter: @somersetplacehs
YouTube: @SomersetPlaceHS

Duke Homestead State Historic Site - James

As we continue to share the stories of African Americans associated with Duke Homestead, we wanted to share more information about James. Born into enslavement in Kinston, North Carolina between 1826 and 1835, James’ first enslaver was James Cox, who later deeded him, along with 29 other enslaved persons, to his son. Called Jim during his enslavement, James spent his childhood and adolescence on the Cox plantation, mostly doing agricultural labor. While enslaved by Cox, James' labor was hired out to numerous Lenoir and Orange County farmers between 1860 and 1865, including Washington Duke.     
In the North Carolina Piedmont, yeoman farmers exploited enslaved persons by participating in the “hiring out” of enslaved labor. Enslavers leased enslaved persons to individuals who paid the cost of the contract directly to the enslaver. James received no payment and had no choice in where he was contracted. Hiring out, which garnered huge profits for enslavers, also perpetuated isolation and destabilized familial bonds. Despite this, James actively found ways to resist his enslavers, intentionally slowing his work and causing damage to tools and crops.    
In early 1863, James was hired out to Washington Duke, where he was most likely forced to engage in agricultural labor in Duke’s crop fields. In June of 1863, James attempted to seek his freedom from Duke alongside a man named Green, Green’s wife Lear, and Lear’s child, who were enslaved by other men. James' attempt for self-emancipation was unsuccessful, and he was either captured or returned to Duke on his own. By October of the same year, James again sought to self-emancipate after Duke entered the Confederate Navy. James either returned to Cox, or was sent to labor for William Walker, to whom Duke transferred James' contract.   
After Emancipation in 1865, James continued to live and labor on the land of William Lunsford, to whom he was previously leased out. Based on Freedman’s Marriage records in 1866, it was at this time that James lists his name as James Cox instead of Jim, and married his wife, Martha. James spent the rest of his life in the Orange County area working as a farm laborer, most likely a tobacco sharecropper, until his death circa 1885.   
 

Duke Homestead State Historic Site :
Instagram: @DukeHomestead
Facebook: @DukeHomestead
Twitter: @DukeHomestead

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site - Davidson’s Creek Settlement

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site

The next installment in our series of posts sharing the names of the enslaved inhabitants of colonial Rowan County focuses on the Davidson’s Creek Settlement.
Dozens of families had settled in the area near modern Mooresville by 1759, including a number of wealthy landowners. At least five of the settlers enslaved nine people in total.
The following are the names of the heads of households and the names of the people they enslaved. The names are presented exactly as they are in the 1759 Rowan County Tax List held in the collections of the Rowan County Library:
“Osburn, Alexr & negroes Tom, Will & Dinah                       4
Carruth, James & negro Dumbo & Walter Carruth                 3
McConnel, John & Negroes Sam & Dinah                            3
Lawson, Hugh _enny & Mulatoe Nancy                                3
McCormick, Simeon & Negro Tom                                      2”
The approximate location of the land on which these enslaved people lived can be found on this Google Map of the settlement of Western North Carolina--https://tinyurl.com/y5rrqcnw 

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site:
Instagram: @fort_dobbs_shs
Facebook: @FortDobbs
YouTube@FortDobbs

Somerset Place State Historic Site - Urious

In the next installment, we wanted to share more information about Urious (b. 1825). Urious was sent from Edenton to Somerset Place in 1839 when Henrietta Collins hired him out to her brother Josiah III. The practice of hiring out enslaved people was a common way that enslavers derived additional income from the stolen labor of enslaved persons, and Josiah III leased many enslaved people from his siblings to work at Somerset Place. 
Within a few years of his arrival on the plantation, Urious was documented as living in one of the houses in the third two-story slave dwelling. He was forced to labor as a cobbler (2nd), so he likely worked in the Shoemaker’s Shop. Most enslaved persons were rationed one pair of shoes per year, all of which were manufactured on the plantation by cobblers like Urious.  
In spite of his forced relocation and the plantation’s brutal working conditions, which for Urious was likely sunup to sundown 6 days per week, he was able to carve out a life for himself. He married Scylla Blount (b. 1822) in the Lake Chapel on February 12, 1848. Together, the couple had four children. 
Urious and his family last appeared on an 1849/1850 list of enslaved people that Henrietta hired out to Josiah III, but their names were crossed off without explanation (3rd ). Their fate is unknown.

Somerset Place State Historic Site:
Instagram: @somersetplaceshs
Facebook: @somersetplace
Twitter: @somersetplacehs
YouTube: @SomersetPlaceHS

Somerset Place State Historic Site - Zilpha

Zilpha (b. 1813 – d. after 1900). Like most enslaved women at Somerset Place, Zilpha was likely a field hand, forced to work sunup-to-sundown, primarily six days per week, for an average of 13 hours each day. 
Her day usually began between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m., when the overseer blew his horn. Zilpha woke up her family, cooked a light breakfast, and ensured everyone reached their assigned work environments by sunrise. Although her tasks varied depending on the season, her labor was backbreaking and brutal. By the time she returned to her house and family after sunset, her day was still not over: she prepared an evening meal, tended to her garden plot, and cleaned her home. 
In 1843, Zilpha shared a home with her husband Melvin and five members of his family (3rd). Together, Zilpha and Melvin had one son. Yet Zilpha’s life was turned upside down when Melvin was sold in 1847 after he attempted to escape to freedom. Melvin was just one of many daring freedom seekers who tried unsuccessfully to break the chains of bondage, risking everything in the process. For Zilpha, she was now forever separated from her husband and had to raise their son alone. 
Zilpha later gave birth to a second son and remarried to a man who was enslaved on the neighboring Pettigrew plantations. She lived to see emancipation after the Civil War and was last documented on the 1900 Census.

Somerset Place State Historic Site:
Instagram: @somersetplaceshs
Facebook: @somersetplace
Twitter: @somersetplacehs
YouTube: @SomersetPlaceHS

 

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site - The Dan River in North Carolina

The exact year when settlers began establishing themselves along the Dan River in North Carolina is unknown. By 1759, of the few families widely scattered from modern Mayodan to Mount Airy, we know of at least five enslaved people of African descent.
The following are the names of the heads of households and the names of the people they enslaved, with the total number of taxable adults in each household.

These are presented exactly as they are in the 1759 Rowan County Tax List held in the collections of the Rowan

County Library:
“Hunter, John Capt. & negroes               4
Jackson, James & 2 sons & free Negroe               4
Lad, Noble & 2 negroes               3”
Additionally, Charles Perkins inherited 2 enslaved men, “Hang and Jimmy”, from his father in 1762.

The approximate location of the land on which these enslaved people lived can be found on this Google Map of the settlement of Western North Carolina--https://tinyurl.com/y5rrqcnw 
#TrueInclusion #NCHistory

Photo:  Detail of “An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina by Henry Mouzon, 1775

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site:
Instagram: @fort_dobbs_shs
Facebook: @FortDobbs
YouTube@FortDobbs

Grave markers of the Henderson family

Historic Stagville - Henderson Family

African American families from Stagville who had places named for them in Durham and Raleigh. First up, Henderson Cemetery in Durham, named for the formerly enslaved Hendersons.
If you have been on a guided tour at Historic Stagville, you may have heard us teach about Emma Henderson, who boldly declared her freedom in 1865 by telling Maggie Cameron that “her skin was nearly as white as hers--that her hair was nearly as straight--[and] that she was quite as free.” Emma, her husband Dempsey, and their children are the first documented family who moved away from the Camerons and into Durham.
The Hendersons arrived in Durham in May 1865, and by 1872, they owned 93 acres of land where Maplewood Cemetery is today. The Henderson family name can be found at Henderson Cemetery, a Black cemetery just beside Maplewood with over 90 burials. While the site was once overgrown and neglected, current efforts by Henderson descendants have brought overdue attention and care to Henderson Cemetery.

Historic Stagville:
Instagram: @historicstagville
Facebook: @Stagville
Twitter: @HistStagville

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site - The Fourth Creek Settlement

he next installment in our series of posts sharing the names and stories of the enslaved inhabitants of colonial Rowan County focuses on the immediate neighbourhood of Fort Dobbs:

The Fourth Creek Settlement.

By the time of the 1759 tax list, the Fourth Creek Settlement had grown to include 34 white families. Most of the inhabitants were farmers, but at least one was a distiller who may have used enslaved labour in that occupation.

During periods of Cherokee attacks in both 1759 and 1760, some families sought refuge at Fort Dobbs, and it is likely that enslaved people would have come to the fort as well.

The names of the enslaved are below, listed by the household to which they belonged, along with the number of taxable adults (both white and Black) in the household.

These names are presented here exactly as they appear on the original document, which includes terminology that may be troubling in a modern context.

"Allison, Thomas & Negro Jude-----2

Graham, James & John Graham (Distiller) & Richd Graham &

Negroes Andrw & Tom-----5

Simonton, Wm & Negroes Peter & Rachel-----3"

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site:
Instagram: @fort_dobbs_shs
Facebook: @FortDobbs
YouTube@FortDobbs

Vance Birthplace State Historic Site - Aggy and Richard

In the next installment of our #TrueInclusion campaign, we wanted to share more information about Aggy (d. 1837) and her husband Richard (d. before 1835), who were enslaved by the Vances. Over the next few weeks, we will be bringing you more information about this couple and their experiences in the Reems Creek Valley.
Aggy and Richard were born in Virginia. They most likely accompanied the Vances in their migration into the Blue Ridge Mountains as two of the three enslaved people listed in David Sr.’s 1790 census record in present-day Buncombe County. We know the names of three of Richard and Aggy’s children: Hudson, Ann, and Richard (II). The couple likely had other children; one record suggests that they had at least three more sons.
Look for our next installment of True Inclusion to learn more about Richard and Aggy’s lives in the Reems Creek Valley.
Photo of the ca. 1790s slave dwelling at the Vance Birthplace.

Vance Birthplace State Historic Site:
Instagram: @VanceBirthplace
Facebook: @VanceBirthplaceNCHS
Twitter: @VanceBirthplace