Amanuensis Day: The Last Will and Testament of Happy Stone

North Carolina, wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 for Happy Stone, Franklin County; accessed digitally on ancestry.com, 20 August 2021. On a Tuesday morning in March three springs before her death, Happy Stone sat with H. H. Davis and Robert Mannas and dictated the terms of what should happen to her farm and estate upon her … Continue reading Amanuensis Day: The Last Will and Testament of Happy Stone

Amanuensis Day: Happy Stone’s Land Goes to the Next Generation

Geographical, Statistical, and Historical Map of North Carolina, 1823; digitally accessed from the UNC library, North Carolina Maps, 18 Aug 2021, (https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/ncmaps/id/178). My 4x great-grandmother, Kerenhappuch "Happy" Stone watched the sun rise from her home on Cypress Creek, Franklin County, North Carolina. Today, as I wait for the sun to peek from behind Storm Fred's … Continue reading Amanuensis Day: Happy Stone’s Land Goes to the Next Generation

Examining the Language of Slavery

During the mid-nineteenth century North Carolina was the global supplier of naval stores. The "Turpentine State" lay in the long-leaf pine belt--a region of dry sandy clay subsoil that ran from North Carolina, south to Florida, and as far west as southern Alabama and Mississippi. The sap of turpentine orchards was harvested and distilled into … Continue reading Examining the Language of Slavery

Keeper of Family Lore or Family Historian?

I listened to a fascinating CAFE live conversation between historians Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman the other day. At minute 8 or so they begin to discuss the difference between journalists and historians. Journalists, they point out, follow the story; they look for facts and find sources to deliver the story. Historians look for … Continue reading Keeper of Family Lore or Family Historian?

What I’m Reading: Troubled Refuge

When George Parker decided to risk everything and flee the bondage of a Murfreesboro (NC) plantation for the safety of the Union Army encampment in Suffolk, Virginia he didn't know how his story would end. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was a military order, establishing George's status as "not slave." But the proclamation came no where close … Continue reading What I’m Reading: Troubled Refuge