Slaves of James Harrison

Today the UNC Library announced the launch of a new digital collection from the UNC Southern Historical Collection.  The SHC has digitized 35+ of their collections w/ emphasis on African-American interests.   You can read the announcement online here.

I’ve not had a chance to fully explore everything on the site (I’m sure that will take awhile!), but a collection I quickly located of interest was that of plantation owner James Harrison, of Craven & Jones counties.  According to the collection abstract he died circa 1846.  His 48-page ledger has been digitized and been made available online.   Know what’s on page 5 of that ledger? A list of 24 states belonging to his estate and their value.  I’m not the best at reading handwriting from that era, but it appears as if the list is as follows:

  • Silas – $500
  • Mary – $450
  • Harriett – $175
  • Isaac – $400
  • Sarah – $350
  • Venus – $175
  • Saunders – $400
  • Eliza & child – $500
  • Peny Sr. – $35
  • Hagar & child – $450
  • Eliza Jr. – $425
  • Betty – $275
  • Lewis – $400
  • Grace & child – $350
  • Rachel – $375
  • Leah – $425
  • Ellis – $275
  • Jamina – $275
  • Tim – $160
  • Tener – $450
  • Peny Jr. – $225
  • Nathan – $140
  • Serina – $200
  • Sutton – $100

The ledger page also indicates to whom each slave went to.   The ledger also includes pages describing plantation life and even details on the amount of cotton picked by several named workers.  This is such a valuable resource for anyone working on their African-American history from this area.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like to find one of your ancestors listed here.

I have added a link to this collection from the Families page.


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