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Chowan County, North Carolina

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Samuel Johnston (1733-1816) NC Governor from 1787-1789, purchased the home in 1765. Plantation was given in 1814 to his son, James Cathcart Johnston (1782-1865), who built a new house by 1817.

BUILT: Current house built in 1817

 Samuel Johnston purchased Hayes in 1765 from David Rieusett and made it his family's home until 1793, when he moved to the Hermitage, a plantation in Martin County. In 1814 Samuel Johnston gave Hayes to his son, James Cathcart Johnston. With the help of the English architect-builder William Nichols, James Cathcart Johnston built a new plantation house at Hayes, and he and his three sisters returned there to live in 1817. The plantation remained in the Johnston family until James Cathcart Johnston's death. In his will, Johnston left all his Chowan County property, including Hayes, to a business associate, Edward Wood. The Wood family continues to operate Hayes as a working farm.


James Cathcart Johnston was known as a bachelor. Recent research published in 2013 reveals that although Johnston never married, he was the father of four daughters by his emancipated mistress, Edith "Edy" Wood, of nearby Hertford, N.C. Two of his girls died at the age of eight and nine in 1836, and his eldest daughter, Mary Virginia Wood Forten (daughter-in-law of wealthy African American abolitionist, James Forten), died in Philadelphia of tuberculosis in 1840, leaving behind her three-year-old daughter, the future diarist, poet, and equal rights activist Charlotte Forten Grimke. Johnston's youngest daughter, Annie Wood (18311879), was just six years older than her niece Charlotte, and the two girls were raised by Edy Wood until Edy's death in 1846. The girls continued to be raised with the Forten-Purvis clan while Annie Wood was adopted by Amy Matilda Cassey, daughter of African American Episcopal priest, Peter Williams, Jr. and wife of wealthy African American financier and benefactor, Joseph Cassey. In 1850, after Joseph Cassey's death, Amy Matilda Cassey married antislavery orator, Charles Lenox Remond, and moved from Philadelphia to his home in Salem, Massachusetts, taking Annie Wood with her.While in Salem, Annie Wood married her childhood sweetheart, John G. Webb, grandson of Vice President Aaron Burr and brother of Frank J. Webb, author of the second African American novel, The Garies and Their Friends. James Cathcart Johnston paid for Annie Wood's education, made generous payments to her as she grew up, and promised her an "independence."

Hayes Plantation, Wikipedia


 Consisted of 543 acres when Samuel Johnston first purchased, by 1860, the plantation consisted of 1,374 acres; National Register of Historic Places Application

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