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THE HERMITAGE

 Halifax County, North Carolina

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PLANTATION NAME: THE HERMITAGE , a.k.a. Junius Tillery House
ASSOCIATED LINK(s): The Hermitage
ORIGINAL OWNER: Thomas Blount Hill (1775-1815)
BUILT: ca 1793
ASSOCIATED SURNAMES: Hill, Tillery
HISTORY:

Thomas Blount Hill purchased a plantation sometime after May, 1808, from the 680-acre estate of John Ricks, planter of Halifax County. This plantation was situated on the south side of Roanoke River and south side of Conoconnara Swamp, in Halifax County, and eventually was expanded to over two thousand acres on both sides of the Conoconnara. Thomas was a son of Colonel Whitmel Hill and his wife Winifred Blount. Colonel Hill was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in 1760, and a conspicuous public figure during. the Revolution. He was a delegate to the Provincial Congresses at Hillsborough in 1775 and at Halifax in 1776, a delegate to the Continental Congress at Philadelphia from 1778-1781, and a member of the Council of State in 1781. He died at his Palmyra house on September 12, 1797. His son Thomas Blount Hill was born February 26, 1775, and was married on November 26, 1799, to Rebecca Norfleet, a daughter of Reuben and Mary Figures Norfleet of Bertie County. Rebecca was born January 28, 1783. Hill, a member of a widespread and socially prominent family, evidently was a typical planter but did not enter into politics.
Thomas Blount Hill died on October 15, 1815, leaving a wife and five children. Rebecca Norfleet Hill died on May 19, 1845, at which time her youngest son, Thomas Blount Hill, Jr., inherited the Hermitage plantation. On July 26, 1842 (recorded at February Court 1845) Thomas B. Hill Jr. deeded 400 acres on the "South side of Conoconary Swamp adjoining the land of Thomas Tillery & others  to John Tillery. Tillery lived nearby, and whether the Hill family remained in the house until the greater part of the large plantation was sold to John Tillery a number of years later is not evident. On December 15, 1853, Thomas Blount Hill, Jr., then residing in Hillsborough, Orange County, North Carolina, sold 2,290 acres to John Tillery. This tract was "lying on the south side of Roanoke River & north of Connconary Swamp including the Mill and Mill pond known as Hill's." In November, 1853, Thomas Blount Hill, Jr. had purchased a house and five acres of the James Phillips estate in Hillsborough, North Carolina, named it Belle Vue, and moved his family there. 

John Tillery was a member of a family of prominent planters in central Halifax County. The Hermitage passed unaltered to his son, John Richard Tillery who lived in the house until his death in 1928, at age 92, at which time he left a life estate in the property to his nephew Junius Tillery, at whose death it was to go to his son, John. The property is now owned by the heirs' of the late Dr. John Tillery.

SLAVE POPULATION: Thomas Hill had 90 Slaves in the 1810 Halifax Co. Census. Thomas died intestate in 1815.
Whitmel Hill had 140 Slaves in 1790 Martin Co. Census.
John Tillery had 80 Slaves in the 1850 Halifax Co. Slave Schedule. He had 143 Slaves, with 40 Slave houses, in the 1860 Halifax Co. Slave Schedule.

Will of WHITMEL HILL, Martin Co. 1797, Will Book 1, Page 339.
Lend to wife, WINEFRED HILL, Slave man TOM, and at her death, to go to their son THOMAS B. HILL.

To son JOHN HILL, Slaves:
LEWIS
BESS & her 2 children
BLACK NEPTUNE
PETER
BEN
NANCY
SILVIA & her 3 children
AMY
LUKE
LITTLE BEN
HASTY
MILLY & her 2 children
ROSE & her 5 children
CHREASE
JACK
CHARLOTTE & her 5 Children
FRANK
LITTLE PONDER
CATO
RHODY
BOSON
LITTLE JOE

To son THOMAS B. HILL, Slaves:
NEPTUNE PETER
ISAAC
EDNEY
TOM
DIANNA
TREECE
PHEBIE
BESS
TEMPY
JULIA
HARDY
SCILLA
HANNAH & her child
CLARY
EPHRAIM
SELISA
ANDREW
TOBY
CYMON
SEARY
JOE
SARAH two
DICK
BEPATH
CUNGO
MORTIMER
JACOB
LITTLE FAYE & her 2 children
DELIA & her 2 children
OLD FAYE
GARMOUTH
JEMMEY
PATTEY
JIMBO

Slaves MOSES & ABRAHAM to be divided up with rest of slaves considered the property of son JOSEPH B. HILL.

To granddaughter ELIZABETH ANTHONY, 2 girls named JUDY & PENNEY
To granddaughter MARTHA ANTHONY, 1 girl named PAT, and another when she arrives at the age of 10 years old.
To granddaughter HARIAT ANTHONY, 3 Slave girls when she arrives at age 10 years old.
 

RESEARCH NOTES:

MISCELLANEOUS: Hermitage, Halifax County, NC ; National Register of Historic Places Application; Whitmel Hill Biography, NCPedia; Thomas Blount Hill Family Bible

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