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PALO ALTO PLANTATION

 Onslow County, North Carolina

(click photo for larger image)

PLANTATION NAME: PALO ALTO PLANTATION
ASSOCIATED LINK(s):  
ORIGINAL OWNER: William L. Hill, or David W. Sanders (1800-1860)
BUILT: ca 1838
ASSOCIATED SURNAMES: Hill, Sanders
HISTORY:

Palo Alto Plantation house is one of the few antebellum plantation houses surviving in Onslow County, and it was once the center of a vast agricultural operation that included 9,500 acres and 288 slaves-one of the largest in the state at the time. The first owner is uncertain, but it was probably William L. Hill (who owned the place from 1827 to 1836) or David W. Sanders, (who owned the plantation from 1836 to his death in 1860). Sanders at Palo Alto became one of the state's wealthiest planters. He is traditionally credited with building the house. Sanders's grandson, Daniel L. Russell, Jr., who was born at Palo Alto, became governor of the state {1897-l90l). The House appears to have been named by David We Sanders, a long time resident of the house Local tradition maintains that he built the structure between 1836 and 1840, but the documentary records are inconclusive. The extensive tract later to be known as the Palo Alto land was put together from three separate tracts by James R. Bryan. In 1822 he transferred the property to George C. Hatch for $8,000. Although no acreage was stated, tax lists of the period suggest a tract of 1,200 to 1,400 acres. Hatch sold the tract to William L. Hill on August 17, 1827, for his purchase price of $8,000 Apparently Hatch had made no additional improvements to the property. David Ward Sanders purchased the tract for $10,000 from Hill on September 16, 1836. David W. Sanders was born in 1800 By the age of twenty-four he had married Alice Mitchell, moved into Hickory Hill, and established a plantation of nearly 2,000 acres. His estate, at the time he purchased the Hill Plantation, consisted of 2,500 acres and twenty-five slaves. Before he moved into Palo Alta, Sanders had served as sheriff of Onslow County and clerk of the county court. Afterwards he settled into the life of a very prosperous planter, one of the wealthiest in North Carolina, and widely respected in the broad community. At his death in 1860, his estate was valued at $275,000.

 

SLAVE POPULATION: In 1850 David W. Sanders had 134 Slaves. In 1860, he had 188 Slaves, and 32 Slave houses. Following are the 188 Slaves in the Inventory of the Estate of David W. Sanders, Onslow County, NC.

Names of Slaves belonging to the Estate of DAVID W. SANDERS, 1862:
(Separated into family groups. Note: some first names were abbreviated, however, I am including full spelling)
 

JOHN MINIS
CHARITY
HOPE
FAITH
MONROE
CAROLL
WASHINGTON

VIRGIE
MARZILLA
LIZZIE
BRINSON
SARAH ELIZA

GEORGE SCOTT
ALICE
LYDA
FRANK
FRED
HARRISON

CIVIL
CAROLINE
ALICE
ABNER

HANSON
ROSE
CHRISTOPHER
KATHARINE

ISAAC HILL
JANE
BALAAM
JUNO
EMILY
MARY
PARMILLA

JOHN MITCHELL
CLARA
PHOEBE

WRIGHT
HENRIETTA
MARGARETT
HENRY

BEN MORTON
HANNAH
DANIEL
EMANUEL
ELIJAH

SPINOR
ANN
LETTICE
GEORGE
HENRY
MARINDA
STEPHEN

FANNIE
LOUIS
SARAH

DICK
ROSE
 

LUCY
JINNETT

AMOS
MAHALA
JULIA ANN
BILL FRANKS

NED JARRATT
LUCINDA
HINTON
NED

KILLIS
NANCY
BETSY
JIM
HENRY
MAHALA

ELIAS GASTON
HAGER
ROSANNA

JIM BRYANT
JULIA
JUNE
JIM
JULIA ANN

DAVE
LIZZIE
DAVID

LOUIS
CLARA

JACK DICKSON
AMANDA
ALEX

JOHN BOON
LUCY
ISAIH
NANCY

BOSTON
CHLOE
SILAS

ROBERT
LYDDA

MATILDA
WILLIAM

SAM JONES
MARY
WILSON
ANNE
PLEASANT
SAM
ALEXANDER
MARY ELIZA
ISRAEL

 

JOE
LAURA
HARRIETT

TOM BRYANT
FALIMA
ANTONY
PETE
LUCY

SOPHIE
VICTORIA
MOSES
SUSAN
JOHN HOLT
WILLIAM
BEN
RUTHY
ALICE
DAVID

KITTY RED
CHARLOTTE
STEPHEN
MARIAH
JANE
HANNAH
JOSEPHINE

CAESAR
KATE
SANDERS
NED
CAESAR

JACK SCOTT
JUNIUS
SYLLA

MANSFIELD
LAVINIA
WILLIAM

HEPSY
HARRIETT
ELIZA

JIM BALANCE
VASTA
CHARLES
AUGUSTUS
CELESTE
LUKE
TOM
VICE

 
KITTY
JOE DUDLY
CURTIS
BRISTER
TOM POLLOCK
LONDON
PETER
ELIAS MITCHELL
CASSIE
GEORGE DUDLY
JIM FRAZEL
JOHN CHRIS
AARON
FORD
EDMOND
DAN SMITH
DAN CONAWAY
HAMPTON
ALFORD
JACK FROST
PENNY
SALLY
JIM STEVENSON
VENUS
ESTHER
FRANCIS
RACHEL
JACK BARBOUR
JACK HOLD
RACHEL
BOB
MARY & Child in dispute
 

Signed DANL L. RUSSELL Executor of D. W. SANDERS dec'd

RESEARCH NOTES: Although the info in the National Register of Historic Places indicates that David W. Sanders had 288 Slaves in his Estate, that is incorrect, there were 188 Slaves, the same number included in his 1860 Slave Schedule.

MISCELLANEOUS: National Register of Historic Places; Estate of David W. Sanders, Onslow Co. 1861; David Ward Sanders and Family (Swansboro, North Carolina History)

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