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PHIFER PLANTATIONS

 Cabarrus County, North Carolina

 

PLANTATION NAME: PHIFER PLANTATIONS - includes RED HILL & COLD WATER
ASSOCIATED LINK(s): Consisted of 3 Plantations
ORIGINAL OWNER: Martin Phifer Sr. (1720-1791)
 
BUILT: 1750's
ASSOCIATED SURNAMES: Phifer, Pfifer, Fifer, Fiffer
HISTORY:

 Located in present-day Cabarrus, Phifer's Plantations were in Mecklenburg Co. until 1792. West of Concord on Buffalo Creek.
Martin Phifer (or Fifer, Phifer, Fiffer) planter, colonial militia officer (major), colonial assemblyman, member of the North Carolina House of Commons, and justice of Mecklenburg County Court, was a native of Switzerland. Tradition has it that he was born in the canton of Berne, but better evidence indicates that he came from the village of Hafelfingen, district of Homburg, canton of Basel. He sailed from Rotterdam in 1736 on the Harle and landed in Philadelphia. Sometime between 1751 and 1756 he migrated from Pennsylvania to North Carolina and settled on Big Cold Water Creek (before 1750 located in Bladen, after 1750 in Anson, and after 1 Feb. 1763 in Mecklenburg County). On 1 Oct. 1745 he had married Margaret Blackwelder (17221803), a native of Holland who may also have sailed on the Harle. Martin and Margaret Blackwelder Phifer had three children: John (174778), Caleb (17491811), and Martin, Jr. (17561837). Major Phifer was a Protestant and his biographers state that he was of the Lutheran denomination. It is of interest to note that he had fast friends in the Moravian settlements and, with his wife, visited Bethabara and Bethania on at least three occasions: sometime prior to 9 Nov. 1762, on that date, and on 12 May 1770. At the time he made his will in 1789, he owned eighteen slaves, a gristmill, and three plantations. One plantation, Red Hill, was located on the western outskirts of present Concord between U.S. 29 and North Carolina 49. A second, five miles west of Concord on Buffalo Creek, was inherited by his son Caleb, and a third plantation, Cold Water, where he himself lived and died was located on Cold Water Creek about 34 miles due east of the center of Concord off North Carolina 73. Phifer also had landholdings on Mecklin's Fork of Lyles Creek in present Catawba County that he divided equitably between his heirs. He was buried "at the Phifer graveyard, three miles from Concord near the old road leading from Charlotte to Salisbury."

Martin Phifer, Jr., planter, soldier, millwright, and huntsman, was born at his father's plantation, Cold Water, which at that time was located in Anson County but after 1762 in Mecklenburg and after 1792 in Cabarrus County.  On 15 Apr. 1776, by act of the Fourth Provincial Congress, he was appointed to the rank of captain and "ordered by the State of North Carolina to raise the second troop of light Dragoons." Three such companies of light horse were authorized, although they were not mentioned in the resolves from the Continental Congress. After raising the troop he marched it to Charleston but arrived two or three days after the British attack on Sullivans Island (28 June 1776). Some months later his troop (Independent Company of North Carolina Light Horse in Continental Service) was transferred to the northern army. From his father Phifer inherited Cold Water plantation and two-thirds of a tract of land on Mecklin's Fork and Lyle's Creek in present Catawba County. He also received military land warrants for 1,149 acres in present Tennessee and purchased two large grants (2,373 acres and 5,000 acres) in the "Middle District" (probably present Bedford County) of that present state. In addition to farming, he operated successfully as a millwright, "being regarded as the most skillful in that trade of anyone in that country." In politics he was an anti-Jacksonian and in religion he was a Protestant of the Lutheran denomination. He did, it is interesting to note, maintain a friendly relationship with the Swiss Moravians at Salem since he is known to have visited them at least once (23 July 1778).  On 5 Nov. 1778 he married Elizabeth Locke (175891), daughter of General Matthew Locke of Rowan County. The children of this marriage were John, George, Mary, Margaret, and Ann. When Captain Phifer's brother John died suddenly in 1778, Martin moved from his father's house at Cold Water to Red Hill, his brother's home on the old road from Salisbury to Charlotte, about three miles west of Concord off the present Poplar Tent road, in order to care for John's family. When his father became infirm, he moved back to Cold Water and remained there for many years after his father's death. In his last years he lived with his son John at the Black Jacks, a plantation adjoining Red Hill, where he died at 9:00 A.M. According to Society of Cincinnati records, Martin Phifer, Jr., was the last surviving officer of the North Carolina Continental Line.
 

SLAVE POPULATION: PHIFER Wills of Mecklenburg Co (now Cabarrus)
Slaves from will:
MARTIN PHIFER SR.
March 26, 1789

To Wife MARGARET:
DICK, MARY & her 2 children
JACOB

Slaves to be divided between 2 sons CALEB & MARTIN, and 2 grandchildren PAUL & MARGARET PHIFER, children of deceased son JOHN PHIFER.
To Grandson PAUL:
DAVID & CHARLES, son of Old CHARLES.

To Granddaughter MARGARET, daughter of my son JOHN:
OLD CHARLES and NANCY his wife.

To Son CALEB:
JAMES & DINA, his wife
BAIRD & FANNY, his wife

To Son MARTIN:
OLD BOB & POLL his wife
YOUNG BOB & NANNY & PETER

 

******************

 

Slaves named in Will of JOHN PFIFER, Mecklenburg Co, NC-1777:
To son PAUL:
DAVID
JUDE (woman)

To daughter MARGRET PFIFER:
CHARLES
NANNY

To daughter ANN ELIZABETH PFIFER:
boy CHARLES
First born child of JUDE

To wife CATHERINE:
WALL
DINA

 

RESEARCH NOTES:

MISCELLANEOUS:

Will of Martin Phifer, 1789; Will of John Phifer, Mecklenburg Co,NC-1777; Red Hill Highway Marker; Biography of Martin Phifer Sr.(1720-1791) ;Martin Phifer  Sr. Grave: Phifer Family Cemetery; Biography of Martin Phifer Jr.(1756-1837)

North Carolina Plantations

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