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 Hollister, Halifax County, North Carolina

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ASSOCIATED LINK(s): Montmorenci
OWNER: Joseph John Williams (1727-1818)
BUILT: 1772

White Rock Plantation in western Halifax County has been in the hands of the locally prominent Williams family since 1772 when Joseph John Williams (1727-1818) acquired a tract of 3,200 acres. Williams was a leader during the Revolutionary period, serving as member of the Council of Safety, a delegate to Philadelphia in 1776, a provider of arms for North Carolina troops, and a wealthy planter Joseph John Williams I is believed to have lived in a brick house to the rear of the present dwelling. The present late Georgian vernacular frame house was probably erected in the late eighteenth century for his son Joseph John Williams II (1775-1808), like his father a prosperous planter. This house was given elaborate late Federal style interior embellishments, probably in the 1820s for Joseph John Williams IV and his wife Mark K. Davis.
In 1772 Joseph John Williams acquired 3,200 acres from William Moseley, located on the southwest side of Butterwood Creek; this is Little Fishing Creek. Joseph John Williams I was a large landowner and civic leader. By 1790 the, census showed Williams possessing a household of 4 free white females and 3 free white males--l over 16, 2 under, and 66 slaves, a large number at that time, which made him the fifth largest slave holder in Halifax County in that year.
Joseph John Williams I (1727-1818) married first Rosannah Connor and second Elizabeth Alston He had many children, including Martha (1771-1827) who married first Henry Hill and then Dr. Samuel Thorne (1767-1838), and whose son William Williams Thorne (1798-1838) built the house Prospect Hill; Elizabeth Alston (who had died by 1818 leaving children); Williams "Pretty Billy" Williams (who married several times and built the great Warren County house, Montmorenci); Winifred Harriss (wife of James Harris); Rosannah Faulcon (wife of Jesse N. Faulcon); and Joseph John Williams II (1775-1808), who had married Elizabeth "Betsy" Norfleet Hunter Williams(1778-1864; dau/of Elisha Williams & Sarah Josie) in 1797 and had children, Henry, Elizabeth (1803-ca 1830), and Joseph John Williams III (1800-1833). After Joseph J. II death, his widow, married Lemuel James Alston (1760-1836).

SLAVE POPULATION: Joseph John Williams Sr. had 66 Slaves in 1790; he had 55 Slaves in 1800, and his son Joseph John Williams Jr. had 36 Slaves in 1800; In 1810 Elizabeth Williams (widow of J. J. Jr.) had 63 Slaves


National Register of Historic Places; Will of Joseph J. Williams-1818; Williams-Polk-Davis Bible; Will of Joseph J. Williams-1808; Family of Joseph John Williams

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