Scope and Contents
This collection contains the family papers of Willis Wilson (1807-1860) and Amanda Pollock Wilson (1813-1888), white landowners, farmers, and enslavers in Duplin County, North Carolina. Types of materials include correspondence, estate records, deeds and indentures, financial account summaries, receipts from merchants in Warsaw and Clinton, newspaper subscription receipts, Wilmington inspectors’ certificates for turpentine, and tax receipts. In the estate and financial documents there is frequent mention of the Wilson’s enslaved workers, including discussion of the purchase or inheritance of enslaved individuals, lease agreements for hiring out enslaved workers, and lists of expenditures and profits related to enslaved labor. The collection also contains a handwritten list of the names and birthdates of Willis and Amanda Wilson, the six Wilson children, and twenty-four enslaved people. Other major topics include the Civil War, as the bulk of the correspondence is from John J. Wilson during his service in the Confederate Army’s 51st North Carolina Infantry Regiment, and eighteenth and early nineteenth century landownership. Materials date from 1762 to 1905.
Copyright 2021 University of North Carolina at Wilmington, all rights reserved (subject to exceptions). Certain items in this collections were conveyed to UNCW without the accompanying copyright. Where the donor did not convey copyright to UNCW, copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Biographical / Historical
Willis Wilson was born December 02, 1807 in Duplin County to James and Sarah Wilson. Amanda Pollock Wilson was born December 25, 1813 in Duplin County to John Pollock and Mary Edens Pollock. Willis and Amanda married around 1832 and had at least six children: Mary E. Wilson (1833- ), Sarah Priscilla Wilson (1835-1926), Alice H. Wilson (1840- ), John J. Wilson (1844-1863), Joseph R. Wilson (1849-1936), and Margaret Adeline Wilson (1852- ). The Wilson family lived between Magnolia and Warsaw in Duplin County. According to a list created around 1860, Willis and Amanda Wilson owned twenty-four enslaved people: Sam (b. circa 1790), Moses (b. circa 1800), Nance (b. circa 1804), Dinah (b. 1823 July 12), Nelson (b. 1824 August 19), Silvia (b. 1825 October 30), Owen (b. 1839 June 12), Nancy (b. 1841 March 29), Sam (b. 1842 June 27), Caroline (b. 1844 January 05), [illegible name] (b. 1846 January 05), Lewis (b. 1847 February 13), Jerry (b. 1849 December 16), Rachel (b. 1850), Rozener (b. 1851 August 01), William (b. 1852 May 18), Clarisy (1855 March 03), Ellen (b. 1855 February 18), Ann (b. 1857 May 01), George (b. circa 1859), Isaac (b. circa 1860), Dennis (b. circa 1860), Mary (unidentified birthdate), and Denis (unidentified birthdate). The Wilson plantation produced corn, cotton, and turpentine. Willis Wilson died in 1860. Upon her husband’s death, Amanda Wilson took over the business operations of the plantation. Amanda Wilson died in 1888
During the Civil War, Willis and Amanda Wilson's son John J. Wilson served in the Confederate Army as a member of Company B, 51st North Carolina Infantry Regiment, a regiment organized in Wilmington in April 1862. John J. Wilson became ill in South Carolina and was sent home to Duplin County, where he died in July of 1863.