John Carruthers Stanly and the Anomaly of Black Slaveholding

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Loren L. Schweninger, Emeritus Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: For many years after his death in the mid-1840s, residents of Craven County, North Carolina, recalled the remarkable career of slave-born John Carruthers Stanly, who had risen from bondage to become one of the most prosperous planters in the area. Stephen F. Miller, a lawyer who arrived in New Bern during the early 1820s and remained there for nearly a half-century, recalled that Stanly "was a man of dignified presence" who lived "in fashionable style." "No citizen of Newbern would hesitate to walk the streets with him," Miller said. "He was uniformly courteous and unobtrusive." Although quite young at the time, the minister of the First Presbyterian Church, Lachlan Cumming Vass, remembered Stanly as a large property owner. His holdings included two plantations on Bachelor's Creek along the Neuse River, several houses and business properties in New Bern, and a large contingent of slaves. "Mrs. J. C. Stanly, his wife, whom he bought and had legally emancipated, was one of the original members of the New Bern Church," Vass explained, "and the family occupied and owned two pews." Other observers, including John D. Whitford and D. W. Hurt, either remembered Stanly themselves or recalled others who had told them stories about the former slave who himself became a slave owner.

Additional Information

North Carolina Historical Review 67 (April 1990):159-92
Language: English
Date: 1990
John Carruthers Stanly, Craven County, North Carolina, Slave owner

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