Vicey Artis, a free woman of color, and Solomon Williams, a slave, had eleven children together – Zilpha Artis Wilson, Adam Toussaint Artis, Jane Artis Artis, Loumiza Artis Artis, Charity Artis, Lewis Artis, Jonah Williams, Jethro Artis, Jesse Artis, Richard Artis and Delilah Williams Exum — before they were able to marry legally. On 31 August 1866, they registered their 35-year cohabitation in Wayne County. Vicey died soon after, but Solomon lived until 1883. The document above, found among Solomon’s estate papers, names son Jonah as administrator and lists his and Vicey’s six surviving children and the heirs of their deceased children.
Little is known about Solomon. He was born about 1800. A few slaveowning Williams families lived in Vicey Artis’ vicinity in Greene County, but there is no evidence to link Solomon to them. He appears in the 1870 and 1880 censuses of Nahunta township, Wayne County, heading households comprised of his daughters and their children, and is recorded as father on the marriage licenses of daughter Lomisy (Loumiza) Williams and son Adam Artis and the death certificates of children Jonah Williams, Richard Artis and Delila Exum.