Free People of Color, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Religion

Church home, no. 1: First Congregational, Dudley NC.

“History of the First Congregational Church of Dudley, North Carolina, Given by Mr. General Washington Simmons, born December 22, 1856.”

In 1867, after Emancipation, came the first school for Dudley, taught four months by a white confederate soldier, John P. Casey, who was paid by the community families. The only textbook was the “blue-back speller.”

George Washington Simmons, father of General W. Simmons, corresponded with Mr. James O’Hara in Wilmington, Delaware, though whom the services of another white friend, Miss Jane Allen of Delaware, were secured for another two months’ session. She, too was paid by families.

From Oberlin College in 1868, came D.C. Granison, 23 or 24 years of age, the first Negro teacher, who remained for two years, residing in the home of George Washington Simmons. … His correspondence with the A.M.A. brought visitors in 1870, among whom were many to be remembered, especially Rev. D.D. Dodge, at that time pastor of the First Congregational Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. With his guidance our first Sunday School was organized. After several visits, he sent Rev. John Scott of Naugatuck, Connecticut, who began work in 1870. …

Just after Rev. Scott’s ordination, the First Congregational Church of Dudley was organized in what is known as the old “mission home.” … Charter members of the church were George Washington Simmons, James KingLevi Winn Sr., Levi Winn Jr., Henry Winn, George Winn, and members of their families. The first converts were Charity Faison and Sylvania Simmons. They were baptized in the “Yellow Marsh Pond” just north of the cemetery. …

Volume II [of the church records] summarizes the history from March 9, 1870. … The list of members, dating from 1870, is divided by male and female. It includes the names of Frank Cobb, William AldridgeBryant Simmons (Sr. and Jr.), John AldridgeLewis Henderson, Levi Wynn, Richard Brunt, Amos Bowden, Charles Boseman, M.A. Manuel, Solomon Jacobs, George Washington Simmons, …

From the souvenir bulletin of the 100th Anniversary, First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, 1870-1880.  Copy of bulletin in possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

Births Deaths Marriages, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Oral History, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

The death of Lewis Henderson.

lhenders-20110225152701My grandmother, who was born in 1910, said her great-grandfather Lewis Henderson died when she was very small. She did not remember him, though her sister Mamie had reason to. He threw a brush at her — it hit her in the head —  because she was making too much noise. She could not have been older than four.

North Carolina did not keep death certificates until 1914, and Lewis’ grave is unmarked. How do we know exactly when he died? This is a page from one of the few volumes of early church records that survive for the Congregational Church of Dudley. Lewis had helped found the church in 1870, and this list shows tithes paid by male congregants. The sixth name: Henderson, Lewis. And this notation: “Died July 5 — 1912.” He would have been about 76.