A Time Line: 1828-1839

Josiah Collins III

Josiah Collins III, Resident Owner

A Residence at Somerset…

• Josiah Collins Jr. arranges for the construction of additional housing at Somerset Place to accommodate 79 slaves he adds to the enslaved community. These people come principally from family plantations and businesses in Edenton. Most are young, single men and women who bring unrelated bloodlines into the web of kinship at the lake.

• Josiah Jr.'s eldest son, Josiah III, plans to marry and make Somerset Place his home.

• Josiah Collins III and his bride, Mary Riggs Collins, are the plantation's first resident owners. A great reorienting and redefining of the plantation's landscape begins. An owner's compound, a new house for Josiah and Mary, a chapel and hospital for the slave community, and a boarding school for the Collins boys and their tutors now reflect Josiah and Mary's needs and tastes. They have six sons, but only three live to maturity.

• An enclave of house and personal servants is culled out of the existing slave community, including personal servant Dick Blount, butler Luke Davis, and coachman Wellington Roberts. Penny Gossom and Annette Horton are housemaids.

Mary Riggs Collins

Mary Riggs Collins, Wife of Josiah III

• Charlotte Cabarrus, a free woman of color, is employed as nursemaid for the Collins boys. She dies at Somerset Place in 1860.

• Episcopal priests begin maintaining a Parish Register with the names of all slaves who are married, baptized, and buried between 1837-1862. This provides a unique genealogical record for the slave community.

• Josiah III's father, Josiah Collins Jr., dies intestate in 1839. He leaves an estate of slaves, nine properties in Edenton, Somerset Place, and eight heirs.


1785-1819 || 1828-1839 || 1840-1843 || 1850-1860 || 1860-1865


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