New Bern-Craven County
Public Library

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Historical Reminiscences

[From: New Bern Weekly Journal, January 3, 1905]
Historical Sketches by Col. John D. Whitford

Valuable Property for Sale.
By virtue of a deed of trust to the subscribers and at the instance of the president and directors of the Bank of Cape Wilmington and of John F. Burgwin, Esquire, will be sold at the court house door on Monday, 11th day of December next, that valuable plantation on Trent river in Jones county about eight miles from New Bern called Lyons Pasture or Alveston Hall adjoining the lands of Frederick Foy, Esq., at present in the occupancy of John Burgwin. This was in 1820. Thus went from John Carruthers Stanly this splendid property which ran back before his ownership as follows: The Hancocks owned this property from away back. It was know[n] in history. The first William Hancock was brought here by Col. Pollock as his attorney and he was at Bath before DeGraffenreid came to Cattawka, now New Bern. Yes, the Handcocks owned that land on the south side of Trent river where Lawson located the Palatine.

For many years passing down from the father to son William Handcock the grandfather of one branch of the family in this town and a relative of the other was third in descent from the original owner. The Lyon Pasture was one of the tracts and derived its name from an old ox “Lion” that would hide there when too lazy to enjoy the cart as much as the woods. After the Nashes the last William Handcock also owned Pembroke for a term of years.

Without deviation he included the d in his name and here he only followed the example of those before him as will be presently shown from 1723.

We are aware that Hawks in his history alludes to Capt. William Handcock in 1714 as having some trouble with his men John Slocumb and others and to an Indian Chief calling himself Handcock in 1712. De Graffenreid states when captured with Lawson by the Indians they were carried to Hancocktown. He refers frequently to this place and always as Hancock. It was a place near Snow Hill in Greene county, an Indian fortification called Fort Run afterwards.

Observe how Lion Pasture is written in the advertisement for its sale—Lyon Pasture. It was certainly so called for an old red ox. Alveston Hall another name for the place without a doubt came from the first Handcock as it will be recollected one of the plantations inherited by the Burgwins from George Pollock on the Roanoke is called Alveston also. The connection between the Attorney Handcock and Thomas Pollock leads to this conclusion. Thomas Pollock Burgwin died at Alveston in a small house on the plantation.

Undoubtedly John Carruthers Stanly held more property than any colored man before or since in North Carolina, and the money kept in their stockings by the old colored women for a “rainy day” was found out to him for safer keeping, which from indisposition or inability was never returned. But New Bern had another colored man before mentioned, Donum Mumford as he himself wrote his name, that held slaves. One was well known at New Bern as Isaac Rew, and a good one too. Mumford also owned land, a plantation at the mouth of Little Swift Creek. He finally sold that and also Isaac’s, the later to George S. Attmore, the grandfather of Dr. R.S. Primrose and related also as before mentioned in connection with William Attmore. This Isaac Rew was the grandfather of Edward Richardson, the colored postmaster ate New Bern a few years ago. Donum Mumford’s birth is recorded in the family record of the Hon. John Stanly as having been born in 1771. Though the name is written Montford. It is so too on a tomb set up by his nephew as having died in 1838. His age is not given, I suppose not at the time known. The house in which Moses Kennedy died and in which life interest was given him by the Hon. Edward Stanly belonged to Mumford at the time of his death. He was a loud talker though not pert. You know there are people that speak their words [if not far from one’s ear,] as if a mile off and others believe [“Respect is won by grave pretence, And silence surer even than sense.”].

We received from a gentleman a picture sent out from a newspaper he thought like Mr. Richardson’s home at Bellair. It was very much like the Harlin Carthy house at New Bern which was burned in April 1843. We thank the gentleman for his Bellair in Maryland.

Continued.

Return to The Writings of John D. Whitford