Stories of black life, labor, and freedom struggle from the Antebellum era through Emancipation and beyond

Farmer and his children, Granville County, NC. Photograph Dorothea Lange, 1939


Advisory Board

Dr. Omar Ali, Project Director, UNC Greensboro

Mr. Eddie McCoy, Principal Researcher

Ms. Kaila Dollard, Graduate Research Assistant, UNC Charlotte

Ms. Allyson Beatty, Undergraduate Research Assistant, UNC Greensboro

Mr. Andrew Mahoney, Director, Richard H. Thornton Library

Dr. Timothy Tyson, Duke University

Ms. Stephanie Velazquez May, Granville Museum

Ms. Vera Cecelski, Stagville State Historic Site

(Top) Kaila Dollard, Omar Ali; (Middle) Eddie McCoy, Vera Cecelski; (Bottom) Timothy Tyson, and Andrew Mahoney, September 27, 2021



1600-1700s – Occaneechi and Tutelo Native American peoples living in the area of Granville County

1746 – Granville founded by English, named after British Statesman John Carteret, Second Earl of Granville, heir to one of eight Lord Proprietors of the Province of Carolina

1776 – John Penn, a planter in Granville, is a signer of Declaration of Independence

1794 – An enslaved person in Granville County named Quillo attempted to organize a massive revolt in April that included holding elections for an African American government and uniting with insurrectionists in neighboring Person County.

1857 – Two African Americans lynched on Harrisburg Bridge, near Oxford 

1861 – Granville total pop 23,396, of whom 10,000 were enslaved working tobacco fields

1865 – Emancipation of enslaved African Americans through 13th Amendment

1871-Civil Rights Act of 1871 (Ku Klux Klan Act)

1881 – John Brodie and Shadrack Hester, lynched near Oxford

1883 – Colored Orphanage Asylum established

1890 – Colored Farmers Alliance leader Rev.  Walter Pattillo 

1912 – Reports of Black and Native American “free negroes”

1970 – Murder of Henry Marrow in Oxford, leading to movement against segregation


Oak Lawn Plantation

Harrisburg Bridge

Stagville Plantation

City of Oxford





Granville Museum, Oxford, Granville, NC

Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill

Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University

Native American Roots, Genealogy and History of Native Americans in Granville County

North Carolina History Project: Granville County


Timothy B. Tyson, Blood Done Sign My Name (New York: Crown Publishing, 2004)

Omar H. Ali, In The Lion’s Mouth: Black Populism in the New South, 1886-1900 (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2010)

Andrew J. Carlson and Marvin A. Brown. Heritage and Homesteads: The History and Architecture of Granville County North Carolina (Oxford, NC: Granville County Historical Society, 1988)