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Bladen County Slave Information: Joel Jr and Daniel Johnson

Their early family history takes them across many counties of NC and beyond. They have surely left their mark here in the Colly and Turnbull communities of Bladen County. Click -> here <- to see some of their Johnson family lineage from the early 1700's to the early 1900's.

The Johnson brothers were both land barons and slave masters of Bladen County NC. Their lands included many acres in the Colly and Turnbull townships of Bladen County. Daniel and Joel Jr."s son Owen, after his father's death were very generous about giving vast amounts of land to the African Americans that were once their slaves.

  I am not sure when or how my ggg grandmother Phyllis Herring and her immediate family became associated with Joel Johnson Jr's family but I do know that they were not slaves of his in October of 1856-58. Joel Jr. had a will made in 1856 and amended it in 1858 and the slaves mentioned in it are as follows.

  To son Owen Johnson, one Negro boy named Elliot? who was 18 years old.
  To son R W Johnson, one Negro man named Joe who was 25 years old.
  To son Daniel Johnson, one Negro boy named Peter who was 20 years old.
  To son Kinion Johnson, one Negro boy named Anthony who was 20 years old.
  To son Evan Johnson, one Negro boy named Isaac who was 20 years old.
  To daughter Molcy, two Negro girls, Dilly who was 26 years old and Racheal who was 8 years old.
  To daughter Mary J, one Negro woman named Cherry who was 20 years old and her two children Ester and Sarah plus one other Negro girl named Martha or Mareta who was 8 years old.
  To daughter Elizabeth, two Negro girls, one named Telah who was 14 years old and the other named Julia who was 6 years old.
  To daughter Helen, two Negro girls who were both 9 years old and named Arey? and Chancey?
  To grandsons Robert and Joel P Harvey, one Negro boy named Josiah who was 7 years old.
  To grand daughter Mary Elizabeth Harvey, one Negro girl named Mary who was 2 years old
  In 1858 he also stated that Owen was to receive a Negro boy named Irvin.


  From looking at the value of their real estate and their personal estate you can see that the Johnsons were in pretty good shape for the times of 1860. There were others in Bladen County that were better off at the time but I know there were many many that were less fortunate. I noticed from the chart and other information that the number of slaves had a lot to do with a persons personal wealth during this time. Look at how much some of their wealth had changed by 1870. Owens 1870 information is shown under Joel Jr.'s listing. He was the only one of Joel's children still living with him in 1860.

1860-$ Daniel Joel Jr. Richard Kinion Evan Daniel
Personal $3,479 $14,938 $24,885 $4,400 $5,335 $8,730
Real $8,380 $10,000 $12,000 $2,000 $8,000 $3,800
Slaves 08 13 22 04 05 02
1870-real no info $2000 no info $2500 $1200 $800
personal no info $400 no info $700 $150 $400

  Click here for a link that gives good information on how slaves were valued, bought and sold.


  Here is a link that tells of a few slave laws and a lot of what the enslaved African American woman and her family were up against in their daily bid for survival, sanctity and inner peace. Below are four links that tells what people who were actually slaves has to tell about their lives as being slaves. From reading this and other information on slavery one can tell that some slaves lived fairly simple lives while others were not quite as fortunate.

Slave Narratives 1 Slave Narratives 2 Slave Narratives 3 Slave Narratives 4


  Just below is the Daniel Johnson that was Joel Jr.'s brother. Daniel lived in the Turnbull township of Bladen County. He was the slave owner of my gg grandfather Henry Johnson. Henry's daughter Mary Carlton Johnson married Ned Autry. According to the ages of Henry and his other family members of 1860, Henry is surely one of the slaves listed below. I am completely baffled as to how he could have lived and started his own family in the Warsaw township of Duplin County while slavery was still in full blast. Henry met and married his wife Nancy Carlton there. In 1858 his oldest son (Donnie) followed by three other children (Toney Troy, Mary Carlton and George W) were also born there. I know that Daniel's father Joel Johnson senior and his mother Temperance Green-Johnson were both from Duplin County and that Joel Sr. had land in Duplin County which could have been willed to Daniel after his death. Maybe Daniel had Henry taking care of family business (farming) for him in Duplin County. Only a thought but there has to be an explanation!
  I also found Amos Johnson living in the Warsaw township in 1870 just a few houses from where Henry and the Carltons were living. I don't know if Amos was Henry's brother or not but he was also one of The slaves owned by Daniel Johnson and listed below. In 1870 he was listed as being 26 and was found living with a 23 year old female named Bettie and a 2 year old female child named Nellie. Just like Henry, Amos returned to Bladen County sometime around 1880. However, I have never found any more information on Bettie or Nellie.
  All of Daniel's slaves listed below can be accounted for with a name and an age match. I know they all lived in one home during the slave era but is it safe to assume that they were all true family? Their present day Johnson descendants sponsors a very nice annual Johnson family reunion in their honor but none of them can tell me if the group listed below were all family or just a group of people living together as slaves.
  • Daniel Johnson
  • 44 year old female
  • 30 year old male
  • 23 year old male
  • 20 year old male
  • 16 year old male
  • 12 year old male
  • 06 year old female
  • 03 year old male
  • 01 slave home

  Joel Jr. died in 1861. Their family cemetery is located just south of my great uncle Johnny Johnson's old home place on the Susie Sandhill. I have visited and played in the area many times as a youngster. Not knowing that those were some of the same areas that my great grandfather Ned was familiar with as a child and adult.
  Joel Jr's son Owen was the slave owner that my ggg grandmother Phyllis Herring, her children and grandchildren were associated with. It was Owen and his brother's wife that I found my great grandfather Ned and some of his Johnson brothers and sisters living with as servants in their youth after slavery was so said to be ended.
  I do not know who Edith's Johnson mate was or what happened to him if there was one. I am assuming that since her mother Phyllis, her brother Archie and her son Ned were all Herrings, she was also a Herring before becoming a Johnson. So I think it is probably safe to assume that she acquired her Johnson surname from one of the Johnson slaves listed on this page, whether the slave belonged to Joel Jr., his brother Daniel or any of his (Joel's) children. She could have just started using the Johnson surname as a result of becoming a Johnson's slave.
  Because of the slavery marriage system it was possible that any Johnson slave represented on this page could have fathered some of Edith's children that were born before or shortly after slavery ended. I have read many times where the slave parents lived together or apart as man and wife and sometimes have different slave masters all their lives. I have also found that the offspring's of these unions were claimed by the female's slave owner. Here is some individual information that I came across on Sarah Louise Agustus, Tempie Herndon Durham and Betty Cofer exslaves from the Fayetteville, Durham and an unknown area of NC whose parents or mates were also owned by different slave owners.
  • Joel JR. Johnson
  • 47 year old female
  • 43 year old male
  • 44 year old female
  • 34 year old female
  • 33 year old male
  • 32 year old male
  • 21 year old male
  • 17 year old Male
  • 12 year old male
  • 10 year old female
  • 08 year old male
  • 07 year old male
  • 05 year old female
  • 03 slave homes
  • Richard Johnson
  • 70 year old female
  • 55 year old male
  • 30 year old female
  • 25 year old male
  • 23 year old female
  • 22 year old male
  • 23 year old male
  • 22 year old male
  • 17 year old male
  • 14 year old male
  • 14 year old female
  • 14 year old female
  • 11 year old female
  • 10 year old male
  • 09 year old male
  • 08 year old male
  • 06 year old female
  • 05 year old male
  • 04 year old male
  • 02 year old female
  • 07 month old male
  • 10 year old female
  • 04 slave homes
  • Kinion Johnson
  • 36 year old female
  • 24 year old male
  • 16 year old female
  • 12 year old male
  • 01 slave home
  • Evan Johnson
  • 22 year old male
  • 18 year old female
  • 11 year old male
  • 01 year old male
  • 01 slave home
A 75 year old Freed man named Tony Gold was also found living with Joel Jr.'s son Daniel
  • Daniel Johnson
  • 26 year old male
  • 15 year old female
  • 01 slave home
Slave owners of 1860 Bladen County

  In all reality I have always thought and always will think that a Caucasian was the father of my great great grandmother or her children because of their Caucasian features. I was very anxious to see how many of the younger children in the slave families were going to be listed as mulattos in the Johnson families slave information of 1860. To my surprise there were none listed for any of the Johnson family members listed above. Take a look at this photo of my great grandfather Ned Edmund Autry who actually knew Owen Johnson personally and lived with him as a slave and/or servant in his youth. Content goes here

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