Enslaved People of the Vance Family

Reems Creek & Lapland, NC

May (b? - d?)

May was sold, along with two of her children, to John Benjamin in the David Vance, Jr. estate sale of 1844 for $857.00.[14] No other information is known.

Venice/Venus (b? - before 1850)

Venus was a nanny for Zeb and Robert when they were young. She is fondly recalled by Robert in the Clemet Dowd biography of Zeb.[41] She was auctioned, along with 11 other slaves, at the 1844 David, Jr. estate sale.[14] Robert states that Venus went up to the auction block carrying his younger sister and declared that anyone who took her also took "her" child. Mira Vance repurchased Venus for $1 with no contest from anyone present.[41] While Mira did purchase Venus for $1, the truth of the family legend is unclear.

Since she does not appear on the 1850 slave schedule for Mira Vance, it is assumed that Venus died sometime between 1844 and 1850.[17]

Abram Vance (1799? - after 1870)

In 1813, Abram was willed to David Vance, Jr.[12] His history is uncertain. Most likely, he was the Abe who was sold to Montraville Weaver in the estate sale of David Vance, Jr. in 1844.[14] He may be Abraham Vance, born in 1799, who was living in the household of Hudson Vance in 1870 in Reems Creek.[20]

Philip (b? - d?)

Phillip was willed to David Vance, Jr. in 1813.[12] He does not appear in David Jr.'s estate sale of 1844.[14] No other information is known.

Moses (b? - d?)

Moses was willed to Priscilla Brank Vance in her husband's 1813 will.[12] No other information is known.

Jim (circa 1820s? - d?)

Jim was to be sold as per Priscilla Vance's will of 1835, with the proceeds to be equally divided between her grandchildren, of the deceased George and Priscilla Vance Whitson.[42]

This may be the same Jim purchased by John Roberts in David Vance, Jr.'s 1844 estate sale, which would imply that he was sold within or repurchased by the Vance family after Priscilla's death. Newspaper announcements of the estate sale indicated that one of the enslaved men for sale was a blacksmith. Because that is such a valuable skill and because Jim was sold for much more than the other man sold, he is likely the blacksmith.[14] No other information is known.

Hannah Prestwood (b? - d?)

Hannah was a slave of Jonathan Prestwood and freed by his will of 1838. Because it was not legal to free a slave in this way, it was necessary for her to be willed to someone. According to the will, Hannah was allowed to select the person she would live with and she selected David Vance, Jr.[43] It is very likely that this is the same Hannah from Aggy's 1830 note, the Hannah who has a "fine son in her old days."[8] This would indicate a close relationship between the Vance and Prestwood slaves, perhaps as a result of a bond between their masters. It is also possible that Hannah was hired to David Vance during the harvest season, a common practice among neighbors in the region.


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