Name: Richard Bennehan
Birth: 15 APR 1743 in Warsaw, Richmond Co., VA
Death: 31 DEC 1825 in **** see Benneham BASS
Burial: Bennehan Family Cemetery, Stagville Plantation, Durham Co., NC
Richard Bennehan was a self-made man. A native of Virginia, he came to North Carolina in 1768 as the partner of William Treasurer of the famed Transylvania Land Company, hired Daniel Boone to explore the Kentucky territory, the company had purchased from the Indians, and fitted out the Boone expedition at the same Snow Hill store. Young Bennehan saved his money and began to buy land. At the time of his death in 1826 he was among the largest landowners in the Carolina Piedmont, and one of the best known men around. He was an early trustee of the City of Raleigh, and though self-taught he was a well read man.
His first purchases were on Flat River on nearby Brickhouse Road know as "Mt. Union." When he decided to build a new house he wanted a high point in the area so he could overlook his farming operations on the Flat River bottoms. He purchased a tract know as "Stagg's Old Raw Ground" from the Widow Stagg. Judith Stagg and her husband, Thomas, had run a tavern and they gave their name to the community established there, hence Stagville. Bennehan's new house, Stagville Plantation , was built about 1787 at the same time he built his own store on this tract...
Slavery in Orange County
Slavery was well established in the colony of North Carolina long before Orange County came into being. Slavery was not as important an institution in Orange County as other places. At no time did slaves constitute more than 31 percent of the total population of the county. In 1755 (3 years after its founding) only 8 percent of the families owned slaves. The largest slaveholder at that time, Mark MORGAN, had only 6 slaves. By 1780, however, 3 percent of Orange Co slaveholders had more than 20 slaves. The 1790 census showed 10,055 whites, 2,060 Negro slaves, and 101 other free persons. At that time there were 14 slaveholders who had 10 slaves or more. 4 of these 14 lived in Hillsboro. William COOPER was the largest slaveholder in Hillsboro with 22 and Richard BENNEHAN, a planter, was the largest slaveholder in the county with 24. Others who had 10 or more were George ALLEN, John TAYLOR, Matthew McCAULEY, John HOGAN, homas H. PERKINS with 10 each; Walter ALVES with 11; William SHEPPARD and William O'NEAL with 12 each; Hardy MORGAN with 14; Alexander MEBANE with 16; and a person whose name is not known with 20. In 1860 less than half of all landowners in the county had slaves. Over 40 percent of those had only one slave. The following is a direct quote: "Most slaveholders owned a small number of slaves, hence the relationship between master and slave was very close. The master knew his slaves by name, took a personal interest in them individually, and looked upon them almost as members of his family" In 1860 the 3 largest slaveholders were I. N. PATTERSON with 106, Paul CAMERON with 98, and Henry WHITTED with 78.
Orange Co. NC Will Abstracts
Book A, p. 217
Will of MICHAEL SYNNOTT (will in Archives)
Servant Mary HUMPHREYS gets land on Gooseberry Mountain as long as she lives single;
Nephew Richard SYNNOTT of St. Catherine's Parish in WAPPING, LONDON -- land on CROOKED RUN on waters of ENO RIVER;
Mentioned bond on wearing apparel and books from Thomas BAREFIELD, Arthur BROWN and Benjamin COTTON (bond and inventory
in the care of Dr. Thomas BURKE).
Exec: William JOHNSTON.
Wits: Richard BENNEHAN, Michael (x) McGEE.
ORANGE CO. NC WILL BOOK A
Will of WILLIAM JOHNSTON
WILLIAM JOHNSTON of Orange Co., NC, only son and heir of ROBERT JOHNSTON of HARTHWOOD in the Parish of LOCHMABIN in the Shire of ANNANDALE in SCOTLAND decd by Isabell his then wife:
To mother, Isabell Johnston;
To the children of Catherine GARDNER decd, late wife of Mr. Edward GARDNER of the City of LINCOLN in the Kingdom of GREAT BRITAIN;
To my cousin Mary ROBSON, wife of Henry ROBSON, now or late of the County of CUMBERLAND near CARLISLE in the Kingdom of GREAT BRITAIN;
To Mary HARRISON, widow of James HARRISON decd, near the Town of SOUTH _____ in the Shire of LINCOLN in G. BRITAIN;
To Elizabeth ROBINSON, widow of Jno. ROBINSON, ESQ. decd, late of the City of LINCOLN;
To Robert READ, now of LINCOLN;
To John DIXON, ESQ. of LOCHMABIN in Shire of ANNANDALE;
100 pounds to seminary of learning;
William Johnston's deceased wife and children are buried at his plantation at LITTLE RIVER in Orange Co. NC;
Trustees for the estate of beloved daughter and only child AMELIA JOHNSTON (a minor) are: Edward STABLER, ESQ, of PETERSBURG VA, Samuel JOHNSTON, ESQ, of EDENTON NC, JAMES HOGG, THOMAS HART, JNO. KINCHEN, RICHARD BENNEHAN;
To Mrs. Ann HAMILTON, late of City of LINCOLN, widow of HAMILTON HAMILTON, late of Town of KINGSTON UPON HULL in the Shire of YORK... dau of William Alderman FOW;
Mrs. Mildred FENTON, wife of Thomas FENTON, near the Town of LEEDS in the Shire of YORK... dau of John & Elizabeth ROBINSON;
To Robert BURNETT of the Parish of MARSHALL and County of WITHDALL? in SCOTLAND, brother to my said mother;
To Mrs. Jane CRAIK (CRAIG) of MOORSHALL (MARSHALL?) Parish, sister to my said mother;
To my friend James GIBSON of KELTON in the Shire of GALLOWAY in SCOTLAND.
Execs: friends JAMES HOGG, THOMAS HART, JOHN KINCHEN, RICHARD BENNEHAN. No witnesses.
Father: Unplaced Bonhams and Benhams and Bennehans
Mary Amis b: ABT 1756
- Rebecca Bennehan b: 28 SEP 1778
- Thomas Dudley Bennehan b: ABT 1782