Celebrating our freedom

Published 5:18 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2020

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To the Editor:

As the nation recently celebrated “Juneteenth” that recognized the freedom of the last slaves that were held in Texas, there are more than likely other states that had the same issue but my focus is Northampton County.

On July 10, 1865, a Union Army officer by the name of Major Pendleton was sent from the courthouse in Halifax County, NC to Northampton County. Major Pendleton made a declaration of freedom to the slaves that were held in bondage, still, in Northampton County, NC. Many of the African-Americans were too afraid to leave those places where they were held in bondage so they stayed and no one told them to leave.

This is factual information, found in Northampton County Comprehensive Historic Architecture Survey Phase II: Final Report April 28, 2010, submitted by Rebecca O. Spanbauer. The link is files.nc.gov/ncdcr/historic-preservation-office/survey-and-national-register/surveyreports/NorthamptonCountySurvey-2010.pdf. You can read information on pages 56-57.

I am a 22-year Army veteran and I retired in 2014 and I currently live in Blythewood, SC. I self-published my first book in 2017 titled, Parting of the Waters: The History of the Grant Family from Northampton County, NC. I have always been interested in history but mainly the history of Northampton County, NC and my family. During my research, I found the information I shared above and I briefly discussed this information with a small tour group in Northampton County in 2018.

I have reached out to all Northampton County Commissioners to ask if July 10 can be made a county holiday or to at least be recognized, but I have yet to receive a response. I was in the process of having a small event in Northampton to recognize this day but I had to postpone it until next year due to the COVID pandemic and I was going to pay for it out of my own pocket. Two Commissioners I know did not receive the email but the others did.

I would like to have this information placed in the newspaper to shed light on a historic moment in Northampton County’s history.

Arthur C. Grant, Jr.

Blythewood, SC