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The History of Chowan Beach
by George Farrell and Rawl Gelinas
Preface  Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5
Part 6  Part 7  Part 8  Part 9  Part 10

Part Three

When Parson Daniel Earl died in 1790 he left Bandon to one daughter and an adjoining plantation, Boydsborough, to the other. Charles Johnson survived his wife and spent the last years of his life ill and in the care of a trusted slave and her daughter. In thanks for their care he decreed that they should be freed at his death and given $500 to help start new lives. This was done when he died in the late summer of 1802. All his property was left to his son, Charles Earl Johnson. Boydsborough had also been willed to Charles Earl upon his aunt's death in 1796. It is interesting to note that Charles Earl, although the second son and not the eldest, was heir to both his aunt's property and his father's. There is little information to be found about Thomas, the eldest son other than the fact that he was of age when his father died. Yet the property was left to Charles Earl, still a minor. He achieved his majority in 1805.

Charles Earl bought even more land and slaves to add to an already thriving plantation until eventually he possessed several thousand acres and was a very wealthy man. He continued the family tradition of education and hired a private teacher for at least some of his eight children. The building used for this is possibly the one that is now at the Iredell house, mistaken for the original 'Parson Earl Schoolhouse.'

The records are unclear and in some cases contradict each other but it seems almost certain that at least the main building of Bandon burned sometime in the late 1820's. There are photos, made in the 1950's, of the main house at Bandon saying 'circa 1800' which would indicate that it is the original building from Charles Johnson' senior's time but the evidence that it did burn seems stronger. It may have burned only partially for some elements, such as doors and mantles were either left or rescued. There are records that they were incorporated into the new or rebuilt structure. The Edenton Gazette of May 5, 1829 reported that there was a fire in a shed while some outbuildings were still under construction but that "the large and commodious dwelling of Charles E. Johnson, lately erected, narrowly escaped burning."

Charles died, in February 1850, of a "paralytic stroke.' In the estate papers is an extensive inventory of furnishings, tools and equipment indicating that there were several farm outbuildings: barns, kitchen, smokehouse, carriage house, blacksmith shop and possibly more. His estate was estimated to be in excess of $100,000 with Bandon plantation being listed as valued at $18000, a very great deal of money in the 1850.

His estate was to be divided among several heirs. In 1852 the heirs entered a friendly suit entreating the sale of the Bandon property. This was granted. At the auction on December 17, 1852 the high bid was $25000 and William J. Holley became the owner of Bandon Plantation.

On To Part Four

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Portions Copyright 2010 George Farrell and Rawl Gelinas