Benjamin Spaulding Sr., was born into slavery in 1773 in Duplin County, North Carolina and married Edith Delphia Jacobs/Freeman, a Native American woman born in 1786. In 1810, their first son was born and over the next two decades, the couple gave birth to eight more sons and one daughter:
- William Spaulding born 1810
- Emanuel Spaulding born 1813
- Armstead Strong Spaulding born 1814
- Jonathan Spaulding Sr. born 1817
- Iver Jon Spaulding born 1819
- Anna Eliza Spaulding born 1822
- Benjamin Spaulding Jr. born 1824
- David Spaulding born 1829
- Henry James Spaulding born 1831
Benjamin was operating as a freed man for many years before his official manumission papers were filed by Samuel Swindale, Jr. in 1825. There are earlier census records and land registration records indicating that he was considered free for many years before that.
Edith on the other hand, spent much of her time before Benjamin’s freedom participating in the Freeman Family business of purchasing land. She acquired several tracts of land:
- 100 acres on February 8, 1816
- 120 acres on December 8, 1818
- 50 acres on November 14, 1820
Ben’s family became skilled farmers, turpentine distillers, and millers: they bought land and owned their own businesses. Even as the pre-Civil War laws became more harsh, the extended families remained free, independent and self-sustaining. They set up a school and church on their land, and sought out educational opportunities for the youth at every level. Benjamin acquired several tracts of land:
Ben and Edith’s 10 children raised 83 grandchildren.
If you want more information about the Spaulding Clan please take time to check out their website – Spaulding’s of North Carolina.