by Lisa Y. Henderson
This North Carolina Highway Historical Marker, located northeast of Faison in Duplin County, commemorates Ezekiel Ezra Smith, educator, minister of the gospel, and United States minister to Liberia. Smith’s first wife was William Ann Burnett. For more on his life, see History of the American Negro and his Institutions, Volume 4, Arthur Bunyan Caldwell, ed.; and Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Volume 5, William S. Powell.
In the 1860 census of North Division, Duplin County: Cassy Smith, 45; her children Charlott, 25, Dorcas, 19, Rebecca, 16, Richard, 14, Mary G., 12, Ezekiel, 8, Theus, 4, and an infant, 2 months; plus Calvin Brock, 10, and Samuel Perlie, 35.
In the 1860 census of Goldsboro, Wayne County, Wm Burnett, 49, barber, and wife Cuzzy, 50. Next door: Dolly Burnett with daughters Polly, 12, Betsy, 5, and William An, 3. Next door to them: Solomon Finch, 28, barkeeper, wife Eliza [née Burnett], 27, seamstress, and children Georgianna, 10, and Thomas Russell Finch, 2.