Estate of Solomon Williams.

by Lisa Y. Henderson


Vicey Artis, a free woman of color, and Solomon Williams, a slave, had eleven children together — Zilpha Artis Wilson, Adam Toussaint Artis, Jane Artis Artis, Loumiza Artis Artis, Charity Artis, Lewis Artis, Jonah Williams, Jethro Artis, Jesse Artis, Richard Artis and Delilah Williams Exum — before they were able to marry legally.  On 31 August 1866, they registered their 35-year cohabitation in Wayne County.  Vicey died soon after, but Solomon lived until 1883.  The document above, listing his and Vicey’s six surviving children and heirs of their deceased children, is found among his estate papers, now held at the North Carolina State Archives.

In the 1850 census of Bull Head district, Greene County, Vicy Artess is listed with children Zilpha, Louis, Jonah, Jethro, and Richard Artess.  Next door, her and Solomon’s children Adam, Charity and Jane appear in the household of Silas Bryant, to whom they apparently were apprenticed.