Caswell County Genealogy
 

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Day, Thomas

Day, Thomas

Male 1801 - 1861  (60 years)

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  • Name Day, Thomas  [1, 2, 3
    Birth 1801  Dinwiddie County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Reference Number 15390 
    Death 1861  Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Burial Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I15093  Caswell County
    Last Modified 24 Feb 2024 

    Father Day, John Sr.,   b. 1766, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 1832, Warren County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 66 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Stewart, Mourning,   b. 1766, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this locationd. Bef 10 Aug 1860 (Age < 94 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Reference Number 136901 
    Family ID F7223  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Wilson, Aquilla,   b. Abt 1806, Halifax County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this locationd. Bef 9 Dec 1886 (Age ~ 80 years) 
    Marriage 7 Jan 1830  Halifax County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Reference Number 136997 
    Notes 
    • Virginia Marriages, 1740-1850
      Groom Name: Thomas Day
      Bride Name: Aquilla Wilson
      Marriage Date: 7 Jan 1830
      County: Halifax
      State: Virginia

      One undocumented source shows Uriah Jeffreys as bondsman.
    Children 
    +1. Day, Mary Ann,   b. Abt 1831, Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. Bef 1872 (Age ~ 40 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
     2. Day, Devereux J.,   b. Abt 1833, Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    +3. Day, Thomas Jr.,   b. Mar 1835, Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 23 Sep 1895, Franklin, King County, Washington Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 60 years)  [Father: natural]  [Mother: natural]
    Family ID F7222  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 24 Feb 2024 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 1801 - Dinwiddie County, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 7 Jan 1830 - Halifax County, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 1861 - Caswell County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - - Caswell County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Thomas Day Composite Based Upon Statue
    Thomas Day Statue
    Milton Presbyterian Church Pews by Thomas Day
    Thomas Day Card Table
    Thomas Day Bureau
    Thomas Day Wardrobe for Green D. Satterfield
    Thomas Day Child Toilet
    Thomas Day Sofa
    Thomas Day Rocker for Donoho Family
    Thomas Day Chair for James Poteat
    Thomas Day Cradle for Pulliam Family
    Thomas Day Center Table
    Thomas Day Sideboard
    Thomas Day Dressing Bureau for David Settle Reid
    Thomas Day Sewing Stand
    Thomas Day Cradle
    Thomas Day Newell Post at Woodside
    Thomas Day Furniture at Old West University of North Carolina
    Thomas Day Stair Rail at Bachelor's Hall
    Thomas Day Staircase at Bartlett Yancey House
    Thomas Day Mantel at Clarendon Hall
    Thomas Day Mantel at Holderness House
    Thomas Day Staircase at Long House
    Thomas Day Mantel Detail at Long House
    Thomas Day Mantel Detail at Long House
    Thomas Day Historical Marker
    Thomas Day House/Union Tavern, Milton, NC: National Register Application

    Documents
    Thomas Day Bill of Sale D. G. Satterfield
    Thomas Day Bill of Sale D. G. Satterfield
    Thomas Day Order 1850
    Thomas Day Order 1850

    Headstones
    Thomas Day Grave Marker
    Thomas Day Grave Marker

    Books
    'Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color'
    "Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color"

    Newspapers
    Thomas Day Cabinet Maker. Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser (Milton, NC), 1 March 1827
    Thomas Day Burial Services. The Milton Chronicle (Milton, NC), 21 May 1858
    Thomas Day Insolvency Trustee Dabney Terry. The Milton Chronicle (Milton, NC), 10 Mar 1859
    Thomas Day Advertisement. The Milton Chronicle (Milton, NC), 10 Mar 1859

  • Notes 
    • Thomas Day (1801-1861)

      Thomas Day

      Thomas Day Burial Services. The Milton Chronicle (Milton, NC), 21 May 1858

      Thomas Day Trustee Dabney Terry. The Milton Chronicle (Milton, NC), 10 Mar 1859

      (for larger image, click on photograph)
      ________________

      Thomas Day's Trustee Notice: 1859: The Milton Chronicle (Milton, NC), 10 Mar 1859

      Marshall, Patricia Phillips and Leimenstoll, Jo Ramsay. "Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color." Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

      There the authors explain that due to the financial crisis that began in 1857 debtors of Thomas Day could not pay. As a result, Day could not pay his creditors and he declared insolvency (essentially bankruptcy). The court issued an insolvency deed and placed Day's business affairs under the trusteeship of local house carpenter Dabney Terry. The court allowed Day to remain in his shop and carry on his furniture trade to support his family and pay off debts. However, this was the beginning of the end of Thomas Day's business. He died in 1861.
      ________________

      Thomas Day, probably the most famous craftsman to call Caswell County home, was born 1801 to free black parents in Dinwiddie County, southeast Virginia. His father was John Day, a farmer and skilled cabinetmaker whose products apparently were well-received in the local market. According to the letters of John Day, Jr., only discovered in 1995, John Day, Sr., was the illegitimate son of a white South Carolina plantation mistress and her black coachman. John, Jr., names R. Day of South Carolina as his grandfather. Thomas Day's mother was Mourning Stewart, the daughter of free mulatto Thomas Stewart, who owned a large and successful plantation in Dinwiddie County on which he worked slaves. John Day married Mourning Stewart around 1795-1796, and they had two sons: John Day, Jr., born 1797; and Thomas Day.

      Thomas Day Biographical Sketch.
      _______________

      Thomas Day purchased the Union Tavern (Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina) 27 January 1848, from Samuel Watkins, paying $1,050.
      _______________

      The Woodwright's Shop: Thomas Day (January 28, 2011): https://www.pbs.org/video/the-woodwrights-shop-thomas-day-cabinetmaker/

      "In the days of slavery, Thomas Day, a free black cabinetmaker in North Carolina, was one of the most respected artisans in the South. We will look beneath the veneer on his furniture and discover his intriguing architectural work."
      _______________

      Caswell County Deed Book X, Page 226: George Farley of Milton to Thomas Day, cabinetmaker of same, for $50, part of lot #19 in Milton on Main Street with 32 front feet adjacent David Kyle, formerly known by the name of Bell Tavern lot. 22 February 1827. Witnesses: Joseph McGehee, Joseph W. Marshall. Source: Caswell County North Carolina Deed Books 1817-1840 Abstracts, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1992) at 131.
      _______________

      PAR Number 11283003
      Location: Caswell County, North Carolina; Year: 1830

      Abstract: Sixty-eight citizens of the town of Milton ask that Aquilla Wilson, a free woman of color of Halifax, Virginia, be exempted from an 1826 North Carolina law "entitled 'An act to prevent free persons of Colour from migrating into this state, for the good government of such persons resident in the State, and for other purposes.'" They state that Aquilla married Thomas Day, a free man of color whom they describe as a "Cabinet maker by trade, a first rate workman, a remarkably sober, steady and industrious man--, a highminded, good and valuable Citizen." They therefore pray that an act be passed "giving said Aquilla, the priviledge of migrating to this state." In his affidavit, R. M. Saunders avers that said Day is "of very fair character -- an excellent mechanic, industrious, honest and sober in his habits and in the event of any disturbance amongst the blacks I should rely with confidence upon a disclosure from him as he is the owner of Slaves as well as of real estate."

      Source: Digital Library on American Slavery.
      _______________

      The Washington Post; February 13, 1997 ; Patricia Dane Rogers:

      In a gracious Georgian house in Howard County, the family Bible with the tattered pink silk cover was on the table, open to the place where the name of the original owner had been recorded. Though the ink was faded and the words were dim, the inscription still could be read. "To Thomas Day," it said, "from his friend and pastor, N. H. Harding." The date was 1843.

      Day, whose timeworn Bible is owned by Thomas Day V, a direct descendant, was a success story in an unlikely time and place. A free African American cabinet- maker in antebellum North Carolina, he produced fashionable furniture and interior woodwork for the stately Greek revival homes of white planters. He became known for ...
      _______________

      In 2004 Lelia Jones Neal Essic donated a Thomas Day side chair to the Caswell County Historical Association (CCHA). In February 2009 the chair was on display at the CCHA's Richmond-Miles History Museum, along with the following hand-written note by the donor:

      "This chair was in my home when I was born 82 years ago. It, along with several other pieces of furniture, was called "Tom Day" furniture. It is believed they came into the Neal family when Thomas Chalmers Neal (1847-1919), son of Stephen Neal (1812-1892) and grandson of Zachariah Neal (1787-1850, married Rebecca Neal Graves (1852-1893), daughter of Azariah Graves Jr. (1815-1897), granddaughter of General Azariah Graves (1768-1850), and great granddaughter of Revolutionary War officer Colonel John Williams (1740-1804)." Lelia Neal Essic, daughter of Robert Lee Neal, Sr.
      _______________

      Thomas Day: Master Carpenter and Cabinetmaker: Thomas Day was a free black and a master in the craft of woodworking. Born in 1801, Day moved from Virginia to Milton, North Carolina, where he became a carpenter and cabinetmaker. His bold and expertly crafted beds, rockers, bureaus, sideboards and tables were especially prized. Prior to the Civil War, Day owned one of the state's largest furniture-making workshops, which employed as many as 80 workers in its peak years. The quality of Day's work won his company contracts to design the interiors of several state-owned buildings, and the loyalty of his local community. When Day wanted to marry, he planned to move back to Virginia because North Carolina law prevented his wife from moving across the state line. But Milton’s white residents successfully petitioned the General Assembly to allow his fiancé to move to North Carolina, and the community retained its master craftsman. Interiors designed by Day can still can be seen at Longwood Plantation in Caswell County, North Carolina, and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Source: http://kennedyking.ccc.edu/black_history.asp.
      _______________

      "Although he is not listed as an official delegate to the Fifth Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color, a Thomas Day of North Carolina is found among other attendees at the convention that assembled in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, during the first week of June 1835. The attendees, leaders from the free black and the white communities strove to develop strategies to advance the plight of free people while encouraging the abolition of slavery. The convention also passed numerous antislavery resolutions while expressing grave concerns about the ability of free people of color to pursue their trades in the mechanical arts in the face of outright discrimination by white patrons."

      Marshall, Patricia Phillips and Leimenstoll, Jo Ramsay. Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010, p. 26.

      See: http://coloredconventions.org/
      _______________

      Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, January Court 1828: "Execution of deed from Doctor Wiley Jones to Thomas Day for a certain piece or parcel of land in the town of Milton, a part of lot belonging to Dr. Jones." Source: Historical Abstracts of Minutes of Caswell County, North Carolina 1777-1877, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1976) at 44.

      Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, July Court 1854: "M. G. Gunter and wife vs. Thomas Day." Source: Historical Abstracts of Minutes of Caswell County, North Carolina 1777-1877, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1976) at 80.

      Milton Gazette, 1827: Tom Day, cabinet shop, Milton. Source: Historical Abstracts of Minutes of Caswell County, North Carolina 1777-1877, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1976) at 138.

      Milton Chronicle, 1858: Ad from Tom Day, cabinet make and furniture, Milton. Source: Source: Historical Abstracts of Minutes of Caswell County, North Carolina 1777-1877, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1976) at 139.
      _______________

      The 1855 estate inventory for Nancy Graves Yancey includes $190 in notes owed by Thomas day from 1853 to 1855. Ann willed the house to her daughter Ann Elizabeth, who married Thomas Womack later that year. Possibly Day cleared the debt by executing the architectural woodwork for the two-story 1856 Greek Revival addition built by the couple shortly after their marriage.

      Source: Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color, Patricia Phillips Marshall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll (2010) at 248 (footnote 32).
      _______________

      Thomas Day-who was born in 1801 in Greensville County, Virginia, to mixed-race parents, John and Mourning Day-moved with his family to Warren County, North Carolina, in 1817. When he moved to Hillsborough in the early 1820s, it appears that he became friends with members of the Jeffreys family who, although listed as "mulattos" in official records, were actually of Indian origin. The Jeffreys were part of a larger group of Occaneechi people from Virginia who had settled in the northwest section of Orange County, which became Alamance County in 1849. As with the Day family, the Jeffreys family had originated in Greensville County, Virginia.

      In 1830 Uriah Jeffreys served as a bondsman for Thomas Day when he married Aquilla Wilson. A bondsman was usually a close family member (such as a father, brother, or uncle) who assured the court that the couple should be married, and that the groom would not change his mind and leave the bride at the altar. Uriah Jeffreys must have been a close friend of Thomas to agree to be his bondsman. Historic records make it clear that both men were cabinetmakers, and it is possible that Uriah and his brother Nathan worked with Day for a short time. In 1828 Uriah decided to move. He advertised in the Hillsborough Recorder that he had a variety of furniture from his cabinetmaking business for sale, including "Bureaus, Bedsteads, . . ."

      Source: My American Heritage Family Tree on Ancestry.com [Owner: Southeasterntribes], Last Visited 25 September 2011.
      _______________

      References

      Dictionary of American Negro Biography. Edited by Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1982. (DcAmNB).

      Marshall, Patricia Phillips and Leimenstoll, Jo Ramsay. Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

      "The Legendary Thomas Day: Debunking the Popular Mythology of an African American Craftsman" by Patricia Phillips Marshall in "The North Carolina Historical Review Vol. 78, No. 1 (January 2001), pp. 32-66 (35 pages), North Carolina Office of Archives and History.
      _______________

      The dedication and demonstration of a handmade replica of a nineteenth century cabinet maker's workbench, a project of the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association (M-WTCA), will be accompanied by tours of homes with Thomas Day architectural elements and buildings by the noted builders of brick structures, the Cosbys. Several members of M-WTCA including Bill Anderson, Brian Coe, Ed Hobbs and Roy Underhill have planned, designed, and made by hand a historically accurate reproduction of a nineteenth century cabinet maker's workbench stocked with period tools. The workbench and tool display will be dedicated at the Thomas Day House/Union Tavern in Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina, on Saturday, November 19, 2011. Cabinet makers will be on hand to demonstrate the use of the workbench and tools.

      Walk where Thomas Day made his furniture, and into houses where he personally designed and supervised the construction of his expressive and unique architectural elements. Walk around and in the buildings the Cosbys designed, made bricks for, and had their brick masons and carpenters build. The work of both of these artisans was in high demand in the mid-nineteenth century and remains so today throughout North Carolina and Virginia.

      The Thomas Day House at 148 Broad Street in Milton, NC in cooperation with the Halifax County Historical Society is sponsoring tours of the Day museum, five Day houses, and seven Cosby houses and buildings. The “Fall Foliage House Tours” will take place in Halifax County, Virginia, and Milton, North Carolina, on the fall weekend of November 19 and 20, 2011. The Thomas Day House/Union Tavern Restoration, Inc. and the Day houses will be open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, November 19, 2011. The Cosby houses and buildings will be open from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday, November 20.

      The Thomas Day House will be free to the public on Saturday, November 19, 2011 (at other times there is a charge). For the tours of the Day houses and Cosby houses and buildings there will be a charge of $20.00 for the two day event with a one day ticket costing $15.00. The house tours are a fund raiser for the Historical Society to help cover publication costs of their upcoming Architectural History of Halifax County.

      For an additional charge of $12.00 a box lunch will be available Saturday at the Oak Tree Tavern on the grounds of the Virginia International Raceway for those who reserve one in advance. Tuesday, November 15, 2011, is the cut off date for box lunch reservations. Oak Tree Tavern also known as the plantation house "Southbend" contains Day architectural elements and will be a part of the home tour.

      Saturday, November 19, 2011, will feature the architectural elements and furniture of the famous cabinet maker and free person of color, Thomas Day (1801 - 1861). Day ran his very successful shop from 1823 to 1860. The majority of his clientele was composed of the planters, merchants, and professional people along the Dan River basin stretching from Eden, North Carolina to Clarksville, Virginia. Six homes in Halifax County that contain Thomas Day work will be on the tour.

      Sunday, November 20, 2011, will feature the work of the famous house builders and brick manufactures Dabney Cosby, Sr., Dabney Cosby, Jr., and Howard Cosby. Eight buildings will be on the tour including government and professional buildings, a church, and homes that were built by the Cosbys. Their brick architecture will be featured. Home owners and docents will be at each location to explain the history and distinctive elements for each structure. Light refreshments will be served at one of the Sunday tour stops.

      For additional information visit:

      Halifax County Historical Society.

      Caswell County History

      North Carolina Museum of History

      Sale Dates: Tickets on sale September 24 through November 20, 2011; Cut off date for box lunch tickets is Tuesday, November 15, 2011.

      Cost: $20.00 for two day ticket; $15.00 for one day ticket; $12.00 for separate box lunch ticket.

      Email: QMCGRAVES@HOTMAIL.COM

      Telephone: (434) 822-8967

      Write: Halifax County Historical Society, PO Box 601, South Boston, VA 24592 (send checks for tickets and lunch)
      _______________

      When Azariah Graves Walters was administrator for his father Archibald Walters, who died in 1846, he paid Thomas Day $25 for the coffin. It appears that when Archibald Walters died he was living on Moon's Creek where there was a mill. Source: Danny Ricketts Email 3 February 2012.
      _______________

      Raleigh, NC: In the 1820s, master craftsman Thomas Day built furniture for U.S. Sen. Bedford Brown and his estate near Yanceyville. Now, more than 180 years later, the family is parting with some of the pieces. Day, a free black man who lived from 1801to 1861, made some of the best furniture in North Carolina during his time. Despite living in the antebellum South, he was so well-respected that white men apprenticed for him. Nine of Day's pieces, including a sofa worth an estimated $2,000 to $4,000, are being sold Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at the Tory Hill Auction House on Hillsborough Street near the State Fairgrounds. Seven of the nine pieces come from Sen. Brown’s estate, Rose Hill, where the furniture has resided since it was built.

      "The house is still so full of original furniture and pieces," said Robert Brown, a direct descendent of the senator Brown said his family decided to sell some of the furniture to raise money to help restore the estate, which they hope to open to the public. Plus, Brown and his wife are moving in and faced a problem - there was just too much furniture.

      Day was highly regarded, making furniture for senators, congressmen, UNCChapel Hill, and even the governor's mansion, said Jack Williams, a member of the board of directors at the Thomas Day House and Union Tavern in Milton. "He made all the pews in the Presbyterian church here with the understanding that his family could sit downstairs with the rest of the people, rather than up in the balcony with the slaves," Williams said.

      But Day also had to walk a fine line, especially because he owned more property and land than some white men in the area, said Michael Ausbon, decorative art associate curator at the N.C. Museum of History. He even owned slaves, though historians are unsure whether that was for labor or to find ways to help them. "He was very successful at balancing that tightrope of surviving as a free person of color in a white-dominated antebellum society," Ausbon said.

      Jason McCoon, owner of Tory Hill, said this is the first time Day's work has come through his auction house. But Day's furniture has only become well-known in the last decade, he said. "His work has finally been recognized as not only prolific but really high quality and really nice," McCoon said.

      That recognition included a three-year exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History that encompassed Day's life, business, and furniture. Pieces from the exhibit have been moved to the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., but Day can still be seen at the North Carolina museum - his statue is on the steps outside.

      Even after living at Rose Hill as a child, Brown still marvels at the history of the estate and the furniture. "These places were made to host parties," he said. "It’s amazing to sit and think back about people that were U.S. senators and possibly even presidents, and other congressmen, sitting around, drinking beers, eating there and talking." "People say, 'If the walls could talk ... .' In this case, it’s, "If the furniture could talk, the things they could say.'"

      Source: Raleigh News & Observer, June 2013. Seligson: 919-829-8983
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      Caswell County, North Carolina
      Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
      July Court 1842
      Will Book O, Page 418

      Acct current of John Bradsher acting exec of Moses Bradsher decd of part of estate devised to children after death of widow Martha Bradsher. Pd Thomas Day for walnut coffin $14, John Miles for crying sale $2, Parson Miller for funeral $5, walling 2 graves $25, attorney Palmer for services. 9 Apr 1842. Each boy's part $370.52; each girl's part $286.97.

      Source: Caswell County North Carolina Will Books 1814-1843, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1983) at 157.
      _______________

      The genealogy of Thomas Day is not well known, especially his descendants. Thomas Day and Aquilla Wilson Day apparently had three documented children: Mary Ann Day, Devereux J. Day, and Thomas Day, Jr. Devereux J. Day disappeared from view after the 1850 United States Federal Census. Thus, unless Devereux J. Day did have children, all the descendants of cabinetmaker Thomas Day with the surname Day must descend from Thomas Day, Jr., who apparently had only one male child: John W. Day. Thus, without knowing more, all the descendants of cabinetmaker Thomas Day with the Day surname must descend from John W. Day. Various articles have mentioned the following names: Thomas Linwood Day (and sister Jane); Donna Day (married a day); Natalie Brown Day; Dr. Thomas Day; and Thomas Edward Day.
      _______________

      Milton History: Thomas Day Shows Up in Real Estate Records

      Deed Book X, Page 226

      George Farley of Milton to Thomas Day, cabinetmaker of same, for $550, part of lot #19 in Milton on Main Street with 32 front feet adjacent David Kyle formerly known by name of Bell Tavern lot. 22 February 1827. Witnesses: Joseph McGehee, Joseph W. Marshall
      _______________

      North Carolina House of Commons: Thursday, December 23, 1831

      "Mr. Polk, from the committe of Propositions and Grievances, to whom was referred the memorial of sundry citizens of the County of Caswell, in favor of Thomas Day and his wife Aquilla, reported a bill to authorize Aquilla Day, otherwise called Aquilla Wilson a free person of color, to reside in this State; which was read the first time and passed."

      Western Carolinian (Salisbury, NC), 11 January 1831.
      ______________

      1830 United States Federal Census
      Name: Thomas Day
      Home in 1830: Caswell, North Carolina
      Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35: 1
      Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54: 1
      Free Colored Persons - Males - 10 thru 23: 1
      Free Colored Persons - Males - 24 thru 35: 2
      Free Colored Persons - Females - 10 thru 23: 1
      Total Slaves: 2
      Total Free Colored Persons: 4
      Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 6

      1840 United States Federal Census
      Name: Thos Day [Thomas Day]
      County: Caswell
      State: North Carolina
      Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29: 1
      Free Colored Persons - Males - Under 10: 2
      Free Colored Persons - Males - 10 thru 23: 1
      Free Colored Persons - Males - 24 thru 35: 1
      Free Colored Persons - Males - 36 thru 54: 1
      Free Colored Persons - Females - Under 10: 1
      Free Colored Persons - Females - 10 thru 23: 1
      Free Colored Persons - Females - 24 thru 35: 1
      Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23: 4
      Slaves - Males - 24 thru 35: 1
      Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23: 2
      Slaves - Females - 55 thru 99: 1
      Total - All Persons (Free White, Free Colored, Slaves): 17
      Persons Employed in Manufacture and Trade: 9
      No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 1
      Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 1
      Total Free White Persons: 1
      Total Free Colored Persons: 8
      Total Slaves: 8
      Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 17

      1850 United States Federal Census
      Name: Thomas Day
      Age: 49
      Estimated Birth Year: abt 1801
      Birth Place: Virginia
      Color: Mulatto
      Gender: Male
      Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Milton, Caswell, North Carolina
      Family Number: 291
      Value of real estate owned: $8,000
      Household Members: Name Age
      Thomas Day 49
      Aguila Day 44
      Deveriall J Day 17
      Norning [Mourning] S Day 84
      Joshua Wood 32
      James Hutchinson 30
      Aaron Mc Cormick 21
      James Wallace 21
      Benjamin Smith 20
      Daniel Proctor 20
      William Slate 14

      The above 1850 census record describes the family members as mulatto. The others presumably are workers in the Thomas Day cabinet making enterprise in Milton, which in 1850 would have been housed in the Union Tavern (which Thomas Day purchased in 1848 from Samuel Watkins). It appears that all the workers were white except Burgunda (transcribed as Benjamin) Smith (mulatto).

      Day's Milton neighbors were, to the east (down the hill): G. W. Thompson (tobacco manufacturer); James Nuttall (Hotel Milton); William Smith (clerk); R. B. Thornton (physician); Thomas S. Gatewood (carriage maker); Samuel W. Taylor (saddler); Thomas A. Griffin (shoemaker); John B. Barnett (merchant); Stephen Dodson (farmer); and John E. Wooding. To the west (up the hill): N. Thompson (brick bason); Peyton Ambrose (laborer); Hannah Chance; Thomas Westbrook (laborer); and William Campbell (laborer).

      The 1850 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedule lists Thomas Day as the owner of eight slaves.

      1850 U.S. Federal Census - Slave Schedules
      Slave Owners
      Name Home in 1850
      (City,County,State)
      Thomas Day Caswell, North Carolina
      Slave Information
      Age Gender Race View Census
      66 Male Black
      50 Female Black
      30 Male Black
      30 Male Mulatto
      30 Male Black
      23 Female Black
      21 Male Black
      20 Female Mulatto

      United States Selected Federal Census Non-Population Schedules 1850-1880
      Year Ending June 1, 1850
      Name: Thomas Day
      Enumeration Date: 1 Jun 1850
      Place: Milton, Caswell, North Carolina, USA
      Schedule Type: Manufacturing
      OS Page: 301
      Line Number: 15
      Name of Business, Manufacturer, or Product: Cabinet Maker
      Capital Invested in Real and Personal Estate in the Business: $5,800
      Raw Material Used, Including Fuel
      Quanties, Kinds, Values
      7,000 ft, Lumber, $1,000
      Unspecified, Mahogany, $2,400
      Kind of Motive Power: Hand
      Average Number of Hands Employed
      Males: 12
      Females: 0
      Wages
      Average Monthly Cost of Male Labor: $87
      Average Monthly cost of Female Labor: $0
      Annual Product
      Quanties, Kinds, Values
      Unspecified, Furniture, $5,700

      1860 US Census
      Name: Thos Day
      Age in 1860: 59
      Birth Year: abt 1801
      Birthplace: Virginia
      Home in 1860: Milton, Caswell, North Carolina
      Race: Mulatto
      Gender: Male
      Post Office: Milton
      Occupation: Cabinet Maker
      Value of real estate: $1,500
      Value of personal estate: $2,500
      Household Members: Name Age
      Thos Day 59 (male, mulatto)
      A Day 25 (female, mulatto)
      Thos Day 23 (male, mulatto)
      V Day 23 (female, mulatto)
      M Day 25 (female, mulatto)
      Jos Terrel 23 (journeyman cabinet maker)
      M Day 1 (female)

      Note that the wife of Thomas Day, Aquilla Wilson, does not appear in his household in the 1860 US Census. Had she died? The twenty-five-year-old A. Day is thought to be a daughter possibly named Aquilla after her mother. The household also includes: Thomas Day, Jr. (23), a V. Day (23) whose relationship to Thomas Day is unknown; M. Day (23), which could be Mary Ann Day, but the birth year is not that usually ascribed to her; and a younger M. Day (1). It is possible that Thomas Day, Jr. is married to V. Day (23) and the younger M. Day (1) is their child, being the grandchild of Thomas Day and Aquilla Wilson.

      1860 U.S. Federal Census - Slave Schedules
      Slave Owners
      Name Home in 1860
      (City,County,State)
      Thos Day Milton, Caswell, North Carolina
      Slave Information
      Age Gender Race
      60 Male Black
      16 Female Black
      13 Female Mulatto

      United States Selected Federal Census Non-Population Schedules 1850-1880
      Year Ending June 1, 1860
      Name: Thomas Day
      Enumeration Date: 1 Jun 1860
      Place: Milton, Caswell, North Carolina, USA
      Schedule Type: Manufacturing
      OS Page: 6
      Line Number: 3
      Nature of Business: Cabinet Shop
      Capital Invested: $2,500
      Raw Materials: 250 feet mahogany, $1,000; 150 yards "Plush," $240; "Other Articles," $700
      Kind of Motive Power: 6 horseteams
      Wages/Average Monthly: $77
      Annual Product: 40 Bureaus, $1,200; 144 Chairs, $720; 12 Sofas, $360; Other Work, $1,200

      _______________


  • Sources 
    1. Details: 1850 US Federal Census.

    2. Details: Thomas Day Biographical Sketch.

    3. Details: 1860 US Federal Census.