Friday, February 9, 2007

John Day ~ Early Dinwiddie, Virginian, a Methodist

John Day (1772-1854) was born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, on April 15, 1772, about 6 miles south of Petersburg, Virginia, at Ream's Station on the old Halifax Road, where Frederick Bonner came to in the early 1700's. John father may have been John Day who resided in the Village of Pocahontas, near Petersburg, but that remains to be proven. The fact that he apprenticed as youth, properly occured with one for the early cabinetmakers of Petersburg or even perhaps with his father.On Feburary 18, 1796, he married Martha Todd, b. July 1, 1771, and known as Patsey. In 1798 he purchased 6 acres from Frederick Bonner, which he sold in 1803 to George Lloyd, who was then assembling a tract of 260 acres. See Deed Book 2 page 219 of the Dinwiddie County records, dated August 20, 1838.

The proceeds were doubtless used for their western Journay to Ohio. They joined the Frederick Bonner party (who freed his slave) for a tact of 2000 acres, an award for his Revolution War participation. This party totaled 15 members, with 3 blacks and 4 loads of equipment; they started April 1, 1803. Takening 52 days to make the journay.But they suffered a disaster enroute, at Flynn's Ford, on the Ohio River, Day's light wagon was swept into the dangerous current. His wife Patsey, his 7 year old daughter Susan, were in imminent danger, and the horse was paralyzed in fright. When John tried to right things, he was caught under the hotse with its gear. One of the black members of party named Burwell, saved the situation and their lives with great skill and bravery. They were persuaded to remain on Clough Creek permanently by the Gwaltneys, who had come their from Isle of Wight County, Virginia earlier and settled there. On Sept 12, 1803, john bought 53 acres from Josiah Gwaltney. See Deed Book E-2, p. 588.

During the year he worked on the interior of the Halley house, which was still standing in 1954, on Beechmont Ave near Elstun Road; the wood was black walnut with said to be with intricate details, by a 1860 owner of the home.

Is this the Day family from whom John Day, a freed black, also of Dinwiddie takes his name, and names his sons John and Thomas, b. 1801, Dinwiddie, Virginia, who later becomes Milton, North Carolina's most famous black cabinetmakers? Or could he have been one of the Bonner slaves?

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