The two HAWKINS CARTER of Warren County, North Carolina
Well, actually, there were several men by the name of "Hawkins Carter" living in Warren County in the 1800's, however, the subjects of
this page were born around the same time and have often been confused as the same person, so it is my intention to set the records straight and to help
others who may be researching the same families.
Hawkins Wesley Carter
Hawkins Wesley Carter, was born March 20, 1842 in Warrenton, Warren County, North Carolina, where he spent much of his early life. His
parents were Plummer Carter, born 1800, died February 1863 in Warren County, and Amy Hawkins, born about 1815, and died about 1845, probably during the
birth of her youngest child, Matthew Carter. Plummer Carter & Amy Hawkins were married on January 1, 1838 in Warren County, and they were the parents
of Thomas M. Carter (1839-1922), Elizabeth Carter (b. 1841), Hawkins Wesley Carter, and Matthew Carter (1845-1873). After the death of their mother, Hawkins
and his siblings went to live with their maternal grandparents, Matthew Hawkins & Mahaly Mushaw-Hawkins, who also lived in Warren County; Plummer Carter,
probably not knowing what to do with such young children, went to live with his brother who was also named Hawkins Carter, born 1805. Plummer
remarried on October 19, 1852, to Hester Mills, of Halifax County, who already had 2 young children of her own. Plummer died in February 1863 in
Warren County, and his children were placed in the guardianship of their uncle and aunt, Henry Green and Nancy Hawkins-Green, their mother's sister.
The children's maternal grandfather, Matthew Hawkins, had an interesting history of his own; he was born in 1783 a slave of the late
Philemon Hawkins, who had freed Matthew in 1800 after having informed the slaveowner of various instances of fraud committed by Philemon's grandson, also named
Philemon Hawkins. Matthew was given 250 acres along with money and varying household and farming materials enough to set up a home of his own, and in 1812,
he married Mahaly Mushaw, a free woman of color from Franklin County. When Matthew died in 1855, his will left his property to his wife, his two surviving
children, Nancy and Woodley, and his four CARTER grandchildren, Thomas, Elizabeth, Hawkins and Matthew, who were living with him at the time. Nancy Hawkins
got married to Henry Green in 1858, and her widowed mother, Mahaly, died in 1862, at which time Matthew Hawkins' property was redistributed to the remaining
Matthew Hawkins' estate was rather sizable, the 1860 census shows that the now head of household, Mahaly Hawkins, had a personal value
of $1600 and property valued at $1000, so the Carter children were left fairly well off. By the way, the entire family was enumerated with the "GREEN"
surname in the 1860 census, and only listed by their first initials, so I can imagine that was one of the major reasons that most researchers have gotten
the families of the two Hawkins Carters confused with one another. The CARTER children were raised in the Henry & Nancy Green household working as
farmhands. During the Civil War, Hawkins served with the Confederate Army constructing field trenches, or breastworks as they were called, also working as a
cook, and fighting alongside the white soldiers, as described by him in his Confederate pension application. After the Civil War, the brothers started
getting married with the youngest, Matthew Carter, marrying first. Matthew, born 1845, married in 1867 to Bettie Wilkins, born 1845, the daughter of
Wilson Wilkins & Mary Green-Wilkins of Warren County; Thomas, born 1839, married in 1868, Sallie Boyd, born 1846, the daughter of William Smith Boyd & Louisa Falkener;
and on February 7, 1872, Hawkins Carter married Nannie Boyd, born 1853, the sister of Thomas' wife, Sallie. The BOYD family were former slaves, with
William & Louisa reporting that they had been married in 1830, in their Warren County Cohabitation Slave Marriage.
In 1870, Hawkins was listed as a shoemaker, but by 1880, he was farming on his own land with his wife and his young family, which at
the time consisted of 4 children Pattie, Elizabeth, Walter and Hawkins Jr. With the advent of new laws in the Reconstruction era, African Americans started
running for office in their States, and in 1874, Hawkins W. Carter became a representative from Warren County in the State Legislature where he served
several terms until 1880. He next became a State Senator from 1881-1883, but also during his tenure in these offices, he served in various other
capacities in the County, including as a school committeeman in 1879. Hawkins remained in Warren County throughout the following years, and his family grew
with additional children Maria, Helen, Alexander, Stephen and Mary. By 1926, Hawkins and his wife, Nannie, had moved to Durham County and they had sold
their home in Warren County. Hawkins Wesley Carter died at his home on Douglas Street in Durham, on August 21, 1927 from nephritis and complications
of arteriosclerosis; his widow, Nannie, died the following year on June 2, 1928, also in their home, and both of them were buried in Warren County.
Read about the other Hawkins Carter on the next page
See also: Matthew Hawkins and Nancy