North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Boon, James (1808-1850s or later)

James Boon (1808-1850s or later) was a free black carpenter active in North Carolina from the 1820s through the 1850s. As historian John Hope Franklin relates, the rare if not unique survival of the personal papers of this free black artisan provides an important window into the "common experiences, the fortunes, both good and...

Burgess, James (fl. 1820s)

James Burgess (fl. 1820s), a carpenter, is described by tradition as the "architect" of elaborate Federal period houses in Warren and Halifax counties identified as the Montmorenci school. In the 1930s, architectural historian Thomas T. Waterman referred to local tradition that Montmorenci and Prospect Hill (both lost) and other houses were "attributed to Burgess...

Holt, Jacob W. (1811-1880)

Jacob W. Holt (March 30, 1811-September 21, 1880) was a Virginia-born carpenter, builder, and contractor who moved to Warrenton, North Carolina, and established one of the state's largest antebellum building firms. His work covered several counties in North Carolina and Virginia. Drawing upon popular architectural books, he developed a distinctive style that encompassed Greek...

Jones, Albert Gamaliel (1812-ca. 1880)

Albert Gamaliel Jones (1812-ca. 1880), a house carpenter from Warren County, built distinctive Greek Revival houses and college buildings during the flush years of the 1840s and 1850s in several Piedmont and eastern North Carolina counties. Although his parents and early life have not been ascertained, he was probably born in Judkins township in...

Spencer, Abraham (before 1794-1849)

Abraham Spencer (before 1794-1849), sometimes referred to as "Captain" Spencer, was a respected antebellum bricklayer and plasterer in Oxford, Granville County, whose practice extended across several counties from present Durham County to Northampton and Halifax counties. Employing skilled slave masons and plasterers, from the 1810s through the 1830s and 1840s, he undertook many public...

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