North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Briggs, John J. (1770-1856)

John J. Briggs (1770-1856), a highly skilled and widely respected Raleigh house carpenter, began work in the capital city during its early days and continued for more than a half-century. Along with accomplishing the fine carpentry work on a number of town and plantation houses, he served as "boss" carpenter at the North Carolina...

Ellison, Stewart (1834-1899)

Stewart Ellison (March 8, 1834-October 24, 1899), building contractor and political leader, was born a slave owned by Abner F. Neal of Beaufort County, North Carolina. He was apprenticed at age thirteen to serve a term of seven years at carpentry trade with Marrs (Marse) Newton, a free mulatto mechanic in Washington, North Carolina...

Findlater, Robert (ca. 1808-1856)

Robert Findlater (ca. 1808-July 9, 1856), a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, emigrated directly to the United States in the early 1830s and worked on two major projects in Raleigh: the North Carolina State Capitol and Christ Episcopal Church. By December 1834 Findlater was one of several Scots stonecutters involved in construction of the North...

Prairie, Joseph P. (ca. 1834-1888)

Joseph P. Prairie (ca. 1834-April, 1888), an architect and builder from Canada came to North Carolina in about 1858, and worked in Raleigh and Chapel Hill for several years before leaving for Virginia. Linked with Republican political figures and identified by some as a "carpetbagger" during the tumultuous Reconstruction period, he constructed three substantial...

Puttick, James (ca. 1807-after 1860)

James Puttick (ca. 1807-after 1860) was one of the numerous stonecutters from Great Britain who worked on the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh during the 1830s. Because of the exacting workmanship the building required and the large scale of the project, the commissioners and superintendents including architect David Paton recruited stonecutters and other...

Stronach, William (1803-1857)

William Stronach (November 3, 1803-May 9, 1857) was a Scots-born stonecutter who came to Raleigh along with other stone workers from Great Britain to work on the State Capitol. Like others such as William Murdoch and Robert Findlater, Stronach settled in North Carolina and became a permanent citizen who with his descendants took a...

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