Frederick D. Little Plantation


Location: Edgecombe County, North Carolina
Date Constructed/ Founded: not determined
Associated Surnames: Knight, Little
Historical Notes: According to probate records, Frederick D. Little died in 1855 without a Will (intestate). Jordan Thigpen, his wife Mary Francis (daughter of F.D.), and others had filed a complaint against the F.D. Little family. His heirs Sarah C. Fleming, Felicia, Jessie, Harriet L., Frederick D., John H., Marcus S., William W., and Lucy D. Little and their guardian James R. Thigpen appeared in court to testify that they had seized the property (presumably without a formal process). The matter was resolved through the cash sale of F.D. Little’s land. The plantation house, a portion of the land, crops, and other produce was allotted to F.D.’s widow Harriet Knight Little in 1855.
Associated Pages: Willis Knight Plantation (Edgecombe Co., NC)


Knight family: Sandy Knight (b.1843-d.?); Eliza Knight (b.1845-d.?) – wife


1840: 4 slaves – 1 male, age 10 – 23 (b.1817-1830); 1 man, age 55 – 99 (b.1741-1785); 1 female, age 10 – 23 (b.1817-1830); 1 woman, age 24 – 35 (b.1805-1816) [1840 United States Federal Census, Edgecombe Co., NC, Frederick D. Little]

1845: To Harriet Little (daughter) – Sandy (boy), Mary (girl), and Joshua (man) (already in possession) [Will of Willis Knight, 1845]

1846: Sold to F.D. Little – T-ss- (girl, $370) [Estate sale, Willis Knight, 1846]

1850: Female age 68 (b.1782), Female age 65 (b.1785), Male age 64 (b.1786), Male age 35 (b.1815), Female age 43 (b.1807), Female age 20 (b.1830), Male age 19 (b.1831), Male age 17 (b.1833), Male age 13 (b.1837), Female age 7 (b.1843), Female age 5 (b.1845), Female age 4 (b.1846), Female age 4 (b.1846), Male age 3 (b.1847), Female age 3 (b.1847), Male age 0 (b.1850), Male age 24 (b.1826) [1850 United States Federal Census, Edgecombe Co., NC, Frederick D. Little]

1855: Sandy, Judy, Bethany, Joe, Zilphy, Margaret, Lizer, Chany, Augustus, Charlotte, Mike, Isaac, Esther, Cambridge; Advanced to Jordan Thigpen in 1849 – Jenie (girl, age 12, b.1843)
Note: In a property case (probate records) these individuals were named as former slaves of F.D. Little (deceased, intestate), and under shared ownership of Jordan and Mary Francis (Little) Thigpen, and the other F.D. Little heirs. The family agreed to sell the slaves at auction, and to divide the earnings.

1857: Sold to Mrs. F.D. Little (widow) – Sandy ($500), Chaney (600); sold to Jordan Knight – Judy (600), Margaret (1000), Eliza (1001), Charlotte (700), Augustus (1005), Isaac (625); sold to [Henry] Gray Shelton – Bethany and child Cambridge (1100); sold to Eaton Cobb – Joe (1365); sold to James B. Little – Zilpha (1110), Mike (550); sold to Joseph Cobb – Esther (406)
Note: Leonidas Little reported this sale, which occurred at the residence of Mrs. F.D. Little, to the Edgecombe County Court. James B. Little is a first cousin of Leonidas Little.


Little familyFrederick D. Little (b.1813-d.1855); Harriet Knight Little (b.1813-d.?) – wife (m.1830), dau. of W. and S.F. Knight, see Willis Knight Plantation; Leonidas Little (b.?-d.?) – son; Willis Knight Little (b.?-d.?) – son; Felicia Little (b.?-d.?) – dau.; Jesse Little (b.?-d.?) – son; Harriet L. Little (b.?-d.?) – dau.; Frederick Little (b.?-d.?) – son; John H. Little (b.?-d.?) – son; Marcus D. Little (b.?-d.?) – son; William W. Little (b.?-d.?) – son; Lucy D. Little (b.?-d.?) – dau.

Fleming family: Mr. Fleming; Sarah C. Little Fleming (b.?-d.?) – wife, dau. of F.D. and H.K. Little

Thigpen family: Jordan Thigpen (b.1821-d.?); Mary Francis Little Thigpen (b.1834-d.?) – wife, dau. of F.D. Little


  • None listed yet


  • 1855 – In a court case, Harriet Little testified that she had “advanced” one negro girl worth $425 to Jordan Thigpen (also one horse, bed and furniture) in 1849
  • 1855 – Several individuals were named as F.D. Little’s children in a property dispute between Jordan and Mary F. Thigpen and the heirs of F.D. Little
  • 1857 – In a court case, G.H. Shelton, who purchased Bethany and her child Cambridge for $1100 from the F.D. Little estate, accused Leonidas Little of fraud. He and his witness Dr. Joseph Lawrence testified that Bethany had  scars on her thigh and elsewhere that appeared to be caused by lashing, which he argued ‘lessened her value.’ Testimony of other witnesses describe her wounds in detail. Harriet Little stated that F.D. Little purchased Bethany about 12 or 13 years ago, and claimed that scars were from burns.


  • Rootsweb World Connect Project: Hanke-Pierson Family (Frederick D. Little, ID: I36652).
  • “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 22 December 2016), Frederick D Little and Harriet Knight, 17 May 1830; citing Edgecombe, North Carolina, United States, p. , North Carolina State Archives Division of Archives and History; FHL microfilm 296,816.
  • Edgecombe Co. Deed Book 18, page159, 11 Mar 1824
  • Edgecombe Co. Original Wills, 1750-1945, CR.027.801.18
  • Edgecombe Co. Records of Estate N.C. 1st vol., p. 441-445 + 670-671
  • Wills, 1663-1978; Estate Papers, 1748-1917. North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

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