Exterior of slave house, Stagville Plantation
Exterior view of a slave house at Horton Grove at Historic Stagville, North Carolina. Paul Cameron ordered these slave houses to be built in 1850 in hopes of improving the health of those who had been living in poorly-constructed, leaky, dirt-floored cabins on the site. They are the only surviving two-story slave houses in North Carolina, and they would likely have housed people with a common family name or lineage, with a single family consisting of 5-7 individuals living in each of the four rooms.
Stagville plantation is located in parts of what are now Orange, Durham, Wake, and Granville counties. Established in 1787 by the Bennehan and Cameron families, Stagville was the largest plantation in North Carolina. In 1860 more than nine hundred enslaved people lived on its thirty thousand acres. Most of them worked in the fields growing crops such as tobacco, wheat, corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.