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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Hodgson, John, II

by Vernon O. Stumpf, 1988; Revised by Jared Dease, Government and Heritage Library, December 2022

ca. 1740–16 Nov. 1774

John Hodgson, II, Chowan plantation owner and Edenton merchant, was the son of John Hodgson, attorney general, assemblyman, and provincial treasurer, and Elizabeth Pagett Hodgson. Upon the death of his mother, young John, his sister Isabella, and his brother Robert were placed under the care of their teenage aunt, Penelope Pagett (later Barker), who married their father in 1744. When Robert Hodgson died about 1760, his brother John was old enough to be appointed administrator of his estate. With Robert's death, John and his half brother Thomas Craven were the only Hodgsons left in Edenton. Isabella had married a Deloach in Halifax or Northampton County.

In June 1769, when Thomas Craven Hodgson was licensed as an attorney, John Hodgson II was a planter-merchant in Edenton. The two half brothers must have been very fond of each other, for Thomas's will, written three days before his death on 19 Feb. 1772, left everything but two enslaved people to John, his executor. The will was witnessed by Jasper Charlton and Thomas Blount.

Hodgson was a sick man when he made his own will on 6 May 1774, with bequests to his sister Isabella's son, William John Hodgson Deloach (a minor under the care of Joseph Harrison Eelbeck, who had been a guardian of the boy's mother), and to his Eelbeck first cousins: Joseph Harrison, John Daniel, and William Eelbeck. The enslaved people left to Hodgson by his half brother Thomas Craven were given to the Eelbeck cousins. Hodgson also left bequests to his friends Samuel Johnston, Andrew Little (son of John Little), and Margaret Blair (daughter of George Blair); Samuel Johnston and Andrew Little were to be the executors. The residue of his estate was to be sold and invested, with the interest going to his aunt, Penelope Barker, for her lifetime; afterwards, the principal was to go to the Eelbeck cousins. Six weeks before his death, Hodgson gave bond for his appearance at court in December to satisfy the parish that he was the father of Elizabeth and Sarah, born of Joanna Kippen, who had so sworn. He also promised to support and maintain them according to the orders of the court. Hodgson died before December and there is no further record of his daughters by Joanna Kippen.


Walter Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina, vol. 22 (1907).

J. R. B. Hathaway, North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 5 (October 1900).

Miss Elizabeth V. Moore, Edenton (letter to the author, 17 Sept. 1980).

Wills of Chowan County (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Additional Resources:

Bond from Samuel Johnston for performance as Clerk of the Edenton District Superior Court, April 25, 1768. Colonial records of North Carolina vol. 7. Raleigh [N.C.]: Josephus Daniels. 1890. 716-717. (accessed April 29, 2014)

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