The Sampsons became one of the wealthiest and most highly educated of the free families of color in southeast North Carolina.  Sampsons and their close-kin built a middle class community of color in the midst of antebellum slavery, educated free and enslaved children, supported the Union, and held key national positions after the South was defeated.

All this by a people who did not migrate into colonial North Carolina as free, but who were emancipated in-place by the rich, politically-connected family that gave Sampson County NC its name.  Sampsons of color are the only ones carrying this surname today.

This is their story.

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