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Benton, Samuel

d. 1770

Samuel Benton, colonial official, was a native of England (probably Worcester County); he owned land in the part of Craven County that became Johnston County in 1746 and also in the part of Edgecombe that became Granville County the same year. At that time he was living on Tar River in Granville County. He was appointed a justice of the Granville County court in 1746 by Governor Gabriel Johnston, reappointed in 1753 by Acting Governor Matthew Rowan, and reappointed in 1755, 1760, and 1764 by Governor Arthur Dobbs. He was sheriff in 1764 and a member of the House of Commons from 1760 to 1768. He was registrar of the county from 1761 until his death in 1770 and clerk of the court of common pleas and quarter sessions from 1764 to 1770. He was a lieutenant colonel of the militia under Governor William Tryon in 1768 during some of the Regulator troubles.

Benton introduced the bill in the assembly that divided Granville County in 1764, creating Bute County of the eastern portion. The act directed that the new county seat for Granville County be established at Oxford Plantation, part of a thousand acres of land owned by Benton. He gave land for the courthouse. Some time prior to 1763, Benton is said to have been responsible for the erection of St. George's Chapel in the area that remained Granville County.

Benton was probably buried in a family cemetery at his plantation. He was survived by two sons, Jesse and Samuel, Jr.; Jesse was the father of Thomas Hart Benton.


William Nisbet Chambers, Old Bullion Benton (1956).

Elizabeth H. Hummel, Hicks History of Granville County (1965).

Additional Resources:

City Planning and Architectural Associates (Chapel Hill, N.C.). Land development plan, Oxford, North Carolina. Chapel Hill, N.C. [N.C.]: The Associates, 1966. (accessed April 9, 2013).

Oxford History:

Elizabeth H. Hummel, Hicks History of Granville County (1965):

N.C. Office of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources. Some eighteenth century tracts concerning North Carolina. Raleigh [N.C.] [N.C.]: Edwards & Broughton Co.,1927. 1927. (accessed April 9, 2013).

Tryon, William, 1729-1788. Correspondence of William Tryon and other selected papers: Volume 2. Raleigh [N.C.]: Division of Archives and History, Dept. of Cultural Resources,1980-. 1981. (accessed April 9, 2013).


Origin - location: 


Samuel was a great grandfather. Another great grandfather of mine, Charles Bruce Esq. of Guilford county, married Samuel's daughter, Elizabeth. Charles Bruce was a leading Whig in the area, and was also a recruiter for North Carolina continental troops and militia, as well as a member of the Council of State, and later a State senator. Bruce was also the first tutor of law to a young Andrew Jackson. Jackson and Bruce became close, Jackson often road the grounds o the Bruce plantation and attended horse races with Bruce their. Interestingly, Bruce's nephews-in-law, Thomas Hart Benton and Jesse Benton, nearly killed Jackson during a brawl in Nashville later on. Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson would later become friends and political allies.

Samuel BENTON is my ancestor. I would like permission to include your story in my family tree. I will not sell this information in any form. Thank You, Patricia McMahan Bowman Chambers.

My maternal grandfather was Jesse Benton Abell from Owensboro Kentucky. He was born Feb. 38,1876. I have wondered if he was related to the Thomas Hart Benton family due to the similarities in the name His grand father was also named Jesse Abell (unknown middle name). If you have any information please email me at the above address

Dear Patricia,

We are glad you were able to find information here about your ancestors! Both articles you inquired about are reprinted with permission from UNC Press's Dictionary of North Carolina Biography:

Requests for using the articles should be sent to UNC Press. Contact information for them may be found at 

Thank you for contacting us and good luck in your ongoing research!

Michelle Underhill
Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC

Hi Patricia Hope you get this .I am Bennie Benton from Burlington NC. I am a descendent of Samuel and Jessie Benton. I have a lot of info ,a Will and photo ofJessie after the Civil War. Would love to exchange Info with you. or phone at 3362148939. Thanks Bennie Benton

Hello and thanks for the research! I am a Sarah Benton, and Cornelius Roberts descendant and am looking to make connections with my kin, all contacts are welcome!

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