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Ferrand, Stephen Lee

by Tucker Reed Littleton, 1986

18 Nov. 1787–15 Nov. 1830

Unidentified artist, circa 1823. "Stephen Lee Ferrand." North Carolina Portrait Index, 1700-1860. Chapel Hill: UNC Press. p. 86. (Digital page 100).Stephen Lee Ferrand, physician and civic leader of Rowan County, was born in Swansboro, the son of Guillaume (William) Ferrand. The elder Ferrand, who was born in France in 1755 of Huguenot descent, first appeared in Carteret County about 1785; there he bought a large farm on Pettivers (Pettifords) Creek and promptly anglicized the spelling of his given name. Stephen Lee Ferrand's mother was Mary Williams Backhouse Ferrand, widow of John Backhouse and daughter of Colonel John Pugh Williams of Fort Barnwell, Craven County. Named for his uncle by marriage, Colonel Stephen Lee of the White Oak River community, young Ferrand lived with his parents in Swansboro until he moved to New Bern in order to receive further education from the rector of Christ Church. In 1802, at age fifteen, he entered Princeton University as a sophomore and was graduated in 1805. He subsequently entered Columbia Medical College and was graduated in 1808, the same year that his younger brother, William Pugh Ferrand, was graduated from The University of North Carolina.

From Columbia Medical College, Ferrand went to Salisbury where he began a medical practice and became a member of Saint Luke's Episcopal Church. In 1817 he was elected to represent Salisbury, a borough town, in the state legislature.

In 1819 he married Margaret Gillespie Steele, daughter of John Steele; she died on 24 May 1824. Dr. Ferrand was still residing in Salisbury at the time of his death. He left two daughters: Ann Nessfield Steele Ferrand (m. John B. Lord) and Mary Steele Ferrand (m. Archibald Henderson). Through the latter daughter, Ferrand was the grandfather of John Steele Henderson and the great-grandfather of Dr. Archibald Henderson, a mathematician.


Carteret County News-Times, 27 May, 3 June 1960.

Greensboro Daily News, 12 May 1935.

Archibald Henderson Papers (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Laura Macmillan, comp., The North Carolina Portrait Index, 1700–1860 (1963 [portraits]).

Additional Resources:

John Steele Papers, 1716-1846 (collection no. 00689). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.,John.html (accessed February 27, 2014).

"In consequence of some reports concerning the Borough election..." Western Carolinian. August 14, 1821. 1. (accessed February 27, 2014).

"Wardens of the Poor." Western Carolinian. April 27, 1824. 2. (accessed February 27, 2014).

Image Credits:

Unidentified artist, circa 1823. "Stephen Lee Ferrand." North Carolina Portrait Index, 1700-1860. Chapel Hill: UNC Press. p. 86. (Digital page 100). Accessed 10/14/2014.