Richard Graves was born about 1673 in
, to Francis Graves and Jane (perhaps Davenport). Somewhere between 1708 and 1714, Richard left Old Rappahannock County, Virginia and trekked south to Virginia . He and Francis Shackelford, who had come from Carolina , bought a sloop—perhaps speculating on engaging in coastal trade. In September of 1714, the Essex County, Virginia Order Book noted that Richard's brother, Francis Graves, testified that, since leaving Essex County, Virginia , Richard had sent him a small Indian boy in payment for a debt. Essex County
Richard Graves married Hannah Kent Smithwick Green in 1715. Hannah was the widow of Farnifold Green, massacred in 1714 during a Tuscarora Indian raid on his Green’s Creek plantation north of Neuse River.
Graves family and Essex County, Virginia records show Richard Graves as a person of recognized ability, taking a prominent part in the affairs of Craven Precinct. In the Colonial Records of North Carolina, Richard Graves is noted in 1726 as representing Craven Precinct in the Lower House of the Assembly of North Carolina.
Richard Graves made out his will on April 30, 1730. After his death, that same year, his wife Hannah ran the ferry across a tributary of the Neuse River not far from Turkey Quarter on the Old Washington Post Road in what is now Craven County.
According to the North Carolina Historical Review Volume 22, 1945 ...."For a brief time, this ferry was kept by a woman, the doughty Hannah Graves, who had survived the Indian massacres as the wife of the slain Farnifold Green and who outlived three other husbands included besides him!" Hannah’s fourth and last husband was George Linnington; they had no children. Hannah is thought to have died about 1742.
Beaufort - Laid out by surveyor Richard Graves
|1713 Map - NC Archives and History|
A plat was made of the town by Graves and recorded in the office of the secretary of the colony. Streets were named; allotments were provided for a church, a town-house, and a market place; and lots were offered for sale. Though minor alterations were made throughout the Colonial period, the main characteristics of the plan of the town never changed.