Richard Graves - Surveyor Who Laid Out the Town

Richard Graves was born about 1673 in Old Rappahannock County, Virginia, to Francis Graves and Jane (perhaps Davenport). Somewhere between 1708 and 1714, Richard left Virginia and trekked south to Carolina. He and Francis Shackelford, who had come from Essex County, Virginia, 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, Richard had sent him a small Indian boy in payment for a debt.

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
According to historian Charles Paul, in Colonial Beaufort, on October 2, 1713, Robert Turner had Deputy Surveyor Richard Graves draw up the plan for the town of Beaufort. In early 1713, about a year before his untimely death, Farnifold Green, frightened and discouraged, assigned his land patent to Robert Turner, a merchant from Craven Precinct. Even though the Tuscarora War had delayed the establishment of the town, within months after the peace treaty was in force, a town was laid out on the southwest corner of the peninsula between the North River on the west and the Newport River on the east.

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.