William & Nancy Lang

Willaim and Nancy Lang Cambray Plantation was established in 1821, by William Lang. (William) was one of the Sheriff’s of Camden County} He built the Plantation, from trees; they would cut down the trees from the land. This was be for sawmills, so after cutting the trees they would drag the trees across a pit. This pit would be jest big aloft for one man to stand up in. a man would clam down into the pit another man would stay above the log. They had a ten foot or twelve foot had seen they would begin cutting the log the long way’s to make the boards. To dray the boards they would stake them so they could dray out. He had slaves doing the work. To bill the chimneys, they would make forms for the bricks. They would put clay into the forms to dray it would take days an days. To make the foundation they would take a log and cut the sides and the top and bottom until it look like a square. To hold the foundation together they mad wooding pegs to hold frames together. They did the roof the same way to hold it together with pegs. In February 1821, William married Nancy Atkinson, she was the daughter of Nathan Atkinson, of Black Hammock Plantation, and she inherited her father’s slaves at his death, in 1817, so she moved them with her to her new home on the south side of Stella River. On this plantation, they grew cotton, and rice, as cash crops. An other staples, as needed for living. This young couple was blessed with four children, the oldest son, William died, infant, a cemetery was started. Behind the plantation, they had another son, Isaac, then they had a daughter, they named her Catherine, William Sr. died, October 1826, due to fallen from a horse. After his death his forth child was born, in 1827, Nancy took charge of the plantation, and became very prosperous. She added to the plantation, through the years and by 1860, the original 500; acres had grown to almost 5,000. Acres Nancy believed in education for her son, Isaac. After home training there was the need to put him in a school so that he could study Latin and Greek and other classical subjects. In 1840, we find them living in St. Mary’s where Isaac was a student at the St. Mary’s Academy. The textbooks that he used are now on display at the Bryan-Lang Historical Library in Woodbine. The Agriculture census for 1850 and 1860 Tell us much about the plantation. It consisted of 470. Improved acres and 4,332 unimproved acres in 1850 the census showed the plantation was valued at $25,000. Then in 1860 her real estate value of $30,000. And her personal property was $81,706. The value of farm implements was $465. On this plantation were 12 horses. 100. Milk cows, 8 working oxen and 300 other cattle. In addition there were 50 head of swine. They had 2,000 bushels of corn. 432,000 pounds of rice, (416 tons) there was no ginned cotton. They had 40 bushels of peas and beans and 400 bushels of sweet potatoes. There were 300 pounds of butter. The value of the animals slaughtered that year was $190. One product not mentioned on the 1860 census was molasses but the 1850 census lists them 75 gallons. In the census is the notation that she was blind, cause unknown. At this time, she was the owner of 67 mail an 87 female slaves. Quite a collection for a blind woman During the War Between the States, many slaves took advantage of the turmoil in the land and ran away. But there no record that any of Nancy’s slaves left her. They had a sense of loyalty to her. This indicates that Nancy treated her slave’s kind. After the war was over and the slave was free to go. Only two of her former slaves left. The others remained to help her and make their living on the plantation as sharecroppers. Cambray is jest a memory today of the olden days when life was on a much slower pace than today. But the old still stands and is lived in by the fifth generation of the Lang’s. Instead of row crops, the land is used for timber. Cambray is located about one mile east of I-95, at Exit 14, (Woodbine Exit).