Collections › OSMG Collection › Portrait of James Waugh

Portrait of James Waugh

Place Made:
Stokes, now Forsyth County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
Ca. 1820
pastel on paper
Accession Number:
Born in Pennsylvania, James Waugh (1768-1844) met Elizabeth Robinette (1788-1857) and married her in Wilkes County, North Carolina. In 1814, the couple moved just outside of Salem to what was called Baggetown, founded by Charles Bagge in 1806. James Waugh purchased Bagge’s house, store, and 200 acres of land when Charles Bagge returned to Salem to operate his family’s community store.
Waugh was an astute businessman who amassed a considerable amount of property including many enslaved people, some of whom had close connections to Salem. Eventually, the name of the settlement changed from Baggetown to Waughtown in recognition of Waugh’s influence, success, and acquisition of land in the area.
The Waugh family was not Moravian, but when James Waugh died in 1844, his wife, Elizabeth, petitioned the Church to allow his burial in Salem’s God’s Acre. Two of the Waughs’ daughters had preceded James Waugh in death and had already been buried there. Both daughters had attended the Salem Girls’ School as children. Although they were no longer students when they died, the Church permitted their burial in Gods’ Acre, presumably because of their close association with the school. Elizabeth Waugh apparently wanted her husband to be buried near their daughters. Although the Church initially refused the request, Elizabeth persisted by contacting every member on the Board to ask for them to reconsider. Ultimately, the Church Board agreed to allow James Waugh’s burial in God’s Acre.
The artist of these portraits has yet to be identified, but he or she probably produced these likenesses about 1820. With luck, additional research will help us identify the creator of these portraits.
Credit Line:
Gift of their descendants through Richard C. Freeman (1866-1933) of Dobson, North Carolina