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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

November Caldwell (1791-1872)

November Caldwell was enslaved by UNC President Joseph Caldwell. In his position as a "college servant," Caldwell was a regular presence on campus from the early 19th century through the 1860s. Caldwell, along with fellow enslaved servant David Barham, was responsible for a variety of housekeeping and other jobs including hauling water and tending fires in student dorm rooms. Caldwell married Rosa Burgess, who was enslaved by UNC President David Swain. Their son, Wilson Swain Caldwell, also worked as an enslaved college servant and later as a paid employee following emancipation. Both November and Wilson Caldwell are listed on the memorial to "faithful servants" of the university in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery. 



Chapman, John K. Black Freedom and the University of North Carolina, 1793-1960. Ph.D. Dissertation, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2006.  

Battle, Kemp P. “History of the University of North Carolina, Volume 1: From Its Beginning to the Death of President Swain, 1789 – 1868.” Documenting the American South, 

November Caldwell entry on WikiTree, 

Learn more:

Oral history interview with Edwin Caldwell, Jr., 1995, Southern Oral History Program. L-0091 :: Southern Oral History Program Interview Database (

Updated April 2022.