A Dream Begins
A Dream Begins
This chapter examines the Carthage, NC, childhood of African American inventor and entrepreneur Lucean Arthur Headen, with special attention paid to the social networks Headen’s family forged and to the mentors who inspired him to become an inventor. It describes the influence of former slave artisans, among them his grandfather, a wheelwright for the Tyson & Jones Buggy Company, and his great-uncle, a nationally known toolmaker, who schooled him in mechanics; his father, a sawmill owner, who sparked his entrepreneurial ambitions; and aunts and uncles active in the Presbyterian Church and Republican Party, who offered important social connections. Finally, it describes the economic strategy demonstrated for Headen by Rev. Henry D. Wood, who built a diverse coalition of supporters to finance the construction of John Hall Presbyterian Church and Dayton Academy (the church and school Headen attended). Headen later adapted this coalition-building model to finance his first inventions and business efforts.
Keywords: Carthage, NC, coalition building, Dayton Academy, John Hall Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church, Republican Party, Rev. Henry D. Wood, slave artisans, social networks, Tyson & Jones Buggy Co
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