Peter Davis was a slave on the William M. Davis plantation in Henderson, Georgia of Houston County; an area that was once fully populated with Creek natives. Peter was born in South Carolina on the Santee Plantation, near the Santee River in 1824. Peter with approximately 200 other slaves came to Houston County with their slaveowner, W.M. Davis in 1850.
Peter was given the task of building his master’s home, but first he was sent up north to learn the skill of carpentry. It is said that bets were placed when he left, that he would never return. On the date of his return, people had commenced to collecting on their bets, but Peter came walking and smiling into town.
Peter along with several other slaves on the Davis Plantation took approximately 4 years to build the home, which was completed in 1854. It was know as the Mossy Hill Plantation Home, later the Davis-Felton Home. After the home was completed, Peter along with the help of other slaves completed the structure of the Perry Methodist Church. If Peter got his freedom afterwards, I do not know. It is stated he left Houston County for New York after completing his master's home, there is also another newspaper article stating he left in 1861 after the completion of the church. Of course, both of those are far from the truth. I found Peter and his family on the census of 1870 and 1880 still in Houston County, over 20 years later. By 1880 he had acquired at least 35 acres of land in Houston County. Furthermore, the "slave narrative" of Mose Davis, an ex-slave of this plantation, never mentioned Peter or anyone else being emancipated on that plantation - I am sure he would have remembered that big event. You can read Mose Davis' entire interview under the link for SLAVE NARRATIVES.
The next time you are on Felton Road or downtown Perry, stop and take a look at Peter’s masterpieces.