The Homeless Children of Caroline Sharp: 1866

I’ve been reading the FamilySearch undigitized images of the Freedmen’s Bureau of “Roll 16 (T142), Letters sent, vol 119, July 1866-Apr 1867″. These pertain to the office in Knoxville, Tennessee, directly after the Civil War.

Freedmens cover P1

TENNESSEE

Index page 242

Letters Sent 1866 and 1867.

Knoxville Tenn

Freedmens P2

Index page 242

Knoxville, Tenn

*****

Letters Sent

from July 20/ 66

to April 15/ 67

Freedmens 1st entry

#1

Bureua D. F. & A. L.

Supt. Office

Knoxville Tenn. July 20th 1866

Brevet Brig. Gen’l L. E. Trotter

Ohf Supt Sub Dist. of Chattanooga

Chattanooga Tenn.

General

I have the honor to request to be supplied with Blank Leases of Abandoned Property for the use of this office.

Very respectfully

Your Obt Servt

S. W. Groesbeck

Lieut. A. D. C. and Supt.

*****

#2

Bureau D. F. & A. L.

Superintendents Office

Knoxville Tenn July 21st 1866

Brvt Maj Geo. W. Marshall

A. Q. M. Nashville Tenn

Maj

Enclosed please find requisition for Sundries Signed in triplicate. Can you furnish me with the Spencerian pen No. 1? if not then “Gellotts” 303.

Very respectfully

Your Obt Servt

S. W. Groesbeck

Lieut A. D. C. and Supt.

Not long after, Groesbeck is replaced by Samuel Walker. Did Groesbeck get a promotion? Perhaps further investigation will tell us, but for now, let’s move on to the children of Caroline Sharp.

SharpChildren 8-13-1866

Page 12

#20

Bureau D. F. & A. L.

Superintendents Office

Knoxville Tenn Aug 13, 1866.

Wm. P. Crippin

Commissioner for the Poor etc

Sir

I have the honor to call to your attention the needy condition of three children left homeless and friendless in the streets of this city.

The mother of these children Caroline Sharp (Colrd) is now in confinement undergoing sentence.

Trusting that you in your official capacity will be able to render them prompt attention and relief.

I am Very respectfully

Your obt servt

S. W. Groesbeck

Lt. A. D. C. & Supt etc

SharpChildren 8-16-1866 and 8-20-1866

Page 14

#24

Bureau D. F. & A. L.

Superintendents Office

Knoxville Tenn Aug 20/ 66

Wm. P. Crippin Esqr

Commissioner for the Poor etc

Knox Co. Tenn.

Sir

I again respectfully call your attention to the needs of three destitute and homeless children referred to in my communication of the 13 inst.

Will you please return this with indorsement as to whether you can afford them any relief or not.

I remain Sir

Very respectfully

S. W. Groesbeck

Lt. A. D. C. & Supt etc.

 

Page 15

#25

Bureau of F. & A. L.

Knox Co Tenn

Superintendents Office

Knoxville Tenn Aug 16, 1866.

Thos W. Humes

President E. T. R. A.

Knoxville Tenn.

Dr Sir:

I have the honor to call to your attention the very needy and destitute condition of three children (one little boy and two girls) left homeless and friendless in the streets of this city; and to request an order on your treasurer for a small amount of money to relieve their present necessities or until the civil authorities who have been notified of their wants, make provision for them.

The mother of these children – Nancy Sharp (Colrd) is now in confinement undergoing sentence. Under the present regulations of the Bureau in E. Tenn I am unable to provide for these children. The issue of rations and clothing to the destitute has ceased and it is expected that the people will cover for their own poor.

The children may be found in the basement of the building occupied by the Bureau as an office, and any money or other means provided for their relief may be left with me, or any other person you may select.

Hoping that you may be able to provide the relief asked for

I remain. — Very respectfully

Your obt servt

S. W. Groesbeck.

Lt. A. D. C. & Supt etc.

SharpChildren 8-20-1866

Page 16

Bureau of F. & A. L.

Knox Co Tennessee

Superintendents Office

Knoxville Tenn. Aug 20/ 66

H. Clapp Esqr.

Commissioner for the Poor.

Knox Co. Tenn.

Dr Sir:

I have the honor to all to your attention the very needy and destitute condition of three little children – one boy and two girls – left homeless & friendless in the streets of this city. Their mother, Nancy Sharp (Colrd) is now in confinement undergoing sentence.

Due to the present regulations of the Bureau in E. Tennessee I am unable to afford them any relief.

Truly that they may (illegible) Your means of relief and that you will give them your official attention.

I remain Sir

Very respectfully

Your obt servt

S. W. Grosbeck

Lt. A. D. C. & Supt etc.

SharpChildren 9-23-1866

Page 38

#48

Sept 23rd, 1866

Capt Walker

Dear Sir

Yours of the 22nd inst. is before me and in reply I must say to you that the County Court has made an order that the Commissioners shall not receive persons of Color in the Poor House. You will therefore apply to the Court as we have no control of the matter.

Yours truly

Signed Wm. P. Crippin

This is the last correspondence on this roll regarding these children. Did these children get any help? Why did their mother’s name change from Caroline Sharp to Nancy Sharp?

Will I ever know these answers?

In 1867, S. W. Groesbeck is listed in the Nashville City Directory as an agent of the Freedmen’s Bureau, and is boarding on 80 N. Summer. Perhaps time will tell us how he came to work for the Freedmen’s Bureau.

2 Responses to “The Homeless Children of Caroline Sharp: 1866”

  1. Sharon Elaine Says:

    Wow, so interesting and sad, this is real black history. I would like to know what happened as well. It is apparent there were real moral struggles going on and heavy tasks at hand.

    Liked by 1 person

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