Archive for the ‘Plantations’ Category

Lenoir City: A Town of the Future

April 15, 2018

I always wondered how we came to live in Lenoir City. How did my family choose to live here? Out of all the places in the world, why Lenoir City? Why Tennessee? Why the South?

When I started poking around the family tree about 20 years ago, I found that both my mother’s and father’s families were here before the United States became the United States. We’ve always been in the South, most particularly in Tennessee and from the feeder states of Virginia and North Carolina, and before that from when those states were Colonies. We’ve been here so long that I don’t have a paper trail that leads back to Europe. I have no clue under what circumstances we got to North America.

And why Lenoir City? I know that my father came to this area looking for work with TVA, and met my mother on a blind date. But how did Mom’s family get to Lenoir City? My best guess is that her parents were textile workers and could find work in the textile mill in Lenoir City. But why did they leave Knoxville? Was it unsafe? Was there no opportunity? Was there not adequate housing?

I suppose I’ll never have answers. I found, however, that I could set the stage in my mind if I knew more about how Lenoir City came to be.

It was a planned city. The old Lenoir Plantation was purchased by a group of investors, and they planned a town complete with town lots, stores, and factories. Fortunately for me, these events were recorded in the Knoxville newspapers. For most towns, their earliest existence was recorded in court records. But Lenoir City was different. It was not the county seat, plus it is one of the youngest counties, so earlier history of the land and people might be found in the parent counties.

In 1890, things started to happen that created Lenoir City.

From GenealogyBank, the Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 8/3/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 159, Page 9.

img_3653

LENOIR CITY.

*****

Comprehensive Scheme for Building a

New Town.

Elsewhere will be found the prospectus of Lenoir City, the new city that is to be build on the line of the East Tennessee road, twenty-three miles west of Knoxville. The place is well situated, being on the great railroad mentioned, and also on the Tennessee river. A railroad is being surveyed from that point to a junction with the Walden’s Ridge road, and it will be built just as soon as the survey is complete, thus adding to the advantages already possessed at Lenoir City.

With this road in operation, it will be in effect, a double track road from Knoxville to Clinton. It is just the same distance from Lenoir’s to Clinton by the new road and by way of Knoxville, so that in hauling coal from the coal fields north of us to southern markets, forty-five miles is saved. The empty cars can be hauled by way of Knoxville and the loaded ones to Lenoir, making the Knoxville and Ohio, as above stated, a double-track road to Clinton.

The scheme for organizing and building up the new town is peculiar in that every stockholder becomes also a holder of real estate and a particpiant (sic) in the profits. Every man who purchases stock becomes a partner in the company building the town, and a portion of the money paid in goes to the improvement of his real estate holdings. It is something new in the organization of southern town companies, and is so perfectly clear on the face that everyone understands perfectly when he takes stock just what he is doing. It can not possibly fail of success.

From GenealogyBank, the Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 8/3/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 159, Page 11.

PLANS AND POLICY

*****

Of the Lenoir City Company and

Their Method

*****

Of Selling Stock With Lots, as De-

scribed in their Forthcoming

Prospectus.

*****

Lenoir City is not a “boom town”; it is not the effort of speculators to build upon some old, worn out fields, a mushroom city that cannot withstand future financial storms, and by taking advantage of popular excitement to sell out the lots to outsiders at unreal and fancy prices, and then silently retire from the field, leaving the investors, so to speak, to “hold the bag,” the poorer from their investment in everything except experience.

Not only is Lenoir City situated upon a princely estate, famed throughout the south for its richness and vast expanse, but the founders careful for the success of the enterprise into which they have embarked, have determined to build up a permanent city, established upon sure and staple foundations. They have invested here for time, not for a day, merely.

Having stated out with this determination, they realize the fact, pointed out by reason, that the way to permanently utalize the unexcelled natural advantages of Lenoir City, is to offer this property to the public in such a manner that investments shall be profitable to the investors, and that every investor shall become directly itereated with them in the enterprise, and a zelous and co-operating agent in the up-building of the city.

With this and in view, and with a firm faith in the future of Lenoir City, that makes them willing to depend for their profits upon the future prosperity, they have determined to offer the property to the public upon a mutual plan, and share the profits with all stockholders who now join with them in the enterprise.

The Mutual plan has best solved the problems of insurance companies; it has been the principle that has brought the wonderful success of the building and loan associations, and enable so many of our people now to own houses instead of renting them. It is believed by the founders of Lenoir city that a Mutual plan can work yet greater wonders in the building of a city, and they therefore offer the following plan to the public in the confident belief that it is the most advantageous plan yet offered to those investing in city property, and, therefore, most conducive to the permanent growth of Lenoir City, from which alone they are to receive the reward for their labor and expenditures. They do not claim to have adopted this plan as a matter of philanthropy; it is with them a  matter of business. They wish the purchasers of the property to make money because they know that they will thereby ultimately make more money themselves.

The capital stock of the Lenoir City company has been fixed at eight hundred thousand dollars, ($800,000) in 8,000 shares of $100 each, which is almost precisely three hundred dollars ($300) per acre for the company’s estate, which lies north of the Tennessee river, and on which are the extensive improvements that formerly belonged to the Lenoir Manufacturing company.

One-half of this capital stock (that is $400,000), is to be issued and offered to the public upon the following terms:

A large tract of the land belonging to the company, lying in the center of the locality where the city is to be built has been already laid off in streets and lots, and an accurate map has been made of the entire property showing in detail these streets and lots. These lots have been estimated in value, the valuations being as nearly uniform as possible, after making allowances for the different locations and sizes of the various lots and the uses to which they can be put; the valuations put upon the lots  having been in all cases made as low as possible, and not, it is believed, over one-half of what these same lots would bring at public auction, as the average price per lot will be less that $250 each. The estimated value of each lot offered for sale under this plan has been plainly indicated upon the map itself, copies of which are distributed with this prospectus.

These lots, whose value has been thus estimated, are to be disposed of by the company in connection with the $400,000 of stock. In the following manner: This $400,000 of stock will be sold to the public at par. Every purchaser of this stock will, however, receive not only paid-up stock to the account of his subscription but also a lot (or lots) whose estimated value is equal to the amount of his subscription.

One-half of the amount received for this $400,000 of stock will be placed in the treasury of the company, the other half being used to pay for the original purchase of the property and the debt contracted in the formation of the company. (The founders of the company, it is thus seen, rely for their profits solely upon the value of the remaining stock after this $400,000 has been sold, and after the original purchasers have receive their bonus in lots.) This sum of $200,000 is to be used by the directors of the company for the common benefit of all stockholders as they shall deem for the best interest of the company, either in developing the property by encouraging and aiding manufactures and street improvements, or in dividends to the stockholders.

After the sale of the $400,000 of stock, the stock-books of the company will be closed, and the state of things will then be as follows: The company will have a fully paid up stock of $800,000, will have over 2000 acres of its tract still unsold, consisting of lots and manufacturing sites; and will have $200,000 in its treasury, or in improvements on the property.

It is a simple matter of calculation to ascertain the profit to the purchasers of the above mentioned $400,000 of stock. He then owns a lot (or lots) whose estimated value was $1,000 and which has probably risen in value by that time to $2,000; he furthermore owns $1,000 of paid-up, non-assessable stock in this company, which owns over 2000 acres of the princliest estate in the south, and upon which are extensive improvements, and which, furthermore, has either the sum of $200,000 in its treasury, or the result of its expenditure in the development of the property. If the directors do not use this sum in further developing the remaining property of the company in order to obtain an increased return therefrom, they can, at once, declare a cash-dividend of 25 per cent, on the capital stock. The owner of this $1,000 of stock would then own his $1,000 lot; would have received back $250 of the $1,000 which he spent, leaving his net outlay only $750;and would also own $1,000 of stock in a company owning over 2000 acres lying in and immediately surrounding the most prosperous manufacturing city of the South.

The disposal of this remaining 2,000 acres will be a matter entirely controlled by the wishes of the majority of all the stock-holders. It may be sold at public or private sale, at auction or otherwise, as their judgment may deem best and most profitable. (It will be remembered that the whole estate has been stocked at only about $300 per acre.)

The distinguished feature of this plan is thus seen to be its mutuality and co-operative basis. The founders intend to build up this city upon the principle of the old refrain: “A long, long pull, and a strong, strong pull, and a pull together.” All who aid them in building up this magnificent industrial city will share both in the glory and in the profits of the achievement.

The public which buys the $40,000 of stock to be put on the market will then own one-half of this magnificent estate which is to-day, not to speak of its future as a manufacturing city, worth, for its present intrinsic value alone, at least the entire capital stock of the company.

Details of the Method of Sale.

The books of the company will be opened for the sale and issuance of the $400,00 of stock at 11 o’clock a. m., on Wednesday, September 3, 1890, at Lenoir City. (The company reserve the right to reject all bids in excess of $400,000, as only that amount of stock is to be sold.)

Subscriptions are invited before the above mentioned day, but if made in advance must be accompanied by 10 per cent of the amount of stock subscribed, either in cash or a certified check payable to the order of C. M. McClung, secretary and treasurer of the company. All the subscriptions will be registered in the precise chronological order in which they are received, and in that order will the subscribers be allowed to select their lots.

Stock will be sold at par, and upon the following terms; One-half cash; one-fourth payable in six months; and the remainder in twelve months, with interest from date. Upon making the first cash payment of one-half (of which in case of subscriptions made in advance, the 10 per cent payment already made will be credited as a part), the subscriber of stock will receive a receipt for the amount paid, and after selecting the lot or lots whose estimated value is equal to the amount of his stock subscribed, will receive a written agreement binding the company on the payment of the balance of his subscription, to execute to him a certificate of stock to the full amount thereof and a warranty deed in fee simple, free from all incumbrances, to the lot or lots selected, subject, however, to the liquor forteiture clause herein before stated. The payment of the balance may, of course, if the purchaser desires, be made at anytime before the end of the twelve months, thus enabling him, at once, to receive his certificate of stock and deed to his lot. On the other hand, however, if a subscriber to stock, after paying one half of his subscription, does not wish to continue his payments in order to obtain the lot or lots he has selected, or for any reason ceases making payments when due, the company will issue to him, in full satisfaction of his contract, paid up shares of capital stock of the company to the full amount of the money has has already paid in, fractions of shares not being included.

To Summarize:

This is, in fact, not a sale of lots, but of stock in the company. The founders of the Lenoir City company are not seeking victims; they are inviting associates. The company is not now trying to sell out its property, but rather to increase the numbers of parties interested with the founders in the building up of the city. The efforts of many men are required to build up a city; the founders are, therefore, inviting good citizens to stand with them in the enterprise, to partake of their labors, and share in their profits.

For this purpose they have, put half of the capital stock of the company on the market. In so doing they offer to the purchasing stockholders not only their stock but also lots in the city at opening valuations, which are merely nominal compared with the prices at which such lots are usually sold in new towns. The lots will be offered at these valuations to stockholders only; being, it fact, given to stockholders. Until all this $400,000 of stock is sold and issued no lots can be obtained from the company on any terms except as a bonus with this stock.

The subscribers to this stock will not only obtain this bonus, (thus receiving the full value of their investments), but together with the founders will become owners of the vast tract of land lying in and around these lots, which comprises the great bulk of the property of the company. On the other hand the founders expect them, by the aid of their voices and influence and improvements on the lots, in buildings and manufactures, to give valuable assistance in developing and increasing the value of this remaining property. It is from the sale of this remaining tract of over 2,000 acres, or such part of it as the stockholders may wish to put upon the market, comprising the far greater portion of this “princely estate,” which will probably be sold at public auction late in the fall or early next spring, at greatly advanced prices, that the founders of Lenoir City, by the help o the new stockholders and sharing with them, expect to realize their profits.

Remember than an interest in this Company upon these liberal terms can only be obtained by becoming a purchaser of a porrtion of this $400,000 of stock now offered to the public.

Notice.–Persons desiring further information as to the properties, plans of sale, or other matters concerning the Company, are requested to address the

LENOIR CITY COMPANY,

Lenoir, E. Tenn.

 

*****

From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 8/28/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 184, Page 8.

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LENOIR CITY.

*****

A Building Boom in the New Industrial Town.

****

New Your Stockholder Will Build Cottages — Brick Factory to be Started.

*****

Lenoir, Tenn., August 27, — Quite a stir in financial circles was created here yesterday afternoon, when Mr. Smalley, of the Lenoir City company, received the following instructions from the New York magnates of the concern: “Prospectus and maps received; well pleased with the outlook. We authorize you to sue your own judgment in selecting us each a lot; also assume authority to erect upon each a house, the cost of which will e about $2,000, something attractive and substantial, a good renting property. This instruction from the New York gentlemen namely, Hon. Calvin S. Brice, Col. C. M. McGhee, E. R. Chapman, Esq., John G. Moore, Esq., and Hon. O. H. Payne, adds great weight to the enterprise.True they are all stockholders in the company and have  controlling interest, yet it also indicates positively that this is no paper scheme, an enterprise to work upon outside capital. This knowledge has had its effect; people here who have held aloof, desirous of investing, yet waiting for their neighbor to make the advance, have come to the conclusion that now is the appointed time. It is man’s nature to want the best in everything, that proclivity is demonstrated here, when, after subscribing stock, they hurry to the town site to make the choice of their lots. But here they are puzzled; there is no choice; they sare all desirable. The man blindfolded who shoots an arrow into that beautiful park and then takes up his abode where it falls is as well off and as well-situated as the man who devotes a day in making his selection.

There is one feature that is embarrassing at present; there is no building brick to  be had nearer than Knoxville. A company will immediately go to work here and manufacture three or four hundred yet this fall, but that does not supply the present demand. Mr. Cass Hall of the Lenoir City bank, was compelled to set his house on blocks, leaving the foundation until brick could be procured. It will not take advertising or whole page displays to make this enterprise a success, aside from the advantageous plans upon which the company work, the mutual plan, making the investment profitable to the investors, by every investor becoming directly interested with them in the enterprise, there are mutual advantages that will enhance the value of the property, simply for the reason of its location.

People want comforts in this life, the rich, the poor like. The laboring man wants to live where he can enjoy with his family health and prosperity. What is lacking here to make this one of the greatest manufacturing places in the south: Besides all the mineral wealth beneath the surface and the timber above, nature has been liberal with her gifts in making this one of the richest agricultural regions in Tennessee. The capitalist wants to place his means where the greatest gain can be obtained. Here with the iron, the coal, the timber and marble at our very door, with both river and railroad facilities that cannot be excelled, name the industry that cannot succeed.

Strong men have seen thy face,

And looked thy beauty o’er.

Were dazzled with thine every grace,

They loved thee much LENOIR.

They purchased with a price,

A sum unheard before,

Thy vales and hills and alls that’s nice,

And now they own LENOIR.

And they will see thee grow,

Yes, they will see thee soar,

Beyond the limits now marked out,

Will grow our proud LENOIR.

Then some will come and stand,

And loud their lost deplore;

For not investing in thy land,

When thou wert cheap, LENOIR.

 

From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 9/5/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 192, Page 5.

Big Day at Lenoir City.

The managers of the Lenoir City Company are rejoicing over their well earned success. By the close of the first day of the public sale $60,000 of stock had been subscribed and cash payment made on more than $50,000. Several large blocks will be taken this week.

The work of selling lots with stock will continue, without glaring advertisements, until the remaining $300,000 of stock is sold, after which the company proposes to advertise extensively for the big auction sale next spring.

Plans are now being drawn and contracts made for various handsome buildings, both store and residence, to be erected at once by different stockholders.

Remember that purchasers of this “ground floor” not only get their lots but also share in the future profits of the company. The sooner you buy the better selection of lots you can make.

*****

 

From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 9/7/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 194, Page 5.

LENOIR CITY.

*****

Things Moving Lively at the New Town.

SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL

LENOIR TENN., September 6.–Mr. James Thompson, from Ohio, arrived in this city last evening. Mr. Thompson is a contractor and architect of state reputation. He will locate at Lenoir. He will submit plans and specifications for the construction of the  five houses that will be immediately built by the New York gentlemen. Every train brings in mechanics of the different trades. The eastern and western building season will soon be over. They are coming to a country where they build the year round.

Mr. Grant B. Chley, of New York, has telegraphed the managers to select him a lot and build thereon a house, something similar to those that will be erected by the New York stockholders.

B. B. Hall of Iona, Mich., arrived this afternoon. Mr. Hall is one of the stock-holders in the large saw milling plant that will locate here at once. They have selected the site, five acres along the banks of the Tennessee river. They have purchased all the timber on the Lenoir City Companies possessions. But their main dependence will be upon the exhaustless supply of timber in the mountains which is tributary to this point.

The E. T. Va., & Ga., railroad have completed the excavation for the new depot also for two miles of side track. The new depot, it is said, will be the finest along the line of road. The estimated cost is $3,000, it will be of the latest designs and a model for convenience.

The collection of minerals, marble and wood being gathered from the Lenoir plantation is assuming respectable proportions under the guidance of Dr. Benson. An interesting cabinet will soon be on exhibition at the office of the company.

*****

Now, I ask you: Who wouldn’t want to live in Lenoir City?

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Back to the Newspapers: Runaway Slave Ads

November 7, 2017

While looking for references to George Mosse in the early Savannah newspapers, many advertisements for runaway slaves can be found. The ironic part of these ads is that they are helpful in identifying people who wouldn’t have been identified. These ads list the slave name, physical description, and contact person, in addition to the amount of the reward. The higher the reward, the more valuable the person.

From the Savannah Republican, December 24, 1808:

75 Dollars Reward.

Absented themselvessome months ago, the following NEGROES—

Sampson, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high; well made, though rather slender; has an impediment in his speech; about 28 years of age.

Caesar, about 5 feet 6 inches high; between 35 and 40 years old.

Tom, about 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high; about 30years of age.

Adam, about 5 feet 4 or 5 inches high; extremely slender; 17 years of age.

Beaufort, 5 feet 3 or 4 inches high; muscular form; face very ugly , and countenance surly; about 18 years of age.

The above reward will be paid to any person who will seize said negroes and lodge them in any gaol in the state of Georgia, or deliver them to Mr. Kesterson, on Kilkenny-Neck, adjoining Mr. John Morel’s, or to the subscriber, on Skidaway island.

R.B. Wylly

N. B. If taken separately, the reward will be given in the following proportions–For Sampson, 25 dollars; for Tom, 2 dollars; for Beaufort, 10 dollars; for Adam, 10 dollars; and for Caesar, 5 dollars.

October 18—124

Then this one…

125 Dollars Reward.

Seventy-five Dollars will be paid to any person delivering to the subscriber, or lodging in Savannah gaol, a NEGRO WOMAN, named BELLA, who has been absent near three years, during which time she has been lurking about the plantations on Ogechee, and in the neighborhood of Thunderbolt; but latterly, it is said she has been harbored about or near Mr. Polock’s brick-yard, and that she has a ticket. —

She is about five feet four inches high; full face; strait and well made; has lost one or two of her fore teeth; hollow foot, high instep; her complexion rather yellow. She formerly belonged to Mr. Charles Harden, deceased, and may probably say she belongs to col. Edward Harden, who has a woman of the same name. A reward of Fifty Dollars will be paid for convicting a white person of harboring her.

Philip Ihly.

If Bella returns of her own accord, she will be forgiven.

October 18.–24.

Another…

Twenty Dollars Reward.

Ranaway from the subscriber, on Saturday evening last, his mulatto girl, POLLY, late the property of Mr. John Waters, of this city. As she is well known in Savannah, a particular description of her person is unnecessary. All persons are forbid harboring her, as they may depend on being dealt with according to law.–

A reward of Twenty Dollars will be paid to any person that will give information of her being harbored by a white person, and Ten Dollars if by a negro.

Levi Sheftall.

October 23 –127.

And at the end of the column (keep in mind that this is just ONE column in ONE newspaper in ONE day in ONE city)…

10 Dollars Reward

Will be paid to any person who will apprehend and secure in Savannah goal, my fellow BEN. He has been runaway since April last, and is supposed to be with Mr. Richard B. Wylly’s negroes, which are advertised in this paper.

G. W. Allen.

December 1–143

*****

10 Dollars Reward.

Ran away this morning, my Negro Fellow ISAAC, who is well known in this city. If brought home to me, I will give the above reward; and if he should be apprehended in S. Carolina, and lodged in any gaol of that state, or brought to me, I will pay a reward of 30 dollars and all expences.

Thomas U. P. Charlton.

December 3 –144

What is most astounding to me is that, even as dangerous as running away must have been, there were so many people who risked the dangers for freedom, men and women alike.

Rest well, travelers. We can learn from your bravery.

The Gifford Rosenwald School

April 1, 2017

Sugar and I are on our way from Point A to Point B, and we see a sign that tells us that there is a historical marker coming ahead.

Because we are two crazy kids out on a history mystery, we are compelled to pull over. Ignore the bread maker on the back seat.

Wearing eye-ish makeup and everything. YoursTruly, not Sugar.

Gifford is a wide spot in the road with a blinking yellow light. I would say “flashing” yellow light, but that might imply urgency, and there is nothing urgent happening in this sleepy little place on a Sunday morning. There’s a police car on the side of the road, parked in a spot at just such an angle that you would suspect that you are being surveilled and quite probably being ticketed for being nonlocal. However, the police car was unmanned, and was simply a decoy. There was no donut shop in sight. I would guess it was the only police vehicle in the hamlet, and the community got every ounce of usefulness from the car’s prescence.

25-21

GIFFORD ROSENWALD SCHOOL

Gifford Rosenwald School, sometimes Gifford Colored School, was built here in 1920-21. It was one of 500 rural schools built for African-American students in S.C., funded in part by the Julius Rosenwald Foundation from 1917 to 1932. The first of four Rosenwald Schools in Hampton County, it was a two-room frame building constructed at a cost of $3,225.

(Continued on other side)

(Continued from other side)

Gifford Rosenwald School had two to five teachers for an average of almost 200 students a year in grades 1-9 until it closed in 1958. That year a new school serving Gifford and Luray, built by an equalization program seeking to preserve school segregation, replaced the 1921 school. The old school has been used for church services and Sunday School classes since 1958.

SPONSORED BY THE ARNOLD FIELDS COMMUNITY ENDOWMENT, FAITH TEMPLE DELIVERANCE MINISTRY, AND THE TOWN OF GIFFORD COUNCIL, 2014.

This is the first reference that I have seen to “separate but equal” that wasn’t in a book or on the news. This is powerful stuff. I didn’t know that there were actual schools built to reinforce this notion. It seems odd to me that there was already a school in place for black children, but another one was built, perhaps to a different standard and modern construction, in order to maintain “separate but equal”. That is not to say that the old school didn’t need to be replaced. And now I want to know what the companion white school looked like and where it was.

Who Was Amanda M. Miller?

February 18, 2017

Sugar is working on a plan.

This plan involves going to a graveyard with a tape measure and a smartphone.


Because a smartphone has a camera.


And said camera takes remarkably clear photos.


These photos which show measurements are needed for a memorial for someone who doesn’t have one. I’ve written about him before.

The following obituary appeared in the newspaper in 1808.

  Died, on the 17th of February, at his usual residence on Black Swamp, Beaufort District, of a lingering illness, which he bore with uncommon patience and Christian resignation, in the 67th year of his age, Doctor GEORGE MOSSE. He was a native of Ireland, but for about 40 years an inhabitant of this state, of which he has been a respectable and useful citizen. To his adopted country he was a firm, constant friend, but his philanthropy embraced all mankind.

The Doctor was particularly known and respected, as the zealous friend and support of Religion; from which he derived his present, and expected his future happiness. In the profession of it he was open, yet unostentatious; in his attachment to it, rational, unshaken and uniform. His religious sentiments were those which are usually stiled evangelical; making the righteousness and atonement of the Redeemer the ground of his hope for pardon and acceptance with God; and considering morality and virtue as the native fruits of faith – the inseparable concomitants of Divine love.

Though not inattentive to other books of usefulness, his reading was principally in those of a religious and devotional kind; but especially in the Sacred Scriptures, to which he gave serious, daily attention. In consequence of which his mind was happily stored with the knowledge of divine subjects. On his hours of devotion, he would not suffer the cares and business of the world to intrude.

In relative life, he was a sincere, candid friend; an affectionate Husband; a fond Father; and an indulgent Master. And it may be truly said of him, that he was the Orphan’s friend; that he made the Widow’s heart sing for joy; and that he did not send the needy, and distressed, empty and mourning from his door.

His last scene presented a grand and pleasing spectacle – just before he closed his eyes in death, he said, in an apparent rapture of joy – “Lord Jesus receive my spirit. Glory! Glory to God, who has given me the Victory!”

A pious Widow, seven Daughters, and many friends lament the loss of this good man.

 

Dr. George Mosse and his wife Phoebe Norton had SEVEN daughters. Three of these daughters married three Lawton brothers. One set belongs to Sugar.

We were then looking at the tombs of his particular set: Alexander James Lawton and Martha Mosse Lawton. We realized that there was another tomb that we had consistently overlooked.  She’s right there in the line with Alexander and Martha.

She was Amanda M. Miller. But who was she?

No more confined to groveling scenes of night,

No more a tenant pent in mortal clay;

Now should we rather hail thy glorious flight,

And trace thy journey to the realms of day.

She is the daughter of Alexander and Martha, and she died in her early twenties. (Thank you, clever Reader Leo, for confirmation!) Childbirth, perhaps? One on-line tree says she had an infant son that also died. But where is the baby?

Good-night, friends. We are thinking of you.

FlowerFest 2016: On To Robertville 

February 6, 2017

We had too many grave sites to visit to get it all done in one day. For the second year in a row, the FlowerFest needs two weekends.

Sugar and I headed for Robertville.

It was a quiet Sunday, and we thought we’d arrive after church had let out, and all had gone home. Not today, a few cars were still parked at the church.

This is a private time for us, this FlowerFesting gig, even though I photograph and write about it. Sugar is very serious about the ritual. You can probably see how intense he is when he marches across each cemetery, and places each plant *just so*, and tweaks the placement of each pot.

He didn’t want to hang about, so he hustled to get the job done. He can be so hustle-y, I can’t catch up.


So I just zoom in, camera-wise.




We found that last year’s poinsettia pot was still on the ground.

I stopped to photograph Edward Payson Lawton’s marker. He was killed at Fredericksburg.

I’ve been listening to Irish music on Pandora. One song in particular, “Clear the Way”, has a line that always gives me chills.

At Fredericksburg, we rose to meet them,

Though we knew the price we’d pay….

The song is sung from the viewpoint of a man who served with the Irish brigade for the Union.

In the cold grey light of morning,

after the deal had gone down,

I awoke and shook all over –

hoping a dram would bring me round.
Well, I stared at the sight all around me;

busted blue and faded grey.

Men in heaps were scattered;

men who fought and died the other day.
Well, I lived my youth in Connemara,

roving from town to town.

I shipped on board of the Amelia,

to New York City I was bound.
Not for honor, nor for country;

we killed for three square meals a day.

Off the boat and pack on shoulder,

gun in hand we’re here to stay.
Chorus:

At Fredericksburg we rose to meet them,

though we knew the price we’d pay.

But the Irish Brigade will not surrender –

Fag an bealach! Clear the way!
General Meagher, he gave the order,

”Up Mary’s Heights, charge away.”

The hills were rife with blood and murder

as we gouged and tore our way.
McMillan’s rebels, they fired upon us –

shot and shell, buck and ball.

Their green flag rose high above them

as ours fell on the battle wall.
Well, hand to hand and face to face there

a young rebel he charged me in the fray.

I turned around and my blade went through him;

I did the devil’s work that day.
For I saw my face there before me

in the boy that I hew down.

He could have been a friend or brother;

another exile from my town.
Three thousand strong rose to fight them

in Antietam’s ripening corn,

but Fredericksburg was our undoing.

Three hundred left to weep and mourn.

*****

Sadly, our FlowerFest is almost over. We head over to the Robert Cemetery, near Mulberry Grove Plantation, to finish the job.

Elizabeth Dixon Robert and John Robert.

That’s our Christmas FlowerFest 2016! We’ll see you in 2017!

Moses and Isabella Graham’s Pension File

May 28, 2016

Poor Isabella Graham. Her husband died of smallpox in 1866 while serving in the United States Colored Troops. She was left with 4 young children: Amelia, William, Richmond, and Lavinia. She attempted to get a widow’s pension, but it took years. YEARS.

She was formerly owned, before Freedom, by Alexander James Lawton of Blackswamp, South Carolina. She was married in 1854 to Moses Graham, a slave on a neighboring plantation, by Preacher Jack Lawton, alias John Taylor, who was also owned by Alexander J. Lawton.

Another woman, named Ellen Corsee, also attempted to get a widow’s pension by claiming that SHE was the widow of Moses Graham.  While it sounds like a ridiculous claim, it turns out that witnesses stated that she was what was known as a camp mistress, and that she cohabited with Moses Graham while he was stationed in Beaufort, and that she had previously cohabited with Moses before he entered the service. She knew he had a wife and children, as well as HE knew, but that didn’t stop them from cohabiting. She retained an attorney, a certain James D. Bell, living in Beaufort but from New Hampshire, to pursue her claim of widowhood and pension.

Isabella finally obtained her pension. Alexander James Lawton had continued to write letters to Ellen’s attorney to have her claim proven fraudulent, and to testify of Isabella’s good character and to verify the names and birth dates of the children, and to affirm that she was a poor widow who was entitled to her pension BY LAW. Among other things, Alexander J. Lawton was an attorney, and he knew the law and how to write an effective letter, but it still took years, because the wheels of government grind slowly, then as now.

How do we know these things? From a blessed pension file that took one week to receive, electronically, from the time I ordered it online. Fortunately, it didn’t take as long for me to receive the pension file as it took for poor Isabella to qualify for her widow’s pension.

Near the end of the file, Alexander James Lawton refers to his former slave, Isabella Graham, as his friend.

Here’s the link:

F41-276087299E

The Pension File: Meet Nelson Brown

May 19, 2016

We haven’t talked about Nelson Brown, have we?

We HAVE talked about Nelson’s wife, Bella Brown, whom is believed to have given birth to Winnie Joe Brown by a white man, precisely unknown. In 1880, Bella Brown was enumerated on the census next to a Lawton family. There’s no man in Bella’s house, but there are several children, one being named Joseph.

I came across a record index for pensions. There’s Bella Brown, and she’s listed with Nelson Brown. This was my first true link that Bella’s husband was named Nelson. There is no census for 1890, and I can’t find him on the 1870 or the 1900 census. The only census-type record I can find for Nelson Brown is the 1890 Veteran’s Schedule, and he is recorded as having served in the 128th Regiment of the USCT.

I haven’t ordered a census file in perhaps 18 years. Ouch, the price has gone up. But I couldn’t stand it. I needed to know more about Nelson Brown. I chose to have the file delivered electronically, because I don’t want more paper. Plus I’d scan the paper and then load it to the blog, which is a few steps too many for me.

My grandmother received a monthly pension, which makes me think that I should look for a pension file for my grandfather. But first: Nelson Brown.

This file was chock-full of surprises and details. During slavery times, Nelson Brown was owned by Joseph Maner Lawton, which is not the same one that I mentioned in a recent post, but rather an ancestor. Bella Brown was owned by William McBride. Her maiden name was Duncan, and Nelson Brown also went by Nelson Lawton. If you are a black person looking to break through the 1870 brick wall, a pension file might just be your way to go.

There are over 100 images in this file. I’d say I got my money’s worth.

F41-271178592E

 

 

The Will of John Seth Maner

March 1, 2016

Any Maner people out there? You already know that he mentions the Lawtons. 

   
    
These images are from a self-published book. The author is deceased, but I’ve written to a relative to see if there are more books available in a stash somewhere. If not, maybe we can get permission to reprint. 

 
Good-night, Mr. Lawton, and thank you for publishing your book. 

In Memory of Miser

February 24, 2016

While Sugar and I were at the Savannah Wildlife Facility’s diorama, I saw a tombstone in one of the displays. I took some photos which were found later not to be clear. 

We went back so I could get better photos. I was the one hanging over the rail with Sugar posted as the lookout. 

  

In Memory of Miser

Who was a Driver on this Plantation for 30 years. He was a faithful Servant, a true Christian, and the noblest work of God – an honest man. 

This slab is placed over his remains by his Master Daniel Heyward in token of his love and esteem. 

Good-night, Miser. I hope you rest well from your labors. 

Slaves Owned by William Henry Lawton at His Death, 1827

January 26, 2016

From Tommy Lawton’s book…


  

  
Does this help?