Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday
Tommy and Irene DeMyers

Thomas (Tommy) Demyers, Sr
born about 1876 in Copiah County, MS
Son of Lawrence and Sallie Miller DeMyers

Arena (Irene) Johnson
born about 1878 in Copiah County, MS
Daughter of Lewis and Jane Williams Johnson

Tommy was my paternal grandmother's 1st cousin once removed.

Photograph Courtesy of Sonia DeMyers Cheatham

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mr and Mrs Anding

This probably was not a planned photograph. They look as though they tolerated the photographer. It is lovely to have their images to put with their familiar names.

Leonteen Coleman Anding
Daughter of James Coleman and Mary Ann Markham

Walter McDaniel Anding
Son of Steve Anding and Eliza McDaniel

Photograph Courtesy of Lisa Lee
Photograph taken about 1959.
Leonteen was my mother's 1st cousin once removed.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Amanuensis Monday
John McLaurin's Response Concerning Sick Ned

Slave Coffle, Washington, DC, 1819
Image from Library of Congress

John McLaurin responded to Duncan McArn who had written him in January 1836, concerning Ned, a sick slave. McArn thought he had purchased an "unsound negro" from McLaurin. Read Duncan McLaurin's Letter Concerning his Newly Purchased Slave, Ned

March 04, 1836

Dear Sir,

Your letter was received but not read in due time. It was taken out of the office by a namesake of mine who lives in the country. I am very much surprised at its contents. If the boy NED was unsound when I sold him, it certainly was not known to me nor to any person acquainted with him. That he had had the fever and ague is a fact which I told you of before you purchased him but that does not make a man unsound. We are all liable to fevers and when the fever is on delirium . If he has taken a disease which may prove dangerous in consequence of exposure on the journey or from any other cause I regret it very much, but I cannot think that I am to blame for it.

I do assure you, Sir, there was nothing about him which indicated unsoundness as far as my knowledge extended, nor was the least intimation of the existence of such a thing given me, by him or any other person.

If you had called at John C. McLaurin’s as you promised me you would, you might have got him and the other boy off your hands at a profit. I wrote him you would call and he was ready and anxious to buy them. You not stopping there was a disappointment to him as well as to me. I wished him to have them. He knew the negroes well. I shall be sorry if you lose by the purchase, but if you do, it cannot be my fault and I feel unwilling to pay for any accident that has happened to the boy (which lessens his value) since I departed with him.

I give you my word if he had been an unsound negro I never would have offered him for sale. If he was here today in the same condition as when he was taken away, he would bring more money then you paid for him.

I hope before this time that he has recovered his health and will do you good service.

Write me on receipt of this and let me know if the boy is getting better.

Respectfully yours,
J. M. McLaurin

Ned traveled from Fayetteville, NC, to Fayette, Jefferson County, MS, with slave traders and Duncan McArn who purchased him. It is likely he was in the company of other slaves who were a part of a slave coffle

Slave Coffle - A coffle was a convoy of slaves, mostly chained or roped together. The average coffle consisted of between 30 and 50 people. Men were placed in front, followed by women without children, children who were able to walk, and lastly, women with infants and small children who had to be carried. Major traders would have as many as 300 people. Determine by the destination, traveling 20 - 25 miles per day, the trip could take several weeks.

McArn (Duncan) and Family Papers, Collection Number: Z/1487
Collection may be seen at the Mississippi Department of History and Archives
African American Migration Experience - The Domestic Slave Trade

Monday, September 3, 2012

Amanuensis Monday
Duncan McArn's Letter Concerning the Health of Ned

Ned was purchased in Fayetteville, NC, by Duncan McArn of Union Church, Jefferson County, MS, from John McLaurin. McArn felt he had received an "unsound negro."

Mississippi, Franklin County
January 05, 1836

Dear Sir,

I take the present opportunity to inform you that the negro boy Ned which I purchased of you is certainly not a sound and healthy negro agreeably to your bill of sale to me which warrants him sound in body and in mind.

I would have written you sooner on the subject but while on the road I had no opportunity and since I got back I have been engaged until the present. I had the company of two traders from Fayetteville on to Georgia and the other to Montgomery, indeed there were two in company with me to Montgomery.

One of them advised me to go back with him after we had traveled a few days and after we were convinced that he was unsound but the rest agreed with me in opinion that it was impossible for me at that time consistent with my interest to go back with him. He had the third day fever and ague* regularly on the way and in bad weather every day. The first fever he had was on the second day after we left Fayetteville but that is not the worst. He had a constant and regular cough which I have no doubt is consumption. He was feeble and weak, not able to make a day’s travel much less to render any assistance on the road. Indeed, I have had to sit up with him at night, he being crazy with a scorching fever. But why need I go to detail, his cituation(sp) you no doubt are better acquainted with his condition than I am. Those gentlemen that I before adverted to are witnesses of his infirmities to.

Now sir that I have made a simple statement of facts and what I know and believe. I will now only say that in making that trade, I took you to be a high minded honorable gentleman. I therefore took you at your word and you certainly sold me that boy for a sound and healthy negro. Now in as much as he is not what you sold him to me for, I only hope you for a reasonable deduction in his price. I want nothing but what is equitable, right and just.

I would here further observe that I would rather we would settle it ourselves. I think it would be better for us both. It will at least save cost. Do not think hard of my ? for I insure you that I do not do it to hurt your feelings. I do it in order that I may not be misunderstood and because I believe that all matters are easier to settle when fair and candid statements are made.

Please write me as soon as you receive this and let me know what you indend(sp) doing in this matter. I wish you to be frank and candid with me as I at least try to be with you.

Direct your letter to Malcolm Post Office, Jefferson County, Mississippi.

Your friend,
Duncan McArn

Ague -- the recurring fever and chills of malarial fever
Consumption -- Tuberculosis

Duncan McArn was born on 14 February 1810. He moved from North Carolina to Jefferson County, MS, around 1835. McArn taught school in neighboring Franklin County during the first five years of his residence in MS. He married Catherine Torrey of MS on May 9, 1844. McArn soon began cultivating cotton on a plantation near Fayette, Jefferson Co., and he established business outlets in Natchez and Rodney, MS, and in New Orleans. He died 24 Feb 1875 in Jefferson County, MS

McArn owned members of my maternal family, the Sartin family of Jefferson County, MS.

Source: McArn (Duncan) and Family Papers, Collection Number: Z/1487, Box 1
Mississippi Department of Archives and History