Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wedding Wednesday
Anthony and Bettie

Anthony and Bettie McDaniel Neal cutting the cake at their wedding party,
18 March 1961, in Phoenix, Illinois.

Photograph courtesy of Anthony and Bettie.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Amanuensis Monday
Name Confusion

George Washington aka George Thomas

George Washington aka George Thomas had several difficulties getting approval to receive a pension for service during the Civil War. One of his problems was he had a common name, George Washington. Seven men had the exact same name who served with the same regiment as this George, 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry. A civilian who worked for the 58th, USCI, also had the same name. Here is one of George's depositions concerning the name confusion.

Deposition A in Case of George Washington
January 15 1890
Brookhaven, Lincoln County, Miss

I was born in Copiah Co, Miss near the Jefferson County line. My owner was Bill Brown. He was the only owner I ever had. I lived on his place till I went to Natchez & then to Vicksburg. I joined the army at Vicksburg & was discharged at Natchez.

I have heard you explain about that Geo Washington who claims on my service. I don't know him that man & never saw or heard of him. He is a fraud. I have no picture of myself. I had no nickname in service at all. I was clean shaved all the way through the army. I was never in the army but about 8 or 9 months in all. I was never in but two fights in service, one about 12 miles from Woodville & the other was on Bingham's Branch out from Natchez. At the last fight a man named of our Co named Sampson Martin was killed.

Yes, I use to know of a Gilbert Buoy in Jefferson Co, Miss. He is dead. He lived near Union Church & 8 miles from my owner. Yes, he owned a slave named Geo Washington born & raised on the place. He was younger than me. I knew that other Geo Washington before the war. His mistress was my master's sister. No, he was never in my Co at all. He ran away from Gilbert Buoy a long time after I enlisted. He came to Natchez & was put to driving a commissary wagon in the wagon train. I well knew him and saw him often. I am positive he was never an enlisted man at all. He never did a thing but drive the post team. He never came back to Union Church after the war & I never have seen or heard of him since I was discharged.

Yes, he had a wife. Her name was Susie. He married her before the war. Then when he was driving wagon at Natchez he had a woman named Mary.

The father of that other Geo Washington was named Peter Baker. The Geo Washington that lived at Buoy's before the war & that wagoned(sp) at Natchez was not the same man that was in Capt Picks Co 58th Regt as Geo Washington

George his x mark Washington

George Washington served with Company F, 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry. He enlisted 08 Sept 1864 in Vicksburg, discharged 10 May 1865 in Natchez.

George's father was named Thomas Buie. After the War, he decided to use the name George Thomas. He married Rhoda Buie and had several children near Caseyville, MS. Many of George's descendants married into my Markham family.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dying to Ride

Seeing these hearses reminded me of a story one of my elderly cousins shared. Uncle John Markham was working in his field when he saw a hearse and funeral procession. Curious, he later asked a neighbor about the funeral. The neighbor told him, "Man, that was your Ma."

John's mother, Mary Byrd Markham, died 28 Oct 1937. A wake was held in the home of the deceased, buried the next day. Twenty miles was between the residences of the son and mother and I suppose his siblings thought one of the others told him. There was a rift between John and his parents, which likely didn't encourage anyone to notify John of his mother's death.

These hearses were from New Orleans, circa 1875-1890.

Hearses seen at Grand Gulf Military State Park.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday
Nathaniel and Stephanie Thomas

Nathaniel, Jr., and wife Stephanie Thomas
Nathaniel is the son of Nathaniel, Sr., and Annie Scott Thomas

Nathaniel is my half third cousin.
We descend from James Markham, our 2nd great grandfather.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday
Resting under Moss and Trees

I spent a few minutes in the Grand Gulf Military State Park Cemetery on a hot, high humidity Mississippi afternoon. There are six Union soldiers buried in the cemetery, five who were from Colored Regiments. I wanted to find one of their headstones but was too eager to get back in the air conditioned vehicle.

The cemetery is filled with trees, some with moss hanging from the limbs, a peaceful setting. The first burial was in 1822, the last in 1954.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church

The church was built in 1868 in the town of Rodney, Jefferson County, MS. Members of my family lived near Rodney, which in its early days was a flourishing river town. Today, Rodney is a struggling ghost town. The church was moved to Grand Gulf Military State Park in 1983. It has been restored to its original condition.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday
Frankie Ruth Gaulden McDaniel
circa 1945

Frankie Ruth Gaulden
Born 1924 in Natchez, Adams County, MS
Daughter of Frank Gaulden, Jr. & Marie Boyd
Wife of Feltus McDaniel
Died in Charleston, IL around 1952/3

Photograph courtesy of Anthony Neal, Sr. Frankie was a cousin of Anthony's wife Bettie McDaniel Neal.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Amanuensis Monday
Will of Thomas Taliaferro


I, Thomas Taliaferro, being of lawful age and of sound and disposing mind hereby make and declare this my last will and testament.

Item first. It is my will that my beloved wife, Bertha Taliaferro, have the horse and mule named Tobe which I now own.

Item Second. I give to my son Thomas Taliaferro, Junior, the horse mule named Mack together with the double wagon, harness, plow tools and all other farm tools and implements on the place which I reside and all such tools and implements of which I may die seized and possessed.

It is my will that my land be divided equally between my six children to-wit: Thomas Taliaferro, Junior, Henry Taliaferro, Vernon Taliaferro, Rosa Belle Taliaferro, Annie Thomas, Mattie Taliaferro, Fred Taliaferro, Rocksie Harris and my wife Bertha Taliaferro, share and share alike, except I give to my said wife her share in the said land on which the residence in which I now live stands, together with the out houses, barnes(sp) on this land.

It is my will that the said land be kept together and not sold or disposed of by my said children or either of them for a period of ten years from my death, and this provision also applies to my wife.

It is my will that my wife and my son Thomas Taliaferro pay my funeral expenses out of their respective shares, equally, and any other debts that I may owe at the time of my death

I nominate and appoint my son, Thomas Taliaferro, my executor of this my will and I direct that he be not required to make any bond as such executor or to make application to any court or to account to any court.

Thomas Taliaferro his X mark, Sr.

Witness my signature this the 16 day of February, 1917.

J. M. Scott
W. H. Wilson

Thomas Taliaferro shared the same slave owner, Peachy R Taliaferro, as members of my paternal family.

Thomas wrote in a 1915 letter that he no longer wanted Bertha as a wife. I guess he changed his mind about a divorce since he includes her in his will.

Thomas died 04 May 1917.

Source: Copiah County Will Book A
Page 335

Sunday, July 14, 2013

To Trayvon's Memory
What's Going On

To the memory of Trayvon Benjamin Martin

who reminds me of my son and grandson, Joseph and Jace.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday
In and out the Wagon

Natchez, Mississippi
Photograph taken between 1890-1905
Stewart Photograph Collection
Credit: Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday
Bradley Children
circa 1914

Back Row: Hannah 1902-1967, James, Jr., 1904-1932
Middle Row: Lela Beck 1899-1973, Ella Mae 1898-1991, Mary Alma 1896-1968
Front Row: Celestine Dicy 1909-1997, Oliver Barrington 1907-1997

They were the children of James Howard Bradley, Sr., and Ella Demyers. All the children were born in Copiah County, Mississippi, and died in Gary, Indiana. Ella Demyers Bradley was my Dad's 1st cousin twice removed.

Photograph courtesy of Melvia Ella Cherry Dean, Celestine's daughter.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Eli Hilson's Murderer Plead Guilty

Three murders, beatings, terrorist acts were committed upon African Americans by the Whitecaps in Lincoln County, MS. Over a thousand people were near or on the Lincoln County courthouse grounds when Judge James Wilkinson announced the sentences of the men convicted of murder in the Whitecaps cases. As each man was sentenced, the crowd shuddered. Oscar Franklin plead guilty to the murder of Eli Hilson, and was sentenced to life in prison in December 1904, about a year after the murder.

Eli's wife Hannah struggle to raise their ten children and maintain the farm. She lost the property through a mortgage foreclosure in 1905. The 74 acres were sold to S. P. Oliver for $439. Oliver was a county supervisor.

The Evening News, San Jose, California, December 21, 1904
Research Notes of Carolyn Betts, a Collateral Descendant of Eli Hilson
Photograph Courtesy of Lincoln County Public Library

Amanuensis Monday - Eli Hilson Assassinated by Whitecaps
Whitecapping - Losing the Land

Monday, July 1, 2013

Amanuensis Monday
Eli Hilson Assassinated by Whitecaps

The Leader Newspaper
Brookhaven, MS
Dec 23, 1903

Eli Hilson, a negro living about eight miles from Brookhaven was assassinated within about a quarter of a mile of his home Saturday evening, while on his way home from town alone in his buggy. The bullet which killed him entered the side of his head near the ear and came out at the mouth. Death seems to have been instantaneous. The horse went on home, and his owner was found dead in the buggy on his arrival.

Coroner Geo. Lambright, Jr., visited the scene of the murder Monday, impaneled a jury and held an inquest, the verdict being that the deceased came to his death by a gunshot wound at the hands of parties unknown.

Last Winter Hilson, who lived on a farm of his own and was prosperous, was warned by the whitecaps to leave, which warning he disregarded. About three or four weeks ago his home was visited in the night by whitecaps and several volleys fired into it. His wife was sick in bed at the time, with an infant only a few hours old. He still disregarded the warning, and remained on his place. Saturday, he brought a young daughter to town in his buggy to spend Christmas holidays with his brother G. N. W. Hilson, of this city, and as he was returning home between sunset and dark was assassinated. Hilson is the second negro murdered by whitecaps in that portion of Lincoln county within the last month.

From all The Leader can gather of the facts and circumstances, it is a disgraceful state of affairs and calls loudly for determined action and corrective measures by law abiding citizens and all law officers of the county. An old farmer who lives several miles below where this murder occurred stated while in The Leader office Monday, that about all the negroes had been frightened out of his neighborhood, and that all white farmers who had more lands than they could work themselves were left without labor and that these lands will have to lie out, uncultivated.

The Leader is informed that it is the intentions of the British and American Mortgage Company which has been an extensive loaner of money on farm lands in this county, to stop all further loans and instruct its agents and trustees to foreclose all mortgages that are not promptly satisfied before the situation grows worse and the lands become less valuable.

Our local banks share this same feeling of distrust and uneasiness and will either be forced to refuse loans in localities where this disturbance of negro labor prevails, or else demand greater security and a higher rate of interest on such loans as are advanced.

The situation is indeed a serious one to the farmers and the financial interests of the entire county, to say nothing of considerations of humanity and our boasted Christian civilization; and these dastardly whitecaps outrages ought to be suppressed and those who commit them hunted down and brought to justice.

Eli Hilson, Jr., was born about 1863 in Mississippi to Eli and Elizabeth Weathersby Hilson, died 19 Dec 1903 in Brookhaven, MS. He married Hannah. The couple's children were: Abe, Luna, Luella, Julia, Willie, Harvey, Lewis, Arbella, Letha, Manerva, and baby. After Eli's death, his widow lost the land.

Eli's grandson, Stanhope Harris, married my mother's cousin Luella Markham.

Photograph Courtesy of Library of Congress

Whitecapping - Losing the Land
Were there convictions in Eli Hilson Case?