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Nellie Jackson (SP-1459), a schooner built in Maryland in 1896 by J. W. Brooks, was acquired by the Navy 24 August 1917 from the Conservation Commission of Maryland for use on section patrol during World War I. She decommissioned and was returned to her owner 26 November 1918.
Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman (born Elizabeth Jane Cochran May 5, 1864 – January 27, 1922), better known by her pen name Nellie Bly, was an American journalist, industrialist, inventor, and charity worker who was widely known for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days, in emulation of Jules Verne's fictional character Phileas Fogg, and an exposé in which she worked undercover to report on a mental institution from within.  She was a pioneer in her field and launched a new kind of investigative journalism. 
Meet Stagecoach Mary, the Daring Black Pioneer Who Protected Wild West Stagecoaches
Bandits beware: In 1890s Montana, would-be mail thieves didn’t stand a chance against Stagecoach Mary. The hard-drinking, quick-shooting mail carrier sported two guns, men’s clothing and a bad attitude. As the first African American woman to carry mail, she stood out on the trail𠅊nd became a Wild West legend. Rumor had it that she𠆝 fended off an angry pack of wolves with her rifle, had “the temperament of a grizzly bear,” and was not above a gunfight. But how much of Stagecoach Mary’s story is myth?
Born Mary Fields in around 1832, Fields was born into slavery, and like many other enslaved people, her exact date of birth is not known. Even the place of her birth is questionable, though historians have pinpointed Hickman County, Tennessee as the most likely location. At the time, enslaved people were treated like pieces of a property their numbers were recorded in record books, their names were not.
Her story becomes clearer after the end of the Civil War, when she was freed. Many formerly enslaved people headed north to friendlier territory. So did Fields, who seems to have gone up the Mississippi River working on riverboats and acting as a servant and laundress for families along the way. She ended up in Ohio, living a life that was well outside the norm—in a convent.
It’s not clear how Fields discovered the Ursuline Convent of the Sacred Heart in Toledo, Ohio. Some accounts say she accompanied a daughter of the Warner family to the convent. Others say she headed there with a family friend who was a nun.
The religious community, which still exists today, was serene and disciplined. There, Fields worked as a groundskeeper. Her gruff style and penchant for cursing raised eyebrows in the quiet convent. When asked how her journey to Toledo was, she reportedly told one of the nuns that she was ready for 𠇊 good cigar and a drink.” Historical records show that the nuns complained about her volatile temper and her 𠇍ifficult” nature.
Mother Mary Amadeus Dunne, 1884.
According to historian Dee Garceau-Hagen, one nun remembered Fields’ wrath when anyone disturbed her lovingly kept grounds, saying “God help anyone who walked on the lawn after Mary had cut it.” Fields also tussled with the nuns over her wageshavior that would have shocked white women who expected African Americans to be well behaved and subservient.
Though Fields struggled to adjust to the sheltered life of the convent, she did make a friend: Mother Amadeus Dunne, the convent’s Mother Superior. Known for her fearlessness and charisma, Dunne was called to missionary work by her bishop and headed to Montana where she founded an Ursuline convent there in 1884. There, she assisted Jesuit priests who were starting schools for the Blackfeet Nation. In 1885, Fields got word that the beloved nun was gravely ill, and headed to Montana to help her.
The West suited Fields, who nursed Dunne back to health and began working for her new convent near Cascade, Montana. But though she faithfully served the nuns in the harsh, sparsely populated community, news of her subversive behavior reached the bishop, who raised serious concerns about Fields’ habits of drinking, smoking, shooting guns and wearing men’s clothing. When Fields and the convent’s male janitor pointed guns at one another during an argument, it was the final straw.
Kicked out of the convent, Fields was on her own𠅊nd she set about living a life that was shocking by 19th-century standards. She took in laundry and did odd jobs, started businesses and became known for liking hard liquor and gunfights.
This tough reputation ended up paying off. In 1895, she got a contract from the postal service to become a star route carrier𠅊n independent contractor who carried mail using a stagecoach donated by Mother Amadeus. It suited Fields to a tee. As a star carrier, her job was to protect the mail on her route from thieves and bandits and to deliver mail. She was only the second woman in the United States (and the first African American woman) to serve in that role.
“Stagecoach Mary” or 𠇋lack Mary,” as she was nicknamed, carried a rifle and a revolver. She met trains with mail, then drove her stagecoach over rocky, rough roads and through snow and inclement weather. And though she intimidated would-be thieves with her height and her tough demeanor, she became beloved by locals, who praised her generosity and her kindness to children.
For eight years, Fields protected and delivered the mail. Eventually age caught up to her and she retired. The community rallied to support her, despite occasional dust-ups with neighbors. Local restaurateurs gave her free meals saloon regulars chatted with her until bars became forbidden to woman due to a town ordinance. When she died on December 5, 1914, her funeral was one of the largest the town had ever seen.
Because of scant records and the temptation to create Wild West legends out of ordinary people, many facts about Field’s life are still fuzzy. What is clear is that her real-life persona was extraordinary enough to draw plenty of attention on its own. Mary Fields didn’t need to be a myth to stand out from the crowd𠅋ut she didn’t seem to mind her outsized reputation.
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- - This Columbia native was crowned Miss America in 1994 and used her fame to bring attention to the hardships of homelessness. She is the founder of HERO, the Homeless Education and Resource Organization.
- Born in Manning, this long-time public servant and Civil Rights leader was honored in 1993 when a portion of I-26 was named for her.
Marian Anderson - singer
- - Coordinator of youth services for all 82 branches of the New York Public Library, she moved to South Carolina in 1980 and became the University of South Carolina's Storyteller-in-Residence. Each year, Columbia holds a storytelling festival in her honor, aptly called A(ugusta) Baker's Dozen.
- This nursing pioneer inspired countless students during her long career at the Hospital and Training School for Nurses in Charleston. Her legacy lives on long after her death in 1930 today, a wing of MUSC bears her name.
- This newspaper publisher used print media to push for social reform. Her tenacity as a Civil Rights leader propelled her into politics, and in 1952 she was the first African-American woman to run for national office – Vice President of the United States.
- Born to former slaves just 10 years after the end of the Civil War, this Sumter County native decided early on that education was the key to ending the cycle of poverty. In 1904, she started a small school for African-American girls which eventually became Bethune-Cookman University. Under Franklin Roosevelt she served as Special Advisor on Minority Affairs, and in 1935 she founded the National Council for Negro Women to "represent the national and international concerns of Black women." Her portrait hangs in South Carolina's State House in Columbia.
Idella Bodie - Since the 1970s this Ridge Spring author has delighted South Carolina children with her books about life in the Palmetto State. Her award-winning historical fiction titles include The Secret Life of Telfair Inn and The Mystery of Edisto Island. Mrs. Bodie also wrote a series of books about heroes and heroines of the Revolution featuring notable figures in our early history such as Francis Marion, William Jasper, Rebecca Motte, and Thomas Sumter. Written for adults, South Carolina Women chronicles the lives of 51 important women from throughout our state's history.
Ethel Martin Bolden - librarian
Mary Musgrove Matthews Bosomworth - Born in 1700, the future "Queen of the Creeks" was the daughter of an Indian princess and a white man from South Carolina. She married another white man from South Carolina and together they established profitable trading posts which catered to members of both races. Just a year after establishing their first post, Savannah was founded on the same bluff. Her Creek name was Coosaponakesee. Removed as we can't find a substantial SC connection besides dad and hubby.
Gwen Bristow - b. 1903, d. 1980 - bestselling author
Lila Mae Brock - community leader
- Soul singer whose talent was first honed at her childhood church in Kingstree.
- - Recognized for her dedication as a nurse, midwife, and teacher, Maude Callen was the subject of 12-page photographic profile in Life magazine in 1951 which led to the funding of a clinic in Berkeley County.
Harriet Starr Cannon - Religious leader
Sallie F. Chapin - An impassioned supporter of the Confederacy, Sallie Chapin wrote Fitz-Hugh St. Clair, the South Carolina Rebel Boy in an effort to clarify the causes of the Civil War and promote the temperance movement. Surprising, the book was well accepted, even in the North. Sallie would become a sought-after public speaker traveling the east coast in the late 1800s, crusading for prohibition.
- Daughter of SC Governor Stephen Decatur Miller and wife of US Senator James Chesnut, Jr., her A Diary from Dixie is considered one of the most important and enduring portraits of the Confederacy. As a child she lived at Plane Hill Plantation and as an adult she lived at Mulberry Plantation, both near Camden in Kershaw County.
- In 1956, this author, actress, and director was the first woman to win an OBIE award. Her children's books include A Hero Ain't Nothing But a Sandwich and Rainbow Jordan. She was born in Charleston.
Ada Clare - This author, actress, and noted free spirit rose above the social constrictions of the 1800s. Walt Whitman praised her for being. >
- Known as the "Queen Mother of the Civil Rights Movement," Septima Clark was a leader in the NAACP, the Highlander School, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Working together with Esau Jenkins and Bernice Robinson, she helped establish Citizenship Schools across the South. These schools taught black people to read so they could vote, a requirement of the time. In all, these schools enabled two million African-Americans to vote. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he asked Mrs. Clark to accompany him to Norway, saying she deserved the award as much as he did.
– Freedom's Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark - Read more about one of South Carolina's most important heroines.
Elizabeth Boatwright Coker - Renowned author, poet, and lecturer, Elizabeth Boatwright Coker based her writings on exhaustive historical research. (Click link, then scroll down for biography.)
Affra Harleston Coming - owned Comingtree Plantation
- Elected in 1988 to the SC circuit court, Judge Connor was as the first woman to serve as an acting member of the South Carolina Supreme Court.
- Beryl Dakers - first African American on-air news reporter for WIS radio
- Born in Charleston, this professional golfer is one of only three LPGA players to win "Rookie of the Year" and then "Player of the Year" the very next season.
- Born at Singleton Plantation in St Matthews, Viola is the only black woman to be nominated three times for an Academy Award and the only African-American to win the "Triple Crown of Acting" earning two Tonys for King Hedley II (2001) and Fences (2010), an Emmy for TV's How To Get Away With Murder (2015), and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the screen version of Fences (2017).
Nancy Jane Day - first library supervisor of South Carolina's state schools
Ophelia DeVore-Mitchell - early African-American fashion model, founder of modeling agency
Nettie DuRant Dickerson - aviation pioneer and founder of Bankair
Peggy Dillard-Toone - model
Margaret Abner Dixon, Ed.D. - educator, volunteer
"Tillie" Maude Odell Doremus - stage actress
Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr - An author from an early age, Julia Dorr's first work was published in 1848 when her husband sent one of her poems to a magazine without her knowledge. Click link then scroll down.
– Bibliography of Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr
- Charity Edna Adams Earley - Lieutenant Colonel, US Army
- A native of Bennettsville, Marian Wright Edelman broke barriers in 1964 when she became the first African-American female admitted to the Mississippi Bar. She went on to found the Washington Research Project, which in turn became the Children's Defense Fund. In 2000, she was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. The Marian Wright Edelman Public Library opened its doors in 2010 to serve all residents of Marlboro County.
Frances Ravenel Smythe Edmunds - early director of Historic Charleston Foundation
- In 1924, she was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina. A short time later she was hired as the first female faculty member of the University of South Carolina. She established the university's chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
- A fervent patriot, Susannah Smith Elliott presented two elegant flags to Colonel Moultrie at what is today known as Fort Moultrie. One flag was red silk and the other was blue, emblazoned with the Latin words meaning "Liberty is more to be desired than Life." The British captured the flags upon the fall of Charleston and delivered them to the Tower of London.
– Hut Plantation - Home of Susannah Smith Elliott
- As Superintendent of Education in rural Jasper County , she sought to improve the education of African-Americans. In 1928, she became the first woman elected to the South Carolina State Senate. In 1995, the General Assembly passed a resolution commissioning her portrait for the Senate Chamber.
- The "Fabulous Moolah" was a pioneer and dominant figure in the development of women's wrestling. She reigned as World Champion longer than any other wrestler in history, man or woman, with titles spanning from 1956 to 1987.
- - Shannon Faulkner won a 1995 US Supreme Court ruling that declared The Citadel's male-only admissions policy unconstitutional. She became the first woman to join the Corps of Cadets, where hostility and hatred towards her ran rampant. During this time she had to be protected by federal marshals. She left the Corps after just one week, but she opened the doors for all future female cadets, who owe their educations in large part to her groundbreaking effort.
– Life After The Citadel: Shannon Faulkner Reflects on Her Historic Battle with the Elite Military College - ABC News report, includes video
- Emily Geiger was a teenager during the Revolutionary War. Though her father's health prevented him from enlisting, Emily decided to make a contribution to the effort. Learning that General Greene could not find a man to carry a message to General Sumter through the Tory-infested countryside, Emily volunteered for the task. Captured by the British, Emily's quick thinking led to her release – with apologies! To keep her document from being discovered, Emily tore it into small pieces and ate it. Having memorized the message, she went on to deliver it verbally.
– Source documents on Emily Geiger
Frances Guignard Gibbes- first woman to attend South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina)
Sarah Reeve Gibbes - The epitome of a Southern woman in the Revolutionary War! When the British surrounded her house, Sarah was so gracious they treated the Gibbes family with utmost respect during the occupation of Peaceful Retreat Plantation. As American troops arrived to end the siege, Sarah collected her family, which consisted of her invalid husband, their eight children, and the six (?) children of her deceased sister-in-law, and fled to a neighboring plantation amidst flying bullets. The Gibbes would return to their home but war still raged on all around them. Sarah's nephew was found badly wounded and left on a nearby battlefield for dead. With pure determination, she nursed him back to health.
- The talents of this Hartsville native encompass many genres of entertainment. Her professional and civic accomplishments have been recognized by both a Congressional Horizon Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has also won three Emmy Awards.
- Shattering 1950s racial barriers, this Sumter County native became the first African American to win world-championship tennis tournaments such as Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Championship, and the US National Championship (known today as the US Open).
– Detailed biographical info
– Includes info on tennis record
- Her first poem was published without her permission when she was only 16. In time, Charleston's adopted daughter would go on to write poems, magazine articles, and books, becoming the South's most famous female writer of the late 1900s.
– Recollections of a Southern Matron - memoir written by Caroline Howard Gilman
>Kate Gleason- businesswoman
>Maggie Wallace Glover - first black woman to serve in South Carolina's state senate
- The Glover family left Orangeburg in 1955 when Vivian's dad received threats as a result of his role in the Civil Rights movement. Though she would travel the world with her career in media, Vivian always felt the tug of home. Her acclaimed book, The First Fig Tree, is set in Orangeburg, where she returned to live in 1992.
edna Janie Glymph Goree - SC's first African-American female mayor
- In 1931, this Laurens County native conducted successful scientific experiments to prove blacks could learn as well as whites. Determined to end illiteracy among South Carolinians, she pioneered adult education programs. She is remembered by her portrait which hangs in the State House, as well as by the school she founded, the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School.
Mary Putnam Gridley - first female mill president in SC
Frances "Fanny" Beal Griffin - Revolutionary War wagon driver
Alberta Tucker Grimes - She organized the first SC Head Start program and was also the first African-American woman to serve as a member on the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.
- - Born in Bamberg, Nimrata "Nikki" Randhawa Haley's Sikh parents immigrated from India in the 1960s. She first ran for political office in 2004 and was elected to the SC House of Representatives – becoming the first Indian-American to hold office in our state. In 2010, she became the first female governor of South Carolina. In January 2017, Haley resigned as Governor of South Carolina after being confirmed as US Ambassador to the United Nations.
Lugenia Key Hammond - community leader
- Captain Hampton was the first female pilot in the United States Army to be killed by enemy fire.
- Hailing from Saluda, she was the first female graduate of the Civilian Pilot Training Program at the University of South Carolina and the first woman to receive a pilot's license in the 11 Southeastern states. She was such a skilled pilot that she would go on to train Navy V-5 aviation cadets in 1941, and in 1943 she was selected to serve as one of World War II's famous WASPs (Women's Auxiliary Service Pilots).
- This US Army nurse from Swansea served in the Philippines during World War II, an effort for which she was awarded a Purple Heart. Her book entitled I Served on Bataan became the basis for the 1943 movie So Proudly We Hail.
Claire Miller Hopkins - artist
- Eau Claire High School's "Miss Shamrock 1978" is still shining bright as a meteorologist featured weekdays on NBC's New York City affiliate and also appeared on the weekend edition of the Today show.
- Born at Woodburn Plantation just one generation out of slavery, Jane Edna Harris Hunter had a tenuous childhood. From an early age, she moved from one household to another, working to earn her keep. Finally her desire for education was recognized by missionaries, and she was allowed to attend school. She would go on to earn both nursing and law degrees. Longing to help other young girls, she founded the Phillis Wheatley Association in Greenville.
- This Due West daughter has made an international mark on the field of journalism. The NAACP's Legal Defense Fund helped her break the color barrier at the University of Georgia in the early 1960s. She graduated with a degree in journalism and immediately became the first African-American reporter for The New Yorker. In 1978 she gained a national television audience as a correspondent on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. She then moved on to be the chief correspondent in Africa for National Public Radio. Building on this expertise, she next worked in Johannesburg as the Bureau Chief for CNN. Hunter-Gault has received two Emmy Awards for her work on the series "Apartheid's People." She has also earned the New York Times Publisher Award and two Peabody Awards. She is author of the 2006 book entitled New News out of Africa: Uncovering Africa's Renaissance.
- When Anna's sister introduced her to sculpture at the age of eight, she was hooked! Over the years, Anna fine-tuned her craft and became a world-renowned artist. After marrying, she and her husband searched for a winter home. They found themselves captivated with Georgetown and proceeded to purchase four plantations, one of which became Brookgreen Gardens.
– Atalaya - Anna's home (now part of Huntington Beach State Park)
Alice Wyche Hurley - social worker
Helen von Kolnitz Hyer - South Carolina Poet Laureate
- - Legend holds that Issaqueena Falls in Oconee County was named for a young Indian maiden who warned settlers of her tribe's plan to attack. Her betrayal angered her tribe and they chased her through the forest to the waterfall. She pretended to jump in the water but instead hid behind the 100-foot cascade until the pursuers gave up their search.
- - This master craftswoman elevates the utilitarian sweetgrass basket to a high art. Ms. Jackson learned to make baskets at the knees of her mother and grandmother when she was just a child. As an adult, she began to realize that the baskets, made by so many in her Mount Pleasant community, represented a link to her own African ancestry. Her baskets have been exhibited in major museums throughout the country, including the Smithsonian, and in 2008 she was honored with the coveted MacArthur "Genius Grant."
Dr. Sara Dunlap Jackson - This native of Columbia went to work at the National Archive in Washington, DC in 1944. During her 46-year career there, she mentored an entire generation of archivists who came behind her and she earned a reputation as "Archivist Extraordinaire" among her peers. Her areas of expertise included western, military, social, and African-American topics.
– Memorial Tribute: Remembering Sara Dunlap Jackson
- Born in 1935, this Ridgeway native loved baseball. However, because she was African American, she was not allowed to be part of the sport's women's league. Luckily, a scout for the all-male Negro League saw her throw and quickly signed her to the Indianapolis Clowns, where she pitched three seasons. At one of her early games, an opponent is said to have shouted, "What makes you think you can strike a batter out? Why, you aren't any larger than a peanut!" She struck him out in three pitches and the nickname stuck!
Mamie "Peanut" Johnson - b. 1935 - only woman to pitch for Negro Major League
Henrietta de Beaulieu Dering Johnston - Her husband's surviving letters indicate she may well have been the first woman in America to work as a professional artist. She had become an accomplished portraitist when she lived in England and later, Ireland. In 1708 her second husband became the Rector at St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Charleston. When his salary was repeatedly delayed, his letters to the Society of the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts revealed that her paintings generated important income for the family. One of his letters stated, "were it not for the assistance my wife gives by drawing of pictures . I should not be able to live."
Clara Louise Kellogg - b. 1842, d. 1916 - opera singer
- Born on an Orangeburg County cotton farm in 1927, Eartha Kitt became a world-famous entertainer with her own star on Hollywood Boulevard. Her 1953 recording of Santa Baby and her recurring role as Catwoman on TV's Batman are familiar examples of her work. While many of her roles epitomized the Hollywood stereotype of "sex kitten," her social consciousness often made it difficult for her to land jobs. Her refusal to perform for segregated audiences effectively relegated her to European venues in the 1940s and 50s. In the 1970s, she was blacklisted by the American entertainment industry when she spoke out against Vietnam at a White House luncheon. But Eartha Kitt's career came back, time and time again. In 1997 she returned to South Carolina to perform a benefit concert at Benedict College, which helped establish a scholarship fund for dance students.
- - She played an Englishwoman in her first major movie role, but her lines were dubbed because her Southern drawl could not be concealed. Despite that unpromising start, she has enjoyed a successful acting career with Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress in Sex, Lies, and Videotape in 1989, Green Card in 1990, and Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994. Once we were allowed to hear it, many people felt her lovely Gaffney accent only enhanced her talent and beauty
Judith Giton Manigault - b. 1665, d. 1711 - one of the few women among the 160 persons who settled near present day Charleston under a grant from King Charles II of England - Her husband and sons were prominent and amassed significant wealth.
Celia Mann - b. 1799, d. 1867 - freed slave and mid-wife - prominent in Columbia.
Linda Martell - b. 1946 - country-western singer
Grace and Rachel Martin - Revolutionary War patriots
Maria Martin - This Charlestonian was a painter whose work was featured in John James Audubon's natural history books.
– Lecture notes including audio about Maria Martin
- Ms. Matthews has held many leadership positions and was twice appointed to national posts by President Ronald Reagan. In 2013, the Lake City native was elected vice president of Rotary International, the first woman to serve in this position.
- In 1940 she became the first African-American woman admitted to the SC Bar. Ten years later, working in Atlanta and active in the NAACP, she assisted Thurgood Marshall on cases which ultimately overturned the legality of segregated public facilities in the South.
Catherine McKee McCottry, M.D. - b. 1921 - medical doctor - born and educated in NC and at Howard. Came to Charleston with her husband. She was first female African-American OBGYN in Charleston and helped integrated the hospital system.
Carrie Allen McCray - b. 1913 - author, one of the founders of SC Writers Workshop
Janie L. Mines - military, business, and youth leader
- In the 1970s, she championed innovations in childcare for poor working families. She became the first Executive Director of United Communities for Child Development, which worked to promote community-controlled childcare centers. The UCCD model was replicated in other Southern states and Ms. Mitchell became sought after as a consultant at both national and international levels. She is the recipient of the John D. Rockefeller, III, Public Service Award as well as the Marian Wright Edelman Award for Service to Children.
Penina Moise - was born into a large, Jewish family in Charleston in the late 18th century. She wrote poetry and newspaper articles and taught school. She wrote over 190 hymns, some of which remained in the Reform movement's hymnal through the early 20th century.
– More about Penina Moise
- Annie Greene Nelson - b. 1902, d. 1993 - first black woman in SC to write and publish a novel
- - This native of Manning wrote a wide range of children's books but she is best remembered for the Amelia Bedelia series that debuted in 1963.
– More about Peggy Parish including list of Amelia Bedelia titles
- Born at Fort Jackson, Mary Louise Parker's acting career in films, theater, and TV has blossomed since the late 1980s. Her work includes roles in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes and the TV shows West Wing and Weeds. In 2001, Parker won a Tony Award for her work in the Broadway production of Proof, and in 2004 she took home an Emmy for her role in the HBO production of Angels in America.
- The daughter of one-time South Carolina governor Olin Johnston, Liz spent her career in public service. In 1986, she was the first women to be elected to represent South Carolina in the US Congress and would serve three-terms in this position.
Miss James M. Perry - b. 1894, d. 1964 - first woman admitted to South Carolina Bar Association
- In 1929, her novel Scarlet Sister Mary won the Pulitzer Prize for literature. She is remembered for her non-stereotypical depictions of black people, whom she treated with a wholeness and humanity unknown to white writers of the time. This honest outlook earned her the disdain and rebuke of her social class, which ostracized her from its ranks.
– Langs Syne - Julia Peterkin's plantation
- As a planter, she was responsible for the success of indigo as a cash crop in Colonial South Carolina. As a businesswoman, she was savvy enough to realize the growing textile industry was a ripe market for new dyes. Working on her farm near Charleston, she methodically experimented and developed improved strains of indigo. In 1745, only 5,000 pounds of indigo were exported from the Charleston area. Within two years, Eliza's efforts increased that volume to 130,000 pounds.
Josephine Lyons Scott Pinckney - b. 1895, d. 1957 - author
– Eldorado - Home of Josephine Lyons Scott Pinckney
- Queen of the Cofitachiqui - The Cofitachiqui ("ko-fit-a-cheeky") were considered one of the most highly civilized tribes of their time. This reputation prompted de Soto to locate the tribe. He kidnapped their leader and demanded that she take him to places of great wealth. After several days, the Queen of the Cofitachiqui escaped, accompanied by several of de Soto's men.
– de Soto's 1540 encounter with Queen of the Cofitachiqui
Jacqueline Rhinehart - b. 1958 - VP of marketing, black music, Universal Records
- Marguerite Eulalie Chaffe Salley - In 1915, ignoring criticism for overstepping her bounds as wife and mother, Marguerite Eulalie Chaffe Salley founded her own real estate company in Aiken which grew to be a successful business venture. After women were granted the right to vote in 1920, Salley continued to advocate for women's rights.
– Eulalie Salley purchased Edgewood Plantation and moved the house to Aiken County where it still stands as the Pickens-Salley House
- Raised on a peach farm near Rock Hill, acclaimed author Dori Sanders writes about what she knows best – farm life and family ties. Her first novel, Clover, published in 1990, became both a best seller and a literary award winner. Ms. Sanders still works on her family's farm, writing and speaking at schools and libraries during the off-season.
- The 1930s and 40s were bleak years for rural South Carolina, especially in the mill towns of the Upstate, where each year people died by the thousands from malnourishment and the lack of basic medical care. During her long career, this Spartanburg physician fought valiantly against everything from pellagra to child abuse. Our state led the nation in maternal and infant mortality, and perhaps her most important accomplishment was to establish America's first family planning clinic for a county health department. She was also our state's first female health officer at a time when there were only 40 female doctors in all of South Carolina.
– More on Hilla Sherrif - In-depth article by American Journal of Public Health examines Dr. Sherriff's profound importance
- Born in Columbia in 1899, Ms. Simkins was a school teacher who was active in the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP. Her experience in the classroom helped attorneys shape a critical lawsuit against Clarendon County. The case became one of a group of similar suits from around the South that led to the US Supreme Court's 1954 decision that separate schools were not equal and thus violated the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
Bennie Lee Sinclair - b. 1939, d. 2000 - South Carolina Poet Laureate, 1986-2000
Marlena Smalls - founder of Hallelujah Singers and Gullah Festival, actress
- This South Carolina native serves as the Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon.
- This renowned artist was an influential leader of Charleston's thriving art community during what has come to be known as the Charleston Renaissance. In rural landscapes and city scenes, the work of Smith and her contemporaries, notably Elizabeth O'Neill Verner, conveyed a distinctive sense of place which endures as iconic of South Carolina's Lowcountry.
Laodicea "Dicey" Langston Springfield - b. 1759, d. 1837 - Revolutionary War heroine
Lena Jones Wade Springs - d. 1942 - first woman nominated for vice president of the United States
- Ms. Stevenson was first elected to the state legislature as a representative from Charleston in 1975. In 1979 she won her election to become South Carolina's first, and to date only, female Lieutenant Governor. While in office, she established a telephone hotline for citizens to more easily access information about services provided by state government.
- Lily Teresa Strickland was born in 1884 in Anderson. Her family encouraged her musical studies which included Lily receiving a scholarship to the prestigious Institute of Musical Arts in New York, the forerunner to Juilliard. Lily lived and traveled extensively overseas with her husband's job and published 395 pieces over her lifetime.
- - Defying expectations of women in the Revolutionary War era, stories of Jane Thomas reveal her as a fearless foe and first-class friend to the Patriot cause. While her husband fought elsewhere, Jane was left "tending the home fires" of their Spartanburg County farm. Tory troops arrived to capture a supply of ammunition stored on the Thomas property. As soldiers approached the house, Jane and her young children formed a production line and fed bullets as fast as they could to her brother-in-law, Josiah Culbertson. Culbertson fired from one window of the cabin then moved to another so rapidly the Tories thought they were up against a large Patriot guard. Finally, Jane burst out of the cabin, sword in hand, and dared the Tories to advance further. Intimidated, they retreated and the ammunition was saved for America. This remarkable tale of bravery is recorded on the tombstone of one of Jane's daughters in a Union County cemetery.
- As editor and publisher of the South Carolina Gazette, she was America's first female newspaper owner, editor, and publisher. Her husband Lewis began the paper with financial backing from Benjamin Franklin but died in 1738. To continue publication and fulfill their contact with Franklin, the couple's 13 year-old son Peter was named publisher on the Gazette's masthead however it was Elizabeth who edited and published the paper for the next eight years. At the time, the printing process was extremely labor intensive and printed materials were highly prized. When 21-year-old Peter took over the paper in 1746, Elizabeth opened a bookstore and continued to provide books and pamphlets to the colonists of Charles Towne.
- This Columbia native became the first woman to serve as a Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court in 1988 and served as Chief Justice from 2000 until her retirement in 2015.
Jean Hoefer Toal - Justice Toal is the first woman to serve as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Carolina. In 1988, she became the first woman to be appointed as an Associate Justice to the High Court. In 2000, she was appointed to complete her predecessor's unfinished term of Chief Justice, and in 2004, she was elected to serve an additional 10-year term.
- In 1862, this dedicated abolitionist moved from Pennsylvania to St. Helena Island, near Beaufort. Here, after an early and resounding Union defeat, white owners had abandoned 10,000 former slaves. Ms. Towne was one of many northern educators and missionaries who moved south to help these emancipated men and women build new lives. She was unique in that she stayed, making St. Helena her lifelong home. She opened Penn School, known today as Penn Center, where students learned reading and writing along with marketable skills like basket-making, cobbling, and carpentry.
Henrie Monteith Treadwell - educator, scientist, first African-American woman admitted to USC
- Her mother hoped she would become a nurse, but this Aiken native dreamt of flying. She made both of their wishes come true during her 30-year nursing career in the Air National Guard. Even better, she became the National Guard's first African-American woman to achieve the rank of General!
- Angelica Singleton Van Buren - b. 1817, d. 1877 - daughter-in-law of President Martin Van Buren and served as his White House hostess
– Home House Plantation - plantation where Angelica Singleton Van Buren was raised
- In 1938 she became the first woman from South Carolina elected to the US Congress. Her first husband was Representative Allard Henry Gasque, a Democrat who represented the 6th District. When he died in office, she won a special election to fill his seat. She served the remaining three months of his term and did not seek re-election. She later married J. F. Van Exem and continued to contribute to public life as a writer and lecturer.
– Cedar Tree Plantation - Elizabeth Hawley Gasque Van Exem's plantation
- - Born in Bamberg, she established herself as a major soul singer with Dusty Springfield once declaring her as her all-time favorite singer.
Dr. Clemmie E. Webber - Professor of Chemisty at South Carolina State University and mother of three, she was named National Mother of the Year in 1983. Early proponent of women's rights and co-founder of the literacy movement in SC.
Helena Wells - b. 1757, d. 1824 - first South Carolina novelist - works include Constantia NevilleHer significance was as a published female author of fiction and non-fiction in the late 1700s, early 1800s. She was born in Charleston, was loyal to the King. She moved to London where she worked as a governess and wrote there, so her notoriety is quite removed from South Carolina.Her novels were: The Stepmother: a domestic Tale from real life, 1798, 2 vols. and Constantia Neville or, The West Indian, 1800. 3 vols.
- She has been South Carolina's Poet Laureate since 2003.
- Born in 1912 at Fort Motte in Calhoun County, the future Dr. Weston moved to South Carolina's state capital to attend high school. From there she received her bachelor's degree from Benedict College and her master's degree from Columbia University in New York. Upon returning to South Carolina, she served as a professor of education at her alma mater, Benedict College, for 35 years. In 1962, she was the first woman to receive a doctorate from the historically-black school. Dr. Weston was elected State Secretary of the Progressive Democratic Party in 1946. She helped lead voter registration efforts during the early Civil Rights era, and she was a powerful advocate for women in politics throughout her life. She attended the Democratic National Convention multiple times, and was in fact the first African-American woman from South Carolina to do so. She traveled extensively during her career and often lectured about politics and race. President Harry Truman appointed her to the National Committee for the Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth.
- In 1868, her biography of Martin R. Delany was published under the pen name Frank A. Rollin, making her the first African American to publish a full-length biography. Her diary from the same year survives as the earliest known diary by a southern black woman.
Dr. Ionia R. Whipper - c. 1874-1953 - doctor and social activist, founder of the Ionia R. Whipper Home
- A formidable Civil Rights pioneer, Lucille Whipper was elected to various state and local offices. She also spearheaded the founding of the Avery Institute at the College of Charleston, a nationally-recognized repository of African-American history. In Charleston, a stretch of US 17 is named in her honor.
- America's most iconic game show hostess has flipped the letters on Wheel of Fortune since 1982. She grew up in North Myrtle Beach.
– Wheel of Fortune's Vanna page - Tour Vanna's dressing room, see her 7,000+ dresses, and more for fans of this Grand Strand Girl!
- An early South Carolina naturalist, Hannah Williams explored the marshlands surrounding her home on the Ashley River in the late 1600s. The samples of plants, animals, and butterflies she sent back to England were added to the official catalog of natural resources in the New World.
- In 1974 Juanita Goggins became the first African-American woman elected to the SC House of Representatives. Other significant "firsts" include being the first African-American woman to serve on the US Civil Rights Commission and the first African-American female member of South Carolina's delegation to the Democratic National Convention. Mrs. Goggins suffered from mental illness later in her life and froze to death in her home in 2010.
Kate V. Wofford - As Superintendent of the Laurens County School Board, Kate Wofford was the first women elected to public office in South Carolina. Her scholarly writings on elementary education were internationally recognized. She was also among the first women to enlist in the US Navy during WWI.
- Dr. Anne Austin Young - b. 1892, d. 1989 - physician, helped deliver an estimated 11,000 babies
Nellie Jackson Sch - History
Various American Indian Records
Note by FOC: I probably have duplicated much of Pony's information, and may have mixed it in time. All such errors are mine alone, and do not reflect on the fascinating collection of records submitted by Pony. I will try to straighten this out as time permits. My primary interest was in getting this information on the web quickly.
Early Court Records of Jackson County Florida
All records located in basement level, Jackson Co, Courthouse, Marianna, Florida
Nov. 1857 STATE V. GRANDISON HICKS: "Giving Liquor to a Negro" -found guilty on two charges verdict set aside new trial
THOMAS J. PERKINS executor of the estate of JAMES M. WILLIAMS deceased V. ELI P. MOORE
BALTZELL & WIDGEN V. GRANDISON HICKS: "Debt"
STATE V. JAMES BUTTS: "Adultery & fornication with free mulatto" -indictment quashed on motion of Defendant questioned applicability of the law.
Dec. 1857 STATE V. GRANDISON HICKS: "Giving Liquor to a Negro" Grandison Hicks appeared to present bond Horace Ely and Robert Dickson as sureties .state prosecutor refused to prosecute.
STATE V. ALFRED BAZZELL: "Giving Liquor to a person of color" State prosecutor refused to prosecute.
THOMAS W. GAUTIER in behalf of a man of color named DICK V. WILLIAM CLARK: "Debt"
Nov. 1858 HUGH RUSK V. SAMUEL H. IRELAND: "Debt"
STATE V. GRANDISON HICKS: "Giving Liquor to a slave" Found guilty .sentenced to 99 lashes on his full back.
STATE V. ALFRED BAZZELL: "Giving Liquor to person of color" Found guilty .sentenced to one month in prison.
STATE V. WASHINGTON, a slave: "assault with intent to kill a white Person"
STATE V. JOHN AMMONS: "murder" Transported to Calhoun County to hold till Court date.
STATE V. DAVID BUNCH: "carry arms secret"
July 1859 STATE V. CATO, a slave: "Rape" Transported to Calhoun County to hold till Court date.
STATE V. MARY, a slave: "Arson"
May 1860 STATE V. JOHN BOGGS: "assault with intent to kill"
STATE V. SHURARD SCOTT: "carry arms secretly" Martha E. (Scott) Hill called as witness for defense .
STATE V. AARON DAVIS: "selling spirituous liquors to a person of Color"
April 1861 STATE V. ADAM, a slave: "burning a gin house"
THOMAS H. SCOTT V. JAMES W. PONDER: "debt"
ALDERMAN, MOORE & CO. V. SAMUEL H. IRELAND: "debt"
MARTHA J. PAGE V. ISAAC PERKINS: "debt"
FOR COPIES CONTACT: Reference Services South Carolina Dept. of Archives & History 8301 Parklane Road Columbia, SC 29223
Series:L10018 item:022A Date:June 19, 1819
John Matthews and others (Indians and Free Blacks) Vs. Samuel Burger, tax collector and John Cleary, Sherrif both of Charleston District
Series:S213003 volume: 0JW page:604 Date:March 3, 1843
Ansley Davis, an Indian or the descendent of a Free Indian woman, to Joseph DeReef, bill of sale for a slave named Fanny and her children.
Series:S165005 item:67 Date:December 7, 1858
Committee on the Colored Population, report on a resolution of inquiry on imposing the capitation tax on Egyptians and Indians , as now on Free Blacks, mulattoes, and mestizoes. (4pages)
Series:S165015 item:12 Date:December 9, 1859 Edgefield District SC
Frederick Chavis and other free persons of color, petition inquiring if persons of Indian descent are considered to be free persons of color and liable for the poll tax. (2pages)
(mentions names of Frederick Chavis, Lewis Chavis, Durany Chavis, James Jones, Bartley Jones, Mary Jones, Jonathan Williams, Polly Dunn - - "Two among them, Polly Dunn and Bartley Jones, are free people of color, but their ages-sixteen and seventeen years-exclude them from being taxed. Six others do not qualify under the term "free person of color" as they are of Indian ancestry.")
Series:S165015 item:88 Date:November 20, 1828
Betty Hunter, a supposed mulatto, petition and supporting papers, since she has been compelled to pay double taxes as a free negro under a misconception, she requests a refund. (12 pages)
(mentions names of Betty Hunter, Robert Foster, Isaac Going, Rebekah Going, Absalam Bailey)
Series:S165015 item:12 Date:October 21, 1836
Sally Kelch, a supposed mulatto, petition to be refunded a double tax and questioning the applicability of the tax. (2pages)
Series:S213003 Vol:002H page:212 Date:1750
George Hunter, surveyor general of SC to Andrew Deveaux, surveyor of Indian lands in Granville County, appointment and instructions as deputy surveyor.
Series:S213003 Vol:021 page:551 Date:1753
Alexander Wood of St. James Goose Creek Parish, planter, to his half breed Indian slaves named Dukey Cox and George Cox, born of his Indian slave named Jenny, and Minerva Watkins, born of his Indian slave named Moll, manumission upon his death.
Series: S213197 Box:01 item:023 Date:1767
Robert Anderson, unrecorded plat for land not granted, 100 acres known as Indian springs, Craven County, between the Chawraws and pine tree hill, surveyed by John Wade.
Series:S165005 item:036 Date:December 17, 1791
Committee report on the petition of Simeon Spring, Thomas Brown, and George Sutusky, beloved men of the Chickasaw Nation, petitioning asking that their lands on the Savannah River, which were confiscated in 1783, may be returned.
Series:S165015 item:011 Date:1820
Sally Nicholson, native of the Cherokee Nation, petition asking to be allowed to possess a certain tract of land beside the Keowee River.
Series:S165015 item:032 Date:1821
Inhabitants of SC, petition and supporting papers asking that John McKenzie be allowed to practice his method of Choctaw Indian herbal medicine. (52 pages)
Series:S108092 reel:067 frame:0455 Date:1822
Peter Harris, a Catawba Warrior, petition and supporting papers requesting a compensation for Revolutionary service.
Series:S165015 item:26 Date:1855
Trustees of the Fishing Creek Seminary, petition and supporting papers, for the payment of the tuition of George Alexander, a Catawba Indian. (8 pages)
F.P.O.C. Petitions from several States
Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11085911 Location: Adams C. MS year:1859
Natchez free woman of color Agnes Eahart asks for a special license to remain in Mississippi. She is the mother of many children-Elizabeth, Andrew, Mary, Margaret, David, Napoleon, Emma, Elina, William, Almon, and Melvin-all born free and she can post a $5,000 good behavior bond.
Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11285610 Location:Northampton Co. NC year:1856
Northampton Co. residents seek a law allowing three free black families to remain in the State. They assert that Anthony Copeland, Warren Boon, and Joshua Small, moved from Virginia to NC between 1840 and 1844, married colored women from the County. Copeland, a brick layer by trade, and the other men, are industrious, honest and law abiding. The free men of color were unaware of the NC law prohibiting free blacks from entering the State.
Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11279002 Location:Gates Co. NC year:1790
The petitioners request the legislature to pass a law validating acquisition of land by a group of descendants of Indians and blacks. In 1724 the Chowan Indians received 11,360 acres of land in Chowan County, later Gates Co. The Indians sold most of the land. The Indian men all died, and the women "mixed with negroes." The free blacks and their mixed-blood children served as soldiers for the colonials in the Revolution. Supported by William Lewis, Samuel Harrell, and other white men, they seek title to "small remnants of the aforesaid tract of land."
Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11484304 Location:McMinn Co. TN year:1843
George Sherman arrived in the state in 1839 and now asks permission to remain in Tennessee. A certificate signed by a notary public in New York states that he is of "mulatto" complexion with wooly hair and is "an Indian, one of the Narragansett tribe."
Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11678401 Location:Northampton Co, VA year:1784
A six-hundred acre Indian reservation has become "An asylum for free negro & other disorderly persons, who build huts thereon & pillage & destroy the timber without control." There are only five or six of the Gingaskin tribe left on the land. The petitioners request that the trustees be appointed to lay off "a convenient part of the said land" for the Indians while leasing out and taxing the remainder. The rents would be divided among the Gingaskin.
Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11684302 Location:King William C. VA year:1843
Free holders and other white inhabitants of King William County ask the legislature to sell fifteen hundred acres on the Pamunky River and other lands that were set apart during the colonial era for the Pamunky Indians. The lands were only "set apart," not "granted away." "Now the Pamunkys form only a small remnant of the population, having so largely mingled with the negro race as to have obliterated all striking features of Indian extraction." The lands, the petitioners state, are now inhabited by two "unincorporated bands of free mulattoes in the midst of a large slave holding community."
More f.p.o.c. Petitions from various States
"That all free Negroes, mulattos, or Indians (except tributary Indians to this government) male and female, above the age of sixteen, and all wives of such Negroes, mulattos, or Indians shall be accounted tithables"
May 28, 1745 - Louisa Co. VA
"Ordered that William Hall, Samuel Collins, Thomas Collins, William Collins, Samuel Bunch, George Gibson, Benjamin Branham, Thomas Gibson, and William Donathan be summoned to appear at the next Court to answer the presentment of the Grand jury this day made against them for concealing tithables within twelve months past."
November 6, 1752 - Henrico Co. VA
Grand Jury presentment against Thomas Moseley, David Going, James Matthews, and William Gwinn for not listing their wives as tithables, "being mulattos". Presentment against Jane Scott, Patt Scott, Lucy Scott, Betty Scott, Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Scott, and Hannah the wife of John Scott for not listing as tithables, "being mulattos."
Grand jury presentment against William Chandler, Shadrack Gowin, Peter Rickman and Phillip Dennum for concealing a tithable.
"every white person male of the age of sixteen years and upwards all Negroes Mulattoes Mustees male or female and all persons of mixt blood to the fourth generation male and female of the age of twelve years and upwards shall be tithables."
Edward Harris refused to pay the tax on his wife (the daughter of William Chavis).
August 1756 - Edgecombe Co. NC
Edward Gowen was prosecuted for concealing tithables.
Joseph Gowen, Thomas Gowen, and Michael Gowen refused to list their wives.
Edward Gowen refused to list his wife.
Francis Jenkins, a Mustee, indicted for failing to list his wife.
Petition of Stephen Carrol for services while he pursued accused murderer Johnathan Chavers, a free man of color also called John White. He finally captured Chavers and placed him in jail at Fayetteville.
"seeking to repeal the Act for imposing a poll tax on all free Negroes, Mustees, and Mulattoes. They wish to support the Government, but the poll tax caused great hardship among free women of color, especially widows with large families. Tax collectors hunted them down and extorted payment." Petitioners: Isaac Linagear, Isaac Mitchell, Jonathan Price, Spencer Bolton, William N. Swett, and 29 other unnamed f.p.o.c.
"Sundry female persons of color" resident in Richland District petitioned the Senate concerning the discriminatory tax levied on them. Petitioners: Elizabeth Harris, Dicey Nelson, Lydady Harris, Keziah Harris, Clarissa Harris, Elenor Harris, Katherine Rawlinson, Elizabeth Wilson, Jerry Sweat, Sarah Jacobs, Sarah Wilson, Sarah Holley, Edey Welsch, Sarah Bolton, Nancy Grooms, Mary Jeffers, Sarah Jeffers, Mary Jacobs, Rachel Portee, and Sarah Portee.
Petition to the Senate to excuse "people of color and free Negroes" who paid property tax from also having to pay the capitation tax. Petitioners: Jehu Jones, Thomas Inglis, James Mitchell, Isaac Austin, William Clark, John Livingston, William Cooper, William Pinceel, Joseph Humphries, Phillip Manuel, Robert Hopton, Corlus Huger, James Wilson, C.G. Pinceel, George Logan, Peter Robertson, Henry Chatters, Richard Holloway, William Eden, John Martin, Morris Brown, Abraham Jacobs, Ed Chrighton, George Chrigton, John Francis, Jehu Jones jr., George H. Bedon, Moses Irving.
August 1809 - Marion Dist. SC
Thomas Hagans refused to pay the levy "upon all Free Negros, Mulatoes and Mestizos," claiming he was a white man. In October 1812 the Court ruled that he was of Portuguese descent and acquitted him.
Free man of color, John Chavis, submitted in 1823 a petition to secure a pension for Revoluntionary War service. Although it was denied, it was only because Chavis did not have a white guardian. Chavis was killed when a tree fell on him.
Petition by 12 residents regarding Malachi Hagins, was married to a white woman and the couple had 10 children. Asked Legislature to extend to Hagins and his children "all the rights, privileges and immunities of a free white person of this state."
Warren Co. whites petition that a 60 year old free man of color names Jordan Cheever, who fought as a soldier in the War of 1812, be permitted to remain in the state.
Ann, Caldwell, a free woman of color, asks for a special Act to allow her to remain in the state.
Citizens write on behalf of Wiley Wiggins, a 22 year old free person of color, who had lived in the area 6 years.
James Gambol, L. Davis, Joseph Montgomery, Jerry Bell and Ralph Wheeler, petition as free persons of color ask that the State remove all legal restrictions "on account of race or color.
Free man of color, Joshua Hall, paid taxes, performed military duty, participated in the War with Britain.
Free man of color, Obadiah Going, seeks "the privileges of a citizen." He states that it is his misfortune to be the descendant of persons of mixed race.
Free man of color, Phillip Bell, age about 22 years, complains of "many inconveniences & disadvantages" particularly his inability to "prove his accounts by his own oath." As a result he cannot collect debts owed to him by whites.
Free man of color, Richard Matthews, seeks permission to marry a white woman. Matthews says he is "of the Portuguese Blood.
Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11279002 - location: Gates County, North Carolina year: 1790
"The petitioners request the legislature to pass a law validating acquisition of land by a group of descendants of Indians and blacks. In 1724 the Chowan Indians recieved 11,360 acres of land in Chowan County, later Gates County. The Indians sold most of the land. The men all died, and the women mixed with negroes. The free blacks and their mixed-blood children served as soldiers for the colonials in the Revolution. Supported by William Lewis, Samuel Harrell, and other white men, they seek title to small remnants of the aforesaid tract of land."
This petition follows a pattern common among those from people attempting to acquire land set aside for Indians. Though it is obvious that the Indians still reside on the land, they infer that the remnant families have more black than Indian blood, and so, obviously do not deserve to retain title to Indian lands. This petition does go a little overboard, however, by stating that by some mysterious circumstance, all the Indian men suddenly died, and that the remaining women all mixed with negroes. Isn't it funny how they tried to make it appear they were trying to help these people by giving them title to a small piece of the land, and releasing the rest for them to grab up?
The families subject to this petition wre listed as "Other free people" in 1790 Gates Co. NC including: Abraham Reed, Benjamin Reed, Elisha Parker, George Bennett, Hardy Robbins, Hardy Reed, James Robbins, Joseph Bennett, John Cuff, Jane Reed, James Weaver, James Boon, Micajah Reed, Muney Mitchell, Rachel Reed, Seabrook Hunter, William Hunter, William Taylor, and William Jenkins.
On June 30, 1914, O.M. McPherson published the following "A Report on the Condition and Tribal Rights of the Indians of Robeson and Adjoining Counties of North Carolina" excerpts below:
- The Croatan Indians comprise a body of mixe-blood people residing chiefly in Robeson County NC. A few of the class of people reside in Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Scotland, and Hoke Counties, NC, and in Sumter, Marlboro, and Dillon Counties, SC.
- They further have had a tradition among them that their ancestors, or some of them, came from "Roanoke in Virginia"
- excerpt of letter of Hamilton McMillan of Fayetteville NC dated July 17, 1890: "The Croatan tribe lives principally in Robeson County, NC though there is quite a number of them settled in counties adjoining in North and South Carolina. In Sumter County, SC there is a branch of the tribe, and also in east Tennessee. Whereas the Indians now living in Robeson County claim to be descendants of a friendly tribe who once resided in eastern North Carolina, on the Roanoke River."
- At one time the Croatans were known as "Redbones," and there is a street in Fayetteville so called because some of them once lived on it. They are known by this name in Sumter County, SC , where they are quiet and peaceable, and have a church of their own. They are proud and high-spirited, and caste is very strong among them.
This stands as one of the earliest references to the mixed-blood settlement in Sumter County. McMillan presented himself as a person well acquainted with the Sumter Co. people, and he proposed them to be Indians, and closely related to the present-day Lumbees.
early 1700's journal of the German Graffenrield, who often traveled with John Lawson, mentions several times the names of King Taylor, and King Hantcock, who seemed to be the influential leaders of the hostile portion of the Tuscarorora allied with some of the other coastal groups (including the Eno and others) during the Tuscarora War of 1713.
King Tom Blount is mentioned as the leader of a friendly portion of the Tuscarora who were living north of the main body of Tuscarora (in the Roanoke area) and seemed to be a mixed alliance of Nansemond, Saponny, Occanechi, Hatteras, and others, who remained in the area of the Fort Christanna section and attempted to steer clear of the War.
"Recollections of Seventy Years" Payne, Daniel Alexander (1811-1893) publishing house of the A.M.E. Sunday School Union, 1888 Nashville Tennessee:
"I was born of free parents in the city of Charleston, SC. on the 24th of February 1811. I remember my father was a man of brown complexion. it is said that he was born of free parents in the State of Virginia, but, when a mere lad, was decoyed on board a ship with cakes and amused in the cabin until the vessel was out to sea. He was taken into the port of Charleston and sold as a slave to a house and sign painter. His father was an Englishman by the name of Paine."
"As far as memory serves me my mother was of light-brown complexion. she told me that her grandmother was of the tribe of Indians known in the early history of the Carolinas as the Catawba Indians, The husband of her grandmother was a black man named Alexander Goings, who was remarkable for great bodily strength and activity."
Gideon Gibson: originally from the NC/VA border-Roanoke River area- names as administrator of the estate of Matthew Driggers on July 13, 1755. Gideon moved to SC in the 1730's and caused oncern among the white inhabitants because in 1731he came to the attention of the SC Commons House of Assembly when a member announced in chamber that several "free colored men with their white wives had immigrated from Virginia with the intention of settling on the Santee River." Gov. Robert Johnson of SC summoned Gideon and his family to explian their presence there and after meeting them reported:
"I have had them before me in council and upon examination find that they are not Negroes nor slaves but Free People, that the father of them here is named Gideon Gibson and his father was also free, I have been informed by a person who has lived in Virginia that this Gibson has lived there several years in good repute and by his papers that he produced before me that his transactions there have been very regular. That he has for several years paid taxes for two tracts of land and had seven Negroes of his own, That he is a carpenter by trade and is come hither for the support of his family. I have in consideration of his wifes being a white woman and several white women capable of working and being servicable in the country permitted him to settle in this country."
Gideon's son, Gideon Gibson (II) was living on the south side of the PeeDee River at a place called Duck Pond. On July 25, 1767 as a leader of the Regulators, Gideon was involved in a skirmish with a constable's party near Marr's Bluff on the Pee Dee River. The South Carolina Gazette reported in 15 Aug 1768 that Gibson's band of Regulator's was composed of
"gang of banditi, a numerous collection of outcast Mulattos, Mustees, Free Negroes, etc. all horse theives from the borders of Virginia and other northern Colonies. headed by one Gideon Gibson. "
Henry Laurens, a prominent Charleston Merchant, described Gideon in this way
"Reasoning from the colour carries no conviction. Gideon Gibson escaped the penalties of the Negro law by producing upon comparison more of the red and white in his face than can be discovered in the faces of half the descendants of the French refugees in our House of Assembly. "
Thomas Ivey on 14 Aug 1809 in Marion District SC, Thomas Hagan refused to pay the tax on "all Free Negroes, Mulattoes and Mestizos" claiming that he was a white man. Two white men, Robert Coleman and John Regan testified that they were acquantied with with Thomas Hagans grandfather, Thomas Ivey when he had been living on Drowning Creek in NC. They stated that Ivey was "of Portuguese descent, that his complexion was swarthy, his hair black and strait - that his wife Elizabeth was a free white woman, very clear complexion." They testified that Thomas Ivey's daughter Kesiah Ivey married Zachariah Hagan and they were the parents of Thiomas Hagan.
for an excellent website which details the early history of the eastern Siouan peoples and some of their modern day descendants in the NC/VA border refer to: http://www.ibiblio.org/dig/html look under the history portion. PONY HILL
The information I have gathered on the so-called "Turks" is due to an attempt to locate the original ancestors of my Indian community here in northwest florida. An Isham Scott (born 1790's) moved down here in 1828 from Sumter SC.
The true history of the "Turks", which can be verified by historical documentation, is that they are of American Indian ancestry from a group of Algonquin and Siouan speaking remnants who gathered at Fort Christianna on the Virginia/North Carolina border.
A group of these English speakin, Christianized Indian-White mixed-bloods was living in Halifax North Carolina at the time of the Revolutionary War, and also maintained a village among the Catawba at the NC/SC border (this village was called TURKEY TOWN). There were several families identified as Indian including Jacob Scott, Isham Scott etc.
When Thomas Sumter's home in Sumter was burned by British forces attempting to capture him, he headed NORTH (not to the coast as some have said) into the North Carolina frontier to muster men to form militias. IT was here that Sumter first linked up with these Indian mixed-bloods who readily joined his cause and caused much ruckus.
By 1810 Halifax county was begining to fill up with white people, and the Catawba tribe had leased off almost all of its land, and so, some of these Indians moved down to Sumter at the invitation of General Sumter. Scott, Benenhaley, Driggers, Oxendine, etc. Indian families first appear on the records of South Carolina in 1810.
The Benenhaley surname remains spelled almost exactly the same back to its roots among the Eastern Shore Algonquin speaking Indians of Maryland who joined the Fort Christianna Indians in the 1780's. The fictional story of the "Turks" descending from pirates, Arabs, Turkish sailors, etc. all appears to have begun with the 1930's publications of several ethnologists like Brewton Berry who interviewed local white people about their theories as to where the "Turk" label originated. These fancyful romanticized legends recounted by local townsfolk have since been recounted as fact by present-day historians.) The most plausable theory as to where the "Turk" label originated was from "Turkey Town Indians" shortened over time to "Turkey Indians" to "Turks".
These same family members who remained in Robeson, Warren, and Halifax counties NC are now known as "Lumbee" and "Haliwa-Saponi" Indians. Those of us who moved down here to Florida in 1828 are known as "Cheraw-Saponi" Indians. In 1857 several families from here (northwest Florida) joined a 'wagon train' for Louisianna and these families are now known as "RedBones". Though we have all been labeled differently by our white and black neighbors, we all descend from the same Indians.
The actual documentation does not directly disagree with the oral tradition (though the oral tradition should also be suspect unless it pre-dates 1900, as family members seperated from the Sumter core groups often read articles which "explained" their history - this was common among Melungen descendants who lived away from Tennessee, read newspaper articles about their relatives, then would "testify" that they descended from Portuguese, when the Tennessee group kept saying "We are Indians")
From what I can gather the Benehaleys of Sumter all descend from Jose Benenhaley who married Elizabeth Oxendine in Halifax (most Likely). I cannot support any serious connection between the Scott family and Benenhaley family prior to 1900, as both families lived on opposit ends of Providence district (there was never fewer that 100 households between them). IT was possible that after these families started attending the seperate "Turk" school, that a connection was assumed. The Scott family descended from Isham SCott who resided in Halifax NC and married Rebecca James.
I did find the following documentation that seems to support a Maryland origin for the Benenhaleys:
- In 1790 a "Sam Ben" (who is censused 10 years later as "Sam'l Benhnally") is censused as an "other free person" in Queen Annes, Maryland. (along with William Mahnor, George Sparks, Charles Stewart, etc.)
- IN 1800 a "John P. Benaley" is censused as a white family with 2 "other free persons" in Mid Neck-Cecil County-Maryland (along with John Stephens, Jason Ballard, Sam Lyons, James Mackey, Ben York, Will Atkin, etc.)
- In 1810 a "Joses Ben" is censused as exempt from the personal tax and taxed for 2 slaves, in Pasquotank, North Carolina.
- In 1820 a "Jose Benanhale" is censused as 4 white males, 8 white females, in Sumter District SC.
- In 1820 a "Jabez Benenhaley" is censused as 1 white male, 1 white female, in Worcester, Maryland
-In 1830 a "Elizabeth Benenhaly" is censused as 3 free colored males, 5 free colored females, in Sumter SC.
-IN 1840 a "Elizabeth, Jos, and Sylvander Benenhale" are censused as Free colored persons in Sumter SC.
I would have to question the "oral tradition" about Joseph Benenhaley for several reasons. Is this oral tradition from a family who still remains in Sumter and "this is what the old people said", or is it from a removed family whose information stems from genealogy, books, and newspaper articles?
The grandson of General Sumter refererred to Benenhaly as "Joseph Benenhaly" and that the General had enlisted him as a scout after "finding him in the wilderness". I could not fathom why Sumter would have enlisted a supposed Arab sailor (pirate) to scout for his militia in the North/South Carolina interior forests and swamps. Many of these "Tories and Indians" continued their outlaw ways after the War and this may have sprung the notion that they were 'pirates' (my own g-g-g-grandfather had a bounty on his head in Bladen NC for his actions during and after the Rev War, and there is a strong oral tradition in my family of them being "Indian Outlaws"). Sumter, who grew up with Joe's children, never referred to him as "Yusef Ben Ali"
The name "Yusef Ben Ali" appears to have been a fairly recent invention. In all the pre 1900 documentation he appears as "Joseph" or "Joe" "Benenhale", "Benenhaile".
Brewton Berry referred to an incident prior to 1830 where local Sumter whites had tried to challenge wether "Joe Benenhaley" could legally register to vote. Berry mentions that General Sumter testified on Joe's behalf and explained that he was a "Mestizo" (white-Indian, possibly Spanish white-Indian". If someone could get ahold of the actual documentation of this incident, it would be the best evidence of the Benenhaley origin, as there would be many first-hand accounts, as Joseph himself gave testimony.
As I mentioned before, I would question anything written or said about the "Turks" after 1900. All the evidence that I have seen is that these families from Sumter always claimed Indian origins, and nothing else. It was always the white "historians" who tried to give them some exotic ancestry. It is my opinion that "Joe" or "Joseph" "Benenhaly" was always known by that name, and this "Yusef Ben-Ali" is a recent invention, a result of good intentioned ethnologists in the 1930's.
Side note: There are many local "historians" here who would gladly testify in court that they had grown up with my grandparents and give "oral testimony" that they were "Creek Indians who hid out in the swamps to avoid the trail of tears" though all our ancestors originate on the Virginia/North Carolina border (far from the CReeks). Even my own grandmother would testify with a tear in her eye that "my grandmother left on the trail of tears", when in reality, her grandmother (Nora Bass) was living in Thomas County Georgia in 1900 and died there at an early age.
Actually my whole legal name is "Steven Pony Hill", I was named after my grandmothers brother "Albert Pony Hill". it is o.k. with me to be quoted.
The only 'oral tradition' that exists in my family is that we originated from Indians. No one ever mentions our white ancestors (though its obvious that we are far from full-bloods). I descend from the Isham Scott family and the James Moses family who lived in Sumter from 1810 to about 1820, after moving down from Halifax and then moving on to Florida. the Moses family lived about 10 households down from the Benenhaleys in Providence, Sumter.
As far as the "Yusef Ben Ali" reference, I can find no documentation of this earlier than Brewton Berry. I believe it originated with him, and even he said "Joseph Benenhaly. possibly Yusef Ben Ali" as he tried to make a case for possible arab ancstry to justify the Turk label. If his name had actually been "Yusef Ben Ali" I believe it would have appeared as such on some, if not all, of the documentation (census, court, land etc.) Brewton Berry also misrepresented that the 1790 petition of "Sundry Free Moors"came from the Turks (which it did not. I have also seen this falsehood recounted in other books, and on the net as truth) and Berry mentioned the old 1820's case invlolving the voting dispute and refered to him as "Joseph Benenhaley". I'm sure if those old records had mentioned Joseph claiming his name was originally "Yusef" and he was Arabic, that Berry would have surely quoted it. (someone needs to get a look at these old records and end this debate).
I live in Florida. The Bass side of my family (Alexander Bass) also lived in Thomas County GA prior to the Civil War, then moved down to the Ocala area (Marion Co.) then back up to Thomas Co. Ga by 1900, then back down to FL by 1920. Alexander was a documented descendant of the Nansemond (Bass) and Saponi (Goins) Indians and his wife (Nora Holly) was tradionally a full-blooded Indian as well.
From what I have seen, and I believe what you will find, is a reaccuring theme in regards to these descendants of mixed-blood christianized Indians from the Virginia/Carolina border:
Someone questions the ancestry of one of these people, families, groups, etc. and it starts up some kind of investigation (school enrollment, tax status, voting priviledges, etc.).
Local white people are brought in to testify and they say some variance of the same theme "I have known the insert name here family all my life. Their skin is dark like a colored person, though their hair is different. It is said that there is Negro in their blood, but they don't associate with Negroes."
The people in question themselves always testify to some variation of the same thing. "My grandfather insert name here was a white man and served in the (Revolutionary/Civil/etc) War. his wife was insert name here and she was a full blooded Indian. There is only White and Indian blood in my veins and no other."
Before long, some well-meaning historian, Professor, Anthropologist, etc. appears and says "You silly back woods country people, these people are not mullatoes. they are a tri-racial isolate. the reason they don't look like the stereotype of the Western Indian is because they are the grandchildren of Portuguese sailors/Moorish pirates/shipwrecked Italians/lost colony of Roanoke/etc."
Generations later, historians, book writers, genealogists, etc. look at these records to get information and recount any one of the above theories to explain the "proof" of the origins of this "mysterious group of people". Even the descendants of the people themselves gradually pick up the popular explanation and pass it on as "Oral tradition".
You can find a variation of the above with any remnant group in the south-east Melungeons in Tennessee, RedBones in Louisianna, Lumbees, Issues, Red Legs, Brass Ankles, POnd Shiners, Domminickers, and yes, even Turks. The best advice a descendant of one of these groups can get is to not listen to the stories,legends, exotic origin theories, etc. that are thrown out by local people, historians, etc. Look for the actual documented evidence, census records, and when it all boils down listen to what your grandparents and their parents said that their roots were.
The "Free Moor" petition was credited to the Turks by Brewton Berry in his book "Almost White" in the 1960's, where he quoted Anne King Gregorie in her 1950's book "History of Sumter County SC" and this misinformation has been repeated in countless newspaper, magazine, and of course internet accounts. As far as I can tell, no one has ever done the 'on the ground' hard core research on the "Turks" (actually going to Sumter and looking at old court cases, land records, interviewing elders, etc.)
First off let me say this, I have no doubt that prior to the Civil War that the community of mixed-blood persons residing in Sumter County were probably referred to as "Turks". That this label was meant to define a Turkish origin for the group, I do not believe. In other areas at the same time, people of the same mixed-blood were called "Portugeuse" and "Moors" yet their ancestors are not from Portugal or the coast of Africa. 'Turk' was used the same way 'Melungeon' was used in Tennessee. not to explain the origin of a people, just to give a label to a mixed-blood community in order to differentiate it from the whites and blacks around them.
That your ancestor referred to himself as a "Turk" when he lived away from Sumter as a way of explaining his dark skin, is no surprise. In his mind, i suppose, it was a way to explain his racial origin, "I'm not full-blooded Indian, I'm not part Black, I'm a Turk from Sumter County" The fact that he applied for Indian land (it was not freely offered, an individual had to apply) but was turned down because he was a 'Turk' (which at the time was known to the Indian Office as mixed-blood persons of Indian descent but of unknown tribal origin-see below-) should be evident that he at least believed he had some Indian blood. However, at the time, persons called 'Turk' in Sumter were very offended by that label. When a class action suit was filed to allow 'Turk' children into white schools it was very clear that "you do not call them Turk to their face", and it was also noted by historians and ethnologists in the 1930's and 1940's that these people would get fighting mad if you called them Turk. I also have no doubt that there are probably people who now proudly claim to be 'Turk', there are people now who proudly claim to be 'Melungeon', but this is now a more racially tolerant South. prior to World War 2, a sure way to get a black eye was to go to Sumter and call someone a 'Turk' or go to Tennessee and call someone a 'Melungeon'.
Before his death in the early 1800's, Joe Benenhaley was the subject of a court case in Sumter where citizens were objecting to his right to vote. Dr. Brewton Berry made note of this incident in his 1940's book "Almost White". Berry notes that Benenhaley was called to testfiy as to his racial origin. (an important note here is that Berry recounts the testimony as that Benenahley was a 'mestizo' but no mention of 'Turk'..Tom Sumter, the General's grandson, also called Benenhaley a "mestizo" in his history book but made no mention of Turkish origin) While Benenhaley was testifying, General Sumter stormed into the Courtroom, walked up to the witness stand and firmly shook Benenhaley's hand. (it was well known in the South at that time that no respectful Southern gentleman would shake a Negroes hand) This was all the judge needed to see, and the case was promptly dismissed.
In the 1930's, a court case was pressed to allow 'Turk' children to attend white schools. Reports from this case reveal that all the children subject to the proceedings (including Benehaley, Scott, Ellison, Tidwell, Deas families) were presently attending a special 'Indian School' and all the grandparents claimed to be "of Indian ancestry".
Here are a few historical references as to the racial origin of the 'Turks':
-"The Croatan Indians comprise a body of mixed-blood people residing chiefly in Robeson County, NC. A few of the same class of people reside in Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Scotland, and Hoke Counties, NC, and in Sumter, Marlboro, and Dillon Counties, SC. 1914 letter from special Indian agent O.M. McPherson to Commissioner of Indian Affairs
-"The Croatan tribe lives principally in Robeson County, NC, though there is quite a number of them settled in counties adjoining in North and South Carolina. In Sumter County, SC, there is a branch of the tribe, and also in east Tennessee. Those living in east Tennessee are called "Melungeans", a name also retained by them here, which is a corruption of "Melange", a name given them by early settlers (French), which means mixed." 1888 pamphlet published by Mr. Hamilton McMillan of Fayetteville, NC.
-"At one time the Croatans were known as "Redbones," and there is still a street in Fayetteville so called because some of them once lived on it. They are known by this name in Sumter County, SC, where they are a quiet and peaceable people, and have a church of their own. They are proud and high-spirited, and caste is very strong among them."1891 article of Dr. William T. Harris, Papers American Historical Association.
-It is well known that for the majority of the War, General Sumter camped on the Indian lands which were inhabited by the confederated Cheraw and Catawba tribe. Every able-bodied male Indian of that group was enlisted as scouts and warriors under various captains who served under Sumter's command. Sumter never approached the coast, and there are almost entire libraries of writings about Sumter's campaigns which were written by people who witnessed the battles. I'm sure that if Sumter had a Turkish guide during the War, someone would have noted it (why would Gen. Sumter, a man familiar with the area, retain a 'guide' from Turkey?). The only written record states that Sumter used Indian guides, scouts, spys, and warriors extensively.
A South Carolinian advertised in the North Carolina Central and Fayetteville Gazette on July 25th, 1795 for the return of his servant Nancy Oxendine
"$10 reward to deliver to the subscriber in Georgetown, a mustie servant woman named Nancy Oxendine, she is a stout wench, of a light complexion about 30 years old. It is supposed she has been taken away by her brother and sister, the later lives in Fayetteville."
A "mustie" was a person with one white parent and one Indian parent.
Joe Benehaley married a Miller woman born in NC who was recorded as a "free person of color"
On July 12, 1766. Isaac Miller, one of the chief men of the Tuscarora Indians, signed a lease of 8,000 acres of reservation land in Bertie Co. NC.
Check out a new addition to Paul Heinegg's "free african americans" website . a series of letters written in 1872 regarding the Lumbees of Robeson County ( called "The Swamp Outlaws") very fascinating stuff. PONY
1766 & 1777 Bertie County, NC
Listed as Tuscarora Indians on deeds to lease over 8,000 acres in southwest corner of Bertie County, North Carolina between the Roanoke River and Roquist Poccosin:
William Basket William Pugh
Billy Blount Sr. Billy Roberts
Billy Blount Jr. Tom Roberts Jr.
Edward Blount John Rogers
George Blount Harry Samuel
Sarah Blount John Senicar
Thomas Blount Thomas Senicar
Samuel Bridgers Ben Smith
Wineoak Charles Sr. Billie Sockey
Wineoak Charles Jr. William Taylor
Billie Cornelius Bridges Thomas
Charles Cornelius Tom Thomas
Isaac Cornelius Lewis Tuffdick
Billy Dennis West Witmel Tuffdick
Sarah Dennis Whitmel Tuffdick
Billy George Isaac Wealer
Skipnose George James Wiggians
James Hicks Molly Wineoak
1735 to 1808 Southampton Co., VA Indians
Listed as Nottoway and Nansemond Indians on land deeds in Southampton, Virginia:
1735 .King Edmunds, James Harrison, Ned, Peter, Robert Scoller Sam, Wanoke Robin, William Hines, Frank, Wanoke Robin Jr. Cockarons Tom, Cockarons Will.
1750 .Sam, Frank, Jack Will, John Turner, Wat Bailey, George Skipper
1795 .John Turner, Celia Rogers (a Nansemond), Suky Turner
1808 Special Census on Nottoway in Southampton:
adults: Litteton Scholar, Tom Turner, Jemmy Wineoak, Edy Turner, Nancy Turner, Betsy Step
Children: Tom Step, Henry Turner, Alexander Rogers, John Woodson, Winny Woodson, Anny Woodson, Polly Woodson, Fanny Bartlett, Solomon Bartlett, Billy Woodson, Jenny Woodson
AN EXAMPLE OF HOW A "TRI-RACIAL ISOLATE" COMMUNITY IS CREATED
John Smitt a white trader born in England. He travels to Virginia, begins a lucrative trade with the local Indians and marries Nottuck, an Indian maiden.
Thomas Larson a white indentured servant working as a carpenter for William Thames, a wealthy plantation owner. While serving out his time, he meets and marries Jane, an African slave girl that Thames imported from the West Indies. Larson saves his money and purchases his wife and children from Thames.
Nattapuches .an American Indian boy, one of a tribe that lived along the banks of the Roanoke River. While still a young man, Nattapuches attends a Missionary school, learns English, and is given the Christian name of Matthew John.
Missiayuk .an American Indian girl, one of a tribe that lived along the banks of the Roanoke River. Missiayuk is captured by Shawnee raiding party and sold into slavery in Virginia. eventually she learns English, accepts Christianity, is released from servitude by law, and returns to her former home along the Roanoke.
Jean Louis a French river boat captain operating on the Roanoke River. while in port at the coast he meets Manuella, a mixed-blood Portuguese girl from Brazil who was serving as a ship's cook. Louis is so taken by the girl that he purchases her from the Captain, and takes her in-country to be his wife.
AN EXAMPLE OF HOW A "TRI-RACIAL ISOLATE" COMMUNITY IS CREATED
Jean and Manuella Louis settle at Tanner Landing on the Roanoke River, an area named so because it is an area the early fur traders would tan their skins. Here Jean and Manuella encounter a small band of Indians including Matthew John and Missiayuk. Because most of the Indians already speak English, and are "good Christians", the Louis family easily set down their roots and begin a successful ferry business. Jean and Manuella's son, Manuel Louis, soon succumbs to his father's prompting and marries Missiayuk.
John Smitt, in an attempt to keep his trading business afloat, now travels farther south to continue trade with the Indians. Smitt's travels bring him to the Roanoke, and he soon employs Jean Louis to ferry him up the river. Smitt finds the Indians at Tanner Landing to be especially hospitable, and he soon strikes up a deal to purchase 100 acres of prime riverfront land from them. The following fall, John Smitt brings his wife Nottuck (who now has assumed the English name "Nancy") and two children (John and Elizabeth) to live at "Smitts Pleasure", the name he has assumed for his plantation. As the years slowly pass, John Smitt Jr. marries Jeanette Louis, the only daughter of Jean and Manuella, and Elizabeth Smitt soon falls for the courting of Matthew John.
Unwilling to bear the new taxes ruled against his "free Negro" wife, Thomas Larson and his family leave Virginia and eventually settle at Tanner Landing. Jean Louis soon observes Thomas' skills as a carpenter and employs him to build a mill at the Landing. Within the next ten years, Thomas and Jane have four beautiful daughters, who are aggressively courted by the young men of Tanner Landing. The oldest daughter, Jane Larson, marries John Smitt III. Mary Larson marries John Louis. Nancy Larson marries Matthew Louis, and the youngest daughter, Christina Larson, marries Jacob Smitt.
Just before the Revolutionary War, James MacIntosh, a Scottish immigrant, settles at Tanner Landing. Much to the chagrin of his cousins at the coast, he soon marries Gabriella John, the granddaughter of Matthew John and Elizabeth Smitt. James and Gabriella have two children before James is mustered into service in the North Carolina Militia. Unfortunately, James does not survive the War, and Gabriella eventually never remarries.
AN EXAMPLE OF HOW A "TRI-RACIAL ISOLATE" COMMUNITY IS CREATED
Now the fun part begins. In 1790 a federal census taker arrives at Tanner Landing. This is how he documents the community:
NORTHINGTON COUNTY - - WHITE'S DISTRICT
Jacob Johns Թ free persons of color
John Smitt Դ free persons of color
Mark Lewis ..4 free persons of color
Alexander Lewis .2 free persons of color
Manuel Johns .4 free persons of color
Jacob Smitt ..11 free persons of color
Lewis Smitt ..2 free persons of color
Jack Landers Դ free persons of color
Mark Landers ..4 free persons of color
Gabriella McIntosh .3 free persons of color
Matthew Smitt ..4 free persons of color
Lewis Johns Զ free persons of color
A century passes slowly and the people at Tanner Landing continue to intermarry among themselves and also with local Scottish descendants. After the Civil War, Tanner Landing gets renamed "McIntosh Landing" by petition of the "Sundry citizens of the County of Northington" to pay honor to the heroic defense of the Landing by "Deadshot" Lewis McIntosh, who legend says, fired a single shot at the approaching Union schooner "Valiant" which struck the Union boat captain in the head. The Union boat crew was so disarrayed by this event that they turned the boat around and headed back to the coast.
In 1900, a series of anthropologists visit the community at McIntosh Landing. They are mystified by this community of olive-skinned, black haired people who claim to descend from "the Roanoke tribe of Indians." White citizens living in the area derisively call them either Tanners or Northington Mulattoes, but never when any of them are around. One old timer even recounts to the visiting anthropologists that the real ancestor of these people was a Scottish pirate who had made a deal with the devil to trade his immortal soul for the devil's daughter's hand in marriage. The offspring of this pirate and his devilish wife traveled up the Roanoke on a black ship and soon intermarried with a band of wild Indians. The learned academics leave and soon publish endless articles and books where they proudly claim that the members of this quite settlement are "Tri-racial Isolates" and "the descendants of white settlers, Indians, and escaped slaves."
Though this is entirely a work of fiction, it does serve to show the natural tendency of humans to ignore the beautifully complex nature of history in favor of placing people and events into neat categories. Until we can truly study with an open mind, we will never understand the complexity of the story behind these communities.
Greetings Mr. Hill, my name is Govind Sanyal. My father is from India and my mother is Native American descent. I am emailing you to thank you for your superb research and providing me with the missing link to my Native geneology. I had great difficulty in documenting my Reeds as Chowan Indian until Gene Snyder a fellow researcher and Chickasaw tribal member had emailed me the data you had provided on the Chowan Indians. Benjamin Reed was my fourth great grandfather who had married Sarah Ferris the daughter of Caesar Ferris and Naomi (George?). The Ferrit/Ferris family were Pawtucket Massachusett Indians who had ventured into South Carolina. These New England Indians I believe were part of a Diaspora out of New England and out of the New York Brotherton enclave because of the one drop rule. An indication of this type of Diaspora was George Sherman living in Tennessee in 1839 but had in his possession a certificate notarized in New York. George Sherman had a family member in South Carolina, James Sherman whose affidavit of Indian descent (Hicks, Theresa M. p305) stated that he was born in Redding Connecticut, the home of the Paugussett Indians. Hicks(p319) also mentioned Samuel Edwards who assisted in the transportation of these New England Indians to Kentucky/ Tennessee area via Charleston S.C. was a Mashpee seaman. Apparently some of these Indians had stayed in Charleston because in the early 1800s the city was a Mecca for free people of color. Subsisting in a piracy type culture. My Reed/Ferrit family had intermarried with those Seminoles who were bought into captivity with Osceola to Charleston for "safekeeping." They were bought to Sullivan Island off Charleston and imprisoned at Fort Moore. A few decades earlier before foreign slavery became illegal ca.1810, Sullivan Island was the place where newly arriving Africans were quarantined and prepped for the slave market. Now Sullivan Island was the place of transition for Seminoles held in captivity, to detribalize them by enslaving them by statistically changing them into Negroes. Thank you again for your splendid and accessable research and information. Govind Sanyal
These records are Copyright © 2005 Govind Sanyal , all rights reserved.
Mr Hill,I read your information on the turks.. Me I am not a turk descentant but I have been married into the family for 34 years..never once have I heard the stories as you have told them. many in my family have passed down stories of the orgin and some of the story tellers are very old like 90 to 100..grant you the beginning came much earlier than that but this is a group of people that are proud of where they came from so they passed it down thur generations. I myself am sick and tired of the benenhaley's being put down..my kids are benenhaley's. they are good law abiding commiunty citizens..in the book, History of Sumter, they are they are deemed a poor class of people. well just check Shaw records and see how much land was purchased from the Benenhaley's. the Turks have had thier fill of all trying to explain them. they know who they are now so everyone should leave them alone..my son has reseached them also and his findings and yours appear to be different..just let me say this:
The turks are family loyal people that cause no problems in society and they would really like to be left alone. They know how they got here so why is it posted on the internet..if there name was brown would there be all this attention? No I don't think so. As far as you being in Fla kin to the Turks well thats hard to swallow cause they all stick together..every Turk I know of resides in the state of SC. any response to this would be appreicated.
A true Turk in every sense of the word.
Phyllis, thanks so much for your mail, it is good to hear from people in your area so a balanced story will be known. since those 'mails' were printed by Dr. Clark, I have since seen documents which have convinced me that Joe Benehaley was indeed a man of Arab (Turk) descent. because of Joe's prominant position as a community leader and land owner, the rest of the community began to be called "Turk" as well, but make no mistake, The Benenhaley family was most likely the only family with a Turkish ancestor. Joe married Elizabeth Miller, a woman descended from Isaac Miller of Bertie County, North Carolina. Isaac was included on the Tuscarora Indian census of 1777 Betie County. Others who moved down into Sumter at about the same time as Joe (1805) were the Lowry,Ivey, Johnson, Chavis, Locklear, Hathcock, Ammons, Oxendine and Scott families (see 1790 census of Halifax NC). All of these families were from Halifax County North Carolina, and they also had brothers and sisters who settled at Robeson County, and Marlboro County South Carolina.The ancestors of these families have many documents identifying them as Indians. It is my understanding that many of the Benenhaleys intermarried with these families (Joe Benehaley jr. married Catherine Scott..etc etc). If a member of the Benehaley family claims to be of Turkish descent, they would be telling the truth. however, many of the other families (Ellison, Scott, Oxendine, Tidwell) do not have a Turkish ancestor and primarily descend from white and Indian ancestors, as all of the 1860, 1880, and early 1900 documents attest.
Most of the information you observed on that site was taken from 1930's records from the Turk school board case and from reports of several ethnologists who visited Sumter in the 1920's, 30's, and 40's. I do not testify as to the accuracy of those records, I have only quoted them (which is why I state where the quote came from, not push it forward as my opinion). For example, a letter from Sumter County in 1861 which recorded that Isham Scott, the father of Fleming Thomas Scott, was descended from French and Catawba Indian parents, and that he had married Margaret, a white woman.
As to who I descend from. several of my ancestors had moved down from Halifax and settled briefly at Sumter just after 1805. (Isham Scott..1st cousin of the older Isham Scott mentioned above) and James Manning, were both listed on the 1810 Sumter Co. census, and I descend directly from them, as do many of the Indians in my community. In 1829, these Indians moved down into northwest Florida and served as "Friendly Indian" scouts in the local militia. We are not Turks, do not claim to be, or state that we are closely related. but we do all descend from the same Indian ancestors, and share common ancestors with the Lumbee Indians, the Hali-wa Saponi Indians, The Waccamaw Sioux Indians, etc. etc.
--from "INDIANs OF NORTH CAROLINA" in response to a senate resolution of June 30, 1914, a report on the condition and tribal rights of the Indians of robeson and adjoining counties of north carolina"..letter from the secretary of interior. by special Indian agent O.M. Mcpherson. "The Croatan Indians comprise a body of mixed-blood people residing chiefly in Robeson County, N.C, A few of the same class of people reside in Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Scotland, and Hoke Counties N.C., and in Sumter, Marlboro, and Dillon Counties, S.C."
-- letter from Mr. Hamilton McMillan of Fayetteville NC addressed "RED SPRINGS NC, JUly 17, 1890". "The Croatan tribe lives principally in Robeson County, NC, though there is quite a number of them settled in counties adjoining in North and South Carolina. In Sumter, SC, there is a branch of the tribe, and also in east Tennessee."
-- PETITION OF CROATAN INDIANS..To the honorable the Congress of the United States, December 1887. "The undersigned, your petitioners, a part of the Croatan Indians. " signed by James Oxendine, Ashbury Oxendine, Zackriors Oxendine, J.J. Oxendine, Billy Locklear, Malakiah Locklear, Preston Locklear, John Ballard, Crolly Locklear, G.W. Locklear, Patrick Locklear, Luther Deas, Marcus Dial, Joseph Loclear, Alex Locklear, Solomon Oxendine, A.J. Lowry, John A. Locklear, Silas Deas, James Lowry, Olline Oxendine, George Brayboy, William Sampson, Steven Carter, Peter Dial, Willy Jacobs, Quinn Gordan, Murdock Chavis."
-- The Lost Colony of Roanoke by stephen B. Weeks, 1891. "At one time the Croatans were known as "Redbones," and there is a street in Fayetteville so called because some of them once lived on it. They are known by this name in Sumter County SC, where they are quiet and peaceable, and have a church of their own. They are proud and high-spirited, and caste is very high among them."
1810 CENSUS OF SUMTER CO. SC. a list of "OTHER FREE PERSONS"
Jos Belanhaly. 7, Sarah Camp. 5, Fred Carter. 6, John Chavis. 3, Robert Chavis. 3, Azana Clark. 9, Mary Clark. 4, William Driggers. 5, Flaud Hagan. 1, Obediah Hagan. 6, Lucy Hathcock. 3, Mary Locklear. 1, John Manning. 6, E. McMillan. 4, Jesse Mitcham. 6, Nelly Mitcham. 4, Aaron Oxendine. 5, David Scott. 15, Fred Scott. 3, Isaac Scott. 7, Isham Scott. 5, Isham Scott. 5, Isham Scott. 7, James Scott. 8, Newman Scott. 5, William Shorter. 5, Cassiah Smith. 2, Christo Smith. 3, Jacob Yarberry. 5
from Lawson's "History of Carolina" 1718. "Chuwon Indians, Town 1, Bennets Creek, fighting men 15
Land purchase by settlers -1713- chief men of the Chowan Indians. "Thomas Hoytes, James Bennett, Carles Beasley, Jeremiah Purkins" (NC colonial records vol.IV p.33-5)
1734- "James Bennett, Thos Hoyter, Charles Beasley, Jeremiah Purkin, John Robins, John Reeding, and Nuce Will, Chief Men of the Chowan Indians. " sold land on Bennett's Creek in the part of Chowan County which later became Gates County.
12 April 1790- James Robins, Benjamin Robins, George Bennett, and Joseph Bennett sold to Samuel Lewis and Samuel Harrell for $100 the last remaining 400 acres of the original tract of 11,360 acres from Chowan Indian grant of 1724 near Bennett's Creek
1790 GATES COUNTY CENSUS- THOSE LISTED AS "OTHER FREE PERSONS"
Abraham Reed, Bashford Robins, Benjamin Reed, Elisha Parker, George Bennett, Hardy Robins, Hardy Reed, James Robins, Joseph Bennett, John Cuff, Jane Reed, James Weaver, James Boon, Micajah Reed, Seabrook Hunter, William Hunter.
1833 minute book 24, quarterly superior court of norfolk county, pp.27,28: "the Court doth certify upon satisfactory evidence of white persons produced before it, that Asa Price, Wright Perkins, Nathan Perkins, Pricilla Perkins, Nelson Bass, Willis Bass, Andrew Bass, William Bass son of Wiliiam Bass, Joseph Newton and Henry Newton, Allen Newton, Polly Newton, Sally Newton and Hestor Newton, are not free-Negroes or Mulattoes, but are of Indian descent. "
1833 same pp.43,44:". that Andrew Bass and Lavina his wife, Elizabeth Bass wife of William Bass son of William Bass, Jemima Bass Sr, Peggy Bass, Jemima Bass Jr, Elizabeth Lidwin, Mary Anderson, Prisceilla Flury, Jerusha Bass, Frances the wife of James Newton, Lucy Trummell, Andrew Bass Jr, Patsy Bass, William Newton, Betsy Weaver, Nancy Weaver, and Sally Weaver, that they are not free-Negroes or Mulattoes, but are of Indian descent. "
an interesting note is the "MOWA CHOCTAWS" of Mobile and Washington Counties, Alabama. the primary ancestors of this group were (1)Daniel Reed (born 1775 to 1780) and his wife Rose Goins.(2) David Weaver (born 1799 to 1802) and his wife Cecilia Edenfils (who later married Phillipe Chastang). (3) Lemuel Byrd who married a daughter of David Weaver. When the Mowa "Choctaws' petitioned for federal recognition, the B.I.A. rejected their application and stated that , though the group was consistantly identified as being Indian, they could not prove a connection to the historic Choctaw tribe, and their ancestors were documented as being from the NC/VA border. REED, WEAVER, and BYRD are surnames that appear among the Indian families of Gates County, NC, and the REED, WEAVER, BYRD, and GOINS surnames also appear in Halifax NC.
Thanks for the information on Polly Dunn, I don't know if she is in my lines or not but I will try and find out. Yes the 1790 census with Elisha Parker is my ggggrandfather. I am Tuscarora but as you say many Nations moved along this NC/VA. My ggggrandfather Elisha was born in Nansemond County Va as far as I know. But I also have Saponi,Nottoway and Meherrin blood, thats why I was wondering if we had blood of the Chowan Indians also since Elisha was on the petition. I appreciate any information that you might have.
The "positive" Chowan families from earliest records of at least 1730 were the Bennett, Perkins, Beasley, Hoyte/Hoyter/Hoytes, Reed & Robins. By 1800 they had also included the Martin and Weaver families. The head researcher of the Nansemond Nation, Fred Bright, is under the opinion that the Perkins, Weaver, Newton families were Chowan.
At about the time of the Tuscarora War, many remnant groups were wandering back and forth across south-eastern VA, eastern NC, and northern SC. When the War broke out a band of non-hostile Tuscarora under King Blount travelled north and settled with a group of Nansemond/Nottoway/Meherrin/Cheraw living in the area between the Nottoway and Roanoke Rivers (close to the Fort Christiana site). When the War ended, these Indian families could move more freely as the last hostile tribe had been eliminated. They were settleing anywhere they could safely remain, and were especially attracted to reservated lands. Christianized, acculturated mixed-blood families descended from the once powerful Powhatan and Eastern Sioaun Nations could be found spread from the Nanticoke reserve, the Pamunkey reserve, the Nottoway reserve, the Tuscarora reserve, all the way down to the Catawba reserve. These families bore such widespread "Free person of color" surnames as Bass, George, Gibson, Going, Collins, Scott, Hathcock, Reed, Archer, Stewart, Mitchell, Perkins, Weaver, etc. etc.
the 1777 land record of the tuscarora reservation of Bertie Co.NC included such family names as Allen, Basket, Blount, Cain, Cornelius, Dennis, George, Gibson, Hicks, Miller, Mitchell, Owens, Pugh, Roberts, Smith, Taylor, Thomas, Tufdick, Wheeler, Wigiins and Wineoak.
the 1808 special census of the Nottoway in Southampton Co. VA included such family names as Rogers, Turner, Step, Woodson, Bartlett, and Wineoak.
It would be very difficult to verify if a certain surname indicated descendancy from a specific nation. The eastern sioux (called by the group name "Cheraw" if you were in SC, "Tutelo" if you were north of VA, "Saponi" if you were in VA, or "Catawba" if you were in NC, but all referring to the same group of siouan speaking villages) were closely allied with the Chowan and a western band of the Nansemond (one historian has identified that the Nansemond were effectively broken in two by 1700, consisting of the more acculturated band around Norfolk, and a more traditional band called "Portuckee" that removed across the Meherrin). even though the Siouan bands spoke a different language than the Algonquian Chowan and Nansemond, they intermarried and socialized extensively.
Florida seemed to be a favored destination for mixed-bloods until well after the civil-war. when Henry Berry Lowry vanished it was reported by many of his relatives that he had "gone to Florida"..observe the following quote from a W.P.A. interview of Louisa Davis in Winnsboro, South Carolina in the mid-1930's.
"I was born in de Catawba River section. My grandpappy was a full-blood Indian my pappy a half-Indian my mother, coal-black woman. They say I was a pretty gal, then, face shiny like a gingercake, and hair straight and black as a crow. After de War (Civil War), my pappy went to Florida. He look just like a Indian, hair and all, bushy head, straight and young lookin', wid no beard. We never heard from him since."
I'm am working on a story about the resurgence of interest in what anthropologists call the little races (i.e., Melungeons, Redbones, etc.). I saw an online piece you wrote about the Turks of Sumter County.
Steven Pony Hill responds:
Its good to see that people are interested in this facinating story!
I can share what little I know. The Turks are one small branch of a number of related mixed-blood communities which include the Melungeons of Tennessee, the Lumbees of NC, Brass Ankles of SC, Cubans of NC, Portuguese of VA, and Red Bones of LA.
There are volumes of research written about the NC groups so I will not waste your time by going over them, but will share what I know about the Turks, Red Bones and my own relations here in Northwest Florida.
About the time of the Revolutionary War, mixed-blood families from the NC/VA border began moving south to such areas as Robeson and Sampson Counties. These persons were the descendants of mixed-blood Indians who had been living in such areas as the Bertie County Tuscarora reservation, Gates County Chowan reservation, and the old Fort Christanna site. In early 1800's branches of these families continued southward along the Pee Dee river into SC. By 1810 the "Turk" community had already spread roots in Sumter county under such individuals as Joseph Benehaley (a man of Arabic descent), Ridd Ammons, John Chavis, Robert Chavis, William Driggers, Obediah Hagan, David Ivy, Lucy Hathcock, Mary Locklear, Aaaron Oxendine and Isham Scott (who were all persons of Indian descent migrating in from the Robeson NC area). because Joseph Benenhaley was such an influential man in this community, they all eventually were given the label of Joseph's nickname. "Turk".
At about the same time, in nearby Marlboro County, a community of families also migrated in from southern NC, who were closely related to the group in Sumter, including such individuals as Isham Scott (1st cousin to the Isham in Sumter), Abner Driggers, Lothlin Locklear, Joseph Ivy, etc.
In about 1828, pressured by oppresive new laws and tax regulations against "free-colored persons" (many of these same individuals attempted to have themselves held non-liable for such laws and taxes because they were "persons of Indian descent", but for the most part were unsuccesful). numbers of the SC families migrated into southern GA and northern FL. The Florida branch (Scott, Chavis, Perkins, Hagan, Ammons, Goins, Mayo families) settled along the Appalachicola River (present-day Jackson, Calhoun, Liberty counties) and along the Choctawhatchee River (presnt-day Holmes, Washington counties) where many of their descendants still live today.
In 1857 a group of these FL families gathered up a "wagon train" and travelled to Rapides Parish to join the Perkins, Chavis, Goins, Nash, Sweat and Willis families which had already formed a community there. This community would eventually be given the label that had followed them from SC. "Red Bones"
This was only one of many migration patterns that the mixed-blood families used to spread out from NC, another was a route that took them through Tennessee (the early founders of the Louisiana branch used this route before they were joined by the Florida families)..The Tennessee Melungeons are the result of this migration route including such families as Gibson, Hathcock, Collins and Goins.
Another interesting note which has been ignored by researchers is the fact that one branch of these people have achieved recognition as an Indian nation by the B.I.A. In the early 1800's groups of these same mixed-blood families traveled to southwestern Alabama and lived with a few remnant Creek families (Stedham, Moniac, Hollinger & Weatherford) who had a small parcel of reservation land there. By 1850 these immigrant families (Gibson, Deas, Taylor & Hathcock) had intermarried and become part of the community (side note. on 1850 census the Hathcock family which had come in from Sc were the only ones recorded as "Indian" the Creeks were recorded as "white")..the Creek bloodlines remained to some small degree, but the SC families were the largest and most predominant group. In the early 1900's these families applied for compensation as "Cherokees" and were censused as "mixed-blood Cherokee". yet their descendants were given federal recognition in the 1980's as "The Poarch Band of Creeks"!!
From: Artie Martino Subject: Aaron Oxendine Jane Scott d. 1822 Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 13:46:38 -0400
Do you know of an event that could have caused the deaths of my gggrandparents: Aaron Oxendine b. 1781 Mill Branch, Robeson County, NC, and Jane Scott b. 1791? Both died in 1822--the same year their daughter Geanny Miranda was born in Stateburg, Sumter, SC. Do you know anything about Charles Oxendine b? father of Aaron? Understand the term "Molatoe" used to describe Indians.
[Byrd, William L., III, Bladen County Tax Lists, 1768-1774, Volume I]. (Robeson was formed from Bladen in 1797).
Molatoes: Isaac, Jno., Eliza & Hannah Hayes, John Combow, John Johnston & wife, Titus Overton & wife, John Bullard & Gutridge Lockelier, Benja. Lamb, Simon Cox, Gilbert Cox & James Percey, Cannon Cumbo, James Carter Senr. & Junr. & Isaac Carter, Frederick Goan & wife, John Waldon, Adam Ivey, John Phillips, Isaac & Needham Lamb, Arthur Lamb, Wm Wilkins, Charles Oxendine, Elisha Sweeting, Sarah & James Sweet, Daniel Wharton & wife, David Braveboy, Peter Causey & son David, Joseph Clark, Ishmael Cheeves, James Doyel & Wife, Thos. Groom, John Hammons, Richd. Jones & wife, Solomon James, Solomon Johnston & wife, Solomon Johnston Junr. & wife, Major Locklier, James Lowry & Wm Jones, Jacob Lockleer, John Lockleer & wife & son Wm.
I'm not sure of any event in 1822. perhaps there was a disease epidemic that year. Thanks for the info on the Robeson, Sumter connection..it has been my position that many of the families that came down into Sumter between 1805 and 1820 actually came from the Bladen area, but I have been met with resistance from persons who live in Sumter ("Turks"), who, for some reason, do not wish to have a connection to the Lumbees.
I recognize the surnames in the tax list. the predominant number of these families entered the Bladen area in the 1740's to 1750's traveling south from the Halifax NC, Mecklenburg VA area. These are all mixed-blood Indian families who descend from the remnant bands of Nottoway, Nansemond, Saponi, Occaneechi, Woccon, Roanoke, and friendly Tuscarora under chief Blount. These varied tribes interrmarried in the early 1700's and their ancestors founded the "tri-racial" communities spread out from Delaware, VA, NC, SC, Louisianna and Florida.
"The Bingham Family": Elizabeth Bingham was presented by The Northampton County VA Court on 13 NOV 1739 for bastard bearing. presentment dismissed on 11 DEC 1739 becuase she was "an Indian"
-Southy Bingham was sued on 13 DEC 1785 for 1 pound by John Evans, Ephraim Stevens placed his security. Southy was presnted on 14 March 1792 to the northampton Co. VA court for "tending crops on the Indians' land"
- Scarburgh Bingham a twelve-year-old "Indian" bound to Savage Cowdy by the Northampton Co. VA court on 12 JAN 1762. Scarburgh was sued on 8 JUN 1779 by Abraham Collins, and he was sued again on 11 JUL 1789 by Mary Jeffery.
- Elizabeth Bingham was bound to William Scott, Sr. on 9 SEP 1766 in Northampton Co VA. Elizabeth married Nathan Driggers on 23 Jan 1794 by Northampton Co VA bond.
William Scott, an "Indian" taxable on 2 horses in the lower district of Henrico Co VA in 1783, 1786 and from 1802 to 1804.
- Henry Bingham married Ritter Collins 13 June 1794 by Northampton Co VA bond, Ralph Collins security.
- Moses Bingham married Esther Collins, 25 year old daughter of Rafe Collins on 24 NOV 1819 by Northampton Co VA bond.
- Tinsey Bingham married William Gardner 25 NOV 1797 by Northampton Co VA bond, Issac Stevens security.
- Tamar Bingham married Ralph Collins 20 DEC 1799 Northampton CO VA bond.
- Betsy Bingham married Thomas Baker 5 DEC 1805 by Northampton Co bond, Nathan Driggers security.
- Polly Bingham married William Jeffery 26 Jan 1803 bond.
- John Collins married Betsy Jefferies 3 FEB 1803 by Northampton Co VA bond.
- Lighty Collins married Lear Driggers 3 FEB 1794 by Northampton Co VA bond.
From 1870 to 1930 I noticed the following surnames listed for the Pamunkey Indians: Lancaster, Bradby, Dungee, Collins, Sweat, Cook, Wynn, Miles, Allmond, Sampson, Major, Langston, Dennis & Page. here are some records I found pertaining to a few of these families.
18 OCT 1817..Petersburg VA. "John Sampson, a lad of Colour (son of Sally Major, a free woman) about nineteen years old, 5 feet 9 inches high, of light yellow brown complection. has stait hair, cow lick in his hair, born free in King William County, said to be of Indian descent & by trade a shoemaker. Registered by desire of his mother." (Register of Free Negroes 1794-1819. no. 877)
John Dungee, a pilot on the Chesapeake Bay who was "descended from the aborigines of this domain" according to the petition which he and his wife Lucy Ann made to the VA Legislature from King William County on 19 DEC 1825.
Billy Dennis & Sarah Dennis listed on Bertie County deeds as Indians of the Tuscarora tribe 1766 to 1777. I do not observe the 'Dennis' surname appearing among the Pamunkey until after 1870, likewise with the Castillo, or Custelow surname. both of these surnames appear to have migrated in from NC.
In the mid-1800's General T.S. Woodward published a compilation of his letters entitled "Woodward's Reminences". anyone who has done research on the Creek Indians, Creek Wars, or relating to the Creek Indians at Poarch Alabama I'm sure has used this book as a bible!
General Woodward mentions all the friendly Creek Indians, thier mixed ancestry, and the events surrounding the Red Stick War, and Jacksons foray into Florida. But, Woodward also makes several references that are of interest to persons researching the Algonquian and Siouan groups of the east.
(pardon my vagueness here, I dont have the book sitting in front of me)
- Woodward mentions how every dark-skinned person from Virginia he meets in the area (southern alabama, northern Florida) claims descendancy from the tribe of Pocahontas.
- Woodward mentions his own Indian ancestry, of how he descended from an Indian maiden of South Carolina with the surname of Silves who married a Stokes. Woodward often mentions how he was easily identified as being part Indian, and could pass for an Indian.
- It will interest all to note Woodward descended from Milly Chavis (born about 1749) who was living with her family at Marlboro, SC in the 1760's and married Edward Silves (the Silves family of SC was censused in 1790 SC as "other free persons" along with the Chavis family)
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Aiken County Public Library
Aiken County has a long library history demonstrating the active concern of Aiken citizens for libraries and good reading.
The present Aiken County Public Library resulted from the unification of the Dibble Memorial Library and the Aiken County Library to form a single system to serve the city and county of Aiken. Aiken's library history began in 1880 with the establishment of the Aiken Library, a subscription library maintained by its members. In 1926 this library was re-established as the Dibble Memorial Library, named in honor of Mr. H.M. Dibble, who at the time of his death in 1921 was chairman of the Aiken Library Board and had left provisions in his will for a library building. A major contribution to the building fund came from a benefit performance of the great comedian Will Rogers. Arrangements for the event were made by library board members with the help of Mr. Fred Post who was a friend of the popular comedian. Reportedly, there were present on this occasion the largest number of millionaires ever assembled at one time in Aiken. In 1945, W.B.S. Winans, who later was to play an important part in the Aiken County Public Library growth and in the regional library development, became chairman of the Dibble Memorial Library Board.
Paralleling the development of library service in the town of Aiken was the development of library service for rural Aiken County. The year 1935 saw a pioneer library demonstration sponsored by the County Council of Farm Women. Members of Aiken County Home Demonstration clubs obtained $300 from the County Delegation to demonstrate the use and need of a traveling library in rural Aiken County. Spearheading this project was Mrs. Vance Livingston of the Kitching Mill community. The service was enthusiastically received throughout Aiken County and in 1936, after a three-month demonstration, the County Council of Farm Women made recommendations regarding a permanent program. The Aiken County Library Commission was created by legislative act and $2000 appropriated by the delegation for bookmobile service. Headquarters was a room in the County Agricultural Building, which continued as the Aiken County Library until 1950.
Mrs. Leon S. Holly, who had become librarian of the Aiken Library in 1921, continued as librarian of the Dibble Memorial Library until 1935 when she resigned to organize the county library demonstration. Mrs. Holly remained librarian of the Aiken County Library until 1950 when the Aiken County Library and the Dibble Memorial Library joined forces and the Aiken County Library Commission came into being. Mr. W.B.S. Winans was named chairman of the new Commission and Miss Josephine Crouch became the first librarian of the new system. Under Miss Crouch's direction branches were established in Belvedere, Jackson, New Ellenton and Wagener. In 1960 the Nancy Carson Library, a North Augusta municipal institution, joined the Aiken County and regional system. This library serves a population comparable in size to that of Aiken.
The Aiken County Library took a major part in the establishment of a regional library demonstration program. This program was funded the South Carolina State Library Board under the Library Services Act of 1956. The initial demonstration program included Aiken, Barnwell and Edgefield counties. A fourth county, Bamberg, joined the regional system following an extension of the demonstration program. Membership in the regional program improved library service throughout Aiken County and increased the effectiveness of both reference and interlibrary loan service.
With the growth of service it became apparent that a larger and better located headquarters library was necessary if the library was to continue to provide a high level of service to its public. Ronald D. Royal, Chairman of the Aiken County Public Library Commission, headed up the campaign to secure larger quarters. One of the most beautiful old mansions in Aiken, "Banksia," was secured from the county for conversion into the headquarters library building. The South Carolina State Library Board brought in as a consultant on the site of Banksia an outstanding authority in the field, J. Russell Bailey, of Range, Virginia. Mr. Bailey reviewed the site and found it adequate in size and most acceptable from the standpoint of accessibility. The Friends of the Aiken County Library conducted an enthusiastic fund raising campaign to assist with necessary renovation and furnishing. In 1974 Banksia became the home of the Aiken County Library. The beauty of the building and its surroundings added significant dimensions to enjoyable library use.
Effective library service in Aiken and throughout the four county region has been consistently supported and enhanced by South Carolina State Library programs. Book collection improvement projects, periodical and reference grants, and library development grants--all made possible by the Library Services Act funds administered by the State Library--have made lasting contributions to the library.
Through the years, milestones in Aiken's library growth have represented certain citizens' concerted belief in the public library. Board members' generous contributions of time and effort, the interest and assistance of the South Carolina State Library and the support of public-spirited citizens have provided the foundation of public library service in Aiken County.
W. B. S. Winans, Aiken, 1950-62
Arthur A. Foreman, Jr., Aiken, 1962-67
Mrs. Charles R. Powell, Jackson, 1967-68
Douglas S. Garvin, Aiken, 1968-72
Ronald Royal, Aiken, 1972-76
Otis L. Baughman, Jr., Aiken, 1977-
Josephine Crouch, 1951-58
Mrs. Elizabeth C. Moore, 1958-66
Mrs. Maurine Lackey, 1969-79
Mrs. Nellie E. Smith, 1979-
Estellene P. Walker,
"So Good and Necessary a Work": The Public Library in South Carolina, 1698-1980
(Columbia: South Carolina State Library, 1981), p.8.
Nellie was born on December 17, 1915 and passed away on Saturday, January 17, 2009.
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22 things you may not have known about the 1927 Bath school massacre
Historical marker in Bath's James Couzins Park and site of the Bath Consolidated School explosion.
This month is 90th anniversary of Bath school massacre
Thursday, May 18, is the 90th anniversary of the Bath school disaster, the deadliest school massacre in the nation's history. A total of 45 people died, including 38 children and the perpetrator. Click here for more of the story. This post focuses on some of the more interesting and/or obscure facts about that horrifying event.
Photo of Andrew Kehoe and his wife Nellie. Nellie Kehoe died when Andrew blew up their farm home on the same morning new blew up Bath Consolidated School.
Source: Michigan Historical Archives
1. The perpetrator was a prominent Bath citizen
Andrew Kehoe, the man who blew up Bath Consolidated School, was school board treasurer and former Bath Township clerk. A graduate of Michigan State College, where he studied electrical engineering, Kehoe was considered highly intelligent and he owned one of the finest farms in the area. Although he could be difficult at times, he was generally well-regarded and well-respected.
"There couldn't be a better neighbor than him," one Bath resident told investigators after the massacre.
"I never saw a saner man," said another.
Bath Consolidated School before the May 1927 bombing.
Source: Michigan Historical Archives
2. Kehoe's school property tax was equivalent to $2,758 today
The conventional wisdom is that Kehoe dynamited the school because he was angry about his school property taxes. For years, he was a vocal opponent of spending $43,000 in 1922 to build Bath Consolidated School, which led to a big tax hike. He won a three-year term to the school board in 1925, and was known for keeping a critical eye on school finances.
Kehoe owned 80 acres of farmland that had an assessed value of $10,000 in 1927 -- about $139,000 in today's dollars. His school tax bill was $198 in 1927, which is equivalent to $2,758 today.
Andrew Kehoe's farmhouse on Clark Road in Bath. It was considered one of the finest homes in the area.
Source: Michigan historical archives
3. School taxes only part of Kehoe's woes
But there was more going on with Kehoe than just anger over his tax bill.
In the few years leading up to the bombing, Kehoe had a number of personal setbacks: He was having financial problems, and wasn't paying his mortgage or his taxes he lost an election for township clerk, and his wife was in failing health. Despite his financial issues, his neighbors noticed he seemed to have given up on farming, having failed to harvest his crops in fall 1926.
By spring 1927, Kehoe was in danger of losing everything important in his life: His wife was seriously ill he was talking of selling the farm to pay off his mortgage, and his school board term was expiring in July 1927. It's telling that on May 18, he destroyed everything -- bombing the school, killing his wife and leveling his farm -- before they were taken from him.
Source: Michigan Historical Archives
4. There were actually three separate explosions
There were actually three explosions on the morning of May 18, 1927. Dynamite attached to timers went off at 8:45 a.m. at the school, and almost simultaneously, at Kehoe's home and barn about a mile southwest of the school.
The third explosion occurred when Kehoe pulled up to the school about 20 to 30 minutes after the initial explosion and set off dynamite in his Ford truck, which was packed nuts, bolts and other machine parts that turned into shrapnel.
In total, 37 schoolchildren and two teachers were killed in the school bombing, which collapsed the building's north wing, housing the elementary grades. Five people -- including Kehoe, the school superintendent, a retired farmer, the Bath postmaster and a boy who survived the school bombing -- were killed in the truck bombing. Kehoe's wife died at the couple's home.
Source: Michigan Historical Archives
5. Most of the dynamite in the school failed to ignite
As a school board member and skilled electrician and mechanic, Kehoe was occasionally called in for help or advice with the school's infrastructure. That gave him access to the building, and it appears that over a series of months during 1926-27, he hid 900 pounds of dynamite between the basement ceiling and the main floor.
Investigators estimate that the May 18 explosion involved about 200 pounds. The other 700 pounds was found later, wired to timers set to off at the same time as the dynamite in the north wing. Experts theorized the initial explosion either shorted out or otherwise disabled the remaining explosives. At any rate, it appears Kehoe meant to blow up the entire school complex, which housed more than 200 children on the morning of May 18, 1927.
Some of the dynamite recovered from the school after the bomibing.
Source: Michigan historical archives
6. Kehoe obtained the dynamite legally
Farmers in the 1920s could easily obtained dynamite, which they used to clear stumps from their property. Kehoe was so good with explosives that neighbors sought his advice.
Some of the explosives used in the bombing were traced to a Farm Bureau office in Jackson. A Bath resident remembers giving Kehoe a ride to Jackson in fall 1925 so Kehoe could pick up 500 pounds of dynamite. Some of the other explosives were purchased in November 1926 from Chapman's Sporting Goods at 114 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing, a block from the state Capitol building.
Incidentally, while some claim the massacre didn't involve a gun, Kehoe did use a firearm in the truck bombing -- he fired a rifle into a cache of dynamite to blow up the vehicle.
7. First-graders were to picnic on Kehoe's property the day before the bombing
On Monday, May 16, 1927, the Bath first-grade teacher asked Kehoe if her students could have a picnic on his property on Thursday, May 20. Kehoe agreed, but urged her to do it on Tuesday because of weather. The bombing occurred on Wednesday. It's unclear whether the picnic actually took place.
(Above is a map of Bath Township. The jagged area in the township's southwest corner is part of the city of East Lansing. Bath Consolidated School was located on Main Street on the site of what is currently James Couzins Park. Kehoe's farm was on the north side of Clark Road across from Watson Road and about a mile west of Main Street. This map allows you to zoom in or out.)
Source: Michigan Historical Archives
8. Kehoe was in the school shortly before the explosion
Early on the day of the bombing, Kehoe was flagged down on the street by another school trustee who wanted Kehoe to look at the school's malfunctioning water pump. They went into the building around 7:25 a.m. and were looking over the pump when Kehoe abruptly said he was in a hurry and left.
The school explosion occurred at 8:45 a.m.
Julie Mack | [email protected]
9. So WHAT time did the blast occur?
While Bath residents reported the blasts occurred at 8:45 a.m., that was 8:45 a.m. Central time -- the time apparently used by Bath residents in 1927, according to testimony in a Clinton County court inquest testimony a week after the tragedy.
Many Michigan communities, including Detroit, used Central time in the early 20th century. In 1918, Congress passed the Standard Time Act to standardize the nation's time zones and put Michigan in the Eastern zone.
Apparently, Bath residents largely ignored that change. It's clear from the 1927 court testimony that Bath residents used Central time, which they also called "railroad" time, "slow" time or "Bath" time. The only exception were Consumers Power workers in Bath on the day of the tragedy they said they used "fast" time -- i.e. EST.
A plaque in Bath that lists all 45 people killed in the Bath school massacre except for Andrew and Nellie Kehoe.
Julie Mack | [email protected]
10. Storytime saved the second-graders, and final exams saved some fifth-graders
The school explosion killed 37 schoolchildren, all in elementary grades housed in the north wing. The death toll by grade: 13 sixth-graders, 10 third-graders and seven fatalities each in grades 4 and 5.
An outer wall collapsed in the second-grade classroom, but the children survived because they were gathered around the teacher on the opposite side of the room for storytime, according to Arnie Bernstein, author of the 2009 book "Bath Massacre: America's First School Bombing." The only second-grader who died was the child killed by the truck bomb.
Another twist of fate: The sixth-graders, usually in a second-story classroom, were in the first-floor fifth-grade classroom that day. The room switch occurred because of sixth-grade final exams and the teachers thought the fifth-grade room was preferable for testing.
11. One child lingered for three months before dying of her injuries
Of the 45 people who died, 44 of the deaths occurred on or immediately after May 18. The 45th was Beatrice Gibbs, a fourth-grader who celebrated her 10th birthday the day before the bombing.
The blast broke both her legs and her left arm. She had so many lacerations that doctors created a frame to hold her off the hospital bed. She died in Lansing's St. Lawrence Hospital on Aug. 22, three months after the bombing and following surgery to remove a splinter from her hip.
Source: Michigan Historical Archives
12. The bombing occurred the day before commencement
The school was bombed during the last week of school before summer break, and the day before the 1927 commencement ceremony when 15 students were scheduled to graduate.
Commencement was canceled, and the Bath Class of 1927 didn't hold a reunion for 50 years until 1977, when the district handed out diplomas to the Class of 1927 as well as the Class of 1977. Nine of the 15 alumni participated in the ceremony.
Sign found on the Kehoe property after the disaster.
Source: Historical archives
13. Kehoe didn't leave a note, but he left a sign
Kehoe not only destroyed the school, but he methodically destroyed his house and farm, which was his wife's childhood home.
Their three-story house was considered one of the nicest in town. The Kehoes bought the property in 1919 for $12,000 after her uncle died and they were paying off a $6,000 mortgage to his estate. Andrew Kehoe had stopped paying on the mortgage, which was creating tension with the relatives owed the money. (Contrary to some historical accounts, however, Kehoe was not in the midst of foreclosure the relatives had backed off on the issue because of Nellie Kehoe's poor health.)
In addition to blowing up the buildings on the property, Kehoe girdled the shade trees -- i.e., cut through the bark around the base -- to kill them. He also cut through his grape vines and then put the vines back in place so they looked untouched. Investigators found Kehoe's two horses burned to death in the barn, their feet bound with wire so they couldn't escape.
At the edge of the farm, authorities found a sign attached to a fence: "Criminals are made, not born."