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Olcott Family of Norwich Vermont

Hon. Peter Olcott was born at Bolton, Connecticut, April 25, 1733; married Sarah, daughter of Peletiah Mills, Esq., of Windsor, Conn., October 11, 1759, and removed to that place in 1772. That year or the following one he came to Norwich, Vermont. He was the oldest of his parents’ four children (two sons and two daughters), and the only one of them to come to Norwich to reside. Mr. Olcott‘s name first appears in the town records of Norwich in 1773, when he was chosen one of the overseers of the poor, at the annual March meeting. He early took a leading part in public affairs in his new home. He was elected to the most important town offices, and soon came to be regarded as one of the leading men of the place. It is probable that he was a man of considerable means when he came to Norwich, which, united with his superior talents, gave him a commanding influence in the community. The next year (1774) the annual town meeting was held at his house, and such meetings continued to be so held until 1779, after which they were held at the meeting house, except in severe winter weather. Probably his influence was potent in fixing the location of the first meeting house very near to his residence and upon land which he gave for a site. He also gave the land for the old burying ground adjoining. Mr. Olcott was the first justice of the peace in town, being chosen to that office at a special town meeting called for that purpose April 7, 1778. In...

The Discovery Of This Continent, it’s Results To The Natives

In the year 1470, there lived in Lisbon, a town in Portugal, a man by the name of Christopher Columbus, who there married Dona Felipa, the daughter of Bartolome Monis De Palestrello, an Italian (then deceased), who had arisen to great celebrity as a navigator. Dona Felipa was the idol of her doting father, and often accompanied him in his many voyages, in which she soon equally shared with him his love of adventure, and thus became to him a treasure indeed not only as a companion but as a helper; for she drew his maps and geographical charts, and also wrote, at his dictation, his journals concerning his voyages. Shortly after the marriage of Columbus and Felipa at Lisbon, they moved to the island of Porto Santo which her father had colonized and was governor at the time of his death, and settled on a large landed estate which belonged to Palestrello, and which he had bequeathed to Felipa together with all his journals and papers. In that home of retirement and peace the young husband and wife lived in connubial bliss for many years. How could it be otherwise, since each had found in the other a congenial spirit, full of adventurous explorations, but which all others regarded as visionary follies? They read together and talked over the journals and papers of Bartolomeo, during which Felipa also entertained Columbus with accounts of her own voyages with her father, together with his opinions and those of other navigators of that age his friends and companions of a possible country that might be discovered in the distant West, and the...

Narrative of the Escape of W. B. Thompson – Indian Captivities

John W. B. Thompson’s story of “captivity” is really a captive story about being attacked by Seminole Indians at the Cape Florida Lighthouse he manned with what appears to be his slave. Written by him to let his friends know that he was alive, though crippled, the letter to the editor of the Charleston (S. C.) Courier details the frightful event of 23 July 1836. The Seminole Indians who attacked him likely pillaged the premise for supplies as they were taking their families into the marsh around Cape Florida where they were attempting to hide from the forced migration of their tribe to Oklahoma.

Indian Wars of Carolina – Previous to the Revolution

When the English settled in South Carolina, it was found that the State was inhabited by about twenty different tribes of Indians. The whites made gradual encroachments without meeting with any opposition from the Indians, until the latter saw that if these advances were continued, they would be completely driven from their country. A struggle was immediately begun, in which the colonists suffered so much from the number and fury of their enemies that a price was fixed upon every Indian who should be brought captive to Charleston, from whence they were sold into slavery for the West Indies. The hostility of the southern Indians was instigated by the Spaniards, who supplied them with arms and ammunition. In the year 1702, Governor Moore marched into the country of the Appalachian Indians, took a great number of prisoners, and compelled the remainder to submit to the supremacy of the English government. A more important contest occurred in 1712. The Tuscaroras, and other powerful tribes, whose country extended from Cape Fear River to the peninsula of Florida, united in a league, the object of which was, to wage a war of extermination against the whites. Every part of the design was laid with secrecy and ingenuity. They fortified their principal village, in order to shelter their women and children, and there the warriors met and matured their scheme. When the favorable moment arrived, they scattered in small bands, and entering the houses of the planters, demanded something to eat. They then murmured at the provisions set before them, and pretending to be angry, they immediately began to murder men, women, and...

John Isaac Love – Notes on the Will

Notes on the Will of John Isaac Love, the son of Thomas Dillard Love, taken from a memorandum of my Father, Robert Love, now in my possession-F.D. Love John I Love died on the ________ of ________ leaving Will made on ________ of __________ 18___, in which he gives all his personal estate to his brother, R. Love, and likewise his entire landed interest. However, he requires or conditions in the bequest a sale; that his brother, R. Love, shall pay his nephew, R.L. Dulaney, five hundred dollars when he arrives at the age of 21, and if he dies before that time, then to be null and void. He likewise requires his brother to pay $500 (when it is convenient for him to do so) to the American Bible Society. The bequest to him are with a condition, and therefore assume the function of a deed of sale and in order to be of any validity on part of Love, the devisee, he will be compelled to accept of the Will or estate with the conditions annexed. Note: The said John I. Love died in Charleston, S.C. he was my uncle, and was one of the brightest members, if the brightest member of the whole Love name. He was a scholar, and Ramsey, the Historian, valued his services and ability very much and sought his assistance in compiling this “Annals of Tennessee”. F.D....

Slave Narrative of James Singleton

Person Interviewed: Rev. James Singleton Location: Mississippi Date of Birth: 1856 “My name’s James Singleton. I’se a Baptist preacher. I was born in 1856, but I doan know zactly what date. My mammy was Harr’et Thompson. Her marster was Marse Daniel Thompson over in Simpson County on Strong River at a place called Westville. My pappy, he come from South Ca’lina—Charleston—an’ was give to do old folks’ darter. His name was John Black an’ he was owned by Mr. Frank Smith over in Simpson. He was brought down frum South Ca’lina in a wagon ‘long wid lots mo’. “Me, I was sol’ to Marse Harrison Hogg over in Simpson when I was ’bout six years old, and Marse Hogg, he turn right ‘roun’, and sol’ me an’ sister Harr’et an’ brother John nex’ day for fo’ thousan’. Two thousan’ fo’ John, ’cause he’s older an’ bigger, an’ a thousan’ fo’ Harr’et an’ me. Miss Annie an’ Marse Elbert Bell bought us. “Marse Elbert had three mo’ sides us—makin’ six. Us slep’ on pallets on de flo’, an’ all lived in one long room made out of logs, an’ had a dirt flo’ an’ dirt chimbly. There was a big old iron pot hangin’ over de hearth, an’ us had ‘possum, greens, taters, and de lak cooked in it. Had coon sometimes, too. “Marse Elbert, he lived in jes a plain wood house made Califo’nia style, wid a front room an’ a shed room where de boys slep’. Dey had two boys, Jettie an’ William. “I reckin dere was ’bout a hun’erd an’ sixty acres planted in taters an’ corn,...

Slave Narrative of Ned Walker

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Ned Walker Location: Winnsboro, South Carolina Place of Birth: Winnsboro, South Carolina Age: 83 Ned Walker lives in the village of White Oak, near Winnsboro, S.C., in a two-room frame house, the dwelling of his son-in-law, Leander Heath, who married his daughter, Nora. Ned is too old to do any work of a remunerative character but looks after the garden and chickens of his daughter and son-in-law. He is a frequent visitor to Winnsboro, S.C. He brings chickens and garden produce, to sell in the town and the Winnsboro Hill’s village. He is tall, thin, and straight, with kind eyes. Being one of the old Gaillard Negroes, transplanted from the Santee section of Berkeley County, in the Low Country, to the red hills of Fairfield County, in the Up Country, he still retains words and phrases characteristic of the Negro in the lower part of South Carolina. “Yes sir, I’s tall and slim lak a saplin’; maybe dat a good reason I live so long. Doctor say lean people lives longer than fat people. “I hear daddy read one time from de Bible ’bout a man havin’ strength of years in his right hand and honor and riches in his left hand, but whenever I open dat left hand dere is nothin’ in it. ‘Spect dat promise is comin’ tho’, when de old age pension money gits down here from Washington. When you ‘spect it is comin’? De palm of my hand sho’ begin to itch for dat greenback money. So you think it’s on de way? Well, thank God for dat but it seem...

Slave Narrative of Jesse Rice

Interviewer: Caldwell Sims Person Interviewed: Jesse Rice Date of Interview: January 8, 1938 Location: Gaffney, South Carolina Stories From Ex-Slaves “My people tells me a lot about when I was a lil’ wee boy. I has a clear mind and I allus has had one. My folks did not talk up people’s age like folks do dese days. Every place dat I be now, ‘specially round dese government folks, first thing dat dey wants to know is your name. Well, dat is quite natu’al, but de very next question is how old you is. I don’t know, why it is, but dey sho do dat. As my folks never talked age, it never worried me till jes’ here of late. So dey says to me dat last week I give one age to de man, and now I gives another. Soon I see’d dat and I had to rest my mind on dat as well as de mind of de government folks. So I settled it at 80 years old. Dat gives me respect from everybody dat I sees. Den it is de truth, too, kaise I come along wid everybody dat is done gone and died now. De few white folks what I was contemperment (contemporary) wid, ‘lows dat I is 80 and dey is dat, too. “You know dat I does ‘member when dat Sherman man went through here wid dem awful mens he had. Dey ‘lowed dat dey was gwine to Charlotte to git back to Columbia. I never is heard of sech befo’ or since. We lived at old man Jerry Moss’s in Yorkville, way...

Slave Narrative of Joe Rutherford

Interviewer: G. Leland Summer Person Interviewed: Joe Rutherford Location: Newberry, South Carolina “I was born about 1846, ’cause I was in de war and was 19 years old when de war was over. I went to Charleston with my master, Ros Atwood, my mistress’s brother. My mistress was Mrs. Laura Rutherford and my master at home was Dr. Thomas Rutherford. We was on Morris Island. “My father was Allen Rutherford and my mother Barbara Rutherford. My daddy had come from Chili to this country, was a harness maker, and belonged awhile to Nichols. We had a good house or hut to live in, and my work was to drive cows till I was old ‘nough to work in de fields, when I was 13. Then I plowed, hoed cotton, and hoed corn ’till last year of war and den went to Charleston. “Master paid us no money for work. We could hunt and fish, and got lots of game around there. We had dogs but our master didn’t like hounds. “Col. Daryton Rutherford, doct’s son, had me for a ‘pet’ on the place. They had overseers who was sometimes bossy but they wouldn’t allow dem to whip me. One old nigger named ‘Isom’, who come from Africa, was whipped mighty bad one day. The padderollers whip me one night when I went off to git a pair of shoes for an old lady and didn’t git a pass. I was 16 years old then. “Doctor Rutherford had several farms—I reckon around 2,000 acres of land. We didn’t have church nor school but sometimes we had to go to de...

Slave Narrative of Alexander Robertson

Interviewer: W. W. Dixon Person Interviewed: Alexander Robertson Location: White Oak, South Carolina Age: 84 Ex-Slave 84 Years Old Alexander Robertson lives as a member of the household of his son, Charley, on the General Bratton plantation, four miles southeast of White Oak, S.C. It is a box-like house, chimney in the center, four rooms, a porch in front and morning glory vines, in bloom at this season, climbing around the sides and supports. Does Alexander sit here in the autumn sunshine and while the hours away? Nay, in fact he is still one of the active, working members of the family, ever in the fields with his grandchildren, poke around his neck, extracting fleecy cotton from the bolls and putting it deftly into the poke. He can carry his row equally as well as any of the six grandchildren. He has a good appetite at meal time, digestive organs good, sleeps well, and is the early riser in the mornings. He says the Negro half of his nature objects to working on Saturday afternoon, and at such times his tall figure, with a green patch cloth over the left eye, which is sightless, may be seen strolling to and fro on the streets of Winnsboro. “Well, well! If it ain’t de youngun dat use to sell me sugar, coffee, fat back and meal, when he clerk for Calvin Brice & Company, at Woodward, in ’84 and ‘long dere. “I hopes you is well dis mornin’. I’s told to come to Winnsboro and gits blanks for a pension. Andy Foster, man I knows, d’rect me up dese steps and...
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