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Slave Narrative of Page Harris

Interviewer: Rogers Person Interviewed: Page Harris Location: Camp Parole, Maryland Place of Birth: Charles County MD Date of Birth: 1858 Place of Residence: Campe Parole, A. A. C. Co., MD Reference: Personal interview with Page Harris at his home, Camp Parole, A.A.C. Co., Md. “I was born in 1858 about 3 miles west of Chicamuxen near the Potomac River in Charles County on the farm of Burton Stafford, better known as Blood Hound Manor. This name was applied because Mr. Stafford raised and trained blood hounds to track runaway slaves and to sell to slaveholders of Maryland, Virginia and other southern states as far south as Mississippi and Louisiana. “My father’s name was Sam and mother’s Mary, both of whom belonged to the Staffords and were reared in Charles County. They reared a family of nine children, I being the oldest and the only one born a slave, the rest free. I think it was in 1859 or it might be 1860 when the Staffords liberated my parents, not because he believed in the freedom of slaves but because of saving the lives of his entire family. “Mrs. Stafford came from Prince William County, Virginia, a county on the west side of the Potomac River in Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Stafford had a large rowboat that they used on the Potomac as a fishing and oyster boat as well as a transportation boat across the Potomac River to Quantico, a small town in Prince William County, Va., and up Quantico Creek in the same county. “I have been told by my parents and also by Joshua Stafford, the oldest...

Slave Narrative of “Parson” Rezin Williams

Interviewer: Stansbury Person Interviewed: Rezin (Parson) Williams Date of Interview: September 18 and 24, 1937 Location: Baltimore, Maryland Date of Birth: March 11, 1822 Age: 116 Place of Residence: 2610 Pierpont Street, Mount Winans, Baltimore, MD References: Baltimore Morning Sun, December 10, 1928. Registration Books of Board of Election Supervisors Baltimore Court House. Personal interviews with “Parson” Rezin Williams, on Thursday afternoon, September 18 and 24, 1937, at his home, 2610 Pierpont Street, Mount Winans, Baltimore, Md. Oldest living Negro Civil War veteran; now 116 years old. Oldest registered voter in Maryland and said to be the oldest “freeman” in the United States. Said to be oldest member of Negro family in America with sister and brother still living, more than a century old. Father worked for George Washington. In 1864 when the State Constitution abolished slavery and freed about 83,000 Negro slaves in Maryland, there was one, “Parson” Rezin Williams, already a freeman. He is now living at the age of 116 years, in Baltimore City, Maryland, credited with being the oldest of his race in the United States who served in the Civil War. He was born March 11, 1822, at “Fairview”, near Bowie, Prince Georges County, Maryland—a plantation of 1000 acres, then belonging to Governor Oden Bowie’s father. “Parson” Williams’ father, Rezin Williams, a freeman, was born at “Mattaponi”, near Nottingham, Prince Georges County, the estate of Robert Bowie of Revolutionary War fame, friend of Washington and twice Governor of Maryland. The elder Rezin Williams served the father of our country as a hostler at Mount Vernon, where he worked on Washington’s plantation during the stormy...

Slave Narrative of James Wiggins

Person Interviewed: James Wiggins Location: Baltimore, Maryland Place of Birth: Anne Arundel County MD Date of Birth: 1850-1851 Place of Residence: 625 Barre St. Reference: Personal interview with James Wiggins, ex-slave, at his home, 625 Barre St. “I was born in Anne Arundel County, on a farm near West River about 1850 or 1851, I do not know which. I do not know my father or mother. Peter Brooks, one of the oldest colored men in the county, told me that my father’s name was Wiggins. He said that he was one of the Revells’ slaves. He acquired my father at an auction sale held in Baltimore at a high price from a trader who had an office on Pratt Street about 1845. He was given a wife by Mr. Revell and as a result of this union I was born. My father was a carpenter by trade, he was hired out to different farmers by Mr. Revell to repair and build barns, fences and houses. I have been told that my father could read and write. Once he was charged with writing passes for some slaves in the county, as a result of this he was given 15 lashes by the sheriff of the county, immediately afterwards he ran away, went to Philadelphia, where he died while working to save money to purchase mother’s freedom, through a white Baptist minister in Baltimore. “I was called “Gingerbread” by the Revells. They reared me until I reached the age of about nine or ten years old. My duty was to put logs on the fireplaces in the Revells’ house and...

Slave Narrative of Mom Jessie Sparrow

Interviewer: Annie Ruth Davis Person Interviewed: Jessie Sparrow Date of Interview: December 1937 Location: Marion, South Carolina Age: 83 “No, I ain’ cold. I settin in de sun. Miss Ida, she went by here just now en call at me bout de door been open en lettin dat cold wind blow in on my back wid all de fire gone out. I tell her, it ain’ botherin me none, I been settin out in de sun. Well, I don’ feel much to speak bout, child, but I knockin round somehow. Miss Ida, she bring me dis paper to study on. She does always be bringin me de Star cause she know dat I love to see de news of Marion. It right sad bout de Presbyterian preacher, but everybody got to die, I say. Right sad though. We hear dat church bell here de other evenin en we never know what it been tollin for. I holler over dere to Maggie house en ax her how-come de church bell tollin, but she couldn’ tell me nothin bout it. Reckon some chillun had get hold of it, she say. I tell her, dat bell never been pull by no chillun cause I been hear death note in it. Yes, honey, de people sho gwine horne (grieve) after Dr. Holladay.” “I say, I doin very well myself en I thankful I ain’ down in de bed. Mighty thankful I ain’ down in de bed en can set up en talk wid de people when dey comes to see me. I ain’ been up dere on your street in a long time....

William Davis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

c154 WILLIAM DAVIS: b. near Philadelphia, 1756; had two brothers, Henry and Jonas; served in the Revolutionary War for four yrs.; in 1784 m. Isabella Scott; had with other issue (1) Henry: b. 1787; d. 1860; m. Jane Johnston; was a sergeant in Capt. Leiper’s Company in War of 1812. One of the founders of New Sheffield, Pa., and was a surveyor, an astronomer and a driller of salt wells. (A) Isabella: b. 1814; d. 1862; m. Johnston Calhoun. (B) James S.: b. 1815, d. 1897; m. Maria Flanegin, 1840. Ch. incd: (a) Francis F.: b. 1845; m. Abbie Stout. (b) Henry A.: b. 1855; d. 1910; m. Elizabeth McCleary. (c) James E.: b. 1858; m. Maude Powell. (C) William Henry: b. 1816; d. 1865; m. Mary Calhoun. (a) Joseph. (b) Alice: m. Miller Kenton. (c) Henry K. (d) Horace: (M.D.). Served in Civil War; m. Kate (?) and had Paul and Grace. (D) John (Rev.): b. 1821; m. Emma Hays; had Eva who m. Dr. Win. Huselton. John Davis was an inventor as well as a minister. Eva had three ch.—Norman, d. v., Roma m. Capt. O’Brien), and Frances (m. John Bancroft). (E) Jane J.: b. 1850; m. George S. Davis. (2) William. (3) Alexander: b. 1796; d. 1857; m. Elizabeth Shafer, 1819. Their ch. include: (A) William Hugh: b. 1822; d. 1907; m. Jane S. Davis, 1849. (a) Eliza Anne: b. 1852; m. William Reed. (b) George James: b. 1855; m. Mary MacDonald. They had Ross, m. Jennie Kelso, Edwin, d. v., Mary, m. Leman Siniley, Virginia and Andrew. (c) Herman Ulysses (Rev.): m. Margaret Reed, 1898....

Biography of Richard Johnson Payne, M. D.

Making his advent into professional circles in St. Louis in 1913 as an interne in Bethesda Hospital, Dr. Richard Johnson Payne has continuously engaged in practice in this city save for the period of his service in charge of the ear, nose and throat department of Base Hospital, No. 20, in France during the World war. Thorough study, earnest purpose and close adherence to the highest standards of the profession have gained for him a creditable place and large practice. Missouri numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred in Fayette on the 14th of April, 1888. He is a son of William Payne, also a native of Missouri and descended from ancestry from Virginia and Kentucky. The grandfather, Richard Payne, came to Missouri in the early part of the nineteenth century and settled in Howard county, where he engaged extensively in farming and stock raising and also became identified with banking. The father was reared and educated in Howard county, where he, too, engaged in agricultural pursuits for many years but is now living retired. He married Nannie May Walker, a native of that county and representative of one of its old pioneer families, her father being John Walker, a prominent statesman, who at one time filled the position of auditor of Missouri. Mrs. Payne passed away in 1900, at the age of thirty-nine years. In the family were two sons, the elder being John, a farmer of Howard county. Dr. Payne, the younger son, was educated in Central College of Fayette, Missouri, winning his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1908, after which he came to St....

Biography of James Frederick McFadden, M. D.

Dr. James Frederick McFadden, who in keeping with the tendency of the age toward specialization has become a successful neurologist, was born in Belmont, Missouri, September 22, 1888. His father, James McFadden, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was an enterprising merchant of Belmont until a few years prior to his death, when he removed to St. Louis and retired from active business, passing away in 1907, at the age of fifty-three years. His wife, who in her maidenhood was Josephine L. Klinge, was born in Wabasha, Minnesota, and came to St. Louis with her parents when very young and is now a resident of Charleston, Missouri. By her marriage she became the mother of four children, two sons and two daughters, all of whom are living. Dr. McFadden, the second child, was educated in the country schools at Belmont, Missouri, to the age of eight years and afterwards in the graded schools of St. Louis and St. Louis University. In preparation for his professional career he attended the St. Louis University Medical School and won his M. D. degree in 1913. Prior to his graduation he served as interne in the Alexian Brothers Hospital, where he remained until September, 1913, when he became resident neurologist of the Alexian Brothers Hospital and acted in that capacity until July, 1914. At that date he removed to Boston, Massachusetts, where he became a member of the staff of the Boston Psychopathic Hospital, being the first Missourian to fill a similar position in that institution. There he continued until March, 1915, and was afterward at the Massachusetts State Hospital at Foxboro, where...

Biography of Calvin Perry Bascom

Calvin Perry Bascom, general manager for the business conducted under the name of the Fayette R. Plumb Company, Incorporated, of St. Louis, was born in Ellsworth, Kansas, October 17, 1876. His father, Daniel Craig Bascom, a native of the state of New York, removed to Kansas in 1868 and there engaged in ranching for a number of years, contributing to the early development and progress of that district. He afterward returned to the Empire state, taking up his abode in Rochester, and has now passed away. In early manhood he wedded Agnes Johnson, a native of Vermont, their marriage, however, being celebrated in Ellsworth, Kansas, in 1873. Mrs. Bascom is still living and now makes her home in Rochester, New York. Their family numbers two sons and two daughters. The second eldest of the family is Calvin Perry Bascom, who was educated in the public and high schools of Rochester and also attended the Rochester University and the New York Trade School. He then started with his father in the heating and plumbing business in which he continued for four years, but desirous of improving his education and still further to qualify for the practical and responsible duties of business life he went to Boston where he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was there graduated in 1904 with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He next accepted a position with the Fayette R. Plumb Company, Incorporated, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in October, 1904. He had charge of manufacturing there for six years and on the expiration of that period came to St. Louis in 1910. Here he designed...

Biography of William M. Bryan, M. D.

The medical profession in St. Louis has many distinguished and capable representatives, men who are most conscientious and faithful in the discharge of all professional duties and who are continually striving to promote knowledge and efficiency by broad reading and comprehensive study. To this class belongs Dr. Bryan who was born in St. Louis November 25, 1875. His father, W. J. S. Bryan, also a native of St. Louis is a son of William and Martha Alice (How) Bryan. W.J.S. Bryan is now connected with the board of education of this city. His father, William Bryan, served as vice president of the board of education and later became its supply agent, which office he held until a few years before his death at the age of eighty-three years. W.J.S. Bryan married Nettie Case, who was American born but of English descent, their wedding being celebrated in St. Louis in 1874 and in 1887 Mrs. Bryan passed to the home beyond. In their family were six children, two sons and four daughters, and of these a brother and sister of Dr. Bryan of this review are still living: Grace, the wife of Rev. Frank B. James of Kingston, Illinois; and Howard, who is with the valuation department of the Frisco Railroad and lives in Webster, Missouri. The eldest of the family is Dr. Bryan of this review, who was educated in the public schools of St. Louis until he had completed a course in the Central high school as a graduate of 1893. He next entered the Washington University and there won his Bachelor of Arts degree upon graduation with...

Biography of Andrew H. Reeder, Governor

Pennsylvania had long been noted for her distingnished men in all walks of life. This is particalarly true of the Pennsylvania bar, and the current and popular phrase “a Philadelphia lawyer,” denoting unusual ability and intellectual acumen, illustrates the fact that it was thoroughly recognized both in and out of Pennsylvania that the lawyers of this commonwealth were worthy of the pre-eminence claimed for them. The bar of Northampton County shared this preeminence, and for more than a century it had maintained its prestige in the front rank of the profession in the commonwealth. Its roll contains the names of many distinguished and able lawyers who have also been in high official station. It is not my province in this paper to catalogue them but it will suffice to mention Samuel Sitgreaves, Judge Hopewell Hepburn, Judge Joel Jones, George Wolf, governor of Pennsylvania, James M. Porter, twice president judge and secretary of war in President Tyler’s cabinet; Richard Brodhead, a member of Congress and senator of the United States; Peter Ihrie, Henry D. Maxwell, Sr., Henry Green, chief justice of Pennsylvania, Judge Kirkpatrick, attorney general of Pennsylvania; Howard J. Reeder, judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and General Frank Reeder, secretary of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The subject of this paper, Hon. Andrew Horatio Reeder, was one of the most distinguished and ablest lawyers of our bar. His fame was not confined to the county or to the state but was nation-wide, and in the stirring period just prior to the outbreak of the Civil war he played a large and important part. Governor Reeder belonged to a...
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