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Letters of President Pierce to Colonel Steptoe

President Pierce appointed Colonel Steptoe as governor to succeed Brigham Young and his appointment was duly confirmed by the Senate. Owing to the peculiar conditions existing in Utah, the governorship of that territory was considered one of the most important appointments in the hands of the President, yet the appointment of Colonel Steptoe received the highest commendation from the press and the people generally who were familiar with the requirements of the office. Letter from President Pierce to Steptoe – Page 1Letter from President Pierce to Steptoe – Page 2Letter from President Pierce to Steptoe – Page 3Letter from President Pierce to Steptoe – Page 4Letter from President Pierce to Steptoe – Page...

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 Lucas

Person Interviewed: James Lucas Location: Natchez Mississippi Place of Residence: Natchez, Adams County MS Date of Birth: October 11, 1833 James Lucas, ex-slave of Jefferson Davis, lives at Natchez, Adams County. Uncle Jim is small, wrinkled, and slightly stooped. His woolly hair is white, and his eyes very bright. He wears a small grizzled mustache. He is always clean and neatly dressed. “Miss, you can count up for yo’se’f. I was born on October 11, 1833. My young Marster give me my age when he heired de prope’ty of his uncle, Marse W.B. Withers. He was a-goin’ through de papers an’ a-burnin’ some of ’em when he foun’ de one ’bout me. Den he says, ‘Jim, dissen’s ’bout you. It gives yo’ birthday.’ “I recollec’ a heap’ bout slav’ry-times, but I’s all by myse’f now. All o’ my frien’s has lef’ me. Even Marse Fleming has passed on. He was a little boy when I was a grown man. “I was born in a cotton fiel’ in cotton pickin’ time, an’ de wimmins fixed my mammy up so she didn’ hardly lose no time at all. My mammy sho’ was healthy. Her name was Silvey an’ her mammy come over to dis country in a big ship. Somebody give her de name o’ Betty, but twant her right name. Folks couldn’ un’erstan’ a word she say. It was some sort o’ gibberish dey called gulluh-talk, an’ it soun’ dat funny. My pappy was Bill Lucas. “When I was a little chap I used to wear coarse lowell-cloth shirts on de week-a-days. Dey was long an’ had big collars. When...

Coal Mine Slaves

CALDWELL CO. (Mary E. O’Malley) [HW: Ky 6] Coal Mine Slaves: In 1836 large numbers of slaves were brought into Caldwell and worked by the owners of the ore mines, which necessitated extra patrols, interfered with local workmen, and so on. The taxpayers complained to the Legislature and an extra tax was allowed to be levied for the benefit of the county. In other books we find that the owners of the slaves who worked in these mines was President Andrew Jackson who brought his slaves from Nashville to the iron and lead mines in Caldwell and Crittenden counties; he is said to have made several trips himself to these...

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