Location: Knoxville Tennessee

Governor Houston at His Trading Post on the Verdigris

In February, 1828, the vanguard of Creek immigrants arrived at the Creek Agency on the Verdigris, in charge of Colonel Brearley, and they and the following members of the McIntosh party were located on a section of land that the Government promised in the treaty of 1826 to purchase for them. By the treaty of May 6, 1828, the Government assigned the Cherokee a great tract of land, to which they at once began to remove from their homes in Arkansas. The movement had been under way for some months when there appeared among the Indians the remarkable figure of Samuel Houston. The biographers of Houston have told the world next to nothing of his sojourn of three or four years in the Indian country, an interesting period when he was changing the entire course of his life and preparing for the part he was to play in the drama of Texas.

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The Meeting of Folsom and Nittakachih

When the council, convened for the adjustment and final distribution of the annuity, adjourned in such confusion, together with the animosity manifested and openly expressed by both contending parties the one toward the other, (a similar scene never before witnessed in a Choctaw council) I feared the consequences that I was apprehensive would follow; but hoped that the conflicting opinions then agitating my people would be harmonized upon calm reflection and the adoption of wise and judicious measures. But when I ascertained that Nittakachih and Amosholihubih were truly assembling their warriors, I began to view the matter in its true and proper light. I knew those two chiefs too well to longer doubt the full interpretations of their designs as set forth in their actions; for they both were men who indulged not in meaningless parade, or delighted in empty display. Inevitable war kindred against kindred and brother against brother with all its horrors and irreparable consequences now seemed to stare me in the face, with no alternative but to speedily prepare to meet it; therefore Le Flore and myself, after due deliberation, resolved, if we must fight, to confine the fighting as much as possible within Amosholihubih’s and Nittakachih’s own districts. We at once took up our line of march south toward Demopolis, which was in the district of Amosholihubih, and where they had assembled their warriors. At...

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Letter from John Baxter to Robert Love

Knoxville, Tennessee. My Dear Sir: September 2nd, 1861 Your letter of the 29th July did not reach me before I left for Richmond. What detained it I do not know. But on my return I received and read it with great interest. By it, I see that you had properly appreciated my position. From what I had heard, you had misconceived my views, but I seen now that you had not. With the strongest possible convictions against the policy and propriety of Secession, I have ever exerted by influence to preserve peace in East Tennessee, and, as I think, with no little success. You will see the result in Nelson’s card to the people of East Tennessee. I approached him as a friend and opened up the way to convictions without which he most probably would not have made the concessions which seemed to be indispensable as a prerequisite to his release. By degrees he came to the opinions entertained by me, and by common consent, we both made a step forward, acknowledged the country divided and consented in our own minds to yield to a necessity-to an evil which we could not arrest. The result you will see in his card, which was submitted to me and approved by me in manuscript. Under this connection that the country was inevitably divided, I have been assiduously laboring since my...

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Letter from W.G. Brownlow to Robert Love

Knoxville, February 26th, 1861. Robert Love, Esqr., I desire to purchase a young Negro woman, and to pay down in par funds. Diley would suite me, and I think she would be willing to live with me. I buy, not for speculation, or to trade, but to keep her. What will you take, cash in hand, for Diley? Set your lowest figures. If you will not sell, will you hire her, and at what rates? I am going you for her hire, and will pay it when you visit our place. If you will sell Diley, and I can go the price, I will go up after her. If you will not sell, perhaps, Col. N.G. Taylor, may have one that will suit. She must be a number one girl of good qualities, or I would not give any thing for her. See him, if you will not sell, or any one else willing to sell a valuable girl or woman, not old, and suited to house work, and write me by return mail thereafter. Very truly, etc. W.G. Brownlow, Note: The above party was one of the strongest abolitionists ever in the United States, and was a very strong Union man during the Civil War. He has written two or three books, one of which is “Parson Brownlow’s Book”, and denounces the South and the Southern men, who...

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Slave Narrative of Robert Falls

Interviewer: Della Yoe Person Interviewed: Robert Falls Location: Knoxville, Tennessee Place of Birth: Claiborne County, North Carolina Date of Birth: December 14, 1840 Place of Residence: 608 South Broadway, Knoxville, Tennessee Robert Falls was born on December 14, 1840, in the rambling one-story shack that accomodated the fifteen slaves of his Old Marster, [HW: Harry] Beattie Goforth, on a farm in Claiborne County, North Carolina. His tall frame is slightly stooped, but he is not subjected to the customary infirmities of the aged, other than poor vision and hearing. Fairly comfortable, he is spending his declining years in contentment, for he is now the first consideration of his daughter, Mrs. Lola Reed, with whom he lives at #608 S. Broadway, Knoxville, Tennessee. His cushioned rocking chair is the honor seat of the household. His apology for not offering it to visitors, is that he is “not so fast on his feet as he used to be.” Despite Uncle Robert’s protest that his “mind comes and goes”, his memory is keen, and his sense of humor unimpaired. His reminiscences of slave days are enriched by his ability to recreate scenes and incidents in few words, and by his powers of mimicry. “If I had my life to live over,” he declares, “I would die fighting rather than be a slave again. I want no man’s yoke on my shoulders no...

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Slave Narrative of Aunt Mollie Moss

Person Interviewed: Mollie Moss Location: Knoxville, Tennessee Age: 82-83 Place of Residence: # 88 Auburn Street, Knoxville, Tennessee There is no street sign or a number on any of the ramshackled frame cottages that seemingly lean with the breezes, first one direction, then another, along the alley that wind’s through the city’s northernmost boundary and stops its meanderings at the doorstep of “Uncle Andrew Moss” and his wife, “Aunt Mollie.” The City Directory of Knoxville, Tennessee officially lists the Moss residence as # 88 Auburn Street. It rests upon its foundations more substantially, and is in better kept condition than its neighbors. In lieu of a “reg’lar” house number, the aged negro couple have placed a rusty automobile lisence tag of ancient vintage conspicuously over their door. It is their jesture of contempt for their nearest white neighbors who “dont seem to care whedder folkses know whar dey lib an maybe don wants em to.” As for Aunt Mollie, she holds herself superior to all of her neighbors. She “Ain got no time for po white trash noway.” She shoo’ed two little tow-headed white girls from her doorstep with her broom as she stood in her door and watched a visitor approach. “G’wan way frum here now, can be bodder wid you chillun messin ups my front yard. Take yo tings an go on back to yo own place!”...

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Slave Narrative of Andrew Moss

Person Interviewed: Andrew Moss Location: Knoxville, Tennessee Place of Birth: Wilkes County, Georgia Date of Birth: 1852 “One ting dat’s all wrong wid dis world today,” according to Andrew Moss, aged negro, as he sits through the winter days before an open grate fire in his cabin, with his long, lean fingers clasped over his crossed knees, “is dat dey ain no ‘prayer grounds’. Down in Georgia whar I was born,-dat was ‘way back in 1852,-us colored folks had prayer grounds. My Mammy’s was a ole twisted thick-rooted muscadine bush. She’d go in dar and pray for deliverance of de slaves. Some colored folks cleaned out knee-spots in de cane breaks. Cane you know, grows high and thick, and colored folks could hide de’seves in dar, an nobody could see an pester em.” “You see it was jes like dis. Durin’ de war, an befo de war too, white folks make a heap o fun of de colored folks for alltime prayin. Sometime, say, you was a slave en you git down to pray in de field or by de side of de road. White Marster come ‘long and see a slave on his knees. He say, ‘What you prayin’ ’bout?’ An you say, ‘Oh, Marster I’se jes prayin’ to Jesus cause I wants to go to Heaven when I dies.’ An Marster say, ‘Youse my negro. I git...

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Slave Narrative of Joseph Leonidas Star

Person Interviewed: Joseph Leonidas Star Location: 133 Quebec Place, Knoxville, Tennessee Place of Birth: Knoxville, Tennessee Age: 81? Occupation: Shoemaker, Poet If the poetic strain in the Dunbar Negroes of the south is an inheritance and not “just a gift from On High,” Knoxville, Tennessee’s aged Negro Poet,-born Joseph Leonidas Star,-but prominently known in the community as “Lee” Star, Poet, Politician and Lodge Man,-thinks that Georgia’s poetic genius Paul Lawrence Dunbar, “maybe took his writin’ spells” from him. “My grandfather and Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s grandfather was cousins. He were a much younger man than I am, for I was eighty-one years old the twenty-sixth of December, 1937. So I reckon I give it down to my kin-man. But it seem to me, that Poets is just born thataway. Po’try is nothin’ but Truth anyway, and it’s Truth was sets us free. And that makes me a free-born citizen bothways and every ways. I were born free. I were always happy-natured and I expect to die thataway. One of my poems is named, ‘Be Satisfied!’ and I say in it that if a man’s got somethin’ to eat, and teeth to bite, he should be satisfied. You cant take your goods with you. Old man Rockefeller, when he died here awhile back, went away from here ‘thout his hat and shoes. That’s the way its goin’ to be with all...

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Slave Narrative of Samuel Sutton

Interviewer: Miriam Logan Person Interviewed: Samuel Sutton Location: Lebanon, Ohio Place of Birth: Garrett County Kentucky Date of Birth: 1854 Miriam Logan, Lebanon, Ohio Warren County, Dist. 2 July 2, 1937 Interview with SAMUEL SUTTON, Ex Slave. Born in Garrett County, Kentucky, in 1854 (drawing of Sutton) [TR: no drawing found] “Yes’em, I sho were bo’n into slavery. Mah mothah were a cook-(they was none betteah)-an she were sold four times to my knownin’. She were part white, for her fathah were a white man. She live to be seventy-nine yeahs an nine months old.” “Ah was bo’n in Garrett County, but were raised by ol’ Marster Ballinger in Knox County, an’ ah don remember nothin ’bout Garrett County.” When Lincoln was elected last time, I were about eight yeahs ol’.” “Ol’ Marster own ’bout 400-acres, n’ ah don’ know how many slaves-maybe 30. He’d get hard up fo money n’ sell one or two; then he’d get a lotta work on hands, an maybe buy one or two cheap,-go ‘long lak dat you see.” He were a good man, Ol’ Mars Ballinger were-a preacher, an he wuk hisse’f too. Ol’ Mis’ she pretty cross sometime, but ol’ Mars, he weren’t no mean man, an ah don’ ‘member he evah whip us. Yes’em dat ol’ hous is still standin’ on the Lexington-Lancaster Pike, and las time I know, Baby...

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Biographical Sketch of Council P. Cates

Council P. Cates, a substantial farmer of Lake County, is the son of John A. and Susan (Box) Cates; he was born February 6,1855, in what is now Lake County; was raised on a farm, and had the best educational advantages the State afforded, having completed his education at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. After leaving college he was for a while salesman at James Cronan’s store, but it was soon closed, and he commenced farming, but in a short time sold out and went to Texas, and after staying a year there he returned to Lake County. In 1878 he married Anna E. Darnall, born February 16, 1852, and they have two sons and two daughters. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Cates belong to any church. In politics he is a democrat. For three years he has been a member of the county court, and was elected to fill out an unexpired term as sheriff; he is now school commissioner. A short time after his marriage Mr. Cates settled on the farm where he now lives; he has 160 acres of the finest land in the county, and is soliciting agent of The Mississippi Valley Transportation Company. He has been a resident of Lake County for thirty years, and is well known as an expert in bird hunting; he owns one of the finest guns in the country,...

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Biography of Granville T. Ledgerwood

Granville T. Ledgerwood. The community around Beaumont in Butler County and also in Greenwood County had known Mr. Ledgerwood as a substantial farmer citizen and business man for over thirty years. As a farmer he attended strictly to his business, worked with all the power that was in him and in time acquired a well developed farm and sufficient property for his needs. Mr. Ledgerwood is now a resident of the Village of Beaumont, and among other interests is looking after the local postoffice as postmaster. He comes of that fine stock of people that located in East Tennessee during pioneer times and subsequently showed their independence and love of the Union during the dark days of the Civil war. The Ledgerwood family came originally from England and settled in Virginia, later going to East Tennessee. Some members of family fought in the Revolutionary war. The name originated in 1127 in Berwickshire, England, derived from the lands of Ledgerwood in Berwickshire. The coat of arms are: Argent, a chevron engrailed between three wolves heads, erased sable, collared and ringed, or. The crest is: Ont of a mural coronet, or, a wolf’s head, sable, collared and ringed, or. Motto, “Spera in Deo.” On the maternal side the family is related to President Rutherford B. Hayes. Mr. Ledgerwood’s grandfather, Samuel Ledgerwood, was born in Union County, Tennessee, in 1811. He lived...

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Biographical Sketch of Harry Elmer Duff

Duff, Harry Elmer; manufacturer; born, Bloomington, Ill., July 23, 1873; son of Jos. G. and Mary Ellen Lowdon Duff; graduated from the University of Tennessee, in 1893, taking Bachelor of Arts degree; in 1902, graduated from the New York Law School, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws; in 1894, came to Ohio, and became identified in a manufacturing business, which a few years later was purchased by the American Sheet Tin Plate Co.; since that time, has been continuously associated with that corporation; local sales representative of the American Sheet & Tin Plate Co.; vice pres. Union Metal Mfg. Co.; Canton, O.; member Mt. Olive Chapter, No. 189, Royal Arch Masons; Forest City Commandery, No. 40, Knights Templar; member University, Athletic and Manufacturer’s...

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Biography of John Norval Sherman, M. D.

John Norval Sherman, M. D. Although one of the younger physicians of Neosho County, Dr. John Norval Sherman, of Thayer, has gained the confidence and support of the public by reason of his thorough training for his profession and his fidelity to the ethics of the medical fraternity. He came to his present field of activity in 1916, with five years of experience behind him, and has already built up what promises to be a lucrative and representative practice. Doctor Sherman was born July 11, 1884, at Lafayette, Madison County, Ohio, and belongs to a family which originally came to America from England and settled in New York before the War of the Revolution. His grandfather was William Sherman, who was born in 1825, in the Empire State, from when he went to Kentucky, then to Scioto County, Ohio, and later to Madison County, Ohio, his death occurring in 1885, at Irvin Station, Ohio. He was a pioneer cattle man of the Buckeye State and a good and loyal citizen who served the Union as a soldier during the Civil war. A. W. Sherman, the father of Dr. J. N. Sherman, was born January 10, 1850, at Columbus, Ohio, and was reared in Scioto County, that state. As a young man he went to Madison County, where he was married and engaged in farming until 1888, when he removed...

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Biography of William Davidson Hume

William Davidson Hume, conducting a real estate, loan and insurance business and also closely identified with the oil industries through the handling of oil and gas leases, was born November 12, 1864, in Jefferson county, Tennessee, a son of David Patterson and Rebecca (Thomas) Hume. The father devoted his life to the occupation of farming and William D. Hume remained on the home farm to the age of twenty years, gaining intimate knowledge of farm life and methods through actual experience in the work of the field. He supplemented a public school education by study in the business college at Knoxville, Tennessee, and with this equipment started out to make his own way in the world. For a time Mr. Hume was associated as salesman with a wholesale jobbing house at Knoxville, there remaining for about five years, when he resigned his position to become connected with one of the largest stove manufacturing concerns in Nashville, Tennessee, becoming a representative of the Phillips & Buttorff Manufacturing Company. He occupied the position of sales manager for more than a quarter of a century and during that period his business activities covered the states of Virginia, a part of West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Mississippi, a part of Alabama, Georgia and Texas. While thus engaged, the company which he represented sent him to make the pioneer trip for the house...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles A. Ricks

Ricks, Charles A.; sec’y and treas. Kuhlman Car Co.; born, Knoxville, Tenn., Aug. 14, 1868; son of Augustus J. and Emma Maxwell Atwater Ricks; educated, Kenyon Military Academy, and Kenyon College; married, Oct. 21, 1897, at Detroit, Mich., Miss Margaret Trowbridge; business career, 1888 clerk First National Bank, Massillon, O., sec’y and treas. Massillon Loan Ass’n; came to Cleveland in 1890, and became auditor and traveling salesman for the Standard Oil Co.; in 1896, appointed mgr. of the Cleveland station; in 1900, organized the G. C. Kuhlman Car Co., sec’y and treas., builds electric and steam railway cars, turning out an average of 600 cars a year, employ 700 men; Republican; Episcopalian; Psi Upsilon Iota, member Military Order, Loyal Legion; Chamber of Commerce, Union, and Country Clubs. Recreations: Golf, and...

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