Surname: Force

Recreations of Slaves

Recreations of slaves: The following is an old fashion ballad that was sung during the period of slavery and which was very common throughout the Purchase Region: “Jeff Davis rode a big white horse, but Lincoln rode a mule-Jeff Davis was a fine, smart man, and Lincoln was a fool. Jeff Davis had a fine white; Lincoln only had a mule-Jeff Davis was a wonderful man and Lincoln was a fool”. Ring dancing was largely practiced during the slavery period. Especially was this participated in throughout the Purchase Region. This was a rather primative kind of dancing and was performed mostly by negro children. The general procedure was to draw a ring on the ground, ranging from 15 to 30 feet in diameter. The size of the ring to be used was determined by the number of persons who were engaged in the dancing ring. The youngsters would congregate within the ring and dance to the rhythmic hand clapping and rhythm of the tambourine, which was performed by the white people in the community. Sometimes large congregations witnessed these primitive affairs, and they became a great Saturday evening entertainment for the community at large. During the periods of intermission, the youngsters, who had engaged in the dancing would be given a kind of feast on barbecued meat and cider drinking. At the conclusion of this brief festivity, they would...

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Rough Riders

Compiled military service records for 1,235 Rough Riders, including Teddy Roosevelt have been digitized. The records include individual jackets which give the name, organization, and rank of each soldier. They contain cards on which information from original records relating to the military service of the individual has been copied. Included in the main jacket are carded medical records, other documents which give personal information, and the description of the record from which the information was obtained.

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Biographical Sketch of David Force

David Force, immigrant ancestor, was born about 1758 in France, and, being left an orphan during the French revolution, or in the troubles preceding, was cared for and brought to America by a Quaker with whom he was living, a youth of nineteen, at Princeton, New Jersey, at the time of the battle of Princeton, in 1777. Restrained from enlisting in the American army in the revolution on account of the non-combatant principles of his guardian, he was at that time impressed into the service to help care for the wounded and dead. Among those who were conveyed from the danger zone between the armies was jerusha Opdyke, a Holland Dutch girl, whom he afterward married. Both his home and hers were between the firing lines, and the Opdyke house was converted into a hospital. Among the descendants of this couple were many physicians and surgeons. Children : John, a soldier in the war of 1812, died in the service; Benjamin, mentioned elsewhere. The name in France was La Force, and some of the descendants still retain that...

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Biographical Sketch of Benjamin Force

Benjamin, son of David Force, was born in 1793. died in 1873. He spent his youth in his native place in New Jersey and was a pioneer settler at Steuben county, now (1910) Schuyler county, New York, where he followed farming all his active life. In politics he was a Whig and afterward a Republican. An intense Abolitionist, he was prominent in all anti-slavery movements and his house was a station of the Underground Railroad. His grandson and namesake was instantly killed while serving in the Union army in the civil war in Sherman’s “March to the Sea” in 1864. He married (first) Sophia Caswell, born in 1796, died in 1836, daughter of Thomas Caswell, who was born in 1756, died in 1831. Her mother, Miriam (Smith) Caswell, was born and raised in Massachusetts. A number of the descendants of Thomas and Miriam Caswell were prominent business men in Ohio. Children of Benjamin Force: John, Lodencia, Dr. Lyman, Dr. Alfred, Chester B. Benjamin Force married (second) Sarah Russell, by whom he had three children: Eliza, Julia, and...

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Biography of Chester B. Force

Chester B., son of Benjamin Force, was born at Kendall. in Altay valley. Steuben county, New York, now (1910) in Schuyler county, in 1832, died in 1906. He was educated in the public schools. He was a gifted musician, but his principal business through a long and active life was farming. His home was near Geneva, Ontario county, New York. In politics he was a Republican; in religion a member of the Christian church. He married, in 1860, Catherine Cromwell Winter, born in Ontario county, in 1832, died in 1893, daughter of Joel Winter, born 1799, died 1872. Her father was a native of Danbury, Connecticut, a farmer by occupation, and a carpenter by trade; a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Her mother, Lina (Witter) Winter, was born in 1805 in Orange county, New York, died in 1859, and resided from her second year until her death upon the homestead in Ontario county, near Geneva, New York, and was buried on the old homestead. Abner Winter, father of Joel, was born in Connecticut or Massachusetts; was a soldier in the revolution and died at Sodus Bay, New York. The father of Abner Winter came to this country from France; married Anna Miner, of an old Connecticut family, and while he was in the service during the revolutionary war she cared for the family,...

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Buying and Selling Slaves

BALLARD CO. (J.R. Wilkerson) [HW: Ky 7] [Tinie Force and Elvira Lewis:] During the period of slavery in the Purchase Region, buying and selling slaves was carried on at irregular intervals. The trading usually took place at the home of the slave owner. The prices paid for slaves was dependent upon certain conditions. In case of a full grown, robust negro boy the price was sometimes as much as one thousand dollars. The prices paid was varied according to the age, the general health and other conditions of the individual. At times pathetic scenes prevailed in the selling of slaves; namely, the separation of mother and child. Often, a boy or girl would be sold and taken away from his or her mother. In many cases the parting would be permanent and the child and its mother would never see each other again. The slave owner maintained separate housing quarters for his slaves. In some cases the living quarters of slaves was comfortable and agreeable; in other cases, living conditions of slaves was anything but agreeable; Some masters were reasonably gentle to their slaves, while others were cruel. One of the saddest, darkest and most pathetic conditions that existed during the period of slavery was the intimate mingling of slave owners, in fact many white men, with negro women. It has become known that very often a slave was...

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