Thursday, November 7, 2013

Many Rivers To Cross Episode 3: Oh Freedom!

Someone told me once that darn near everyone had an ancestor that fought in the United States Colored Troops. While I have not made that connection yet, I do have more than a few “troopers” that I admire, be it for the betterment of the cause of humanity or just because they are who they are.

The Women:

My first pick is every single one of my female ancestors who survived the brutal acts of slavery.

Secondly, I cry out to the mothers who saw their loved ones off to war, some who never returned, and some who returned with the full effects of the war with missing limbs and missing thoughts of why they survived.

When the New York Union League Club proclaimed their support for the men of the 20th United States Colored Troops, I can imagine their gut wrenching pride and tears. 
The club was made up of women whose relatives and neighbors were getting ready to head out to war.

They presented the flag/ banner and stated that it was an emblem of prayers, freedom and faith.  The love of a common country and the devotion to the country was imprinted in their minds.

Excerpt from article found in the New York Daily Tribune March 7,1864

These women loved their sons, husbands, uncles, nephews and neighbors

These women stood tall swelling with pride 

Thirdly Isabella also known as Sojourner Truth

Born a slave in 1777  she was a strong force in fighting for the abolishment of slavery, temperance and suffrage. Isabella changed her name to Sojourner Truth after she became disillusioned with a Mr. Matthews who ran away with money his followers had invested. She was a devoted follower of him and his wife and was accused of being involved in the trickery.  Promising to clear her good name she made a pact with herself to spend the rest of her life fighting slavery. Mrs. Truth lived to be 106 years old.

One of my favorite speeches was Ain’t I A Woman found in the 1992 issue of The Guardian.

Last but not least Fannie: Love Letter Straight From My Heart, keep us so near while apart

Theophilus and Harriet Person Perry lived in Harrison County Texas.  When the civil war came Theophilus took Norfleet, a bondsman of his father Levin with him as his man servant. Fannie was also enslaved by Levin Perry and was Norfleet’s companion. Harriett went to stay at Spring Hill, Levin Perry’s Plantation.
As we know, the enslaved more than likely did not pen this letter however someone wrote it for her with the intention of it getting to Norfleet, the love of Fannie's life. 

Here is what the letter stated dated December 28, 1862     

The original letter is located in the Person Family papers housed at the Manuscript Division at Duke University in the William R Perkins Library                                       

The Men: Texas State Legislators: Reconstruction Era

These are a few of the brave men who served in the Texas Legislator during reconstruction.

A. B. Houston Bassett served in Grimes County and lived near my grandparents James Penn and Gertrude Sims Daviss.

David Abner Sr, served in Harrison County Marshall Texas the home of my maternal ancestors.

Ed Patton served in San Jacinto County and was once married to Easter Thornton in my Williams line. 

        A Song for the seasons past: Oh Freedom sung by Shirley Verrett   



Terry Ligon said...

Thank you for reminding us that when men go off to war, women are left longing for their return.

Good read...

Kathleen Ingram said...

Wonderful blog, you will find them!
So brave, they all were!!

Selma said...

You were "inspired" ... and it is wonderful.

Ms Vicky said...

So true Terry,real talk!

Ms Vicky said...

Thanks kathleen, I appreciate your comments.

Ms Vicky said...

Thanks Much Selma!

True Lewis said...

Ms. Vicky....I love it. All the women on Standing by. The letters. I am still looking and hoping I have a USCT! Thanks for the Many Rivers Prospective.

Ms Vicky said...

Thanks True! My fingers are crossed for that USCT you are wanting.

LindaRe said...

We tend to forget the sacrifices women make during war times. Thank you for sharing their stories.

Kristin said...

I don't have any USCT in my direct line either. I remember Sojourner Truth's speech so well because my daughter once gave it for a 4-H project. Appreciate you sharing about the women.

Ms Vicky said...

Hopefully Kristin someone will call their name for us.