Thursday, February 14, 2019

Oh My Love, My Darling!

Black History and Valentines Day Love Rolled into One

If this song was in the time of this letter, I would dedicate the words to this song sung by the Righteous Brothers to Fannie and Norfleet.  

                                                          Oh, my love, my darling
                                                          I've hungered for your touch
                                                          A long, lonely time
                                                          Time goes by so slowly

                                                          And time can do so much
                                                          Are you still mine?
                                                          I need your love
                                                          I need your love
                                                         God speed your love to me

No one knows who wrote this love letter for Fannie but according to Randolph Campbell and/ or Daniel K Pickens, the handwriting of other documents in the Family papers look like it may have been Louisa. 

A bit of history  that led up to THE LETTER:

In 1860, Theophilus married Harriett Person from North Carolina and bought her to Texas.

In 1862 Theophilus Perry left to join the the Harrison County Lancers a part of the 28th Texas Calvary. 

With him he took one Norfleet Perry a slave that belonged to his father Levin as his body servant. 

 Levin owned the Spring Hill plantation where Harriett and Louisa, Theophilus sister remained.

Norfleet was the mate of Fannie who also was at the Spring Hill Plantation. There is no indication that Norfleet and Fannie had any children.

Throughout the time that Theophilus and Norfleet were gone to war, Harriett and Louisa sent letters letting him know the goings on at home.

Included in these letters were bits of messages to give to Norfleet.

Messages relayed by Fannie that she had sent two pairs of socks and did he receive them or had he gotten a comforter.

In 1863 Norfleet disappeared from the camp where they were situated.  Theophilus assumed he was trying to make his way back home according to his letter he wrote to his wife.

The war claimed Theophilus Perry.  I pray Fannie and Norfleet were reunited!

The original letter can be  found in the Person Family Papers Manuscript Division at Duke University. 
Excerpts Randolph Campbell and Daniel Pickens

Thursday, January 31, 2019

How We Got Over For Now

Row Row Row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily Merrily Merrily
Oh Wait!

That was not my ancestors dream

Forced on a ship, PLEASE !
Names like The Blessing and The Wanderer
Bodies packed like Sardines

One two three o'clock
Four o'clock rock
Lined up our ancestors 
As soon as they reached the dock

This was not their Oh Happy Day
Chained up, bruised up 
Working sun up to sun down
No way to get away from the loveless town
You know the story of 
It's sure not the glory of love

Through the rain through the storm
United States Colored Troops marching by
Come on now, throw down that cotton sack
You over there Simon, Jim and Jack
 March on brother march on

Forget that you are featured 
On that newspaper ad
Not being identified as a man
Just five foot five, pitch black 
Lash marks up and down your back
Will pay reward to bring you back alive
Keep marching brother, keep on

It's not over oh Great Jehovah
It is now eighteen sixty five
But then you knew didn't you
Even before Granger came riding through
Picking up the remnants of eighteen sixty three
That's what Lincoln proclaimed 

Hail, Hail The Fifteenth is here 
1868 the Amendment was cheered 
Congress did a very good thing
Giving blacks the right to vote
It was only for men in the begin

Over in Grimes, Harrison and Fayette County Texas that is
My great Great grands stood in line
Happy as heck they signed with an X
Registered to vote for the very first time
Taking that important stand

They were  alone from the 10th to the 14th 
No rest until they passed the test
Strongly geared for the Constitutional  Congress
February Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Eight

Meet up for the function at the junction 
Someone penned it Reconstruction
Hiram Revels, Josiah Walls raised their hand
to serve

Papa was no rolling stone
He took good care of his home
After toiling day by day
He saved a few coins putting them away 
Not under his bed or in his sock
He placed them in a metal box 
in a building under key and lock 
He made his deposits, gestured thanks
Tipped his hat to the clerk 
At the Freedmen's Bank

The bureau was different as night is to day 
Even if it rained they were not under the same parasol 
There was 
Education, information, hoax, strokes, lying folks
Contracts broke, pay the teachers who taught our folks
Married ma and pa
Complaints heard, settled up, the Freedmen Bureau final say

One Hundred Fifty Years later give or take a few
Some want to take us back and many of you know who
They could not take a Chisholm, cringed when the words rang true
Sojourner Truth said loud and clear Ain't I A Woman
In a heart beat, Daniel Hale came through
Sing Aretha she loved that hat, Obama had you near
Tears of joy Number 44
Good news  Freedoms Press, Ebony and Jet
Rest In Peace Mel Waiters San Antonio's best.

How we got over for now with more of this journey yet to come!

How I got over, How I got over, my soul looks back and wonders how I got over!

Ain't No Stoppin Us Now!
We're on the move!
Ain't No Stoppin Us Now!
We've got the groove!

So said McFadden and Whitehead
Borrowed by me Vicky D