United States Colored Troops At Camp Nelson

Thomas Ray Allen trained at Camp Nelson and must have witnessed and experienced what is described here.

Click to see the video that goes with this audio clip and the excert below – Camp Nelson Heritage Park.

“Eight U.S. colored regiments, as they were called during that time were founded here and three others were trained here. So roughly ten thousand African American men became soldiers at Camp Nelson. In 1864 and 1865. The significance of those recruitments, first of  all, was that it was the beginning of the end of slavery in Kentucky. Second of all, these men made a significant contribution to the union victory in the Civil War. A number of regiments were involved in large and small engagements. A number of soldiers were stationed at critical transportation nodes where they protected garrisons, they protected bridges, they protected supply depots.

The Camp Nelson a refugee camp was started in December 1864. And it began, had kind of a mixed beginning because these refugees, who were initially the wives and children of the enlisting U.S. colored troops, were not really supposed to come in the camp, but soldiers brought them them in because they were afraid their owners, former owners would retaliate against them. They also were hoping that the wives and children would also gain their freedom. So, they brought them into camp with them. They set up a lot of shanties throughout the camp. And finally in November 1864, the commander General Speed Fry, ejected all of the refugees from camp. Took them in wagons up towards Nicholasville on a very very cold November day. Many of them were exposed to very cold weather through the night. And out of the four hundred that were ejected, roughly one hundred died within a few weeks of this event. This created a large uproar. And the Army changed their policy.  And in December a month later, constructed what they called the come home for colored refugees. Their families, the families of the enlisting soldiers, came to Camp Nelson to escape slavery themselves. They escaped the immediate condition of slavery, and they also hoped to gain their freedom.”

Twenty-seven-fifteen N. Capital Street

Thomas Allen appears in the 1888 Indianapolis City Directory living at 2715 N. Capital street. He continued to live there until his death. His wife Kate lived there until at least 1913, her last appearance in the City Directory before moving back to Ohio.

It appears the house had been mortgaged by 1907.

The diagram below is taken from an Indianapolis Sanborn map from 1887.  A Wikipedia entry says “The Sanborn Maps were originally created for assessing fire insurance liability in urbanized areas in the United States.”  Thomas and Kate Allen’s frame house had 1.5 stories. The half a story meant that the upper story was under the roof and so only half as large as the first story because the eaves take up some of it. The dotted lines indicate a porch.

Thomas’ house is 1.5 story frame house. There are two rooms downstairs and two small porches, one in the front and one in the back. It seems to be the smallest house of those shown above.  On the back of the lot  was another dwelling, numbered 2715 r, where my great grandmother, and her family – including my grandmother, lived in 1902.  I thought it was interesting that the three black residents, all laborers, owned their houses free of mortgage. And that everybody on this chart was literate.

Looking through the enumeration district where the house was located in the 1900 Census, it was a mostly white district. There were a fair number of naturalized citizens and a number who had been born in Ireland or Germany or who had parents born there.

This map shows the location of Thomas’ & Kate’s house in the city in 1897. Go to the address at the top and follow the red line down to the “X”.

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I found the information here in Thomas and Kate Allen’s pension file, the 1900 census on Ancestry.com, the 1897 Sanborn map at this link, and Wikipidea.

 

 

 

Sarah Ann Wiley – Sister and Witness for Kate Wiley Allen

Sarah Wiley was the oldest of child of Woody Wiley, a farmer. She was born free to a free family of color in Virginia February 2, 1841. Her mother, Susan Freeman Wiley, died before she was one year old. Her father married Sarah Daniels soon after.  Nine more children were born.

We find Sarah “Sallie” Ann Wiley described in the Pittsylvania County Virginia, Register of Free Negroes.1807-1865. Reg # 467, Sept 24, 1852.  “SALLY ANN WILEY, a free negro born free in Pittsylvania County, is of yellow complexion, eleven years old the 2nd day of February last.” 

The extended Wiley family moved to Athens County Ohio, probably soon after the descriptions were taken in 1852. It is about 329 miles. I wonder how they traveled, but do not have time to investigate today!

The academy

Sarah and the other Wiley children attended Albany Academy until 1862 when a religious group took over the school and banned black children. The following year her father, her uncle and a group of other African Americans started their own school, The Albany Enterprise Academy,

“After being taken over by the Disciples of Christ, Christian Church, the Albany Manual Labor Academy “refused further admission to the black community,” according to Getting to Know Athens County by Elizabeth Grover Beatty and Marjorie S. Stone.

As a result, in 1863 the Albany Enterprise Academy was founded. The school’s first trustees included Thomas Jefferson Furguson (co-founder of the Ohio Colored Teacher’s Association, member of the Albany City Council and the first black to serve on a jury in Athens County), Cornelius Berry (father of Edward Berry of the Berry Hotel), Philip Clay, David Norman, Woodrow Wiley and Jackson Wiley.”

When Sarah was 25 years old, her youngest sister was born and her step-mother died. There were still six other children at home. Sarah stepped into the role of mother and housekeeper.

In July 1873, her father Woody was suffering from consumption and made out his will. He left everything to the three children that were still alive and living at home, Sarah (31), Henry (18) and Armintha (12).

Woody charged Sarah with seeing that Armintha received a good “common school” education and was taken care of materially.

When Armintha was 22, she married William Green Simpson, a neighbor. Armintha died within the next few years and William married again.  Sarah never married.

Click to enlarge. Sarah states that she is Kate’s sister and that Kate has nothing aside from her house and goods and that no one is bound to support her.

In 1908 Sarah gave testimony for her sister Kate Wiley Allen, who was trying to get her widow’s pension after her husband Thomas Ray Allen died. After Kate began to receive her pension, Sarah moved to Indianapolis and they shared Kate’s house for several years. They then returned to Ohio where Kate died in 1915.

In 1920, Sarah was living with her former brother-in-law, William Green Simpson, who had been married to her younger sister Armintha. His youngest son was still at home. They were both coal miners.  Sarah was the housekeeper. In 1924 William married a 3rd time, to Dora Parker, a widow with four children under ten. Sarah was 82.

By 1928, Sarah was an inmate in the Columbus State Hospital, a mental hospital in Columbus Ohio. Sarah died in the State Hospital in 1932, of atherosclerosis. She was 93 years old.

Ohio State Hospital

Her brother-in-law Henry Simpson was the informant on her death certificate. He died in April of 1935. He had been a miner for most of his working life and died of “miners’ asthma” also known as “black lung disease.”

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I found this information on ancestry.com, familysearch.org and places on the internet linked to above. Using the information that I found, it is easy to fill in the blanks to make a story. The problem is, I do not really know the ends and outs and the personalities and the reasons involved.  I hope that I have, at least, gotten the “facts” right.

William M Quinn – Witness

William Quinn was 36 when he testified for Thomas Ray Allen at the beginning of the pension process, when he was just trying to get his pension. This testimony was given in 1891. The pensions were instituted in 1890. This General Affidavit was “For the testimony of EMPLOYERS OR NEAR NEIGHBORS of the soldier, (other than relatives) who have known him before his enlistment or since his discharge and return from the army.” Quinn testified that he had known Thomas Ray Allen for twenty years.

William Quinn and Charles Kyte testified that: “he is a man of good moral character and not addicted to any vicious habits. We have often heard him complain of deafness and of his back hurting him, also of his stomach and he now suffers more or less all the time from the above disabilities – our knowledge of the facts above cited are gained from our often seeing him and from our intimate acquaintance.”

William Quinn was born into slavery about 1854 in Hodgenville, Larue County, Kentucky to Simon and Phoebe Quinn. He was the oldest of seven children.  Thomas Ray Allen’s first wife was also born in Larue County.

Twenty-two year old Quinn married Julia Ann Cole in their home county on May 31, 1876. She was eighteen.  By 1880 he was in Indianapolis, Indiana working at a barber shop. Julia was not with him. Probably she was waiting back in Kentucky for him to get settled.

By 1900 they had been married 24 years. There had been no children. Quinn was a barber. Julia did not work outside of the home, however they had seven lodgers so she had plenty of work.  All of the lodgers were born in Kentucky, except for the wife of one who had been born in New York.  Everybody was literate.

William Quinn continued to barber, eventually having his own shop.  Julia continued to have a house full of borders until 1940 when they were living in an apartment and neither was working. They did have another, unnamed, source of income.  Perhaps they were renting out the barbershop and the boarding house. Or maybe they sold them.  Quinn had never attended school while Julia had attended for three years. That makes it all the more impressive that they were both literate and that he was able to sign his name so well when giving his testimony.

 

The words on the back of this sheet showed through in a distracting way. I used photoshop to try and make it easier to read, hence the difference in color from other sheets in the file.

Julia Ann Quinn died of an intestinal obstruction at home in their apartment, on February 8, 1943. She was 83 years old. Her husband was the informant.

A little over a year later, on April 25, 1944, William Quinn died of hemiplegia, which means that half of his body was paralyzed due to a stroke.  He died at home in the old boarding house.  He was listed as 87 but if the earlier dates of his birth are correct, he was closer to 90. Thomas Quinn, his younger brother, was the informant. Thomas lived in Illinois so perhaps came down to be with his older brother while he was ill, or maybe he hoped to persuade him to move to Chicago and live with him.

William and Julia are buried side by side in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

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I found this information on ancestry.com, familysearch.org, Thomas Ray Allen’s Pension File (It is about 1/2 an inch thick when I squeeze it together, over 100 pages.). I also used google to find out about hemiplegia.

Lottie Withers Sullivan – Introduced Thomas and Kate

Lottie Withers Sullivan testified during Kate Wiley Allen’s pension hearing that she introduced Thomas Allen and Kate Wiley.

Lottie Sullivan declares as follows:

“That I knew Kate Allen and Thomas Allen since I was a girl and prior to their marriage to each other. I was the person who introduced the claimant to the soldier. At that time claimant was considered a single girl. After their marriage I continued to see them quite often at least every month, and I know they always lived together as man and wife and were never separated or divorced and claimant has not remarried. All the property of any kind the claimant owns consists of the small house and lot where she lives, # 2715 North Capital Ave, this city. She derives no income from any source and is dependent on her own labor and efforts for a support, to my best knowledge no one is legally bound to support her.  I do not know the value or rental value of her property. I would consider her household goods worth about $30.00. I am not related to claimant.”

When I first read Lottie Sullivan’s testimony, I wondered how she knew Thomas Allen and Kate Wiley well enough to introduce them when she was ten years younger than they were and so a child when they met in 1879.  As I went through various census records, I realized that she played rather lose with her age.  She was actually about the same age as Kate was when she introduced them, twenty years old.

Lottie was born in Kentucky about 1959. In 1870 she was eleven years old and lived in Indianapolis with her mother Jane and her step-father Levin Ballard, a carpenter.  There were also numerous other children in the house, siblings and two baby nieces.  The school age children, including Lottie, were attending school. An older sister did laundry and an older brother was a laborer.  The oldest household member were illiterate.

Levin Ballard died in 1879. In the 1880 census,  Lottie’s mother, Jane Ballard, and her oldest sister, Caroline Thornton, worked as domestics. Her older brother was now a teamster. These three were unable to read or write.  Twenty one year old Lottie took in washing and was literate. Caroline’s eleven year old daughter Anna,  attended school.    They had one border, a twenty six year old house painter.

On February 9, 1881 Lottie married Henry Sullivan. In the 1900 census Henry and Lottie owned their home, which was mortgaged. Henry worked as a coachman. Lottie took in laundry.  Her 81 year old widowed mother lived with them and did have an occupation. The mother had borne seven children and only one was living. Lottie had no children.  They had a 14 year old border. Everybody in the household could read and write, except Henry who could not write.

Henry and Lottie went into the laundry business and were listed in the City Directory in 1917.

In the 1910 census they both are listed as working on their own account, doing laundry. Lottie gave her age as 38. She also said she had been married for 30 years.  They have two borders, one a 26 year old divorcee born in New York and a nine year old boy.

Lottie’s husband Henry died on February 26, 1917, just a few weeks past their 36th wedding anniversary. He had been under a doctor’s care for about a month when he died of chronic inflammation of the kidney (parenchymatous nephritis). A contributory factor was aortic insufficiency. He was embalmed and buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

I could not find Lottie in the 1920 census, by 1930 she was listed as a border in her own house. She was seventy one, although the census says sixty seven. She was not working so I am hoping she sold her house at a good price to Atty. Forrest W. Littlejohn, who seems to own the house. The house is worth $6,000.

Three years later Lottie Withers Sullivan died of acute appendicitis at age seventy four at 3:30AM January 18, 1933.  She was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

 

Katherine Wiley – Thomas Allen’s Wife

It was Katie Wiley who started me on the investigation that found Thomas and his pension records. When I found a letter addressed to my grandmother, Pearl Reed c/o Katie Allen, I began searching to find out who she was and discovered so much more than I had looked for.

Sometimes I have a problem finding enough documentation to build a picture of the person I am writing about. This time I had the opposite situation. I will try to be brief.

Kate Wiley was born free to Woody and Sarah (Daniels) Wiley, about 1860 in Virginia. In the record above it says Halifax, in other records it says Fairfax.  She was part of the large family of Deborah Wiley. We find Deborah Wiley and her children described in the Pittsylvania County Virginia, Register of Free Negroes.1807-1865.  I am only sharing Deborah and Woody’s descriptions.

Registration Number # 9, March 18th, 1816,

The said DEBORAH WILEY is a mulatto girl between18 and 19 years of age, about five feet four or five inches, has black bushy hair, aquiline nose, effeminate voice and rather pleasing countenance.

Reg # 406, January 16th, 1847, WOODY WILEY, a free born man of colour, is a yellow man, twenty eight years old the 4th day of October, last, five feet nine inches high.

Reg # 9, Sept 24, 1852, DEBORAH WILEY,a free negro born free who hath been numbered and registered in the Clerks office of the County Court of Pittsylvania is this day again registered.

The said DEBORAH WILEY, is a yellow woman five feet two & 1/2 inches, about fifty seven years old, (copies of Deborah’s reg. & all later Wiley reg. furnished by Court Clerk for move to Ohio).

Deborah and her children moved first to North Carolina and then to Athens County Ohio where they were living by the 1860 census.  A ten year old  Katherine Wiley was living with Deborah Wiley and her son Jackson and his wife. Another son, Israel Wiley lived next door. Katherine’s father, Woody and the rest of his family lived in the same county.  The members of these households were all listed as mulattoes, born in Virginia, except for Deborah who was born in Kentucky and the younger children who were born in Ohio.

Some of the family was involved in the underground railroad – helping escaping slaves make it to freedom.

In 1870 an 18 year old Kate Wiley was working in Washington County Ohio, the next county over from Athens, in what appears to be a rooming house for students With Physician Benjamin F. Hart listed at the top. Kate is listed a domestic.

In 1880, Miss Kate Wiley, colored, appears in the Indianapolis, Indiana City Directory. That same year she married Thomas Allen, who was working as a laborer at that time. Not too long afterwards they bought the house at 2715 N. Capital where they lived for the next 40 years. Kate did not work outside of the home until after her husband died in 1907.

In 1907 and 1908, Kate had to go though hearings to determine if she was eligible to receive a pension based on Thomas’ service in the USC Calvary.  She began to receive a pension in April 1908.

In the 1910 Census 54 widowed Kate was living in the house on N. Capital with her older sister, 68 year old Sarah Wiley. Kate was working as a domestic. She owned the house, which was mortgaged. She had given birth to no children. Sarah was single and did not work outside of the home.

In 1915 Katherine Allen appears in the Springfield Ohio City Directory at 34 W. Clark Street. In August of that year, the mailman returns her pension check with the information that she was dead.  She died on June 9, 1915 and her body was returned to Indianapolis to be buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, where Thomas Allen was buried.

While investigating the life of Kate Wiley, I found that her family connected with mine in another way. Her older sister, Francis “Fannie” Wiley became the 2nd wife of Robert Augustus Busby. He was also born in Virginia and lived for some years in Athens, Ohio. They later moved to Berrian County Michigan.  James Busby, son of Robert Busby and his first wife, Harriett (Francis’ stepson) married my great grandmother Anna’s (Thomas’ sister) daughter Sarah Reed. Their children were my father and his siblings first cousins.

Here is a link to the post from the 2014 A to Z Challenge where the envelope first appeared, although I did not mention Katy because I could not find anything about her at that time.   L is for Lincoln Hospital

Jacob Roger Raynor – Pastor

Rev. J. Raynor did not appear as a witness in the pension file. He is the man who married Thomas Allen and his 2nd wife Kate Wiley.

Jacob Roger Raynor was born in Tennessee around 1838. Or 1839 or 1842 or 1849 depending on which census you are looking at.  He was in Indianapolis by 1870.  In the 1870 census, Jacob, his wife Sarah and his mother-n-law made up the household. All were literate and he was attending school. Relationships between household members were not specified in the 1870 census, however Sarah and Jacob both gave the same last name.  His occupation was listed as “cook”. His moterh-in-law, Jennie Harper, did laundry and his wife kept house.

In 1873 Jacob R. Raynor and Sarah Bennett were married in Indianapolis. I realize that this is three years after they were living as a married couple. Perhaps they had been married during slavery and decided to have their marriage recorded and legalized.

In the census for 1880, the year that he married Thomas and Katie Wiley, Rev. Raynor lived at 123 4th Street with his wife and mother-in-law. His occupation was given as Minister of Colored Baptist Church. His wife, Sarah, was an artist in a wax works.  His mother-in-law kept house.

Rev. Raynor was a Baptist minister also working as a carpet layer to supplement his income.  I found several small items in the Indianapolis Recorder, an Indianapolis black newspaper.  The items usually mentioned funerals he preformed and Sundays when he preached. The article below gives a brief history of First Baptist Church and mentions Raynor as an early pastor. He continued to preach there through the years. It’s too bad the attached photograph was of a different pastor.

Indianapolis Recorder 1902-01-11

“The New Bethel Baptist church was organized in the year of 1875 in a house on Tinker street, known now as Sixteen No. 1209, the home of William Jackson. During the summer of that year they were successful in erecting a small house at the present location. Elder J. R. Raynor was pastor and superintended the work with much success. In the fall of 1883 Elder J. F Franklin was called but stayed but a short time. In the spring of 1884, the present pastor Elder N. A Seymour was called to lead them. He preached with telling effect and in the spring of 1885 the church called an ordination council and after  a careful   examination Elder Seymour was found eligible for ordination and on August 12 1885, he was selected for the work. With a few- faithful friends, a strong confidence and will power, he went into the work, took Christ for his council and the Holy Spirit to lead him. Rev. Seymour has been successful in paying the original debt and bought the adjoining lot, which gave them a space of 170 ft. deep and 65 ft.  wide. A new church has been erected on this site, that has a seating capacity of 800, at the cost of $5,700 and is second to none in the  city. The first services in the new church tomorrow. See program in church notes. MC”

In the 1900 census Raynor is living alone but there is no information about him. All the lines are blank. I am not sure what this means – had his wife and mother-in-law left or died? Was he not home when the census enumerator called and none of the neighbors knew more than his name?

By 1910 he was listed as widowed.  He lived alone, rented his house and occupation was minister in a Baptist church.  Items stopped appearing in the Indianapolis Recorder after 1915 and he does not appear in the 1920 census. Although I did not find a death record, I believe that he died around 1916, in his mid seventies.

 

Insufficiency, Aortic – Cause of Death

Aortic Insufficiency (click link for more information.)

“Aortic insufficiency is a heart valve disease in which the aortic valve does not close tightly. This allows blood to flow from the aorta (the largest blood vessel) into the left ventricle (a chamber of the heart).”

The same article says that rheumatic fever was the main cause of aortic insufficiency in the past.  Also that diagnosis was made by hearing a heart murmur and the patient having other symptoms.

This is a copy of Thomas Allen’s death certificate from his pension file. Before I received the file, I found his death certificate on ancestry.com. Finding his mother’s name to be “Clara Green” made me realize that he was my great grandmother Anna’s brother and that is the reason I sent for the Pension File.

Foster Ray – Slaveholder

Click to enlarge. Thomas Ray Allen gave this testimony two months before his death.

I had never heard the name of Foster Ray before reading it in my 2X great uncle Thomas Ray Allen’s military papers.  Foster Ray was born in Washington County Kentucky in 1796, the second son of Nicholas Ray Sr. and his wife Susan Sheckles. They were a large family with seven or eight children.  In the 1820 census he was 24 years old and was the only person in his household. He had no slaves and was engaged in manufactures.

Foster married Marietta Phillips in 1829. In the 1830 census he was enumerated in Lebanon, KY. There were 9 people in his household. That included 4 enslaved. In 1837 he received a land grant for 50 acres in the recently organized Marion County. The new county included Lebanon and other parts formerly of Washington County.  In 1840 Foster’s brother Nicholas died and his son Hugh Ray came to live with Foster, who seems to have had no children.  In the 1840 census the household included three free white people – Foster, Marietta and Hugh, who was about five years old. There were also five enslaved which included one male under 10; one male and one female between 10 and 23 and two females between 24 and 35.

In 1850 when Thomas would have been about 2 years old, Foster Ray was enumerated in Hannibal Missouri. He was lodging at the Brady House with his wife and nephew. His occupation was listed as “Pork Packer” with real estate valued at $12,000. Hugh was attending school. There were 38 people staying at the Brady.  This included nine families.  This is the first census where slaves were enumerated separately. One fourteen year old girl was counted for Foster Ray.  He had land in Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois. Thomas would have been about two and living back in Kentucky on Foster’s land there. I could find no list of his enslaved there.

In the 1860 census, Foster was enumerated in Lebanon, Kentucky again. He was 62, his wife Marietta was 47, Hugh was 24. They were all literate. Ninety year old Nancy Ray, black,  was enumerated with the family.  Had she been freed? Was it a mistake? I don’t know.  She was illiterate.

Foster’s occupation was “farmer” with real estate worth $120,000 and a personal worth of $100,000. In 2015 dollars, this would come to over six million dollars. He owned 28 slaves between the ages of six months and sixty years. My uncle Thomas Ray Allen, now about 12 was among them. No names are given for the enslaved, so I can only guess. Hugh was a clerk with real estate worth $700 and personal worth of $24,000.  He owned one 64 year old male.

Foster Ray’s and Hugh’s list of enslaved. Because there are no names, I can only guess that the 12 year old mulatto male I highlighted is Thomas Ray Allen.

Foster Ray died on January 15, 1863. He wrote a will and left everything, his lands and slaves and all to his wife Marietta Phillips Ray and his nephew Hugh B. Ray.  Unfortunately for me, because he left his estate in order, there was no list of those enslaved on his plantation.

Thomas Ray Allen joined the United States Colored Calvary two years later. He considered that Foster Ray was the only slave owner he had.

 

 

Boulé

barbarannabeauties_2Here are 6 young women at a Boulé event back in the 1940s in or outside of Detroit.  Two of my aunts are in the picture. Barbara Cleage is front and center with a light dress and jacket. At the end of the line is my aunt Anna Cleage who seems to be wearing trousers.  Unfortunately the photo was unlabeled and I do not know the names of the others.  I recognized the woman on the far right as one in the background photograph of the photograph of my grandfather, Albert B. Cleage Sr with a camera.  Sheryl asked last week what sort of even my grandfather was attending. It made me go back and look at the background in the photo below and then look for photographs that appear to have been taken on the same day.  You can read an post from 2012 about the Boulé at this link.

abcsrcameraMy grandfather Albert B. Cleage with his camera.  In the background we see the young woman with her hand on her hip and the dark dress, from the first photo above.  The woman closer to us in the striped outfit, carrying a big purse, appears in the bleachers (which we see in the background here) in the photo below.

boule event 1940s 6The 4th woman from the right, first row, is in the photo with my grandfather to his left.  Above her head, on the top row are some of the young women from the first photo above.

cornelius & camera manFirst a photo of the men, then one of the women.  Or vice versa.  Who is that on the second row taking a photograph of the photographer? Front row center is Cornelius Henderson, engineer who graduated from the University of Michigan and helped design the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor.

Cornelius Henderson Belle Isle BridgeCornelius L. Henderson

boule event 1940s 4My grandmother second bench, 2nd from right. My aunt Anna (from the photo of the lovelies) can be seen behind the lady first in my grandmother’s row.  My aunt Barbara is 1 person over from Anna. You can see the woman in the striped dress in the first photograph lineup. Toward the left side, top row, you can see another young woman from the first photo.boule event 1940s 3I do not see any family members but do notice the men and women are sitting together in this one. I wonder how the man in front lost his leg.

 

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