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I’m in the front, my mother is propping up my sister Pearl. My father took the photo in our yard. He was the pastor of St. John’s Congregational Church in Springfield Massachusetts and we lived in the parsonage/community house right next to the church. We moved to my parents hometown, Detroit, when I was four where we still had plenty of snow.
I worked all day yesterday pulling together records and information to write about why Aunt Willie might have been sitting so far from her husband, Uncle Victor, in my last weeks photo. I was going to use the photo on the left side which was taken on the same porch. I was going to talk about her relative’s memories of her as sad and obessesed with her daughter and her well being. About how her husband’s well known unfaithfulness, the death of two of her three children within three years of each other, the son her husband fathered earlier in the same year they were married and how the son, Victor Julius Tulane, and his mother lived right down the street from them in 1900.
Then I got interested in Victor Tulane’s early history, his mother who was a servant and probably former slave of Louis Tulane in Elmore County Alabama and his son, Horatio Tulane, who was twenty years her senior and Victor’s father. I was going to mention that the Tulane family recognized the relationship. How they were a merchant family and that after Victor packed his bags at age twleve and walked the 14 miles from Wetumpka to Montgomery, he became a very successful merchant too.
I was going to mention that Victor’s son, Victor Julius came to live with the family when he was in his teens and was sent to school in Michigan where he became a chemist. But at that point I decided to google Victor J. Tulane and see if I could find a picture of him because I did not have one. I like to have pictures. I had heard he looked very like Naomi, his half sister, but he had blue, blue eyes. I found two photographs of him, both from Crisis magazine. Then I thought I would look for his father. I found a group photograph with him in the Alabama Archives. I was on a roll, why not try to find a picture of Naomi’s husband, Ubert Conrad Vincent who was a well known black doctor in New York during the 1920’s. He pioneered a medical procedure that is known as the Vincent procedure. Here is where I hit the jackpot. I found an 8 page article from the Journal of the National Medical Association, 1975. That gave an in depth look at his whole medical career with 5 photographs, including one of him and his wife Naomi soon after their marriage. Naomi and Ubert’s daughter told me that they met at a cast party for the first black Broadway musical at the home of Noble Sissle so I looked for a cast photo. Found. Last, I looked for a photo of their residence on Striver’s Row in Harlem. Still there and lookin’ good.
Now I will identify the photographs in the collage above, starting from the bottom left.
1. The Crisis Jun-Jul 1959. “First Church – Dr. Victor J Tulane (L), chairman of the trustee board of the John Wesley AME Zion church, Washington, D.C., presents chairman Theodore Taylor of the Washington branch a $100 check toward his church’s NAACP life memership. …”
2. “Dr. Vincent in the door of his Sanatorium”.
3. Noble Sissle with chorus girls from the musical “Shuffle Along”.
4. “Dr. Vincent (right at table) assisting Dr. Keyes (?) in an operation at Bellevue.” (Journal of the National Medical Association January 1975)
1. The Crisis Oct 1933 ” Awards To Dr. Victor J. Tulane of the University of Michigan, election to Sigma, Xi, honorary science fraternity. Mr. Tulane was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Michigan in June.”
2. A blow up of Victor Hugh Tulane’s head from the group photo above.
3. Skipping over to the group shot on the far right of that row – from the Journal – “Dr. Vincent (right) with (from left) Dr. Marshall Ross, Hon Adam Clayton Powell, Jr, and Mayor McKee.”
1.Tuskegee College Board of Directors. Front row center is Booker T. Washington. Back row far right is Victor H. Tulane (Willie’s husband. Naomi’s father)
2. From the Journal “Dr. and Mrs. Vincent shortly after their marriage.”
3. From google street view, the place the Vincents called home.
This isn’t Thanksgiving. I don’t see a turkey. Most of the cousins are missing. But it’s the only family dinner I could find that wasn’t in the summer for this side of the family. My grandmother at the end of the table in photo one and my grandfather at the end in the other. My father chewing next to my grandfather.
Victor and Willie Lee (Allen) Tulane are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama. Two of their children who died in early childhood are buried next to them. My daughter Ife and I visited the cemetery in 2009. It was on a Sunday and we didn’t expect anyone would be there to help us find the graves but the sexton was there and he was very helpful. We also found Dock and Eliza (Williams) Allen are also buried there, in the older part of the cemetery. One day I will post those photos and tell the whole story.
Naomi Tulane Vincent. Her engagement photograph. There is a matching one of her husband Ubert but, unfortunately, I do not have one. Naomi was the daughter of Victor and Willie (Allen) Tulane. She was married in Montgomery, Alabama in 1920 and then moved to New York as the wife of a society doctor. For more Sepia Saturday offerings.
Since I’m working on my ongoing project, a photograph quilt of babies in the family, I thought I would share it. Maybe that will help me to continue quilting and finally finish it. I started about three years ago. I have made many baby quilts over the years, crib size quilts, but I never completed a full sized one. I can design and put them together but finish, no. So when I saw the class listed at the local arts center for photo quilting I decided to do it. It is double bed size. I have added the outer edging which is the same brown print you see. I have two rows left to quilt before I finish the outer edge. I am hand quilting because using a machine on this one didn’t seem right. Here are the people on my quilt from top left corner across, row by row. I will give parents names and dates of birth and death for the children only. Maiden names only. Mostly.
1. Annie Lee Pope – daughter of Beulah Allen and Robert Pope. Born 1903 Montgomery, AL. Died 1971 Milwaukee, WI
2. Alice Wright – daughter of Jennie Allen and unknown Wright. Born 1908 Montgomery, AL Died 1994 Detroit, MI.
3. Charles Gilmer – son of Annie Lee Pope and Ludie Gilmer. Born 1922 Milwaukee WI. Died 1992 Los Angeles, Ca.
4. Stella holding Roscoe McCall Jr.- son of Stella Brown and Roscoe McCall Born 1918, Montgomery, AL. Death date unknown.
1. Margaret McCall – Daughter of James McCall and Margaret Walker. Born 1919 Montgomery AL. Died 2007 Detroit, MI.
2. Jennie holding Daisy, Fanny beside her. Daughters of Jennie Allen and Howard Turner. Daisy born 1890. Died 1961. Fannie born 1888. Died 1974. Both were born in Lowndes County, AL and both died in Detroit.
3. Celia Rice Cleage Sherman holding her granddaughter Gladys Cleage – daughter of Pearl Reed and Albert Cleage Sr. Born in 1922 in Detroit. Still living!
4. Hubert Vincent – son of Naomi Tulane and Hubert Vincent. Born 1923. Died 1994. Both in New York, NY.
1. Theodore Kennedy – son of Alberta Cleage and Theodore Kennedy. Born 1928 in Chattanooga, TN. Still living!
2. Albert B. Cleage Sr. and Jr. – son of Albert B. Cleage Sr. and Pearl Reed. Born 1911 in Indianapolis, IN. Died 2000 Calhoun Falls, SC.
3. Annie Willie holding Vennie Jean Williams – daughter of Annie Butler and Arthur Williams. Born 1921 Arkansas. Died 2008 Arkansas. My husband’s grandmother and Aunt.
4. Sadye and Virgil Harris. Sadye born 1917 in Birmingham, AL. Died 2008 in Maryland. Virgil born 1913 in Birmingham, AL. Died 1988 in AL. They are cousins of cousins. Sadye helped me greatly with my research.
1. Howard with big sisters Mary V. and Doris Graham – children of Mershell Graham and Fannie Turner. Howard 1928 – 1932. Doris 1923 – 1982. Mary V. born 1921 – 2009. All born in Detroit and died in Detroit.
2. Alberta, Ola and Helen Cleage – daughters of Mattie Dodson and Edward Cleage. Alberta born 1910 Athens, TN. Died Ohio 1956. Ola born 1916 Athens, TN. Died 1988 Athens TN. Born 1910 and died 1990 both in Athens TN.
3. Barbara Cleage – born 1920 Detroit, MI. Still living!
4. Pearl holding Albert B. Cleage Jr. – son of Pearl Reed and Albert Cleage. Born 1911 Indianapolis, IN. Died 2000 Calhoun, SC.
1. Pearl with Henry Cleage – son of Pearl Reed and Albert Cleage. Born 1916 in Detroit, MI. Died 1996 in Anderson, SC.
2. Theresa Reed – daughter of Hugh Reed and Blanch Young. Born 1914 Indianapolis, IN. Death information unknown.
3. Charles Gilmer son of Annie Lee Pope and Ludie Gilmer. Born 1922 Milwaukee WI. Died 1992 Los Angeles, Ca.
4. Naomi with Hubert Vincent – son of Naomi Tulane and Hubert Vincent. Born 1923. Died 1994. Both in New York, NY.