Queries – I was called by them “Quincey”

The Freeman heading

Separated, Not Destroyed

While looking through the 1894 very fragile copy of The Freeman, I came across a column called Lost Relatives. There were many columns like this after the Civil War where people wrote hoping to find family members – mothers, brothers, sisters, children – that were sold away to other plantations.  This column was written 29 years after the war and people were still hoping to find their loved ones.  As my friend historian Paul Lee wrote:

The notices demonstrate that, though slavery inflicted lasting damage on black families by ruthlessly dividing them, it could not erase the love and loyalty that family members felt for one another — even after decades of separation.

The notices make clear that, through all of slavery’s horrors, many bondsmen and -women found reasons and ways to maintain their sense of familyhood, and acted upon it when freedom finally arrived.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

14 thoughts on “Queries – I was called by them “Quincey”

    1. Maybe I will look at some of the ads and see if I can find the records and see what I can find out next year for the A to Z Challenge. There are lots of these online.

  1. Such a moving post. The illustration speaks volumes about the horrors of slavery, but also about the tenacity of African American families in the quest to be reunited.

    1. That stays with me, after 100s of years of slavery, people were still connected with their missing family members so much that they continued to look for each other for decades.

    1. I do too. I don’t know how likely that was so many years later, but I have heard amazing stories about relatives running into each other decades later.

  2. These stories of individuals and their families that you have been posting are so interesting, but so very sad sometimes. Slavery and it’s aftermath are so vile and shameful. I wish more people in this world could truly see that, and stop with the hate.

  3. The ads bring home the heartbreak of the era and the ruthlessness of the slavery trade. There are always stories of family separations but for these to happen through the wilful actions of owners who were buying and selling people is so sad. The ages of the children involved is shocking too. You read of it but these personal advertisements bring it home.

  4. Oh my. I have a Lewis Davis of Virginia in my database but he was pre-Revolutionary War, so not the same guy. Still, it gave me a start just reading that letter.

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