Category Archives: Georgia

Character of Susan Richardson Abbott – Pension File #4

Susan Richardson Abbott 1830-1909

Susan Richardson Abbott seems to have had an easier time getting her widow’s pension than other’s I have read about. I believe it was because she had several important white citizens testify as to the truth of her statements and her good character. There was also testimony from several people that had been enslaved on the Col. Hazzard’s plantation on St. Simons Island.

This character reference was given by A. J. Crovatt, who was her employer and a well known attorney and eventually mayor in Brunswick, across the Mackay River from St. Simons Island.

GENERAL AFFIDAVIT

State of Georgia, County of Glynn, ss:

In the matter of the application of Susan Abbott widow of Randolph Abbott because late private Co. “A” 33 Regt U. S. C. Inft

On this 5th day of January, A. D. 1895, personally appeared before me notary public in and for the aforesaid county, duly authorized to administer oaths, A. J. Corvatt aged 36 years, a resident of Brunswick, in the County of Glynn, and State of Georgia. Whose Post office address is Brunswick Georgia. Etc. etc.

Affiant has had Susan Abbott in his employ as a nurse for fourteen years and therefore knows her well. She is now in the employ of his family and has always been and is a faithful servant – reliable, trustworthy and truthful – She is as well as can be properly written in the neighborhood of seventy (70) years and is therefore feeble and will not be able to work much longer – She is now from time to time complaining and is frequently forced to remain in her room and bed and be treated by a physician.

Affiant further states that he fully believes from his knowledge of all the parties concerned their characters and the character o Susan Abbott that all of the statements made in and concerning her application for pension are true.

In making this affidavit I am not prompted by any written or printed statements or recital prepared or dictated by any other person but make it from knowledge gained from personal acquaintance with said Susan Abbott and her witnesses.

And we further declare that we have no interest in said case, and that we are not concerned in its prosecution

A. J. Corvatt
(signature of affiants)

******

This is the sixth post about the life of Susan Richardson Abbott. You can read earlier parts of Susan Abbott’s story at these links.:

Susan Richardson Abbott – Part 1 – 1829-1866
Susan Richardson Abbott – Part 2 – 1867-1909
Susan Abbott’s Deposition – Pension File Part 1
Susan Abbott’s Pension File Part 2 – Marriage
Death of Randolph Abbott – Pension #3

Death of Randolph Abbott – Pension #3

In 1890 Susan Richardson Abbott received a widow’s pension because of her husband Randolph Abbott’s service with the United States Colored Troops during the United States Civil War.

Today’s statement was made by fellow soldier, Wesley Lee. He testified several times during these pension hearings.

Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper with United States Colored Troop (USCT) Images

GENERAL AFFIDAVIT

State of Georgia, County of Glynn, ss:

In the matter of the application of Susan Abbott widow of Randolph Abbott deceased late private Co “A” 33 Regt USC infantry

Personally came before me a notary Public in and for aforesaid County and State Wesley Lee aged 66 years a citizen of the town of St. Simmons Mills, County of Glynn and State of Georgia. Well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit and who being duly sworn declares in relation to aforesaid case as follows.

USCT record for Wesley Lee

That Randolph Abbott who was a fellow comrade of mine in Co. “A” 33 Reg USC Infantry died on St. Simons Island Glynn County Georgia in the month of January 1874 and that he was with him at the time he died and saw him buried at St. Simons island at “West Point” burying grounds which is an old colored cemetery.

Affiant further declares that this affidavit was all written by W. B. Moore on the 6th day of August 1895 in his presence and only from his oral statements then made and that he made his oral statement to W. B. Moore and in making the same he did not use and were not aided or prompted by any written or printed statement or recital prepared or dictated by any other person and not attached as an exhibit to his testimony. And further declares that he has no interest in said case, and is not concerned in its prosecution.

Sworn to and Signed in the presence of
L. M. Earhardt                                                                        Wesley (his X mark) Lee
M. L. Moore

___________________

This is the fifth post about the life of Susan Richardson Abbott. You can read earlier parts of Susan Abbott’s story at these links.:

Susan Richardson Abbott – Part 1 – 1829-1866
Susan Richardson Abbott – Part 2 – 1867-1909
Susan Abbott’s Deposition – Pension File Part 1
Susan Abbott’s Pension File Part 2 – Marriage

Pension File #2- Marriage

Unknown couple. From: Post-Civil War Life For African Americans Focus Of Amistad, Lyman Allyn Exhibits

This is the third post about the life of Susan Richardson Abbott. You can read earlier parts of Susan Abbott’s story at these links.:

Susan Richardson Abbott – Part 1 – 1829-1866
Susan Richardson Abbott – Part 2 – 1867-1909
Susan Abbott’s Depostion – Pension File Part 1

In 1890 Susan Richardson Abbott received a widow’s pension because of her husband Randolph Abbott’s service with the United States Colored Troops during the United States Civil War.

Today there are two statements made concerning her marriage to the soldier, Randolph Abbott. The first are by two men who were also enslaved on Col. Hazzard’s plantation before Freedom. The second were made by the widow and daughter of a neighbor of Hazzard, Captain Stevens. Captain Stevens had the plantation next to Hazzard.

Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

GENERAL AFFIDAVIT

State of Georgia, County of Glynn, SS:

In the matter of Pension of Susan Abbott

On this 18th day of May, A. D. 1894, personally appeared before me, a clerk County Court, in and for the aforesaid County, duly authorized to administer oats, Wesley Lee aged 70 years, a resident of St. Simons Island, in the County of Glynn, and state of Georgia, whose Post Office is St. Simons Island Ga, and Charles Ryals (about), aged 75 years, a resident of St. Simons Island, in the County of Glynn and State of Georgia, whose Post Office address is St. Simons Island, well know to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declared in relation to aforesaid case, as follows;

(Affiants would state how they gained a knowledge of the facts to which they testify)

We lived on the same plantation with Randolph and Susan Abbott. We remember their marriage by white Episcopal minister (Mr. Brown) We moved back to the old home after the war.  Sue never married again. Randolph and Sue was born and raised on West Point Plantation and owned by Col Hazzard.

Before the war Susan was a house servant, Randolph a farm hand. After the war, he was a farmer. Randolph was in bad health after he left the army until time of death, which took place Feb. 1875. We were with him when he was sick and at his death and attended his funeral. Randolph was tall and well made not quite black.

They had five children. Betsy, Louis, Brista, Joe Thomas.

Betsey and Louis died some years since.

Cannot give age of children.

And we further declare that we have no interest in said case, and that we are not concerned in its prosecution.

(If Affiants sign by mark, two witnesses who can write sign here)
A. J. Corvatt
A E Eve

(Affiants)
Wesly Lee his X mark
Charles Ryals his X mark

GENERAL AFFIDAVIT

State of Georgia, County of Glynn SS:

In the matter of Pension of Susan Abbott

On this 18th day of May A. D. 1894 personally appeared before me, clerk of the Common Court in and for the aforesaid County, duly authorized to administer oaths, Annie F Arnold aged 50 years a resident of St. Simons Island in the County of Glynn, and state of Georgia whose Post Office address is St. Simons Island GA, and Sarah D. Stevens, aged 45 years, a resident of St. Simons Island, in the County of Glynn and State of Georgia, whose Post Office address is St. Simons Island Georgia, well known to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declared in relation to aforesaid case, as follows:

(affiants should state how they gained a knowledge of the facts to which they testify)

Randolph and Susan Abbott were married by an Episcopal minister Rev Brown about the year 1852. (Am not certain about dates) The church books having been destroyed by fire it is impossible to get the certificate of marriage.

Their first child Betsy was born the following year and christened by same minister. Living on the next plantation and visiting their owners (Col Hazzard and family) we knew them well. After the war they returned to their old home and we saw them constantly.  Susan did not marry after her husband’s death. They were good respectable people. Their P. O. address was Fredrica Ga at the time of their marriage. After the war ended they returned to their former home and same P .O. address until Randolph’s death, which happened, (I think) Feb 1875.

And we further declare that we have no interest in said case, and that we are not concerned in its prosecution

(If Affiants sign by mark, two witnesses who can write sign here)
A J Corvatt
A. E. Eve

(signature of Affiants)
Annie F. Arnold
Sarah D Stevens

Susan Abbott’s Deposition Pension File #1

Susan Richardson Abbott 1830-1909

This is the third post about the life of Susan Richardson Abbott. You can read earlier parts of Susan Abbott’s story at these links.:

Susan Richardson Abbott – Part 1 – 1829-1866
Susan Richardson Abbott – Part 2 – 1867-1909

In 1890 Susan Richardson Abbott received a widow’s pension because of her husband Randolph Abbott’s service with the United States Colored Troops during the United States Civil War. In the file were several statements by her then employer, Judge Crovatt and several former neighbors.

In 1903 she applied for an increase in her pension from $8 to $12 a month. In the deposition below she gives an overview of her life.

Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

DEPOSITION

Case of Susan Abbott ctf No. 416397 On this 4th day of August 1903 at Brunswick County of Glynn State of Ga before me, Don McClain a special examiner of the Bureau of pensions, personally appeared Susan Abbott who being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says: I am (blank) years of age; my post-office address is as above. I am a house servant.

I am the widow of Randolph Abbott, on account of whose service in the U.S army during the War of the Rebellion and subsequent death, I get a pension of $8 a month under the Act of June 27, 1890.

I can’t give my age. I had seven children when Charleston was taken. (She appears at least 65 years of age)

I was born in Charleston, S.C., the slave of Mr. Moon. 1 He sold me to Ga. and I was the slave of Capt. Myers when freedom came. I can’t locate any of my white people now.

I married Randolph in slavery. I lived with him until he went in the war. We lived together about five years after the war when he died on St. Simon Island, Ga. I have not remarried since his death.

I have lived here with this family about 25 years

My husband was 6 feet tall and black. My claim was not examined before it was granted.

My husband served under Strawbridge and Capt. Walker. 2 They are the men he went away with. He was never called by any name except Randolph Abbott. He was the son of Tom Abbott.

I came down here long before the war. I met my husband here. He was born on St. Simon Island. He has a brother in Savannah. I mean a half brother. He is called Washington. I can’t give the other name.

I own no property at all. I have no income but my pension and what I cook for.

My husband died about five years after the war of a visur (?) in the throat. Dr. Wilson, dead, attended him in his last illness.  He did not get a pension.  He was never well after the war.

This is the only pension I ever applied for. I have not put in under the old law. I have no claim pending before the Pension Office at the present time.

Since the death of my husband I have lived no place except here in Brunswick.

I have forgotten the names of my original witnesses.  Judge Crovatt is the only lawyer I had. I live with him. He charged me nothing.  I keep my pension papers at the office of Judge Crovatt. I have never pledged them or either of them for money or thing of value.  I do not go down town on signing day Judge Crovatt does that for me. He brings me $24 every time and puts it into my hand.

I have heard my answers and they are correct.
Susan (her X mark) Abbott

****

Abbott served under Trowbridge

The description below of life on St. Simons Island during the Civil War was taken From Reminiscences, of My Life in Camp by Susie King Taylor. page 16. Susie King was an African American teacher, nurse and laundress who served during the Civil War and St. Simons Island and the mainland.

The latter part of August, 1862, Captain C. T. Trowbridge, with his brother John and Lieutenant Walker, came to St. Simon’s Island from Hilton Head, by order of General Hunter, to get all the men possible to finish filling his regiment which he had organized in March, 1962. He had heard of the skirmish on this island, and was very much pleased at the bravery shown by these men. He found me at Gaston Bluff teaching my little school, and was muh interested in it. When I knew him better I found him to be a thorough gentleman and a staunch friend to my race.

Captain Trowbridge remained with us until October, when the order was received to evacuate, and so we boarded the Ben-De-Ford, a transport, for Beaufort, S. C. When we arrived in Beaufort, Captain Trowbridge and the men he had enlisted went to camp at Old Fort, which they named “Camp Saxton,” I was enrolled as laundress.

The first suits worn by the boys were red coats and pants, which they disliked very much, for, they said, “The rebels see us, miles away.”

The first colored troops did not receive any pay for eighteen months, and the men had to depend wholly on what they received from the commissary, established by General Saxton. A great many of these men had large families, and as they had no money to give them , their wives were obliged to support themselves and children by washing for the officers of the gunboats and the soldiers, and making cakes and pies which they sold to the boys in camp. Finally, in 1863, the government decided to give them half pay , but the men would not accept this . They wanted “ full pay ” or nothing. They preferred rather to give their services to the state , which they did until 1864, when the government granted them full pay , with all the back pay due.

  1. Almost two hundred years ago Susan Richardson Abbot was born into slavery on the plantation of Thomas Boone in Charleston, SC. After Boone died 28 October, 1831, his wife began selling off land and people. https://findingeliza.com/archives/34332[]
  2. He served under Trowbridge https://findingeliza.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/1962-Dec-19-enlisted-scaled.jpg[]