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Allen Eliza

Finding Eliza part 3

Mattie Saffold Harris with family. Sayde little girl, front. Her mother, Mattie, is on the far right.
Mary Allen McCall on left. Granddaguthers Victoria and Margaret, front.

This is an email conversation that took place between Janis M. and me. We shared a cousin, Margaret McCall. It was from information that Janis gave me from her mother that let me piece together the story of Eliza and her first daughter, Mary.  It was so exciting to have the story unfold through her mother’s memories and the records I found online and things my mother had told me. Both Margaret and Janis’ mother Sayde have died.  It was really one of those strange happenings where people are in the right place at the right time and can share the important information. Margaret and Sadye were related through the daughters Milton Saffold had with their grandmothers during and soon after slave times.

Date:    Thu, 16 Oct 2003
Hi Janis,

You talked to my sister, Pearl, recently in Chicago at a book signing and gave her a chart.  Have you ever been in touch with Margaret or Victoria?  I can fill in the missing information for you from Mary McCall’s side.  This past year I’ve been doing some research for Margaret about Milton Saffold.  I found he married the daughter of Col. Edmund Harrison, who was the owner of Eliza Harrison who was Mary’s mother.  Eliza’s mother was also named Annie and I remember my great-great aunt Abbie, who was Mary McCall’s half sister, saying that Annie was African but I can’t find a record yet of anyone before the 1870 census.  Margaret and I have been trying to find some records to place Eliza and Annie on the Harrison plantation.  I was wondering, after seeing your chart, if maybe they, or Eliza went with Harrison’s daughter (Eliza was also his daughter) when she married Saffold.  Do you have access to any records from slave times for the Saffolds?

Eliza married Dock Allen and they raised 9 children.  How do you know about Mary being a Saffold?  Margaret said it was all very hush hush when she was growing up and it’s making it very hard to find information now.

Let me know if you want more complete info for Mary and descendants.  I’m so glad you saw Pearl!  I will pass on any information you send me to Margaret.  Right now I’m at my daughter’s in Seattle helping her with her newborn twins and most of my information is back in Michigan but I’ve got all the basic info on Dock Allen and Eliza.  Looking forward to hearing from you.
Kristin

Date:    Thu, 16 Oct 2003 22:45:31 EDT
Hi, Kristin:
Wow,   I will have to contact my cousin in Birmingham.  He is the family historian and if any information is forthcoming about the Saffolds it would be from him.  I only know that Milton Saffold was my maternal grandmother’s father.  Seems the judge “traveled” a lot!   Will send my cousin your email and hopefully he can help us out.

Milton Saffold. Mattie’s family photos.

As it is late, I will have to take in all that you have written tomorrow.
Janis

Date:    Thu, 16 Oct 2003 22:58:25 EDT
Kristin:
Forgot to tell you that I talked to Pearl at a reading in Bowie, Maryland.   No, I haven’t talked to any other member of your family.  My mother, Sadye Harris James told me that you have a relative who lives near me in a neighborhood called Kettering.  She is the daughter of Hugo Howard.  If this is accurate, I would like to contact her. My Mom got this information from Margaret Ward this past August.   Until then I never knew that Milton Saffold had any children other than Mattie (my grandmother), and Frank.  I look forward to you filling in the blanks in my chart.
Janis

Date:    Fri, 17 Oct 2003 10:09:29 -0700 (PDT)
Janis,
That would be great if your cousin can give me some more information.  I’ll get the information I have together and email it later today. I’ll also check with another cousin of mine who grew up in Chicago and might know about the daughter of Hugo Howard and let you know.
Kris

James and Margaret McCall visit his sister Tillie Howard in Chicago.

Date:    Sat, 18 Oct 2003 10:03:20 EDT
Hi Kristin,
I spoke with my mother, Sadye Harris James, the last surviving child of Mattie Saffold Harris.   Mom told me that in l933 she visited her sister Blanche in Chicago.   Blanche was living in an apartment building owned by Tillie and her husband Dr. Howard.   Tillie and her husband lived in a unit of the building.  Blanche told my mother that Tillie’s mother, Mary McCall, was visiting from Mississippi, and that she looked like their mother, Mattie.  She was described as a little “white lady” dressed in a long white old-fashioned looking dress.  (My mother only saw her from a distance).    When Sadye returned home to Birmingham, she told her mother about  Mary McCall.  Mattie said she knew about a Mary McCall, and that she was her half sister.  Mattie decided to visit Mary in Chicago and confirmed that indeed she was Mary Saffold McCall.

This seems to be in conflict with your information. According to your records, Mary McCall  was the child of Eliza Harrison and Dock Allen.  Perhaps Milton Saffold fathered Mary and  Dock Allen reared her as his own.  By the way, Mattie was born in Selma, Alabama.
Janis

Date:    Wed, 29 Oct 2003 22:05:05 -0800 (PST)
Hi Janis,
Today I decided to look for Eliza in the 1860 census as a free person in Dallas county.  I searched by her first name since I have looked in Montgomery and Lowndes county before with various last names.  I found a 25 year old Eliza Williams with a 3 year old Mary Williams in Dallas county living with a 27 year old woman named Nancy Morgan and several of her children.  All are listed as white.  But Williams is the last name of Anne, Eliza’s mother and they are the right ages.  It wouldn’t be the first time family members were listed in the census as white.

Now I need to find out who Nancy Morgan is and connect her with the Saffolds or Harrisons.  Another day.  Nancy Morgan appears in the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census.  She is listed as single in the first two but always has another child or two and in the last one she’s listed as widowed.  She doesn’t have any occupation listed.  Eliza Williams isn’t listed again as Eliza Williams but appears as Eliza Allen with her husband, Dock Allen.  Her mother, Annie Williams lived with them in 1870 and with Mary McCall in 1880.

Anyway, I’m going to bed.  Just wanted to share that.
Kris

2005 – Janis taped an interview with her mother Sayde.  In it she talked about her mother and Mary McCall being half sisters and their meeting in Chicago.

Mattie Saffold Harris
Mary Allen McCall

 

 

 

 

“Sadye: Okay.  It was the summer of 1933 when Walter, my brother and I drove in his V-8 Ford (It was red) to Cincinnati where he married Edna Gaither and from that we went to Chicago to visit Blanche, my sister, and there she said to me, “Sayde, there’s a little old lady up on the third floor and she sits on the back porch and I think she looks a lot like Mama. And I’d like for you to meet her.”  So I went out in the backyard and looked up on the 3rd floor and there she sat in her long white dress and white hair, but I don’t remember ever being introduced to her.  However her granddaughters Margaret and Victoria McCall, they came to visit their Aunt Tillie Howard and I got to meet them, but I never did meet Miss Marry Saffold McCall.  No her name was not McCall….her name was McCall.  So Mama went up to Chicago, not just to see this woman that was one of the highlights of her visit to Blanch.  I don’t think it was that summer, but may have been the next summer.  And they had quite a delightful celebration because they were half sisters.  And I remember Mama telling me she had a half sister named Mary in Mississippi.  And I could not understand a half sister in Mississippi, but as time progressed I realized that her father, Judge Saffold, made visitations involving his work as a circuit court judge and this took him to a part of Mississippi.  Now who the mother was of Mary, I have no idea.  Perhaps Victoria or Margaret will have some information as to who was the mother of Mary.”

I still haven’t found out who Nancy Morgan is.  I did find a marriage certificate between a Nancy Wiggins and an Isom Morgan in Dallas County.  William Wiggins was the overseer of Edmund Harrison in the 1850 census but I haven’t found any records connecting William with Nancy yet.

When I attended cousin Victoria McCall Davenport’s 90th birthday celebration  in Detroit she told me that her grandmother Mary told her she was about 10 at freedom.  This fits in with the child Mary in the 1860 census.

Categories
Allen Cleages Grahams

Six Degrees of Separation – Slavery

Today  I was reading  Nolichucky Roots  She was writing about the degrees of separation between her and her ancestors who where slave owners.  It got me thinking about how many degrees of separation there are between me and my ancestors who were enslaved.  I have always felt that it wasn’t as long ago as some feel.  It turns out I am one degree from slavery 6 different ways.

  • My paternal grandfather, Albert born 1884 TN knew his parents, Lewis & Celia (Rice) Cleage born about 1852 & 1855 in TN into slavery.  One degree.    (photo 1 & 2 – Albert & Celia)
  • My paternal grandmother, Pearl born 1886, knew her mother Anna Allen Reed who was born about 1849 in KY into slavery. (photo 3 Pearl)
  •  My maternal grandfather, Mershell born 1889 AL, knew his parents William & Mary (Jackson) Graham b. Al, 1851 & 1852. One degree. (photo 4)
  • My maternal grandmother, Fannie born 1888 AL, knew her father, Howard Turner, who was born about 1863, AL into slavery.  One degree.(photo 5 – Fannie)
  • My maternal great-grandmother, Jennie born 1866  knew her parents, Dock & Eliza (Williams) Allen born in Ga & AL about 1839 into slavery.  One degree. (photo 6 – Jennie, 7- Eliza, 8-Dock)
  • My maternal grandmother’s first cousin, James born 1880 AL, knew his parents Edward & Mary (Allen) McCall born 1842 & 1856 AL who were born into slavery.  One degree.(photo 9 James, 10- Mary).
Categories
Cleages

Bill of sale for Bob, age 13 and Jim, age 11 – June 16, 1843

sale bob & jim
Bill of sale for Bob and Jim

Know all men by these presents that I, John Armstrong of the County of McMinn and the State of Tennessee for and in consideration of the sum of seven hundred dollars to me in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have bargained and sold and delivered unto David Cleage of the county and state aforesaid two negro boys, to wit, Bob aged about thirteen of dark mulatto colour and Jim, aged about eleven of deep mulatto colour. Each of said boys I warrant sound and healthy both in body and mind and free from any defect whatever and slaves for life and covenant and agree that the title is clear of any encumbrance whatever, and I also warrant the title of the same to the said David Cleage his heirs or assigns against the lawful claim of all and every person or persons whatsoever, for which I bind myself my heirs, Executors and C. Intestmony (note: I’m not sure of this word) whereof I have here unto set my hand and affixed my seal this the sixteenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three.

John Armstrong SEAL

witnesses
Banisten Callian
John King

Categories
Cleages

Jerry Cleage “….and a slave for life…”

“Know all men by these presents that I, Pleasant W. Lane of the County of McMinn and the State of Tennessee for and in consideration of the sum of four hundred dollars to me in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have bargained sold and delivered unto David Cleage of the county and state aforesaid a negro Boy named Jerry of bright mulatto colour aged about ten years. Said boy I warrant sound and healthy both in body and mind and free from any defect whatever and slave for life and covenant the title is clear of any encumbernance whatever. And I will warrant and defend by these presents forever. Given under my hand and seal this twelfth day of November One thousand and eight hundred and forty one.”
witnesses
P.W.Lane
John King
Thomas Vaughn
Another document from the Cleage plantation in Athens, TN, thanks to the woman who gave copies to my cousin Elbert and to Elbert for sharing them with me.  It is very hard to get documentation of ancestors who lived before freedom so it’s always wonderful when someone who has papers shares them. Not wonderful to read about a ten year old being “a slave forever” but wonderful to see something that places your people in time and place.
The Rest of the Story
Jerry was about 35 when freedom came. In the 1870 and 1880 census he is described as a laborer. He had married Charlotte Bridgeman, who had been a slave of David Cleage’s wife.  They had a large family. One of Jerry’s sons, James, married my grandfather’s sister, Josephine. Her father, Lewis Cleage and grandfather, Frank Cleage came off of the same plantation. Frank was mentioned in the note to the overseer I posted earlier.
In the 1910 census Jerry was described as a mulatto, in his 80’s, widowed and a delivery man for a grocery store. Jerry Cleage died March 28, 1919 at about age 92 of arterio schlerosis and pulmonary endema. Occupation before death, Drayman. Parents Joe and Leah Cleage. His daughter Nellie was the informant, that is she gave the information that is on the death certificate.  Jerry lived his whole life in Athens Tennessee and died free.  He was not a slave for life.
Categories
African-American Genealogy & Slave Ancestry Research Cleages Slavery Tennessee

Article of Agreement Between Samuel Cleage and Overseer – 1834

Transcription and Context

Earlier this year I met a new plantation cousin, Elbert Arwine, through the connect feature on Ancestry.com.  We started emailing and sharing information.  Elbert is not actually my cousin but he is a cousin of some of my cousins.  His people and mine were enslaved on the same Cleage plantation in Athens, TN.  His ancestor, Bart Arnwine changed the family name from Cleage to Arnwine after freedom.  He is related to James Cleage who married my grandfather’s  sister,  Josephine Cleage.  While visiting in Athens, TN, Elert met a woman who bought the house of the slave owner, David Cleage.  She  found some papers that dated back to the 1800’s with names and dates on them.  Some of those names were our people.  She thought he might be interested and of course he was!  She let him make copies which he shared with me.

The Agreement I have transcribed and posted here is the oldest document that names names.  Named in this document are Bill, Henry, Joe, Frank, Lea, Fannie and Peter.  The Frank named here is most likely my great great grandfather and Joe is my plantation cousin’s ancestor.  I will write about what happened to Joe and Frank and some of the others after freedom in a later post.  I have several bills of sale that I will be posting later also.

There are several words I was unable to make out.  I left blank spaces there.

State of Tennessee McMinn county January 17, 1834
Article of Agreement made and entered into between Samuel Cleage and Wilson Owens.  Samuel Cleage employs him as an overseer on his farm on Little Mouse Creek and his quarter in Whisteria Valley and Owens is to act as overseer and work with the hands until the work is completed and ordered. ____________got out/  commencing 20th instant to superintend all matters things relating to the working of the farm or farm improvements of every description that said Cleage may direct to keep the hands his Cleage’s negroes (sic) employed and make them work as would be right to correct them when they deserve but not to be cruel or abuse them but make them do their duty and not suffer them to run about from the farm at nights.  The hands or negroes are Bill, Henry, Joe, Frank, Lea, Fannie, two little boys and Peter/  Bill is not to be a hand until his master Cleage directs as he is stiller and is to remain in the still house while Cleage carrys on stilling.
Cleage is to have a hand to strike in the shop if he wants one by furnishing a plow boy to work in his place as he expects to have a wagon loaned Owens is to take the hands and go to the Westeria also and work that place to clear a piece of land between the fields and fence and work same and reset the old fences makes rails for farm where said Cleage may direct it and the said Owens is to take special care of farm land timber stock of every kind to be very careful of horses that work the crop and suffer no want of grain to feed as much grain as is now need or what Cleage may direct.  Owens is to have the ninth part of the crop for his services that is of the wheat now growing the oats corn rye fodder.

Cleage is to let Owens have 40 bushels corn for bread at 33 1/3 yards oats 7 bushels oats which said owens is to pay him for out of his share of the crop when said Cleage may want it.  The crop to be undisturbed as respects disposing of same by Owens his share until regularly divided, Owens is to furnish wood for stilling have some cut and hauled in due time and also firewood for the use of Cleage what he wants and for himself.  Owens is to have his wheat share ground toll free Owens to help have saw hauled while water is now flush to the saw mill for plank improving any thing Cleage may want.

Should it be a year that the peaches on said farm should hit said Owens is also to attend to preparing same for tilling and Cleage is to pay Owens what would be right for his actions labour of same.  What they could agree upon if they could not agree each one to choose and leave it to a good man what it is worth now the 9th gallon of same Owens to turpentine and have corn for stilling shelled in proper time as Cleage now attends to same with his hands.

In compliance of same we bind ourselves in the final sum of five hundred Dollars date above                                                                        Samuel Cleage
witness David Cleage                                           Wilson X Owens
                                                                                         his mark