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Old newspaper articles (and book mentions) about former slaves, slavery (N-Z)

PACK Pres Pack of Monroe and Fayette counties, W.Va. Mr. Pack was enslaved by Anderson Pack of Ballard, Monroe County.  Other names mentioned: Harry Pack, one of Pres Pack's two sons; Zenith Pack, a grandson; and Zenith's grandmother, Easter Swope Pack, wife of John PackOld  Split Rail Added to Museum Pieces, Yesterday and Today, Shirley Donnelly, Post-Herald, Beckley, W.Va., 31 Jan 1974, Page 4. Clyde Spangler of Ballard brought Rev. Donnelly a rail that was split by Pres Pack.

PARKS James "Jim" Parks, grew up on Arlington, Va., land belonging to the Custis-Lee family. Arlington National Cemetery is now located on this property. Although he was a civilian, the War Department allowed his burial at the national cemetery. Former Slave in Long Sleep at Arlington, The Herald-Leader, Steubenville, Ohio, 23 Aug 1929, Page 25. More information and photos are at an Arlington Cemetery site. He was born around 1843 to Lawrence Parks and Patsy Clark. Married twice and fathered 22 children. According to the Arlington National Cemetery site, he was freed in 1862 under the terms of the will of his former owner, George Washington Parke Custis. Mr. Parks, who worked at the cemetery and was a valuable source of information about the history of the land, is the only person buried in Arlington National Cemetery who was born on the property. He is buried at near Selfridge Gate (West Gate) in Section 15, Grave 2 (Grid G-26).

PEARL Caroline Pearl of Parkersburg, W.Va. She was enslaved by the Stalnaker family of Glenville, W.Va.. When Mrs. Pearl was 100, she began having delusions that she was to be sold. Former Slave, 105, Dies, The Charleston Daily Mail, W.Va., 29 Jan 1938, Page 1.

RIDDLE -- Jack Johnson Riddle, born 15 Nov 1841 in Marietta, Ga., a son of Tom Riddle and Martha Taylor. Sold to the Pope family in Talladega, Ala. After the Civil War, the family took the surname Riddle after a benefactor. Mr. Riddle died on 06 Dec 1952 in his home in Talladega, Ala. Survived by wife Josie and 80 descendants. (News articles and the Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974, FHL Film Number: 1908875.) Former Slave, 106 And Wife Get New Home, Birmingham News, 12 Jan 1948.  Klan Plays Santa to Ex-Slave, Wife, The Charleston Daily Mail, W.Va., 26 Dec 1948 Page 1. Has the Klan Changed Sheeta? The Milwaukee Journal, 26 Dec 1948, Page 2.  Uncle Jack Riddle Marks 109th Birthday, The Tuscaloosa News, 15 Nov 1950, Page 2. 111-Year-Old Talladega Negro, Ex-Slave, Dies, UP/United Press, The Anniston Star, Alabama, 08, 1952, Page 1,  and Ex-Slave Was 111 Years Old, The Daily Mail, Hagerstown, Md., 08 Dec 1952, Page 18. A Study In Contrasts, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 14 Dec 1952, Page 10.  Obituary, Jet magazine, 01 Jan 1953, Page 59. Photo: "Talladega - Pathways to the Past" by Walter Bell White, Page 113.

ROSS Susan Ross, born in Richmond Va., around 1828; at 8 sold to slaver in Louisville, Ky.; living in Calif. in 1929. Former Slave, 102 Years Old Is Mother of 21 Children, Oakland Tribune, 11 May 1929, Page C3. Photos. "The only reason I wasn't killed in slavery was because I fought back."  An article and a news brief on the occasion of her 104th and 106th birthdays: Mrs. Susan Ross, One Time Slave, To Be 104, Tuesday, Oakland Tribune, 06 Aug 1931, Page 1, and Negress 106, San Mateo Times, California, 09 Aug 1933, Page 1.

SANDERS Va./W.Va., Mich., Ohio. Under Virginia law, freeing a slave was complicated and expensive. It took years of planning for Sampson Sanders to lay the groundwork so 51 slaves could be freed upon his death and remain free. A remarkable story and a rich source of African American genealogy.  Most of the freed slaves, who retained the surname of Sanders, migrated to Cass County, Mich. The book also contains the story of Jack Neal, a free man who was kidnapped and sold back into slavery. Other surnames mentioned include Halestock, Rogers, Gallagher, Kilgore, Quesenberry, Summers and Ward. Cabell County's Empire for Freedom: The Manumission of Sampson Sanders' Slaves by Carrie Eldridge, Marshall University Printing Services, July 2004. I got a copy for $20 from an independent bookstore on Abebooks. Amazon has copies for $30.

SHIVERST.L. Shivers, Tenn. and Wisc. Photos and article in separate files: Former Slave, Area Farmer 'Has Religion', (photos) and article, The La Crosse Tribune, Wisconsin, 07 Sept 1947, Page 15-16. Article, which includes photos, mentions wife Millie Revels, sons Edgar, Herbert, Alga and Marvin Stivers, daughter Cora Taylor, and sister Mary Harris.

SINCLAIR W.Va. Tombstone of “Freed Slave, Elisebeth Sinclair.” Dates look like: 1797-1838. On the previous page is a photo of “Oldest Shrewsbury-Maxey cemetery of area at the junction of the first road between Clover Bottom and Logan – Wyoming County (W.Va,)” A New River Heritage, Volume IV, with select stories by the late Barty Wyatt, by William Sanders, McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W.Va., 1994. Page 295.

SLATER Isaac Slater, Va. and W.Va. Mr. Slater died at the home of daughter and son-in-law, the Rev. and Mrs. D.D. (Ella) Davis, Charleston, W.Va. Other survivors: Sallie Slater of Philadelphia and Mrs. Dallas Lington of Lynchburg. Death Removes Man 106 Years Old, The Charleston Gazette, 26 Jan 1925, Page 2.

SMALLWOOD –  John J. Smallwood, S.C., Mass., Tx, Ky.
  • Mt. Vernon News Letter, The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, Iowa, 17 Nov 1908, Page 12. The Rev. J.J. Smallwood had charge of the M.E. Church program and spoke on "The Past, Present and Future of the American Negro."
  • Divine Will, Restless Heart: the Life and Works of John Jefferson Smallwood by Mary E.C. Drew, his great-great-niece,. Author's page.

SMITH – Dr. E.E. Smith, born 1852. Noted Negro Educator Dies, The Bakersfield Californian, 08 Dec 1933, Page 5. Brief obit says he was a former minister of Liberia and founder and president emeritus of the North Carolina Normal School for Negroes. More about Dr. Ezekiel Ezra Smith: Fayetteville State University

SMITH George Smith of Lexington, Ky., and Texas. Ex-Slave Is Spry At 104 Following Illness 'Way Back', Daily Herald, Big Spring, Texas, 10 Jan 1930, Page 5. Mr. Smith, 104, tells about slavers taking his parents and nine brothers and sisters from Africa. They were sold to Jim Stokes of Lexington, Ky.

SMITH STONE ZIEGLER –  Elvira Stone Smith Zeigler, born 19 Mar 1940, Pittsylvania Co., Va., died 12 Jan 1952, Red Star, Fayette Co., W.Va. Grand-niece Mattie Calloway quoted. Fayette Ex-slave Dies At Red Star, Age 112, Sunday Register, Beckley, W.Va., 13 Jan 1952, Page 1.

TALBOTT, WEATHERSBenjamin & Henry Talbott,  Ky., Ind., Texas.  Sons Of Former Slave Claim 50 Acres Near Center of Town, Logansport Journal, Ind., 12 May 1905, Page 1. Sale of land in the 1850s owned jointly by two brothers results in a suit a generation later. Henry changed his name to Henry Weathers.

THOMPSONMargaret Thompson of Patoka, Gibson County, Ind. Former Slave, 108, Dies In Old Cabin, The Hammond Times, 09 Jan 1938, Page 12. Survived by two sons and a daughter. They aren't listed.

TYLER John Tyler, born 15 Nov 1812, Md./died Dec 1915, Madison Co., N.Y. Former Slave Dies of Old Age; Passed Century Mark, Syracuse Herald, 06 Dec 1915, Central NY News Section, Page 17. Survivors: Mrs. Francis Gordon & Mrs. Charles Baker. Worked for Gerrit Smith, abolitionist, in Petersboro, N.Y.

WATKINS – Mariah Watkins of Tazewell and Grundy, Va. Note: Her name was spelled Mariah in the 1900 federal census, Moriah in a local history, Marih on her tombstone and Maria in a 1935 news article. Mariah, 4, was taken from her mother at a Tazewell, Va., slave sale and sold to John Watkins. Ms. Watkins is the subject of an article in a local history, and a letter included in The Southwest Corner By Goodridge Wilson, The Southwest Times, Pulaski, Va., 29 Sept 1935, Page 4. For more information, go to Hibbitts Cemetery, Grundy, Va.: Find A Grave Memorial# 78608023

WEST – Lucretia West, born a slave, 23 March 1836, in Abington, a section of Pomfret, a town in Windham Co., Conn. In 1884, married Charles Henry West, former slave in Virginia. Former Slave Saw Lincoln, The Corpus Christi Times, 18 May 1938, Page 8. (The 1920 census has Lucretia West, widow, mulatto, born around 1840, living with son-in-law and daughter George A. & Ella E. Tattson in Putnam Ward 3, Windham.)

WHITEHEADHarry Whitehead of Illinois. Mr. Whitehead, 97, seeks divorce from Anna after she leaves him to live with son Willard in Ind. Former Slave Asks Divorce, Syracuse Herald, Ill., 13 June 1937, Page 4A.

YARBROUGH Louis Yarbrough (1818-1925), Charlotte, S.C., Ga., Tenn. and Massillon, Ohio,  died at the home of his daughter Mrs. Georgia Mack. Enslaved by Henry Yarbrough. Former Slave, Dead Here At 107, Saw Thrilling Days In Old South, Evening Independent, Massillon, Ohio, 30 March 1925, Page 1: Part 1  Part 2  Children in addition to Mrs. Mack were Mrs. Lula Pasley, Mrs. Ella Thomas, and Mrs. Viola Pasley, and sons Samuel, Clarence, Fred and Vernon Yarbrough. 

YOPPBill Yopp of Georgia. Former Slave Becomes Santa/Georgia Veterans Handed Gifts, Oakland Tribune, 24 Dec 1919, Page 3. William H. "Ten Cents Bill" Yopp - photo and biography on Find A Grave Memorial# 10076434, Marietta Confederate Cemetery, Marietta, Cobb County, Ga.
Georgia

YOUNG –  Judy Young of Rhode Island. Ms. Young lived with the William Green family. Former Slave Is Dead At 110 Years, Evening Telegram, Elyria, Ohio, 29 Sept 1911, Page 8.

Misc.
Old Pay-Rolls Show Value of Negro Slaves, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W.Va., 12 Aug 1926, Page 12. Article, dateline Mobile, Ala., about old payroll records of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Oldest record "made out and signed" by slaveowner Oliver Beers who was associated with the railroad in 1858. Tom, Washington, Anthony, Jefferson & John (no last names) worked in section gangs before the Civil War.

Interesting Census Figures, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, Wis., 14 Feb 1882.

Washington, DC, based company, with a branch office in Savannah, that was registering former slaveowners, for a fee, with the aim of collecting money for slaves lost through emancipation.. Utopian Dream. With a Strong Probability of Fraudulent Intent, Burlington Hawk-Eye, Iowa, 12 April 1886, Page 8.

JONESThe Rev. Richard R. Jones, Va., Pa. Colored Preacher Sues City Of Roanoke, Bluefield Daily Telegram, W.Va., 04 March 1905, Page 1. Sued local officials for failure to protect him against mob violence. (Rev. Jones probably wasn't a former slave. But I thought the story would be of interest.)

"One of the Colored Boys in Blue" writes letter to the editor about effort to keep African American vets out of the Spanish War Veterans organization. Takes Issue with Cogan: Colored Veteran denies that Comrades are Barred by Organizations, Washington Post, 20 Sept 1907, Page 2.

Negroes Want Soldiers Dispatched to Tuskagee (sic), article with NY dateline, printed in Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail, 05 July 1923, Page 14. Lives of R.R. Moton, president of Tuskegee Institute, and surgeons at the veterans hospital in Tuskegee, Ala., threatened.

Pictures of the African American Civil War Memorial in Frankfort, Ky. Memorial lists 142 soldiers from Central Kentucky. Find a Grave. These are my photos and anyone is welcome to them.

Mose Bunch, photo of a man who was a slave to the Hight family of Summers Co., W.Va. Article about the Hight family. Shared by a visitor to West Virginia Memories.

Other sources
Unknown No Longer, free database with the names of (as of September 2011) 1,500 slaves from Virginia. Appalachian History: Stories, Quotes and Anecdotes, article about "memory jugs" found on African American graves.
Texas Slave Narratives.

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