Sunday, December 28, 2014

family connections

My disdain for bad behavior, no matter who the perpetrator, extends even 2 my own ancestors-- not a pleasant thought.

I wouldn't do well if I was Chinese, because they're supposed to revere their ancestors. I do revere most of mine, the salt-of-the-earth, impoverished farmers that predominate in my family tree (as I believe they do in the trees of most Americans) appear as God-fearing people who would sooner die than take something that didn't belong to them.

The branch of the family I've pretty much disowned came to the brand-new USA from England in the 1780's, soon after the Revolution, and either my great-great-great paternal grandfather arrived with a little money, or his wife did.  She came 2 America with the idea of getting rich in the slave trade, or picked up on its possibiltles soon after arrivng. First settling in Pennsylvania, dominated by Quakers, so that slavery never got a toehold, they quickly decamped for Duplin county NC, and just as quickly bought their first two slaves. Mrs had half a dozen or so by the time the old man died, and she continued collecting them after he was gone. By the time she passed on she had as many as 10 slaves on the place, and  2 more in dispute.

The dispute arose when her son Francis and his new wife took two household members with them when they departed for Georgia by wagon in about 1830. We know quite a bit about Francis & the family he raised in South Georgia on land acquired cheaply, formerly the domain of the Creek Nation. That old Indian killer, Col. Andy Jackson demolished the Creeks for good at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, in 1814, with the few survivors of that virtual massacre escaping to Florida & joining the Seminole tribe.

Tho we are famiiar with the lives of Francis and his family in some detail, we know virtually nothing about Dave and Ireland, the two men at the center of this family feud, other than their names. I would like very much 2 know more about them & who they really were, but at this distance doubt that's possible.

What follows is interesting enough to write, and maybe a few would want to read it. Francis prospered in south Georgia, built a plantation called Tallokas, had a gang of kids, bought more slaves, & lived the life of a country gentleman. His mother ignored him in her will; she was still pissed at him for taking Dave & Ireland, who were the only two human chattels on the place not deeded specifically 2 her by her husband. By that time Francis needed no help; he was living large on stolen land and labor. There was a steep price to pay for such prosperity, however, as those who read on will soon see.

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