“Southern Man with Northern Feelings”

Captain Elisha Betts Ordered to Leave Eufaula

ITEM #22901
October 3, 1850

THE NATIONAL ERA
Washington, D.C., Vol. IV No. 196 p. 158

THE SLAVERY OF THE WHITE RACE IN THE SOUTH.

The Slavery of the white race in many parts of the South is as ignominious, if not as cruel, as that of the blacks. The following is from the Southern Press, which seems to sympathize with Lynch Law as the proper remedy for Freedom of opinions:
“We find the following account of a ‘summary process’ case, in the Columbus Times. The climate of Georgia is getting uncomfortably warm for Southern men with Northern feelings. – Southern Press.


“NOTICE TO QUIT. – ‘At a large public meeting at Eufaula, Ala., last week, one Captain Elisha Betts, of that place, was ordered to leave on short notice – he having been discovered as the author of an abolition communication from that city to the Washington Era, abolition paper. Read the rest of this entry »

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Elijah & Becky Davis

My Davis ancestors can be traced back to the 1870 Population Census for Barbour County, Alabama.  On this census, Elijah is listed as 54 years of age, which would indicate that he was born circa 1816. The census further lists Georgia as his birthplace.  Although Georgia is listed as Elijah’s place of birth, various family members have stated they heard that he came from the West Indies.

The slave trade with Africa was supposedly abolished in 1808; however, we know this was too profitable a business for some as well as a way to provide free labor to wealthy farmers. As a result, traders continued to bring slaves into the country via Cuba and South America.

The unknown history of my ancestors generate many questions for me. Was Elijah a slave or free person of color? Was he sold into slavery in Africa and bought to the West Indies or was he born into slavery in the West Indies? Was he sold to a slave trader or to a plantation owner?  How did he get to the United States? Did he purchase his own freedom or was he manumitted? Did he become a free person with emancipation?

The 1870 census identifies Elijah’s wife as Becky, born in Virginia.  This information also raises many questions such as how and where did they meet? But most importantly how did they end up in Springhill, AL (Barbour County-Township 12 Range 28)?

Elijah and Becky had at least six children born in Alabama starting circa 1855. They were Margaret,  Laura, Henry, Sama, Charles, my great grandfather, and William. 

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AL Enforces US Laws Against Slave Trade

Below is an extract from the Acts of Alabama, 1818 to 1828, found online.  This is one of many Acts pertaining to people of color that will be posted on this blog. The original documents are at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery, AL. 

  • View the Acts of Alabama in Color (Index) on this blog.
  • View all extracts on this blog this far.   
  • To carry into effect the laws of the United States prohibiting the slave trade. (1823) 

    Session: Annual Session, 18 November 1822 – 1 January 1823

    Page: 62-63             

    AN ACT

    To carry into effect the laws of the United States prohibiting the slave trade.

    Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened, That the Governor of this state be, and he is hereby, authorized and required to appoint some suitable person, as the agent of the state to receive all and every slave or slaves or persons of colour, who may have been brought into this state in violation of the laws of the United States, prohibiting the slave trade: Provided, that the authority of the said agent is not to extend to slaves who have been condemned and and sold. Read the rest of this entry »

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    201 in Eufaula Request Transport to Liberia

    Below is a transcription of a letter found in The African Repository, the journal of the American Colonization Society. This was one of many sample letters to the ACS requesting transportation to Liberia. 

    Eufaula, Ala., December 25, 1867.

    We, the undersigned, colored people, take this method to inform you that we would like to embark in may, 1868, for Liberia, if we can be accommodated.  We request that you furnish us with free transportation from this place to Liberia.  We are all poor, and have not any money.

    A E. Williams

    and two hundred others, with their families.

     

    I ordered a copy of the letter from the microfilm owned by the  Manuscript division of the Library of Congress.  The letter has additional information not contained in The African Repository.  This transcription will be the subject of another blog.

     

    Source: American Colonization Society, The African Repository, {Washington: Colonization Society Building, 1868).  Volume XLIV-1868:121: digital image, Google Book Search, (http://books.google.com/books?as_brr=1&id=ZDUfaNo7HOgC&vid=LCCN05039691&dq=eufaula+alabama&jtp=178 :accessed 19 July 2006)

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    Negroes Returning

       Notwithstanding that many of the Southern negroes who went North last winter, literally “caught fits” in the cold climate, and many died of pneumonia and other ailments, still some in the South are yet inclined to leave the only place where they will ever be treated kindly, and go North.  It was last Saturday that one or two Alabama counties reported that “labor agents” had worked up crowds of negroes who would go North as soon as those agents came with the transportation and “other inducements”  but read here a report which came out from Atlanta on the same date.

       The exodus of negroes from the south to the northern cities, where they have been lured by immigration agents holding out false promises of high wages and social equality with white people, seems to have reached the high water mark and is now receding, with a backswing of negroes, toward the south.  But hundreds of the poor victims will never return and extremely pitiful reports come from the chairity and social service organizations in northern cities, telling of the suffering and hardships endured by southern negroes who went from the warm climate of their native land to the bitter winter of the north.  The accounts of these hardships told by negroes who have been so fortunate as to get back to the south will probably do more than anything else to stop the northern exodus.

    Union Springs Herald, 1917

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    On An Ancestral Journey

    In 1992 if anyone had told me that I would spend the next thirteen years on an ancestral journey I would have laughed at them. Like everyone else in
    America, I too had watched the 1976 movie Roots by Alex Haley. The movie caused me to experience many different emotions; however, none of them ignited a desire to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Haley. As a matter of fact, I probably did not think it was a possibility for the average person. 

    I’m not sure what it is about one’s personality that draws them to the art of genealogy and family research because it can be tedious, discouraging, dirty and expensive.  However, it can also be full of surprises and very rewarding. Whatever the reason, there is a very strong desire to discover who your ancestors were and to share information about them that no one else knows.  You begin to wonder if you look like any of them, did you pick up any of their personalities or skills, and what were their lives like during their lifetimes.  Read the rest of this entry »

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    From Eufaula, Alabama to Liberia

    On 14 May 1868 the ship Golconda set sail from Savannah, Georgia.  Onboard were 39 Eufaula residents heading for Bexley, Grand Bassa County, Liberia.   According to letters received by the American Colonization Society (ACS), there were hundreds of African Americans from the Eufaula area requesting passage to Africa.  Below is a transcribed list of Eufaula emigrants originally published by the ACS in The African Repository. Read the rest of this entry »

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