Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Harriet, Anderson and other lost stories in the records
The Friend of Friends post that I did last Friday was particularly interesting to me because of the series of posts showing the changing fates of six slaves belonging to the estate (minor children) of Jonathon McClendon. I presume there was an issue about how the estate was handled, since I can't think of any other reason that the annual accountings from 1825 to 1832 would appear in together in the Crawford county records of 1834, especially when they were originally recorded in Jasper County. Three of the slaves were adults - Bill, Jenny and Milly. Jenny had a daughter Harriet and eventually Milly had an unknown child. Bill was originally the most valuable and could be hired out each year for the most money, but by 1832, when they were sold, the two women went for more. In Milly's case this could be because her child was sold with her, but its also possible that Bill was simply getting old. Milly was probably a teenager, since she is sometimes described as a girl and sometimes as a woman, as opposed to Jenny who is always called a woman. There were also three children - Ben, Anderson and Harriet. Ben grows up during these years, where he is first hired out for less than the women, but by 1829 is bringing in nearly as much as Bill and by 1832 is sold for more than any of the others. Every year his hire increased significantly, as he got older. Anderson must have been quite young when this first started, since he is hired for $1. Old enough to do some work but not as productive as a man or even a teen. Again, we watch him grow up and become more valuable, although not to the extent Ben does. Based on the relative amounts received for hiring him out, the appearance is that he went from being a young boy to possibly a young teen. There is no indication in the record as to who his mother was, either because he had already been separated from her or because he was not young enough when the records started to be listed with her. It is possible that Jenny was his mother and he was old enough to be accounted for separately, that his mother was one of the two female slaves that went to the widow (Viny and Betsy), or that his mother was dead. Harriet is definitely Jenny's daughter and is obviously quite young when these records started. She is at first just grouped with her mother, then "hired" basically for the cost of keeping her. She is definitely separated from her mother by 1829, when they are hired out to separate families and in 1832, when the slaves are sold, they both go permanently to different families. Even assuming she was 7 or 8 when the records start (and she was probably much younger), this would have meant a permanent separation from her mother definitely by the time she was 15 and possibly as young as 10. In fact, all 3 of the youngest named slaves were sold away from the adults they had grown up with, whether those adults were their parents or not. The only child not to be sold separately was Milly's unnamed child, who was probably an infant since she/he had not been mentioned before.