SOME SLAVE INFORMATION AND AFRICAN AMERICAN DESCENDANTS
(Created October 8, 2001 by Thomas W. Mitchiner)
KNOWN NAMES OF SLAVES AND SOME DESCENDANTS
SCREVEN CO., GEORGIA
1809 JOHN MITCHINER Will written, Oct. 6th. Gives his plantation where he lives and his slaves to his wife. Will recorded Dec. 12, 1814. JOHN M. WADE testified he saw JOSEPH BUTLER and JAMES NESSMITH sign as witnesses. Executors were LUVISEA MITCHINER and JOHN BEST. He named the following five negroes: JACK, JERRY, HANNER, HARRIT, and NELLY.
1815 LUVICY MITCHINER Will written, May 1st. She inherited property from the estate of her husband, JOHN MITCHINER. Her land adjoins WILLIAM MCQUEENS. Her son, WILLIAM H. BEST, is to get one half of the property and the other half to husband but unclear if she is married since a husband is not named. Will recorded Aug. 24, 1815. WILLIAM H. WADE testified he saw MARY WADE and J. W. WADE sign as witnesses. WILLIAM H. BEST was to get the following two negros: JERRY and ISAAC. (Note: Dr. WILLIAM BEST bought a slave named ISAAC, a shoemaker, in Charleston, SC on Aug. 6, 1803. Dr. WILLIAM BEST may have been the father of WILLIAM H. BEST and husband of LUVICY. ) She also named as part of the balance of her property that was to go to an unnamed husband: JACK, HARRIET, HANNER, NELLY.
1821 TARLTON B. BEST, Will written, Dec. 17th. (Copy of will). He inherited property and apparently his slaves from his wife, SARAH JELKS, widow of NATHANIEL H. JELKS. She died shortly after they married. His property in South Carolina was listed as 50 acres on Jackson Branch and 98 acres on King Creek. He divided eleven slaves in his will between ORSAMUS H.(HARDEN) BEST, son of JOHN B. BEST of Barnwell, SC, JOHN H.(HARDEN) MITCHINER, son of WILLIAM B. MITCHINER, and WILLIAM D. CAMPBELL, son of ISRAEL CAMPBELL and LEODICY (BEST) CAMPBELL MEARS. The names of his eleven slaves are: EFFY, JUNE, ANDREW, SAMUEL, CAROLINA and child, SIDNY, SEAY and her child CAROLINA, GILLY, and HANNER. Other slaves mentioned in his legal disputes were HANNAH, and JEFFERY. It is unknown if JOHN H. MITCHINER ever received possession of any of the named slaves.
RANDOLPH CO., GEORGIA
1865 WILLIAM B. MITCHINER, Will written, May 9th. (Note: the negros he intends to give to the children by his first marriage he describes by age and the negros he intends to give to his second wife he describes by complexion. No records have been found of him either buying or selling slaves. All the slaves named in his will could be the result of natural increase from the slaves he inherited from his mother.) To his wife, SARAH MITCHINER, daughter of THOMAS CORAM he names and describes his following negros: BOBY, a negro man of bright complexion. BOB, a negro boy of dark complexion. WASHINGTON, a negro boy of light complexion. AARON, a negro boy of dark complexion. LUTISHER, a negro woman of bright complexion. ELIZABETH, a negro girl of dark complexion. MARY, a negro girl of dark complexion. EMMA, a negro girl of dark complexion. ELLA, a negro girl of dark complexion. DAVID, a child of light complexion. LUCY, a negro woman and her three children: EVAN, a girl, BAILOW a boy, and ANOLA a girl. DUCKY, a negro girl. To his daughter AMANDA CRAPPS, wife of WADE CRAPPS, by his first marriage to CHARLOTTE OLIVER he gives: HARRIET, a negro woman about 19 years of age. The following negros are to be divided by the remaining six children by his first marriage to CHARLOTTE OLIVER after his just debts are paid: RITTER, a negro woman about 66 years old. SALLIE, a negro woman about 45 years old. EMANNEL, a negro man about 43 years old. (Note: EMANNEL MITCHINER gave his age as 52 years on on the 1870 GA. Census. On January 9, 1875 he purchased Lot #233, in the 9th Dist. of Randolph Co. for $975.) MARY, a negro woman about 50 years old. JOHN, a negro man about 19 years old. SILVA, a negro woman about 40 years old. GREEN, a negro boy about 16 years old. ELIZABETH, a negro woman about 37 years old. CALEDONIA, a negro girl about 11 years old. MELISSA, a negro girl about 9 years old. RAYMOND, a negro boy about 15 years old. WILLIE, a negro boy about 3 years old.
CHATHAM CO., GEORGIA
1869 GRANT MITCHNER, Freedman's Bank application, May 26. From his application information he is 30 years old. He works as a butler for Francis Sorrell in Savannah and lives one door west of Harris and Bull. (In the 1860 Chatham Co., Georgia Census records his employer is a very weathly merchant who was born in the West Indies.) Although single, he has two children: LOUSIA and EPRAHAIN. He also has a sister, CECILIA, but no brothers. His deceased mother, SUSAN, died in Screven Co., Georgia where he was born and raised. His deceased father, JOHN, died in Randolph Co., Georgia. (Note: None of these individuals are named in the wills above, but with the surname and the fact that there is a Screven Co. and Randolph Co. connection with his parents, they must have been owned prior to 1865 by WILLIAM MITCHINER.) He identified his complexion as light. He is not found in any census records. From the 1880 Chatham Co., Georgia Census records the race of his daughter is given as mulato.
1871 MATILDA EDWARDS, Freedman's Bank application, April 11, 1871. She was elected in place of LOUSIA MITCHNER who is most likely the daughter mentioned above. When she lost the election she was just 19 years old based on her information in the 1880 Chatham Co., Georgia Census where, at age 28, she is the head of the family which includes her three mulato children and mother and brother. Her mother is LOUSIA MCINTOSH, age 64. (Note: based on the information above, her father would have been just 41 in 1880.) In the 1900 Chatham Co., Georgia Census she is listed as a widow and with her daughter, FLORENCE MITCHNER, living in the home of a son-in-law and his wife, Vernon , and their family. Two of her four children are deceased. She is not listed in the 1910 Chatham Co., Georgia Census. Her daughter, FLORENCE MITCHINER at age 35, is listed in the home of her sister, Vernon, and her husband, Lewis Wright.
SOME COMMENTS ON SLAVERY
While it is presumptuous of me to comment on slavery as practiced in this country from the perspective of about 150 years and five generations since the Emancipation Proclamation, some observations still seem to be in order. It is hard to believe that William B. Mitchiner did not question the arguments that attempted to justify the institution of slavery and recognize its fundamental incompatibility with Christian ethics and morality. Since most of the early Presidents owned slaves, his ownership of slaves should also be judged in that context. Since many slaves were allowed to be church going Christians, they were well aware of the fundamental incompatibility between the institution of slavery and the Christian ethic of equality in Chirst even though as slaves they did not have the means to end the practice of slavery and enjoy equality under the law.
As a Christ follower, slavery is incompatible with New Testament teaching (as are a lot of other individual and cultural evils). Christ, however, did not speak out directly against slavery as it was not practiced by Jews at the time in the area where he lived. It was incompatible with his life and teachings on love and the standard based on love for treating others (Matthew 7:12). Paul, however, was a Roman citizen and well aware of slavery in the Roman Empire. His application of the teachings of Christ effectively undermined any justification for the practice. First, everyone is equal that has been baptized into Christ including men and women, slave and free, barbarian, and Jew and Gentile, etc. (Galatians 3:26-29, Colossians 3:9-11, I Corinthians 12:13). Paul advised Philemon to accept his runaway slave Onesimus, as a brother in Christ (Philemon 15-16). Second, (I Timothy 1:9-10) kidnappers (man stealers) are against the law of love along with murders of fathers and mothers. Third, (I Corinthians 5:10-11, 6:10) Christ followers are not to have fellowship with an extortionist that claims to be a brother nor will an extortionist inherit the kingdom of God. Any one that practiced slavery was an extortionist since the practiced was based on the use of force and violence to extract gain from the oppressed. Of course clever arguments were made to rationalize slavery in and out of church circles as are all other sins rationalized that violate the teachings of Christ.
William B. Mitchiner apparently attended the Benevolence Methodist Church (building still standing but no longer in use) located across the triangular park from the Benevolence (white) Baptist Church and near where Reddick's store used to be. It is known that some of the slaves of William B. Mitchiner were part of the Benevolence Colored Baptist Church and some of their descendants are buried in the Colored Cemetery on the west side of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. The first pastor of the Benevolence Colored Baptist Church had been ordained as a minister while the slaves were still allowed to worshiped and become members of the Benevolence Baptist Church.
While allowing slaves to be practicing church going Christians, rarely did slave owners honor slave marriages or make provisions in their wills to keep slave families together. There are records where some slave owners had children by their female slaves and later sold those children as slaves. There are also records where slave owners had children by their female slaves and either sent those children abroad for education or North to freedom. Given that the slave children named Washington and David mentioned in the will of William B. Mitchiner were of light complexion it seems apparent that these slave children had either white fathers or grandfathers. Obviously there is also a fundamental incompatablity with the Christian moral teachings on chastity and marital fidelity and the rather common occurances of white men fathering children with female "negro" slaves.
In all the wills related to William B. Mitchiner only in his will is there one mention of a family relationship and that is just of a mother and her three children. For the other slaves there are no relationships given between the adult slaves and the slave children. The parts of the will of William B. Mitchiner concerning his "negroes" had already been made null in void by the Emancipation Proclamation. His remaining property named in his will was lost under the harsh Union policies of Reconstruction. Only a small part was later purchased back by a son, David Rumph Mitchiner. Under Reconstruction former slaves were finally free to keep their marriages and families intact and acquire property to support themselves and their families. However, the harsh Union policies of Reconstruction destroyed much of the economy of the Southern states creating an equality of poverty in many areas for both former slaves and their descendants and former slave owners and their descendants. The Randolph Co. area still struggles to be an economically viable place to live regardless of heritage as many of the grand old houses in Cuthbert built in the years before Reconstruction continue to fall into disrepair. The morality of the intentional destruction and the confiscation of private property by Union forces and the punitive policies of Reconstruction directed at all white Southerners that had no relationship to the Union moral justification for war to end slavery with its lasting devastating economic effects on all Southerners regardless of their racial origins has yet to be honestly addressed as a nation.
In all the wills related to William B. Mitchiner, the terms "negro" or "my negroes" were used and not the terms "slave" or "my slaves." The use of the term "negro" seem to more acceptable in general use by slave owners rather then the term "slave". The term "slave" was commonly used, however, when "negroes" were sold at auction or mentioned as property in legal disputes or as runaways. The use of "my" in connection with "negro" is obviously a connotation of ownership and not endearment.
VISIT TO BENEVOLENCE
On Oct. 3, 2001 in Cuthbert, Georgia, the county seat of Randolph Co. my wife and I met with Rosa Mitchner, widow of Tally Mitchner and their daughter, Yvonne Mitchner, a recently retired school teacher and now a member of the Cuthbert City Council. Rosa was gracious enough to receive us into her home. Yvonne and her mother then lead us by car to where the Reddick General Store had been moved from Benevolence south of Cuthbert on the north side of the bypass before leading us out to Benevolence.
In Benevolence they showed us the Colored Baptist Church next to the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church followed by the Colored cemetery where her grandparents and uncles are buried. (See Benevolence Satellite Photo) William B. Mitchiner probably attended the Methodist Church since there is no record of him from the Benevolence Baptist Church although he is buried in the cemetery across the road from the Benevolence Baptist Church. The Methodist Church is still standing but is no longer in use. It is located across the triangular park from the Benelovence Baptist Church and near where Reddick's store used to be. Across from the Colored cemetery was the building that formerly was the Masons Lodge. Like the two Baptist and Methodist churches in Benevolence, the Masons were segregated.
The Benevolence Baptist Church was dedicated on May 17, 1842 on the five acres of land given by Thomas Coram. The Colored Baptist Church was formed by slaves that had been members of the Benevolence Baptist Church in 1853. Before the Colored Baptist Church was formed and a separate cemetery was established, both slaves and whites were buried in the portion of the five acres given by Thomas Coram that was used as the cemetery. It was the practice for whites and negro slaves to worship together until fifty or more slaves were members of a church. At that point the slaves were required to form their own church. The list of Deacons that had served at the Colored Baptist Church included SYLVESTER MITCHNER, TALLIE MITCHNER, R. J. MITCHNER, and SYLVESTER MITCHNER, JR. Brother HENRY MITCHNER painted the church inside and donated a P.A. System. R.J. MITCHNER, SR. served as a clerk at the church. Yvonne extended an invitation to us to attend the 150th reunion of her church.
From Benevolence, Yvonne and her mother took us to where her grandparents, uncles and her father had owed their farms. They were located on both sides of a dirt road about midway on the high point just south of Benevolence running to a place called Pumpkin Town on Highway 27. The location of the farms were approximately Lot #244 in the 9th Dist. of Randolph Co. As we turned onto the dirt road toward Pumpkin Town coming out of Benevolence, Yvonne pointed out the home of Thomas Coram on the southwest corner where the roads joined being located on Lot #207 in the 9th Dist.
In viewing the David Rumph house from the courthouse in Cuthbert, it should be noted that the home has greatly deteriorated since I first saw it in 1987.
As more information is found or furnished on African-American Mitchners, Mitcheners, Michners, Mitchoner or Mitchiners descendants from the Benevolence area of Randolph Co, Georgia that information will be added to this site. It would seem that most have moved away from the Benevolence area for the same reasons that the descendants of William B. Mitchiner did to have better opportunities for education and work. Some now live in Cuthbert, Columbus, and Albany, Georgia but at this point Ive only met with Yvonne and her mother, Rosa.
|ELLEN MITCHENER||357A||20||F||B||DOMESTIC SERVANT||GA|
|EMANUEL MITCHINER||333B||52||M||M||FARM LABORER||GA|
|EMILY MITCHINER||333B||45||F||B||KEEPS HOUSE||GA|
|SIMEON MITCHINER||333B||16||M||B||WORKS IN FARM||GA|
|WASHINGTON MITCHINER||334A||12||M||B||FARM LABORER||GA|
|CHRISTOPHER MITCHINER||334A||10||M||B||FARM LABORER||GA|
|EMMA MITCHINER||334A||4||F||B||AT HOME||GA|
|MANSFORD MITCHINER||343A||25||M||B||FARM LABORER||GA|
|AMEY MITCHINER||343A||25||F||B||KEEPS HOUSE||GA|
|LOUISA MITCHINER||343A||10||F||B||AT HOME||GA|
|ELMYRA MITCHINER||343A||5||F||B||(TWIN TO ALVIRA)||GA|
|ALVIRA MITCHINER||343A||5||F||B||(TWIN TO ELMYRA||GA|
|MARTHA MITCHINER||343A||2||F||B||AT HOME||GA|
|ROLEY MITCHINER||343A||26||M||M||WORKS IN FARM||GA|
|HARRIET MITCHINER||343A||20||F||B||WORKS IN FARM||GA|
|JOHN MITCHINER||343A||4||M||B||AT HOME||GA|
|WILLIAM MITCHNER||343B||2||M||B||AT HOME||GA|
(TIM MICHINER was 7 yrs. old when WBM wrote his Will, but he is not named.)
|WILLIE MICHINER||wife||30||F||B||HOUSE KEEPING||GA||GA||GA|
|JANE MICHINER||other||10||F||B||WORKS FARM||GA||GA||GA|
(KIT MITCHINER living in the FANNY LOWERY household, page 121A, 2yrs old when WBM wrote his will but not named.)
(He is probably EMANNEL. His son WASHINGTON apparently married EMMA also named in Will of WBM.)
|EMMA MICHNER||wife||19||F||B||HOUSE KEEPING||GA||GA||GA|
|NELLIE MICHNER||daug||14||F||B||AT HOME||GA||GA||GA|
(He is probably BOBY named in Will of WBM. HARRIET wife of ROLEY. She was willed by WBM to his daug AMANDA CRAPPS.)
|HARRIET MICHNER||wife||29||F||B||HOUSE KEEPING||GA||VA||GA|
(LOUEASA, a widow, but apparently the daughter of Grant Mitchner who filed an application with the Freedman's Bank in 1869 )
|FLORANCE MITCHNER||daug||6||F||MU||WASH WOMAN||GA||GA||GA|
Copyright October 2001 by Thomas W. Mitchiner, Greenville, NC. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted as stated above and may not be sold, nor given to anyone, who may attempt to derive profit from same. Any verifiable information to substantiate changes or additions is welcomed by the author.
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