Monthly Archives: April 2015

My Research Library to date

Black History Books on my shelf

 

African American Topeka – Sherri Camp

African Canadians in Union Blue – Richard M. Reid

Annie’s Trip to Grandma’s – Barbara Rose Page

A North-side View of Slavery The Refugee – Benjamin Drew

Baby Steps to Freedom – Joyce Middleton

Black Women of the Old West – William L. Katz

Crossing the Border – Sharon A. Roger Hepburn

Exodusters – Nell Irvin Painter

From Midnight to Dawn – Jacqueline L. Tobin

Images of America African American Topeka- Sherrita Camp

Incidents of the life of a slave girl – Harriet Jacobs

In Motion- the African-American Migration Experience – Howard Dodson & Sylviane A. Dioue

Kindred – Octavia E. Butler

Lay Down Body Roberta Hughes Wright & Wilbur B. Hughes III

Legacy to Buxton – Second Edition A. C. Robbins

Lena Horne – Leslie Palmer

Lina Derritt, Petitioner, v. State Board of Real Estate Examiners Record and Pleadings – John Pegg, /William B. Saxbe

Look to the North Star – Victor Ullman

Magazine of the Jefferson County Historical Society – 12/2011

Orange Morgan’s 38,325 Mornings – Forrest M. Stith

Refugees from Slavery – Benjamin Drew

Rumors of the Truth – Lyn Spencer DeNaeyer Messersmith

Selected Writings and Speeches of – Marcus Garvey

Sketches of Ancient History of the six Nations – David Cusick

Slave Testimony – John W. Blassingame

Sunrises and Sunsets for Freedom – Forrest M. Stith

The Ancient black Hebrews and Arabs – Anu M’Bantu & Gert Muller

The Blacks in Canada A History – Robin W. Winks

The Booker T. Washington Collection – Booker T. Washington

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book – Allison Dolan

The Faces of my people – Monique Crippen

The Freedom-Seekers – Daniel G. Hill

The Philosophy of Negro Suffrage – Jerome R. Riley

The Houses in Buxton – Patricia L. Neely

The Last American Highway – Stew Magnuson

The souls of Black Folk – W.E.B DuBois

They came before Columbus – Ivan Van Sertima

Up from Slavery – Booker T. Washington

When I was a slave – Norman R. Yetman

Women’s Slave Narratives – Annie L. Burton and others

The Pegg Family

In wondering how we got the name Pegg, my research has been exhausting to say the least. I have learned that our association with the name Pegg is like putting a puzzle together. But I am getting closer to solving the puzzle, I think!  One funny note is Pegg’s lived in Loudoun County, VA as did our Hatters and now over 150 years later my family and I live in Loudoun County VA. Part of my research has led me to this is an excerpt from  http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~rwhitney/whitney/5/4068.htm

The following information was attached to an e-mail dated 9 March 1999 from Carolyn Westberry to Ronald Whitney.

The Pegg Family

By all accounts, the Pegg family is of English origins. The Descendants of William Wolf and Mary Magdalene Bewers Wolf, GG929.2W832WX, 1988 as obtained from the Ft Wayne Public Library contains notes on the Pegg ancestry which are of interest even though our Peggs were in America earlier than those listed in this text. “William Pegg of St Ives, Huntingtonshire, England signed a document on Nov 19, 1719, arranging to go to Maryland in the British colonies. At the time of signing, he was nineteen years of age, making the date of his birth at 1700. He had been born in the reign of William and Mary II, and left his native land during the reign of George I. St Ives, which is known to all children because of the nursery rhyme…is in Cromwell country and since there is record of a Pegg being a pikeman in Cromwell’s army, one might assume that the family had been of that political persuasion. A pikeman was a soldier armed with a long wooden shaft with a pointed steel head….Financially it turned out not to be a rewarding stand to take, and may have some bearing on the fact that the William Pegg who, two or three generations later, was migrating to Maryland was a very poor man. About 1743 he was buying land in Kent Co. Delaware, and records now in the courthouse at Dover show that more or less on the eve of our American Revolution, he was selling his land piecemeal….It is interesting to note that the other Peggs of Derbyshire were Royalists, and prospered after the restoration of Charles II. Catherine Pegge, daughter of Sir Thomas Pegge, was one of the mistresses of Charles II, and mother of his son Charles Fitz Charles….The children of the immigrant William Pegg and his first wife Margaret seem to have been Samuel, Mary, Valentine, Martin and the twins James and John. Of these, Samuel settled in South Carolina, Mary married into the Foote family, Valentine and Martin, who were Nicholites in religion, moved to Guilford Co., North Carolina. A John Pegg fought in the Revolutionary War.”   (Could Valentine and or Martin be the Peggs who enslaved my Willis Pegg?).

Clerissa Tatterson’s work on the Poland/Poling/Polen families stated that Nathaniel Polen Sr of Harrison Co Oh was a twin to Wm Polen of Jefferson Co Oh. The twins are listed as the sons of Wm and Hannah (Pegg) Polen and are said to have been born in Monmouth Co NJ in 1769. They had an older sister named Sarah by some references and Elizabeth by others. Hannah is said to have died at the birth of her twins and their father took them all to Loudon Co Va to the home of his father (claimed by Mrs. Tatterson to have been Samuel). The father Wm died at a young age in Loudon Co (Tatterson) and the children lived with their GF Samuel for several years but were later adopted into other families due to Samuel’s advancing age (Tatterson). The twins were warded to their Uncle Nathaniel Pegg and later inherited his farm. This court order is of record in Loudon Co Va and does then confirm that their mother was nee Pegg.

Our conversation: Black Rug and White Rug

There came a time when Descendants from both sides of the slavery era came together. Came together to share, talk and massage the pain. Pain for Sarah, who has to live with the embarrassment of finding out her family were enslavers and not very nice about it at all. Enslaving our families; that is Monique and mine.  So Sarah walks with that heavy yoke  as she tries to make sense of how and why her ancestors could participate in such human degradation.Monique and I walk with a certain sadness and stifled anger, trying to understand what our people went through and how could one person treat another in such a manner.

So we talk and cry and talk some more and here is once such conversation:

BLACK RUG/WHITE RUG; A DIALOGUE AMONG THREE LINKED ANCESTORS

By Joyceann Gray, Sarah Brown, and Monique Hopkins

Joyceann Gray, Monique Crippen-Hopkins and Sarah Brown are “linked through slavery”. Joyceann and Monique’s ancestors were enslaved by Sarah’s ancestors, the Washington family. When Sarah published her most recent post, about her connection with Monique’s family, Joyceann spoke out about her feelings about the piece. The three of them decided that the Facebook dialogue that followed was important, and would be valuable as a post of its own.

Read Joyeann’s blog for her full story:  https://jgraydiscovery.com/

Read Monique’s blog for her full story: http://genealogybreakingdownthewalls.blogspot.com/

Joyceann Gray

 Joyceann Gray writes:

There are a few who are in a delicate position being a direct descendant of slaveholders and wanting to give what you can of slave history and family connection to descendants of those enslaved by your families. You are in possession of access to all your family papers which affords you a glimpse into your ancestors’ thought processes, emotions, and desires.

The descendants of those enslaved, can only guess what our people thought or felt. We are desperate for any tidbit of information about our ancestors. The norm was to account for our people by number, not by name, and it was very rare to find a surname. But we have a responsibility to record what we can find of our ancestors and their histories. To tell their stories and as much as possible ensures that when others write about them the facts and impressions are correct and in keeping with the truth. We have a responsibility to them to never let their pain and struggles be forgotten and to ensure their legacy lives on!

 Sarah Brown adds:

me and Denise

When I wrote my last blog piece, Part Two of my series “Redrawing A Community – A Washington Descendant’s Journey ( “People” -The Thompsons), athttp://linkedthroughslavery.com/2015/03/18/redrawing-a-community-a-washington-descendants-journey-part-two-people-the-thompsons/  – I included a photograph of Solomon Thompson that was provided by Monique Crippen-Hopkins, his 3x great-granddaughter. I described what I saw in his expression. As linked descendants, the three of us have been talking to each other through Facebook, and by phone occasionally. Since I was writing Part Two about Monique’s family, I sent her a final draft to review, but Joyceann saw it for the first time on the Bittersweet site.

Joyceann was troubled by my comments, and sent me some of her own. This started a discussion among the three of us that was sometimes difficult and emotional. In the end we were all glad that Joyceann didn’t shy away from expressing her frustration. Since our talk reflects the difficult work that Coming To The Table is committed to, we decided to edit it slightly and post it here.

Monique Crippen-Hopkins

Our dialogue brought home one of the pitfalls of writing about slaveholding as a descendant of slaveholders. Attention must be paid to acknowledging the pain inflicted by our families, in words on the page; assuming that the reader knows that the writer is aware of the specifics of abuse may not be enough. History demands a clear retelling of the dark side of the story, and a missed opportunity to do so can undermine establishing the truth.

 Dialogue among Sarah Brown and Joyceann Gray and Monique Crippen-Hopkins

(Sarah wrote in her post, about the picture of Solomon Thompson: 

From my contemporary perspective he seems sad or wary, or possibly just unaccustomed to being photographed. His undirected stare might be the common expression of a servant who has learned to be both present and absent, without being able to freely choose either.”

Joyceann starts a dialogue by commenting on that paragraph.)

 Joyceann: From your perspective you did a good job of guessing, but you didn’t remark on the pain that he had to have felt or the bad he must have seen and endured!! From my understanding of his history, troubles and struggles, all of which were much more than you or I could ever imagine!

 Sarah: I guess I thought that was implied – that he had to be both present and absent, which is pretty much impossible. My whole project is an attempt to address the pain inflicted by my family, but what I hear from you is that I should stress the pain endured more clearly.

 Joyceann: Stand on a black rug you really see and feel much differently than standing on a white rug… We feel through the ages what we as a people and in cases individuals felt as they went through their daily struggles, I often have nightmares about the struggle of my Indian heritage, my people and their losses. Not sure what directly; but something bad had to have happen for the dreams are intense.. I have evidence in another part of my family where the husband tried to buy his wife and children, but he was only allowed to buy his wife and a daughter. He had to leave the four boys in slavery.

When he paid the cost for wife and daughter he was forced to leave the state… so can we imagine the pain and agony there??? Nope, as a mother and grandmother I can’t and really don’t want to.

Sarah: It’s a good comment, Joyceann. The next post will have more details also. I’m thinking that the word “servant” should be in quotes, since it was a euphemism.

 Joyceann: Coming from an elite and intellectual standpoint we have to be careful to not assume or think things are implied….We weren’t servants… servants had options. We only had two options in most cases; do as told or suffer dire consequences

Sarah: Of course he wasn’t <a servant>, although the white families used that term. I shouldn’t assume that readers know the way I’m using it, though. I was saying that he shared a common expression of people regarded as servants – a class thing as well. They had to stand by and pretend to be invisible, and that’s the expression I saw. I don’t see him as only a victim, though – he seems to be conveying a dignity that refuses that classification, although he was robbed of choices in his life.

Joyceann: But he was a victim through and through caught up in a vicious cycle of horrendous cruelty!

Sarah: It’s not easy to write about the black experience as a white person. I tend to feel that I’m writing about the human experience in general. I don’t want to sound only like an elite intellectual. I do use my own voice, though, since anything else wouldn’t be genuine. I would really like it if you added these comments to the blog page – it’s a good conversation.

Yes, all those enslaved were victims of horrendous cruelty. Gosh – there is no way I’m downplaying that! I’m talking about what I see in his eyes – he’s a complex human being rather than JUST a victim.

Joyceann: True but I see more pain I think than you do, I see a man that has endured and seen too much! I see a man that has survived and has YET to really live.

This picture of Solomon Thompson is from Monique Crippen-Hopkins' family collection. Date unknown.

 Sarah: It’s a great comment, and I see exactly what you mean. I see that pain. But I chose to write about him as transcending that pain as much as possible. I see him as wearing a kind of mask. Truth be told, I never expected to see an actual photograph of someone enslaved by my family. His dignity and cautious expression really stand out to me – to me, he’s masking his pain.

Joyceann: His eyes are not masking the pain! It is all in the eyes!!

I really enjoy the fact you are conscious of your heritage and of the pain but we have to tread lightly when your ancestors dealt with my ancestors as if they were cattle or horses… and whenever they spoke of freeing their property there was always a condition that had to be met first. For instance George Washington lamented over freeing the slaves, so he waits until he’s almost dead to say oh yeah free my slaves AFTER I die and only then can they be freed AFTER my wife dies too! Now what kind of mental anguish is that, what a torn and conflicted humanitarian he was…Yes?

At least your ancestor Bushrod Washington said flatly; hell no to freeing slaves! Samuel Washington George’s brother didn’t even want to sell Reuben Hatter to his sister-in-law Christian Blackburn!!It took his wife’s badgering him to get him to do it! And even then he made her pay top dollar too!

So Sarah what I’m attempting to do is to get you to see another view of all the “Solomons” of those times…have you ever found a photo of a person who’s been enslaved; smiling?!

Sarah: Joyceann, I’m writing about all of that. I hope that you see that what I’m doing is an attempt to address all of these injustices. I’m going to send you a copy of an article I wrote a few years ago. It was supposed to be published in a journal called Race/Ethnicity, but the journal went under before it came out, so it was never published. It’s important to me that you know my personal perspective. We have to get know each other better, I think. I see that you feel I don’t know how these people suffered, and that I’m downplaying that. If that’s the impression I’ve given, then I want to correct it.

Joyceann: No not downplaying at all. Let me try saying that another way. When looking at old photos of enslaved folks: When you see an uplifted chin you see pride, I see pain with stubborn refusal to give in.

I see at least I felt you were seeing through ” rose” colored glasses so to speak, you were elevating when in fact we need to stand low? Make sense?

I’d love to read your work I’ll do that while we’re on our road trip back home!

Sarah: Yes! It’s the stubborn refusal to give in that I see in the foreground.

Joyceann: Now you got it!!

Sarah: That’s what I was trying to say, but I guess I didn’t say it. Thanks for pointing that out.

Joyceann: Are you ok with our discussion?

Sarah: Yes! It’s kind of painful, but I love that you’ve told me how you really feel. I understand that I left out the chance to comment on the cruelty of Solomon’s situation. But I do want to know that you hear me, too. And I see that Monique is commenting now – great….

Joyceann: It’s hard to write someone else’s story.

Oct3_6_2

 (Monique Crippen-Hopkins enters the conversation)

Monique: Yes, that is true, I’m having a hard time writing my ancestors’ story….I’ve been trying to figure out how to do it to give them the honor they deserve.

Sarah: The only way I can write it is to write what I’m experiencing personally – the journey I’m taking myself. So I write about what I see in the picture, my communication with the two of you, and how I feel about my own family.

Monique: I’ve just been reading the comments; it’s a lot to take in, because what is being written is about my family that has come alive to me, and a very painful experience at that. Some of it may come across as just a story to others, but that is my family. I can actually feel for these people and for my grandparents!

I don’t have any real comments…I was just taking it in.

Sarah: Our stories intersect, and I want to honor both of your families without taking over your own stories. I’ve very conscious of my responsibility there.

Joyceann: True but our intersection is only up to the civil war ending when the Washingtons and other slaveholders were forced to free their slaves. Now did the Washingtons work with their formers slaves to help with their transition? Train them? Give them the land to work? Then till now we didn’t have a relationship. We have come together again now as we try to piece things together and make amends….

Sarah: I’m researching what happened at Claymont after emancipation. I’d like to think that my family tried to help those they enslaved, but I think it was the other way around – some of the Thompsons and others stuck around and worked for what was probably hardly any pay.

(to Joyceann) I’m thinking about your comment about how hard it is to write someone else’s story. It’s ironic – what I’m trying to do is tell the full story about my family. So many people have written about George and all as patriots, but not as slaveholders. I think my job is to correct that.

Joyceann: I hear you louder than I’ve been able to express, I do indeed understand also why you are doing this… I’m just playing devil’s advocate here somewhat trying to help you be careful in how you relay others’ history. I am excited to know you are going to tackle writing the hard truth of your ancestors… That will be a bestseller.

Monique: No, just seeing all of this became a little emotional because it made me see and think about some things I never really thought of before.

Sarah: Yeah….wow. This is such a raw subject and that’s why we have to talk about it. Thanks Joyceann!

Monique: Thank you Cousin Joyceann! You have a lot of insight.

Joyceann: So yes it’s a raw discussion but I’m so glad we are not running from it!!

Sarah: When I got the archive with all our wills I felt that someone had to address the wrongs my ancestors had committed. And they were many. Connecting with the two of you allows me to make baby steps toward that goal. You’ve allowed me in – thank you so much!

Joyceann: And by writing your story SARAH you will indeed be helping a lot of people to heal and move on, someone needs to acknowledge the real story !

Sarah: Can I tell you both that I’ve got tears in my eyes? None of us asked for what our families gave us, and we’re all working on making sense of it. I’m so grateful we can do this, raw or not.

Monique: Yes, that’s what this is all about…taking those steps, it’s a lot and we can only try to move on, we will never be able to correct what our ancestors did, we can only help some people move on. What’s done can’t be undone we can only try to help others to heal

Great job both of you in this conversation!!      Thank you because you have given me food for thought.

Runaway slaves- Is she my Easter?

Scott County, Near Georgetown. Runaway, about the middle of September last, two negroes, one man which is about thirty-five years old, five feet six inches high, named HARRY, when he laughs he shews his teeth more than common, he talks slow, and with a down cast with his head when talked to, he doth not like to talk without he is talked to, he had on when he went away a Painter skin jacket, and other old clothes of country linen. The woman, she’s about thirty-five years old, she is a low woman of a yellow cast a little, when she walks she stoops forward, and when she walks her feet turn out more than common, she has large lumps in the middle of her feet, she has a scar on her upper lip, she has a long face, talks saucy when talked to, brasen look, she has a hat with a ribband around it, also a blue linsey coat, and a striped cotton one, she is named EASTER. They took with them a spotted dog, it is supposed that they will make for the settlement to Virginia, or over the river Ohio, I expect they have a forged pass with them. Any person or persons that will apprehend the same and secure them so that I get them again, or deliver them to Nathaniel Barker, living in Lexington Kentucky, shall receive a handsome reward, besides all reasonable charges paid by me, or Nathaniel Barker living in Lexington.  JEREMIAH WILLIAMS.
Source: Kentucky Gazette, 12 December 1798

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