The Slaves

I have done a lot of genealogy work. I need to get back into it because there’s always more to find, and I enjoy discovering treasures.

The details of my genealogy are out there on the internet so others can see the information and contact me. I had a contact on one occasion.

My phone rang and on the other end was a man perhaps 20 years older than me. He claimed to be my cousin and we talked for a while. As we were getting ready to hang up with each other, he said he had one more story to tell me.

A few years after slavery had ended, our ancestor (his and mine) had come to Wilson County, TN from North Carolina leaving their freed slaves behind. One day as he was operating his store, the postmaster came and told him he had a package to pick up. Complaining and asking why didn’t the postmaster just bring it, he trudged over to the office. The postmaster told him he had to go in the back and get his package. Frustrated at having to miss some working time, he walked back there to get it.

To his surprise the package was a young black female. With a tag around her neck, she had been mailed to him. Her father, who was dying, had been one of his slaves whom he had set free. That slave knew my ancestor would take care of her so he had mailed her to him.

That black female had helped raise the man, my cousin, who I was talking with on the phone!

I love that story. Maybe you are asking yourself why? Why would someone love a slave story?

I cannot help the fact that my ancestors had slaves. It was the norm back then. I am not proud of it. But what I am proud of is the fact that from all my research as far as I can tell, my ancestors treated them kindly. Why else would one mail his daughter to his former owner trusting her life with him?

There is so much violence going on today with racial inequality claims. I do get it and understand, but I want to shout that it wasn’t me. I didn’t do it. My ancestors did but I think they did it the best way they could.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

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