How The Words Were Passed: Reappraising

I've been reading, and re-reading, Clint Smith's remarkable book, How The Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America. This series of posts is the outgrowth of my underlined pages and margin notes, inspired by Smith's stories, prompted by his questions. My words will be an attempt to reckon with the … Continue reading How The Words Were Passed: Reappraising

What I’m Reading: Troubled Refuge

When George Parker decided to risk everything and flee the bondage of a Murfreesboro (NC) plantation for the safety of the Union Army encampment in Suffolk, Virginia he didn't know how his story would end. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was a military order, establishing George's status as "not slave." But the proclamation came no where close … Continue reading What I’m Reading: Troubled Refuge

The Obituary of George Parker

George Parker George Parker died of grip at his home near Alfred, May 28, 1902. He was born in bondage near Murfreesboro, N. C. Slavery kept few records and the date is not known, but at his death he was probably not far from the allotted age of man. He was sold once. In 1863, … Continue reading The Obituary of George Parker

His Future Was Not Yet Written

Shortly after my father died I began to search for his ancestors, my ancestors. Within a couple of years I had masses of information about Ira Sayles, my dad's mother's grandfather, including a one-line reference in The Alfred (NY) Sun obituary of one George Parker. A little later [George Parker] was brought north by Prof. … Continue reading His Future Was Not Yet Written

Volunteer! Volunteer! Brave Hearts of Allegany!

The Union army appeared to be making quick work of the southern insurgency as the United States entered the new year of 1862. Recruitment offices around the north just shut down. Why keep something open when it was so clear the war was going to end and soon? But then came General McClellan's attempts to … Continue reading Volunteer! Volunteer! Brave Hearts of Allegany!