Brothers Nathan Branch and Lee Branch reunited after 66 years

CHICAGOTRIB_18990714_BRANCH_NATHAN.jpg

Title

Brothers Nathan Branch and Lee Branch reunited after 66 years

Subject

Other (Newspaper Article)

Description

Nathan Branch, the "oldest colored man" in Evanston, Illinois, learns that his brother lives in Macon, Georgia. They were separated by sale in 1833, in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

Source

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL)

Date

July 14, 1899

Relation

"To Renew Family Ties: Nathan Branch Goes South to Visit a Brother Lost Fifty Years Ago," The Chicago Daily Inter Ocean, 18 August 1899, 5. Newspapers.com.

Coverage

Evanston, IL
Macon, GA
Chesterfield County, VA
KY (Kentucky)
TN (Tennessee)
Columbus, KY

Contributor

Jesse Nasta

Publisher

Newspapers.com

Transcription

FORMER SLAVE BROTHERS MEET

Nathan Branch of Evanston Finds by
Chance Lee, from Whom He Was
Parted 66 Years Ago.

After a separation of sixty-six years Nathan
Branch, the oldest colored man in
Evanston, will meet his brother Lee of
Macon, Ga. The last sight they had of each
other was in an auctioneer’s room on a
plantation in Chesterfield County, Va., when
they were offered for sale. It is by the
merest chance that they will meet again.
C. H. Callum, a real estate man at 528 Davis
street, Evanston. spent last winter in the
South, and at Macon saw a man whom he
supposed was Nathan Branch. The man
was bent with age. Callum was surprised
to find that he was a brother of Nathan.

The Evanston man told Lee Branch of
Nathan, of another brother, Jordan, and
what he knew of the family history, and
Lee recognized many of the facts as tallying
with dim memories of his boyhood days.
When Callum arrived in Evanston a few
days ago he told Nathan of the incident,
and letters were immediately sent to Macon
and replies are expected next week.

There were four boys in the Branch family,
and all were born in Chesterfield County.
Lee, born in 1815, was the oldest. Robert,
the next, died in Tennessee last fall.
Nathan and Jordan, who live in Evanston,
are over 70. In 1833 their master died and
they were auctioned off. The mother, Esther,
with Robert, Nathan, and Jordan, were
sold into Kentucky, while all trace of the
father and Lee was lost. When Nathan
was 17 he was sold again, and, with his
brother Robert, was carried to Tennessee.
Later he was taken back to Kentucky. The
war gave Branch a chance to escape, and
he fled to Columbus, Ky., where he became
a roustabout with Company D of the One
Hundred and Thirty-fourth Illinois until it
was mustered out in Chicago, when he went
to work at the Sherman House. Three
years later he moved to Evanston. He is
the messenger of the postoffice and lives
at 1705 Lake street. Ten years ago he induced
his bother Jordan to come to Evanston.
Branch is a member of the Colored
Baptist Church.

State

Illinois
Georgia
Virginia
Kentucky
Tennessee

Citation

“Brothers Nathan Branch and Lee Branch reunited after 66 years,” Other (Newspaper Article), Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL), July 14, 1899, Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery, accessed June 15, 2021, http://informationwanted.org/items/show/3242.

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