Amy Morris, nee Amy Baxter, found her mother, Feraby, after 30-year separation

Title

Amy Morris, nee Amy Baxter, found her mother, Feraby, after 30-year separation

Subject

Other (Newspaper Article)

Description

Amy Morris, aka "Mrs. Frenchy," grew up enslaved in Hancock County, GA, near Sparta, GA. Beginning at age 14, she was sold several times, in Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas, before she escaped during the Civil War. Previously, she and her first husband had fought off their enslavers with axes. She and her second husband, Hannibal Morris, moved to Deadwood, Dakota Territory (now South Dakota), in 1876, and this newspaper article was published there in 1884.

Source

Black Hills Daily Times (Deadwood, Dakota Territory)

Date

May 4, 1884

Coverage

Deadwood, Dakota Territory (now Deadwood, South Dakota)
Sparta, Georgia
Hancock County, Georgia
Decatur, Mississippi
Little Rock, AR
Helena, AR
Omaha, Nebraska
Mobile, AL
Columbus, Georgia

Contributor

Jesse Nasta

Transcription

AFTER MANY DAYS,

A Former Slave Hears from
Her Old Home.

A Separation of Thirty Years
Having Elapsed.

A Scrap of History.

Years before the war of the rebellion,
Wm. Eli Baxter, a lawyer and planter
lived in Hancock county, Georgia, not
far from the town of Sparta. He owned
150 slaves, among the number, Feraby,
a full-blood African, who was the
mother of three children, Amy, William
Eli, and George, who took the sir
name of their owner, Baxter.

When Amy was ten years of age, her
young mistress married Dr. Carnell,
and received Amy as a marriage present.
With her new master she lived
four years, when, her young mistress
dying, she was sold to Austin & Chism,
slave dealers, for $700, and taken by
them to Columbus, Georgia. She was
then fourteen years of age, as near as
she can recollect, and with other
slaves that had been purchased was
kept for two months in a slave pen,
locked up to prevent their escape, and
every day taken to the auction room in
front of the building and offered for
sale, and inspected by would-be purchasers,
as horses are examined by
jockeys.

At the expiration of this time she
was sold for $900 to Hampton Smith,
of Mobile, Alabama, with whom she
lived three and a half years, and during
that time was married to Alfred
Weiman, a slave of Smith's. They
were during this time on a cotton plantation
in Wayne county, Miss.

They did not get along well with the
overseer, trouble ensued that resulted
in her husband trying to kill the overseer
with an axe. The row resulted in
both of them being sold to a slave driver,
the price paid for the woman being
$1,000.

They were taken to Decatur, Miss.,
and kept in a slave pen for two weeks,
when they were sold to two different
parties, but lived close together. Her
new master, Walter Nimmax, was a
merchant, and she lived with him but
six months, when she and her mistress
had some trouble that resulted in her
mistress going for her with a rawhide,
and being stood off by her slave with
an axe.

She ran away, and was secreted by
her husband for three weeks in a large
pile of cotton seed, into which she had
made a tunnel, the mouth of which
was filled up with cotton seeds. Her
husband visited her at night and furnished
her food and water.

During her concealment she was
sold to David Gill for $1,100, and lived
in his family for three months. Gill
and family were piney wood white
trash, had always been poor, could
neither read or write, but by some
streak of good luck became possessed o
f some money, and to be aristocratic,
invested a portion in a slave, the first
they or their ancesters had ever owned.
She says they were poor, ignorant
white trash, and she told them she
would run away, and fearing the
threat would be carried out, she was
sold to two gamblers for $600.

These sports took her to Little Rock,
Ark., and sold her to Albert Flowers
for $1,000, with whom she staid two
months and was then sold to John
Quinlan, sheriff of Little Rock, for
$1,200.

With her new master she lived
three and a half years, and there was
an understanding between them, that
she should never be whipped, but her
owner seeing her talking to a free colored
man one day, became so incensed
that he gave her a severe whipping.

Soon after this little matinee occur
the rebellion came, and at last she
heard that northern gun boats were in
the river and would protect fugitives
who reached them. She ran away, and
by hiding during the day and traveling
at night, she at last reached, and was
taken on board the gun boat Tyler,
that was lying at Island No. 3.

The next day she was put on a transport
and taken to Helena, where she
was employed as cook for the officers
of Company D, 26th Iowa Infantry,
with whom she remained two weeks,
and was then employed by Lieutenant
Kirkpatrick, who took her to headquarters,
where she was installed as
cook for the officers of the company
commanded by Captain C. V. Gardner,
well known in the Hills, in which position
she remained three years, and
was at Little Rock most of the time,
and close to her old master's home.

At the close of the war she went to
Omaha, and was again married in that
city to Hannibal Morris, fifteen years
ago, with whom she is now living in
this city, arriving here in August,
1896.

In this city they are known as Mr.
and Mrs. Frenchy. During the many
years of her wanderings, thirty-five at
least, she never heard a word from
her mother or brothers, but has been
continually, for the last few years, attempting
to reach them with letters, in
Texas, where she understood they had
all removed.

Two weeks ago a letter of inquiry
was sent to "Minister of the Gospel,
Sparta, Georgia," and yesterday she
received a letter from her mother. She
wrote that when she received the news,

she felt so glad that she shouted all night.

It is to be hoped that after so many
years separation, the old slave mother
and child may be reunited again.

State

Indian Territories
Georgia
Mississippi
Arkansas
Nebraska
Alabama

Files

BLACKHILLSDAILYTIMES_18840504_MORRIS_AMY_PART1.jpg
BLACKHILLSDAILYTIMES_18840504_MORRIS_AMY_PART2.jpg

Collection

Citation

“Amy Morris, nee Amy Baxter, found her mother, Feraby, after 30-year separation,” Other (Newspaper Article), Black Hills Daily Times (Deadwood, Dakota Territory), May 4, 1884, Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery, accessed September 20, 2020, http://informationwanted.org/items/show/3570.

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  1. BLACKHILLSDAILYTIMES_18840504_MORRIS_AMY_PART1.jpg
  2. BLACKHILLSDAILYTIMES_18840504_MORRIS_AMY_PART2.jpg

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