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