Mrs. Clara Bashop seeking information about her daughter Patience

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Title

Mrs. Clara Bashop seeking information about her daughter Patience

Subject

Editorial article

Description

A short story of a mother's search for her daughter

Source

St Louis Post Dispatch (St Louis, MO)

Date

October 2, 1892

Relation

A slightly longer, more legible version of this newspaper account appears in the New York World, 2 Oct 1892, pg. 17. For one of Bashop's information wanted ads for her daughter, see The Appeal (Chicago, IL), June 4, 1892: http://www.informationwanted.org/items/show/2263

Coverage

Morristown, New Jersey
Charles City, Virginia
AL (Alabama)
MS (Mississippi)
KY (Kentucky)
SC (South Carolina)
New York, NY

Contributor

Bonnie Loden

Transcription

HUNTING HER CHILD.
A Former Slave Still in Search of Her
Lost Daughter.
New York, Oct. 1. - For thirty three years
Mrs. Clara Bashop of Morristown, N. J., has
been searching for her lost daughter, and she
is searching still. Tears have often flowed
over the woes of Uncle Tom, but her story is
sadder and more pathetic than the one Mrs.
Stowe so feelingly told. Mrs. Bashop is tall
and slender, and her sad face shows the re-
finement which the colored women in the
aristocratic old families of the South so often
possessed. At the Colbath House, in Morris-
town, she is in charge of one of
the most important departments. Mrs.
Bashop belonged to Dick Christian, a
wealthy country gentlemen who lived near
Charles City Court-house, Va. Mr. Christian
became involved in debt and his slaves
were placed on the block. Among them were
Mrs. Bashop and her 12-year-old daughter
Patience. "She was a bright little girl,"
said Mrs. Bashop yesterday, "and when we
were taken into the market-place to he sold I
prayed that wherever we might go we would
go together." But her wish was not to be
fulfilled. She was sold first first and and Ben Davis, a
professional negro trader, bought her. The
little girl was sold to a stranger. Mrs. Bashop
fell on her knees before Davis and
implored him to buy her daughter from
the stranger. Though hardened by the con-
stant sight of such scenes, Davis' heart was
touched by the agony of the mother. He
went to the stranger and offered to buy the
little girl but the latter refused to sell
her and went away a few hours later
with his purchase. Mrs. Bashop has never
seen her daughter since but her own history
since then shows how faithful is a mother's
heart even though it beats in the humble bosom of a slave. Mrs. Bashop was carried to Charlestown, S.C., and sold again.

That was in 1859, and already the rumblings of the coming war were heard. Slaves changed masters rapidly then, and Mrs. Bashop was sold from one to another, passing into Alabama and Mississippi, being owned at Carrollton in the latter state when emancipation came. But during all her involuntary wanderings she had no thought but of her lost daughter, Patience. She begged each master to write back to Charles City Court-house, Va., and endeavor to discover something of her. Some complied, others did not, but no news ever came of the missing girl. When she was free Mrs. Bashop began the search on her own account. For a long time she could not away from Mississippi. She could earn but little money; not enough to take her back to Virginia, where her daughter had been sold, but she wrote letters and friends wrote others for her.

At last she saved money enough to reach Virginia, but the visit increased only her sorrow. Her former master was dead and the war had swept away old landmarks and old recollections. No one knew anything of her daughter, she could not learn the name of the man who bought her, but the mother's heart was faithful still. She sewed and she cooked and she did housework. She denied herself to save money for her search. She traveled through Virginia and she went through Kentucky. She visited South Carolina and the far South, and everywhere she hunted for her daughter. She put advertisements in the papers; she paid the colored preachers to state the case in their churches before their congregations, in order that one person might tell the story to another, and thus spread it through the country, but still no news came of the lost girl. [undecipherable sentence]

[undecipherable] why not? Did you ever see a mouth that resembled an oyster more than hers?"
might have came to the North after the war and she renewed her search in New York. She found a home here and for many months she hunted through the great city. She repeated her advertisements in the newspapers and she asked the colored preachers here as she had in the South to help her and still no news came of the lost girl. Though twenty years had now gone the mother was as faithful to her child's memory as ever and searched for her as eagerly and as patiently as she did when first she was free. Finally she settled at Morristown and has for many years been employed at the Colbath House There she intends to remain, but she is still searching for the lost girl.

State

New Jersey
Virginia
Alabama
Mississippi
Kentucky
South Carolina
New York

Citation

“Mrs. Clara Bashop seeking information about her daughter Patience,” Editorial article, St Louis Post Dispatch (St Louis, MO), October 2, 1892, Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery, accessed May 8, 2021, https://informationwanted.org/items/show/3140.

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