Autobiography of Frances Marion Fowler

{8th child of Nathan Fowler (b. 1801) and Icy Snow Blackstone and wife of Willis W. Taylor}

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Chapter I

I was born in Crawford County, Georgia, April 12th, 1838 {or 1837}. My father's name was Nathan Fowler. My mother was a daughter of Elder John Blackstone, a Primitive Baptist. My parents were members of he same church, long before I had been in this world. My father was not wealthy although he was well to do, was highly respected and a good man with considerable influence. My mother was one of the best mothers, a true Christian in every sense of the word. But my dear parents have passed away, as we all must soon do. I trust that I will meet them in a land "Where congregations never break up and Sabbaths never end." I have been requested by my friends and relatives to write my life story and have it published. I have at last consented to do so. My life has been a very eventful one, but there is nothing worthy of record, until I was in my fifteenth year (1852).

My sister and I attended a protracted meet at a Methodist Church, known as Dickson's Church. There I first met the man that was destined to be my husband. Although we were reared in the same county, I never saw him before the fourth Sunday in August 1852. We knew that he was a stranger and little did I think that he went there on purpose to see me. When services were over, and we had mounted our horses to go home, (that was the mode of traveling in those days and we delighted in it, too). As I rode off from the horse block, this strange young man rode up to me and said, "Good morning Miss Fannie", Good morning sir, I said, but you have the advantage of me. My name is Taylor, he said. As he was good looking and riding a fine looking horse and felt rather proud than ashamed of him. I was like other girls, I liked a good-looking young man, and for we all admire beauty. He went home with me from church and stayed until Monday morning. After he left Father was joking me about him and said that he expected that he would have him for a son-in-law, and I being so young I thought that father was in earnest. The following Wednesday, Mr. Tompkins called again and gentle reader, I fell desperately in love with him. He asked my permission to visit me. I thought that he was the most perfect gentleman I had ever met and I was never so happy as when he was by my side. He was a regular visitor at my father's house. I thought that everything was all right. My parents treated him with respect, and I thought they liked him splendidly, for I loved him so much I thought that everybody else did, too.

But Alas! My happiness was of short duration, for suddenly my parents took a dislike to my lover and would not allow me to have anything to say to me in secret, but the mischief was done, we were engaged, I thought I could give up everything for his sake. I could leave Father, Mother, Brothers and sister, but I could not. Oh! I could not five up the first and only man I had ever loved. He wrote me a letter; he came and brought it to me. He knew that he could not get an opportunity of talking to me, so he slipped me the letter and left. I answered it and trusted my brother o mail it for me. I think he must have betrayed me, for father told me something that I had written to him. I could hardly bear for father to talk to me about him. He seemed so angry, that I could not say one word in defense of my lover when father would speak so harshly about him. I was determined to marry him and risk all.

One Saturday evening one of Mr. Tompkins brothers came to fathers and spent the night. One of his uncles died the same night. Next morning Mr. Taylor came after his brother to attend his uncle's funeral. Father was sure that it had been planned for Mr. Tompkins brother to steal me for him. Father took Mr. Tompkins off and told him that he didn't want us to run away, that if we were determined to marry that we might marry at home. He came in and said father had consented for us to marry, and told me to tell father that he would come on the 25th of November. I could not tell him I knew why he had consented. I could not nor did not say one word about it to him. The time was near at hand when I expected Mr. Tompkins to come with a magistrate to perform the ceremony. The day before was to be brother's wife told father about it. When he came home, there was quite a scene at our house. Father was a very proud man and even if he was opposed to the match he did not want one of his daughters to marry without a bridal outfit. I had nothing of the kind. There was no preparation at all made and it was too late to make any then. Father was so angry. I wanted to run away from home (not to marry thought). I bedded my dear sister to go with me. I could not bear to see father so angry [one line of text missing here] would have left and would have gone I knew not where, [half line of text missing here] and as I could not go alone, I had to stay and let the consequences be what it might. We had set apart Thursday evening for our marriage but it began to rain Wednesday night. There was a young flood, and there was a little creek called "Sweet Water" not far from father's house and in time of heavy rains it was impossible to ford, so it happened in this case. Therefore the marriage was put off a few days.

On Friday they succeeded in crossing the creek in a bateau. Well, Mr. Fuller they said on arriving at our house. We couldn't possibly get here last eve on account of the creeks rising. Well, said father, you can't marry today. Friday is hangman's day. Mr. Tompkins went home, but his brother, who was Justice of the Peace, who came to officiate, remained until Sunday when Mr. Tompkins returned and we were made one. My dear father came in the room where I was alone, he was greatly agitated. "Fannie, he said, I had rather see you laid in your grave by your sister, than to see you wedded to a man I know will not be kind to you." I knew father was a man of fair judgment, but I though he was certainly mistaken concerning my husband and lover. I knew I loved him and I thought my love was reciprocated. I intended to be such a kind and loving wife, that he could never have the hart to be other than kind to me. We soon bid adieu to my dear brothers and sisters. When I came to my dear old mother she was weeping as if her heart would break. I told her goodbye, also father and we started to his home with his parents. My elder brother and my darling sister, Lou accompanied us. My husband's father greeted me kindly whom I had never met before. His mother was not very demonstrative but in her I found a friend as long as she lived. We remained with his parents a few weeks, and then moved to our little house his father had given us. There we began life's journey together. Although my parents were not wealthy, I had never known hardships but like a willing slave I intended to help my husband make a living. I shrank from no duty, yet I was inexperienced. I found out that there were a great many strings that I did not know how to do that I should have known before I became a wife. I had never washed a garment in my life but I was well and hearty. I knew that I could do anything that any other woman could do, if I hadn't been raised to hardships. I went to work the fields, so determined was I to do all that lay in my power to help my husband bear the burden. I always met him with a kiss, but soon he began to find fault of me for not knowing better how to keep house. He knew I was a child in age, for I was only in my fifteenth year. I was deeply hurt to find him so hard to please, he would say that it was advice, but I thought more like abuse he would give me for any neglect of duty in my household affairs. The first year of our marriage passed away and we were blessed with a dear little babe, he was a precious child to me. His father had strange ideas about how to raise a child. Although thirty-two years have passed I cannot help but feel sorry for the way he was treated. He lay and cried for many hours, because his father said I must not nurse him and he had to be obeyed. Although my husband was quarrelsome and disagreeable he never indulged in strong drink.

In 1854 he became involved in a difficulty with one of our neighbors. He cut the man and said he tried his best to kill him. The man was not much hurt but he swore out a warrant against my husband for an assault and attempt to murder, and placed it in the hands of the sheriff and ordered his arrest.

It was in June, he was plowing his corn, and we were expecting the sheriff every day. One day at noon my husband had just finished dinner when we hard horses hoofs. We looked out and behold the officer was at the gate. "Run", I said and he obeyed. At the rear end of the house was a cotton field, he kept, the house between him and the officer. The officer saw him in the house and didn't know that he had gone out at the back door. He expected to find him there. I was like all other women; I was angry with the officer for coming there to arrest my husband. While I was talking to him my husband put the large cotton field between them and him. Another man that came with him went through the field. I saw them pointing at his trace. They went out and sat on the fence. I was looking in the distance and saw my husband. I sent off up the road where I saw him cross it. He told me to go back to the house and bring him some better clothes, his horse, his pistol and a large knife that he had. When I returned to the house, the officer was very angry when I saw him at my house. "You had better be cutting bushes in your new ground." I said to him but he only broke out in a big laugh, which only added to my indignation.

 

 

Chapter II

I told the servant girl to bridle and saddle Selim, that I was going to my brother's who lived some two miles away. I took my baby for an excuse to take a carpet sack, in which I carried my husband's clothes. I expected my husband to be at a neighbors about half a mile off, but when I arrived there he had left word for me to carry the horse to the church. I left my baby with the neighbor and went on. It was down one hill and up another as I was going up one hill I looked back and saw I was pursued by the officer. I laid whip to Selim and was soon at the cemetery, where my husband was. I dismounted and told him the sheriff was coming down the hill behind me. He was in the saddle in a second and soon disappeared from sight. I turned to go back home and met the officer. "Have you found my husband?" I asked. I tried to detain him but he followed on in pursuit of my husband. We thought that he must have taken the wrong road, as he did not overtake my husband, so he escaped. The sheriff came back, "you've outwitted me", and he said I think you must have thrown your babe away, for I don't know what else you could have done with it". Now it was my turn to laugh scornfully at him. He was tantalized a great deal for letting a woman outwit him. My husband left the state for a while until his father and my father satisfied the man by paying him one hundred dollars. When he was gone he indulged in strong drink and after that time he kept on drinking. I can't describe my feelings, the first time I saw him take a drink. He had always been opposed to whiskey drinking. As time passed on my husband continued to grow more disagreeable and quarrel with me. Then he would get so he would not speak to me for several days that would grieve me nearly to death. Oh! my dear readers, you will never know the anguish of my soul under this new trouble unless you learn it in the dear school of experience. I begged him again and again not to be angry with me. Sometimes he would be as good and kind as it was possible for anybody to be, but he would not stay so. I reckon he was like all other men. In 1856 my father died. My husband seemed to be under conviction from his death and was much distressed about his future state. He spent a great deal of his time in reading the Bible and talking about religious matters. He would tell me if I wouldn't take warning by my father's death, he couldn't tell what would warn me to flee the wrath to come, but I couldn't feel like he said he did. He sold the place his father had given him and went to Texas in the fall.

My two little children and myself stayed with mother. He returned about Christmas time and bought another place in about a mile of his fathers. He quit talking about religion, but was very good at times, but at other times very disagreeable. Our family kept increasing as the years rolled on. When the war broke out in `1861 he volunteered for six months in the states service. They were stationed at Savannah. I went there to see him and had a very pleasant visit. The term expired in the spring and he came home for a short while. Then enlisted for the war. I thought being separated from us would make him have a more tender feeling for us and would be a little better man. He wrote some very feeling letters and promised if it was the Lord's Will to spare him through that cruel war he would be a better man.

In 1864 there was a protracted meeting at a Methodist Church. I went to a Primitive Baptist Church the first Sunday morning and had felt impressed under the preaching. I had always thought that if I ever joined any church it would be the primitive Baptist. On Sunday evening I went to my father in law. Are you going to the Methodist meeting tonight, asked my brother in law. I reckon not, I replied, as I can't leave home at night alone. I will go to come back with you, so I went. I had been to the Methodist meeting just to see what they did and to hear them shout. That night a young preacher preached his text in Malachi Chapters III 7, 8 & 9 verses. Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, where have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings? Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. He preached a short sermon. I never felt impressed at all from his preaching, but when he sat down and an old preacher delivered an exhortation from the same text, it seemed to me that I was the one that had robbed God, and I felt condemned in the sight of heaven. When the mourners were called, I went. I felt indeed and in truth a mourner, mourning over my sins, which were many. I saw no way of escape from the just punished that I deserved. The good Methodist people prayed for me although I had laughed at them for shouting. I was in great trouble for several days. I went to church every day. One morning I stopped outside of the house I felt to unworthy to enter the Holy Sanctuary. Some of the lady members came out and asked me to go in. I told them I was too unworthy to do so. I had almost scorned the Methodist. Now I was asking their prayers. I went in though, as they bade me to do so. The agony of my soul! I never ceased to pray for mercy. I went home with one of the [one word missing here] members after the morning services were over and remained until time for evening services. That night when the mourners were called, I went to the altar after two or three prayers had been offered up to Heaven in behalf of the penitent sinners. I was sitting on the seat, when one of the ladies came and sat down by me. All at once it seemed as if everything was changed. I never felt so happy. Many were the shouts that I sent up to Heaven on that occasion. I felt like a [one word missing here] creature and I loved everybody. I felt the love of God shed a broad light in my heart. The doors of the church were opened, for the reception of members. I joined and felt different from what I had ever felt before. I thought of my husband and wanted him to know how I felt; that I had a little hope of living after this frail body had shaken off its mortal coil. I wrote him everything that had passed. I told him I had joined the Methodist Church. I thought that he would be glad to hear of my change, as I trust, from nature to grace. I never thought he would oppose me in my faith. After a short time I received a letter from him, here language will fail to describe my feelings and when I red that letter he said I had disgraced him, my dear parents, and my relatives in joining the Methodist Church that he had rather seen me with a colored infant in my lap than to have known I had joined the Methodist. He said that if he ever saw me again he would severely punish me and take my children from me that no woman that had no better sense than to be a Methodist should not raise his children. If I had only joined the Primitive Baptist he would have loved me better and had some faith in my religion. Oh! How that letter hurt me. That was the first cross I had to bear, and heavy indeed it seemed. I could not bear his reproaches. I thought it would certainly kill me. After I could not bear his reproaches. I thought it would certainly kill me. After due consideration, I found I couldn't endorse the Methodist Doctrine. I believed in predestination and final perseverance of Saints. They thought it possible for a soul who had once been enlightened to make shipwreck of faith and he finally lost. I found I was not a Methodist in faith, if I was in name.

 

 

Chapter III

I decided that the next time the Baptist had preaching to go and [about three words missing here] and tell my little experience, to the church, and if they would receive [one or two words missing here] would join them. On Friday before the 1st Sunday in October, my husband came home. I didn't know whether to be afraid of him or not. He seemed to be very calm and composed. The next day was the time for the Primitive meeting. I said nothing to him concerning my intentions as to joining the Baptist Church and neither did he say anything to me. We went to church together and after preach ring the members went into conference and the doors of the church were opened for the reception of members. I went first and my husband followed. I told my little experience and was received. Then he told what he thought the Lord had done for him and he was also received into the fellowship of the church. We were both baptized the following day. He seemed so happy, so well satisfied, thought we would live in peach with each other and all mankind. I felt I had freely forgiven him for any harsh treatment and loved him even better than I ever did before. It seemed as if it was a new love that I had never felt before. His stay was brief. He had run away from his company, and forged passes to get home. Therefore, he was in danger of being court marshaled. He had to leave me and go back. Oh! how sad the parting. We were going to live right and try to raise our children to love and respect us in old age. We had formed new [one or two lines of text missing here] would have been punished for desertion had not my brother been in command, my brother a Free Mason and had influenced with the officers. He lost his position as commissary Sergeant and had to shoulder his musket. They ere being transferred from one point to another and had to pas through Fort Valley. I was so anxious to see him that I started to walk seven miles to see him. (I didn't know that he was coming home.) And when I first met him I knew he was not as affectionate as he was when he left in October. He got into a wagon and left me to walk. This was about the first of January. The next day after he came home, there was preaching at our church, and w went. The next morning we were talking about some points of doctrine in the Baptist faith. I cannot believe exactly as you do, I said. I will have you turned out of the church, he replied angrily. He refused to go to church with me, but I cried and begged him to go. At last he consented. He became very disagreeable and nothing went right with him. All my hopes of his ever being a kind and loving husband were forever blasted. I did all in my power to please him but failed. He never went into the services of the army anymore; he forged furloughs, and then added extensions until the close of the war. He did not remain a member of the church long; he acted so badly, and quit going to church. A committee was appointed to go and see him. He refused to go and make acknowledgements so he was expelled. It seemed as if I could not stand it. Oh! How it grieved my heart to hear him utter such wraths. He began to drink again and he became a habitual drunkard, another sorrow to my already brimming cup. He ceased even to respect me; he would not allow my dear children to obey me. I have heard him wish that I were in the lower regions of eternal night. It was not often that he would ever speak to me, but I would hear him curse and abuse me to our children. He would not buy me a pair of shoes; therefore I was obliged to go barefooted and had hardly a decent dress. He treated my poor old mother badly, and cursed my sisters because they were my relatives. He wouldn't wear a garment that I had made for him. He would wear the worse worn out clothes and then go in the presence of ladies, pull off his coat and say "I am nearly naked, my wife will not make any clothes, and anybody not knowing the circumstances would think it was true. He tried to turn everybody against me, and didn't want anybody to be a friend to me. I left him and went to some of my relatives in Alabama. He followed me and carried my little girl back with him. He was apparently much grieved and begged me to come home but not with him. It will make people think that I made you come with me, he said. He didn't want anybody to think that he begged me to come back but for me to make it appear that I wanted to return, and begged him to let me. I will be a better man and a kind husband; he said if you will only come back for our own dear little children's sake, would you come? Yes, I answered for their sake and for their sake only will I return. He gave me money to pay my fare. He was very kind for a while, but soon relapsed into his old moods and drank harder than ever before. I had always tried to please him but could not and finally quit. He then got jealous for drunkenness and jealousy never go hand in hand. He accused me of trying to poison him. I am sure he tried to poison me. My little daughter started to drink out of the glass that he intended for me to drink out of. "Put that glass down daughter it will kill you if you drink out of it" He treated our oldest boy so bad, that one evening he was missing. He had run away. You caused him to leave home he said to me. I will have him brought back in chains. Heaven knows I am as ignorant of the cause, or where he has gone as you are, I replied. Tongue cannot describe my feelings, when I found my darling boy was gone. I could neither eat nor sleep. Oh! How I prayed that God would allow me to once more see my darling son. It was days, weeks, and months before I heard from him. He was afraid to write, lest his father would get the letter and follow him. He went among stingers and went to work, but was soon taken very sick. Oh! My God! How I suffered no mother near to bath the heated temples or give him a refreshing drink to cool his parched lips and tongue. After he recovered, he left Alabama and came back to Georgia. He was afraid to go home and he went to my uncles in Warren. I was in a delicate condition. I was afraid I would die and I thought I must see my son before my confinement. I was afraid to let my husband know where he was, so I slipped off and went to see him. I took my darling boy once more to my heart. You may ask if I don't try to persuade him to return home with me. I could not take him out of paradise and carry him to [one line of text missing here] happiness. I was obliged to leave him and return home to my little children. My husband never spoke to me until one day he came home from Macon.

 

 

Chapter IV

I prepared his breakfast but he would not partake of it. I also prepared dinner at the proper time, but still he refused to eat. He had been drinking freely. Late in the evening he jumped up and began to abuse his family for not cooking anything to eat for him. I asked a gentleman that was present and said "Have I not set the table twice today for him and he would not eat?" Don't you speak to me if you do I will burst your brains out with a chair angrily responded that husband of mine. I didn't say anything more, but went and prepared supper. The young man persuaded him to go and eat. This was on Wednesday, the next Monday, which was the 14th of December, I was taken sick. He paid no attention whatever to me. I sent my daughter after a lady friend of mine. She came and found me quite sick. You must have a doctor she said. My husband has said that he will do nothing for me, I answered Will you send for a physician for your wife, she asked. No, I will not, he said. Will you go she asked turning to the hired man. Yes, he said and in an hour or two the doctor was there. Where is your husband, he asked, and I said I did not know. Papa is in the kitchen said my daughter. After my babe was born, the Doctor went in the kitchen where he was and said, you have a little daughter in the house. Well Dr., I will have to pay you for this visit, but don't you ever come here again unless I go after you. The Doctor said something about his little daughter and me. I will not do anything for her if she lies there and rots. Said my husband. The doctor saw how unfeeling he was and left him and came back to me. If you need me again send for me and I will come. Next morning my husband went to town and did not return until nearly dark. When he came he was under the influence of strong drink. Supper was ready, so he went in the kitchen but spoke to no one. My friend was still with me. He began to break everything in the kitchen. I began to cry. Now don't you get excited, I reckon he won't hurt you, she said. Mr. Tompkins is eating his supper and you eat yours. I tried to eat, for her sake, although I felt I was in eminent danger. I was sitting on the side of the bed when the door opened and in came Mr. Tompkins. He began to curse me. If you don't get out of my house I will burn you up in it. When my friend interfered in my behalf but paid no attention to her. He had his knife open in his hand and waving it around so that it almost touched my face. If you speak I will cut our throat, he said. Oh! My God, what could I do? What could a poor helpless woman do in the hands of her brutal and drunken husband? I could only raise my hands and pray for mercy. If you raise you d---- hands to me I will cut them off. He snatched my cup and threw it in the fire. Then there was a perfect crash of nearly everything in the room. My friend ran through the other room. I sprang out of bed after her, she was gone outdoors and it was raining. Go back and get my baby, I said. He will kill me if I don't stay here. It seemed as if death was sure. She closed the door, and was gone in the cold rain and inky darkness. She was going for help, but I didn't know it. I turned to go back to bed and met my husband. If you don't get out of my house I will kill you he said. If you will spare my life till morning, I will get out of your house, I said. He cursed me and said go back to your bed then. My little boys had fled the wrath of their father only my little girl remained with me. I went back and lay down. He came back into the room swearing that he would ill me. We had a large mirror over the mantel, he took it down and said, I will break your head with it. I got up again. I couldn't help begging him to spare my life. He went away and I lay down again. He laid the glass on another, took his knife out of his pocket, came running at me and said I am going to cut your throat. With a cry to God for mercy, I sprang up. Oh! Daughter do not let him kill me. I cried. I don't know how I did it, but I took the knife away for him. I then thought that I would have to take his life or loose my own. Oh! What a horrible and heart rending scene to behold a woman about to kill her husband in self-defense. What must I do? Must I kill the man who I have loved so dearly, whom I have forsaken father, mother, sisters and brothers? Must I kill him Georgie, oh, tell me, must I kill him? Oh, no mama don't kill him she cried. I can never describe my feelings. My hair was long and had escaped its fastenings. He caught my hair and tied to break my neck. I put the knife up between his hand my he [possibly a missing line of text here] all fell to the floor together. Georgie screamed for help. We fell to the floor first and we were trying to keep him down. We thought certainly somebody would come soon. "Murder, Help, Help", we shouted. Let me get up lease, he begged. You will try to kill me again, I said. He promised he wouldn't and I felt I was losing my strength. I succeeded in taking the knife from his hand, already stained with innocent blood. I opened the door and threw the knife as far as I could. I then got a cloth to bind up my wounded arm. I told daughter to let him up, and as soon as he was on his feet he asked, "Where is my knife?" I have thrown it out in the yard, and I can't go out in the rain after it. He told Georgie to get and go and get his knife. Just then we hard a rap at the door. "Come in", I said. Two gentlemen faces were at the door and my husband said, "Have you come here to protect my family"? If you have I will show you what I will do and that quick, too. "Oh! No they said only called to get a light to see how to go home and we will go. I begged, entreated, and implored them to stay, but they didn't stay but a few minutes. When my friend left me, she went to the gentleman's house and said, "go to Mr. Tompkins, quick. I do believe he intends to kill her." That was why they came. My arm was cut very bad and bled till I was very weak from loss of blood. My husband took our baby boy and retired but not to sleep, he seemed restless. I could hear his groans and my little daughter sat up and kept the fire burning. Bring me some water, he would ask. Why don't you go to sleep? I am not sleepy, she answered. Sometimes in the night he got up and came into my room after water, and told her again to go to bed. He drank water out of a pitcher, his hands were bloody and the pitcher was stained with my innocent blood. When he returned to his room, I called Georgie to me and said, don't you want to go to sleep, he only wants you to go to sleep, so he can come in here and finish his bloody work. No, mama, I will not go to sleep. I felt as if I never could go to sleep again. She sat up alone all that terrible night. Oh! the horrors of such a night, which seemed ages ago. After an hour or two, he came back and told her to retire, she said, "I am not sleepy". I expected to do something for you, but I will see you h-l before I will every give you anything. I will wear my wagon whip out on you for putting your hands on me, he said. She was only trying to keep you from murdering me. After he told her what her doom would be in the morning.

 

 

Chapter V

Oh! The agony of soul and body, that awful night. I could not move myself in bed. As soon as it was daylight, you leave the place, I said to my daughter. I couldn't bear to see her punished for helping me. "Mama, if I do go he will finish you by killing you. I will not leave", she said. Kind reader, tongue cannot express, no pen describe what I suffered that awful night. I thought that if I didn't die, I would be revenged for the blood that was spilled by the man I had once so fondly loved. My love was crushed before that terrible night work, and now I felt it was entirely killed. About two o'clock he came in my room again, and appeared as ignorant of all the surroundings. As an innocent man he had recovered his senses. What are you sitting up all night for, he asked. Because I can't sleep, she answered. When did I come home? Did I eat supper? he asked. You came home about dark and ate super, she said. What have I done here anyhow? "Papa, you have done a great deal", she said. He tried to appear ignorant of the crime. What did I do? You have nearly killed mama besides breaking nearly everything in the house. He looked at me with his haggard features. Yes, you have nearly killed me. I have no hope in the world, but that this nights work will cause my death, I said. He began to think of the enormity of his crime. He had tempted to murder me in child bed, my babe being just twenty-four hours old. He knew the law would punish him, he made me promise that I would not prosecute him. I would have made almost any promise at that time. As much as I had suffered at his hands, he was presumption enough to think I could forgive him. He had some confidence in me; he thought that if I promised, I wouldn't prosecute him. He was sorry and ashamed of his bloody work. Well, Fannie we haven't lived as we should and it has come to this, you say I attempted to murder you in child's bed, if you were to die in a month it would hang me. He washed my wounded arm, and turned me in bed for I could scarcely move at all. He had bitten the thumb of my left hand nearly off and besides my arm being cut I had several cuts on my hand. He decided to separate, he said he would [two words missing here] sale and sell everything and give me sufficient means to support myself and the children and go away. As for myself I had fully decided what I would do and that was to leave there as soon as I could, to never live with him again. He was very attentive to me although he had caused me to be in such a helpless condition. Once he stooped to run me over and I kissed him. Is it possible, he said you could love me after all that has occurred? I couldn't die then, there was yet trouble for me, although my cup was full to the brim. I mended very fast. My husband advertised everything we had for sale. He didn't want me to be home on home sale day, and almost forced me to go, before my babe was two weeks old. I will go, I said. God has been with me thus far, or I would have been in my grave and I will continue to trust Him. He will be with me, as I believe he has been before. He wanted me to go to my mothers and stay until he could turn all his effects into money. Then he wanted me to move to Warren and stay a year or two, of fear he would be prosecuted at court and I would be called on to swear against him. On the 29th day of December 1869, I separated from my husband, my infant only two weeks old. He sent my children and me back to the home I had left sixteen years before.

I had been at my mothers a few days when a son of my oldest brother came to mother's house. He saw me there and heard how I had been abused, and thought I had come back to mothers for her to take care of me and my children, while my husband was to go free. He told his father when he returned and my brother sent out a warrant against my husband, and had the sheriff after him. He went to look for him and found him at a neighbor's house. They were off into the woods, and another man, who was to be a witness to a trade they were going to make, he told his brother's mules and gun. He had not give me anything then, but small amount of provisions. He had his trunk sent to the depot. He thought he would leave us helpless and penniless. He decided he wants to see me before he finally took his departure to another country. He sent one of our neighbor men after me. He accused my brother of being the cause of the sheriff being after him. He wanted to know if I had anything to do with it. Mr. A couldn't carry his horse and buggy across the creek as it was very full so he left them, walked over on a foot log and told me his business. Mother must I go", I asked, it might be best she answered, for I don't know what you are to do with all your little children without a dollar in the world. As mother thought it best for me to go and see him, I went. We couldn't cross the creek a the ford, the water was over the log, we had to go away down the creek to find a foot log. I walked the log and mother stood watching on the banks, fearful that I would fall in and get wet or drown, but we landed safe. Standing around the water so long gave my baby a severe cold and was quite sick form it. We arrived to Mr. A's house before night. He sent his little son after my husband. He came about dark. Have you seen your brother? He asked. No, I did not. That was some of your bother's work and I will kill him at first sight, he said, then in a somewhat softened voice, he continued. I am going far away. I will get you a house and you must come in the fall. I can never live with you anymore, I said. I will quit drinking and do better, I want you to live with me to show you I will be a different man, he said. He had promised this so many times before, that I couldn't trust him. Can you forgive me? Yes, I can forgive you but I can't live with you, I said. I know it's my duty to take care of you and the children. I am not as willing to part with you as I thought I'd be, he said and gave me $5.00. I want you to show it to your brother, he said. He thought that brother believed that he intended to leave my little children and me destitute of means to support us, on my poor old mother's hands. I stayed at Mr. A's house until my baby was better then Mr. A. carried me back to mothers. One evening my husband came to see us and my brother happened to come at the same time.

 

 

Chapter VI

When my bother came in I said, "How do you do brother? My husband reached out his hand and said, "How do you do Buddie? Buddie said, I don't feel like taking your hand, you scoundrel. I feel more like stamping you under my foot, for you spilled my sister's blood. I know I did, but I was drunk and it was an accident that she was hurt, said my husband. I knew it was false, but I didn't say anything. I didn't want my brothers hands stained with my husband's blood like he had shed mine. It was the first time I had seen brother since that terrible night. He thought from what my husband said that he didn't intend to hurt me. He left early the next morning as he was on his way to Macon. After he left, my husband said, I want that money I gave you for your brother will get it to pay lawyers to prosecute my case with. It made me angry so I gave it back to him. Then he left. Soon after he left my brother returned to mothers. I told him all abut it and that it was not an accident that I was wounded. He was very angry and said, "If I had known this I would have carried him to jail the night that I met him here. I will not live with him anymore, said I. I think that you can homestead here and hold the property. I will consult Bob Hall and Culverhouse, and see what can be done and let you know. But before he returned my husband came. I want you to go to Warren County where our son is and stay a year or two for the grand jury ill oblige to take up my case so you and daughter will have to go to court and swear against me. I don't want to go for mother is not willing for me to. He said very angry and said, I have sold all my property and the money is in my pocket and if you do not go and shall never have a dollar of it. I did not know what to do, or how I did with brother would come. I can't travel with all my children I said. I will go with you, rent you a place to live on, buy you some furniture, give you some money to buy your provisions and then leave you, he said. Necessity compelled me to go so I said, "I will go if you will do that." We weren't much against Mother's will. When we arrived at Warrenton, we went to the hotel. Uncle heard that we were there and came to see us and invited us to go to his house and stay until we could find a place to suit us, so we went. That day my husband slipped and left me to do the best I could. He had given me $100.00 and that was all I had to buy provisions, furniture and to pay house rent with. I saw the trick he played. He thought my relatives would help my son take care of me. I told my dear old Uncle I wouldn't stay there and be a burden on his bands, that I intended to take the first train for Macon as there was but one train leaving Warrenton each day. I was compelled to wait until the next day. After my husband left me, my aunt heard that we were there and came to see us. He lived with one of my Uncles about nine or ten miles from Warrenton. Go back and tell uncle I am going back to Mothers and would like to have him to accompany me, I said to my son. He came and the following day we boarded and train for Macon. When we arrived in Milledgeville and changed cars, my husband was there and saw us. He came to me and said, I was not looking for you. You didn't do as you promised and if you thought that I should stay there and disgrace my relatives straggling around with a parcel of little children, you were very much mistaken, I replied. I thought that you could do better than I could, was shy I left, said he. Where are you going, he asked a moment t later. I am going to mothers, I said if have to wash for a living. I have a job at a dollar a day to guard convicts. He and another guard brought twenty convicts to Macon. They took these convicts to the Brunswick depot where they were locked in a car to be carried won on the M&B Railroad to work, so my husband told after our arrival at Macon. I went to a private boarding house with my children. The next day I went to a store and bought some provisions and a little furniture with what money I had left. After paying our fare from Warrenton, I hired some wagons to carry me and the children and the goods as far as the Warren District. Mr. Joe Lanier was keeping store there at that time. When we got there I asked him to let me have my things put in his store until Monday, this being Saturday night. He said that I could. I lacked one dollar having enough to pay the men that brought us from Macon. I had never met Mr. Lanier before but I asked, "Will you be so kind as to lend me a dollar?" His answer was to get it and give it to me. I felt thankful to him for his kindness. I didn't want the men to be disappointed in not getting their money. I paid them three dollars each [apiece]. It was late in the night, I took the children and went to my cousins about three quarters of a mile and spent the remainder of the night. Sunday morning my oldest boy went to see mother and told her I had returned from Warrenton. Monday we went to see his old friends in Houston. We didn't go back to live with mother right away as I had thought o f doing. I ran a house in Bibb to be convenient to a schoolhouse, so I could send my children. I moved to the place I had rented on Monday the 13th of Feb. 1869. The next Saturday my son returned. I have been employed to work on a farm in Houston at $10 a month [about one line of text missing here] to guard convicts on the railroad. I became uneasy, as I know that he would visit. I knew I couldn't force him to leave and I did not wish to live with him. I resolved to move back to mothers. I sent my daughter to see mother and she came to see me. She told me to pack up and come and live with her. I did so. Sure enough when my husband heard that I was living in Bibb and came to see us. He was very angry when he learned that I had gone back to live with mother, but he came on there. It was Friday and he stayed until Sunday. When he was about leaving he asked, "why did you not stay in Bibb? I didn't so I am better satisfied with mother, I replied. I am going to leave the country for the warrant is till against me. Brother had been advised by the lawyers not to have him arrested, for if he were tried before court, he would certainly be sent to the penitentiary. That would be a disgrace to his children and they thought that he would leave the country. After a short time he came to see me to get me to sign the deed to his land, that he had sold to his brother. He was so sure he would persuade me to sign it. He brought a justice of the peace with him. My brother will not pay me for the land unless you sign the deed, he said. I thought you told me before I went to Warren that you had the cash for all your effects and I had to go or be left without a dollar, I said. He tried to make me believe his brother could hold the land and if I wouldn't sign the deed, that we would finally lost it. "There is no lawyer in the world that would give our house and land to your brother and turn the children and myself out of doors", I said. "And if I have any right to the land, I shall certainly hold to it until sufficient means is placed in my hands to enable me to live and take care of my children." I will give you sixteen hundred dollars to sign the deed. Give me the money first then I will sign it. I can't nor I wouldn't if I could unless you do as I tell you. I will not, I retorted flatly. I must leave the country and I haven't any money. I know that you will pay a lawyer to collect what brother owes me, he said. I will pay the lawyer out of what he collects. He left me in anger and said, "you will see me again." But in a week or two returned and said, "I have my money now and tried to make me promise to live with him. I will never feel safe with you after you have attempted to kill me. I have heard you say that you hated me and prayed to God you would always hate me. He said, "you tell a lie, I never did hate, but you have lost all confidence in me and love, too." I pitied him but that was all. When I told him I could never live with him again, he said I see I will have to kill somebody yet. I am going to Texas for I know that I will have to leave the State. You have acted so bad by me that the laws of Georgia will not let you stay here unpunished. I think I would be a fool to go out of State to live with you, I said. As soon as I could, I told mother what he had said. She could hardly bear him in her house and complained to brother about his coming there to worry me trying to force me to live with him. Brother had the warrant put in the constables hands and told mother if my husband came there too often to notify the constable who lived a mile from others house, to arrest him or run him off. When I told mother what he said, she didn't say anything, but short time we heard the yard dog bark. My husband went to the window and saw officer coming in the yard. He grabbed his pistols from the mantle, ran out of the house, sealed the fence and was soon out of sight.

 

 

Chapter VIII

He outrun the officer and escaped. He went over to Bibb to one of my cousins and asked her husband to come and tell me that he had some money for me and I must come and get it. "Must I go?" I asked mother. I reckon you had better if there is any hope of getting anything she answered. I went and he gave me twenty dollars and said he would buy me some provisions when he went through Macon. He bought me two hundred pounds of bacon and one hundred pounds of flour. When I left Bibb county and I was at my cousins. I never saw him again. That has been sixteen years ago. He went to 'Texas wrote some very affectionate letters and begged me to go to him bit I could never reconcile it to my feelings to live with him. I had married him against t the wishes of my parents, when I was but a child and had been badly abused by him. He caused me to commit more sins. I am afraid that God will never forgive me for I was determined not to be deceived by him anymore. When we heard that he was gone we felt relieved. Mother was afraid he would slip up and kill me before he could be prevented. When court resumed his case was presented to the Grand Jury. I had to go to Court to testify against him. The [one line of text missing here] property. I never wanted him punished, but I wanted the property, for I had all my children to take care of. The lawyer said I could homestead and hold the property. As his brother had bought the bulk of it, I had to sue him. While consulting my attorney and stating the case, I had to tell all that transpired on that terrible night. I could not refrain from tears and the lawyer also wept with me. If it had not been for the annoying letters he wrote me from Texas I could have lived pleasantly with my dear mother. It grieved me for him to see deeply grieved. His brother wrote to him that I had sued him for a divorce and it seemed from his letters that he was nearly crazy. I shed many a silent [missing word?] over his letters. God knows my heart. I was truly sorry for him and it was and [three or four missing words here] could do to resist his piteous appeal. But he had acted so badly that I couldn't trust him again. He had given me the advantage of the law and gentle reader, can you condemn me for taking it? I had borne him six children (four boys and two girls), four before the war and two after. I had borne abuse in every conceivable manner. When I should have had the greatest kindness I was nearly murdered and while in a helpless condition. If God had not blessed with an iron constitution I never could have lived under the treatment I received, but I was spared for some purpose. I lived the remainder of the year with my mother. She broke up housekeeping the following winter and I went out on the river to keep house for my brother. If God had not given me so dutiful a son, we would certainly have suffered, for my people were very poor, made so by the ravages of the war. Then before there wasn't any of them able to help me and all I had was tied up in a lawsuit. My noble boy worked hard and took his wages to buy food and clothes for me and his little brothers and sisters. My husband's father died after I brought suit against my husband and his brother. He made his will giving my human interest in the estate, much so as any of his heirs. Just a short time before his death, he was persuaded to add a codicil to his will and take out my husband's share and give it to his brother to repay him what I would damage him in the [one word missing here]. My brother in law came to me and offered to compromise. I said, "I have employed wise men to attend to my business, you must go to them. If you will settle this case according to my proposition, I will give you or who ever the gives to [one word missing here] husband's share in the estate. It is worth five hundred dollars, he said. "I'll be willing to settle anyway my lawyers will", I replied. But he didn't go to them. In the spring of 1870, he went to see my brother and told him what he and another man owed my husband 20% of something over $1800.00 and he would pay it, if we would compromise that way, and also said he would pay the cost of the court. If the court would make him safe, he would give all that was left of my husband's share of the estate. My brother told him he was willing to accept the terms and was sure our attorney would do the same. So we compromised. My brother in law wanted the court to pass upon it, so as to make him safe provided his bother should in the future try to make him pay it again. He paid $269.00 in the spring term of the Superior Court and the remaining $1600.00 the Christmas of 1870. Lawyers were Col. Sam Hall, Culverhouse and Jesse Arant. The lawyer's fee was $100.00 paid out of the first money that was paid to me. As I before [one or two words missing here] mother quit housekeeping and lived with brother's family, [three or four words missing here] employer. My brother disliked my children's father so much that he didn't love them and every little thing they did wrong he would say "Daddy like." My feelings were often hurt when I first moved to the place. The plans being made my brother said he would give my two little boys ({Benjamin?} 13 and {James?} 11 years of age), a cotton patch. I felt sure brother would do what was right by me. We never had any particular understanding how the boys should work, but they were to have an acre apiece, and pay the rent two dollars per acre. They both worked hard all the year until the crop was made. They did a__ll the drudgery. It seemed as if brother and his boys thought that my children weren't as good as they were. My oldest son said the ploughing of two acres wasn't as much as the boys work was worth all the year and he wasn't willing for them to pick his Uncles cotton unless he paid them for it. Brother got very angry and said, they shall have none of the cotton. They shall have it for they have worked hard and have been waiting for you and your boys, I said with some spirit. This caused bad [perhaps a line of text missing here] jail. You can if you wish to, and can do it, I retorted hotly. He saw I was determined and finally told me he wold give me $30.00 for the boy's work. I told him I would take it and let the cotton go. In December my son saw a man that he moved from Crawford to Pulaski. He dad bought a place about five miles of Hawkinsville, but couldn't pay for it. He knew we had money and wanted to buy a little farm. My brother being appointed my trustee at court, had told my son (a mere lad of 16 years of age) but his judgement was very good to look out for us a home. This man from Pulaski praised his land so highly that my son went home with him to look at it. He was well pleased with it. The man saw he could make something and that was what he was after, and said it was perfectly healthy and that we could get god titles. My son was perfectly delighted with the place and when he returned, brother went to see it, liked it also and bought it for me paying $800.00 in cash. We moved to our home about the last of December of 1870. After I moved my brother came to see me. I had to have a house built, as the house was small and sorry, too. Brother bought our provisions in Macon and had it shipped to us. By the time we were fixed up the money was getting scarce, as everything was very dear down there. As brother was going home he met Col. Hall and dunned him for the $15.00 more. My son hired a young man of our acquaintance, to work with him. My daughter and the young man soon made up a match. My son was bitterly opposed. He didn't want his sister to marry this young man. He remonstrated with her but in vain, and finally became reconciled, and they were married the 31st January 1871. My son became dissatisfied after his sister married and wanted to go to Texas. In Pulaski there was a band of men called Ku Klux. Some of the leading citizens of Pulaski belonged to the so-called band. The night before my son was to start for Texas, the Ku Klux as they called themselves, went to a railroad shanty, chopped the door down, fired several shots into the shanty wounding a section hand and took a Negro out and beat him unmercifully, then left him/. My son and two other young men were accused of this, because they had said they ere going to whip him. The very men that got my son into this trouble urged him to leave, they were afraid he would turn states evidence if taken up, so he left for Texas about the middle of February. I was nearly crazy after my son left me. I could see no way of making a living and we were at a heavy expense. My son in law didn't seem to take much interest in my affairs. It seemed as if he always thought there was time enough and was never in a hurry. That didn't suit for I am of a nature if I had anything to do, to do it at once but he was about twenty acres in cultivation and that was overgrown with grass. My daughter got into very bad health after she was married and remained so for some time, eventually got better able to be up some. I worked in the field and helped to make the crop. It will be remembered that the year of 1871 was a very sickly year. I'd never known much about sickness but I found it out that year for that was a malarial country we were in. First me than another was stricken down with the malarial fever until all the family were down at the same time, except my son in law and there we all lay from day to day, scorched with fever, one not able to hand another a drink of water. My daughter's husband was very kind to her, but couldn't wait on so many of us. My little children and I certainly suffered for attention. I thought it was more than I could bear to see my poor little children panting for breath with a burning fever and I in the same condition not able to administer to their wants, no one to prepare anything that would tempt a sick child's appetite. I shed many a silent tear for my suffering children. All the neighbors were in as bad a condition as we were. There was no one to visit the sick. I thought this was trouble as indeed it was, but kind reader follow me to the sequel of my story and you will think this was nothing and a light affliction compared with what followed. After awhile we missed the fever and were able to be up. My daughter told me to take the children and go to Crawford County to see my mother and perhaps it would benefit the children and myself. She said that her husband could wait on her, as she was able to be up. I decided to go although, we were quite feeble to take a forty mile run. We had a good gentle mule and a nice little Hess Wagon. It was sometime in August that we made preparations and started. We carried provisions enough to last up there. We graveled twenty-five miles the first day and at night we called at a gentleman [one line of text missing here] a nights lodging. I said to the gentleman, I only wish to stay in your house and have my mule put up. I have feed for it and provisions for us, and I have some bedclothes. I can make us a pallet. Get out and go into the house, he said. His cook wanted us to have some supper, but I thanked her very kindly and said, "we have our lunch with us. I didn't want to put you to any trouble at all. She was preparing beds for us but I said I can spread down some bedclothes on the floor, we looked so feeble. I told them I wish to leave early in the morning. When we came downstairs in the morning, I thanked our kind host and resumed our journey. We reached our old neighborhood about 2 o'clock and spent the evening with one of my friends. The next day we finished our journey. I had not met my brother's wife since the hard feelings had spring up between brother and myself and I didn't know how she would receive us, but brother seemed cold and reserved. He seemed to improve for awhile, but we took the chills and fever and stayed longer than we expected. I became uneasy about my daughter at home. I told mother that I must go home, but entreated me to stay longer. I felt so uneasy I was obliged to go. We were sick hardly able to sit up when we started home. We had chills and fever on the way and were caught in hard rain. We got wet and were obliged to stay so. When it was nearly night, we called at a man's house. I called him to let us spend the night that we were sick, wet and tired. He pointed to his work shelter and told us we could stay under it. It was getting late, we were afraid it would dark before we reached mother's house, so we were forced to stay under the shelter for the night. I had to spread down the bedclothes, went as they were, for us to lie on, or sit up in the dark all night. I didn't sleep any myself, as I couldn't. When daylight appeared we stated on our journey. We reached home just before nightfall. I found my daughter sick, she had relapsed after I left. Her husband was also sick with the fever. They had lain there without food or water for several days neither of them able to draw a bucket of water. My children and myself worse off than before we left home. We were up awhile and in bed sick awhile, all the remainder of the summer and fall. In October my daughter was taken with dysentery or some other dreadful bowel disease and nothing seemed to do her any good. We got medicine from doctors, but it didn't do any good. Her bowels were so out of order that she couldn't control them. She continued in this way until it caused an abortion between six and seven months. The little babe lived two or three days and died. My daughter was nearly frantic with grief when it died. I tried to console her. The little babe was too small to live, it is in heaven and will never know the trouble and sufferings of this world." Mama I know that is true but it was my baby and I did lover it so much." The day after it died, she became more reconciled and seemed very pert, but her bowels were still very bad. Her husband went to see another doctor to get some medicine for her. While he was gone she seemed better and talked some. She said, "I feel very well only my bowels trouble me a great deal. If you could get something to cure them, I think I would soon be up. I really thought so too. I prepared her something to eat and after she had eaten, she asked, ""Mama, will it kill me to drink water?" No, child I answered, I always drank as much water as I wanted. Old Mrs. Daily told Billie not to let me drink water that I t would kill me and he won't let me have much but you say it won't kill me, I want you to give me some." I carried her a dipper full. She seemed satisfied for awhile. Then her husband returned she told him what she said, but give me some more. No, my dear, the doctor said you must not drink so much and I will not give it to you. I was lying down to rest awhile, as I was feeble hardly able to be up. Turning to me she said, "you will give me plenty of water when he is gone, won't you?" After he was gone she said, "Ma, I want you to bring me some water." I am afraid to give you so much, as the doctor has said you not drink it. She turned over with her face to the wall for a moment as if in anger and her face flushed as red as scarlet. She turned back and said, "if you call Billie. She commenced to scream just as loud as she could. He heard her and ran back as fast as he could. It was as much as we could do to hold her on the bed. She was hopelessly insane. She begged for water so we would carry her small glass full and sometime she would drink and sometimes she wouldn't. She would say that won't save my life, if you will give it to me I will live and if you don't I'll die and I want to live. She would carry on this way until she was completely exhausted. She would hold up her head and hand and say, I am getting poor so poor. Oh! My God when I recall these troubles to mind it nearly breaks my heart. We did not know what to do; we worked with her all night long that way. Next morning I sent after the doctor, but his wife was sick and he couldn't leave her. He said there was nothing in the medicine to cause her thirst, but we mustn't give her too much water. One of my old friends came to see her, when she came in my poor child raised her feeble body up in bed, put her arms around her neck and said you came her e to save my live, you will give me some water. Yes, you shall have water, she said.

 

 

Chapter IX

Give her plenty of water she ought to have it said Mrs. Brown for inflammation has taken place. I begged mama for water and when I am dead and gone she will be sorry she didn't give it to me, said my poor afflicted child. How those words ring in my ears. I have been truly sorry that I didn't giver her water, when she wants it and begged for it. After Mrs. Brown came we gave her several glasses of water. After she would drink she would say she felt so much better. There was a sewing machine agent stopping at the house of one of neighbors, he heard of my daughters insanity and came to see her. When he came in and saw that we were giving her water, he said, you are killing that woman as fast as you can. He professed to know something of the science of medicine. I have some medicine I will give her if you are willing that will quiet her nervous system and cause her to rest which will be better for her than drinking so much water. If it will not injure her give it to her, I said. He gave it to her and sure enough she was very quiet all night and wasn't so thirsty, but as soon as she was out form under the influence of the medicine, it was the same thing. Give me water. I told her she should have it. I carried the bucket to her after she drank I set it down by the bed and told her to drink when she wanted it. Ma, if you had given it to me in time I would have lived, but you didn't and I will die. Kind reader, my beautiful daughter, who was never known to utter a profane word, would use the most bitter oaths, ever known to escape mortal lips. I remonstrated with her, but poor child, she was destitute of reason and it did no good to reason with her. She was soon so bad we couldn't keep her in bed. Although reduced to a mere skeleton, she would be on her feet most of the time night and day. Sometimes she would sing in the dead of night. She finally got so bad; we were obliged to shut her up in a room. Great crowds of people would go to see her, but none of them would stay to watch her through the night. She threatened to jump in the well; therefore we had to watch her day and night. We tried to get the Doctors to do something but we couldn't get them to come but once. They would promise to come back and they never returned. She would tear her clothing in strings. We could scarcely keep any on her. Sometimes she would try to hurt the children and very often try to hurt me. We had to watch her so much before we shut her up in a closed room that she almost hated us. Her husband slapped her several times when she would do so badly. She told him that she wouldn't live with him any longer. We didn't know what to do, we couldn't get any of the doctors to do anything for her and we had no hopes of her ever getting any better without medical aid. All the doctors asked us to send her to the insane asylum. They said she would get the best of medical treatment there. We being in very limited circumstances were unable to take proper care of her in her condition. We had her examined before a faculty, and they pronounced her a fit subject for the asylum. We thought we were doing the best for her and ourselves in sending her to the asylum. I couldn't trust her husband to go with her, for he had become so impatient with her, although he was as kind to her at first as he could be, so I went with her myself. We started to Milledgeville about the first of December. We arrive d there Saturday night and went to a hotel. I was so near exhausted that I was obliged to have some rest. I didn't sleep any the night before neither did she. I told her to go to [one line of text missing here] want you to sleep with me, she said, [one-half line of text missing here] in my arms like a baby, she became quiet and I was soon asleep. When I awoke I heard her walking in the hall. She had gotten up and as there was no lock to the door, she had gone out. I ran after her and overtook her as she was going downstairs. I can't go anywhere but which you are after me, she said angrily. I want some breakfast, too. I spoke kindly to her and told her she should have some breakfast. I at last got her back to her room. It was daylight then ere this it was known all over the house that there was a crazy woman there. When we returned to our room she seemed quiet for awhile. After we had eaten breakfast, she went to the mirror and saw that her hair was cut off. Mama, why did you cut my hair off? She had pretty hair and was always proud of it. Darling you were very sick and the doctor told me to cut it off, but your grandmother cut if off herself. She seemed more reasonable than she had been since her insanity and I thought that she was better. She was sitting relating to me when suddenly she jumped up took the chair and tried to break it. Soon the hall was filled with spectators. It always seemed to make her worse to see so many people. I ordered a carriage immediately and carried her over to the asylum. We carried her at our own expense, as the ordinary had written to the superintendent of the asylum to know if we could take her and he wrote back to the ordinary to wait awhile that they were crowded and could not take her, just then. The doctor said if we would carry her at our expense, they would take her. When I arrived, the superintendent had gone to Atlanta and the assistant doctor didn't know what to do. The old doctor's wife told them to take her (she had sympathy of all who saw her and she looked so childlike) as hers was a recent case of insanity and she thought with proper attention she would soon recover. I would have gotten down on my knees to them and begged them to do something for my child. I stayed at the asylum that night and left for home the next day. When I left, I didn't tell them if she died to shed her home, for I didn't' leave her there to die, but to get well as I thought with proper attention she could soon recover. When I reached home I found my son had returned from Texas. He was badly hurt to know that I had to carry his sister to the asylum, but he hoped she would soon recover. I resolved to leave that sickly place and go where it was more healthy. I rented my farm for $50.00 cash. I had made some debts and had nothing much to pay them with, for by bad management we made a poor crop. I sold everything I could spare and paid nearly all I owed. I took part of the money I had gotten for corn and had a few dollars left after paying our railroad fare to Fort Valley. My son went back with us. We rented a place to live on and had the promise of employment for my little boys, when they got able to work. My oldest son didn't expect to live on the same place for he couldn't get wages enough. I lived on what is known as Howard Place on Flint River. After we moved to this place the first of January 1872, I became [one word missing here] about my daughter. I had a premonition that she was going to die. I wrote to Dr. Green and told him if she should die to let me know for I wanted to carry her home. But I was too late; my poor unfortunate child was dead and buried. My darling buried among strangers. I could scarcely realize it. My beautiful daughter dead? Oh! My God! How could I bear it? Dr. Green said she died with bowel [one or two words missing here] and was confined to her bed. Oh! How I grieved for my poor child. If I could only have known that no medical skills could have saved her, I certainly would never have carried her there. She lived only a few days over a month. She died on 12th of January 1872. She lived only one short year after she was married. No mortal tongue can tell how she suffered. God only knows why she had to suffer. Go wash the sins of the father visited upon the child. It seemed as if I could hardly bear to think of my poor child dying among strangers. No one to close her [one word missing here] eyes that never were to look upon loved ones again. No friends to shed a silent tear as she was being lowered into the cold and silent tomb. Thought her body was alone with strangers, I hope her soul was with the Savior, who died to that some poor sinful creatures might live. I can hardly bear to dwell upon her suffering and death. It has been thirteen years ago, but I will not live long enough to ever get over the troubles and trials I have seen. I tried to appear cheerful, but no one but God knew the trouble I endured. My son found employment in a farm not far from Fort Valley. He told me the parties that had employed him would also give my little boys employment. They had a good house and said I might have [one line of text missing here] and a garden. They had promised my son $14.00 per month and rations, that was good wages. he was anxious for me to go and live with him. I knew that I would soon be dependent on him, for I had but a small amount of provisions on hand. I told him I would go. He returned and his employers sent their wagons after me. We moved, I think about the first of February. There were a good many Negroes on the place, as it was a large farm. It took several hands to manage it. The boss man lived in Fort Valley. They wanted a white family to live on the place, and said my son was the very one they wanted to go ahead and see about feed the stock and etc. We had been there about three weeks, when one evening Mr. Aultman came after he had given out rations. He and my son were walking the lot, when one of the Negroes called him and asked if he told my son to tell them to haul wood. Yes, I did said Mr. Aultman. I told you he did, said John. The Negro cursed him and called him a liar. I will cut your throat if you call me a liar, said John angrily. Oh! I am prepared for you said the Negro and knocked John down with a stick. Mr. Aultman snatched the stick and the Negro knocked down. About that time I started out there, and met my son with the blood streaming down his head. The Negro standing there with his head bloody. Mr. Aultman, hadn't have been here, he replied. Turning to the Negro he said, leave this place for I will not have anybody to work for me that is always raising fusses. John thought he would get a pistol and kill the Negro, but Mr. Aultman begged him not to kill him, but to go to town and take out a warrant for him. John did as he was told. The Negro then had a warrant taken out for Mr. Aultman. The Negro said if John would stop the one against him, he would also stop the one against Mr. Aultman. He saw it would cost him something so he begged John not to put the Negro in jail. The other partner was absent. All the hands were going to quit, so Mr. Aultman told John he needn't work any more until his partner returned. Very well, said John, but I shall expect my money anyway. In a few days the partner returned. John told him what the Negro had done. He seemed to be very angry and said he would see if the Negro would fight him, but instead of discharging the Negro, they told John they didn't want him any longer. John said he had not done anything to be discharged and if they wouldn't let him work, he would sue them for breach of contract, and they would have to pay him whether he worked or not. They tried some low down schemes to get rid of my son. When my son went to Texas, Bullock, who was then governor of Georgia offered a large reward for him for the mischief the Ku Klux had done, but it is well known, that he ran away and James Smith was elected in his place. These men after discharging my son for nothing sent a dispatch to Gov. Smith asking him if he would pay the reward that Bullock had offered for my son. He dispatched back that he would pay none of old Bulocks rewards. My son was right there in Fort Valley then, but didn't know anything about it until sometime afterwards, John asked a lawyer's advice and he told him to let it remain as it was until the expiration of the time for which he had been employed, then make out his account and present it for payment. After John was discharged I asked, do you want me to move? No, you can't always be moving. You may stay here. My son being discharged will cause me to suffer, I said. No he can get employment elsewhere, he said. He tried to get work, but he wanted to hit [?] him. He walked himself nearly to death trying to get work. We afterwards learned that he had discharged him, had done all he could to keep anybody from hiring him. Then the time expired, for which these men had employed him, John presented his account for payment, but they of course did not pay it. He took out a laborers lien and sued the firm of Aultman & Aultman for $10.00 and rations. He got judgement against the, but they appealed to the Superior Court. Mr. Aultman told my son he shouldn't stay on the place any longer. I will give you ten days to get out, but if I ever catch your son here again I will stamp him into the earth. They had given me a home for the year, and I had no where to go. One day Mr. Aultman went out to the place and John was there. I thought I told you never to let me catch you here again, he exclaimed angrily, coming up to the door cursing and swearing. I forgot my pistol, he said picking up a brick and running into the house after John. I took hold of the man and screamed as loud as I could for I was very much excited. John was young and small, not a match for such a man as Mr. Aultman. John stepped inside the door, picked up his pistol [one line of text missing here] that he had to run over me if he went into the room after my son. He threw the brick down and left. I told John to go to town and take Mr. A. with a peace warrant and have him bound over to peace, he did. I went to town the next day. If you will make your son stay away you may have the house for the remainder of the year, said Mr. A. If my son can't go there, I don't want the house, I replied. So I sent one of my smaller boys up to Mr. E. W. Robinson and got him to move me to a house I had gotten from one Mr. Arnold. We saw hard times there we picked cotton for Mr. Arnold, for our living. His cotton was very sorry and we were obliged to pick for 50 cents for a hundred and feed ourselves. Then he would cheat us in the weight. I saw no way to feed and clothe my children. We worked on brad without anything else, not even coffee. I was surely grieved to see my children compelled to work on dry brad. Mr. Robinson had often asked me for one of my little boys. While in this condition, I concluded to do so provided the little fellow was willing for I knew he would be well treated and would never have to work without plenty to eat. Are you willing to live with Mr. Robinson, I asked him. "Ma, I like Mr. Robinson and would like to live with him, but I am afraid you might move back to Pulaski and leave me there. Mr. Robinson said that he would send you to school two years and when you became of age he would give you a horse, bridle and saddle worth $150.00, I said. I will live with Mr. Robinson, he said, so I bound him to Mr. Robinson and he obligated to fulfil his part of the contract. Gentle reader, it wasn't for lack of love for my child that I gave him away, but because I did love him and wanted him treated better than I was able to treat him. I [one or two words missing here] my other largest boy to Mr. Arnold for two months to get him some clothes and shoes. My two little children and myself were left at home. My son that worked with Mr. Arnold stayed with us at night, and when he worked near my house, would give his dinner to his little brother and sister. Because he knew they were hungry. All this suffering was on account of my oldest son being discharged from the employment of the firm in Aultman and Avery. I was compelled to sell some of my clothes to get something to eat. Late in the fall John got employment with Mr. jay to work for the Railroad Company in repairing depots and building tanks. When he began to draw his wages threw was quite a change at my house. He came home once a month. When he came he would always bring something to eat. He would bring as much he could and send my little boy to the station after the remainder. We had plenty of flour, sugar, coffee, and meat. The next winter we moved to the Howard Place and Mr. Barren moved there, too. He wanted to hire my son that stayed with me and I let him have him at $4.00 per month, with his work and John's we got along splendid. John took a notion to go to Alabama to work on the south and North Railroad and went. After he left, Mr. Barren didn't treat me well. We had a falling out about his keeping my son out late in the night. It was four miles to the plantation and it would be nearly 10 o'clock when he would get home. I complained about it and it made Mr. Barren very angry and he quarreled with me. In the summer, In August, I think, John returned. I told him how old Barren had treated me. He said he would whip him when he recovered. One day at Everett's Station, John attacked Mr. Barren. John struck him once and Mr. Barren ran.

 

 

Chapter XI

He came home and after awhile John came home. I will have you arrested, sir said Mr. Barren. If you do, I will report you to Mr. A. B. Clark in Macon, for selling tobacco without a license, said John. Mr. Barren took the warrant and had john bound over to peace, but it was settled. One day a Untied States martial came to take Mr. Barren to Macon. The fellow wasn't sharp enough, as he came one day when Mr. barren was gone and told Mrs. Barren all about it. Mr. barren heard of it and never came home until the martial left. He took out another warrant for my son revised the old one. He and about ten or fifteen men, came to my house in the dead of night with clubs to take one poor, little feeble boy, for he wasn't well. When they rapped at the door, I asked, "Who is there? Is it Garrett? Said the officer. What do you want? I want your son, John. Well, you will not get him tonight, I retorted angrily. Why did you come at night? John asked. I have been at home all day. We accused him of trying to Ku Klux my son. I came when I was ordered said Garrett. They were all around the house; several of them were muffled up to keep from being known. As I wouldn't let John go out, nor [one line of text missing here] would have gotten hurt for the boys would have shot the first one that entered the room. All these men had come to arrest my son in a peace warrant. Some of them stayed till day, but most of them left. Next morning John went with them to the precinct and had a trial. There being no one there to stand his bond, he was carried to Knoxville. Mr. Robinson and my brother stood his bond till court. When court came up, Mr. Barren didn't appear against him, so it was thrown out of court. This was in 1873. I have been sorry that I didn't prosecute those men in the Untied States Court for Ku Klux for such they were. I knew several of them. One, John Howard, of Savannah was with the crowd. It was his place Mr. Barren was running and he furnished the supplies. I afterwards learned that he said if they had gotten my son out that night they would have put him in Flint River. He was angry because John had reported he and Barren for selling tobacco. The yard was full of green sticks or clubs that these men had brought with them. I could have made the men suffer and I am sorry to this day that I didn't do it. My little boy became dissatisfied at Mr. Robinson's and he gave him back to me. In October we decided to go back to our home in Pulaski. My three oldest sons walked, myself and two little children went on the cars. We had to work very hard to live, for we didn't have much money either.

I had rented my place for two years; the renter was to pay $50.00 and the tax. He didn't live on the place but rented to other parties. When I got home, I went to see him. Who will pay me the rent, I asked him? I will, he replied. You had no right to rent my place without my consent, I said. I know it, but didn't know it at the time, he said. I have rented it for $60.00. I will pay the tax and give you what is left of the money. I went back home perfectly satisfied about my rent. As the parties that had rented the place from the man that I had rented it to, didn't live on the place, the house was unoccupied. I asked advice of a good lawyer and he said that I would take possession whenever I wished to do so. When we arrived there we found that a family had just moved in, but they gave it up. The weeds were growing right up to the door we could hardly get in for them. After the crops were gathered and hauled off, I couldn't get it and my former renter didn't pay me according to promise. I waited till Christmas and still he didn't come. I walked d to Hawkinsville, five miles, to see him. When he saw me he came to me and said, I reckon you have come for a settlement. I have", I replied. Well, we will get to go to Col. Watson's office. I knew then I wouldn't get justice done me. I received only $35.00 for the rent. He brought up an account against me for work done on the house, that I never authorized him to do. I have paid your taxes, which was $8.00 he said. The contract said $50.00, all taxes chargeable by law, I said. It didn't mean that I would pay the taxes and then give you $ 50.00 he said. You can not make him pay it said Col. Watson. They plotted together to swindle me and they did it. Mr. Lancaster was the renter. I will pay you $35.00 and I will pay no more. If you will not take it, we will settle it by law. Mr. Lancaster you told me not to bother about the crop that you would pay me whether you got any rent or not. We didn't have a lawyer to make the contract and I do not want Mr. Watson to have anything to do with it. I received only $35.00 and I will stand a lawsuit, before I will pay anymore he said. I was therefore compelled to rent out my land the coming year. I rented part of it for cash and a part for a certain amount of cotton in the fall. The boys hired out, we intended to farm the next year. I had a small patch of corn and potatoes. I hired the ploughing done and I did the hoeing myself. I made about 25 bushels of corn and bought some thirty or forty in the fall. The boys were going to live at home the next year, but Oh! My God I knew nothing of the trials that awaited me. The same of section boss was still at the shanties, in charge of the section on the branch road from Macon to Hawkinsville. He always had grudge against my son. We didn't live more than two hundred yards apart. He had threatened to prosecute my son for the old offense, that he had accused him of breaking in the shanty and whipping a Negro. Can you prove it? asked John. No, was the answer. When you undertake to prosecute [one-half line of text missing here] there was a bad state of feeling between them, but his John and mine were very intimate and he was very often at my house, although my son never went to his father's house. One evening my son was passing the shanty and Mr. Daily (then section boss) hailed him to stop. Mr. Daily called his son, "Come out here John and the old scoundrel cursed and abused my son. Shoot him John, he said and tried to make him shoot my son. I am unarmed and you can kill me if you wish, for I will die before I will run, said my John. I heard them from my house and one of my little boys ran to them. When they saw he wouldn't run and the old scoundrel couldn't make his son shoot him, although he had a pistol in his hand and said several times to my son, Hush or he will shoot you. They cursed him until tired and went off and left my son standing there. He didn't even have a pocket knife with which to defend himself. I felt uneasy. I was afraid that it wouldn't stop at that. I don't want to kill Mr. Daily son, but I intend to give him a good whipping, for doing as he has done, said John. I begged him to go to town, as court was then in session and present them both to the grand jury, but he was afraid that it showed that he was afraid of them and wouldn't do it. They attacked him on Friday. On Monday he and I went to a neighbors house, and then he went off with some others to preaching academy I went home and then went to Mrs. Brown's some three miles away. That evening as I was returning home, I saw my two little boys coming to meet me. I didn't know the terrible tidings they had for me. When they got near me one of them said, Ma, John is dead. John daily has killed him. I screamed as loud as I could. I felt as if I wanted to walk and move the earth till I feel dead. This was November 8, 1874. I felt as if I could never bear this blow. The boys had met somewhere that day and it was told that my son took hold of the fellow and some sharp words were passed, then he shot my poor boy through the brain. One witness said he shot him while dying and said, I told you what I would do to you. He went home, told his old father what he had done and fled the country. I couldn't bear to see my darling boy dead, murdered. I went to one of my neighbors and asked him to let my poor boy be carried there as soon as they could move. They said an inquest would have to be held over him he said and they might carry him to his house. I felt, as I could never stay in my house another night if my poor murdered boy was carried there. They kept him right where he was killed, all night, until he was carried from there to the grave. The grave closed over my precious boy. The mainstay and supporter of my family. Oh! My God what could I do without my boy? I couldn't bear to look on my murdered boy. Some people were unprincipled to say that I wouldn't let him be carried in my house. The neighbors told me to let the coroners bury him, that he was paid to do it and the law would compel him to bury him decent. I wanted to send to town and get a suit, but they said the clothes couldn't be put on him. I was so near crazy, I didn't know what to do. I never saw him, and after he was buried, I found out that he was buried worse than any Negro was ever buried. Some of the people would talk and say so much about me, that my heart was almost broken, for I felt of all God's creatures, I was surely the most unfortunate, and I certainly did have more trouble than any other poor woman on earth. Next day, I went to town as court was still in session and tried to get a true bill against the murderer, but his father being a free mason, he came cheap. They made it out a justifiable homicide. Mr. Dailey's son-in-law told me that Mr. Daily said that he had his gun loaded with fifteen buck shots to kill my son. It was a clear case of premeditated murder and the villain that killed my son was never put in jail. Thanks be to God there is a day of retribution ahead when justice will be meted out to him. I am wicked hearted enough to wish to see the old man and the son hung to the same limb. I do hope and pray that my murdered boy will rise in the judgment against them, and I hope the crime will stare the murderer in the face and that he may never see one moment's peace while he lives. I have suffered many sorrowful hours, and I would be willingly have died in his stead if it could have been possible. I would see no way to bear up under this great affliction. I wrote to my mother and she came to see me to try to console me in that trying hours, but there was no peace or consolation for me. I could neither eat nor sleep. In my imagination, I could see my poor boy in death struggling, and that villain shooting him while dying, still trying to add torture to his victim I thought of his soul where was it? Was it with the Savior or with the lost?

He was an honest boy and my only help. He had some noble traits. I have felt for sometime that such as he was, such principles as he had would never be doomed to eternal punishment that the Kingdom of God was composed of that, that was good and true, and if he was in and through the blessed Savior. He in early life told me a very good experience. I have hopes of his being at rest. I dreamed one night that some young people came to my house to have a dance. Your children are not dead but living. I thought they meant Eternal Life. I often felt consolation from that dream. My mother wished for me to sell out and leave the county that had been the source of so much distress to me. As I couldn't sell the place, I went from place to place, but still my troubles were the same. I finally rented my place and went back to Crawford County. I couldn't stay long in one place and again I went from place to place. I boarded my oldest boy with my sister in Bibb County to go to school. My brother hired the other largest for a shepherd boy, and he also took my least son to do what he could for his board. My little daughter and I went from place to place. Brother was to pay me $5.00 a month for my son to guard sheep. He took him about Christmas and he stayed till May. He got tired of running through briars and thorns, and my brother's wife hurt his feelings besides. He had to stay in the swamp Sunday as same as any other day, therefore he quit. I never asked him for any pay and he never paid me anything for the time he stayed, which was between twenty and twenty five dollars. I went to Pulaski in June and left my little boys. One was still at brothers and one in Bibb County. A few days after my arrival in Pulaski, my little boys came. We stayed till August then went to Bibb. In the fall I wrote to one of my friends to rent my place out for me. I rented a place to live on in Bibb. So as to send my children to school I lived near Shiloh Church. It seemed that the place belonged to the man's wife, and she wanted hands to live there she said. I rented another and moved again. I wasn't able to pay house rent and as we didn't like to live there much anyway. I wrote to the old gentleman that had rented my place to know if he would let me have my house, as he had not moved into it. I didn't like to have it stand without anyone living in it. He wrote for me to come on. We packed up and moved again to Pulaski. When we got there an old lady and her daughter that lived alone wished for us to live with them for company. So as she had two houses we lived in one and they in the other. We stayed there till November. I lived very well satisfied with them and they also seemed satisfied. The old lady's daughter was badly afflicted and was able to sit up but very little, but she was one of the best women that ever lived. She was the most patient mortal I ever saw. She bore the sufferings without a murmur and always seemed to love as well as if we were related to her. I found out that home was the best place after all. I could feel more at liberty there than anywhere else. So we moved back to the same place for the third time. In 1876 and resolved to stay there to try to make a living. I didn't rent the land out that year, the boys said if I could get a horse they would try to make a crop themselves. They were large enough then to do good work. After a hard struggle we succeeded in getting an old horse. I paid $30.00 cash and promised to pay $70.00 more in the fall. We made a splendid crop of corn and three bales of cotton. We got along very well that year. In September my oldest son and another young man started to Bibb on a visit and drove my horse. When they got to Macon the horse was taken away from them, and they were arrested, but were released but they lost the horse. He had been stolen from a Negro, three years before by a tobacco wagoner. The boys had to walk home. When my son returned he said, "Mama, Auntie said for you to go up there in December as two of her daughters are going to get married, the 12th of that month. I was very anxious to attend the wedding. I made my arrangements to go, I went on Saturday before the marriages were to take place on Wednesday after that morning. Before I started one of the boys' came to me and said, "Ma, I am going to town to get a pistol that I left at the gun shop. I am going to sell it and buy me some clothes." That will be a good idea, I said, as you have no use for a pistol. He left before I did. Then to save money I went to the station some five miles away, when I could have taken the train within half a mile of my house. I arrived in Macon at 8 o'clock in the evening. My brother-in-law met my little girl and me and carried us out to his house that night. It was twelve miles and a cold ride. We arrived about 12 o'clock in the night, but they were expecting us and had a big fire and we were soon very comfortable. My sister and her children seemed glad to see us. As it was already late we soon retired for the night. There was a great deal of company at sisters next day. All seemed happy and gay, not a cloud seemed to intervene between them and the approaching nuptials of my sisters two lovely daughters, which was to take place the following Wednesday, but Alas! How shortsighted we poor mortals are. All the guests had taken their departure. In the early part of the night, I was sitting in sister's and the girls were in the parlor when I heard footsteps in the hall and looked just in time to see a lady enter the parlor. I saw one of your Aunts sons. He will be here in a few minutes as he has come to tell his mother some dreadful news, said the lady. One of the girls came in the room and said, Oh! Auntie, Cousin Joe has killed a Negro. They have caught him and put him in Macon jail. Oh! My God, how can I bear this? I cried out in agony of spirit. I poured out my soul in prayer to God, that if these afflictions were sent on me for any wrong I had done to strike me dead, but spare my children. The house that was a scene of gaiety and mirth only a short time before, suddenly became a house of weeping and mourning. My son came in very soon and said it was an accident. Buddie told me he never intended to kill the boy. He thought he would scare him a little, and to his dismay the pistol discharged and killed the Negro. We had some friends and they advised him to keep away from the railroads and leave the country, for the boy's father was present at the time his boy was killed and would swear it was done intentionally. There were only two witnesses to the killing, one white man and the old Negro. My poor boy was excited and he ran when he saw the mischief he had done. He went home and told his brother. That night his friends fixed him up and some of them went with him to the river. But they couldn't find a boat to put him across, so they came back to the public road. My poor boy went in by himself, but instead of doing as he was advised to do, went to Ruggard Road and got on the train. He was arrested on the train, carried to Macon and kept there until Monday. As the train went down on Sunday, there were about twenty five men, who on hearing of his arrest had gone to the railroad crossing to take him by force from the officers, that's what my son told me. But he wasn't on the train that day. My visit was ended, but I felt somewhat better by what my son had told me, as I was in a state of fearful anxiety, about my poor unfortunate boy. I never closed my eyes all that long December night. I sat up all night for I was too deeply absorbed in thought to sleep. At 5 o'clock, I started with my brother- in- law, back to Macon and was met at the depot by my son and the martial going back to Hawkinsville. When I saw my poor boy, he told me he didn't do the crime intentionally and tried to cheer me up all the way. When we arrived at the station where we were to change cars, there were such large crowds collected to see the prisoner. I had nearly lost hope for there was a strong guard sent there by the City Council to prevent his being taken from the martial by his friends provided they should attempt to rescue him. But there was no such an attempt made. When we reached Hawkinsville such crowds I never saw before, both black and white. When we stepped from the platform of the cars, they crowded in between us so, that I soon lost sight of him. I followed after the crowd, but didn't see my son again till he was carried to the Courthouse for a preliminary trial. Although we had bitter enemies we had some good friends. When the hour arrived for the trial, I went to the courthouse. The old Negro was put upon the stand first, he testified that he didn't see my son shoot his boy, after he was through the other witness was sworn in. He seemed so much excited that he didn't know what state he lived in. he said nothing in favor or much against my son. He was an honest boy and my only help. He had some noble traits. I have felt for sometime that such as he was, such a precious boy that nothing like this could ever happen to him. I was sure he would acquit, but the prosecuting attorney put the Negro up again and he swore that he did see my son shoot his son. The judge had appointed a young lawyer to defend my son.

[one line of text missing here] speech saying, I find this boy of bright intellect, and common sense should teach you, that it was an accident. That a boy with such good sense wouldn't have committed the crime in cold blood, but these very men that cleared the murderers of my oldest son would have hanged my boy of only 18 years of age for the accidental killing of a Negro. My boy was carried to a jail and locked up. Oh! Mothers, that little babe you fondled in your lap and planned a bright future for it, If we could only look through the sail of time and see what the future had in store for us, I think it would drive us to insanity. I reckon it is best that we short sighted creatures cannot see what is for us until it comes. I went from the courthouse with blighted hopes. I walked home after it was dark and it was five miles. I was nearly exhausted both in body and spirit. At a later hour I lad down to rest but not to sleep. I arose early in the morning and with no refreshments walked back to town to see my boy once more, as there wasn't a safe prison in Hawkinsville. He was to be carried into an adjoining county prison, for they said it wasn't a bailable case, or he could have given bond. When I got to the miserable little prison the sheriff opened the door for me and I went in a little narrow cell I saw my son lying on the floor. I cried out in agony of my soul. Oh! Poor wretched boy! He was greatly moved and wept bitterly. Then all my troubles seemed to rise up in one might heap before me. The trouble I had with my husband, the separating of my daughter dying in an insane asylum, my son who had been both father and brother to his little brothers and sisters dead, murdered and he was my third son who had loved me so much. When I was sick he always stood around my bed watching with fearful anxiety over me. Language cannot express nor pen describe the state of my feelings at that time. The sheriff took hold of me and almost forced me out of the miserable little prison. He seemed to have no feeling or sympathy for a poor heart broken mother. I stayed there until he returned with a conveyance that was to bear my darling boy away to be shut up from the world to await his trial at the Supreme Court. What then God alone knew. When they brought him out and put handcuffs on him, I thought I would die. He had been chained down in the cell but I didn't know it, for he covered up the hand with the blanket, to keep me from seeing it. They carried him away. I looked after him, until I lost sight of him in the distance, and I started back home. I had no minutes or hardly any reason for this blow with the others combined, was more than I could bear. My mental faculties were fast giving away and I was driven almost to insanity. I met some of my friends before I reached home. They talked with me a little and saw that I was nearly crazy. One of them begged me to stay and spend the night with his family, which I did. His family saw plainly that I was losing my mind and I do believe if my friends had not inspired me with hope that my son would not be punished than imprisonment, I certainly would he become a raving maniac. My friends told me that my son would be liberated from prison by his friends that they didn't want to have to shed blood to rescue him. But was going to wait till the excitement was over. They would have him or tear down the prison. This revived me and hope sprang up within my heart that enabled me to bear up under this terrible affliction. Sometimes I could only see the dark side of the picture, then it was all my friends could do to encourage me. I passed many sleepless nights tossed from side to side with my pillow bathed in tears. The sacred scriptures teach us that the redeemed of the earth are they, who have come through great tribulation, have washed their robe and made them white in the blood of the lamb. From the scriptures I sometimes have hope for I certainly have come through great tribulations, such as no other mother or wife ever had to endure. Oh! Mothers and wives, can you sympathize with me? God only knows how I have borne all that has been put upon me. God grant that my robe may be washed in the blood of the lamb and when I am called to die that it may be in the triumphs of a loving faith. My son stayed in prison three months and I went to see him twice. I told him if he had to stay there until court, that I would have a good lawyer to defend him but before court that was to try him for his life, he was liberated from prison. When the news reached me I could hardly believe [three or four words missing here] liberated. The report was greatly exaggerated as it said there was a mighty host of masked men that battered down the prison walls and set the captive free. I was sure this was done by friends which was true, but one of my neighbors tried to impress upon my mind that it was a mob that had taken him out and lynched him. She persisted in telling me that, till I began to believe it. I thought it would certainly kill me. It seemed as if I could choke to death. My nephew was living at my house and said it isn't true and no woman with any feeling at all would have told you such a thing. Your son is safe in the hands of friends and you will hear from him soon. Don't you believe anything that woman says. I again felt encouraged and in a short time I heard from him. He left the country and became a sailor to rove over the dark sea foam. Although, I felt a great uneasiness about him, I felt greatly relieved, anything or anywhere before being confined in a cell awaiting the awful sentence that might have been passed upon him. My dear mother came and spent awhile with me. I heard from my son occasionally. I began to feel that the dark clouds had passed away and the sunshine in the lighted my path once more. My son wrote me a letter just before the Great Russian ship from New York saying:

"Take this letter to my mother

For I'm going across the deep, blue sea.

And when she shall have read it

She'll be glad that she heard from me."

Indeed I was glad to hear from my wandering boy and prayed that God would watch over him and protect him that I might see him again. After the ship went into port at Antwerp, Belgium he wrote to me again saying:

"Take this letter to my mother

For I am across the deep, blue sea

And when she has received it

She'll be glad that she heard from."

He was a sailor about two years, than he was anxious to see us. He wrote to me to go somewhere so he could live with us. I thought I would try to sell my place in Pulaski and go to some other state. Leave the place forever that had been source of so much trouble to me. I disliked very much to leave my aged mother but just a short time before I intended to go, she {Icy Snow B. Fowler} died in December 1879. This was another great trial for me, no more to hear her voice, always full of kindness towards her children, no more to look upon her lovely face, but she had nearly reached her four score years and was ready to go at the Saviors call. Her death was painless for she fell asleep in Jesus and I felt that our loss was her gain, her eternal gain. I tried to be reconciled to her death and to God's Will. But it is hard oh! So hard to give up such a dear, sweet mother as we her children had. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, so blessed be his Holy Name.

I moved to Alabama about the Christmas in 1879. My son went to Montgomery. We went there to see him but couldn't find him and my oldest son becoming so dissatisfied, that he wouldn't stay, so we went back to Eufaula and he, Joe went back to Macon and got a job on the Railroad. My two small children and I stayed in Alabama. I wrote to Montgomery to my sailor boy before I left Eufaula, where I would go from there. I went to the livery stables to hire a conveyance to my sister who lived in Henry County, Alabama but the charge was so great that I didn't feel able to pay it, so we started on foot. I thought that away from town I could get somebody to carry us cheaper than I could hire a conveyance in town, but it was impossible to get anybody to carry us a few miles. I had been sick and was very feeble from loss of appetite. I couldn't eat anything scarcely enough to keep me alive. We walked it in two days. When I reached my sister's house, I was footsore, broken down in body and nearly so in spirits. I was quite sick for a few days, my brother-in-law sent back to Eufaula after my bedding. It was on the eve of his moving, but waited till he could send for my goods. When they came he moved me to the place he was going to first and sister stayed [a few words missing]. The next day after I left my boy came. When sister [a few words missing] with them. My little girl saw him and ran to tell me her [a few words missing], Mama. Don't you want to see Buddie? she asked. Oh! Yes, you [a few words missing] Get up then he is coming, she said for I was lying down. [a few words missing] met him at the gate. I was so glad to see my dear boy again. [a few words missing] my story is nearly ended. I have lived very quietly with my [a few words missing] the past five years and if it was not for the painful recollection [a few words missing] I would be happy. My children are devoted to me and I to them. The [a few words missing] own now, my little babe of that awful night is now a blooming young [a few words missing] the pride of my heart. I have had a hard road to travel, but I am [a few words missing] my journey's end. I have given all my children a common education. [a few words missing] all healthy and able to work for their living. All honest and that is [one word missing] consolation. I have a good home and plenty to live on. I have good health, though old before my time, I am yet able to assist my children in making a living. This is a true story (except for names) every word as near as my memory can tell. I can hardly understand that I have a good mind as I have.

Young ladies, I cannot close my narrative without saying a few words to you. Never marry against the wishes of your parents, for if you do you will live to repent it. It is a true saying "Marry in haste and repent at leisure" such has been my sad case. When that father objects to your beau, he knows far better than you do. You may be blinded by love as I was and think the man you love incapable of treating you wrong, but I know by sad experience that if I had taken the advice of my dear parents, I might have been spared all this trouble. All the suffering both mental and physical, but it's too late now. I have reaped well the regard of disobedience to them. A few words to parents although I don't feel competent of giving advice, but what say may help you. Don't' let your daughters get grown too soon, keep them in short dresses until they are old enough to be grown in age as well as in size. Never allow them to keep a young man's company till they are of a proper age. Never joke them about young men that you would not be willing for them to marry. When young men begin to pay their respects to your daughters object to him at once. Do not let them keep each other's company in that way they do not get attached to one another. I ask the prayers of Gods people who may chance to read a short history of my life, pray for me and my children. I have heard nothing direct from the man I once loved so well and the father of my children in about thirteen years. His people say that he is still living though we heard nothing directly. We did hear from good authority that he is dead. If he is living he has [one word missing here] himself from his children, for he has not written a line to one of them since 1872. He has shown plainly that he cares nothing for them now. In conclusion I again as the prayers of God's people that I may be reconciled to the will of God and if he has so willed it, for me to have the trials and afflictions that I have passed through. I have no right to say, "Jehovah, why doeth thou these things?" When I have lived out the days that are allotted to me on this earth, may I be found ready to go to meet that dear father and mother we have gone before is my prayer

For

In my Lord's appointed ways

My journey I'll pursue

Hinder me not ye much loved saints

For I must go with you

The End

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11/04/2009 Last updated

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