African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Historic Madison: Freed slaves made mark

Historic Madison Inc. The July 7, 1903, the Wisconsin State Journal noted that there were a number of former slaves living in Madison. "Of Madison's estimated 20,000 population, probably 100 of that number are colored folk, several of whom have been slaves. Mr. Turner, although somewhat reluctant to talk about himself, can relate many heart-rending tales. His stories of the selling and buying of slaves in the public market is most pathetic, and includes numerous details never elaborated upon by history. He said that often slaves had left their wives and children in the morning to go into the fields to work and before nightfall would be sold and not even allowed to return and say goodbye to their little ones. In speaking of these slave auctions he said young girls in the bud of womanhood and boys in the same stage of life would be brought upon these auction stands, and stripped of their garments to be examined by coarse men in much the same manner as do the farmers size up horses on the local market." Several former slaves are buried at Forest Hill Cemetery: • William Anderson (1836-1919) was raised on a plantation near St. Louis. Though he said his master and mistress were kind, when their children took over the estate, William's life became harsh. At 15 he was sold to a planter at Humbolt, Tenn. He joined the 13th Wisconsin during the Civil War, serving as cook for quartermaster Andrew Sexton of Madison. He returned to Madison with the major commanding his unit. He farmed while attending school at night, was a coachman for Tim Brown, and then served on the house staff of J.C. Gregory. • Elisha Williams (1844-81) was a slave in Georgia. During Sherman's attack on Atlanta he sought refuge in the Union lines and was liberated by the 12th Wisconsin Regiment. He came to Madison after the war, where he worked for W.H. Fitch, W. Liddel, C.L. Williams and Gov. W.H. Smith. • Dennis Hughes (1850-1928) was born a slave near Tuscaloosa, Ala. At age 6 he was sold to a planter in southern Mississippi. He ran away at age 13 and was hostler for a northern general. Then he joined the Illinois Colored Infantry and was present at Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender. He was a janitor in Madison. Full Story:


Post a Comment

<< Home