Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sleuthing out the slave owner

I spent half of yesterday following the trail of names found on the civil war pension applications. I couldn't find the name of the last slave owner of John and Catherine Alexander but there were plenty of clues. Being a little gun shy, I don't want to say equivocally who it is yet but I'm pretty sure I'm close.

My aunt Hortense believed that the name of the last slave owner was Huffman. I had no reason not to believe her until I was told two other contradicting stories. However, I am inclined to believe that John Huffman was his last slave owner. Here is the evidence:

1. John was buried in Huffman graveyard according to the pension application for his widow.

2. Sylvester Ames, a comrade in arms, who also enlisted on the same day and location, stated that his slave owner was G.D. and J.W. Huffman. I believe that John and Sylvester came from the same locale and possibly the same farm.

3. Two of John's witness that stated they knew him most of his life were J.S. and Julia Felder. Julia was the daughter of John Huffman, the same Huffman that lives in the same area as John on the 1880 census.

This is my circumstantial evidence. However when I look at the slave schedules for Mississippi, I find corresponding ages for John, Catherine, and Sylvester but not for the young children of John and Catherine that were born in 1858 and 1860. And the schedule is for Amite County not Pike County. So I am not 100 percent sure. Yet.

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