Lena and Eva are the only two of this generation born after emancipation. Lena was born in the dead of winter 1872 in Red Oak, South Carolina. Lena’s parents had been enslaved by the local Glover landowners. As members of the First Baptist Church, Lena would know Joe Brown, a recently freed enslaved man who family was controlled by James C. Brown. Lena would set up home in Allendale and raise at least four children, Linton, Joe Jr., William, and Richard. Lena would care for the home and children, as well as work as farm laborer and odd jobs to make ends meet. Lena and Joe would live well into the twentieth century, educating their children to fight against Jim Crow laws and secure an opposed livelihood. Also in Allendale was Eva Thompson, born summer of 1860. As a teen she would meet and wed Whitehall native Sam Frazier, who family had relocated to Allendale after emancipation. Eva and Sam’s ownership is unknown, but if was certainly physically and emotionally abusive and long-lasting. The end of the Civil War made it better on paper, but African American families still struggle to right themselves. Eva would bare ten children, including her daughter Nancy born in 1886. Both Eva and Sam would labor as tenant farmers, with the family moving to Savannah in the mid-twenties where Eva assisted with her grandchildren education and security. Eva’s daughter Nancy would raise a family with Lena’s son Joe Jr. Nancy had arrived a babe in arms as a rare second-generation emancipated person, her four grandparents had all been through a horrid life of enslavement. She bore children just after emancipation, during the destructive conditions of rural Confederate America. As the local families endeavored to create their own lives, Nancy married Joe Jr., whose grandparents David and Millie Brown has been enslaved by James C. Brown, who owned 140 African Americans in Barnwell, now Allendale, County. Nancy set up home in Allendale, Joe securing work as a farm laborer and ‘sawmill work’ at EF Woodward in nearby Appleton. Nancy was a homemaker, tending to the farm and raising the children. After the birth of her tenth and final children, the family moved to Savannah, looking for more opportunity. Joe took up work as a factory laborer while Nancy not only continued home duties but also worked as a farm laborer. Nancy and her brood lived at 142 Lathrop, now Oglethorpe, Avenue. Joe died just before Christmas in 1942, buried in Laurel Grove South. Nancy lived another decade, helping tend to her growing grandchild base, finally succumbing at age 63. Born in the ever-burdening Southern Reconstruction and Jim Crow lifestyle, Nancy prepared her family to fight for their rights and allow her family to push onward through challenging and arduous times, arriving stronger than before!
merican Pioneer Chronicles:
Southern Women: the heart, sweat, soul—the foundation of our Nation
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