Wednesday, April 29, 2015

(SMITH) The Slave that Got Away

In 1783, William Holt owned 21 slaves—more than any other Williamsburg resident at the time. If the British Army had cooperated, he would have owned 22.1

During the American Revolution, the British commander-in-chief2 hoped to weaken the American economy3 via the Philipsburg Proclamation, which proclaimed freedom to all slaves owned by American patriots and promised protection to slaves who left their masters.4 Thousands of slaves escaped to the British lines.5

Accordingly, one condition of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the War, prohibited the retreating British from “carrying away any Negroes or other property of the American Inhabitants.”7

General George Washington met with the British to discuss implementation of the treaty terms. Washington reminded them of the importance of returning “all Negroes and other property” to the Americans. The British general, Carleton, said that “in his interpretation, the term property meant property owned by Americans at the time the treaty was signed,” and therefore excluded slaves who had absconded to British lines during the war.8

The Americans were not pleased, but the British stood by their word: they had promised freedom. Although the former slaves had run away because of the Philipsburg Proclamation, Carleton noted that “the Negroes in question” had escaped before he arrived in New York as commander-in-chief. “I had therefore no right, as I thought, to prevent their going to any part of the world they thought proper.”9

Some of the former slaves were evacuated to the Canadian "part of the world." Among those bound for Port Roseway, Nova Scotia was Hannah Jackson, age 12, a “fine girl. Formerly the property of William Holt of Williamsburgh, Virginia.”10

William Holt would simply have to make do with 21 slaves.

**I am NOT condoning slavery, merely reporting history. And for the record, I think it's great that the British kept their word. 

Line of descent:

William Holt 1730-1791
William Holt 1765-1820
John Holt 1792-1872
Jesse Payton Holt 1833-1922
Maria Druzilla Holt 1861-1946
Lucia Naomi Scoville 1889-1958
Alice Zemp 1925-2000

1 - Thad W. Tate, Jr., “The Negro in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg,” Colonial Williamsburg Digital Library,
2 - “American Revolution: General Sir Henry Clinton,”, Accessed 29 Apr 2015
3 - Black Loyalists, “The Philipsburg Proclamation,, Accessed 29 Apr 2015
4 - Wikipedia, “Philipsburg Proclamation,”, Accessed 29 Apr 2015
5 - Wikipedia, “Philipsburg Proclamation,”, Accessed 29 Apr 2015
7 - Black Loyalist, “Treaty of Paris,”, accessed 29 Apr 2015
8 - Black Loyalist, “Evacuation of New York,”, Accessed 29 Apr 2015
9 - Black Loyalist, “Evacuation of New York,”, Accessed 29 Apr 2015. Same reference for entire paragraph.
10 - Black Loyalist, “The Book of Negroes – Transcript,”, Accessed 29 Apr 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

(LUKE) Alexander Garrick, Boiler Maker

Alexander Garrick joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in his native Scotland in 1849, at the age of 18. He emigrated to New York in 1865, continuing on to Salt Lake City in 1878.

After a decade in Salt Lake, Alexander and a partner opened a boilermaker business, Garrick & Holmes. 

This photo was taken years after Alexander's death, hence
"Garrick & Holmes" has been changed to "Samuel Holmes"
[from Shipler Commercial Photographers Collection,
Utah Division of State History website]

They made boilers, water tanks, smoke stacks, and other iron works, promising good work at reasonable prices.

125 years later, the advertisement for their new business is again accessible.

from Salt Lake City, Utah, City Directory, 1893, p. 10

Their desire to “gain a share of public patronage” was apparently successful: the boiler works remained in business on South Temple Street for at least thirty years.

Line of descent:
Alexander Garrick (1831-1893)
Effie Clara Garrick (1883-1966)
Jennie Constance Adamson (1903-1975)
Zenda Constance Lang (1924-2005)

(SCOFIELD) Sitting Out the Civil War

Jesse Arthur Bynum Reid came from a
Jesse Arthur Bynum Reid
family of small landholders and tenant farmers in North Carolina. Not surprisingly, they harvested cotton and tobacco. At the beginning of the Civil War, Jesse headed a family of seven. His wife had several more children during and after the war.

Chimborazo was a convalescent hospital: its patients were typically sick, not wounded. It was the largest Richmond hospital. Jesse was one of 3,550 men admitted to Chimborazo in May 1863; 75,000 patients were admitted during the 3 1/2 years of the hospital's existence.

Whether for duty, honor, lucre, or some other motivator, Jesse enlisted in the Confederate army in March 1862, joining Company K of the 12th North Carolina Infantry Regiment. Digital records shed little light on Jesse's military participation that year. Documents from 1863 are more revealing.

On May 2, 1863, Jesse was admitted to General Hospital #9 in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy, and also the South's largest hospital center. Because of its proximity to the railroad depot, #9 was a receiving hospital. Patients were admitted, assessed, and typically sent elsewhere.

Jesse was processed in good time: on the same day he was transferred to Chimborazo Hospital, also in Richmond.

 Chimborazo Hospital, the "hospital on the hill."

Chimborazo had five divisions, organized by State. Jesse was assigned to Chimborazo 3, with other men from North Carolina. The idea was apparently to throw together men from the same troops, who were then cared for by attendants from their own states. The State divisions also simplified mail delivery.

Jesse did not remain in Chimborazo 3 for long. A few days after his admittance, Jesse was transferred again. On May 7, he was sent to Lynchburg.

Lynchburg was the second largest hospital center in the Confederacy. At the busiest times, Lynchburg was home to more hospital patients than city residents! At any given time, 32 local hospitals cared for 3,000-4,000 soldiers. Eighteen of the hospitals were converted tobacco warehouses. When emptied, these large warehouses made great hospital wards. Statistically, chances are good that Jesse resided in a tobacco warehouse hospital.

Lynchburg tobacco warehouse

Muster rolls state that Jesse was absent, sick at the hospital, throughout the summer of 1863. He might have remained at Lynchburg, or he might have been transferred somewhere else.

Civil War hospital 

By October, he was apparently at Camp Winder (also called Winder Hospital) back in Richmond. Winder Hospital seems to have been well regulated. The hospital had 98 buildings, from necessities, such as employee barracks, cook-houses, and bathhouses, to basic amenities, like a large library and recreation facilities, that made hospital life more pleasant. Winder Hospital also provided regular transportation service to the downtown area and had its own river and canal boats. In this environment, less comfortable than home but superior to the field, Jesse spent his second year of enlistment.

On December 21, 1863, Jesse's war service, as it was, came to an end. After apparently 8 months of convalescing in hospitals, he was discharged for disability.

Discharge and final payment information 

Were it not for his disability, Jesse would have seen action in two spectacular battles. While he was being admitted to the hospital on May 2, the rest of his regiment was 65 miles away fighting the battle of Chancellorsville, which is considered Robert E. Lee's greatest victory of the entire war. While Jesse continued on at the hospital in July, his company engaged in the most famous Civil War battle: Gettysburg.

How Jesse might have felt about sitting out most of the Civil War I don't know. His feelings about the Confederate commander, however, seem to be pretty clear. Five years after the war ended Jesse had another son: Robert Lee Reid.


Line of descent: 
Jesse Arthur Bynum Reid (1829-1875)
John Parry Reid (1853-1936)
Claudia Helen Reid (1889-1961)
Guy Wixon Scofield (1913-1984)