Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Slavery Questions - Emotions

A story of the human emotions and the ties between slave and master are recorded in the diary of Ann Quigley, headmistress of Barton Academy. A description of the separation of Ann E. Roberts, who died in 1867 before her sixth birthday, and her black playmate, unfolds between the pages of the diary. Little Annie, daughter of Reuben Roberts, was anguished when the emancipated family servant Eliza left and took her daughter Julia out of the house. In the diary there is no further reference to the child Julia, but the servant Eliza returned to the household without her daughter in time for the 1870 census. Ann Quigley was a sister-in-law of Reuben Roberts, great uncle of Joel Ninde. Recent research by Ray Isbell in 2005 has discovered that Biddie Quigley, Reuben’s mother-in-law, owned fifteen slaves as late as 1860, immediately preceding the Civil War. The burning question is why a city woman would have so many slaves. [i]

The census records show no slaves in any Pillans family. Daisy Pillans wrote in her diary that they had several servants when she married. Daisy was married to Harry Pillans, cousin of Joel Ninde’s father Willis. Daisy came to adulthood during and after the Civil War.[ii]
[i] Isbell records, 910 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama[ii] Ibid.

No comments: