There seems no end to the documentation of my great, great-grandfather’s life. Like they say at Disney World, it is a small world after all and my ancestor, Col. W. R. Stuart seems to have run across every person in it. Above is a letter written to him by the one and only president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, part of the Samuel Richey Collection of the Southern Confederacy at Miami University. Stuart was a Confederate like Davis, but the 1884 letter is a different kind of business. Davis was trying to buy a ram from the Colonel who raised them along with pecans. My cousin, Monique found the letter through a Google search while trying to find images of the Colonel’s company logo.
It would be nice to find as much information about my enslaved ancestors as I do about the people who owned them like the Colonel. I’ll keep trying. Meanwhile, as a kind of beacon of hope, I offer up the following picture of the masthead of an 1860 edition of the anti-slavery newspaper, “The Liberator.” It was given to me by my friend, Dave Pettee who I met through Coming to the Table, an organization that brings together descendants of slaves and slave holders to heal the legacy of slavery.