The silver child’s cup that I’m holding left me speechless as did the sentiment behind it when Joel Brink gave it to me during our first meeting this past Sunday. Joel is an art historian who has published several books about his and his wife’s families. His wife, Joan descends from a family who owned my great, great-grandmother, Tempy Burton.
The cup belonged to Martha “Mattie” McCauley who died at age 18 in 1860. Her mother owned my great, great-grandmother, Temple Burton. Tempy was later given as a wedding present to Mattie’s sister, Elizabeth when she married my great, great-grandfather, Colonel W.R. Stuart. Undoubtedly, as their slave, Tempy was in charge of keeping this beautiful cup looking shiny in the McCauley’s Mississippi home. Joan and Joel gave it to me because it was something probably touched by Tempy. As Joan wrote in her beautiful note that sent me sobbing more than once, this cup is a reminder of the connection between our families, now renewed.