Talk:Letter from a Freedman to His Old Master

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Information about this edition
Source: New York Daily Tribune, Tuesday, August 22, 1865
Level of progress:

Author data[edit]

Do you have basic biographical data for the writer of the letter? If so, would you be able to add it to the author page using the {{author}} template, otherwise if you paste the base data here, someone can create it with that data. Also, if there is biographical page off-site, we would link to that as well. Thanks. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:30, 7 February 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I don't, alas. Most of the sources I have are on the text itself. Roscelese (talk) 02:29, 9 February 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Here is a copy of a message citing U.S. Census data from

31 January 2012, 02:33 AM

Join Date: 30 January 2012 Location: Portland, OR Posts: 1 Default census confirmation

As further support of the authenticity of the letter and its contents, I direct the reader to the 1870, 1880, and 1900 federal censii for Dayton, Ohio which show Jordan Anderson (b Dec 1825 in Tennessee) in a household with his wife Amanda (b Oct 1829 in Tennessee). In the 1870 census, five years after the letter was published, they were listed with four of their children -- 19-year-old Jane, 12-year-old Felix (Grundy?), 5-year-old William, and 1-year-old Andrew. Over the years, Amanda had had eleven children, only six of whom were still living in 1900. Three of the children we were living with them 1900, including their 29-year-old son Valentine, a physician. In the years of the censii, Jordan lists himself as hostler, a coachman, and a butler. He cannot read or write, and Amanda can only read, but all of his children attend school in the records shown.

Patrick Henry Anderson Sr., born 1823 in Tennessee, merchant and farmer of Wilson County, Tennessee, appears in the federal censii of 1850 and 1860, with his wife Mary Ann, and his children Patrick Henry Jr., Martha, Pauldin, Timis, Edgar Poe (Allen?), and Mary. The slave schedules of 1860 show him as the owner of thirty-two slaves, including a 34-year-old male who could be Jordan. There's a three-year-old boy who could be Felix and a ten-year-old girl who could be Jane, but Amanda doesn't seem to be in the list, unless her age has been misrecorded. As genealogists will know, slave schedules did not include the names of the slaves, just their age, sex, and whether they were black or mulatto (of mixed ancestry). Notably, seven of the slaves, all of them minors, were listed as mulatto, however the distribution of ages of slaves (in particular the lack of female slaves of the correct age to be mothers) suggest that many of the younger slaves came from different owners originally.

According to other published and online records of his family tree, P.H. Anderson died in 1867. His son, P.H. Jr., the Henry mentioned in the letter, appears in censii in Wilson County as late as 1880.

There are multiple George Carters in Wilson County in the period in question, but the likely one is a carpenter who appears in censii in 1850, 1860, and 1870 in the same township as the Andersons. Before the war he owned two slaves, and each was mulatto.

Member name: pdbg

See Author:Jordan Andersonbillinghurst sDrewth 15:33, 3 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]