Search This Blog

Monday, October 8, 2018

Rev. Mark L. Andrews family - in black and white - Part I

On May 27, 2004, a historical marker was dedicated on a hill next to the Indoor Soccer Complex near the intersection of Boyd Mill Avenue and Downs Boulevard in Franklin, Tennessee. It was placed at the Andrews Family cemetery honoring Rev. Mark Lyell Locke Andrews. Rev. Andrews' son enslaved a young girl named Vergy before the Civil War and when she was an elderly woman she gave an interview to Fisk University researchers.  I have used her words to help piece together her life's story.  But first, I wanted to trace the history of the Andrews family and some of those they enslaved.

Mark Andrews (1740-1821) and Winifred Lyell

The first Mark Andrews (1740-1821) moved from Virginia to Williamson County around 1800 with his wife Winifred Lyell. The couple – using Mark Andrews’ Revolutionary War veteran status - purchased a $600 North Carolina land grant for 320 acres in the Bethesda community of Williamson County from John Donelson - one of the earliest settlers of Nashville. Three of Mark and Winifred Andrews' sons soon followed to Williamson County including, George and his wife Sarah Pearson Locke. Later their remaining children followed. 


In the 1820 federal Census, Mark and Winifred Andrews were counted as enslaving seven people; Mark and Winifred were the only free white people living on their farm. On December 23, 1820, Mark Andrews, wrote his will. Interestingly, he described the disposition of nine people, not seven:

1. Lucinda: a "negro girl”
2. Alice: "a negro woman”
3. Lahan: a “negro boy”
4. George: a “negro boy”
5. Dick: a “negro boy”
6. Luke: a “negro man”
7. Matilda: “a “negro girl”
8. Kizzia: a “negro girl”
9. Armon: a “negro woman”
Mark Andrews' will dated December 23, 1820,
filed in the January 1821
session of Williamson County, TN court
According to Mark Andrews' will the futures of these enslaved people were spelled out this way:
  • after the death of his wife Winifred, 
    • Lucinda was to be inherited by their son John 
    • Alice and Lahan were to “be sold to the highest bidders"
    • George was to be inherited by their daughter Leannah Andrews Yarborough
    • Dick was to be inherited by their daughter Tilpah Andrews Murrell 
    • Luke and Matilda were to be inherited by their son George
  • upon his death, Kizzia and Armon were to be inherited by his daughter Polly Andrews Dean - provided Polly paid off a debt against her in a court case - if she didn't Armon was to be sold to settle the debt
In 1821, Mark Andrews died.  His wife Winifred received his assets.   However, in 1824 a "lunacy petition" was filed to obtain control over her estate - the document states that "from the shock she received on the death of her husband Mark Andrews, & from extreme old age being about ninety years of age or some other cause is incapable of managing her business."  The document stated that her husband had left to her "seven negroes (to wit) a negro man named Luke about fifty-seven years of age. Alice, a negro woman between thirty six and forty years of age, a negro woman named Lucinda about eighteen years of age, George, a negro man about twenty four or five years of age, Dick a negro boy about fifteen years of age, Matilda a negro girl about fifteen or twenty years of age & a negro boy named Lahan about twelve years of age. . ."  This was the first indication of the ages of the people enslaved by the Andrews family that we were able to obtain.


December 9, 1824 Portion of Lunacy Petition hearing held at Winifred Andrews' home in Williamson County

Winifred died in 1827 and it appears as though at that time, the futures of her enslaved people were followed out according to her late husband Mark Andrews' will.

George Andrews (1765-1842) and Sarah Pearson Locke

George Andrews (1765-1842) was the second child of Mark and Winifred Andrews. In 1795, when he was 29 years old, he married Sally Pearson Locke. The couple appears to have soon after moved from Virginia to Fayette County, Kentucky and started a family. By 1810 the couple was living near Lexington, KY and raising a family of 8 children under 15 years old - 6 boys and 2 girls. They also were enslaving two people of African descent.

On February 28, 1813, George Andrews purchased Land Grant #17832 in Williamson County. He and Sally moved their large family to Williamson County to be near his parents and siblings.

By the time of the 1820 federal Census, the household contained 10 free white people and five enslaved people. Of the enslaved people, one was a male aged 14-25 years old, the other 3 were females. One female was aged 26-44 years old; the other two were females under 14. George and Sarah’s part of the household was made up of themselves and their eight children including two young daughters recently added to to the family. Also, most of their oldest sons were still living at home as well as their teenaged children.


In 1827, according to the provisions of his father's will, George inherited "one negro man named Luke and one negro girl named Matilda."

By the time of the 1830 Census, George Andrews was 65 years old. He and his wife Sally still had children at home - 5 boys and 3 girls – all teenagers and young adults. They were also enslaving ten people - among them were possibly Luke and Matilda.
1836 Tax List Record for Williamson County, Tennessee
In 1836, George Andrews (now recognized as George Andrews, Sr) was assessed taxes in Williamson County. He owned 200 acres of land for which he paid $3 of tax. He was also charged for six taxable slaves (more than anyone else on this page); he paid $5.00 in taxes for that privilege. He owned no carriages and paid no poll tax - probably due to his age.

Four years later, at the time of the 1840 Census, George Andrews’ household had decreased to nine free white persons. They had increased the number of enslaved people since the last census by three to thirteen. Interestingly, George Andrews had also taken on a free, biracial man as an apprentice. When he was 21,
 David McLemore  "was bonded out to George Andrews ... to learn the skills of a blacksmith."

On June 9, 1842, George Andrews wrote his will. In it he – as his father had 21 years earlier- described the disposition of the enslaved people he was holding in bondage.
  • He left Adaline, a “negro girl”, to his daughter Elizabeth
  • He left Celia, a “negro girl”, to his daughter Parmelia
  • He left Lotty, a “negro woman” and her child, to his grandchildren Gustavus and Sarah Andrews 

George Andrews' Will, dated June 9, 1842, in which he leaves to his daughter
Elizabeth "a negro girl named Adaline", to his daughter Parmelia "a negro girl
named Celia", to his grandchildren Gustavus and Sarah Andrews he left "a
negro woman named Lotty and her child".

However, apparently, when George Andrews died on July 4, 1842, his estate owed debts that it could not pay. The executors (two of his sons) appeared in Williamson County Court in November 1842 to obtain a decree granting them permission to sell the estate’s slaves and some land to raise the funds. 
August 1842 Probate in Williamson County - Enslaved people from the estate of George Andrews were sold to settle debts.

On December 30, 1842, at George Andrews’ home the following enslaved people were sold:
  • James [45 year old] to E. B. [Ephraim Beverly] Andrews for $305
  • Marcus [40 years old] to B. B. [Brockenbrough] Andrews for $400
  • Martin [20 years old] to John T. Andrews for $650
  • Robert ["Bob" 22 years old] to John T. Andrews for $650
  • Peter [18 years old] to M. M. [Mark Montgomery] Andrews for $295
  • Matilda [aged 35 years old] & child [aged about 9 months] to M. L. [Mark Lyle] Andrews for $490
  • Amanda [aged 7 years old] to M. L. [Mark Lyle] Andrews for $240
  • Malissa [aged about 5 years] to M. L. [Mark Lyle] Andrews for $200
  • Clay [aged 3 years old] to M. L. [Mark Lyle] Andrews for $175
  • Luke [aged about 75 years old] & Celia [aged about 55 years] to Jno T. Andrews for $1
"Negro girl" Named Matilda. The woman Matilda who appears on this list was probably the same “negro girl” named Matilda described in Mark Andrews’ 1820 will and inherited by his son George Andrews 15 years earlier. Per these probate documents, in 1842, Matilda was sold to George Andrews’ son Mark Lyle Andrews for $490. Also sold to Mark Lyle Andrews were three children under the age of ten. I suspect those children were Matilda’s children; thankfully this means they would have been kept with their mother and siblings.

"Luke, A Negro Man."
 Regarding the elderly Luke, sold as part of a lot along with 55-year-old Celia for $1, I assume that this is the same Luke who was described as “Luke, a negro man” in Mark Andrews’ December 23, 1820 will. George inherited Luke from his father and appears to have enslaved him for the next 15 years until his own death. Luke was sold to John T. Andrews, George Andrews’ son, continuing the tradition of Luke’s enslavement by fathers and sons.

All of the people enslaved by George Andrews were sold to his sons and relatives – keeping the enslaved people within the Andrews extended family. It’s worth noting that typically enslaved people who were sold as part of probate sales in Williamson County were sold at the courthouse door on the square in Franklin to the highest bidder. In this case, the executors chose to hold the auction out of town at the family home. Perhaps this is because they intended for family members only to bid on those people previously held in bondage by their father.

I mention this not to make it appear that the Andrews were “good slave owners” or “kind” or any of the other terms that people sometimes use. I don’t believe there was such a thing. I do not think it was possible to have been holding someone against their will (with the power to sell them, their spouse, their siblings, their children, or their parents – even if you never did those things - and still be a “good slave owner” or a “kind slave owner.” No matter how well you "treated" or fed or clothed the people you enslaved you could not be a kind slave owner and still participate in this barbaric arrangement.

Rev. Mark Lyell Andrews
Rev. Mark L. Andrews

Eliza Dean Andrews
1799-1878
In 1842, when George Andrews' son Mark Lyell Andrews purchased 35 year old Matilda, Amanda, Malissa, Clay and her infant, he was 45 years old. He and his wife Eliza Dean had been married for 26 years and he had been a preacher in the local Methodist Church for 20 years and was an ordained elder. The couple had seven children – three girls and four boys. The youngest Andrews child, Mark L. Andrews, Jr. was born shortly before the purchase of Matilda and her children and would have been about the same age as Matilda’s infant. 

In order to support his family and cover the expenses for the farm where he kept those he enslaved, Mark L. Andrews was the clerk of the Circuit Court of Williamson County from 1840 - 1874. During this time, some of his sons were farming the family property located two miles west of Franklin near the intersection of Downs Boulevard and Boyd Mill Pike where the historic marker is located.

Mark L. Andrews family home
During the 1850 census, their sons Ephraim and John T. were enumerated living at home and were listed as farmers. The couple’s real estate was valued at $5,300 – which included their substantial brick home and real estate. Their son William Andrew was working as a tobacconist in Franklin and later opened a grocery store.

1850 Federal Census, Williamson County, TN District 5 - Entry for Mark L. Andrews and family

During the next ten years, many of Mark and Eliza Andrews’ children grew up and left home. 

By 1854, I believe the little 4-year-old Vergy joined the nearby farm of Mark L. Andrews' son John T.  See my next post for her story.

Below is a list of all the names of the people enslaved by the Mark Andrews, George Andrews, Mark L. Andrews and John T. Andrews family that I came across - as well as year of birth when I was able to calculate it.  I hope this might help some families with their genealogy searches some day.
  1. Adaline (enslaved by George Andrews, left to daughter Elizabeth)
  2. Alice b. 1786 (enslaved by Mark Andrews, and then his son George)
  3. Amanda b. 1835 (perhaps Matilda’s daughter) (enslaved by George Andrews, then sold to Mark Lyle Andrews)
  4. Armon (woman) (sold by Mark Andrews)
  5. Celia b. 1767 (enslaved by George Andrews, then sold to John T. Andrews)
  6. Clay b. 1839 (perhaps Matilda’s son) (enslaved by George Andrews, then sold to Mark Lyle Andrews)
  7. Dick b. 1809 (enslaved by Mark Andrews, and then his son George)
  8. George b. 1800 (enslaved by Mark Andrews, and then his son George)
  9. James b. 1797 (enslaved by George Andrews, sold to Ephraim Beverly Andrews)
  10. Kizzia (sold by Mark Andrews)
  11. Laban (man) b. 1812 (enslaved by Mark Andrews, and then his son George)
  12. Lotty (enslaved by George Andrews, left to grandchildren Gustavus and Sarah)
  13. Lotty’s child (enslaved by George Andrews, left to grandchildren Gustavus and Sarah)
  14. Lucinda b.1806 (enslaved by Mark Andrews, and then his son George)
  15. Luke b. 1767 (enslaved by Mark Andrews, and then his son George, and then sold to John T. Andrews)
  16. Malissa b. 1837 (perhaps Matilda’s daughter) (enslaved by George Andrews, then sold to Mark Lyle Andrews)
  17. Marcus b. 1802 (enslaved by George Andrews, sold to Brockenbrough Andrews)
  18. Martin b. 1822 (enslaved by George Andrews, sold to John T. Andrews)
  19. Matilda b. abt 1806 (enslaved by Mark Andrews, and then his son George, and then sold to Mark Lyle Andrews)
  20. Matilda’s child b. March 1824 (enslaved by George Andrews, and sold to Mark Lyle Andrews)
  21. Peter b. 1824 (enslaved by George Andrews, sold to Mark Montgomery Andrews)
  22. Robert “Bob” b. 1820 (enslaved by George Andrews, sold to John T. Andrews)






No comments:

Post a Comment