Attala County, Mississippi

         


The Star-Herald, Kosciusko, Miss.,Oct. 4, 1979

HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS

Ex-Slave Part of Heritage

By Joyce W. Sanders

  A beautiful instance of the affection of a Negro Slave for his master is found in the life of Lewis Donald who refused to accept his freedom at the end of the Civil War. Lewis apent the rest of his life with his former owner, Harrison P. Donald. The children of the Donald Family are said to have held great affection for Lewis. When they had company and the girls saw that the food was getting scarce on the dishes, one of the Donald girls would have her plate replenished and then leave it for Uncle Lewis. In his last illness Mrs. Bettie Donald Marchall nursed him. One of his requests was that he be buried at 'Marse Billy's feet and there he remains to this day. His funeral was attended by all the most prominent citizens of that day.
  This story was told by Mrs. James Bruce when she was the Attala County Librarian by Kelly Beauchamp. Mr. Kelly has always been interested in our local heritage and has helped locate and copy many of the older and less known cemeteries and graveyards. We are very appreciative and say "Thanks a lot."
  Before his death Amos T. Allen wrote an epistle about his ancestors and their way of life. I'd like to pass along part of it in this article, the part concerning the early population of Attala County. "My first recollection is that the population

was very light, when compared to what it is now. When my father (John Braxton Allen) first settled in Attala County, white settlements were very few and far between. In 1838 one-half were Indians and the other half were whites and Negroes. But the Indians, thought friendly to the whites, gradually left the county and went west of the Mississippi."   "There was one old Indian Chief who had sered under Uncle Gabriel Allen at the Battle of New Orleans, named Charley Durant, who loved Uncle Gabriel so well that he would call on my Father because he was kin to Captain Allen. Every time he passed through the country to the Yazoo Bottoms on their hunting expeditions. (My Father was a Major of State Guards.) When my Father would put on his fine uniform for General Durant, the old Indian's eyes would sparkle like fire. Then Father would have the Indian put on another of his uniforms, buckle his sword on the red man, put a cap on him and go through the Manuel of Arms which Capt. Allen did at New Orleans: "Stand to your collar, my braves."
  "This old Indians's visit would bring pleasure to my Father and Mother, as they both could talk enough Choctaw language to converse with each other. But General Durant went over the 'Father of Waters' in 1844 and was buried in 'the Happy Hunting Ground' of His Father."
     In this article Amos Allen states that his great grandfather was Richard Allen born in North Carolina in 1768. He was of English descent and was a soldier in some of the wars with the British and Indians in the early settlement of North Carolina and Tennessee. Richard married a Scottish lady, Mary Braxton, and settled in Dickson County, Tennessee. Here his son and the grandfather of Amos Allen was born. His name was William and he was born in 1789. His father, John Braxton Allen, was born in Dickson County on October 7, 1809. Here also was born on September 11, 1811, Elizabeth Herrod. The Herrod and Allen families migrated to Marengo County, Alabama, in 1818 and thence in 1822 to Madison County, Mississippi. In 1828 John B. Allen and Elizabeth Herrod were married near Canton and in 1838 the families, or part of them moved on to Attala County.
  Amos Allen and Adaline Cagle, daughter of Paul Cagle, were married February 22, 1852. On September3, 1868, Adaline died and left six children; Amos later married her sister, Minerva, who was the widow of his brother, Daniel, who had been killed at the Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee. Amos and Minerva were the parents of seven. There are many descendants of Amos Allen still living in Attala...Too numerous to attempt naming. Among them are Ryals, Allen, Bell, Standard, Flint, etc.

  

copyright © 1979, Joyce W. Sanders. All rights reserved.


The above article appeared in the October 4, 1979 Star-Herald, Kosciusko, Ms. It is republished here with the knowledge and consent of Joyce W. Sanders.


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