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Her Story and Mine

by on March 5, 2013

I realized from reading through the Luscious Literaries’ blog posts that I neither introduced myself nor said thank you for the invitation to join this wonderful group! For my omissions of southern hospitality, I sincerely apologize.

Thank you, ladies.

As a way of introduction, I am a wife of eighteen years, a mother of thirteen years and have been working full time in human resources for the past six years. I have been known to write a steamy scene or two and I’m not a good cook (though I love to eat). In any spare moment, you’ll find me in the library.

Researching my latest creative work? Not exactly. You see, I’m a family historian. I’ve researched my family lines into the early 1700s here in the United States and I’m beginning the arduous task of researching my Lowe line into Cuba…and I can’t read any of the records!

But on to her story in honor of Women’s History Month! I’d like to introduce you to Mahala Hathorn, my third great-grandmother.

Fotolia_13106582_XSTo date, I have no photographs of her. But I have these facts – she was born a mulatto slave in the household of Samuel B. Hathorn in about 1838. After Samuel’s death, his belongings were sold to pay his debts. This included his slaves. All of them.

With the exception of Mahala and her five children.

They then came under the guardianship of Samuel’s son, Nevin. And there’s something you need to know about Nevin. He allowed his enslaved son, reportedly born with the forever mind of a child, to sit at the table with his free White children. This son would remain under the care of his elder White sister until his death.

But back to Mahala. After Emancipation, she received from Nevin an acre of land. This gift was bestowed only upon nine others of those enslaved by Nevin . Why them?

Ohhh! That’s what keeps me up at night as I frantically search through diaries and court records. Why those nine?

For me, Mahala has spoken. She‘d written in history that not only would she take the acre but would turn it into two hundred by the late 1880s. She’d take her name as well.

My Hathorn line is strong today in the tiny community of Prentiss, Mississippi. And if that surname is familiar, shoot me over an email. We just might be related!

Anyway, that’s my story and hers.

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One Comment
  1. Shyla Colt permalink

    Powerful story Vallory, thank you for sharing your family history!

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