In the last post on the will dispute in Asbury vs. Hannum, one of the alleged witnesses to the will was a Charles Boyd. Turns out, Mr. Boyd was well-known in Maryville. In the Spring 2004 issue of the Blount Journal, there is an article about him. The article is a reprint of one that appeard in the Knoxville Journal & Tribune newspaper April 20, 1917.
Charles was from the Huntsville, Alabama area and the article describes his background and experiences during the war with his former master, William Hannum. Mr. Hannum was the husband of Eliza White (after Hannum, she married Rev. Fielding Pope) Charles had been the slave of Eliza’s father and went to her when the family estate was divided. Charles then evenutally went to her son, William.
Census records indicate Charles was born around 1837, though the article states 1831. Charles was married to Mary and they had 12 children: Cordelia, Charlie, James, Mary, (a son whose name starts with the letters Mc?), Luther, Maggie, Lee, Suzie, Bird, Hazel, Herman all appear on the various census records for the family (1870, 1880, 1900, 1910). In 1920, his widow, Mary is living with their son Herman. In a couple of the census records, his mother Susan was also living with the family.
In doing some online searching about his master’s family, I found out that the University of Virginia in Charlottesville has some papers of the White family. Eliza was the daughter of Colonel James White(1770-1838) and Eliza Wilsonin. She was one of 9 children; her siblings were Jane C., James L., Eleanor, William, Thomas, Newton, Addiston and Milton. According to the newspaper article, the White family owned extensive property/plantations in Virginia and Alabama. Eliza herself was born in Virginia. Eliza died in 1883.
The last few sentences of the article read: “For nine months, the conspicuous old man’s face has been missed at the station and on inquiry it was found that he is confined to his home on Cemetery Street, Maryville. Suffering with a chronic disease. Slowly, but surely, this type of patient and faithful antebellum negro is passing to the great beyond and the time is not far when Charles will join his ex-master.”
According to the death records database, Charles died soon after this article was published; his obituary appearing in the newspaper on April 26, 1917.