9 months ago

Web Final Oct 2015

October 2015

A History of Slavery in

A History of Slavery in My Family- The Parks and the Arnold’s of Newnan, Georgia- Part I© by Wanda E. Hunt McLean As promised months ago, and hopefully without boring the readers of the articles I write in this magazine, I am going to tell you my story in reference to slavery on my maternal side of the family. People are always asking me how I developed such an interest in the Underground Railroad. These stories will somewhat explain ‘why’ and will be covered in two to three articles in Tradewinds over the next couple of months. I grew up thinking that all of my mother’s people were natives of Atlanta, Georgia. I was finally informed that three of her grandparents were natives of Newnan, Coweta County, Georgia, which is located 38 miles southwest of Atlanta. No one was trying to hide anything, but as a child it wasn’t considered important. Newnan was established as the county seat of Coweta County replacing the town of Bullsboro in 1828. Newnan was named for the North Carolinian General Daniel Newnan. The town quickly became a prosperous location for lawyers, doctors, and other professionals and merchants. Much of this prosperity was due to “King Cotton” which depended heavily on slave labor. Newnan was largely untouched by the Civil War because it was classified as a hospital city for Confederate troops during the Civil War. Much of the antebellum architecture is still intact, and the town is known as the “City of Homes” due to street after street of some of the most beautiful antebellum homes I have seen anywhere in the South. Because of its beautiful architecture, Newnan is known as a favorite location for many movies and television shows. For instance, several scenes from the movies Fried Green Tomatoes and Driving Miss Daisy, and the NBC drama I’ll Fly Away were filmed in and around Newnan. Byrd and Welcome Parks were brothers originally from England. They traveled from England to Brunswick County, Virginia and from there to Oglethorpe County, Georgia, and finally Coweta County in 1826-27 when the county was formed from Indian lands. The two brothers settled one mile apart, 8 miles from Newnan, and built homes. Byrd Parks was one of my 4th white maternal great grandfathers. Byrd Parks and his first wife had several children. Their oldest son was Thomas H. Parks, my 3rd white maternal great grandfather. Thomas was married twice. He and his first wife, Martha Smith of Oglethorpe Co. Georgia, had one son, John Ira Parks, my 2nd white great grandfather. After Martha’s death Thomas married Clara Atkinson of Brunswick County, VA. Together they had the following children; Thomas Byrd, Joseph, William Henry, James Alvin, and Emily. Thomas owned a very large plantation with many slaves located on a 1,000 acre plantation called Charlesburg. According to my mother a few years ago, the plantation house still stands. Thomas’ son, John Ira, had a child by one of his father’s young slaves named Rebecca, called Becky. The child was a son, who was given the name Henry Harrison Parks, one of my mulatto maternal great grandfathers. Henry was born on June 2, 1844 (Family Records). Unfortunately there is little mention of John Ira Parks in county or state records most likely because many white people considered him to be undesirable since he openly fathered slaves and admitted to doing so according to local oral history. John Ira’s white son Bill Parks, Henry’s half-white brother, grew up to be a well-known jockey. He learned horses early because his grandfather Thomas H. Parks raised horses on his plantation. Bill had his own race track on his grandfather’s plantation and he eventually took over the job of raising and grooming fine riding horses and prized race horses. One well known horse was ‘Sugar John’. Bill was killed by a train while crossing a train track on horseback. It was either nighttime, or Bill was drunk, or he was trying to outrun the train on horseback. He left three sons; Edward Parks, Byrd Parks, and Joe Parks. In the “last will and testament” of Thomas H. Parks, signed by Thomas himself, dated September 8, 1852, Coweta County, he left Becky and her son Henry to his son John Ira. Becky also had another son named Burwell. Thomas’ “will” also stated that three of his slaves were to be sold to pay for his funeral. The witnesses to this “will” were John M. Lundie, J.E.P. Hummerat, and I.H. Graham, Coweta Co., Georgia, Court of Ordinary, Book B, page 69, 1849-1892. Elizabeth City Pasquotank County The Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Senior Center “Serving the Young at Heart, Adults 55 or Older” The Senior Center offers a wide variety of exciting programs, trips and activities for the senior citizens of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County. We strive to create a “family” atmosphere that promotes social, mental, physical and emotional overall well-being. Lauren Turner Senior Center Coordinator Part 2 Next Month Senior Center Phone: (252)337-6661 or (252)337-6662 22 Albemarle Tradewinds October 2015

One of the best things that the NCBA provides for its members is a 1 week member hunt in the Butner Game Lands Area. It is fun camping and getting together with bowhunters from around the stste. I have taken the liberty of posting in this art6icle the ideas and concepts regarding the Butner Hunt. NCBA Hunt at Butner Game lands Contact John Thompson The hunt will take place on Saturday October 18th thru Saturday October 26th. Bring your tent or camper and be prepared to have lots of fun! The Annual Butner Hunt will be held at a new location this year. The address is West H St, Butner NC. It is three quarters of a mile past the Alcohol and Drug Center at the Chicken Houses on the left. It is one half mile before you get to the surge plant. There are always fun things going on and lots of visiting at the hunt. Some highlights of planned events include the Fish Fry on Wednesday night and the Chili Cook Off Thursday Night. There will also be a Chicken Dinner Friday Night at the Armory on Central Avenue in Butner. Hot showers will be available every night at the Armory between 8 and 9 PM. This years prizes include a package of Rage Broadheads for the biggest doe and a Trail Cam for the Biggest Buck! Signs will be posted on Central Avenue to guide you to the Armory and other locations. If you would like more specific directions to any of these locations, or have any other questions, please contact the Butner Hunt Hunt Master John Thompson : 704-273-6372. Camp Rules and Regulations: Public (OPEN) display of alcohol is prohibited. If the gate at the road is closed when you go out or come in, please close behind you. All vehicles camping must display NCBA sign. All vehicles must park in the FIELD. NO parking in woods...(per Fire Marshall). Campers ONLY allowed in woods. ALL traffic follow marked drive into/out of camping area. No campers/tents will block entrance/ exit road/drive (left hand tree line on crest of hill). Please abide by all NCWRC game land regulations. If unsure, please ask. After the hunt, please make sure your camp site is cleaner than you found it. Big Buck Contest Must have 6 scorable points by the P & Y system. If no entries, all “registered” hunters names will be placed in a drawing. Big Doe Contest Will be determined by “field dressed body weight” In case of tie, will take “Green” skull measurement to determine the winner. Albemarle Tradewinds October 2015 23