Anderson Family History
by Alice Evans Allen
Maria Anderson Evans
Septima Anderson Fincher
[ This document was originally obtained from Rosalie Daniel. Annagrace Fincher typed the text into the computer. My notes are enclosed in brackets. -Mitch Fincher July 8, 1996]
After writing the following sketch of my Mother after she passed away, I had
a deep anxiety to know more about her early life and her people. So, I
decided in 1948 to make a trip to Pendleton, S.C., and the following sketches
though meager were written for my family, but I gladly share them with my
cousins and other descendants who are interested.
-- Alice Evans Allen
This copy was made by the granddaughter of Septima Anderson Fincher, Sister
of Maria Anderson Evans who was the mother of Alice Evans Allen.
-- Rosalie Daniel
SKETCHES OF MY MOTHER - MARIA THOMAS ANDERSON
My mother was born in Pendleton, South Carolina. Her father was Robert Anderson, the third, grandson of General Robert Anderson of Revolutionary fame, and her mother was Mary Pickens, granddaughter of Gen. Andrew Pickens who also fought in the same war. Here these families lived side by side and reared their children. At that time, Pendleton was a small town, nestling among the foothills of the northern border. The beautiful Seneca River flowed throughout the valley. The Blue Ridge Mountains, noted for their picturesque beauty, could be seen in the distance.
The land was very rich and fertile and many prominent and wealthy slave-owners bought this land for plantations and built for themselves beautiful and palatial homes. People of talent and prominence came to dwell here. They built fine schools and churches. It became noted for its intelligence and refinement and the deep religious atmosphere. The valley was divided into districts. This one, like the town, was called Pendleton. It was said to be about the size of Rhode Island and although it was small, was densely populated. Some of the most distinguished characters who would do honor to any age of the world's history were among those who came to dwell here, so that Pendleton was called the "Athens of the South."
My mother was born, reared and educated under these influences and there was deeply instilled into her young life, the religious principles of the Christian Faith and the highly educational advantages, which fitted her for the useful life she would later live, serving humanity.
She chose teaching as her profession and was teaching with her father, in a girl's seminary in Mississippi when she met my father, Jackson Evans, and later married him in 1863. He was preparing to be a physician and doing work among the wounded and sick of the army. After the war was over, they moved to Texas and in 1873, they moved to Eastland Co. which was then the border of the Western frontier. He was the first physician in the county, and his practice covered a large, thinly settled country. There were often raids of hostile Indians and one's life was always in jeopardy. Mother was often left alone with us three small children, often at night and through the long days, but she was always so cheerful and brave, we never knew that danger might be lurking near. Although she was reared in a one of those fine old plantation homes with negro slaves to come and go at her bidding, she took up her duties cheerfully endured the hardships bravely, and always seemed happy in her new strange surroundings, although the home was a log cabin, with no conveniences. I never heard her complain of the hardships, but she must have longed for the old plantation home, with its luxury and ease. Her life here, reminds one of the missionary in a far country, as she cared for all who came and sought the Doctor's care and in her Christian faith and integrity, had an uplifting influence on all with whom she came in contact.
She was never happier, than when she was describing the home of her girlhood, how she loved to recall those happy days and tell of the many things and places of interest on the old plantation. Her pictures were vivid and of infinite variety, that depicted the days of slavery, a life that has long ago entirely passed away. We would sit charmed, listening in silence, as she described the old plantation homes of both of her grandparents, where she spent most of her childhood; of the blue of the mountains and the music of the river, flowing 200 yards away, of the crude old ferry boat and Uncle Tom, the ferryman.
How enchanting were the strange stories of the negro slaves who loved them and were equally loved in return. Of the old "black Mammy," whose love and devotion was pathetic in its unselfishness. After mother had been away forty years, through the correspondence with the folks back home, told her of messages some of the old negro slaves would send. One in particular, named Old Cato, who was then 100 years old, sending his "best respects" to Miss Maria. I remembered how pleased she was and then she told us that he was their trusted coachman, ever at their command, when they rode to church, or visited friends and relatives on neighboring plantations. We thought the names of the horses and the coach and coachman were as equally fascinating as fairy lore. These stories were so enthralling because they pictured so much that was strange and wonderful, so unlike the scenes by which we were surrounded. We could almost hear the songs of the mockingbirds as they built their nests in the nearby trees. No other flower garden was ever so beautiful, no other roses were so fragrant, and the cape jasmines filled the air with their sweet perfume.
I know my mother must have longed to see again the old plantation on the river, dotted with negro cabins, and the acres of cotton glittering in the sunshine, with the darkies singing those sweet old southern melodies in their carefree happy life. She described each plantation as a community within itself, the owner like the patriarch of the scriptures, with his vast possessions, his man servants and his maidservants born within his vast dominion. To him they looked for leadership and the leadership and the owner of slaves was a great responsibility.
All that made this life unique and a history all its own has long since passed away. The plantations are deserted and the once grand old mansions have fallen into decay. All is changed throughout the fair Southland, the old conditions have yielded to the new and those who loved it best would not have had those conditions perpetuated.
My mother had twelve brothers and sisters, she being the third child. Since there was such a large family and her grandmother Pickens being a widow and lonely, she asked that my mother might live most of the time with her, which she did for many years until the grandmother passed away. She was Elizabeth Barksdale and married Ezekiel Pickens, eldest son of Gen. Pickens, who died in early manhood. He left his wife with three small children, but very wealthy. Although she lived like a queen, with servants to do her bidding and every wish granted, she was very sensible woman and taught the members of her household to work, for, she said, "you never know what the future may bring forth." This was a great help to my mother when she went to live on the frontier and had to rear her family alone.
This sketch would not be complete without mention of the old Stone Church at Pendleton where my mother was baptized in infancy and which she joined in later childhood. It was one of the most noted landmarks of the old South, because it was built by Generals Anderson and Pickens, and others equally as prominent, and they were the first elders. Most of the early descendants of these families were buried there, including General Pickens, General Anderson having been buried on his own plantation. (It was said because the swollen Seneca River, from rains prevented the crossing of the river.)
The cemetery was beautifully kept. The small church, though still standing, was long ago replaced by buildings adequate to the times, but the hallowed memories of the Old Stone Church were ever dear to the heart of my mother. It seems she would like to have been buried among her beloved ancestry, but she preferred to be laid to rest on the old ranch in Texas. Her grave lies at the foot of the hill, overlooking the old log cabin where she reared her family and spent most of her married life, a life that was by no means of little import.
As the wife of a pioneer physician, it was not an easy life. Although there was built a larger house with more conveniences there were no hospitals and the sick would often come and stay for days. No one was ever turned away. Her early training in the old South Carolina home, fitted her to stand in this new country, with her high ideals and Christian integrity, as a beacon light to others, making the world a better place to live in and wielding an influence that was invaluable.
MY TRIP TO PENDLETON SOUTH CAROLINA - JUNE 1948
I had felt for years the importance to my family of keeping a record of data of my Mother's ancestral lines, but I never knew how difficult and incomplete it would be, until I wanted to join the D. A. R.'s. Then I got interested and treasured every bit of information I could find. I reproached myself over and over again that I did not get it from my mother during her lifetime, who was so capable and well-informed and had spent her girlhood days among them. After she had been gone for many years, I had written sketches of some of the events of her early life, but anything I could write was so inadequate I resolved to make a trip to Pendleton, where she was born and reared, in quest of information. While my object in writing these sketches is in memory of my mother, and for her descendants, I send greetings to all the cousins and other descendants and I am happy to share any information I have found. I say this humbly: There is no greater heritage than to be a descendant of such noble ancestry and it is priceless.
My Mother, Maria Thomas Anderson was a great grand-daughter of General Robert Anderson on her father's ancestral line and a great-granddaughter of General Andrew Pickens on her Mother's side. It is of these two lines I have searched for information although very meager after more than a century has passed. I am happy that I had the pleasure of visiting these hallowed places that were so dear to the heart of my mother. As I walked on the sacred grounds, my heart went up in gratitude for such noble ancestry, whose stalwart characters and Christian integrity left their influence to help make a better world, and whose noble blood flows through the descendants for many generations. May we try to live up to it.
To make it clearer; what I am about to write will pertain mostly to the two ancestral lines and where they lived. Sketches, the best I could obtain, will follow later.
Robert Anderson married Ann Thompson and lived on his large estate on the west bank of the Seneca River. Among other children they had one son, Robert Anderson the II. He married Maria Thomas; among other children they had one son Robert Anderson the III, who married Mary Barksdale Pickens. They had among other children, Maria Thomas Anderson, who was my mother (Sister of Septima).
On the other line: Andrew Pickens married Rebecca Calhoun. Among other children born to them was born a daughter, who was stated above, was married to Robert Anderson the III, thus uniting the two families. Their large estates were in the Pendleton District and divided by the Seneca River. These two men built the "Old Stone Church," which is an outstanding landmark in S. C. Nearby is the old Stone Church Cemetery. They built large colonial homes on the opposite banks of the river and it was these places I decided to visit.
I left for this trip by plane, arriving on time at Greenville, S.C. which is thirty miles from Pendleton. My daughter Eloise Riddel and grand-daughter, Billie Marie, live here. They also are very much interested and we made many trips over to Pendleton, locating the places of interest, so that we could take pictures and get more information - Julia Hunt also was a great help to me. She was a Pickens descendant from another line, but her father had kept the best ancestral record I ever saw and I had access to the many clippings and records he had of our line - and much valuable information. After the Revolutionary War and until after the negro slaves were free, Pendleton, which was said to be about the size of Rhode Island, was noted for its wealth and culture, so much so, that it was called the "Athens of the South."
Here our ancestors lived and reared their families. I found most of the fine old homes were gone and the once grand old plantations, with the happy slaves singing in the white fields of cotton and the corn. All this is gone and is replaced with small farms and cottages; but I was impressed with the happy and prosperous condition there.
As my time was limited, my party and I looked up, visited and took pictures of every thing pertaining to our ancestors. I had access to old scrapbooks and other books too precious to be loaned, so only the high points could be copied.
We first went to the Old Stone Church, where their families and descendants, with many other distinguished families, worshipped here for more than half a century. The records show the two above Generals were the first Elders and Robert Anderson the II was the first Sunday School Supt. The family of Ezekiel Pickens, eldest son of the General, also played a prominent part in the affairs of the church. The foundation was laid in 1792, but not entirely completed until 1803. I found them all intact. The organ was small but very sweet toned and it is unbelievable they would be in such good condition, although a century and a half had passed. The records show they had colored Elders to look after the spiritual welfare of the slaves. The balcony where they sat also was intact, but the outside stairway was almost in decay. The first minister and graduate of Princeton University was Dr. Reece, a Presbyterian Pastor. His widow later married General Anderson whose wife had died.
The cemetery, where so many notables sleep, is beautifully kept by the Old Stone Church Association. Here rest the bodies of many of my mother's ancestors. I visited the graves of General Pickens buried here and his wife Rebecca Calhoun, whose family was as equally distinguished. Ezekiel Pickens and his wife, Elizabeth Barksdale, and sons are in the same plot. She is the beloved grandmother in whose home my mother was mostly reared. After the death of her husband, she gave largely of her wealth to charity and spiritual welfare of the People of Pendleton and was outstanding as a Christian leader. It was my privilege to place flowers on her grave and as I stood by the side my heart went up in gratitude for the part she had in molding the spiritual life of my sainted mother.
I could not see all the graves, but took pictures of these: General Pickens and his wife Rebecca Calhoun and the beloved grandmother Elizabeth Barksdale Pickens. The cemetery is so outstanding because here sleep soldiers of the early wars with the Cherokee Indians; The Revolutionary War; The War of 1812; and the War of Secession. The ashes of Bonard Bee, who gave Jackson his name "Stonewall Jackson" at Manassas are in this cemetery. Rich in such sacred dust is the soil of Old Pendleton Cemetery.
The reason General Anderson was not buried here, it was said rains had flooded the Seneca River and they could not cross over. He was buried on a knoll three hundred yards from his house, which was on the west banks of the river. I visited his grave. The D.A.R.'s have erected a beautiful monument and stone wall enclosure. Just three hundred yards South is where once stood his large colonial home. Some of the old trees are still standing and are beautiful. Some maples, although they appear to be of a younger growth are also standing in the yard. A cottage has been built on the foundation. This is on the west bank of the Seneca River. It is not so beautiful as the one on which Gen. Andrew Pickens' Home stands, but it must have been very impressive, with its sixty foot front, colonial style home; with a maple grove leading to the river. His son, Robert Anderson the II lived with him after his first wife died and reared his large family of 10 children in this home. Robert Anderson the III was the only son of the third child. I will later give an account of their family life, written by Caroline Anderson's daughter Martha Pickens Halsey. This was given to me by Cornelia Anderson Cole, her niece. She lived with her Aunt Caroline, whose husband Rev. J. Leroy Halsey, at his death was professor in McCormick Theological Seminary at Chicago. This sketch was also published in the Walhalla Courier at Walhalla, S.C. in 9/5/34. It was typical of life in the South in the days of slavery. On the East side of the Seneca River still stands the home of General Andrew Pickens, built soon after the Revolutionary War. Here he and his wife, Rebecca Calhoun, reared their fine and distinguished family. I found in an old scrapbook (which I will give later) a story of how they met and later of their romance.
The house is built on a knoll, surrounded by large trees. It is a beautiful location. The large cedar tree still stands under which he was sitting reading his mail when he fell asleep; ending a life that was one of the most outstanding in American history.
Someone of note said why were not Gen. Andrew Pickens and Gen. Robert Anderson given more honor and the praise they so justly deserved, in American History. Then answered: because the historians were for England and kept covered up all they could of their great service to their country. They came together from Virginia before the Revolutionary war and though not any kin, were life long inseparable friends. They both had a part in the treaty and settlement with the Cherokee Indians. This treaty was signed under an old oak tree near where their homes in after years were built. I saw the knoll where the old tree which had fallen today, had stood. The place is marked by the D.A.R. Each General received a large amount of land along the banks of the Seneca River, Near Pendleton, for their valiant service and peaceful settlement, which it is said was never broken. Anderson and Pickens Counties were named for them.
We took pictures of the location where the Ezekiel Pickens home stood. The house long ago had burned to the ground. It is a very beautiful site, over looking the Old Stone Church. I loved the very ground for it was here my mother spent so much of her childhood and on into young womanhood. It was said Ezekiel inherited the bulk of his father's property which was very large along the fertile valley of the Seneca River. He died a very young man in 1813, leaving the property to his wife, two sons and Mary Barksdale, his only daughter. (She was my Mother's mother) her part must have been considerable. I got this impression from several clippings from an old file: I quote one deed 10/9/1862 Estate of Ezekiel Pickens, conveyed to George Cherry 1182 acres, on east side of the Seneca River. This includes the old Andrew Pickens home. I was on this beautiful piece of property. The large fine old home is still intact and has been kept in good repair. I understood it has been sold to Clemson College. One of the teachers was living there and offered to show us through. I regret I did not do so, but we took pictures and found the outside grounds very beautiful and interesting. There was the Tommasee home and lands but I did not see that. It also had been sold.
I also found that Elizabeth Barksdale Pickens inherited considerable wealth from her father and mother, George and Mary Barksdale, who were very wealthy. He was a large plantation owner near Charleston. I also found a record of this portion of his will "where he made provision that her three children would inherit considerable property from his estate." I also got the following from the records: Deed 1858: "Eliza ( Elizabeth) Pickens to her son Thomas J. Pickens under a deed of trust consideration, love and affection for my daughter Mary B. Anderson, wife of Robert Anderson, assigned and transferred to me all his undivided right and title in real and personal property of late Ezekiel Pickens and in the estate of George Barksdale, not included in marriage settlement with Mary Barksdale Pickens (Anderson)." I saw from the church records, Robert Anderson and wife Mary B. Anderson took out their membership in the Old Stone Church in 1858. I had known before they moved to Sumpter, Alabama about that time and he founded a Seminary for young women at Meridian, Miss.
The above Eliza Pickens died in 1859 then my mother went to Meridian to help her father in the school. Her mother had said in later years that two fortunes had slipped through her hands. I suppose these were the two she referred to. I had never known what went with her wealth and just found the above record by accident.
SKETCH OF GENERAL ROBERT ANDERSON
WITH GENEALOGY OF ANCESTORS QUOTED FROM THE ANDERSON INTELLIGENCER, WEDNESDAY, MORNING, FEB. 25, 1914
John Anderson and his wife Jean came from Ireland to Philadelphia, Penn. and thence removed to Stanton, Va., about 1735. There is mention of John Anderson and wife Jean together with William Pickens and wife and Isaac Pickens in Bolton's Scotch-Irish Pioneers, page 279. To John Anderson and his wife Jean were born among other children two sons, Robert Anderson and James Anderson who was Presbyterian Minister and was the first pastor in New York City.
Robert Anderson married Ann Thompson November 6, 1765, and shortly thereafter removed to South Carolina and settled to what was known afterwards as Pendleton District. He was an officer in the Revolutionary War and rose from Colonel to Brigadier General and is now known as General Robert Anderson. He especially distinguished himself for his brave and valiant service at the Battle of Eaton Springs and the Battle of Cowpens, fighting in the front line. Gen. McGrady, in his history of South Carolina, says: "The distinguishing feature of the Battle of Cowpens upon the American side, was undoubtedly the work of Pickens and his marksmen, who was mentioned here as Captain Anderson but later, after the revolutionary war was over, was made Brigadier General for his valiant service.
Now we see General Anderson with General Pickens march against the Cherokee Indians on the northern frontier of what is now known as Oconee County. They were commissioned to make a treaty of Peace with them, which was signed under and oak tree on the East side of the Seneca River. After the war was over he settled on his Cherokee lands, on the Seneca River which were given him for his part in the war and peaceful settlement with the Cherokee Indians. A County was named after him, also the County Seat. It is said this treaty was never broken. He built an imposing home, having a frontage of sixty feet. Here he brought up his family. His wife had a love of the beautiful, for in is said there was a profusion of lovely roses and other flowers surrounding the house, which fronted on an eighty acre tract of beautiful maples, which led down to the Seneca River. There were thoroughbred horses in the stables, in care of old Cato, the loved coachman, and the home always abounded in gracious hospitality.
General Anderson's Estate consisted of 2100 acres of which 460 acres were his bounty lands. General Anderson and his wife had five children: Elizabeth Anderson married Samuel Moverick. Mary Anderson married Captain Robert Maxwell. Jane Anderson married Mr. Shaw. Annie Anderson married Dr. Wm. Hunter. Robert Anderson II married Maria Thomas, daughter of General Thomas of England who fought against General Anderson in the Revolutionary War. After his wife died, he married twice again. He died in 1813 and his will was probated January 9 of the same year. This was an unusual document. In minute detail he provided for the welfare of his slaves, reciting his desire they should never be sold from the place. Then he closed with the words: "And now My Blessed Redeemer do I, with a lively faith, lay hold of they meritorious death and suffering, hoping to be washed clean by the precious blood from all my sins. In this hope I rest and wait my call." It was the intention to bury his body in the Cemetery at the Old Stone Church, but on account of the flood of the Seneca River at the time he was buried on his plantation. He left the bulk of his estate to his son, Robert Anderson II. I should mention here, General Anderson served in the House and Senate of South Carolina and later his son, Robert Anderson II was his successor, having died at Columbia while fulfilling his duties.
This sketch would not be complete without giving the romance of General Anderson and Ann Thompson, copied from "The Anderson S.C. Daily Mail." "The Daily Mail" send the following interesting reminiscence concerning Robert Anderson, the Revolutionary War Hero:
"Col W. S. Pickens says that General Anderson came from Old Cambridge, where General Andrew Pickens made the first treaty with the Cherokee Indians, to survey the lands, leaving his sweetheart Ann Thompson behind. He stayed two years, during this time locating his home on the West bank of the Seneca River. The deliveries of mail there was few and far between, and not a word passed between them. She supposed the Indians had slain him and engaged herself to be married to another man. When General Anderson completed his survey, he started home to claim his bride. When about twenty miles from home, he stayed all night with a man who told him of the coming marriage on the morrow. Early the next morning he saddled his horse and went to see about it. There was an avenue from the road up to the house. Ann, with her bridesmaids was upstairs. Looking out of the window she saw him riding up and exclaimed "by my soul there comes Robert Anderson and I love his little finger more than the other man's whole body." Grabbing a shawl, she ran down the stairs as swiftly as her feet could carry her, met her long absent lover half way down the avenue. A little talk followed and the General Anderson turned his horse, she mounted up behind him and the wedding was performed nearer the foot of the hills than it might have been has he stayed away a day longer.
Mention has already been made of the large colonial home he built two hundred yards west of the Seneca River. Here, he and Ann Thompson reared their family and after her passing, Robert Anderson the II married Maria Thomas and they too lived in the old home rearing their family and taking care of the large estate left by his father.
THE OLD MASTER - GENERAL ROBERT ANDERSON
TAKEN FROM THE WILL OF GENERAL ROBERT ANDERSON
Copied from item in the Daily Mail of Anderson, S.C. edition of Sunday, Dec. 1, 1901, copied by C.P. Cole, Feb. 5, 1931 from original clipping in possession of Mrs. T. Bissell Anderson of Charleston, S.C.
THE OLD MASTER
"And whereas there are several old and decrepit negroes which are of little or no value but which must be supported while they live, vic: Mandy, Solomon, Old Cato and young Cato, Old Dido and Old Nancy. It is my wish these old and infirm negroes be supported and made comfortable in the plantations while they live. Therefore, it is my will that Ben Swaney, Cyrus, John, Jim (vix. Nancy's Jim), Salem, Joe, Martin Cato and Jeff (except as may be hereinafter directed) all men grown but Joe, and he is nearly so, and Dinah, Swaney's wife, Mourning, Martin Cato's wife, Affy, Carrie, Nancy, Peggy, her sister, and Tabby, Affy's oldest child, all women and girls, with their children (only those who have been otherwise disposed of by this instrument) and the offspring of the females, shall all remain upon; the plantation under the supervision and direction of my son, Robert Anderson. It is my will generally that none of the negroes bequeathed as above should be sold unless they should turn out to be the thieves and unless they can not be restrained by good treatment, friendly caution, admonitions and a merciful use of the rod of correction."
The above is an extract from the Will of Gen. Robert Anderson, and it reads like the typical old Southern master, the old school, Christian gentleman.
The whole tenor of this paragraph is that of a kindly, humane patriarch, solicitous for the future comfort and welfare of those who are dependent on him in their helpless old age. They have been his faithful servants all their days and he does not forget them in the days of their decrepitude. Did you ever read a more humane provision in a will? "It is my wish these old and infirm negroes be supported and made comfortable on the plantation while they live." And the humanity of the old master is further exemplified in his direction that none if the negroes bequeathed should be sold unless they turned out to be thieves, and only then upon the condition that they do not respond to discipline, or as he puts it, "Merciful use of the rod of correction," showing his firm belief in the wisdom of the wisest man who ever wrote. What a picture this presents of the relation of master and servant in contrast to the horrible caricature presented in "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Gen. Anderson must have been a remarkably strong and sturdy man with deep religious convictions, as these characteristics crop out in every line of his will written in his own handwriting. His religious faith was of the Calvinistic order getting in him strong convictions and a tenacious clinging to them with Scotch Irish Pertinacity. He was a type, and a splendid one of the old Southern master between whom and his servants there existed almost the affectionate relation of a family household, something very nearly resembling the patriarchal households of the olden days of Abraham. The South was full of men of this type and it is no wonder that in the days of the Revolution the British found in them foreman whose unconquerable spirit they could not subdue. Born to command they made invincible leaders and themselves constituted rallying points which served to keep alive the revolutionary fires. The memory of such men is a priceless legacy to any country.
General Anderson shows his wonderful faith in God by the way he closed his will, his final words are: "And now my blessed redeemer do I with a lively faith lay hold of the meritorious death and suffering hoping to be washed clean by the precious blood from all my sins. In this I rest and wait my call."
ROBERT ANDERSON THE II
Robert Anderson the II being the only son of General Anderson, after his marriage to Maria Thomas lived with the Old General, whose wife had died some years before. He inherited and directed the affairs of the plantation, although he has studied law and was active in the affairs of the state. It is very interesting the way the romance came about. Her father, General Thomas was an Englishman and fought against General Anderson in the Revolutionary War. He and his family lived at Nassau New Providence. He was suddenly called back to England after the war and sent his family to Charleston, S.C. to stay until he could make arrangements for them to join him in England.
It was during this winter, while he was planning everything in the new home in England for his wife and idolized daughter, that she met young Robert Anderson the II, who was studying law at Charleston. The friendship was begun and an engagement soon followed. Her mother, from the first favored the young suitor, whose frank friendly ways and winning manners made him many friends, but General Thomas was inconsolable and refused to be reconciled, being a bitter enemy of the young man's father. He absolutely, for a while, refused to give his consent; but after a while, the wishes of the young couple prevailed and they were happily married. Her father sent her as a wedding gift, a bedroom suite made of Mahogany wood from the West Indies. He could not come from England to the wedding and died without seeing her again.
Although Maria Thomas, up to this time, had always led a sheltered carefree life, she adapted herself to the position of Mistress of the Plantation: and carried on her work with keen interest. It was her pleasing personality, her cultured mind and literary taste, that helped make the home a center long to be remembered. It was here they reared their large family and sent them out into the world well equipped to fill positions of influence.
For thirty years this typical lady and gentleman of the South, were the
center of a life almost ideal, honored and beloved, by all high and low.
My mother was very proud of the fact that she was named Maria Thomas for this
grandmother, whom she said was not only gifted and talented in many ways, but
But suddenly Robert Anderson died at Columbia while in the midst of
legislative duties, in 1835. The devoted husband, the indulgent father was
gone, and she who had walked with him side by side did not long survive. She
died within a year and in time the old Plantation passed into other hands.
Robert Anderson II and his wife, Maria Thomas had the following children:
1. Martha, married Samuel Bonneau Pickens, Grandson of Gen. Andrew Pickens.
2. Robert Anderson the III married Mary Barksdale Pickens, granddaughter of
Gen. Andrew Pickens.
3. Thomas, married Susan Jenkins.
4. Ann, married J. Pickens Harris, grandson of Gen. Andrew Pickens.
5. Edmond, married Miss McIver.
6. Edward, never married.
7. John, married Kate Bissell.
8. Caroline married Leroy Halsey D.D.
9. Julius, never married.
10. William, married Miss Burchmyer.
ROBERT ANDERSON THE III
Robert Anderson the III was the son of Robert Anderson the II and grandson of General Robert Anderson. He was born on his grandfather's plantation, along with his nine brothers and sisters, being the third child and eldest son. Martha Pickens Halsey, his sister Caroline's daughter, so beautifully describes the old plantation home, published in the Interior of South Carolina, September 16, 1909. Calling it the "Old Mansion Home," built in Colonial style with its lofty columns and large windows, opening on hinges like port holes. She tells of the ten happy children, seven boys and three girls, who were brought up in that southern home, roaming through its broad acres; surrounded by the darkies, who loved them and were equally loved in return; of the beautiful river that flowed nearby; of Cato the ferry man and Old Solon who was an oracle among his people. Calling many of the slaves by name and above all Fatima, who was said had been a princess in her own country.
Equally fascinating were the names of the carriage horses that were as wonderful as steeds of fairy lore. In these happy surroundings young Robert Anderson III grew to young manhood. At that time Pendleton was noted for its culture and refinement and he had the best educational advantages; entering the State University of Columbia at an early age. After graduating, he married Mary Barksdale Pickens, daughter of Ezekiel Pickens, eldest son of General Andrew Pickens, thus uniting the two families who had been life long friends. He was elected to teach in the university and his two eldest daughters were born at Columbia. His father suddenly died while attending his legislative duties, so Robert and family returned to the old plantation to help take care of the property.
His mother lived only a year longer, then the old plantation passed into other hands. Robert Anderson and his wife Mary Barksdale Pickens, went to Charleston to live on a plantation she inherited from her grandfather George Barksdale. It was near Charleston and had a beautiful view over looking the bay. Most of their children were born and reared here. While I was recently on a visit to Pendleton, I found in an old record, they deeded this property back in a deed of trust to her mother, Elizabeth Barksdale Pickens, along with what she inherited from her father Ezekiel Pickens.
Soon thereafter, he founded a school at Meridian, Miss. for young women and taught until the Civil War was declared. Then he came to Texas and carried on his noble profession, amid the hardships of the western frontier. He died in California in 1892, still true to his Christian and noble ideals, which made him a blessing to all those with whom he was associated. The following obituary was written by his brother-in-law, Dr. Leroy J. Halsey, who was the husband of his sister Caroline and President of the McCormick Theological University at Chicago. This beautiful tribute paid by him is beautifully written, and worthy of his noble life. "At his residence in Otay, near San Diego, California, on the 18th of January, 1892, Mr. Robert Anderson, passed away at the age of eighty-one. He was the eldest son of Col. Robert Anderson of Pendleton, S. C. and grandson of General Robert Anderson of the Revolution. He was educated in Columbia, at the University of his native State, and soon after graduating was united in marriage with Miss Mary Pickens, daughter of Ezekiel Pickens, Esq., of Pendleton S. C. After spending some years as a planter in his native State, he removed to Mississippi, where he was engaged for several years in conducting seminaries of the higher education for young ladies, and where he won a wide reputation as a thorough and accomplished instructor. After this he moved to Texas, and settled at Waxahachie, and finally, a few years before his death, he moved to the home in Otay, Calif.
"Before leaving South Carolina, Mr. Anderson became a member of the Presbyterian church of his fathers, by profession of faith, his wife uniting with him at the same time. He continued through life an active and consistent Christian, faithful to all his duties, and influential in his instructions to those under his charge. He was a man of sterling integrity, and he filled with honor all the positions of responsibility to which he was called. In all the intercourse of life he was always the perfect gentleman, impressing all who made his acquaintance with his sincerity, his intelligence, his urbanity, courtesy and kindness. In conversation he was one of the most pleasant and companionable men-- always firm in his opinions and zealous of the truth, yet considerate and tolerant of the opinions and rights of others. As a husband, friend and citizen he was a noble type of a true-hearted and conscientious man. In all these relations he was admired, honored and loved. God gave him lengths of days, and he served his generation well. In the large family of children and grandchildren that grew up under his influence, and owed much to his instructions, he was ever held in honor and reverence; and he had the satisfaction of seeing them trained in the fear and service of the Lord. "Mr. Anderson's wife and ten children, two sons and eight daughters, survive him. His children are all married, and residing either in Texas of California. One of his brothers was the late Rev. Edmund Anderson, a Presbyterian minister of South Alabama, and one of his sisters is the wife of the Rev. Dr. Leroy J. Halsey, of Chicago."
AN EVENT IN THE LIFE OF MRS. ROBERT ANDERSON
[ This would be Mary Barksdale Pickens Anderson -mdf]
An Event in the Life of Mrs. Robert Anderson Told by her daughter Septima A. Fincher
A TRIP TO CHARLESTON, S. C We used to love to gather around our mother and hear her tell some thrilling stories of her trips to Charleston from the upper part of the state. These journeys were made in a coach and four, for that was before the R.R. traversed the country in every direction.
My mother was an only daughter and would accompany her mother on these trips with only the driver and a maid. One evening a violent storm was approaching and the driver asked two men how far to the nearest inn. One answered - "Five miles." My grandmother leaned out of the coach window and said, " I fear we cannot go that far before the storm. It is five o'clock now." They whispered together then one stepped near, and seeing no gentlemen, said "A mile from here take a right hand, be sure." But the driver took the left; and about dark drove up to a gloomy-looking house. But as the storm was just on, they had to stay. At the supper table a man with bad countenance watched Grandmother all through the meal and they were glad to leave the table for their room. What was their dismay to find the lock broken and no fastening. On calling the land-lady and asking for another room, she said the house was full, and that there was no danger as the room was near hers and that she was easy to wake. Mother with the help of the maid pushed their trunks and valises and table against the door. Grandmother laughed at her for being a coward; and going to bed she would soon sleep. But mother could not sleep and when the house became quiet she heard a stealthy step in the passage and someone pushing the door. She called the maid and had a light, then she heard the steps retreating. Waking her mother she told her what had happened, but Grandmother was brave as Caesar and told her to go to sleep so as to be up early to travel, as it was all imagination. Grandmother was soon in the land of forgetfulness but mother could not sleep. In an hour the cautious step was heard again and the door was pushed. Calling the maid she lit a candle and sat up awhile, until being overcome with drowsiness. They knew nothing more until the landlady sent to call them to breakfast. What a scene met her eye! All the contents of the trunks lay in confusion on the floor. The three sleepers seemed under the influence of a powerful narcotic. Throwing some cold water in my mother's face, she was aroused and assisted in waking the others. What was their dismay to find they had been put under the influence of morphine and robbed of their watches, jewelry and every cent of money they had. They had to borrow money from the coachman to pay for their lodging.
Reaching Charleston that day, a search warrant was issued and officers sent to the inn. The inn-keeper, his wife and accomplice assisted in searching the house. Skeletons of several people were found concealed in the cellar. They recovered all their jewelry and most of the money.
GENERAL ANDREW PICKENS
This Sketch was taken from the obituary of General Andrew Pickens published in the Pendleton Messenger on the 27th day of August, 1817. "General Andrew Pickens was born in Buck County Penn. Sept. 13, 1739 and died August 11th, 1817. His ancestors left France after the Edict of Nantes. They went first to Scotland, then Ireland and then to America. The family then removed to Augusta County, Va. and soon after to the Waxhaws in South Carolina, before he had attained the age of manhood.
"In 1761 he served as a volunteer with Moultrie and Marion in a bloody but successful expedition under Col. Grant against the Cherokee Indians. After that war he removed to a settlement at Abbeville. "At an early period he took a positive stand against Great Britain and at the commencement of the war was appointed Captain of the Militia, rose to Major, Colonel and Brigadier General. "In 1781 he commanded in chief the expedition against the Cherokees in the North West Corner of the state and such was his success in a short time he so subdued the spirit of the then powerful nation that a peace so permanent was effected that it has since not been disturbed.
"He fought at Cowpens, Eutow, Kings Mountain, and in many minor engagements both with British and Indians, in fact, he stood as a power of strength and was the greatest protector of all the Whig settlers in upper South Carolina. Peace being restored, he served his country continuously in some public office until 1801. He made a treaty with the Cherokees by which that territory embraced in the counties of Greenville, Anderson, Pickens and Oconee was ceded to the state. This treaty was made at Hopewell on the banks of the Seneca River nearby Cherry Crossing on the Blue Ridge Railroad. Soon after this treaty, General Pickens removed to Hopewell and erected a dwelling on the hill a short distance from the tree under which the treaty was signed. He owned a large body of land on the Seneca River; the lower part of which he subsequently gave to his son, Ezekiel Pickens. He served in the State Convention; in the Legislature and in Congress. He was appointed Major General of the Militia. While residing at Hopewell, he with General Robert Anderson, built the first Presbyterian Church near where the Old Stone Church now stands. About what time he removed to his beautiful and valuable farm, Tomassee, now in Oconee County is not known, but he was evidently residing there when the war of 1812 broke out. He died August 11, 1817 and was buried at the Old Stone Church. Early in life General Pickens married Rebecca Calhoun on March 19, 1765, at the home of her father."
The Romance of General Andrew Pickens and Rebecca Calhoun
When the Pickens family moved from Pennsylvania to South Carolina, they settled in the small town of Abbeville. Later young Andrew had a prominent part in bringing about a permanent settlement with the Cherokee Indians. During the time of the Indian uprising, an event occurred destined to greatly effect his life.
Among those who escaped the Indian massacre was Ezekiel Calhoun and his
pretty young daughter Rebecca, just 15 years of age. During their three
years there young Andrew and Rebecca became friends. There was nothing
unusual about that and nothing was thought about it at this time as he was
away the greater part of the time. The separation of the young couple was
not for long. His friendship with Rebecca grew into love and they were
married March 19, 1765, at the home of her father. They were married by a
Justice of the Peace, Wm. Calhoun. Both families were loyal church members,
but ministers were few and hard to reach. Tradition says it was the largest
wedding party ever assembled in upper S.C. up to this time. The festivities
lasted three days without interruption. The beauty of the bride was the
theme of all talks and the wedding was long talked of as the most important
event of the decade. Andrew bought 250 acres of land and they built a house
which is described elsewhere. She was said to be one of the most gifted
women of her time, and was an equal match for her famous husband.
These are the children of General Andrew Pickens and Rebecca Calhoun:
1. Mary Pickens, married John Harris.
2. Ezekiel Pickens, married first Eliza Bonneau, second Eliza Barksdale.
3. Ann Pickens, married John Simpson.
4. Jane Pickens, married Dr. John Miller.
5. Margaret Pickens, married Dr. George Bowie.
6. Andrew Pickens, married first Susan Wilkinson, second Mary Nelson.
7. Rebecca Pickens, married William Noble, son of Major Alexander Noble.
8. Catherine, married Dr. John Hunter.
9. Joseph, married Caroline Henderson
Ezekiel Pickens And Wife Elizabeth Barksdale
I am sorry I could not get more information about Ezekiel Pickens and his wife Elizabeth (Eliza) Barksdale, since they were the parents of my grandmother, Mary Barksdale Pickens.
From all accounts, he was a very quiet unassuming man. There was mention several times of his legislative duties, but his business ability was outstanding. He managed and cared for his father's vast estate and the bulk of his father's fortune went to him. I was curious to know why, but found no record other than where he received it.
He was first married to Miss Bonneau and had three children by her. I noticed they shared equally with the latter children in his will. He died in early manhood, leaving a large fortune to his wife Elizabeth Barksdale. She received a vast sum from her father George Barksdale who owned large plantations around Charleston, where she was born and reared. Although she lived like a queen, with servants to do her bidding and every wish granted, she was a very sensible woman and taught the members of her household to work, for she said: "You never know what the future may bring forth." This was a great help to my mother when she went to live on the frontier and had to rear her family alone. She was noted for her large gifts to the poor and died in 1859, thus escaping the horrors of the Civil War and later the poverty it caused.
Her eldest son, Thomas, married Kizziah Miles and I saw on the record at one time she received $60,000.00 as her part of her father's estate. She was a very noble and consecrated, Christian character. She gave largely of her wealth to the poor and needy. She was called the Guardian Angel of Pendleton. My mother was very closely associated with her and her family while living with the above grandmother. They corresponded until her death.
After moving to Texas, it was a great pleasure to receive these very interesting letters. She dearly loved this family of fine boys and girls especially one of the boys named Miles. They also corresponded until Mother's death. I saw on the record where he was an elder in the Old Stone Church for fifty years.
Elizabeth Barksdale Pickens
General Andrew Pickens' second wife was Eliza Barksdale, who bore him two sons and one daughter, Mary Pickens, who, on reaching womanhood, married Robert Anderson the III, thus uniting two of the most distinguished families of the south.
General Anderson and General Pickens had been close and beloved friends for many years. After the Revolutionary war was over, they had each built a large colonial home on their estates along the bank of the Seneca River, on each side, facing each other. There were no bridges and they often visited each other, crossing the river on the ferry boat, Old Cato, the ferryman, lived to be 100 years old. He was mentioned in General Anderson's will.
Mary Barksdale Pickens Anderson
Mary Barksdale Pickens Anderson, was the daughter of Ezekiel Pickens, son of General Andrew Pickens. Her father died when she was one year old, leaving her mother a vast fortune. She was reared in the lap of luxury with the best educational advantages and every wish was granted.
At the age of about 18 she was married to Robert Anderson, III, thus uniting the two distinguished families of Anderson and Pickens. The young couple had spent their childhood together. Robert Anderson taught after graduation in the University of S.C. at Columbia and their two eldest children were born there. After the death of his father and mother, within one year of each other; he moved to the Anderson Estate and helped to take care of the property. This was at Pendleton, S.C.
She was a descendent and related to some of the first families of the South, on her father, Ezekiel's line, her grandmother was a first cousin to John C. Calhoun, twice Vice President of the U.S. and a noted statesman, being senator from S.C. many times. Her uncle Andrew Pickens was Governor of S.C. and his son Francis was Ambassador to Russia and also Governor of his state besides others who were prominent.
She and her husband moved near Charleston S.C. and most of their children were born there. Then they moved to Texas and later to California to live in their declining years with a son Robert the IV and some of the other married children. With their fortune gone, one would think the last years would be full of sacrifice and hardships, but from her diary, written from 1891 to 1894 she had hope and faith in the mercy and goodness of the Heavenly Father which lifted her above the trivial things of life, and anchored her faith in the Heavenly home. She spoke in her diary of being lonely without her large family, who were largely scattered but said all she could do was to pray for their welfare.
Taken from Mary Barksdale Pickens Anderson's Diary
February 8th, 1890 - My 80th Birthday:
I can hardly realize that I have lived four score years. Hereto and thereto has the Lord helped me in reviewing my life. I acknowledge the goodness of God in preserving me through many trials and difficulties, bringing horrors untold in their train. The advent of thirteen children with a world of trouble in managing and training them with responsibility and troubles in addition seemed almost over, but what was glory to God, I was sustained and consider myself a Monument of Mercy and willing to trust God to the end of my pilgrimage.
July 12th, 1891:
Separated as I am from my children I can only pray for their eternal salvation. That God may keep them in the hollow of his graces and guide them through the devious paths of life, and at last translate to those realms of bliss where sorrow and sighing will be exchanged for ecstasies inconceivable at God's right hand to be enjoyed for ever and ever.
February 8th, 1892 - My 82nd Birthday:
Strange that a harp of a thousand strings could keep in tune so long. I have passed through many difficulties. I was on the crest of the waves in childhood and youth, but after that period, the shadows vibrated with the sunshine, in complex variety. Gifted by nature with an indomnible will and an unusual amount of vivacity, for which I thank my heavenly father. I have been enabled to bear trials which would have caused the death of many whose hopes are not anchored on a brighter world. The reminiscences fill me with wonder, thanksgiving and praise. I thank my Heavenly Father that I have lived long; enough to weigh both worlds and decided in favor of the Eternal inheritance in reserve for those who love God and keep his commandments.
Tranquilla, California, January 8, 1893:
We moved here the end of this month and are quite pleased with our new abode.
It was bestowed by the gracious hand of a merciful God, after I had been
tossed and moved about during a period of sixty years. God be praised for a
period of rest at last. I consecrate myself and home to his service, praying
that he may qualify us of the household to worship him, who is a spirit, in
spirit and in truth. And may each day find us better prepared for death,
judgment and eternity.
The following children were born to Robert Anderson III and Mary Pickens Anderson
Eliza married Percy Cole - Later Mr. Puyear Mary married Benjamin Boyd Maria Thomas married Jackson Evans in 1863 Annie married Mr. Mason Kizzie died in infancy Susan married Judge Frank Carter Pickens married Margaret Elizabeth Watson (Aunt "Lizzie") Septima married Elijah Fincher -(my grandmother) Robert died in infancy Kate married King Jordan Barksdale married Marie Carter of Virginia Rosalie married James McCall.
Francis W. Pickens
Francis W. Pickens, son of Andrew Pickens and grandson of General Andrew Pickens was governor in 1860. There was an interesting story of his wife in the Dallas Morning News of May 19, 1929, written by Valvera Nevore and Alma Burba of Marshall, Texas. She was Lucy Holcomb, a Texas girl reared on a farm near Marshall, Texas. She was said to be a most beautiful woman and could adapt herself to any society. She met Francis Pickens while a guest in the Governor's Mansion at Jackson, Miss. It was a case of love at first sight.
They were soon married and soon afterwards he was sent as ambassador to Russia. After they arrived in St. Petersburg, her beauty and charm soon won the friendship of the Czar and Czarina. She and her husband met all the royalty and were admitted to the inner circle. He was said to be a man of brilliant mind and affable disposition.
When it was found that she was to be a mother, the Czarina asked that she might be the godmother, and took a great interest in the coming event. By the order of the court they were moved to the Royal Palace. When the baby arrived and was christened, the Czarina requested she be called Douschka, meaning in Russian, "Little Darling." She was given many expensive gifts by the Czar and Czarina, including a diamond necklace.
Francis Pickens was hailed as a man of superior intellect, high moral courage and, like his wife a charming personality. When his mission was over, a host of friends offered many regrets over their departure. Soon after his return he was elected Governor of S.C. So wide spread was the love of S.C. for his beautiful wife, her portrait was placed on the confederate money. The profile shows the abundance of hair, her high forehead and clear classic features. Governor Pickens died before his term of governorship was over. He left his plantation named Edgewood, near Columbia to his wife and daughter Douschka.
Although Douschka was a small child when her father died she inherited some of his ability to manage well, from him and as she grew into young womanhood, took over the management of the plantation. Like her mother, she was famed for her beauty and charm, and the idol of the people of the south. She married Dr. George Dugus of Atlanta, Ga. and bore him two children. On a visit to the Edgewood plantation in 1893 she was stricken ill and died. Six years later death claimed her mother who still retained her beauty and dignity to the end. Governor Pickens had previously been married two times.
Her grandfather Patrick Calhoun and wife Katherine came from Ireland. Her father Ezekiel Calhoun and wife Jane Calhoun had among other children a son James Ewing Calhoun who was a senator in Congress. John Calwell Calhoun, called the "Great Statesman" twice Vice President of the U.S., was her first cousin. He was a graduate of Yale University and one of the outstanding men of the South. She herself was a very brilliant woman, but quiet and home loving; sharing the hardships of her distinguished husband; rearing her family, while he was serving his country. In her son, Andrew, she gave a Governor to S.C. His son, Francis W. Pickens, was elected Governor just before the Civil War broke out. Just before this, he had been Ambassador to Russia. Her eldest son, Ezekiel was named for her father. He had unusual business ability and helped to manage the vast holdings of his father. Afterward inheriting the bulk of his estate.
John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun was born in 1782 and died in 1850. He was Secretary of War several times and also Vice President under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He was born on a farm near Abbeville. John Calhoun was a man of undoubted genius and commanding talent. He had that indispensable basis of high character, respected integrity and unimpeachable honor, said Henry Clay, his opponent for 40 years. At the time of his death, flags were flown at half mast. John C. Calhoun married his cousin, and a niece of Rebecca Calhoun Pickens.
Among other children they had Anna, who married Thomas G. Clemson. They were the founders of Clemson College near Pendleton, S.C. and this is the way it came about. She had inherited one of the plantations, Fort Hill, from her father, besides other property. She was among women, what her distinguished father was among men. Her love for her home and country was superb. Her husband, Thomas Clemson was highly educated and had studied in France and Germany. His services as a mining expert, became very valuable and he became very wealthy. Their home life was a happy one. But their daughter, Floried died very suddenly and in seventeen days their son was killed in a train collision. The loss of their children was a terrible shock, but these two stricken sorrowing parents determined to unite in disposing of their property as to bring to their fellow men as much happiness and prosperity as they could have wished for themselves. They agreed to leave all their property to create an agricultural college at Fort Hill. The college is known as Clemson College. This was of a great blessing to the state at this time and over the period of years, a living monument to this noble unselfish couple. On Fort Hill plantation was one of the J.C. Calhoun houses. This fine old house was used as a residence until 1928 when it was decided to restore it as a monument to the Calhoun family. While on my trip to Pendleton, I visited in this grand old home at Fort Hill.
The house is well preserved and beautifully kept by a caretaker. I was amazed to find all the furnishings still intact. There was one beautiful mahogany sofa that was used at Mount Vernon in the days of Washington. There was a large mahogany table with 12 chairs at which much nobility and men of great prominence were entertained. I was impressed with the handsome desk that held the guest book which was signed by thousands of visitors from this and other countries. While at the desk I read the Bible which belonged to John C. Calhoun in his early days, which contained a record of his family written in his own hand. I had the privilege of reading some of the marked choice scriptures from this old Bible. One of the most interesting stories of this house is the story of the Old Dutch Oven. The John C. Calhoun family cooked on this oven for several years. In time, they erected an outside plantation kitchen and the oven was closed up in 1875. Later when they were remodeling the home, a sealing was placed over it and no one knew what had become of this oven. But later again, it was found and restored in its natural setting. The heirs of John C. Calhoun tried to break the will of Anna Calhoun in an attempt to have the Clemson College changed to the Calhoun College. They went so far as to take it to the Supreme court, but the will remained valid.
A Lady of the Old South [ Maria Thomas Anderson ]
by Martha Pickens Halsey
A Lady of the Old South By Martha Pickens Halsey, daughter of Caroline Anderson Halsey, 8th child of Robert Anderson II, Published in the Walhalla Courier in Walhalla, S.C. on Sept. 5, 1934.
Though I never saw that old plantation by the river, among the pictures of memory that flash upon the inward eye that of my mother's South Carolina Home has always seemed most appealing of all. And yet it was not one picture, but a succession of infinite variety, that told the story of life in the olden time --- a life that has almost entirely passed away. It has been said that a Southern woman's memory is an encyclopedia of genealogical information; it is more, it is a treasure house of incidents and impressions that, recalled at will and reproduced with rare fidelity, put one in touch with the scenes described until he almost seems a part of them.
My mother possessed the charm of the raconteur to a remarkable degree, and she was never happier than when describing the home of her childhood. How she loved to recall the dear old days, and depict the many things and places of interest on the plantation - the old mansion house built in the colonial style, with its lofty columns and quaint windows opening on hinges like portholes; the roses that grew there in luxuriant profusion, from the magnificent cloth of gold to the climbing multiflora with is exquisite clusters on a single stem, to which one of the beaux of the period compared a beautiful mother and her daughters. No other roses were so beautiful or so fragrant as those. So vivid was her description that you could close your eyes and almost inhale the odor of these far-away blossoms.
The children of another generation, on the shores of late Michigan, never wearied of these stories of life on the old plantation, that were enthralling because they pictured so much that was strange and wonderful and unlike the scenes by which they were surrounded. They loved to hear of the ten happy children, seven boys and three girls, who were brought up in that Southern home, roaming through its broad acres surrounded by dark faces of the faithful retainers who loved them and we equally loved in turn. They would sit in charmed silence to hear of the beautiful river that flowed within 200 yards of the old house and had to be crossed on a ferry boat of primitive construction; of Uncle Ben, the ferryman; of old Solon, who was an oracle among his people; of Cato and Numa; above all Fatima, who, it is said had been a princess in her own country, and assumed an importance and dignity consistent with the character. In my childish imagination she was always associated with the Fatima of "The Arabian Nights" and was consequently invested with a halo of romance more interesting even than her claim to royal descent.
Equally fascinating were the names of the carriage horses, that were as wonderful as the steeds of fairylore, Hyder Ali and Tippoc Sahib, so called after characters given a romantic interest by one of the novels of Sir Walter Scott, then in the height of his popularity. These were succeeded by Rob Roy and Diomade, the four being ever at the command of the lady of the manor when she rode in state to the venerable Stone Church or visited friends and relations on neighboring plantations. All that made life unique and delightful has long since passed away. The old plantation is deserted and overgrown. The trees alone remain to speak of the past, one immense cedar standing near where the hearthstone was laid. All is changed; even the banks of the river are doubtless not the same; but to me, for my mother's sake and because she loved it so "The odor and bloom of those bygone years Will hang o'er its waters forever."
But the story of the mistress of the plantation is waiting to be told, as it was her marked and interesting personality that helped to make the home a center of influence long to be remembered. She came to it a bride, in the early years of the century; a slight figure, with an erect, graceful carriage, fair complexion, blue eyes and auburn hair, with a cultured mind and trained literary taste. She was something of a society girl; was an exquisite dancer and was fresh from the gayeties of the military posts where her father, Captain Thomas of the English Army, had been stationed... Her mother was very domestic in her tastes and left it to her oldest daughter to be her father's companion in the social scenes in which he delighted. When Captain Thomas with his regiment was ordered home to England from the West Indies, where he was stationed, he sent his wife and daughters to Charleston, S.C., until he could arrange matters conveniently for them to join him. He sent them there instead of leaving them in Nassau, New Providence, as there was danger of a descent of the French on the Island, and indeed there was danger at the time upon the high seas. It was in Charleston during that memorable winter, while he as planning everything in the new home he was building for the happiness of his idolized daughter, that she met her fate in Robert Anderson, the only son of a wealthy up-country planter and veteran of the Revolution, who, having recently returned from Brown University, was there reading law after the fashion of the time. The acquaintance was auspiciously begun, and an engagement soon resulted, the mother from the first favoring the young suitor, whose frank, open face and winning manners made him many friends.
Mrs. Cornelia A. Cole, who visited the plantation about 1917, says this is an error, it still being one of the finest plantations of that section, although house was burned about two generations ago.
The father for a time was inconsolable and irreconcilable. He absolutely refused his consent, saying it meant giving up his daughter entirely, and he could not and would not face such a contingency. It was not until his wife wrote to him, What would you have done when you wanted to marry me, a Boston girl, if my father had refused to give me up to share the unsettled life of an army officer? That he yielded and gave his consent to the marriage. He was not able to be at his daughter's wedding and never saw her again, as he died before he could arrange to return to America and visit her in her own home. The wedding present he sent her - - a set of solid mahogany furniture -- made for her by his order in the West Indies, testified to his thoughtful care for her comfort.
The home to which she went as a bride in the spring of the year, when in that Southern climate nature clothes herself in robes of luxuriant beauty and the air is fragrant with odors rivaling those of "araby the blest," was the plantation on the Seneca River known as Westville, the property and residence of her husband's father, General Robert Anderson. General Anderson was a man of great force of character and striking personality -- a character and personality that impressed themselves upon his contemporaries and made him a marked man in a region not wanting in many fine exponents of Southern manhood. He and his brother in arms and sworn friend, General Andrew Pickens, had fought side by side during the Revolutionary War, and at its close both had been rewarded for their services by the lands lying on either side of the Seneca River. They were both also distinguished afterward by having their names given to two of the counties of South Carolina. He and General Pickens took the lead in establishing and building the now historic Old Stone Church and served it as ruling elder.
When the English girl came to Westville to make her home in the house of her father-in-law she found the life very different from that to which she had been accustomed. It was not all easy sailing at first. There were family complications that made some inclined to look askance at the young stranger. Her blue eyes had wrought havoc with some other plans, for it had been thought that the heir would find a bride nearer home. She knew nothing of housekeeping and had very little practical knowledge of the use of the needle. Her consternation can be imagined when she found that the matrons of that period were expected not only to direct the making up of clothes for the negroes but also to make the clothes needed by the men of the family for ordinary wear. She was too proud to ask for advice and help where she felt she might be criticised for her ignorance, and with many tears she confided the dilemma to her husband. He was equal to the emergency. At his suggestion, in the privacy of her own apartment, with his encouragement and assistance, she ripped up one of his old suits, and thus getting an exact pattern she made up the new one, which he wore with great pride and satisfaction. Five years after the marriage her father-in-law, General Anderson, died, leaving the greater part of the estate to his son. The young wife and mother -- she had two little daughters at this time -- entered upon the many duties and responsibilities of her position as lady of the manor and mistress of the large plantation. The position of the planter of the olden time was very much like that of the patriarch of the Scriptures. He dwelt among his wide possessions, surrounded by his flocks and herds, and his sons and daughters like olive plants around his table, his man-servants and maid-servants "born in his house," and to him every one looked for counsel and direction. He generally had the services of an overseer to look after the property, but he was the actual and acting head of what was often a little community in itself. The position of his wife entailed many responsibilities and was no sinecure. To a conscientious master and mistress the ownership of the salves carried with it a grave responsibility. They were like so many children, and had to be so regarded and cared for.
Much has been written of the ease and leisure and idleness of plantation life. With so many to serve, it has been the general impression that the ladies of the South in time of slavery had nothing to do but to visit and entertain and be waited upon. This was far from being the case. Since nearly everything was made on the plantation, that work must be supervised. All of the clothing of the servants had to be made up, the material for it being first spun and woven. This was directly in charge of the mistress of the mansion. If any of the servants were ill they had to be visited and encouraged and persuaded to use the means necessary for their relief. Getting them to take medicine was not an easy task; they had to be coaxed like so many children, and were as dependent upon the mistress as her own children were. In short, she had to be "the very pulse of the machine" -- a machine much more complicated than household matters generally are even in large establishments.
There were visits to be made and received, and rides and drives through shady lanes and blossoming country roads fringed on either side with the yellow jasmine and the beautiful purple clusters of the virgin's bower or traveler's delight. There was no flower that was so dear to my mother as the yellow jasmine. To her it was redolent of the perfume and beauty of the South. She had it transplanted, and vainly coaxed it to grow in another clime. These Southern flowers, with their contrasting colors, as characteristic of that section as the golden rod and the aster are of the North, have always appealed to my imagination with something of the charm of Wordsworth's golden daffodils.
Christmas was the great season of festivity on the plantation. Then the master of the house returned home from Columbia, where he went every winter, accompanied by his faithful colored body servant, to attend the meeting of the legislature. A time of rejoicing was inaugurated. He brought for the household stores of good things suggestive of Christmas cheer-- oranges and figs and raisins, spices and nuts, tea and coffee and sugar, the latter not ready for use as we now have it, but in the hard cone-shaped loaves that had to be broken with chisel and mallet; lucent sirups, and preserved ginger in the queer blue jars so suggestive of foreign climes and foreign faces. The children reveled in the good things, and the wife and daughters were radiant over the beautiful dress patterns he brought, the quaint little embroidered shoulder capes and the picturesque leghorn bonnets with wreaths of exquisite flowers all chosen with reference to the taste of each wearer. The negroes, too, shared in the generous provision, and all were light of heart and overflowing with good will.
Christmas morning, of course, was the especial time of rejoicing. The house as usual would be filled with guests; indeed, life at Westville was a continual house party. As soon as it was day, even before, the old mansion was alive with sounds of repressed merriment that finally broke into a chorus of "Christmas Gift! Christmas Gift!" shouted from door to door by the joyous servants and children. Then the happy father, mother, children and guests would sit down to the hospitable board and were served by the dark skinned attendants, whose willing service was one of love and appreciation of the benefits they, too had received. In such a scene Dickens might have found the embodiment of his "Spirit of Christmas." The hospitality of the period and the ease with which the planters entertained is illustrated by a story that is told of one of my grandmother's contemporaries. She lived on a plantation situated on a generally graduating slope. When guests arrived sometimes for a day, sometimes for a longer period, it was with horses and servants that also must be cared for. At a particular point on the plantation, carriages coming up the winding road could be seen a good distance off. Some little darky would be the first to spy the approaching vehicle and would rush up to where the mistress sat at work on the broad veranda, having made her arrangements for the day, with the breathless information, "Mis', Mis', carriage comin" ! She would look up and say: "Well, tell Judy to kill two chickens," and placidly go on with her knitting. In a little while another dusky runner would come flying. " Ms', 'nother carriage comin' !" to which she would reply: "Tell Judy to kill two more chickens." The story touches for the fact that this dialogue was repeated a third time and the third pair of chickens were sacrificed on the altar of hospitality.
For thirty years this typical lady and gentleman of the olden times were the center of a life that was almost ideal, honored and beloved by high and low; then a change came. He died at Columbia in the midst of his legislative duties, universally beloved and lamented. The devoted husband, the indulgent father, the kindly master gone, she who had walked with him side by side during all those golden years did not long survive. She died within a year and in time the plantation passed into other hands. The plantation is now of historic interest because of the grave of General Robert Anderson of Revolutionary memory, who was its first owner. Not long ago there was a movement made by the Daughters of the Revolution to have his remains removed to the graveyard of the Old Stone Church he helped to found. This was opposed by some of his descendants, who felt that the most fitting place for his body to rest was on the old plantation near the river and the scenes he loved, and among the graves of his household.
All is now changed throughout the fair southland. The old conditions have yielded to new, and those who loved it best would not have had those conditions perpetuated. And yet with the passing of slavery perished an institution that made the life I have described possible --a life that is alike interesting to the historian and the student of social traditions, because it was an integral part of a nation's growth and development.
Septima Anderson Born: May 19, 1846 Died: December 7, 1900 On May 2, 1866 married Elijah Fincher Born: October 31, 1845 Died: January 7, 1891 Children Robert Hilliard - Born September 14, 1867, d. 2-27-57 Elijah Barksdale - Born April 4, 1869, d. 2-19-59 Pickens Steele - Born May 8, 1871, d. 5-7-58 Frank Eugene - Born September 27, 1873, d. 8-21-66 James Edward - Born May 9, 1876, d. August 13, 1893 Mary Annie - Born April 13, 1878, d. 9-22-75 Frederick - Born September 1880, d. February 1881 William Herbert - Born February 2, 1882 , d. 10-8-68 Ernest Perry - Born August 16, 1885 (86?) d. 1-23-74 Katherine Rosalie - Born February 21, 1888, d. 6-5-75
They lived in Florida and Alabama, where the first two children were born then moved to Texas and lived in Hood County for a short time and moved to Ellis County about 1872 and built their home at Avalon where their other children were born. They both died at Avalon and were buried in Waxahachie, Texas.
Children of Mary Annie Fincher and Joseph Max Daniel
Mary Annie Fincher Born April 13, 1878 - Sept. 22 , 1975 On November 17,1897 Married at Avalon Joseph Max Daniel Born July 4, 1871 They lived on the homeplace at Avalon, Texas for awhile. Moved to Waxahachie in January of 1906 and again to the Sparks Community in Bell County (between Temple and Holland) in June of 1926. CHILDREN 1. Edwin Fincher, "Jack" - Born 7/20/98-6/29/75 Married, 2/22/21 Jessie Lea Sims - Born 9/16/1900 -5/21/80 Edwin Fincher, Jr. "Jackie" - Born 11/22/23 - 7/21/88 Dorothy Jane - Born 8/17/26 - Diane Lea -Born 10/27/34 twin ( David) -Born 10/27/34 (Died at Birth ) 2. Oswald Tillman "Pete" -Born 2/10/1900 - 2/19/74 Married 6/26/29. Linda King -Born 10/14/1908 Linda Anne -Born 3/13/30 Betty Barbara - Born 12/27/31 Peter King - Born 1/11/33 - ?/?/88 Ted Allen - Born 12/6/41 Virginia Sue- Born 11/3/44 3. Mildred Louise - Born 1/13/02 - 8/31/76?? Married 6/17/24 Robert Young Eckels - Born 3/18/1900 - 4/6/49 Joyce Louise - Born 11/11/25 Mildred Jean - Born 2/27/27 Robert Young, Jr. -Born 7/24/29 - 12/24/89 Paul Glenn - Born 2/6/31 5. Joseph Shirley -Born 2/24/08 Married 3-1-30 Elnorie Allen - Born 1/6/12 Frances Shiree - Born 2/29/33 Joseph Allen - Born 4/2/35 4. Rosalie Irene - Born 3/1/04, unmarried 5. Joseph Shirley - 2/24/08 Married 3/10/30 Frances Elno Allen - 1/6/19 Two children
Extracts From a Diary
Author Unknown - This was found among some old papers - Author Unknown
7th of July
After paying Tavern bill $5.75, left Pendleton between 8 and 9 o'clock, and after traveling over a very hilly and rough road for about 5 miles, crossed Kewee River at Old Gen. Anderson's, who I found at home, busy a writing, he received me very politely; after perusing Mr. Montgomery's letter, he politely told me, that he would do everything in his power to oblige me, as long as I chose to stay in his home; I was very thankful for his politeness. He told me that he was sorry that his granddaughter was from home, who keeps house for him. But I was not seated long, when in came three fair damsels, as fair and as charming as the Graces; his two granddaughters, Miss Ann and Eliza Maxwell and Miss Anderson, his niece, a young lady from near Lexington in Kentucky, on a visit to her friends in this part of the world; Miss Ann the eldest of the sisters, lives with her grandfather, to keep house for him, he being an Old Widower, having lost three wives, and he is now grown very infirm and inactive, occasioned by some severe attacks of the gout. Miss Eliza lives with her mother a widow lady in Greenville, she is on a visit to her grandfather.
8th of July
Being Sunday, rode to Meeting, which was 4 miles off, with the General and his family; had the pleasure of galanting Miss Ann, who rode on horseback; on getting better acquainted with her, I found her truly a charming amiable girl, a fine person, well made, about the middle size; the other two girls did not attract my attention so much, though they both appear amiable good girls, they had not, apparently that sweet attractive powers that Miss Ann had. The Meeting House was large stone building, about 40 feet long and 25 feet wide, the seats and long benches with partitions between each, and all held in common; we had a pretty full congregation, and two sermons about a quarter of an hour between each; the first was a tedious one of an hour long, lengthened out by repeated repetitions, when the substance might have been easily discussed in about 35 minutes. It was delivered by a Mr. Murphy, a young man, who had but lately commenced preaching. He is accounted up here to be a very promising preacher of the Gospel for a young man. The other sermon was delivered by a Mr. Price, a Clergyman from James Island who spends his summers in this part of the country for the benefit of his health; his sermon was about 30 minutes long, a better connected one than the first, but not so well delivered, being too precise and slow, with one dull monotony of sounds, which tires the attention in attending to it. They are both of the Presbyterian Church. I returned with the General, and we got home at 4 o'clock to dinner. The General appears to be a religious and devout good man, no ways enthusiastical or bigoted; every Sunday he has Morning and Evening family prayers.
By the politeness of the Old General, he permitted his Overseer, a clever young man to go with me, to show me the way to the falls of Conoross Creek, which are 6 miles off. We traveled over a very hilly, bracken and barren county; when we arrived at the falls the road crosses the creek immediately below them. This is an elegant and romantic though confined view; on the left side, as you look up the stream you have a view of a small log Tub Mill, which works by the water being carried to its wheel by means of a conduit, that receives the water at the commencement of the fall; the conduit is fixed on the same rock, on posts and girders, that the fall is upon. The fall is occasioned by a tremendous rock about 70 yards wide across the creek, and about 20 feet perpendicular fall; the greatest and principal tumble-over is on the right as you look up, over hung by a tremendous rock, that is upwards of 70 feet perpendicular; I went to the foot of this spot, and stood as near the tumble-over as possible, as to receive some of its sprais, the contemplate human nature with sublimity: just at my feet I killed a small moccasin snake, that appeared to be enjoying the cool dashing of the spray. On the other side I clambered up a high rocky precipice upwards of 80 feet, nearly perpendicular, to have a more distant and better view, than I could get from below; the falls from this height was truly beautiful, being about 100 yards distant, and the additional view of some distance up the Creek, the stream dashing between and over innumerable rocks with a great degree of rapidity which adds sublimity to the scenery. The Creek is in general but shallow, but very subject to great inundations, occasioned by heavy sheets of rain, which must add considerable grandeur to the Falls. The Old Miller, who was an Old Continental Soldier of the name of John Looney, who was at the Siege of Savannah, and there got so severely wounded in two parts of his body, which occasions him not to receive an annuity from the United States for past services; he informed me that he can get plenty of fish, (Trout and Perch) with a line, and in the Shad season great numbers come up, which are caught in traps. After staying there about an hour, we returned the same way we went, and got to the Generals just in time for dinner. What I saw of the land from Pendleton to this Creek is in general very poor, except near the river, where they are pretty good. The General tells me that some of his best lands, produces from 500 to 800 lbs. of cotton.
10th of July
Ellis County about 1872 and built their home at Avalon where their other I stayed within doors this day, and made some entries into my journal. The Old General is at present studiously employed in writing a piece in Vindication of Slavery; he tells me it will consist of about 600 pages, which when he is done writing he will have it critically examined and if then thought worth publishing, he will have it published by subscription.
11th of July
Ellis County about 1872 and built their home at Avalon where their other Left Gen. Anderson's this morning at 9 o'clock, and started on my route to General Pickens; what occasioned me to thus late in startation, in, I was under the necessity of wait on the arrival of Mr. Joseph Pickens, the youngest son of the General, who, General Anderson was so good as to write to on the 9th ult., (he living with his brother Andrew, a near neighbour) requesting of him, if it won't be inconvenient, to come over and guide to his Father's. He very politely returned answer that he would wait on me on Wednesday Morning; and we started as soon as he arrived, and traveled on, over a good level road, with very poor land on each side for about 12 or 14 miles, when they began to be hilly and broken as we approached the Mountains. Ellis County about 1872 and built their home at Avalon where their other
We arrived at Gen. Pickens at 2 o'clock p.m. which is 23 miles from Gen Anderson's; I delivered to him Mr. Montgomery's letter, on the perusing of which, he gave me a hearty welcome, if I can put up with his plain fare. I found him a very different man to what Gen. Anderson is; he is a thin spare man, a few years younger, and still an active man, and more serious and distant in his manners that the other. He and his Old Lady live a very retired life at the very foot of the mountain, at the boundary of the State; the Indian lines run through a part of his fields. I crossed three small creeks this day in going to the Gen. vix. Cane Creek, the largest and deepest, with a good bridge across it. Oconee Creek and Tamassee Creek, two small and very clear streams; these three streams form a junction after awhile, then falls into the Keowee River.