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Tag Archives: Eliza Hammons

The Extraordinary Alice Packwood, A Testament to Strength

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From out of our past comes once again a story of a remarkable and resourceful woman, a testament of resiliency and strength, Alice Packwood. The late family historian, Mrs. Onetha Bullock-Hutchinson, said that Liddie (Lydia) Bullock’s father was a Brister, related to  Washington (Wash) Brister, later of Tylertown, Walthall County, Mississippi. I am still searching for her father.

The white Bristers of Lincoln County, Mississippi  were pioneer planters. I imagine that Alice so hated slavery that she ran to freedom not soon after the Great War broke out. Her last child during this period was born in the later stages of the war in 1864, ELIZA. The war had began in April 1861.There was a slave contraband camp around Bogue Chitto, the Big Creek, in Lawrence or Lincoln County where Big John’s sister in law, Deliah, worked during the war. Alice’s run for sanctuary and freedom must have ended in that contraband camp.

In 1870, Wash had adopted the surname Brister which would indicate one of the Brister Plantations as his last place of bondage in Lincoln County. In that same year, Wash was found working as a child house servant in Holmesville, Pike County, which was the station of about 100 Black Union Troops overseeing the transition from Slavery to Freedom and Reconstruction in Marion and Pike County. I envision that Wash and his family had followed the protection of Union Troops out of the Lawrence/Lincoln Slave Contraband Camps, which is where I assume that Alice had come in contact with the Black Bristers before her marriage.

Liddie, as she was commonly called, was my grandfather’s (John Bullock) mother. Family spoken folklore said that  Liddie’s mother was Alice Packwood.  The folklore of my family was confirmed when I found Liddie (Lydia) with her mother Alice in Lawrence County, Mississippi in the 1870 U.S. Census. The above is a picture of non-oppressed beauty, glory, charm and grace. It is not Alice Packwood but only a presentation of the beautiful and strong women that were once subjected to the ravages of human bondage.

My impression is that Alice was an extraordinary woman of superior strength, intelligence, independence, character and faith. Alice was robust and resourceful. She was found most of the time in and about Lawrence and Pike County working as a farm hand free and independent of men. In 1870, she was approximately 35 years old and appeared to have five (5) children.

My great grandmother, Liddie, had been the first of her children born free. I believe Liddie was actually born in Lincoln or Lawrence County sometime before the end of the Civil War in February 1865. At least, that is what she had reported in the 1900 U.S. Census. However, Liddie’s birthday around 1868 would also be of some historical significance. It would have been a couple of years after the war and the beginning of Reconstruction and some return to regional peace and family stability.

On June 27, 1870, Alice (Youngblood), age 35, married Benjamin Hammons, but appeared to be living alone with some of her children working as a farmhand in Lawrence County.

In 1870, Alice was residing with John Hammons, age 9 (br. 1861), Peter Hammons, age 5 (br. 1865) and Lydia (Liddie) Hammons (br. 1868). I couldn’t locate any information on Ben Hammons. Alice’s daughter Louise (Lucy) Packwood, age 18 (br. 1852), and son, James Packwood, age 8 (br. 1862), were living in Marion County among the House of Moses and the Bullock-Youngblood Clan with John Youngblood, age 30 (br. 1840).

In the June 1870 U.S. Census, plantation owner, Hubert (Hugh) Bullock, was at house 199, John Youngblood with Alice and James were at house 202, James Bullock, the elder, was at 207, and Moses, the Patriarch of the Bullock-Youngblood Family, was at 209. John Youngblood could have been one of Moses’ sons, Notorious Jake Bullock’s uncle. However more than likely, John may have been Judy Youngblood, age 55 (br. 1815) or Amos Youngblood’s, age 52 (br. 1818) son.

Judy and Amos was down the road at 208 and 210. Alice’s children association with the House of Moses and the Bullock-Youngblood Family Group establish that she at one time had been very close to the family in bondage and left her children within this support group at sometime at the start of the Great War. However, keep in mind that Lucy was nevertheless most likely a true “Youngblood.”  

In the 1880 U.S. Census, Alice, age 45 (br. 1835) is back in Pike County under the name of Alice Hammons. Lucy Hammons, age 25 (br. 1855) is back with Alice. Listed as daughters residing with her was Elizabeth Hammons, age 16 (br. 1864), Liddia (Liddie) Hammons, age 12 (br. 1868), Peter Hammons, age 10 (br. 1870), Angeline (Azalin), age 6 (br. 1874) and John Hammons, age 2 (br. 1878) Grandson. Her son, James Packwood, (br. 1862) would have been 18 and living apart from the family.

At this time, Alice is reported to be a widow. Ben Hammons had passed to the otherside between June 1870 and June 1880.

The Scars and Eyes of Human Bondage

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Above, these are actual true eyes of the savagery human bondage from a beautiful young woman from American Slavery. In her eyes, you can also see absolute dissociation from the unworldiless (Other World ) of Human Bondage.

The Slave Mother (1854)

By Frances E. W. Harper (1825-1911)

Heard you that shriek? It rose
So wildly on the air,
It seemed as if a burden’d heart
Was breaking in despair.

Saw you those hands so sadly clasped–
The bowed and feeble head–
The shuddering of that fragile form–
That look of grief and dread?

Saw you the sad, imploring eye?
Its every glance was pain,
As if a storm of agony
Were sweeping through the brain.

She is a mother pale with fear,
Her boy clings to her side,
And in her kirtle vainly tries
His trembling form to hide.

He is not hers, although she bore
For him a mother’s pains;
He is not hers, although her blood
Is coursing through his veins!

He is not hers, for cruel hands
May rudely tear apart
The only wreath of household love
That binds her breaking heart.

His love has been a joyous light
That o’er her pathway smiled,
A fountain gushing ever new,
Amid life’s desert wild.

His lightest word has been a tone
Of music round her heart, Their lives a streamlet blent in one–
Oh, Father! must they part?

They tear him from her circling arms,
Her last and fond embrace.
Oh! never more may her sad eyes
Gaze on his mournful face.

No marvel, then, these bitter shrieks
Disturb the listening air:
She is a mother, and her heart
Is breaking in despair.

She, above, is not unlike the unworldly perils seen, pain suffered and experienced by Alice Packwood in bondage. Family history and folklore provided by her late granddaughter, Corine Bullock (br. 1901), Alice had been separated from her family at an early age. It was so early and painful that she had no memory of them. As a child, Alice suffered greatly from the pain of her separation from her family, and cruelty of human bondage.

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As a young child, she was a fan bearer for a cruel and mean family. A fan bearer was a house job. It was usually a young child.  His or her duty was to stand with a large flume of feathers affixed to a pole or rod and constantly fan and cool a subject of the plantation owner’s family. The fan bearer was under constant and inhumane pressure to remain standing and alert for hours.

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If the fan bearer fell from sleep, exhaustion, hunger or pain, he or she was severely beaten or punished. Clues from slave schedules suggest that the Extraordinary Alice Packwood in her infancy may have been subjected to Human Bondage on the plantation of Benjamin Youngblood in Marion County, Mississippi. Alice was born in Mississippi in 1830 about the same time as Big John.

In 1850, Mississippi Slave Schedules from the plantation of Benjamin and Joseph Youngblood show a twenty year old female in bondage. Slave schedules recorded no other information about people held in bondage other than age and gender, but the slave records were consistent with a young lady of Alice’s age being subjected on the Youngblood plantation. It is extremely important to always keep in mind  that the Youngblood Plantation was adjacent to Hugh Bullock’s Plantation someplace near the town of Columbia, Marion County along a fertile river crescent.

After the abolition of slavery, Alice and Lucy used both Youngblood and Packwood as their surnames until Hammons’ marriage. Lucy Youngblood, Alice’s eldest known daughter, was born sometime between 1852-1855 on the Youngblood Plantation in servitude, a child of the Other World.

I believe that it is safe to assume that Alice being a robust and fertile woman had become separated from Lucy while in bondage from the Youngblood plantation. The most likely last place of Alice’s bondage by the clue of the surname that she adopted after the abolition of slavery was on the plantation of Dudley W. Packwood,  most likely inherited by his son, Joseph H. Packwood.

Dudley Packwood arrived rather late in Pike County in about 1850. He first settled on the farm of an early Pike County settler, Ralph Stovall. Dudley was born in 1782 in New London, Connecticut. He traveled to New Orleans, and was in the Battle of New Orleans with Andrew Jackson. He lived in Louisiana and Alabama before migrating to Mississippi. Dudley’s father, Joseph, was a sea captain during the Revolutionary War. Dudley’s wife was Catherine Elliot, born 1803 in Maryland. Dudley lived in region of Pike County called China Grove. He died sometime in 1860 at 76, Catherine died sometime in 1873.

Recall that Lucy Youngblood was born sometime around 1854. It is possible that Alice suffered another painful separation from family soon after the birth of Lucy. Dudley’s eldest son, Joseph H. Packwood, born 1836, was also a farmer and merchant and spent his life in China Grove, Pike County from 1850 to his death in 1900.

Joseph married Mary Youngblood, born 1844. Mary was the daughter of Joseph Youngblood above, and Eliza Bickham. It is possible that Alice may have followed Mary as dowry, the property which a woman brings her husband at marriage. Lucy most probably remained on the Youngblood plantation. We know that the eldest son of Joseph and Mary Packwood was born July 3, 1863.

In 1860, Dudley had 13 human beings subjected on his farm. The oldest female in servitude was a 22 year old mulatto. Alice would been about 30 years old. Therefore, Alice may have arrived on the Packwood farm sometime after 1860. It is likely, and most probable that Mary Youngblood and Joseph Packwood was married sometime in 1862 after Mary’s eighteen birthday, and Alice followed Mary as “dowry”. Recall that Alice’s son, Peter, was born in 1862 in bondage as a “Packwood.”  It is also likely that Alice’s daughter, ELIZA (br. 1864) may also have been born on the Packwood Plantation.  

In 1870, 5 (five) years from abolition of slavery, Alice was a farm hand in Lawrence County working on the plantation of Joseph Youngblood, one of Ben Youngblood’s sons.

Another clue as to Alice’s last place of bondage on the Packwood Plantation involves again, Notorious Jake.  In 1880, Alice and her family had moved back to Pike County. Her husband, Ben Hammons, had passed. At some point in 1880, Jake rode up. Jake had to have known Alice and the kids from one of the surrounding Youngblood-Packwood plantations, Ante Bellum Bondage.

Jake most likely would have been on horse back. He would have made quite an early lasting impression on 10 or 12 year old Liddie. A brief description of Jake as dark with long straight jet black hair came from his son, Sam Bullock, who later adopted the surname “Quinn.” Sam and my grandfather, John Bullock, were close as brothers should be and equally perplexed about being the seed of Notorious Jake. There wasn’t much difference between their ages. They bonded with each other for a lifetime of brotherhood, moral support and comfort. Sam and John married sisters, Ethel and Ida, from the morally strict and deeply religious Alex-Miley McGowen Family of Pike County.

I imagine that Jake was long and tall like my grandfather. John stood about 6.3 feet. Jake was lean and tall, dark and handsome with long straight jet black hair. He was iron chiseled muscular with a straight back and haunting piecing dark brown-deep penerating and spiritual eyes like his daughter, Josie Bullock, above, that seemed to see through you.

Jake would have rode up to Alice’s place morning, day or night. Jake was vain. Jake was out of the House of Moses. During the Great War, Pike and Marion Counties wasn’t touched much other than the loss of white males that entered the war on the side of Confederacy. Union troops destroyed some of railroad stations around Columbia, Mississippi near the plantation, but there wasn’t very much other action in the area. After the war, plantation owners Hugh Bullock and Hosea Davis were still among the wealthy and influential planter class. Jake’s grandfather, Moses Bullock, was also considerately well off as an ex-bondsman.  In 1870, between Moses and his son, Amos Youngblood, reported about $1,000 in assets.

At Jake’s back was Big John and Ellen and the House of Moses. They appeared to be the backbone of the wealthly and influential planter class of Marion and Pike County. Jake was vain. He wasn’t beyond throwing his weight around the county.

Out of the Alice and Jake union, a son was born. Alice named him, Dudley. Dudley Packwood? In 1920, Dudley (Dud) was found residing in Pike County with his wife, Lada (Leola), age 35 (br. 1885), Hattie, age 13 (br. 1907), Mattie, age 11 (br. 1909), John, age 7 (br. 1913), Bennee, age 5 (br. 1915) and Della, age 3 months (br. 1920).  Mrs. Onetha Bullock-Hutchinson reported that Dud’s son, John, had moved to California and lost touch.

O.D. Smith, son of Angeline Bullock-Smith (br. 1884), the daughter of Liddie and George Bullock, said that Dud was part of the infamous “Bullock Boys” at the turn of the century. He said that “Dud, Levi, John and Lonzo. were too touch for me!” O.D. thought that Pack Bullock (Notorious Jake) was his grandfather instead of George, Sr. Recall that George, Jr. was was born in 1893 so I believe that George was Angeline’s father.But O.D. would know more than I about his mother. Angeline passed around 1937.

It is possible that Liddie most likely first met her future husband, George Bullock (br. 1861) of Lincoln-Lawrence County with Jake during the early 1880s. Both George and Jake rode together. They were extremely handsome young men of the time, and part of the 19th Century infamous “Bullock Boys.”

One thing is historically cystral clear, Lidde Brister-Bullock loved the “Bullock Boys.” At this time, I have been unable to find when and where the Remarkable Alice passed or the fate of any of Liddie’s brothers and sisters. Alice was an extremely strong and remarkable woman of her time forever scarred by human bondage. I call her name once again, GREAT-GREAT GRANDMOTHER, ALICE PACKWOOD, YOU WERE AN EXTRAORDINARY HUMAN BEING.  

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