Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mapping History: Sidney Tanner Homes

When I pulled up the map of Sidney Tanner's homes that I embedded in a previous post, I noticed that it had been viewed 180 times. It's a great way of representing data, and worth explaining. There may be other ways to create maps like this, but Google provides a nice platform, and will probably be around for some time, so that's the method I've chosen to do several recent maps.

I first used this kind of map for my book project. I was constantly pulling out a copy of the Nicholas Morgan/J. B. Ireland Pioneer Map of Great Salt Lake City to see where someone lived, and figured it would be useful to plot my data in one central location. I now have seventy data points on a map about Early Black Utah/Mormon History and may make it available to the public at some point. It has been very useful to me to see where people lived in relation to one another, and to historical events.

Here's the Sidney Tanner map.

As noted, it is "in progress." A couple of the locations are exact, to the very foot, such as Fort San Bernardino, but some are more general and could stand some additional research. In the process of making the map, I discovered that I cannot see Sidney Tanner's home at 195 E. 200 North in Beaver although it was on the National Register of Historic Places and noted to be in excellent condition.

Does anyone know about the home? Is it this one, significantly altered?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Remember the trials of Missouri; forget not the courage of Nauvoo . . .

The years of 1838–1839 were a tragic and unstable time in our nation's history as the Mormon War raged in Missouri. The Mormons were trying to protect their right to establish homes as a religious and cultural minority, and although they may have acted unwisely, nothing they did justified being driven out of their lawful homes and persecuted and murdered and the women and girls subjected to awful crimes.

At the time the state of Missouri sought to prosecute him for a variety of charges, Sidney Tanner had a wife, Louisa, and four young children, Allen, Lydia, Emma, and Mary. The oldest was only seven years old. Like so many others, the Tanners left few records of their sufferings, but Sidney's father, John Tanner, was taken prisoner and badly injured, struck on the head with a gun, "which laid his skull bare to the width of a man's hand."

Here is Sidney Tanner's land patent from July 28, 1838. He filed two claims at the General Land Office in Lexington.

The first land was eighty acres in Clinton County, Missouri, Township 56N, Range 30W, Aliquots W1/2SE1/4, Section 13. It was just north of what is now Wallace State Park, and is just west of Plum Creek, and located on the eastern edge of Clinton County.

The second land was forty acres in Clay County, Missouri, Township 56N, Range 29W, Aliquots NW1/4NE1/4, Section 21. It was a couple of sections east of the first land, just over the county line in Clay County, and just west of Goose Creek.

When the conflict heated up, the local government indicted many of the Mormon residents. Here is some news coverage from New York.

"The St. Louis Republican is doubtful as to the final result of these prosecutions," wrote the reporter. He noted that after driving out and indicting so many Mormons, the Missourians were snapping up their land and homes. "Great distress and suffering exists among the plundered Mormons, many of whom were formerly quiet, inoffensive residents of northern Ohio. . . . There can be no possible excuse for the murder and rapine with which they have been desolated since emigrating. The infamy will be as lasting as the name of Missouri." (January 15, 1839, Hudson River Chronicle (Ossining, New York), 3.)

The Missouri officials pretended to continue with the legal proceedings, but released most of the prisoners. Joseph Smith and five others were taken to Liberty Jail and held until they were allowed to escape. The Mormons fled the state and resettled in Illinois and Iowa for a time.

Sidney Tanner is not known to have filed a redress petition with the federal government about the loss of his land. It's too bad, since the Redress Petitions contained many good biographical and historical details from those who wrote them. Note, in closing, that Sampson Avard testified under oath that Sidney Tanner was not a Danite.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Slaves in the Family: Quom and Cloe

Soldiers at Yorktown, including a black
infantryman from the 1st Rhode Island Regiment.
When he died in January 1777, Francis Tanner of Hopkinton, Rhode Island, owned an enslaved man and woman named Quom and Cloe. He left Quom to his son Joshua Tanner, later the father of John Tanner. Since Quom became the property of Joshua and not one of his older half-brothers, he probably came into the Tanner household through an inheritance from the family of Joshua's mother and Francis's second wife, Elizabeth Shelton Tanner.

"Also I give and bequeath to my said son Joshua Tanner my negro boy Quom"
The year after Francis died, Quom signed up to fight for Rhode Island against the British. Joshua served in the war as well. Quom would have been a strong young man, since his value was given as £120. He served as a private under Captain Elijah Lewis in the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, or "Black Regiment." Quom was captured by the British on May 21, 1779, on the Narraganset shore of Rhode Island. He was a prisoner of war for the duration of the war and was returned to America after the Peace Treaty of 1783. Joshua Tanner should have been paid Quom's market value of £120, so Quom probably did not return to the Tanner family after the war. Joshua Tanner did not own any slaves in 1790.

Quom Tanner (1761-1852) received bounty lands from the United States government for his service in the war, and he settled in Rensselaer County, New York, and raised a family with his wife, Charity (-1852). There was also a Chloe Tanner living in Rensselaer County, and I will continue to do research about their families.

Note: When faced with this situation, a number of families have added slaves as children in a family. Do not add Quom or Cloe as children in the family. They were not members of the family; they were chattel slaves and members of the Tanner household. They should be remembered honestly in the family histories, but history is what it is, and we cannot repair it by trying to alter it to match our twenty-first century views, as many families have tried to do over the years.

• • •

Here are the sources.

Bartlett, John R. Census of the Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations . . . 1774. Providence, Rhode Island: Knowles, Anthony & Co., State Printers, 1858, 225.
Hopkinton, Rhode Island, page 225
Francis Tanner
Above 16: 2
Under 16: 1
Above 16: 1
Under 16: 1
Indians: 0
Blacks: 2
Total: 7

TANNER, Francis – PR 2:64 Will written – 22 October 1776, Proved 20 January 1777
Wife, Elizabeth Sons: Josiah, Isaac, William, Joshua
Daughters: Amy, Dorcas, Susannah
Mentions a farm that he formerly lived on in South Kingstown he gives to his son Nathan which
partially abuts his brother Benjamin’s farm, a farm he bought from his brother Nathan that was in South Kingstown and gives to son Isaac, gives his wife items that her father gave to her, mentions a negro girl, Cloe and a negro boy, Quom.
* Land Description
Witnesses: William Tifft, Francis West, Abel Tanner
Codicil: Witnesses, Abel Tanner, Nathan Tanner
Inventory: PR 2:72 9 January 1777 Appraisers: Abel Tanner, Joseph Witter Jr.
This abstract of Francis Tanner's will is from the Hopkinton Historical Association

[Date] April 2 [1778] [Name of slave] Quam Tanner [Owner of slave] Joshua Tanner [Residence of owner] Hopkinton [Value of Slave in £] 120

Private Quam (Quom) Tanner, BLW 1636-100, S42445 (Enlisted March 8, 1778 (Muster Roll); Slave of "Joshua Tanner" of Hopkinton (Rider, Rhode Island Historical Tracts No. 10, p. 53))

1840 Census
Name: Quam Tanner
Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Nassau, Rensselaer, New York
Birth Year: abt 1762
Age: 78
Free Colored Persons - Males - Under 10: 1
Free Colored Persons - Males - 10 thru 23: 1
Free Colored Persons - Males - 55 thru 99: 1
Free Colored Persons - Females - 10 thru 23: 1
Free Colored Persons - Females - 36 thru 54: 1
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
Total Free Colored Persons: 5
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

The primitive 1781 watercolor by Jean-Baptiste-Antoine DeVerger shows American soldiers at Yorktown, including a black infantryman from the 1st Rhode Island Regiment. From copy at Wikipedia, originally World Digital Library.