Saturday, 6th April, 1867

Quite windy today. Notwithstanding, as the day had been appointed for fasting and prayer by the Church at Zion for the purpose of reorganizing and electing officers, I endeavored to devise some plan to go, so I had the cows kept in the barn yard and took the boy behind the buggy, drove George and let the cows remain till I returned, ½ past one o’clk. I approve of the proceedings very much, all scripturally con___. Dr. Edwards and Hardin chosen Elders or Bishops, and J. F. Edwards and Wm. Lipscomb Deacons by lot. – – Found Pigeo much better when I returned. Gave her Calomel last night after taking tartar in broken doses. – – I had become very uneasy about Bill, but to our great relief, he walked in at the entry door at nine o’clk. Had a chill the day after he went over and was quite sick from the affects. Found labor scarce, brought three men and a woman. – Lodged the woman, Betty, and her husband in the kitchen where they will reside at present. Old Uncle David and William will room with Wilkerson at the quarters. The old man will bring his family down next week, ten in number.1 – – Discharged Patsy this morning. Paid her for the week, except $.60 I owe her. Paid her in flour and money. I love my faithful Patsy.

  1. “Old Uncle David” is David Nelson. Caroline will provide his surname in a later post. That she refers to him as “Uncle” suggests he is well known to her. David, 55, appears in the 1870 US Census with Lucy, 39, Judith, 15, Charles H. 14, Mary E. 11, Levenia, 8, Emily 7, Rachell A., 3, and Lucy, 1. The 1867 Personal Property Tax for KW provides the names of nine Black male Nelsons listed together: Richard, Joseph, Watson, England, Edward, Abram, Nat, John, and James. Oddly, our David does not appear. Which, if any, of these men are related to “Uncle David” or are among the Nelsons who are working at Woodbury this spring is unknown. Adding to the oddness, no Black Nelsons appeared in the 1866 PP Tax Rolls and only a Henry Nelson will appear in 1868. A David Nelson, presumably “Uncle,” does appear on the 1869 Tax rolls along with Henry, James, Ralph, and “Edw. & son.” These records support Caroline’s observations of the fluid circumstances of newly freed Black families in the early years after the war.  (back)