When I was a little
This tablet tells about the place where Mary
Jemison was captured. It is erected on the
Mary Jemison was born
on the ship William and Mary on the way from
St Ignatius church,
Buchanan valley, Pennsylvania
Little church located just a mile and a half from the place where Mary Jemison was captured. Father Will Whalen was the pastor of this church, and he corresponded with my grandmother Anita Ball Dawson
Statue of Mary
Jemison outside the mission of St
Ignatius a mile and a half from the place she was captured. She looks down
toward the family home in the beautiful
Father Will Whalen sitting by the statue of Mary Jemison.
Father Whalen worked hard getting the money together to purchase this statue. He corresponded with my grandmother and somehow he got enough money together to have the statue made. When I went to the little church a few years ago I left with the present Father all the copies of the letters and pictures by Father Whalen for their safekeeping. Father Whalen wanted to have a movie made about little Mary Jemison, but to no avail.
“The White Woman of the
In the western part
of the state of
To the Memory Of
Whose home during more than seventy years of a life of strange vicissitude was among the Senecas upon the banks of this river; and whose history, inseparably connected with that of this valley, has caused her to be known as
The White Woman Of The
This is the true story of Mary Jemison.
These facts were
related to Dr. James Everett Seaver by a white woman found living among the
Seneca Indians of north western
At the time of the narration of this story to Dr. Seaver, Mary Jemison was about eighty years old, but was still hale and vigorous.
She is described by the author as being of unusually fair skin for one who has spent so many years exposed to the weather, with eyes of light blue, hair gray, but showing it had been light chestnut, and with exceedingly small, slender hands and feet. Her features he said were regular, and of great beauty.
Mary begins her
narrative by telling of her parents,
Thomas Jemison and Jane Erwin , who were prosperous Scotch-Irish
planters, living, as the record show at Carrichmacross. Owing to religious intolerance, they
decided to migrate to the new world, and accordingly removed to
Creek, in the eastern part of the state of Pennsylvania, where they lived in comparative quiet for almost fifteen years.
They became according
to the standards of the time, fairly wealthy. The family, at this time, consisted of two sons and a
daughter, John, Thomas, and Betsy, born in Europe, two sons born in
Much uneasiness was felt because of unrest among the Indians, but Mr. Jemison had decided that it would be safe for them to remain on their farm for another year.
And then one morning when the happy little family was about their accustomed tasks, the father shaving an axe-helve, the two oldest boys working at the barn a little distance from the house, the mother getting breakfast, shots were heard outside, and upon rushing to the door, the mother found Robert Buck, a man who had been staying with the Jemisons, dead beside his horse. The Indians were upon them. With the exception of the two boys who were at the barn, the entire family was captured.
There followed eight days of forced marching through swamps, the trip being extended at last in canoes..
And then, one night beside the camp fire, the Indians took the shoes from Mary’s feet, and substituted moccasins in their place.. This meant one thing, the savages intended to save the child, and to and doom her family to death. Calling the girl to her, the mother besought her to remember the names of her family, never to forget her English tongue, and, above all, to keep the faith of her fathers. She enjoined Mary to be courageous, and, as the Indians led the girl away by the hand, begged her not to cry. Those were the last words which Mary Jemison was ever to hear from her mother, for that night the family were put to death.
The narrative from
then on relates how she was adopted by two Indian women, who accepted her in
place of a brother killed in the battle with the whites. She tells of a time when her rescue was
almost accomplished. It seems, that her Indian associates made a journey to
In a single short
paragraph she tells that her
sisters commanded her to become the wife of one of the
In speaking of homelife among the Indians and of the tasks which had been her portion, she says they were no harder than those of white women. Sheninjee died early, leaving her with one son, and dependent entirely on own efforts.
As an ironic faith
would have it, the way was then opened for her to return to her own race. The King of
When her son Thomas was three or four years old, she was married to one of the cruelest and most blood-thirsty chiefs ever known, Hiakatoo. But like her first husband, he seems to have been uniformly gentle with her. By this second husband she had four daughters and two sons, all of whom were named for her relatives, and to all of whom she gave her family names.
This narrative of
Mary’s is full of interesting incidents of two wars. She says that an “uncle” of hers, John Jemison, was killed at
Soon after the close of the Revolution, Mary was given another opportunity to return to her people. Her Indian brother, Kau-ji-ses-tau-geau, offered her liberty, and her oldest son,
Thomas, wanted to go with her. But the chief of the tribe saw possibilities of a great warrior in Thomas, and refused to let him go. Partly because she was unwilling to give up her son, and partly because she knew her younger children would not be well received among the whites, Mary once more put aside an opportunity to return to her own race. Upon telling her Indian brother of her decition, he showed himself well pleased, and told her he would see that she had a grant of her own choosing to live on. Soon after he died, but in due time the promised grant of land was turned over to her.
Her narrative after this includes three deep tragedies, the killing of John and his two younger brothers, and his own murder in a drunken brawl.
Mary Jemison continued to live on the tract of land which had been given to here until the summer of 1831, when she sold her property, and removed with migrating Indians friends to the Buffalo Flats. Here she resided to the end of her days.
Mrs. Asher Wright, a missionary among the Indians, gives an account of Mary Jemison’s last days. Many attempts had been made to convert her to Christianity, but she held firmly to the religion of the people who had become her people. Toward the last, she sent for Mrs. Wright to come to her. She seemed deeply stirred, and told the missionary that a few nights before, as she lay unable to sleep, her mind traveled back over the years of her childhood. She recalled the earnest plea of her mother that she keep the faith of her Fathers, and that she never neglect to repeat at night the prayer which had been taught her. “But I spent so much time taking care of my family,” sighed the dying woman, “that I finally left it off at last forgot it all. And now, I do not know how to pray.”
The missionary repeated the Lord’s prayer , and Mary listened attentively until the last word was spoken, when she burst into tears.
But what matters is how she approached Him, as all Father, God, Nau-wan-o-u, as long as “her house was the stranger’s home; from her table the hungry were refreshed; she made the naked as comfortable as her means would admit of; and in all her actions, discovered so much natural goodness of heart, her admirers increased in proportion to the extension of her acquaintance, and she became celebrated as the friend of the distressed. She was the protectress of the homeless fugitive, and made welcome the wary wanderer. Many still live to commemorate her benevolence toward them, when prisoners during the war, and to ascribe their deliverance to the mediation of “The White Woman”.
MaryJemison died at
Statue of Mary as seen today at Letchworth state Park.
Gardeau, home of Mary Jemison in her later life.
This is the real story of the Jemison family that we are direct descendents from. To include all the Jemisons would be an arduous task, therefore I have only included the once in the family that are of interest to us. As you have read before, Mary Jemison is only our relative, we are descendants from Robert Jemison, Mary’s uncle.
ROBERT JEMISON &
There children were;
Sarah Married a Mr. Prather one daughter unknown.
John Born 1747 Died 1835 Settled in Bourbon
David Born 1754
Samuel Born 1751 Settled in
William Born 1745 Settled near Scioto
Thomas Born 1758 Died unmarried.
Arthur Born 1756 Settled in
ROBERT Born 1749 Died 1799 Settled in
ROBERT JEMISON MARRIED MARGARETE KIRKHAM BORN 1755.
There were nine children;
WILLIAM JEMISON MARRIED SARAH MIMS Born 1785 Died 1826
There were nine children in first marriage;
Robert Born 1802 Died 1871 Conf. Senator . Married Priscilla Taylor.
Margaret Born Nov23 1808 Died Oct 1845
Mary MARISE Born
Second Marriage to Rebecca Caldwell Wimberly. May 1828
Caroline Helen Born
The Jemison family
came from the
Our Robert Jemison
married Sarah in
Virginia, and finally settled in Mecklenburgh Co. North Carolina, and where they died and are buried. They had one daughter and seven sons.
The daughter married a Prather , and we don’t have his first name. The brothers names were; John, William, Thomas, Arthur, Robert, David, and Samuel.
Robert is our
ancestor, settled in Lincoln County, Georgia. While living in
Robert Jemison served
in the revolutionary war as a soldier.(see Owens Dictionary of
Robert and Margaret had nine children, namely; Sarah, William, Joseph, Samuel, Elizabeth, Robert, Artemesia, Henry, and Thomas.
After the death of
Robert, his wife Margaret Kirkham,
remained on the place, with William Hunter as her business manager, and
to whom she was later married to. At her death, in 1831, at the age of
seventysix, she bequeathed her entire property, consisting of land negroes and the home.
The plantation has been known nearly a century as the “
Robert and Margaret’s second child “William”, is our ancestor, and we know more about him because he was quite active, and a large landowner. William married his cousin Sarah Mims, of South Carolina, and they moved to Eatonton Georgia, where several of his first children were born. A note about Eatonton, that is the place where Joel Chandler Harris wrote the Uncle Remus stories, brear rabbit etc. When you come into town there is a sign,” You are now entering Eatonton, the home of Uncle Remus”
William soon amassed
a large fortune in land both in
A few years later he
moved to Perry Co.
William built a large
home half way between
This is a proclamation by William Jemison to his slaves as follows;
I have this day placed you under Richard Coal as your overseer for the present year, 1827.
Now, provided you will strictly obey him, be honest, careful, industrious, you shall have two-thirds of the corn and cotton made on the plantation and as much of the wheat as will reward you for sowing it. I also furnish you with provisions for this year. When your crop is gathered, one third is to be set aside for me. You are then to pay your overseer his part and pay me what I furnish, clothe yourselves Pay your own taxes and doctors fees with all the expenses of the farm. You are to bee no expense to me, but render to me one third of the produce and what I loaned you. You have the use of the stock and plantation tools. You are to return them as good as they are and the plantation is to be kept in good repair, and what clear money you make shall be divided equally amongst you in a fair proportion agreeable to the services rendered by each hand. There will be an account of all lost time kept, and those that earn most shall have the most. What comes of the lazy shall be added to the industrious and all employed in spinning, weaving or making will be rewarded in a fair proportion for their labor. You are to clear all you can in all respected to carry on a hereto fore. It is enjoyed on you all that you keep yourselves clean and appear as decent as possible. If any of you should be guilty of stealing, for the first offence you forfeit half your wages, and for the second offence, the balance half to go to the informer and the other half to be divided with the honest, and you are to suffer the last both times and as many times as you are guilty. There is to be no gading aboad without a pass, nor no entertaining bad company.
The beautiful home of
William’s wife Sarah
Mims died in 1826, and William remarried Rebecca c. Wimberly at Twiggs Co.
Georgia, but died soon after, and
he and his first wife are buried
on the plantation,
William and Sarah had ten children; Robert, Elizabeth, Mims, Margaret, Harriet, Mary, John, Thomas, Joseph, William Henry.
William had one child
with his second wife, Carolyn
Helen. Carolyn, or as she was
called Helen, married a gentleman named Plane. Helen was very active in the United Daughters Of The Confederacy, and she
was the originator of the
Harriet Jemison our
ancestor was my Great Grandmother.
Harriet married Dr. Doric Ball of
Harriet was a
brilliant woman and numbered amongst her friends many distinguished women. She
was educated at the
Robert Jemison, Confederate
Senator, He owned many plantations
and was active in stage lines all over the south. One can read more about Robert Jemison through “Public Men
Robert Jemison “Confederate Senator” brother of Harriet Jemison and his house
Harriett Jemison Ball, My Great Grandmother