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Jesse Blythe/Drake

Replies: 6

Re: Jesse Blythe/Drake

Posted: 14 Jul 2012 11:03AM GMT
Classification: Birth
Surnames: Drake, Blythe, Scott, Mingo, Pretlow
Though unrelated, I have been looking into the sad tale of James Scott, family and friends. In late 1840, Thomas Drake broke into the Scott home in search of a reputed stash of money. When found out, he killed Mr. and Mrs. Scott, Lydia Mingo (labelled "free negro," her infant son Seth, and Mrs. Scott's sister (Mrs. Pretlow).Another little girl, daughter of Ms. Mingo, hid in a breadbox (!), then ran away to a neighbor's house. Drake then set the house on fire and left. Later, the little girl identified Drake as the perpetrator, and he was found to have "blood in his whiskers" and incriminating clothes at home. Subsequently he was convicted and put to death, never having found the stash of silver.

So what does that have to do with your question? The widow, Maria Drake, later "took up with" Mr. Blythe and had some children with him, but never married him. My understanding is that her Drake children also took the Blythe name.

All of this was documented in the newspapers, which can now be found online. :) Maria Drake/Blythe's will is also available online now, through the Brantly Association's excellent website. Also online are the deeds that Thomas Drake signed, I think the day after the crimes, "selling" his property to his brothers... probably to protect them from being taken.

My interest is in the unidentified, brave little girl. My hypothesis is that she is the same Cherry Mingo, "free negro," about nine years old, who was bound out to my ancestor, Hezekiah Bradshaw, shortly after the crime, and lived with him for many years. Afro-american orphans who were free but did not have assets to cover their care were bound out to persons who promised to give them care and shelter, teach them a trade as an apprentice, and give them a small sum of money/personal property when they reached adulthood.

And so ends the answer to your 6-year question... unless, of course, you already knew it. No, I'm not a history professor, but this story captivated me.

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Chet Blythe 23 Jul 2003 6:13PM GMT 
zilla_37 27 Apr 2010 3:35PM GMT 
Nancy41657 14 Jul 2012 5:03PM GMT 
ArlenePalmer7... 24 Aug 2013 2:06PM GMT 
Chester Blyth... 19 Jul 2014 6:33PM GMT 
GeraldBlythe 20 May 2015 8:08PM GMT 
ArlenePalmer7... 1 Dec 2015 1:52PM GMT 
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