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Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Posted: 19 Aug 2009 9:41PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hawkins
I have just run across evidence that Philemon Hawkins (the one born ) had (and acknowledged) a mulatto grandson, also named Philemon. He was the son of Philemon's son, John, and negro woman, Amy. Apparently, this grandson fraudulently (according to Philemon in his will) attempted to give himself rights to some of his grandfather's property. Philemon denounced this, and also stated that "he shall not possess this legacy nor this and the property contained in said deed."
Before now, I've never seen anything that indicated that this Philemon was anything other than White. It seems as though his grandfather may have accepted him prior to discovering (via his slave, Matthew) Philemon's deceit. Does anyone know what happened to this line of the Hawkins family?

Re: Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Posted: 20 Aug 2009 6:27PM GMT
Classification: Query
I know of the will you are referring to, and do know that it has been misinterpreted by some because of the lack of grammar marks in parts of the documents, which was quite common. I've been researching members of the black Hawkins families for years and can tell you that it did not mean he had a mulatto son, or at least, not the one thought to be referred to in the will. T The will reads, quote:
Whereas my Boy Matthew has discovered an honest disposition in making Known to me many Circumstances relative to the Deeds of Gift which were obtained from me by fraud and imposition by my Grand Son Philemon Son of John and negro Amy and is very attentive to me in my sickness, It is my Desire that my Executors should do all in their Power to procure his Emancipation, provided, provided the Order for his Emancipation made by Warren County Court should be set aside and provided he should continue to behamve himself well and there is no obstruction in the Way Towards the recovery of my Deeds from my Grand Son Philemon Son of John and others, I hereby give and bequeath to him two hundred and fifty acres of Land on the South Side of Ballards Tract including Howells improvement, one feather Bed and furniture...etc.

...unquote.
There are other records including Court orders that give more details. Amy was a slave belonging to Philemon Sr., who had taken care of him while he was very ill, and together with the slave Matthew, who had alerted him to his grandson Philemon's deception, the elder Philemon was setting them free in gratitude. Amy may have been Matthew's mother or perhaps she was his sister, his oldest daughter was also named Amy, and Matthew & his family were mostly listed as mulatto in the census, I do suspect that Matthew may have been Philemon's son, and probably that may also have been the reason why the slave Amy, was so attentive to him, too.
Amy must have died before 1830, but Matthew Hawkins, (b.1783/d. 1855), and his wife, Mahaly Mushaw, lived in Warren Co. with their children who married members of the Free Colored community in that County.


Deloris

Re: Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Posted: 20 Aug 2009 11:58PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Deloris,
Thanks for your response. Yes, I had the full text of the will, but even after rereading it again and again, I don't quite understand how/why you are "assuring me" that the grandson, Philemon, is not Mulatto. He seems to state clearly that Philemon is the son of his son, John, and negro, Amy. Then he restates that Philemon is John's son. Are you seeing something that I'm not, or do you just have additional knowledge?

This is a collateral line for me, but I considered this a valuable find. If you've read my previous posts, then you know that I am the gg granddaughter of Nathaniel Hawkins, and that there, indeed, are Black Hawkins descendants, of which I am one. However, since Nathaniel and my grandmother never married, my ancestors never had the Hawkins surname. Until now, I've never found any true evidence of other Hawkins liasons with Blacks, so I'd really like to be able to validate or dismiss this, one way or the other.

I haven't had time to do much follow up on this myself yet because I was getting my daughter off to college, but I'm back now and will be working on it. If you know more, please do share, or as always, you can contact me directly at yarsan@aol.com.

Thanks.
Renate

Re: Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Posted: 21 Aug 2009 12:06AM GMT
Classification: Query
Also, Deloris, when you say "the black Hawkins family" exactly what family is that? Are they descendants of Hawkins slaves? If so, I might have a few questions for you. :)

Renate

Re: Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Posted: 21 Aug 2009 2:19AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi,
I will answer both of your messages here.

When you read the will, notice that it starts out giving the info about Matthew and describes the reason he was freeing him which involved Philemon's grandson's fraud, and he continued on talking about the other slave he was freeing, Amy, as being very attentive to him in his sickness. There is a comma missing after "Philemon, son of John(,) and negro Amy and is very attentive to me..." Notice there is a very different meaning when the comma is inserted.
A court record gives further info on the slaves:

Ginger L. Christmas-Beattie, Warren County,North Carolina Minutes to the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Volume IV, 1797-1800 (Ancestral Tracks, P.O. Box 64,Forest Grove,Oregon 97116-0064), (Page 126).
NOVEMBER COURT 1800,
Page 14 - Monday - November 24th
On hearing the petition of Philemon Hawkins praying that two Negroes, the one by the name of Amy and the other by the name of Matthew, may be liberated for reasons in said petition set forth, it appearing to the Court that the said Negroes, for the said reason in the said petition set forth, ought to be liberated and emancipated, it is therefore considered by the Court that the said Negroes in the petition mentioned shall from this time be free and emancipated agreeable to the prayers of the petitioner, and that the said Negro Amy shall hereafter be known by the name of AMY HONESTY, and that the said Negro Matthew shall hereafter be known by the name of MATTHEW HAWKINS, agreeable to the prayers of the petition.

------
Philemon's grandson, Philemon Jr.(as I'll call him), was not mulatto, his mother was Sarah Macon, d/o Gideon Hunt Macon & Priscilla Jones. Philemon Jr. was married 3 times, Mildred Twitty, Mary Christmas were his first 2. Philemon Jr.'s last wife was Jacobina Sherrod, and they had a son named Nathaniel, is that the Nathaniel you're descended from?
I, too, am descended from a HAWKINS family, my earliest documentable ancestor with that surname was Solomon HAWKINS, b. abt 1745/d. 1816 Halifax Co.,NC, a free person of color with many records in Edgecombe & Halifax Co. He was probably the son of an earlier Solomon HAWKINS, b. abt 1720, a free mulatto shoemaker, who first turned up in old Edgecombe Co. in 1754. Solomon, d. 1816, had 9 children: Henry, David, Hannah, Betsy, Polly, Betty, Patty, Prissy & Nancy HAWKINS; I am descended from Henry's line. The black/mulatto HAWKINS who were free in Halifax Co. throughout the 1700 & 1800s were all descended from Solomon and his children; by 1870, there were additional black HAWKINS in Halifax Co, but they were slaves who had been freed as a result of the end of the Civil War.
I became interested in the Matthew HAWKINS family of Warren Co.,because I had originally thought he was a member of the Halifax Co. family, but my research turned up the info abt him from Philemon HAWKINS will in 1802,and which he was emancipated in 1815. There is also a connection for me to Matthew HAWKINS' family, though, through his daughter, Amy (1815-1850)who married Plummer CARTER (1800-1863) since CARTERs are one of my lines. Also, Matthew's daughter, Nancy, married Henry GREEN (b. 1826) from another of my family lines.


Deloris

Re: Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Posted: 21 Aug 2009 3:22AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks, Deloris, for that detailed explanation. Yes, I descend from Nathaniel Hawkins, who was the son of Philemon and Jacobina, however this is not the same Philemon! I am going to be brief because I am about to lose power on my laptop (no cord right now), but I do have the complete genealogy of this family and have researched them very well. That is why I was so surprised when I ran across that little tidbit. I still disagree with you on the interpretation of the language in P's will, but I guess that debate could go on. I don't see it as connected to the petition in the other document, but I will continue to look further into this. Meanwhile, I'd appreciate it if we could continue this debate over email, and try to stick to posting sureties on here, so as not to confuse other researchers. :) Stay in touch.
Renate

Re: Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Posted: 21 Aug 2009 3:24AM GMT
Classification: Query
I rushed to send that last post because of the battery, but since I still have a bit of juice, I just want to be sure you know that there were TONS of Philemon Hawkinses! I haven't counted them, but I'd say there were no less than 15!

Renate

Re: Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Posted: 22 Aug 2009 12:36PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hawkins
Hey again, Deloris. I came back to reread these posts from before we started communicating offline, and I want to ask you to take another careful look at the wording in the will. I still maintain (and even more strongly now) that the wording is accurate, despite the lack of commas, and that even if commas were inserted properly, they would only serve to support my interpretation more clearly. It is MATTHEW to whom Philemon is referring when he says, "and is very attentive to me in my sickness", not Amy, as you've interpreted. All of Philemon's comments (orders)and conditions which follow refer to "him" or "he", not "they" or "them". It is HIS (Matthew's) emancipation which is ordered in this will, not Amy's, so if she was also emancipated it was not because of the this codicil to the will.

Re: Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Posted: 22 Aug 2009 9:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hawkins
Gee, another jumping to conclusions! You should read the whole will, not just the codocil. Negroes Frank, Sukey,Woodley, Moses,Joe, Rhetta, Hopewell, Ned, Sal,Rachel, Harry, Jack are mentioned. Also, why give the belongings/land to Phebe Seagrove? Philemon (born 1768 had children by two wives - Polly Christmas, Jacobina Sherrod). I'm a first cousin. I guess wars have been started over missing punctuation!

Re: Mulatto Philemon Hawkins

Posted: 22 Aug 2009 9:32PM GMT
Classification: Query
Herbert, I'm not exactly sure what you are trying to say here, or to what (or whom) you are referring to about "jumping to conclusions", but I can assure you that neither Delores nor I have done that. We have both studied this document pretty extensively, but we disagree on the interpretation of it. We've discussed this cordially, both on this board and off of it. I have read, and have a copy in my possession - the WHOLE will, however, this discussion centers around the codicil, only.
Futhermore, if you are a first cousin, allow me to introduce myself because I am a direct descendent, also. Nathaniel Hawkins (1830 - 1879) was my gg-grandfather. I have communicated with one other descendant who was very helpful to me. If you are the holder of further information about our family, I would love to hear from you. My email is yarsan@aol.com.
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