Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Seaver Driven from North Carolina in 1860

My fellow Seaver research colleague, Margaret Jenks, uncovered this newspaper article about one of the men named Seaver in the Historical Newspapers collection on  She sent me this transcription:

The Progressive Age, Coshocton, Ohio, Wednesday March 7, 1860, Volume 7, Number 20.


A year ago last May, Mr. Perley Seaver, of Oxford, Mass, who has formerly worked for W. A. Wheeler, Samuel Flagg, and others of this city, and P. B. Tyler, of Springfield, went to ----,North Carolina, to conduct a steam saw mill. He was a good quiet, religious man, always engaged in his work, and not interfering in other’s business. By his industry and economy he had bought a house and was snugly settle there – as he thought for life.

As there was no preaching or other religious exercise in place, Mr. Seaver was wont to call his neighbors together on the Sabbath to read the Bible and hear a sermon. It was soon rumored in the little village, although the rumor was unknown to him, “that Seaver preached Abolition sermons,” and on Saturday night, Christmas Eve, he was waited on a little after one o’clock, rather early on Sunday morning that was, by a large delegation of neighbors. At first he refused them admittance, but as they gave their names as some of the most respectable persons of the neighborhood, and threatened to break in the door, he struck a light, and admitted them. [Christmas was on Sunday in 1859.]

They demanded his books and papers, and he showed them. They then asked him for his private letters, and they ransacked all his correspondence with his family. They then asked him how many Negroes had ever attended his religious meetings. He told them five. They told Mr. Seaver they did not consider him a safe man to live there, and he must leave. He offered to go on Monday morning if they would by his property. This they refused, but told him that he might have twenty days to sell out, but that during that time no Negroes must be seen on his premises.

Mr. Seaver found it impossible to sell his property, and therefore came off within the twenty days with his wages. He has now returned, forced away from his property and business – because he had read the Bible on Sundays, in a room where Negroes were sometimes present.

His employer is also from Oxford, and has a large and valuable property there. There are very strong rumors of attempting to drive him off. But having a large amount of Yankee pluck, says that before he is driven North, he shall either go to his heaven or – elsewhere. [Worcester Transcript, 17th.]

My thanks to Margaret for finding this, transcribing it and sharing it with me.  It will go into Perley's file in my genealogy software database.  She has found several more articles and bits of information on Perley Seaver. 

Perley Seaver was born 4 October 1813 in Monson, Massachusetts, son of John and Susanna (Trumbull) Seaver.  He married Julia Maria Field on 21 April 1834 in Millbury, Massachusetts.  She was born 5 May 1814 in Sharon, Massachusetts, the daughter of John and Julia (Titus) Field.  Perley died 7 October 1876 in Bartonsville, North Carolina. 

 If any readers are descendants of John and Susanna (Trumbull) Seaver, I would love to hear from you, especially if you have any insight into the parentage of John Seaver (1778-1841).  We Seaver researchers have no original source information about John Seaver's parentage yet. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great man of conviction...

Loved this post.