In my previous posting, I told you that I had long been sure that my 2-great-grandmother Camilla Birdwell Green (abt. 1834 – aft. 4 December 1865) died on 11 October 1862 in Avoyelles or Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, giving birth to my great-grandmother Mary Ann Green (1862-1942). Then, as I did a search of Texas tax records to see what information I might turn up in them about her husband Ezekiel Samuel Green (1824-1915), I discovered that a man named E.S. Green was on the 1864 and 1865 tax list in Angelina County, Texas.
Since that man might well be my Ezekiel, when I found these tax listings by using the search engine for searching Texas county tax records at the FamilySearch website, I made a note to myself to search Angelina County land records down the road, when I was in a genealogical research library where I would have access to them. I’ve recently visited such a library, and have had a chance to search the county land records.
In my previous posting, I ended this part of my story with a promise to tell you what I found when I did that search — but I told you that before I finished that story, I needed to tell you a backstory to help you appreciate the significance of what I had found. And I did tell you some of the backstory of the very complex and torturous relationship Ezekiel S. Green had with his father Samuel Kerr Green, who sought to deny paternity of his son after Ezekiel’s mother Eliza Jane Smith died in 1843, leaving a number of slaves of whom Samuel wanted sole ownership.
To claim sole possession of the slaves Eliza Jane left at her death, Samuel tried to bastardize his son, claiming that he had never married Eliza Jane (which may be true) and that he was not Ezekiel’s father (not true). When Ezekiel filed suit against his father to challenge these actions in Pointe Coupee district court in 1856 (Pointe Coupee 9th District Court case file 1525), both the district court and the Louisiana Supreme Court found abundant evidence that Samuel had always acknowledged Ezekiel as his son, up to the point that it became advantageous for him to seek to deny paternity in order to obtain Ezekiel’s property. Hence the ruling of the Louisiana Supreme Court in January 1859 upholding the verdict of the lower court in this case:
It is sometimes impossible for a child to know with certainty whether he be legitimately begotten or not; besides, the motion came with a bad grace from the one presumed to be the father, who was, perhaps, better able to give information upon the subject than any other person.
We are of opinion, that the introduction to the world, by defendant, of Mrs. Green, as his wife, and plaintiff as his child, joined with the recognition of plaintiff by Mrs. Green as her child, prevent defendant from now successfully seeking to bastardize plaintiff in order to enjoy the possession of property which never belonged to him, and for which he has no title whatever.
Please understand that I don’t write the word “property” here without full awareness that what was under discussion in this case was the right of several of my direct ancestors to own human beings the law allowed them to treat as chattel property — property that had belonged to another of my direct ancestors before the dispute between these two men occurred. That’s what this dispute was all about: whether Samuel or Ezekiel had the right to claim slaves — human beings held in bondage and regarded as property — left by Samuel’s first partner and Ezekiel’s mother, Eliza Jane Smith.
This is at least part of the complex backstory to the story of Ezekiel S. Green and Camilla Birdwell and their marriage. My previous posting also told you that Camilla was living in Samuel K. Green’s household in Pointe Coupee Parish in 1850, three years before Ezekiel married her, because Samuel had married Camilla’s sister Elvira in 1844 as he was struggling with serious financial issues in Natchitoches Parish. Elvira Birdwell (abt. 1822 – 1855) was a widow with considerable property: her previous husband James Madison Grammer (1812 – bef. 1844) had left her several slaves and a tract of 650 acres of rich farmland along the Atchafalaya River in Pointe Coupee Parish.
Ezekiel filed suit against his father in Pointe Coupee Parish three years after marrying Camilla Birdwell. His complaint in the parish district court indicates that, after he had married and was seeking to establish a family and a livelihood, his father withheld ownership of slaves that belonged to him as the only child and heir of Eliza Jane Smith. As I told you in my last posting, Eliza Jane had, in fact, left a will in Natchitoches Parish (Natchitoches Conveyances Bk. 34, p. 130, #3422) bequeathing her slaves to Samuel K. Green, but she could not legally do that when she was not married to Samuel and had a son who was by law entitled to her property at her decease.
Given Samuel’s propensity for wheeling and dealing, one has to wonder about that will. Eliza Jane died at Samuel’s house in Natchitoches Parish around 13 March 1843, having made the will on the 1st of March. There’s thick — and compelling — testimony in the extensive file of documents for this case stating that Eliza Jane had never denied that Ezekiel was her son and would not have wanted to do so in a will. Various witnesses state that Ezekiel had lived with both Samuel and Eliza Jane at different times after she and Samuel separated, and that both parents had sent him to school in St. Louis at their joint expense even after their separation and after Eliza Jane remarried to Captain Samuel Ives.
(About Samuel Ives: an aside, something I didn’t think to share in my last posting, which is pertinent here. He came to New Orleans as a seaman: the first glimpse I get of him there is in a seaman’s certificate he filed on 17 May 1815 which states that he was twenty-five years old and a native of Connecticut. I mention this document now because, as we’ll see, a recurring pattern in the life of Samuel K. Green and the men on whose plantations he worked in south Louisiana before setting up his own plantation in Natchitoches Parish is that all had ties to boats, ships, businesses trading within the U.S. and overseas by means of these vessels.)
Whatever the status of Eliza Jane’s will, the preponderance of evidence in the case demonstrated that Ezekiel was her son, and as such, her heir, and was legally entitled to any and all property she left behind at her death. As you’ve seen, when Samuel appealed this ruling in the Pointe Coupee court and the case went to the state Supreme Court, that court upheld the ruling of the lower court and the slaves — which Samuel had taken to New Orleans during the trial and tried to sell — went to Ezekiel.
Samuel then left Louisiana and went to his brother Benjamin S. Green (1795-1860) in Grimes County, Texas, where he died of pneumonia in March 1860 soon after he went to Texas. Benjamin died of heart disease the same month, and both are buried with Benjamin’s wife and children in a family cemetery in what is now Waller County, on Joseph Road south of farm-to-market (FM) road 1488, about halfway between Magnolia and Hempstead.
Samuel had led a colorful life, about which I’ll say more in future postings: it included co-owning Nashville’s first steamboat, the General Jackson, and plying it between Nashville and New Orleans in a business venture of which he was a partner. When the boat sank, he moved to south Louisiana. Samuel was, in short (and to repeat myself), a wheeler-dealer.
I find records of him all over the place, from Anderson County, South Carolina; to Nashville, where advertisements for his firm of Young, Green & Co. begin appearing in the Nashville Whig newspaper by 28 February 1818 and he’s registered as a co-owner (and co-pilot) of the city’s first steamboat General Jackson by 2 February 1819; to south Louisiana and New Orleans, where he worked as an overseer on the Magnolia plantation of George Bradish, a sea captain from Salem, Massachusetts, who settled in south Louisiana, and on the Point Celeste plantation of Joseph Biddle Wilkinson and wife Catherine Andrews, Joseph being the son of Gen. James Wilkinson who received Louisiana from France at the time of the Louisiana purchase; to Bibb County, Alabama, where he appears as a son and heir of his father John Green when John’s estate was probated in 1839 and his wife Jane Kerr Green’s in 1857; to Arkansas Territory; to Natchitoches and Pointe Coupee Parishes in Louisiana, where he set up plantations, as we saw in the last posting; to Llano County, Texas, where he brought 640 acres from Hansford Cophendolpher in New Orleans in 1837, as we also saw in the last posting; to Smithfield, Kentucky, where he visited his brother Ezekiel Calhoun Green in 1837 and borrowed money from him, also mentioned in the previous posting; to St. Louis, where he was visiting friends in May 1857 in the middle of his legal battle with his son Ezekiel (!); to Grimes County, Texas, where he spent his final days, no doubt a broken and perhaps sad man after his attempt to bastardize his son to claim Ezekiel’s property went awry.
A colorful man, but the word “colorful” can comprise many shades of meaning, can it not? And can cover a multitude of sins. . . .
And now back to Ezekiel and Camilla and their story: there are numerous suggestions in Ezekiel’s life story that, despite his conflict with a father who was far from kind to him, father and son were made in the same image: Ezekiel appears to have been something of a wheeler-dealer, too. He has proven to be a difficult ancestor to track, because he, too, was constantly moving about, acquiring property here and there, looking for greener pastures in an ever-changing succession of places.
In 1859, after the Louisiana Supreme Court definitively settled his lawsuit against his father in Ezekiel’s favor in January, on 27 September, Ezekiel bought 199.48 acres in Avoyelles Parish (Avoyelles Conveyances Bk. DD, p. 661). Avoyelles borders Catahoula and LaSalle, into which another piece of land Ezekiel would purchase later in 1859 eventually fell. Ezekiel purchased the Avoyelles land from Isaac Martin and his wife Sarah Ann Wilson. The deed notes that all parties lived in Avoyelles Parish. This land was near the junction of Old River and the Atchafalaya River, where the state legislature had granted Isaac Martin permission to establish a ferry on 18 March 1858 (see Acts Passed by the Fourth Legislature of Louisiana, etc. [Baton Rouge: J.M. Taylor, 1858], p. 108, act 155).
The act granting Martin ferry rights gave him exclusive rights to operate a ferry at this location, and to levy the following charges for those using the ferry:
For a foot-man, ten cents; for each and every horse, mule, ass, or head of cattle, ten cents; for man and horse, twenty-five cents; for one buggy with one or two horses, fifty cents; for a four wheel carriage with two or four horses, seventy-five cents; sor a loaded cart or wagon and team, one dollar; for an empty wagon or cart and team, fifty cents.
My reading of the September 1859 land purchase is that, with legal title to the slaves his mother had left, Ezekiel was now intent on setting himself and his family up on a farm he intended to operate with those slaves — though there are indicators that he also intended from early in his married life to branch out from farming and engage in other business ventures even as he operated a farm. Documents in the case of Ezekiel S. Green vs. Samuel K. Green state that Ezekiel was living in Avoyelles Parish during the years 1856-9, with a period of time in September-October 1857 when he was absent from the parish. The case file does not provide specifics about where Ezekiel was in this period of time. And if the case-file records place him in Avoyelles in 1859, how is it that he purchased land in Catahoula in that same year, with the land certificate stating that his residence was in that Parish?
The land in Catahoula Parish was a lot, 38.72 acres, that he purchased from the federal land office in Monroe, Louisiana, on 7 December 1859. The land was lot 4, the northwest ¼ of the southwest ¼ of section 20, township 6 north, range 3 east. The certificate for this land purchase states that Ezekiel was living in Catahoula Parish when the certificate was issued. When La Salle Parish was formed in 1908, the land fell into that parish.
Because the records of Catahoula Parish were almost completely destroyed in a courthouse fire in the early 1900s, I have not been able to track this lot of land or to find other records explaining what Ezekiel was doing in that parish in the 1850s. My guess is that he bought this land with the intent of setting up a sawmill on it. This area is in the heart of Louisiana’s timber country today. In my last posting, I told you to pay attention to the fact that Ezekiel’s step-father Samuel Ives had a sawmill business at Bayou Sorel in Iberville Parish prior to his murder in 1850. Ezekiel spent much of his adult life acquiring land in various places in Louisiana on which he ran sawmill operations. Like his father, he seems to have had a habit of over-extending himself in business ventures, and he seems to have lost those sawmills with as much regularity as he set them up.
The 1860 federal census shows E.S. Green living at Marksville, the parish seat of Avoyelles, on 30 November. The information reported about his family in this census enumeration is garbled. His wife’s name is given as Mary Ann and not Camilla, and he’s listed with children Lucy, Benton, and Lucas, none of whom ever appear in any records pertaining to Ezekiel S. Green and his family. The name of the household head is clearly given as E.S. Green, aged 38, born in Louisiana, so there’s little doubt that this census listing is for Ezekiel S. Green. Why the information about his wife and children is incorrect, I can’t say. His real worth is given as $11,000, and his personal worth as $700. E.S. Green also appears on the 1860 federal slave schedule for Avoyelles Parish owning 9 slaves. The number fits the number of slaves about whom the legal dispute with his father occurred.
The occupation given for Ezekiel S. Green on the 1860 census is interesting: though some indexers have read it as “lumbering keeper,” it’s clearly “landing keeper.” Remember that I just told you that Isaac Martin, from whom Ezekiel bought some 200 acres in Avoyelles Parish in September 1859, had been granted the right in 1858 to keep a ferry at the junction of Old River and the Atchafalaya River? Ezekiel had apparently purchased that right when he bought the tract of land from Isaac Martin, or was operating the ferry on behalf of Martin. More evidence that he intended to augment income from farming by engaging in other business ventures. . . .
On 30 January 1862, Ezekiel sold to Simpson Ridley Stribling the land he had purchased from Isaac Martin in 1859, the conveyance record noting that both parties lived in Avoyelles Parish. I discussed this conveyance in my previous posting, providing you a snapshot of it and noting that the conveyance record shows wife Camilla relinquishing her dower interest in the land and consenting to its sale on the same day (Avoyelles Conveyances Bk. FF, p. 676). This deed mentions the ferry over the Atchafalaya River, noting that Ezekiel was selling his rights and interests to the charter for the ferry operation.
If the death certificate of Ezekiel and Camilla’s daughter Mary Ann Green has correct information about Mary Ann’s place of birth — and I think it does; as I told you in my previous posting, her husband Alexander Cobb Lindsey provided this information — Ezekiel and Mary Ann may have relocated to Pointe Coupee Parish after they sold their land in Avoyelles. Mary Ann was born 11 October 1862 in the latter parish, according to her death certificate.
This is the point at which I had, until several days ago, thought Camilla died — giving birth to daughter Mary Ann on 11 October 1862. Then, as I’ve previously told you, I discovered that E.S. Green was taxed in 1864 and 1865 for 480 acres in Angelina County, Texas, and my discovery of that tax listing led me to look in a place I had never expected to have to look for Ezekiel S. Green and his family in the mid-1860s: Angelina County, Texas.
When I searched the land records for that county several days ago, here’s what I discovered: On 28 February 1863, Ezekiel S. Green bought 480 acres in Angelina County, Texas, from B.F. and Susan W. Duren (Angelina DB E, pp. 334-5). The deed states that the land was about five miles west of the town of Homer, and that 320 acres of it had been patented to Samuel Coles and 160 acres to Allen Proctor. The deed states that the Durens were residents of Angelina County. It does not specify the same about Ezekiel. It’s this tract of land for which Ezekiel was taxed in 1864 and 1865. This piece of land is now part of the city of Lufkin, Texas — see Gregory Boyd’s map at the head of this posting, showing the Allen Proctor patent with the McKinney and Williams patent (i.e., Samuel Coles’ land at the intersection of S. Medford Road and S. 1st. St.
It’s clear that Ezekiel and his family actually moved to Angelina County soon before or after he bought this piece of land, however, since two deeds in 1865, the first on 20 January and the second on 4 September, show Ezekiel selling the 480 acres (in two installments, half of the tract in each deed). In both instances, his wife Camilla signed the deed along with him and relinquished her right to the land (Angelina DB E, pp. 548-9; ibid., DB F, pp. 618-9). The first of these two deeds, the one effected in January, mentions a “steem mill” on the land. The buyer of the whole tract was Edward Pugh.
It seems to me very likely that Ezekiel had bought this tract of land with a steam mill on it with the intent of operating a lumber mill. Angelina is in the Piney Woods section of east Texas, an area that is prime timber land, and which has today many lumber mills. At the time Ezekiel and his family moved there, the timber industry was in its infancy, and the railroad had not yet arrived in this area, so it would have been an uphill climb to establish any kind of thriving milling operation in that part of Texas in this period.
It’s also worth noting that Ezekiel brought his family to Texas in the middle of the Civil War, a period in which many documents tell us that slaveholders from states east of Texas occupied by the Union Army were bringing their slaves to Texas in the belief that slaves would not be emancipated there — or not emancipated as quickly as in the other states of the Confederacy, if the North won the war. It’s entirely possible that part of Ezekiel S. Green’s motivation in moving to Texas by or just after February 1863 was to try to hold onto the enslaved human beings over which he had mounted his court battle against his father.
It seems to me very likely that Ezekiel S. Green is the man whose Confederate service record (it gives his name as E.S. Greene) shows him enlisting sometime in 1863 in Company B, 2nd Infantry, Texas State Troops, and not appearing for duty following his enlistment. As far as I can determine, records for this unit are sparse, and I haven’t been able to find more information to flesh out the bare bones of the single document provided in this service packet.
Once again: the great surprise of these 1863-5 land records in Angelina Co., Texas, has been my discovery that Ezekiel’s wife Camilla did not die in October 1862 in Louisiana, but was alive as late as 4 September 1865, and living with her family in Angelina County, Texas. Her death occurred at some point between the 4 September 1865 record and Ezekiel’s marriage in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, on 11 December 1867 to Camilla’s sister Hannah Birdwell Harville, a marriage I discussed in my previous posting. As the biography of Hardin and Hannah Harville’s son Joseph Cass Harville in Memorial and Biographical History of McLennan, Falls, Bell, and Coryell Counties, Texas indicates, Hardin Harville was an affluent cotton planter in Natchitoches Parish, with valuable landholdings and a number of slaves. His succession record in Natchitoches Parish bears out that judgment. Hannah was left a well-to-do widow when her first husband died, and in marrying her in 1867, Ezekiel was acquiring considerable property (though the slaves left to Hannah would have been emancipated by the time this marriage occurred) — another pattern from the father’s life repeating itself in the son’s life.
Here are two pages from Hardin Harville’s succession record which show an inventory of his landholdings and slaves at the time of his death in May 1860:
As I also told you in my previous posting, the marriage of Ezekiel S. Green to Hannah Birdwell Harville did not last, and on 13 January 1876 in Red River Parish, he married Mary Ann, daughter of Daniel Campbell Wester and Mary Ann Nobles. The 1880 federal census shows Ezekiel and Mary Ann living with their children in Red River Parish, where his occupation is listed as lumber. Family stories told to me by older family members say that Zeke Green owned sawmills in Red River Parish and also at the town of Campti in Natchitoches Parish. A 29 May 1881 conveyance in Red River Parish shows him buying from Benjamin E. Jones, both of Red River, 300 acres in township 12, range 9, with a sawmill and grist mill on the land (Red River Conveyances Bk. C, p. 230, #253).
By 14 December 1882, Ezekiel had lost this property to Hugh R. Jones for failure to pay taxes on it. This record gives the amount of land as 320 acres (Red River Conveyances Bk. C, p. 418, #469).
Soon after this, it appears that Ezekiel relocated with his family to Opelousas in St. Landry Parish, where the newspaper The Opelousas Courier for 25 July 1885 shows him being paid $32.50 on 7 July for supplying lumber to the parish. By 1888, Ezekiel was again having financial trouble with his lumber business in St. Landry Parish, since the Opelousas Courier for 24 March 1888 announces the sale of a tract of land of E.S. Green, with pine woods, improvements, and a small sawmill with fixtures. The sale was being held due to his failure to pay taxes on the property. I find no listing for Ezekiel in the vendor-vendee index to conveyances in St. Landry Parish, other than for his 1891 sale of the 640 acres he had gotten from his father in Llano County, Texas, the sale deed for which is recorded in both St. Landry Parish and Llano County, Texas.
Ezekiel was living in St. Landry Parish when he sold the 640 acres in Llano County, Texas, a sale I discussed in my previous posting. On 31 April 1886, Ezekiel recorded in St. Landry Parish his proof of heirship from Samuel K. Green, with Baylis W. Swofford and Edward P. Harmanson testifying on that day in the parish court that Ezekiel S. Green was the only son and heir of Samuel K. Green. These documents were then filed on 28 May 1886 in Llano County, Texas (Llano DB H, pp. 372-3). Bayliss Swofford is found on the 1850 census living in Point Coupee Parish.
On 7 May 1886, Ezekiel gave power of attorney in St. Landry Parish for R.M. Thomson and John K. Donnon of Travis County, Texas, to represent him in proving his title to the land and filing suit if necessary. This was recorded 28 May 1886 in Llano County (Llano DB, pp. 373-4).
On 16 February 1891, Ezekiel sold the 640 acres in Llano County, with the deed stating that he was living in St. Landry Parish (the deed is recorded both in St. Landry Conveyances Bk. Z-2, pp. 712-3, and Llano DB T, pp. 53-4). The land was sold to Calvin M. Rosser of McCulloch County, Texas, and provides a complete history of the land. Ezekiel signed the deed at Bayou Chicot on 16 February 1891, and proved it the same day in St. Landry Parish. The deed was filed 8 May 1891 in Llano County and recorded there on 9 May. Bayou Chicot was then a community in St. Landry Parish that fell into Evangeline Parish in 1910.
This land sale resulted in litigation that eventually went to a Texas Court of Civil Appeals in the 1892-4 case of White et al. v. Rosser, which had originally been heard in the district court of Llano County. The Llano district court case is file 784 (Llano District Court Minute Bk. D, pp. 512, 544, 600, 604; E, p. 304). The case, which was underway by 12 May 1892, involved a claim by Eleanor White that she had title to a portion of the tract of land, and that Rosser’s (and Ezekiel S. Green’s) title to it was dubious. The district court found in favor of Rosser, as did the appeals court.
Key to this litigation was the question of Samuel Kerr Green’s ownership of the 640 acres of land, how he had acquired it, how it happened to descend to Ezekiel S. Green, who Ezekiel S. Green was, and how he was connected to Samuel Kerr Green. The summary of the court case in The Southwestern Reporter (see the previous footnote) indicates that it was alleged that Samuel K. Green had sold this land prior to his death in 1860, nullifying his son’s claim to the land following Samuel’s death. But there was not solid proof that such a sale ever took place . . . .
It’s as if the lives of this . . . colorful . . . father-son duo moved in circles, over and over, never-ending Sisyphean ones, arriving at the same predetermined points again and again — as if neither father nor son could escape from a certain fate that Samuel had set into motion for both himself and Ezekiel through his determination to deny paternity of his son and claim his son’s property when Ezekiel’s mother died.
And I still don’t know when and where Ezekiel S. Green died — only that he disappears from the federal census between 1900, when he’s back in Natchitoches Parish with wife Mary Ann.
This is a continuation of a series that began with the posting prior to this one, which is here.
Louisiana Reports, Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Louisiana, vol. 4, A.N. Ogden, reporter (New Orleans: Price Current, 1850), p. 39.
NARA, M1826, RG 36, Proofs of Citizenship Used to Apply for Seamen’s Protection Certificates for the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana, 1800, 1802, 1804-1812, 1814-1816, 1818-1819, 1821, 1850-1851, 1855-1857 (roll 7).
1860 federal mortality schedule, Grimes County, Texas. I have a specific citation and photocopy of this document in a file to which I don’t have access as I’m posting this essay. I’ll add that information later.
Pendleton Dist., South Carolina, DB H, pp. 342-3; ibid., DB I, p. 202. I’ll provide more information about these and documents cited in the following notes at a later date, when I discuss Samuel K. Green’s life in greater detail.
WPA, Ship Registers and Enrollments of New Orleans, Louisiana, vol. I: 1804-1820(Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1941), p. 54; and see James Byrd, Steamboatin’ on the Cumberland (Tennessee Book Co., 1961), p. 8, and Bob Millard, “Remembering the General Jackson,” Nashville Magazine 8,3 (June 1980), pp. 82-3.
See J. Carlyle Sitterson, “Magnolia Plantation, 1852-1862: A Decade of a Louisiana Sugar Estate,” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 25 (1938-9), pp. 197-210; my information about George Bradish’s background is from Professor John Bradish of Princeton University in a 29 June 2000 email to me. The Bradish plantation is mentioned by Mark Twain, who stayed at Magnolia, in his Life on the Mississippi.
Bibb County, Alabama, Orphans Court Minutes Feb. 1838, pp. 190-1; Probate Minutes Bk. A, pp. 286-9; Probate Minutes Bk F, pp. 366, 411-3.
Arkansas Gazette( Little Rock), 20 July 1824, p. 4, col. 4, notes that an unclaimed letter was awaiting Samuel K. Green at the Cadron post office; Samuel also appears in documents of the January 1833 case Ashley et al. v. Maddox in the Superior Court of Arkansas Territory (file 8,227) — see The Federal Cases: Comprising Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States from the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Federal Reporter, Arranged Alphabetically by the Titles of the Cases and Numbered Consecutively, Book 30 (St. Paul: West Publ. Co., 1897), pp. 955-6. The case involved debts to Chester Ashley, in particular, a debt of Bruce Percifull to Samuel K. Green that had fallen into Ashley’s hands.
See The Tennessean (Nashville), 23 May 1857, p. 3, col. 1, which picks up a notice from the St. Louis Leader reporting that Captain S.K. Green, “a veteran boatman,” was on his first visit to St. Louis, having come with friends who were officers of the Aleonia. This states that he was in his 78th year, had been a keelboat man prior to the coming of the steamboat, and had been captain of the General Jacksonin 1819, the first steamboat to come to Nashville. The notice states, “The Captain is a hale, hearty man, and a noble representative of another age.”
The land was in section 35, township 1, range 7 east.
U.S. federal land office, Monroe, Louisiana, certificate 19863.
1860 federal census, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, Marksville post office (p. 436, fam. 987/dwel. 987).
1860 federal slave schedule, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, p. 139, 14 October.
Memorial and Biographical History of McLennan, Falls, Bell, and Coryell Counties, Texas (Chicago: Lewis, 1893), pp. 387-388.
Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, succession file 1153; Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, Succession Bk. 32, pp. 25-8.
The Shreveport Times newspaper on 6 September 1876 states that the preceding Sunday, Z.T. [Zachary Taylor] Wester, clerk of Red River Parish, had been riding from his plantation to that of his brother-in-law [i.e., Ezekiel S. Green] when he was waylaid and shot at by someone ambushing him from the roadside. His coat was riddled with bullets, but he was unharmed. His horse was killed. Z.T. Wester was Mary Ann Wester Green’s brother. He appears in numerous records documenting the federal government’s investigation of violence directed towards the Reconstruction government in Red River Parish in the 1870s. Report of the Select Committee on that Portion of the President’s Message Relating to the Condition of the South (Washington, DC: Govt. Printing Office, 1875), p. 777-8, has a report dated, it appears, September 1874, by Z.T. Wester and H.A. Scott on the Coushatta massacre. The report consists of testimony given to the select committee of the House of Representatives. Z.T. Wester’s testimony states that he was a native of Louisiana and had served in the Confederate Army in from 1863 to the end of the war, losing an arm. He returned to Louisiana following the war and became a Republican in 1868. He was then elected parish assessor and tax-collector. His mother was living with three of his sisters on a farm within 10 miles of Coushatta at this point. He had left Coushatta due to a warning by Mr. Abney that it would not be safe for him to be there during the disturbances taking place in the parish in the 1870s
Z.T. Wester testified that he lived in Red River Parish and had lived there about 4 years. He was born in Florida, and his family came to Louisiana when he was about two years old (i.e., 1848). His family lived in Bossier Parish when the war arrived, and he volunteered as a CSA soldier from that parish. He lost his arm in service and became a Republican in 1867. He was a school teacher and had been employed by the school directors of Bienville Parish in June 1874 to teach at a school for the children of freed slaves in Sparta in that parish. He was threatened and told he would be killed if he did not leave the parish. He refused to leave until he had finished his school term, and then went to Red River Parish to his family, where the White League arrested him.
1880 federal census, Red River Parish, Louisiana, wards 1 and 2 (p. 6D, ED 42, fam. 107/dwel. 107; June).
Opelousas Courier, 25 July 1885, p. 1, col. 5, citing St. Landry Parish Police Jury Minutes for 7 January.
Opelousas Courier, 24 March 1888, p. 4, col. 7. This announcement appears again in the same paper on 31 March 1888, p. 2, col. 5. On the sale of this property due to delinquent taxes, see St. Landry Clarion, 17 September 1892, listing property in the parish being sold for delinquent taxes, and noting the sale of E.S. Green’s property at Chicot.
See The Southwestern Reporter, vol. 27 (West Publ. Co., 1894), pp. 1062-3.