When someone finds a registry with the name of an ancestor who owned slaves, it gives the fuel needed to keep researching and writing to uncover more.
The practice in southern, white families in West Tennessee (and likely most of the confederate south) was to suppress as much history as possible by not talking about it. It was too dark, too ugly.
Don't talk about it, and it goes away...
...until the bones start falling out of the closets, one-by-one, revealing a mystery that must be pieced back together.
My father couldn’t find what he was looking for when he wrote his book in the 1980s. He traveled all over to find records and to talk with people who knew stories involving two prominent families that feuded with each other to the point of ☠️ after ☠️ over property disputes followed by revenge. That happened over 40 years after the Civil War.
But alas! Slave registries published in 1986 likely never graced his eyes to make it into his published research. No one back then ever dreamed that the actual paper they wrote upon when declaring their 'assets'; would show up on a computer one day 160 years later for a budding author to discover. I have also found wills that left black individuals to their wives and children.
And their children and grandchildren and beyond were never told about a lot of things.
"Shhh! No one will know. Suppress it. Stop bringing it up," they say.
No! Sweeping it under the rug only perpetuates stereotypes and biases, not allowing true empathy to emerge.
The discoveries made are not necessarily part of the story told in Humble Pie, (takes place in the early 1900s alongside the events from my dad’s book) but knowing this piece of history gives new meaning to long-held family traditions. You can get a free chapter from Humble Pie on our website. Look below for the 🔗.
The Collinsworth-Craddock Feud, written by Sally's father, Kimbrough Dunlap, is soon to be available. It's one of the historical documents referred to in Humble Pie (historical fiction).
Get on the waitlist for Humble Pie, The Jim Crow You Don't Know and The Collinsworth-Craddock Feud.