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Laura Murphy

writer and preacher, was born in Northern Neck, Northumberland County, Virginia, to Rachel and Charles, on the property of Thomas Langdon, on which they were enslaved. Over the course of her life, Smith s mother gave birth to eleven children and labored as a cotton spinner His father managed the Lancaster County plantation his owner had acquired through inheritance When Smith was a young boy he was injured while carrying lumber and remained crippled for his entire life because his owner did not think Smith s life was worth enough to call a doctor As a result of his disability Smith worked in the house with the women knitting and carding Later in his life he was apprenticed to a shoemaker which proved to be the source of his livelihood in all the places he settled For a brief time Smith was hired out to a ...

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David E. Paterson

shoe- and harness-maker, businessman, and community leader, was born in Georgia to parents whose names and occupations are unknown. Called simply “Guilford,” he was enslaved to Benajah Birdsong in Jasper County, Georgia. Birdsong died in 1824, and his widow inherited Guilford before she married James Spier, an Upson County merchant-farmer, in 1827. Guilford came to live and work in Thomaston, the legal and commercial center of Upson County.

Guilford married his first wife, Ellen, after she arrived in Thomaston from Columbia County about 1830. Their child, Susan, was born about 1831. Ellen and Susan were both slaves of George Cary, a onetime Georgia congressman, and, after his death, of his son John J. Cary. The younger Cary's chronic financial distress was a long-standing threat to Guilford and Ellen's family.

Spier moved Guilford to his farm Hurricane Place about ...