In my previous posts The Un-shackle-able Louisa Cade and Walkers, Brakett’s and Cades, Oh My! I traced the line of my 3rd great grandmother Eliza Cade Hubbard (1852-) back to her mother Louisa Cade (1832-). Once the name of her mother was revealed to me, I began asking the next logical question: Who was Eliza’s father?
I was given a clue in the past, when reviewing the maiden name of Eliza, given by her daughter, my 2nd great grandmother Pearl Lee. Both her Bible records and Social Security application reflected a different name from all other records…Walker.
|Application for Social Security Account Number, Pearl Lee Hubbard Page (1943)|
I knew that somehow Eliza had to be connected to the Walker family for Pearl Lee to be adamant about writing this name. In 2013, I searched on the message boards on Ancestry.com and found a post by Kevin Walker. Kevin was a direct descendant of a wealthy Noxubee County, MS planter, Lawrence Whitsett Walker Sr. and his wife Sophia Cade. Sophia was the sister of Jefferson Daniel Cade, who I later discovered was the last owner of my ancestors Eliza and Louisa.
I surmised that finding out more about this Walker family would help me uncover more about Eliza’s origins.
In the years preceding, Kevin and his wife Gail amassed a great amount of research on the Walker line in Noxubee County, Mississippi, that helped set the groundwork for for a lot of my research. They went through existing documents on the Walker family, looking for any mention of my family members names. In the fall of 2013, Kevin sent me an interesting document.
|(Caroline P. Walker vs. L.W. Walker Jr Divorce (Noxubee County Chancery Court Records, 1860)|
Lawrence and Sophia’s son, Lawrence W. Walker Jr. divorced from his wife Caroline “Carrie” P. May-Walker in 1860. It was Carrie who brought up the lawsuit: she claimed that Lawrence had been unfaithful to her and had committed adultery multiple times with different women. Because the burden of proof fell on Carrie in this case, she called a number of witnesses to vouch for his infidelity.
The witnesses were very thorough in their testimonies. And two of them in particular talked about in somewhat graphic detail Lawrence Jr.’s relationships with slave women.
Cicero Walker, the overseer on Lawrence’s plantation was called to the stand. He stated
“The Defendant had a Mulatto girl Maria. I have seen the defendant Walker go to a pine thicket about two hundred and fifty or three hundred yards from his house, and he said to me that he was going there to meet this girl…”
After more questioning Walker continued his story:
“About this 20th of March, 1860 the complainant Mrs. Walker (Carrie), then being at the house of Mr. J.D. Burks, the defendant (Lawrence) left home between sun down and dark and was absent until about 8 O’clock shortly before he came into the house, the girl Maria came in. Walker stated that he had made his boy blow a horn and that he had gone to Mr. Burk’s garden near the house and met the girl Maria and brought her home. He took the girl to his bedroom and they were in there when I went to bed. About 12 or 1 o’cock at night the girl woke me up and said her master wanted to see me. Shortly thereafter he left with the Negro girl to his father’s house (LW Senior). The defendant stated to me several times that he had sexual intercourse with the Negro girl Mariah at various times.”
|Excerpt from Carrie P. Walker vs. LW Walker Jr.; Noxubee County Chancery Court (1860)|
This was only the first of Lawrence’s documented infidelities. The second is also described by Cicero:
“Sometime during the past winter, I went with defendant Walker to Mr. John Reat’s negro quarters. He sent a negro boy in who brought out a negro girl to him and the defendant (LW Walker) and girl went into a cotton house together. This was in the night…”
Also called to testify was Rufus Barnhill, he also mentions Walkers relationship with a “Mulatto girl,” which can be reasonably assumed to be Mariah again.
“After the last of January or first of February of the present year, I was passing from my house in this county to Mashulaville. I had some business with the defendant and in passing his house, I called and inquired if [he] was at home…I was informed he had walked off in the direction of Mashulaville about one hundred and fifty yards from [his] house. I saw him, the defendant come walking out of a little patch of willows. he was buttoning up his pantaloons and I saw a mulatto girl, the defendants house girl, I do not know her name, come walking out of the same patch. Walker came up to me and I asked him what he was doing down there, and he said he had been to where his dogs had tread; that he had been running a cat since before day, some two or three hours. Then I remarked to him, when he was coming over the way again. He stated that he had sexual intercourse with this Mulatto woman in the branch.”
Hmmm…”Running a cat since before day…” I couldn’t think of a better lie than that in 1860.
There seems to be a common theme. Lawrence and Mariah had a “thing” going. I will not speculate on whether they had a “loving” relationship, especially considering that Lawrence was in a position of power (she referred to him as “Master,” and was literally his house slave), but there was definitely a sustained relationship between them.
I have not found any confirmatory documentation of where Mariah went after this incident. Interestingly, there is a 30 year old woman named Mariah who worked on the same plantation as my 4th great grandmother, Louisa Cade in 1865. Could this be the same Mariah, Lawrence Walker’s former house servant?
|J.D. Cade Labor Contract, Noxubee County, MS (1865)|
I began to wonder if maybe my 4th great grandmother Louisa Cade had a similar relationship? I know from census records that she had quite a few children, but was not listed with a husband in the 1870 census. I have considered due to my DNA admixture and the phenomenon of fair skin on that side of my family that Eliza Cade Hubbard’s father may have been a white man. My theory has been for a while that it could be a White man named Walker. I have no tangible evidence to connect Lawrence as her father, but I do consider it is a possibility. Lawrence was JD Cade’s nephew, so it could have been a stop on his number of escapades with enslaved women. I hoping that results from DNA testing will help me determine that in the near future.
PS: I want to acknowledge Kevin and Gail Walker who have laid the groundwork for a lot of the research I have done on my Walker/Cade/Brackett family from Noxubee County, Mississippi. Kevin passed away about a year ago, and I will forever be thankful for the time and dedication he has put into researching this family. His memorial page can be found at this site.