The Clopton Chronicles
A Project of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society
A TEMPEST IN THE BRIAR PATCH
Marianne Clopton & Her Daughter
Sarah Elizabeth Reid
By Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr. &
If you will take a map of Georgia, pick out
your thumb the seat of Southern humor.
Marianne Clopton Reid
Much has been made of the influence of professional writers on Joel Chandler Harris, the creator of Uncle Remus. However, seldom is more than a nod directed towards the kith and ken who undoubtedly made the greatest impression on him from his birth through young adulthood.
… it would be more specific to say that humor flourished to a greater extent in the Putnam County area of middle Georgia than in any other locality of the old South. “By-the-by,” Harris wrote to William M. Baskerville in 1895, “if you will take a map of Georgia, pick out Putnam County, and then put your finger on the counties surrounding it - Morgan, Greene, Hancock, Baldwin, Jones, and Jasper - you will have under your thumb the seat of Southern humor.” Harris once described the character and individuality of the area as astonishing even to those who were familiar with the strange shapes in which these intangibles might appear. “Every settlement had its peculiarities, and every neighborhood boasted of its humorists - its clowns, whose pranks and jests were limited by no license. Out of this has grown a literature which, in some of its characteristics, is not matched elsewhere on the globe.” …After he had attained international fame through the first and second volumes of his Uncle Remus folklore legends of the old plantation, he declared that the inherent qualities of life which characterized the people of his native county had been a force sufficiently strong to regulate men’s lives. “I know,” he confessed, “it was so in my own case. I have never attempted or accomplished anything that I did not ask myself, ‘What will the people of Putnam think of this?’
His mother, Miss Mary, was unmarried. Fleeing to Putnam County she found refuge with wife, Marianne Clopton and her husband, Andrew Reid. Possibly no family in Putnam County held any greater fascination than the Cloptons and the Reids.
Harris was certainly not the first writer the Clopton family had patronized or influenced artistically. This ancient family which can prove its lineage back to the days of William the Conqueror, rubbed shoulders with William Shakespeare. It was Sir Hugh Clopton, Lord Mayor of London, who befriended Shakespeare, and it is among the Clopton family he shares his final resting place. A. L. Rowse, a leading historian of the Elizabethan Age, points out in his tome devoted to The Bard, Shakespeare’s themes of seafaring and shipwrecks, coincided with the growing interest and exploratory trips to the New World by the Cloptons and other acquaintances.
Sidney Clopton Lanier, the famous Georgia poet, was named in honor of his father’s law partner, Marianne’s brother, David Clopton, Sr. Sidney’s poem, Wilhelmina, was inspired by David’s daughter, Wilhelmina,  who married Sidney’s brother, Clifford Lanier, in 1868. Harris and the poet corresponded from time to time.
In Harris’ novella, Gabriel Tolliver, a Story of Reconstruction. A character by the name of Clopton plays a small but significant part. The book draws heavily on the people and places Harris knew in middle Georgia’s Putnam County around the time of the Civil War. The setting is Shady Dale, Harris’ fictionalized version of his hometown of Eatonton. Meriwether Clopton lived on a large plantation outside of town. He was the son of Shady Dale’s founder, Raleigh Clopton, a Virginian who had crossed Georgia’s Oconee River and settled on land of the Creek Indians shortly after the Revolutionary War. On the plantation, he lived with his daughter Sarah Clopton, and her son, Francis Bethune. The fictional Clopton served in Congress before the Civil War. On page 338, one reads “[that Robert Toombs] declared Sarah Clopton to be one of the finest conversationalists of her time when she chose to exert her powers.”
Five hundred dollars in gold coins,
payment for the instrument, was distributed
throughout the lining of the clothing.
Marianne’s husband, Andrew, was a member of one of the wealthiest Putnam County land and slave owning families. Miss Mary and Joel lived in a small cottage at the rear of the “Big House,” giving the shy young boy a front row seat to quietly observe the wealthy Reids and the aristocratic Cloptons. They lived in antebellum splendor complete with slaves, mansions, and gracious living. The families were well educated, wealthy, and received in the social circles of Georgia’s most prominent families. As a teenager, Harris watched their world fall apart.
The Reid’s magnificent Greek Revival mansions was home to a bustling family of seven children. Reigning supreme was Sarah Elizabeth Reid, the only daughter. According the family tradition, in 1839, a music teach from Boston, on the advice of her physician, moved to Eatonton and made arrangements to live with the Reids until her health improved. The teach arrived by stagecoach and a few days later, her piano was delivered. The piano was unpacked and positioned in the parlor. As the teacher began to play, little five year old Sarah was captivated. Although exposed to string instruments she had never heard anything to compare with the beautiful sounds coming from that piano.
The Antebellum mansion of Marianne Clopton and her husband, Andrew Reid. John Linley, in his Architecture of Middle Georgia, The Oconee Area (University of Georgia Press, Athens, 1972, p. 77-78) states the home is “possibly the most successful method, both esthetically, and functionally, of handling the tremendous porches of Greek Revival mansions is to carry them all the way around as was done at the Reid-Stubbs house. Not only is the simple repetition of heroic scaled columns invariable magnificent, but the problem of relating and joining the colonnade to the house is eliminated. In addition, windows can be left open at all decent, a pleasant area can always be found on the hospitable porch. Such porches are and were expensive to build. The Reid-Stubbs house is a good example of the type, and appears to be in a good state of repair; even the attractive brick lattice under the porch is still in place.”
When the home was donated to the Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society in the last half of the twentieth century, it was stipulated by the last owner, Mrs. F. M. Stubbs, daughter of the former owner, E. F. Bronson, that the house would be called the “Bronson House,” The Society has continued efforts to preserve this historic landmark. Located at 114 North Madison Avenue, it serves as the headquarters of the Society and features a small museum. It is one of several beautiful Reid mansions in Putnam County that survive into the twenty-first century.
The teacher observed Sarah’s eyes light up when she heard the music and realized this charming child had stolen her heart. She promptly took Sarah as her first pupil. With the capable instruction of the teacher, Sarah’s innate musical talent soon became apparent. With patience remarkable for one so young, Sarah quickly became her prized student.
In 1841, her health much improved, Sarah’s beloved teacher packed her piano and returned to Boston, leaving behind a heartbroken child. Devastated by the loss of her friend and the piano, the child could not be consoled. Her parents contacted the teacher and asked her to arrange construction of a piano exactly like hers from the Chickering & MacKay Company of Boston.
Andrew made arrangements for a young household slave named Bob to take possession of the piano at the Boston factory. A suit of leather was tailored for the journey. Five hundred dollars in gold coins, payment for the instrument, was distributed throughout the lining of the clothing.
Needless to say, the little town buzzed with excitement. If there is one thing small town folk do well, it’s gossip. And gossip they did. This was not a store bought, right off the showroom floor, piano. No Sir! This was special made, and for a child. That child was just spoiled rotten. Bob was seen approaching the town, his wagon burdened with the piano, and word spread like wild fire through the little town. By the time he reached home just about everyone in the community had gathered to watch the proceedings. Asked what reward he would like to have for a job well done, Bob, without hesitation replied he had always wanted a watch just like “Massa Andrews.” Andrew promptly took his gold watch from his pocket and gave it to him.
Sleeping In The Arms of Innocence
Heaven bless my own,
My darling Sallie
Sarah was fourteen when Joel Chandler Harris was born. He was often underfoot. Sarah pampered the chubby infant. He was one of her most avid fans. It is possible she served as the model for the fictionalized Sarah Clopton in Gabriel Tolliver. But in 1854 the little boy lost his musician. On her graduation from the Female College in Madison, Georgia, she was handed her diploma by a young attorney who would later gain the reputation as a brilliant lawyer, Thomas Peter Saffold, one of the trustees of the college. From a prestigious Morgan County family, the widower courted and won her. On July 4, 1854, he married her in the parlor of the newly remodeled mansion.
One week before their marriage, Thomas wrote to his betrothed:
Madison June 28th 54
My dear Sallie,
Dr Talmage has been absent. I received his letter yesterday. He compliments you, exhorts me to take especial care of such a treasure, and promises to officiate as high preist at our marriage. I did not see you as I left, a pleasure I was willing to forego, when I remembered you were sleeping in the arms of innocence, hope, and love. Nothing can exceed the depth and fulnefs of your devotion to me. It will ever be the great sun, the animating centre of my life. I shall look for your letter tonight. Mrs Thomas and Bob will be with me this evening. This is the reason I write now. Otherwise you might not hear from me until Friday. Marion is perfectly well, the swelling thought to be mumps, having wholly subsided. I have been looking this morning at the partially improved lot opposite Mr Burneys. Mr Norton asks too much for it. It is a beautiful place, and I had rather improve it than any location I know. But I will have the benefit of your views about it after a while, I think I shall buy it, if a wise and masterly inactivity by which I mean a manefestation of indifference as to owning it can abate the price. You shall hear from me on saturday. Be sure to write by Fridays mail. Heaven bless my own, my darling Sallie.
T. P. Saffold
God Have Mercy Upon Us
Their contracting characters;
Willie in his manly surety and self reliance.
Seaborn so lovely in his winning gentleness
After her marriage, Sarah moved into Thomas’ plantation located in Buckhead, a few miles east of Madison, and like her mother, became the mistress of one of the finest antebellum homes in the region. The first years of her marriage were filled with laughter and they frequently threw lavish parties,. But in less than a decade the merrymaking would end.
In 1861, the threat of war between the North and South became a reality. Thomas was one of the Morgan County, Georgia Delegates to the secession convention. A majority of the delegates, including Thomas, voted for Georgia to secede from the union. Georgia was at war.
Sarah Elizabeth Reid Saffold
On January 6, 1862, while death was stalking the armies, Sarah gave birth to her fourth child, Sidney Reid Saffold. The year of 1863 was to be the most tragic year in 29 year old Sarah’s life. The tide of war turned against the South at the battle of Gettysburg. The Union Navy blockade of the South’s seaports had cut its supply line. Medical supplies were non-existent. Two of her children, eight year old William Reid Saffold and four year old Seaborn Goudelock Saffold became gravely ill, as did her fourteen year old step son, Marion. Thomas was away from home on government business, and Sarah, left alone, had to nurse her sick children and manage a large plantation with slaves who were becoming restless and an Overseer who was in no mood to cooperate with a female.
The children’s condition worsened, and Sarah, heartbroken and helpless, had to watch all three die. She buried her eldest, Willie, in the Reid family cemetery at Eatonton in January, and in August, laid her little Seaborn to rest, even as she carried a fifth babe in her womb. Her life had changed from one of happiness and wealth to a life of sadness.
Nov. 5th, 1863
Your kind letter of Monday was received last night my dear Husband. I feel much relieved to learn that you are feeling better than when you wrote the day before, and hope that you will continue to improve. It is certainly a great blessing to have you keep your health since you must be army. It makes the discomforts and duties of camp life -?-. You wished to know in one of your last letters what Mr. Johnson was doing, he has been here ever since last Thursday filling the crib in the lot. Warren says they will finish hauling by Weds. Mr Johnson leaves every thing with Warren and Uncle Miles. He has not stayed here a single night to see the cows pent up. Mr Johnson never tells any thing unless specially questioned with inference to each matter. He has taken dinner here each day since I returned from Eatonton, and yet I know no more about matters in general than if I had not seen him in a month. I will give your instructions about the hay at dinner. I think I shall go in and spend the day with Mother tomorrow. Jenny is still with her. By the way, you inquired after Ben, he has been walking out doors for the last few days. I had a great deal of trouble with him, to make him either get up or sit up. When he was once he was unwilling to exert himself in the least. I had to threaten to have him dragged out of the bed feet foremost or head foremost right on the floor before I could bring him to his senses. I have never written you of Mrs Wright's letter. My letter did not reach her until she had engaged to open a select school. She assures me she will come as soon as she is at liberty. She is very sad at the loss of her husband, she tells me that he was her earthly all, you know I have often spoken of her attachment to him. Sidney improves every day and has more and more of our darling Willie's ways. When I go down to Eatonton again I shall plant out their burial place, the least attention I can pay their memory's, a sad yet *****pleasure. Oh! how my soul yearns after them in their contrasting characters; Willie in his manly surety and self reliance. Seaborn so lovely in his winning gentleness and trustfulness. May their memory ever be with us to turn us away from sin, and stimulate us in our efforts to win a home with them in Heaven. God have mercy upon us. With love
Your Wife S. Sal__
But that is only the beginning.
Although some Southerners never lost their zeal for The Glorious Cause, as early as 1863 Thomas was growing disenchanted. The following letters reveal his discontent had become full blown. As if things were bad enough, the Confederate Government, desperate for supplies, began to confiscate the civilian’s livestock, food and cloth, which further soured his mood. He is with the Mill’s Regiment, Georgia State Guard at a camp at Rome, Georgia.
Rome Oct 26th
Your letter of Saturday has just been received. I am surprised you have not received the letters I wrote last week. As to the Wheat I will give directions about it in a few days, and in the mean time let Thompson be cosy. I rode out yesterday to see Mrs. Oliver. Oliver has been at home for some time on a sick furlough. They own a small place in this county, two young negroes that are able to work and are doing very well. They have but two children and the little girl she asked me to name is as full of herself as any little Mifs of four years you ever saw. I enjoyed the ride and upon the whole had a pleasent day. There is no chance now to get her to work after I invited them when they went down the country to see their relatives to give us a call. She is a woman of good sense and very capable at all kinds of various work. We are doing nothing here and I feel more and more disgusted with the War and every thing connected with it. We had a great deal of bad weather last week but I find that no matter whether it rains or shines I am restlefs, difsatisfied and unhappy. How long we will stay here I cannot tell. I have but little idea that we will be discharged before Christmas if then. I am not surprised at the article you enclosed. It breathes the spirit of most if not all the men who are exempt. The truth is as I have said a hundred times the country is ruined and it may be your lot yet to have rations weighted out for yourself and children by some military official. Already the government is the master of the People and not the People the masters of the government. I will write again in a day or two. How does Ben get on? How many hogs has he put up to fatten? What is Johnson doing? Send me some butter, some biscuit and crackers, pickles, a bottle of molasses, and the loin part of a middling. Put them in a good Box and be sure to have it well nailed up. I hope your Mother is with you. My love to her and the children.
Your devoted Husband
T. P. Saffold
Thomas Peter Saffold, Sr. and his son,
Marion, by his first wife, Mary Elizabeth Thomas
Rome Dec 14th 63
My dear Wife
Yours of the 12th came to hand this morning. As to the imprefsment of the cattle it is no more than I expected. It is not much better than robbery, but that is only the beginning. It will not be long before they take all a man has. I will not trust myself to write upon this subject. As to the mare for the horse I am willing to make the exchange provided your Pa as any man in whose judgement I have confidence will say I will not lose any thing. No thing of the least importance is transpiring here. We have rain every day and there is considerable sicknefs in the Camp. Ask your Pa if he still desires me not to hire out the Tanner Daniel. I am not disposed to let the man have him another year for whom he is now working and would prefer to make an arrangement to work him ourselves if we can get the hides. By the time you get home I will try and write you a letter directing certain things. My regards to the Family and say to "Lady" that with all my heart I shall live my lot and wish her a pleasent Sail. Kifs the children.
T. P. Saffold
Sarah was a little tiny woman
But her red hair made up for it.
Like so many Southern women, Sarah faced the horrors of the last days of the war without her husband, the sole defender of the very old and the very old in her care. One endless night and day would remain vivid in her memory for the rest of her life, and she would tell of those terrifying hours again and again.
Sherman begun his infamous march to the sea, dividing his army into three parts, 20,000 troops each. Sarah’s plantation was directly in the path of these “Devil’s dressed in blue.” She would lay awake at night and sob quietly, her tears unseen by the servants and children. She had not heard from her husband in weeks. Was he safe? She worried about her elderly parents in Eatonton, twenty miles away. She remembered shivering with fright. In early November a rider passing her home told her, “The Yankees are only a day’s march away.” She buried as many small valuable items as time allowed, swearing the household servants to secrecy. The field hands hide the livestock in a secluded place on the plantation.
The next day arrived, and the minutes and hours ticked slowly away. With the sun dropping behind the tree line in the west, Sarah, thinking the army would not be coming that day, seated herself at her beloved piano to try soothing her nerves. Just as she started to play, a shot was fired from the road in front of the house, a window glass in the dining room shattered and something or someone fell to the floor with a thud. Screaming and running into the room, she found broken glass scattered across the table and a brass candle stick on the floor with a bullet hole through it. Numb, she peeked out the window and saw two men in faded blue uniforms gallop away.
That night the children were placed in makeshift beds on the floor. Sarah placed a chair in front of a window facing the road. She could see the western skyline above the trees aglow with the flickering light of Yankee camp fires. Exhausted, she fell into a fitful sleep.
The young Yankee Lieutenant rode confidently into the yard, his orders clear: burn the home of the Secessionist to the ground. But he hadn’t counted on Sara Elizabeth Reid Saffold. She was a little tiny woman but her red hair made up for it. Sarah had been running the plantation pretty much by herself for years despite an obstinate overseer and sullen field hands. She had buried two sons and one step son, and had spent countless hours in prayer for her husband and four of her brothers who fought for the confederacy. Good manners were no longer a part of Sarah’s belief system.
She met him on the porch and let him have it. The men backed up as Sarah vented her frustration and outrage at men in general and Yankees in particular. She was mad as hell and she wasn’t going to take it any more. If they dared to burn her house they would have to burn her and her babies with it. Clutching her infant, Andrew, with little Annie Laurie by her side, she sat down in a rocking chair on the porch, the loyal house servants standing firm behind her.
There simply was no contest. The Yankees didn’t touch the house. . . didn’t even come through the door. With the help of the field hands, they located some of the buried treasures and all of the livestock, which they took, but left the little family in peace.
Sarah continued to play the piano throughout the remainder of her life, but the sweet comfort once so easily found in the music was elusive, and a wisp of sadness could be heard in all that she played.
Because he voted for Georgia to leave the Union, her husband was branded a criminal and a traitor. Because it would not have been practical to throw every Southern officer and politician into prison, President Andrew Johnson issued pardons right and left. The forms were printed with the name of each individual handwritten by a clerk. Fortunately for us, the pardon of Thomas Saffold has survived. Note the clerk misspelled his last name part way through the document.
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, GREETING:
Whereas, Thomas P. Saffold of Georgia, by taking part in the
late rebellion against the Government of the United States has
made himself liable to heavy pains and penalties;
And whereas, the circumstances of his case render him a
proper object of Executive clemency;
Now, therefore, be it known, that P. ANDREW JOHNSON,
President of the United States of America, in consideration of the premises,
divers other good and sufficient reasons we thereunto moving, do
hereby grant to the said Thomas P. Saffold,
a full pardon and amnesty for all offences by him committed,
arising from participation, direct or implied, in the said rebellion;
conditioned as follows:
1st. This pardon to be of no effect until the said
Thomas P. Saffold shall take the oath prescribed
in the Proclamation of the President, dated May 29th, 1865.
2d. To be void and of no effect if the said Thomas
P. Saffold shall hereafter, at any time, acquire any
Property whatever in slaves, or make use of slave labor.
3d. That the said Thomas P. Safford first
\pay all costs which may have accrued in any proceedings instituted
or pending against his person or property, before the date of the
acceptance of this warrant.
4th. That the said Thomas P. Safford shall
not by virtue of this warrant, claim any property or the proceeds
of any property that has been sold by the order, judgment, or
decree of a court under the confiscation laws of the United States.
5th. That the said Thomas P. Safford shall
notify the Secretary of State, in writing, that he has received and
accepted the foregoing pardon.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto signed my name and caused
The Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this
[SEAL] Ninth day of September
A.D. 1865, and of the Independence of the
United State the Ninetieth
By the President:
Acting Secretary of State.
1. Marianne21 Clopton (Alford20, David19, Waldegrave18, William17, William16, William15, Walter14, William13, Richard12, William11, John10, William9, Thomas8, Walter7, William6, Walter5, William4, Walter3, William2, Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham)1 was born May 13, 1813 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia2, and died April 20, 1886 in Eatonton, Georgia and buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Eatonton. She married Andrew Reid3,4 October 20, 1829 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia5, son of Alexander Reid and Elizabeth Brewer. He was born June 26, 1806 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia6, and died July 17, 1865 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Eatonton7.
Children of Marianne Clopton and Andrew Reid are:
2 i. Samuel Armstrong Bailey22 Reid, born September 30, 1830 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia8; died August 8, 1831 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia8.
3 ii. William Andrew Reid, Esq., 1st Lt, C.S.A., born January 23, 1832 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia8; died November 18, 1878 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia9. He married Ophelia E. Nisbet, of Eatonton November 18, 1856; born 1836.
William A. Reid, Member of General Assembly of Georgia from Putnam County,
1857, 1858. He was a successful attorney and served in the Civil War. He enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant, April 26, 1861, 3rd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Brown Rifles, Company B. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant May 10, 1861. He resigned April 30, 1862.
4 iii. Sarah Elizabeth Reid, born March 24, 1834 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia10; died October 18, 1906 in Buckhead, Madison County, Georgia and buried City Cemetery, Madison11. She married Thomas Peter Saffold, Sr.12 July 4, 1854 in Sarah's home in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia13; born May 16, 1821 in Morgan, Greene County, Georgia14; died January 18, 1891 in Buckhead, Madison County, Georgia and buried City Cemetery, Madison14.
5 iv. Sidney Alexander Reid, C.S.A., born November 8, 1839 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia15; died December 2, 1909 in Eatonton, Georgia and buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Eatonton16. He married Mary Elizabeth Grimes November 8, 1865; born August 23, 1846; died March 21, 1916 in Eatonton, Georgia and buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Eatonton.
Captain Reid was the Quartermaster for Company G, 12th Georgia Infantry Regiment. He was wounded at Front Royal, Virginia, and returned to duty and remained with Robert E Lee's Army of Northern Virginia until the surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 9, 1865. He was an attorney in Eatonton for many years.
6 v. David Henry Reid, C.S.A., born June 16, 1842 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia17; died February 3, 1915 in Confederate Soldier Home, Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia18.
David Henry Reid, enlisted in the Confederate Army with the 12th Georgia Vol.
Infantry Regiment, Co. A. on April 4th, 1862. He was wounded at Front Royal,
Va., on May 30, 1862. He was a staff officer, Captain, when his command
surrendered at Appomattox Court House, with General Lee's army. He was in the
Battle of McDowell, VA where his 1st cousin Edward Reid, was killed. Also in
Battle at Front Royal, where he was wounded. He recovered and served all
through the Valley Campaign. He was a member of Company G.
7 vi. Edwin Clopton Reid, C.S.A., born August 14, 1847 in Eatonton, Georgia19; died December 9, 1915 in Confederate Soldier's Home, Atlanta. He married unknown
Edwin's record shows he was "in ditches around Atlanta" left Atlanta with his
command, "Tolverts Scouts". He was captured in Gordon County, near
Calhoune, GA. in Dec 1864. He was taken to Point Lookout Prison, Maryland.
He was in such poor health he was paroled and was at home sick when the war
came to a close.
8 vii. John Caldwell Calhoun Reid, born May 5, 1850 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia19; died May 28, 1917 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Eatonton20. He married Martha Manly Adams, of Eatonton December 8, 1870; born July 30, 1851; died June 7, 1929 in Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia and buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Eatonton21.
1. Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr., provided this information unless otherwise noted.
2. Marianne Clopton & Andrew Reid Holy Bible, (Courtesy Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society), She spells her name Mary Ann in the Bible, but later documents with her signature have changed the spelling to Marianne. To further add to the confusion, an undated article from the "Eatonton Messenger," written by Julia Adams, gives her name as Maryan in one spot and Marian in another. "It is Mrs. Gardner who bears her grandmother's name, however, Marian. This lovely name is found in the family handed down from generation to generation.
3. Wood, Faith of Our Fathers, (Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 92, He is one of the founders of Eatonton First United Methodist Church.
4. Hull, Early Records of Putnam County, Georgia, 1807-1860, (Courtesy of Michael Flanagan), p. 40, Named in his mother's will.
5. Putnam County, Georgia, Bride Index, p. 00006.
6. Marianne Clopton & Andrew Reid Holy Bible, (Courtesy Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society), The Bible was in the possession of Louise de Jarnette Taylor in 1980. In a letter dated Thursday, February 28, 1980, from the Reid Collection at the Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society, she writes in part, "The Bible itself is about to fall apart. I really do hate to have it rebound because it will destroy its originality but I'm afraid not to. The paper is also quite brittle. But then it is 153 years old. It is interesting that a piece of paper is glued over the name of Joseph A. Reid, b Aug 8, 1828 d. June 15, 1829. Evidently he was a twin of Alexander J. Reid and their mother was Andrew Reids first wife Mariah who died shortly after the birth of the twins." There are four pages of records. The entries were made over time by several hands. The earliest date is 1787, the latest, 1917. Special thanks to James Penick Marshall, Jr., President, Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society for assisting in the preparation of this family page.
7. Marianne Clopton & Andrew Reid Holy Bible, (Courtesy Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society), Both are buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Eatonton, Section 1, Division A., Lot 110. Mysteriously, there was no tombstone on their graves until, in 1997, descendant Ottis Edwin Guinn placed a stone after raising money from Clopton and Reid family members.
8. Marianne Clopton & Andrew Reid Holy Bible, (Courtesy Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society).
10. Marianne Clopton & Andrew Reid Holy Bible, (Courtesy Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society).
12. Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr., provided this information unless otherwise noted.
13. Saffold Family Bible. In 1998, the Bible was in the possession of Albert Terrell Saffold of Madison, Georgia.
14. Family Bible. Tombstone.
15. Marianne Clopton & Andrew Reid Holy Bible, (Courtesy Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society).
16. Both are buried at Pine Grove Cemetery, Eatonton, Section 1, Division B., Lot 187.
17. Marianne Clopton & Andrew Reid Holy Bible, (Courtesy Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society).
19. Marianne Clopton & Andrew Reid Holy Bible, (Courtesy Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society).
20. Tombstone, loc. cit, Section 1, Division A, Lot 110, and Family Bible.
21. Tombstone, loc. cit, Section 1, Division A, Lot 110.
See a genealogy of the Descendants of Samuel Reid and Agnes Kay, The First Five Generations
An extensive genealogy of the Reid Family may be found at
Also visit the Saffold Family Society at
Comments? Questions? Corrections?
A Tempest in the Briar Patch is an excerpt from The Clopton Chronicles, the Ancestors and Descendants of Sir Thomas Clopton, Knight & Dame Katherine Mylde, and is the property of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society which holds the copyright on this material. Permission is granted to quote or reprint articles for noncommercial use provided credit is given to the CFGS and to the authors. Prior written permission must be obtained from the Society for commercial use.
Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr., is a founding member of The Clopton Family Genealogical Society & Clopton Family Archives and serves on the Society’s Editorial Advisory Board. He is the g-g grandson of Sarah Elizabeth (Reid) Saffold, and the g-g-g grandson of Marianne (Clopton) Reid.
Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton is Founder and Executive Director of The Clopton Family Genealogical Society & Clopton Family Archives.
The Society wishes to thank Maryel Battin, Senior Warden, Christ Church; Peggy Charlotte (Schleucher) Clopton; James Penick Marshall, Jr., President, Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society; Brian O’Shea, Volunteer Researcher, Joel Chandler Harris Memorial Association, Atlanta; Sandra Leenora (Jacobs) Shockley; Leonard Alton Wood; and Reid family descendants Hattie Mina (Reid) Hickey, Sarah Sharpless, Mattie Sue Saffold, and Suzanne (Hattaway) Shockley for their assistance. Also thanks to Clopton family descendants, Katherine Elizabeth (DeLoach) Eubanks, B.S., R.N.; Alonzo D. Hudson; Carole Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D.; Isabel Lancaster (Clopton) Steiner; and, Lorraine D. Williams for their assistance in preparing A Tempest in the Briar Patch.
 Paul M. Cousins, Joel Chandler Harris, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1968, p. 9. Joel Chandler Harris writing to William M. Baskervill in 1895. Copy located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton..
 His Uncle Remus stories, made famous by Walt Disney’s Song of the South, are perhaps his best known and beloved works. Interest and appreciation of his work has grown recently after a period of disfavor. His stories of Brer Rabbit and his friends were based largely on African-American folk tales, which were based in turn on authentic tales from Africa. He was a master at capturing the dialects of both white and black Southerners. In addition to his Uncle Remus stories, he authored many other books.
 Cousins, Joel Chandler Harris, p. 3.
 He was born at Eatonton, December 9, 1848. The identity of his father has never been proved. It has been said he was an Irish day laborer who worked near the home of Mary Harris in Newton County, Georgia. Fingers have also been pointed at Andrew Reid, as the father. Since Harris became famous, many have come forth claiming to know the true identify of the father.
 Marianne was the daughter of Alford Clopton, M.D., C.S.A. and his wife, Sarah Kendrick. An abbreviated genealogy follows. For a complete genealogy of this Clopton line, see The Descendants of William Clopton of St. Paul’s Parish & His Wife Joyce Wilkinson, of Black Creek. Marianne’s given name appears in several placed spelled Mary Ann. A stained glass window, since destroyed by fire, was at Eatonton’s First United Methodist Church, and was in memory of “Marian” Clopton Reid. In her later life, she signed some documents, in the possession of Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr., as “Marianne.” In 1998, the portrait of Marianne was in the possession of Mrs. Shockley, of Madison, Georgia. In 1999, Andrew’s portrait was in the possession of Thomas Saffold of Atlanta, Georgia. Photographs of these portraits located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr. The Archive’s Marianne Clopton and Andrew Reid, C.S.A. Collection is composed of many old letters, photographs and Bible records provided by her descendants.
 His education was paid for by Andrew and Marianne. Andrew was severely chastised by the Methodist Church for taking the young woman in. See a genealogy of the Descendants of Samuel Reid and Agnes Kay, The First Five Generations. Another Clopton family living in Putnam County at this time was the family of Thomas B. Clopton, M.D., see Dr. Thom.
 Although there is little doubt the County Suffolk Cloptons and the London Cloptons was related, no evidence has ever been found to verify the ancient connection. See The Cloptons of Warwickshire.
 A. L. Rowse, William Shakespeare, A Biography, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1963. Copy located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.
 See Fair Willie
 Cousins, Joel Chandler Harris, p. 79.
 McClure, Phillips & Co., New York, 1902, copy located Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton.
 Katherine Bowman Walters, Oconee River Tales to Tell, Published for the Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society by the Reprint Company, Spartanburg, South Caroline, 1955, p. 259. According to county records, Andrew and three of his brothers, Alexander Sidney Reid, C.S.A., Edmond and James Lewis Reid, were counted among the wealthiest citizens of Putnam County. They and their youngest brother, David Henry Reid, all lived in mansions. Copy located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton. The 1850 Census of Georgia Slave Owners, Compiled by Jack F. Cox, Clearfield Company, Inc., Baltimore, 1999, 257-258, notes that the seven Reid men in Putnam County owned 242 slaves. Of those, Andrew owned 36.
Ibid., p. 260
 Cousins, Joel Chandler Harris, , p. 78. He was remembered by one individual as “Joe. . . an undersized, boyish looking individual only 19, and here stood before us, with a smile, one of the reddest-headed, freckled-faced boys I had ever seen. The freckles were as large as the proverbial turkey egg, and the hair was a fiery red.” It was recalled that whenever Joe met a stranger his face would “flush and he would stammer badly, and that Joe was one of the quietest persons he had ever met.”
 An abbreviated genealogy follows. A photograph of her portrait is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of .Ottis Edwin Guinn. Sr.
 Sarah’s youngest daughter, Sarah Louise (Saffold) Hattaway, was interviewed by Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr. before her death in 1966. She was 31 years old when her mother died and had very clear memories of her mother retelling the stories of her life.
 The piano, a magnificent square grand, was, in 1999, in the possession of Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr. It is in excellent condition.
 Bob remained with the Reids after the slaves were freed. He is listed on the 1870 census as Robert Saddler, a household servant who could read and write. Even though he knew it was illegal to educate a slave, the Reids had permitted Bob and some of the other house servants to lean to read and write.
 Sarah’s aunt, Sarah Clopton, the sister of Marianne Clopton, married James Lovick Pierce, Esq., D.Div., an eminent Methodist theologian, was President of the Madison Female College at the time of her graduation. Under his management that institution became one of the most prominent and influential in the Methodist Conference. His Baccalaureate address of 1858 is considered a “literary gem.” See The Old Doctor’s Son.
 Walters, Oconee River Tales, p. 246.
 He served as Circuit Judge in 1855.
 His first wife, Mary Thomas of Athens, Georgia. Following the birth of her son, Marion (1848-1863), she lapsed into depression and committed suicide.
,Walters, Oconee River Tales, p. 260.
 The original letter is in the possession of Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr., who transcribed the text in 1998. A copy is located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr.. The letter is in excellent condition, written on good quality stationary. The papers is trimmed with gold. There is no envelope. Thomas used punctuation in the letter. In later life he stopped using it in his writing. The quality of his handwriting is much better in his early writings and is not difficult to read. The entire collection of letters were loaned to Mr. Guinn by Mattie Sue Saffold and Suzanne Hattaway Shockley.
 His son.
 He did purchase the lot mentioned, built a brick home on it that later burned and they moved back to their home in Buckhead.
 Walters, Oconee River Tales, p. 246. Built around 1840, “this house was a typical Greek Revival with four large columns across the front and with dentils around the entablature. Five generations of the family occupied the Saffold house before it was abandoned.”
 Walters, Oconee River Tales, p. 246.
 The 1850 Census of Georgia Slave Owners, p. 269, notes that Thomas P. Saffold of Morgan County owned 35 slaves. The eight Saffold kinsmen owned a total of 188 slaves.
 Andrew Reid Saffold was born less than five months later.
 The original letter in the possession of Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr. who transcribed the text in 1998. A copy of the letter located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr..
 The plantation’s overseer.
 A slave at the plantation.
 Her mother and father are buried at the city cemetery in Eatonton. Possibly she and the children were in Eatonton with her parent’s when the boys died. There is a family cemetery at the Saffold plantation at Buckhead.
 According to Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr., in many of Thomas’ earlier letters he hints at his disapproval of the Confederate Government and as early as 1862 seems to have the foresight to predict the tragedy coming to the South.
 The original letters are in the possession of Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr. who transcribed the text in 1998. Copies located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr..
 One of the plantation’s slaves.
 The plantation’s overseer.
 Eatonton was about 20 miles from the plantation in Buckhead.
 As told to Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr. by Sarah’s youngest child, Sarah Louise (Saffold) Hattaway before her death in 1966.
 Richard J. Lenz, The Civil War In Georgia, Infinity Press, Watkinsville, Georgia, 1995, p. 74. Madison was visited by the Left Wing of Sherman’s “March to the Sea,” consisting of two army corps under Major General Henry Slocum, on November 19, 1864. Madison was located on the Georgia Railroad connecting Atlanta with August and the Eastern Theater. It was also the site of Confederate hospitals. Although the town was not burned, a depot, cloth factory, cotton gin and 200 bales of cotton were burned in the city. Although the stores were looted, the residences were left alone. Copy located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Katherine Elizabeth (DeLoach) Eubanks, B.S., R.N.
 The candle stick was in the possession of Suzanne Hattaway (Saffold) Shockley of Madison, Georgia, in 1999.
 Her husband was an elected delegate to the 1861 convention and cast his vote for Georgia to leave the union. When the war ended in 1865, he received a pardon from president Andrew Johnson. He immediately re-entered politics and was appointed by president Grant to the Board of Visitors for the class of 1871 at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
 Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr. has in his possession several silver items which were buried.
 The original copy of the pardon was presented to the Georgia State Archives by the Saffold family. A copy was presented to the Clopton Family Archives by Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr. in May 2000. The original copy still retains the Seal of the United States, although it is not legible in the photocopy.