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The Clopton Chronicles

A Project of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society

 

 

 

DEGREES OF PROVIDENCE

 

 

Regarding

 

David Clopton & His Faithful Slave

Edy

 

By Carole Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D., scottce@bellsouth.net &

Suellen Clopton Blanton,[1] bblanton@fast.net

 

 

 

Golden Rewards

 

                Again and again they replenished the

                Water until the gold thoroughly washed

                And adhered to the copper lining of the rocker.

 

 

The early part of the nineteenth century found three high spirited sons of David and Mary Ann Clopton[2] in Georgia.  The early years were good to Alford, David and Albert Clopton.  Gold was discovered as early as 1826 in Villa Rica, Georgia, and David[3] was among Carroll County first gold miners and settlers.[4]  A Clopton Goldmining Company was still operating as late as 1895, producing gold and quartz[5]

                David Clopton earned his first fortune from this gold mine.  In 1850 only ten percent of the population of Georgia owned slaves.[6]  David owned nineteen, which is one indication of his wealth.[7]  Although the gold mine may have produced the funds necessary to initially purchase slaves, mining was back breaking and no doubt David worked very hard.  In her History of Villa Rica,[8] Mary Talley Anderson describes the process used in Georgia.

 

 

From 1830 to 1840 the prospectors worked extensively.  It is said that for the first ten years not less than 20,000 pennyweights were taken out annually.

                All mining was done until around 1840 by simply panning.  A vessel was used, generally shaped like a long-handled skillet.  It was imperative that the vessel be free from all grease, so it is not likely that the miners good wife was permitted to use it for cooking purposes, no matter how short she may have been on cook utensils.  Into this vessel the sand, gravel, and gold was poured together with water. Grasping the vessel firmly with both hands, back and forth, the miner worked, as though he were sifting meal, with the water, sand and gravel spilling over the sides of the vessel.  Again and again, he renewed the water until nothing remained but the gold dust which settled to the bottom of the vessel. . .

                The next method of mining employed was the “Rocker Process.”  Rockers were made of hollowed out logs and lined with copper in which holes so small as to appear almost negligible were made.  Into this rocker the sand, gravel and gold were poured together with water.  Two men caught either end and rocked it back and forth, very much as women used to rock their babies in cradles.  Again and again they replenished the water until the gold was thoroughly washed and adhered to the copper lining of the rocker.  This method was favored over the Sluice Box process as it was difficult to obtain sufficient water to operate these boxes, since dams had to be built on elevated ground to catch rain water for washing the gold.

 

 

            Little mining was done after 1844, and it appears that David had moved to Polk and Paulding Counties and became a planter.

 

 

The Fatherhood of God

 

                . . . many a soldier asked himself the question:

                What is this all about?  Why is it that 200,000 men

                Of one blood and one tongue, believing as one

                Man in the fatherhood of God and the universal

                Brotherhood of man, should in the nineteenth century

                Of the Christian era be thus armed with all the improved

                Appliances of modern warfare and seeking one another’s lives?[9]

 

 

 

By the beginning of the Civil War, approximately forty four percent of the entire population of Georgia was composed of slaves.[10]  While much has been made of the sacrifices and hardships of white women in protecting the plantations, far too little attention has been paid to the sometimes courageous roles played by loyal slaves who risked life and limb for their masters.  It has become fashionable in some circles to poop-pooh the very notion there existed mutual feelings of love, loyalty and devotion between master and slave,[11] however, several letters written by David Clopton to a friend brilliantly illustrates a complex and trusting relationship between himself and a slave named Edy.[12]  As Sherman’s troops pushed into Georgia, David, entrusting his plantation to his loyal slave, Edy, went into hiding.  With the Yankees breathing down her neck and her master gone, Edy displayed remarkable calm and forethought as she went about attempting to hide valuables.

 

 

                                                                                March 21st, 1865

 

Dear Fanny;[13]

                Your letter of 12th of last month came to hand a few days back, and as Mr. McClure is with me and will leave in the morning for the low country I will send this by him.  If I mail it here it is very uncertain whether you will ever get it.  I will not attempt to give you a history of my ups and downs since I saw you; it would take a volume.  I will only say I left home  Saturday before the Yankees came[14] on Monday.  I did expect they would get here on Sunday morning from what I had heard.

                They robed my house, took a part of my meat and corn,[15] and broke up things generally.  They found the box containing your bedclothes, etc. and took most of your things, scattered your books all over the yeard, robed Edy of her money and the most of her fine clothes and took many things from the rest of the negroes.  Your box was under Edy’s bed.  She thought, and was told that Yankees would not rob negroes.  Edy sent Mr. Pentecost’s trunk to Patience’s house and had it hid, but they found it and took out all his clothes.

                I camped out in the woods for five or six weeks,[16] thinking the Yankees would be driven back.  I then left the country and landed down in Chambers County, Alabama,[17] where I staid until sometime in September[18] when I thought I would come home and see if I had anything left.

                I found the negroes had not worked one week all put together.  They did cut a little wheat but let it get spoiled.  I had been but a short time at home when the Yankees moved up from Stilesborough[19] and for weeks they were camped on this side of the Van Wert[20] and raiding through here every day.  They passed my house many times but paid no attention to me.  They stripped my house again of everything they wanted and left me almost without anything to keep house on.  I have but two old broken knives and forks and would have been without bedclothes to sleep  under had not Edy patched up a comfort or two.

                The Yankee army has passed twice through here and our army once.  The deserters and stragglers of our army[21] have been in here all the summer and all together they have left this country almost destitute of anything for the people to live on.

                They have taken five horses from me, about 80 heard of hogs, and everything in the shape of a cow I had on the place and fully half of what little corn that was made. I am now without syrup, without milk, and have only corn and meat enough to last me half the summer.

                But I am better off than some of my neighbors.  There is poor Kingsbury had every pound of meat, and every bushel of corn, every horse, cow, hog, and chicken taken; the house stripped of everything they could carry off and he and his family left with only the clothes they had on, without one mouthful to eat.  And he is not alone.  Dodds and some others here left in the same fix.

                The negroes I took off with me, I left in Alabama working for their victuals and clothes.  I could not feed them if I had them here.  The families of Seaborn Jones and Geo. Rentz have just reached home.  I don’t know where they will live.  I was at Seaborn’s a few weeks since and he and Mr. Rentz were living on two scanty meals a day and as for their negroes, they did not taste of meat.

                I have lost four negroes since you left.  Jesse and Big Joe sickened and died.  Adaline took fire with her child in her arms and they both got burnt so badly that she died the second night after.

                I am glad to know you have got a good place among kind and friendly people  You have ample means to pay your way and I would advise you to stay there,[22] and not think of coming to this destitute country.  It is not the country it was when you left – everything wears a gloomy aspect – everyone stays at home and we see nobody passing unless it is some poor refugee slowly wending his way to his devastated home.

                How is it, Fanny, you bear your misfortune with so little fortitude so little patience?  There are many who have been equally, or more, unfortunate than you have been whose situation is far worse than yours and they became reconciled after the lapse of time.

                It is useless, Fanny, to attempt to resist the degrees of Providence – you can’t do it.  We all have to submit to fate and it is well for us if we can do it cheerfully.

                I have received a letter from Martha[23] -- the first I’ve received in twelve months.  They all seem to be getting on well – everything quiet there.

                                                                                Your friend,

                                                                                David Clopton

 

 

                Nineteen days later, on April 9, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.  The last Confederate forces in Georgia would surrender at Kingston May 12.

 

 

Low Spirits

 

                I have saved enough to live

                In my plain and saving way

                If I can keep it –

                But there is the rub.

 

 

Finally the long War came to an end.  Approximately 130,000 Georgians answered the call.[24]  By war’s end, over 11,000[25] of Her sons, husbands and fathers lay dead.  Life went on as the South as people attempted to pick up the pieces.  Everything was pretty much in shambles throughout Georgia, and David plodded through the days and tried to maintain the plantation as best he could.

 

 

                                                                                July 15th 1866

 

Dear Fanny

                Don’t be uneasy I will send your things in a short time.  I have been a little careless about sending of them, but I knew what the Yankees left were all safe and did not expect you stood in need of them.  Besides you have no conception of the difficulty of getting any little job done in this country – (that is at a fair price).  I don’t suppose I could get a box hauled from this place to Van Wert only one mile for less than two dollars and if I had have sent your box off before this I should have had to hire a two horse waggon at five dollars a day to haul it.  Now I can send it by the State Waggons at 50 cents pr. Hundred.  The first man I can find who can or will make a box I’ll hire him and send you things off – One Box will hold them – I have got Mr. Carson’s clothes & watch from Cedar Town.[26]

                I have heard nothing from your people for a long time, got a letter from Martha dated 12th May, all well – looking for another –

                                                                                In haste your friend

                                                                                David Clopton

Write me how you are etc.

 

 

                                                                                Van Wert Sept. 7th 1866

 

Dear Fanny:

                I have sent the Box containing your Bed and Bed Clothes to Cartersville[27] expressed to you, sent word to Alfred Williams to see it off right.  I had the Box fixed up without knowing exactly what you had to send –there is less than I thought and consequently the Box is too large but I hope they will not injure on that account.  Your Bed has certainly been robed.  Edy says she thinks it was done by some of the negroes on the place and not by Patience, but I don’t know I did not like the answer Patience gave when Edy asked her about the Bolster & pillows.  It remained in Patience’s hands a good while after the Yankees collected their negroes on the place.  I ought to have been more particular and got the Bed out of P’s care before I came away from the old place.  But if you could know Fanny the trouble and care I have laboured under you would excuse. The fact is I have lost & lost untill I looked upon everything as lost.  You may live to see things come right again, and get over the troubles that have been on us for the last five years but I never can.  I have saved enough to live on in my plain and saving way if I can keep it – but there is the rub, I feel that nothing is safe, and what may yet esall me in my old age, heaven only knows.  I am truly glad Fanny that you are married and to a man that will in all probability take care of you, and amidst your many sources of grief you can feel that Providence has not entirely forsaken you.  I see by your last letter that you have noticed in some of my previous letters that I did not request you to write to me or answer my letters.  I am sorry you are so particular – for I did think you knew me well enough to know that I would be at all times glad to hear from you.  You also know my careless way of writing letters – Don’t Fanny, give me any reason to believe you doubt my friendship.

                I heard from Martha a few days since, her letter was dated the 17th of last month, she was well but one of her children had the chills.  She says the crops are almost a failure in that section and that the negroes who are working on our place will make but little if anything over a bare support but our crop is as good as any in the neighhborhood.  Martha appeared to be in rather lower spirits than usual when she wrote.  Do you ever hear anything from Mollie these days.  Perses Kingsbury told me day before yesterday she had just received a letter from Mollie and said she did not know what to make of her -- there was several by, but the next time  se Perses I will make her tell me all about it.  Perses & Bate Jones is very friendly and I think Mollie writes to her thinking she may yet hear something from Bate favourable.  There is nothing stirring in the neighborhood, no life, but little visiting, everybody and everything seems down, down, nobody has any money and the little crop that is making has cost the people more to make it than it will bring after it is made.  The general cry is what are the people to do the next year.  The negroes have to be fed, and horses furnished them and fed in making another crop and most or many of the farmers will not have the means of doing it, either in provisions or money.  And many of the poorer people who has been rationed by the government this year seems to think that government will feed always and have made but little effort to provide for the next year.  What then is to become of the negroes & poor whites is the great question of the day.

                I said everybody was dull, there [was] a party at Bob Jones a short ago.  The Miss Mores from Alabama has been staying with Mrs. Rentz a week or two, they did not seem disposed to stay with Bob & Malisa although their father had done them many favours & was very kind to Bob & Malisa when they refugeed to Ala.  So Malisa concluded to give them a party and invite the neighborhood.  There was some 15 or 20 at the party.  Malisa spread herself – had everything in great stile – everything done up according to the latest stile & fashion, but from what I have been told the thing passed off rather dull.  Bate ssays they went before they got their suppers and when the supper came on it consisted of nothing but cake, candies etc. etc. and it was ill suited to the apatites of a hungrey crowd –no coffee, no tea, no meats, but it was all very fine and that suited Malisa – Yes & Bob.  I was not invited and I am glad of it for I know Bob’s feelings are quite cool toward me and I should not have felt easy had I been there.  You see I hold a note on Hems estate for about five thousand dollars and as they would not make any satisfactory arrangement about it I sued Bob and ever since he has appeared cool.  I am glad of it, for it always kept me under a strain to keep in with him.

                Well, as Edy wants the table to set for diner I must stop – write me when you get this

                                                                                & believe me your friend

                                                                                David Clopton

 

           

            We hear no more from David.  He was to die only a few years after the War ended.  Nothing is known about his adopted daughter nor the fate of his devoted Edy.


                1.  David19 Clopton, Sr., of St. Peter's Parish  (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 1760 at New Kent County, Virginia2, and died Bef. July 3, 1823 at probably Henrico County, Virginia3.  He married Mary Ann Vanderwall December 29, 1783 at Henrico County, Virginia4, daughter of Nathaniel Vanderwall and Ann Gunn.  She was born Abt. 17604.

        David Clopton served in the military in 1778 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  He served in Captain Taliafero's Company, 2nd Virginia Regiment. He was in Captain John Stoke's company at Valley Forge in 1778.  A copy of his records are in the Clopton Family Archives.

       

Children of David Clopton and Mary Vanderwall are:

        2                 i.    Nathaniel Vanderwall, M.D.20 Clopton5, born May 2, 1786 at New Kent County, Virginia; died October 6, 1855 at "Grassdale," Fauquier County, Virginia of gout at the age of 706.  He married Sarah Susan Grant Skinker, of "Spring Farm"7 October 17, 1821 at "Spring Farm", Fauquier County, Virginia8; born May 7, 1798 at "Spring Farm", Fauquier County, Virginia; died January 30, 1881 at "Grassdale," Fauquier County, Virginia

                                                Nathaniel Vanderwall Clopton loved nothing better than a fine horse and a good joke.  In fact, he pretty much dedicated his life to the pursuit of both.  He was a hard working man, a successful Fauquier County and a physician.  See Fun and Games in Old Fauquier.

        3                ii.    Alford Clopton, M.D., C.S.A., New Kent County9, born January 25, 1787 at Henrico County, Virginia10; died December 1870 at Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama and buried Tuskegee Cemetery, Macon County11.  He married Sarah Kendrick, of Washington County, Georgia12 June 25, 1812 at Monticello, Jasper County, Georgia13; born December 13, 1794 at Washington County, Georgia14; died September 15, 1851 at Tuskegee, Macon County,  Alabama and buried Tuskegee Cemetery.

               Previously published Clopton genealogies have mentioned that  Alford's  will, made July 13, 1867, he tells of the hardships caused by the War for Southern Independence.  He mentions his two sons killed in the war, Martin and James.  However, no copy of this will has been submitted to the Clopton Family Archives.

Both are buried at Tuskegee Cemetery, Macon County.

        4               iii.    Ann Gunn Clopton, of "Clopton House"15, born April 9, 1789 at New Kent County, Virginia; died May 16, 1869 at "Woodside," Chesterfield, Virginia.  She married Robert Mosby Pulliam, of "Clopton House" December 30, 1813 at Henrico County, Virginia16; born August 14, 1786; died July 3, 1843 at "Clopton House," Manchester, Virginia.

        5               iv.    John K. Clopton, of New Kent County, Virginia, born 1790 at New Kent County, Virginia; died Bef. July 182317.

        6                v.    David Clopton, Jr., of New Kent County, Virginia18, born 1797 at New Kent County, Virginia; died probably at Polk or Paulding County, Georgia before 187019.

        7               vi.    Sarah E. Clopton, of New Kent County, Virginia20, born Abt. 1800 at New Kent County, Virginia.  She married Edward Curd, M.D. June 9, 1819 at Henrico County, Virginia by the Rev. John D. Blair21

        8              vii.    Albert Gallatin Clopton, Esq of New Kent County22, born 1802 at New Kent or Henrico County, Virginia; died September 24, 1830 at Macon, Bibb County, Georgia23.

In 1824 Albert formed a law partnership with Charles J. McDonald, Esquire,  who would later become the Governor of Georgia.  At the time of his death, he was the law partner of Robert Sampson Lanier, Esquire.  One of Mr. Lanier's sons, Sidney Clopton Lanier, the beloved Georgia Poet, was born in 1842 and possibly named in honor of Albert.  Another son, Clifford Lanier, would marry in 1868,  Wilhelmina Clopton, the daughter of The Honorable David Clopton and his first wife, Martha Ligon.

                                                Albert was one of the founders of Christ Church, in Macon, Georgia, a fact that is noted on this historical marker in front of the church which is located at 538 Walnut Street.  Christ Church was the first congregation in Macon.  The first organ was brought to Macon, a tracker organ, and installed in Christ Church in 1834.  Its use produced a sensation in religious communities throughout Macon and Middle Georgia.  The present church building was consecrated on Sunday, May 2, 1852.  Although Albert was not to live to see this lovely structure, he would most certainly applaud the words of Bishop Elliott, who commented:  "This very chaste and capacious church, having nearly doubled the seating of the former church, reflects great credit on the congregation who have built it entirely out of their own resources.".

 

Endnotes

 

1.  The Clopton Family Archives contains a copy of an indenture (GS Film 7566 pt. 21 (031811) Book 41, page 319) dated August 29, 1838 between Nathaniel G. Clopton and Sarah S. G. Clopton, his wife, of the County of Fauquier in the State of Virginia, and Allford Clopton of the County of Putnam, State of Georgia.  Refers to the deceased Albert G. Clopton who had sold "Allford" lands derived from his father, David Clopton, deceased.  Refers to David Clopton's will divising certain land among his "five children,"  "Nathaniel, Allford, David, Albert and Sarah now Sarah Curd.

2.  Leonard A. Wood, Essay,  "Descendants of Waldegrave Clopton," Presented to the Clopton Family Association, September 17, 1997.

3.  Henrico County Will Book,  (Courtesy of Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.), GS7565 Pt. 3 (031984).

4.  Leonard A. Wood, Essay,  "Descendants of Waldegrave Clopton," Presented to the Clopton Family Association, September 17, 1997.

5.  Named in his father's will.

6.  Fauquier County Virginia Death Records,  (Located Fauquier County Courthouse, Warrenton, Virginia.  Abstracts and microfilm located Fauquier County Library, Warrenton.  Courtesy of Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.), Page 19, Line 16, States he was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, which is incorrect.  He is a farmer and the husband of Sally Clopton.  His death was reported by his son, N.A. Clopton.

7.  GS Film 031828 (7566 pt. 38) Book 75, p. 349, The Clopton Family Archives contains a copy of this deed dated November 27, 1860 between S.S.G. Clopton (a widow), Wm. N. Bispham and Mary Ann [Clopton], his wife; J. S. Clopton and his wife and N. A. Clopton, the widow and heirs of N. V. Clopton of the first part and Henry D Taylor of the second.  Refers to land in the division of the estate of David Clopton.  It is signed, Sarah S. G. Clopton, W N Bispham, Mary Ann Bispham, J. S. Clopton, Susan G. Clopton, and N. A. Clopton.

8.  Fauquier County, Virginia, Marriage Book,  (Courtesy of Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.), Date of bon was October 15, 1821; bondsman named William.

9.  He is named in his father's will.

10.  Marianne Clopton & Andrew Reid Holy Bible,  (Courtesy Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society).

11.  Two Alford Cloptons are listed in the Georgia Tax Digests for the year 1815, page 50 and 51, paying tax on two properties in the John H. "Brodnax" District.  An Alford was granted 202 1/2, acres, 2,970 feet square,  in Monroe County, Georgia, Lot 15, Section 2, in the Forth Georgia Land Lottery of 1821.  It is believed this referes to two different Alfords.  At the time of the drawing, about September 1821, an Alford was living in Putnam County, Leggetts Military District.  An indenture dated August 29, 1838, GS Film 7566 pt. 21 (031811) Book 41, page 319, between Nathaniel G. Clopton and Sarah S. G. Clopton, his wife, of the County of Fauquier in the State of Virginia, and "Allford" Clopton of the County of Putnam, State of Georgia.  (Copy located Clopton Family Archives).  An Alford Clopton is listed as living in Putnam County in the 1820 and 1830 Georgia Census.

12.  Milledgeville, Georgia, Georgia Journal,  (Courtesy of Leia Katherine Eubanks), Wednesday, November 30, 1814 Issue, A notice appeared in this issue stating that on the first Tuesday in March 1815, will be sold at the Courthouse at Dublin,  Laurens County, Georgia, 475 acres of swamp land of the first quality, lying on the Oconee River in Laurens and belonging to the estate of Martin Kendrick, deceased, and signed by Alford Clopton, Administrator, and Jane Kendrick, Administrator.  She is named Sarah Clopton, in her mother's will which was probated August 1, 1830.

13.  Marriage license, Putnum County, Georgia

14.  Washington County, Georgia, 1794 Census.

15.  The Clopton Family Archives contains a copy of a codicil (GS 7565 Pt. 3 (031984) dated July 3, 1823, which refers to "my old friend and neighbor," Mosby Pulliam and his son Samuel T. Pulliam, his daughter Ann G. Pulliam and Robert Pulliam, her husband.  Mentions but does not name her children.  Codicil appoints son, Nathaniel Clopton, and Hugh Davis as Executors.

16.  Virginia Marriage Index, 1740-1850, courtesy of Leonard Alton Wood, M.S.

17.  He is not mentioned in his father's will.

18.  He is named in his father's will.  Special thanks to Carole Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D., who provided the information regarding David Clopton and his possible connection with Georgia.  She cites as her sources "Mary Talley Anderson, "The History of Villa Rica (City of Gold,)" Villa Rica, Georgia Bicentennial Committee, 1976; S. P. Jones "Gold Deposits of Georgia," 1909 Geological Survey of Georgia.; and, Mary Bondurant Warren, "Alphabetical Index to Georgia's 1832 Gold Lottery," Heritage Papers, Danielsville, Georgia, 1981.

19.  Although no David Clopton was listed as living in Carroll County (Georgia) in the Census, a David Clopton, 53, who was born in Virginia, appears in the  1840 and as David C., in the 1850 census of Paulding County, Georgia.  There is no David Clopton listed in the 1870 Georgia Census.

20.  She is named in her father's will.

21.  Richmond (Virginia) Compiler (In some years called Richmond Courier & Compiler),  (Microfilm located Virginia State Library and Archives.  Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), June 15, 1819, States she is the daughter of David Clopton, Sr., of Henrico.  Edward Curd is identified as a doctor.

22.  He is named in his father's will.

23.  Richmond (Virginia) Compiler (In some years called Richmond Courier & Compiler),  (Microfilm located Virginia State Library and Archives.  Courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), October 12, 1830, p. 3, States he was a native of Henrico County, Virginia and died in Macon, Georgia at the age of 32.

 

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[1] The Degrees of Providence, 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.

Carole Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D. is a Founding Member of The Clopton Family Genealogical Society & Clopton Family Archives and serves on the Society’s Board of Directors.  David Clopton is her g-g-g-granduncle.  Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton is Founder and Executive Director of The Clopton Family Genealogical Society & Clopton Family Archives.

The Society wished to thank Maryel Battin, Senior Warden, Christ Church, Macon, Georgia; Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.; Barbara Donley, Virginiana Room Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library; Myron House, Librarian and Archivist, and Jan Ruskell, Reference Librarian, Ingram Library, State University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia; Charles Lott, Commander, Forest Escort Camp, Sons of the Confederacy Veterans, Villa Rica, Georgia; James Penick Marshall, Jr., President, Eatonton-Putnam County Historical Society; Leonard Alton Wood for their assistance in preparing The Degrees of Providence.  Also thanks to Clopton family descendants Katherine Elizabeth (DeLoach) Eubanks; Ottis Edwin Guinn, Sr.; and, Lee Graham, Jr., M.Div.

[2] An abbreviated genealogy follows.  For a complete genealogy of this Clopton line, see William Clopton of St. Paul’s Parish & His Wife Joyce Wilkinson of Black Creek.

[3] Mary Talley Anderson, The History of Villa Rica (City of Gold),  Villa Rica, Georgia Bicentennial committee, 1976, p. 4

[4] Mary Bondurant Warren, Alphabetical Index to Georgia’s 1832 Gold Lottery, Heritage Papers, Danielsville, Georgia, 1981. David, Alford and Waldegrave  won property in gold bearing territory of northwestern Georgia from which the Cherokee Indians were being removed.  Waldegrave would probably be Waldegrave Clopton, III., M.D. (1787-November 8, 1832) who migrated to Georgia with his brothers Thomas B. Clopton, Jr. (see Dr. Thom), James Brown Clopton, Sr., M.D., and Miller Clopton.

[5] It isn’t clear who owned this company by 1895. "The Carroll Free Press," on September 6, 1895, reports that the Clopton Goldmining Company had finished and put into operation a large Huntington mill, 5 stories high.  In an 1896 geological survey of Georgia it is reported that the Clopton property is in the vicinity of Villa Rica.  It was located on lot 194, 3rd district and was in the hands of a Boston Company.  It had recently completed some work, including a new mill of recent patent.  In Gold Deposits of Georgia, by S. P. Jones, a 1909 geological survey of Georgia, quotes Mr. Clarke Watkins, of Villa Rica, who was familiar with the history of most of the gold mines of that portion of the Carroll County belt, about thirteen hundred pennyweights of gold were obtained at this locality from a cut of comparatively insignificant size.  The mine was located on lot 194, 6th district, “a short distance to the northeast of the Chambers mine.”

[6] The 1850 Census of Georgia Slave Owners, Compiled by Jack F. Cox, Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1999.  Introduction.

[7] According to The 1850 Census of Georgia Slave Owners the Clopton descendants owning slaves were:  Pleasant Perrin Clopton, of Meriwether County, owned 27; Thomas B. Clopton, M.D. of Putnam County, (see Dr. Thom), 10; Andrew Reid, husband of Marianne Clopton (see A Tempest in the Briar Patch), 36; and, Thomas Peter Saffold, husband of Sarah Elizabeth Reid (see A Tempest in the Briar Patch), owned 35.

[8] Pp. 4-5

[9] Shelby Foote, The Civil War A Narrative Red River to Appomattox, Vintage Books, a division of Random House, New York, 1986, p. 640, quoting an unnamed soldier.  The soldier’s ends his lament by saying, “We could settle our differences by compromising, and all be at home in ten days.”

[10] The Civil War Book of Lists, Complied by the editors of Combined Books, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, 1994 estimates the total population of Georgia in 1861 at 1,057,248, with 465,698 of that number representing slaves.

[11] Catherine Clinton’s Tara Revisited, Abbeville Press, 1995, p. 120, dismisses the stories of slave loyalty as “black voices produced by white ventriloquism qualify[ing] as dubious evidence.”

[12] The 1870 Georgia Census lists three blacks living in Van Wert, Polk County, who have taken the Clopton surname:  Jenny, age 54, born in South Carolina; Miry, 19, born in Georgia; and, William, 55, born in Virginia.

[13] Fanny Hargrove Carson.  She was the daughter of Bright W. Hargrove of Villa Rica, Georgia.  Mr. Hargrove was one of the three Carroll County Delegates to Georgia’s 1861 Secession Convention.  These letters are part of the Hargrove Family Papers, Annie Belle Weaver Special Collections, Ingram Library, State University of West Georgia, Carrollton.  The University’s archives have a photograph of Fanny when she is 17.

[14] Polk and Paulding Counties were swept up in the fight for Atlanta.  Marauding rogue Yankee soldiers plagued the area for months.  Richard J. Lenz, The Civil War In Georgia, Infinity Press, Watkinsville, Georgia, 1995, p. 33 notes that on May 27, 1864, the Yankees suffered a humiliating defeat against the Confederates at Pickett’s Mill Creek in Paulding County.  “In the Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Sherman ordered three brigades to attempt a flank attack of the Confederate line.  Johnston anticipated the Union move and placed Confederates under Patrick Cleburne at the end of his line.  The attacks were poorly coordinated and the Yankee brigades got lost in the dense forest and deep ravines.”  When they emerged the Confederated engaged them, and “the Rebel fire swept the ground like a hailstorm.”  Pickett's Mill is considered one of the best preserved Civil War battlefields in the nation and represents one of the few Confederate victories in the Atlanta Campaign.

[15] Foote, The Civil War A Narrative Red River to Appomattox, p. 352-353, notes that by the Atlanta Campaign, the Yankees were suffering from symptoms of scurvy, “black-mouthed, loose-toothed fellows,” who went on the roam in search of wild onions or anything green and fit to eat.”  Not only mosquitoes made life miserable for the Union soldiers, but a nasty little chigger added to their woes.  Many of the Northerners had never met the acquaintance of Eutrombicula alfreddugesi.  “An Illinois private wrote:  “They will crawl through any cloth and bite worse than fleas, and poison the flesh very badly.  Many of the boys anoint their bodies with bacon rines which chigres can’t go.  Salt water bathing would cure them but salt is too scarce to use on human flesh.”

[16] Although David was an elderly man, the Yankees were rounding up any male who was able bodied enough to put up a fight or intelligent enough to organize new companies, albeit composed of the very young and the very old.

[17] Chambers County is located on the border between Alabama and Georgia, south of Polk County and directly west of LaGrange, Troup County, Georgia.

[18] Atlanta surrendered to Sherman on September 2, 1864.  President Lincoln received a telegraph from Sherman which reads:  “Atlanta is ours and fairly won.”  The Yankees burn the city and begin the March to the Sea November 12-15.

[19] The community of Stilesborough is actually located north of Polk County in Bartow County.

[20] Van Wert is a community in Polk County, not far from the border of Polk and Paulding Counties.  It is near U.S. Highway 278.

[21] Foote, The Civil War A Narrative Red River to Appomattox, p. 786, notes that by February 11, 1865, a desperate General Robert E. Lee issued with the concurrence of President Jefferson Davis, an offer of pardon for all deserters who would return to the Confederate ranks within twenty days.

[22] Unfortunately for Fanny, by fleeing to Oglethrope, she jumped from the frying pan into the fire.  Oglethorpe, located in Macon County, is just north of the infamous Andersonville Prison.  On March 22, one day after David had penned this letter, Union General James H. Wilson led the Civil War’s largest cavalry force, Wilson’s Raiders, in a raid against the heart of Georgia and Alabama.

[23] National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 55, Number 1, March 1967, pp. 177-210, “Names Changed Legally in Georgia, 1800-1856,” by Arthur Ray Rowland, discusses briefly the act which established the procedure for adopting a child for the purpose of inheritance or to render an illegitimate child legitimate.  There follows a list of many name changes gleaned from the Acts of the General Assembly from 1800 to 1856.  Included is an entry for David Clopton of Polk County, who, on February 20, 1854, adopts Martha Jenkins Ellington and changes her name to Martha Jenkins Clopton.  The footnote indicates she was the adopted, not natural child, of David Clopton.  The 1850 Georgia census shows David, aged 53, living with Martha, aged 13.

[24], The Civil War Book of Lists, p. 19.  With 155,000, Virginians composed 15.0% of the Confederate States Army, Georgia, second only to Virginia, represented 12.6%.

[25] Civil War Book of Lists, p. 90

[26] Cedartown is located in Polk County, at the intersection of U.S. Highways 278 and 27.

[27] Cartersville is located in Bartow County at the intersection of State Highway 113 and U. S. Highway 41.