Tuesday, July 30, 2013

James Taylor, Jr (1801 - 1860)

Genealogy is always interesting when it has to your family.

Some of the skeletons you pull out of the closet has a universal appeal, in other words, blood and killing ones.

James Taylor, Jr.  is my ancestor' James Taylor, Sr's, (1770-1838) son:  Read what I came across on him:

James, Jr., followed the movements of his father, James, Sr.  He acquired property in land lotteries and owned slaves.  When the Taylors moved to Chambers Co., Al., he was one of the first county commissioners and caused the first courthouse to be built.  There is a historical sign in front of the present day courthouse to that effect.  Records show that the first court sessions were held in his house.  The family were members of the Antioch Baptist Church.  The 1860 Census lists his assets as $58,300, with 40 slaves.  James Jr. was very wealthy.

     There was a tragic end to James, Jr.'s life.  The story can be peiced together from official records and family oral history.  Samuel Jeter was a neighbor and business associate of James, Jr.  who came to Chambers County in 1836 with his wife and son Richard.  The wife died in 1850.  On March 6, 1853, at the age of 57, he married Sarah "Sally" Taylor, the 17 year old daughter of James, Jr.  Samuel was a wealthy man and repected citizen.  He was an elected represenative to the Alabama General Assembly.

     Samuel and Sally had a son named Oscar, born in April 1854,  Samuel claimed the child was not his, but that of a Negro.  Sally and Samuel "divided the plantation house down the middle, each living in his or her part".  Later Sally objected to Samuel's deeding a parcel of land to Richard, his son by the first wife.

     They divorced on November 26, 1858.  Sally took Oscar and went home to James, Jr., receiving $20,000 and her piano.  She contacted typhoid fever and died March 11, 1860, leaving James, Jr., in her will.  Samuel then decided that "Oscar was his" and the judge ruled in Samuel's favor in a lawsuit.  Young Oscar was kidnapped by the Taylors.  A Jeter-Taylor feud was set in motion.  It is said that both families attended church (Antioch Baptist) with guns resting across their knees.  At a political barbecue on Sept 29, 1860, there was a fight between Samuel and James, Jr.  Richard Jeter killed James, Jr. with a Bowie knife, went to trial on November 1, 1860, and was exonerated.

     Prior to his death, James, Jr. had arranged that Eleazer be guardian of Oscar.  Eleazer took Oscar to Marion County, Ga., where he then lived and filed for guardianship.  However, Oscar was awarded to Samuel in April, 1861.  With appeals, the case went to the Georgia Supreme Court in 1862, but Samuel won the battle
-Paul Pullen in his PULLEN book.


Anonymous Tony said...

This is cool!

8:26 PM  

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