It was December 1860– the first Tuesday of the month, to be exact–when my fourth great-grandparents, Nathan and Cora Talbot, were sold during a public auction along with a girl named Amanda to B.F. Hooper.Price: $2,250 for the three, equivalent to $68,553 in 2018.
Nathan and Cora Talbot were among the 41 enslaved people– including men, women, children and married couples– who were sold after the death of John Talbot, a plantation owner who lived in Lumpkin, Ga. I was actually looking for more information about my Pinkard relatives, when I stumbled upon the record.
FamilySearch.org literally has thousands of probate court records on its site, including those from Georgia counties. I was poring through the scanned pages of the Stewart County documents, just browsing and not really expecting to find anything. As I browsed the table of contents/index, I noticed the name John Talbot next to an entry that said “sale of Negroes.” Hmm, Talbot. I knew that my third great-grandmother’s maiden name was Talbot, and that she had lived– and likely been enslaved– in Stewart County. Her name was Sarah Talbot Bryant. (Her husband was Aaron Bryant– remember that for later in the story).
I did a little more digging and found out that John Talbot had died intestate in January 1860. (“Intestate” is the legal way of saying he died without a will). His wife, Irene, died that July. As a result, all of John Talbot’s property– including the people he owned– were put up for sale.
There was Narcisa and her son Peter; Delia, a young woman; Jack, a young man; Peter, a man about 52 years old. Jane and her two children, William and Patsy. Ellen, who was about 12. Reuben was 10. Parish, and his wife Diana. Harrison, who was 15 and 14-year-old Washington. Henry, a 42-year-old man. Wilson and Melinda, George and Jenny, Willie and Suekey– three husband-and-wife couples. Ann and her five children– Amy, Sol, Isham, Sam, and Gus. Fanny and her two children. Fayette, a 16-year-old boy. Anthony, Harriet and eight children. And 10-year-old Ben.
Then it got really interesting. I was looking at who showed up to this slave auction. And I noticed another name that was familiar- L. Bryan. I strongly believe this is Loverd Bryan, who owned my third great-grandfather Aaron, his mother, Anarky and his siblings. (Yes, the Aaron Bryant I mentioned earlier).
The L. Bryan on the document bought a woman named Jane and her two children, William and Patsey. In the 1870 U.S. Census, I wasn’t able to find a William Talbot or a Patsey Talbot. But I was able to find a William Bryant age 14, and a Patty Bryant, age 12.
Interestingly enough, I saw no mention of Sarah. Maybe she was sold to another plantation before John Talbot died? Was the Amanda listed her sister? (When Amanda Talbot married, she became Amanda Humber, and had 12 children, including a daughter named Sarah).