Patsey: Woman, Mother, Slave

A PROLIFIC NEGRO FAMILY.— The Memphis Avalanche has discovered a most prolific and certainly well-branched family. Such a family wouldn’t take much time to stock all the plantations of the South with “hands.”

The head of this family is now living in Chickasaw county, Mississippi, on the plantation of Colonel Duncan Hubbard, and is now considerably over one hundred years of age. She was a woman and a mother during the war of the revolution. Her name is Patsey.

1860 Slave Schedule

1860 Slave Schedule

It is related of the old woman, that a few Sundays ago, becoming impatient at the slow progress made by some of the younger negroes in hitching up a team which was to convey her to church, some two miles distant from her master’s plantation, she started off on foot at a brisk rate, walking the whole distance, and reaching the church before the others with her.

The number of her descendants is truly astonishing, she having no less than [three hundred and one] living children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren. A large number of the descendants — perhaps one-third of the whole — have died. Her oldest son, a robust, healthy man, died recently at the age of ninety years, and her oldest living child is over seventy years old. One of her sons, “Uncle Billy,” is the father of sixteen children, and these children have now living eighty descendants. Patsey, the maternal ancestor of all this army of men, women and children, still lives in the enjoyment of a ripe old age, surrounded by every comfort which a kind and indulgent master can bestow, and respected by all who know her, whites as well as blacks.

Newport Daily News (Newport, Rhode Island) Oct 3, 1859

Duncan Hubbard was the son of David Hubbard, a cousin of Samuel Houston. Sometime after 1860, probably during or after the Civil War, Duncan moved to Pointe Coupe Parish, Louisiana, which is where his father died.  There is a PDF file regarding the papers of David Hubbard, which also gives a timeline of David Hubbard’s  life among other things here.

As far as Patsey and her family, I have no idea if they followed Duncan to Louisiana or not, since I can’t find Duncan on the later census records.  There only appear to be a few Hubbard’s (provided they used that surname) who were probably at one time slaves in the Chickasaw Co., MS area and Pointe Coupe Parish, LA in 1870.

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