of one Southern, Afro-American family as they witness, and rejoice in, the shift in American culture and mores over that time span.
Arthur L. Sanders
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From the Backs of Slaves TO THE PRESIDENCY
By Arthur L. Sanders
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2009 Arthur L. Sanders
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Genealogical Tree of William and Nancy Sanders
Around 1820, a child was born into slavery in the St. James - Goose Creek area of the Charleston District. His name was William Sanders. Living and enduring under the tragic slavery system, he was able to survive and become united into matrimony to another slave by the name of Nancy (b. 1830), whose last name is unknown. From this union, they bore at least six children. Their names were Derry (b. 1849 and on some documents called Derrell), Class (b. 1850), George (b. 1854), Frank (b. 1856), May (b. 1863) and Johnny (b. 1865). Derry, the oldest child, was 13 years old when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. This was a period of transition where freedom for many Black Americans would prove to be an exciting, yet strange and bewildering time. Derry became a wage-earning foreman at Walnut Grove Plantation, which is currently located in Eutawville, SC. Hired by the plantation owner who needed hired hands to cultivate his vast acreage, Derry would oversee the activities of the field workers, who, like himself, were also wage earners. While at this plantation, Derry also learned the butchery trade. His expertise as a butcher was sought outand utilized by many farmers and plantation owners in the area.
The second son, Class, was united in matrimony to Laura Holman. To this union at least eight children were born: Maggie, Emmaline, William, Alice, Anniebell, Arthur, Lewis ,and Big Annie. Of these eight siblings, we have only a sketchy knowledge of four; namely, Arthur, Emmaline (aka Emma), Lewis and William. We are most fortunate and grateful to have found the information we have. Arthur, according to the 1900 Census, put his birth in the year 1884. Some time after the 1900 Census, Arthur married Lula Joyner and to this union possibly six children were born: Stephen, William (aka Billy), Linnie, Elease, Daisy and Hazel. We only have information on Billy. He was married to Ellen Foster and there were nine children from this union: Arthur, William Joe, Jr., David Lee, James, Josephine, Jerome Walter, Ruth, Charlie and Marion. Billy also had other children named Hazel, Sherrell, Sister Lula Mae, Dorothy, Clery and Brother Edward.
Class's daughter, Emmaline, married William Richburg and had at least one child, Frances. Frances married Leon Snider and they had seven children: Augustine, Mary, Winnie Mae, Bennie, Minnie, Frank and Mary Lee. Frances lived to the mature age of 109; she died in June 2005.
The fourth child of Class was Lewis. Lewis was born in 1875 and died in 1938. He married Bertha Lee Watson and to this union nine children were born: Mannie, Carrie Bell, Clarence, Maybell, Loudell, Joseph, Samuel, Annie Lou and Jessie. Lewis was also married to Minnie (last name unknown) and they had four children: Myrtle Lee, Mongolin, Allen, and Johnnie. Some of these children relocated to Chieftain, FL.
William, according to the 1900 Census, was born in 1882. He married Minnie Bellinger and sired ten children: Hallie, Joe Bland, Nettle, Frances, Louise, Dorothy, Vivia, Arbel, Teal, and Bosy. William was a farmer and sharecropper. He lived in the area of Highway 311, near Cross, SC. Aside from his busy life as a farmer and sharecropper, he sang in a quartet. The descendants of Hallie and Lucille Peace Dennis are: Minnie, Angie, Louvenia, Mary, Betty, Laura and Sandra. Hallie's sibling, Louise, and Brother Joe Bland Sanders have a daughter named Deloris.
The Roots of Mary Ella Anderson Sanders
Thirteen years before the abolition of slavery, a male child by the name of Daniel Anderson was born. As a slave, he was reared on a plantation somewhere in the vicinity of the Charleston District. More than a decade after the War Between the States, he fell in love with and married a young woman by the name of Suckey Prioleau. Their union was a blessed event because they were no longer victims of the institution of slavery, but were free human beings who could dictate their own destinies. From their union eight children were born. There were four sons: Isaac (b. 1880), George (b. 1886), James (b. 1892) and Simeon (b. 1899). There were also four daughters: Mary Ella (b. 1882), Julia (b. 1894), Ida (b. 1896) and Laura (b. 1898). The second child of Daniel and Suckey Anderson was Mary Ella and she married a gentleman by the name of Charlie Sanders.
The Roots of Charlie Sanders
About the year 1873, at age 24, Derry married. His bride was a thirteen year old girl named Laura (b. 1860, last name unknown). It was quite customary for females to marry young in this time period. To this relationship seven children were born. Their names were Charlie (b. 1876), Wisshboro and Annie (b. 1878, believed to be twins), Fishburn (b. 1881), Perry (b. 1882), Fred (b. 1887, aka Pettigrew or Pet), President (b. 1889, whose nickname was Pres), Snowden (b. 1892) and Minnie (birth date unknown). Fred served in the American Negro Infantry Unit in World War I and fought valiantly with the French to defeat the Germans, while back home, white America still considered him a second class citizen.
Charlie, the oldest child, became a very prosperous farmer. He was an outstanding citizen in his community and became the area's first black entrepreneur. Charlie sold farm animals such as mules, horses and oxen to other area farmers. He exchanged wedding vows in 1896 with Mary Ella Anderson when he was 20 years old and she was 17. To this union twelve children were born. The names of the children were: Charles (b. 1898), Uley (b. 1903), Harvey (b. 1905), Derry II (b. 1906), Perry Lawton (b. 1908 and commonly known as Lawton), Susan (b. 1910), Daniel (b. 1913), Bowens (b. 1914),
Aaron (b. 1915), Garfield (b. 1916), Heyward (b. 1917), and Juliann (b. 1918). Also reared with their natural children was Charlie's niece, Minnie, now named Minnie Shepherd. Minnie's mother, who was Charlie's sister, died while giving birth. Charlie was also the father of an older daughter by the name of Dicene. Dicene's mother's name was Dora and Dora was the grandchild of Class and Laurah Sanders.
The oldest child of Charlie and Mary Ella was Charles. He was united in matrimony to Mary Gillens. To this relationship many children were born. Those children were Elouise, Kathleen, Leroy, Isabell, Carrie, Sam, Sadie, Ethel, and Joseph. The second child of Charlie and Mary Ella was Uley. Uley was married to Alice Gillard. To this association there were five children: Culey, Susie, Queenimae, Ineatha, and Alice. The third child of Charlie and Mary Ella was Harvey and he died at an early age. Their fourth child was Derry II. Derry, who was named after his paternal grandfather, was a farmer, barber and butcher. He was the first Sanders to attend college. He attended Allen University for one year but soon realized that his real love was farming. He left Allen to pursue that love. He was married to Sibie Brown. Her talents led her to become a seamstress and beautician. To this union eight children were born. Their names, from oldest to youngest, are: Robert, Rosalee, Lucille, Jacob, Evelyn, Mary Ella, Wilhelmena, and Silas.
The fifth child of Charlie and Mary Ella was Perry Lawton. Lawton was the first of his generation to move away from the Cross Community and establish himself in the big city of Washington, DC. Lawton was married to the late Viola F. Davenport. To this union three children were born. They were Alfreda, Alvin (whose nickname is Butch), and Leo Melvin, who died in active duty in the Vietnam War. The sixth child of Charlie and Mary Ella was Susan, who died at an early age. Their seventh child was Daniel and he married Eliza Butler. Working together as a team, Daniel and Eliza started a small barber shop business. As time passed, they expanded the business to include the selling of such items as candy and other foodstuffs. Daniel and Eliza had one child - Joseph Cleve.
The eighth child born to Charlie and Mary Ella was Bowens. He married Mary Ann Mazyck and they had seven children: Bowens,Jr., Cynthia, Raymond, Floyd, Linda, Michael and Fred. Bowens was also the father of Mrs. Louise Rose and Mrs. Elouise Frank. Bowens, who was a very industrious and meticulous gentleman, worked at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. He retired after thirty-eight years of dedicated service. His wife, Mary Ann, was a seamstress. The ninth child was Aaron, who died at an early age.
The tenth child of Charlie and Mary Ella was Garfield. Garfield married Earnestine Aiken and they had nine children. Listed in descending order, those children were: Leon, Lawton Charles, Marion, Zebedee David, Willis, Herman, Curtis, Garfield, Jr., and Doristine. Garfield was also the father of Mrs. Adonia Walker and Mrs. Louise D. Robinson. A prosperous farmer, Garfield and his wife purchased the store from Eliza, after her husband, Daniel (Garfield's older brother), died in 1944. The store evolved into a flourishing shop and expanded to include more food items and even clothing. The store was a favorite shopping point in the Cross Community. The store was called Sanders' Grocery. The eleventh child born to Charlie and Mary Ella was Heyward and he died at an early age.
The twelfth and final child was Juliann, who married Sam Simmons. Theirs is a family of entrepreneurs, as well as farmers. They contracted their farming services such as harvesting soy beans, corn and oats for small farmers, who lacked the large, efficient equipment needed to get the work done. To this marriage are eight children : Leroy
Nehemiah, Lessie Mae, Sam Jr., Helen, Bessie Pearl, Danny Levi, Essie, and Dinah Marie. As mentioned before, Charlie also had a daughter by a lady named Dora. This girl was named Dicene. Dicene married William Jenkins and they are the parents of at least eight children: Rutledge, Richard, Leroy, Dorothy, Rosalee, Lorine Lou, Mary Ella and Doreather.
You have been taken back to the 1800's, then advanced forward through eight generations of William and Nancy Sanders offspring. The oldest living descendant of this family is Juliann, who was 87 years old at the time of her attendance at the Sanders' Family Reunion in July 2008. Juliann is a descendant of Derrel, listed on some documents as Derry.
The descendants of William and Nancy have made many accomplishments in such fields as Business, Science, Criminal Justice, Computer Science Education, Marketing,
Management, Accounting, Natural Resources, Professional Sports, Real Estate Investments, Medicine, Legal, Housing Construction, Secretarial Science, and numerous other professions. There are also many college graduates and soon-to-be graduates from such prestigious schools as: Alabama A & M University, Baptist College, Benedict College, Citadel - The Military College of South Carolina, Claflin College, Colorado State University, Denmark Technical College, Durham Business School, Fordham University, Hampton University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Midlands Technical College, Morris College, Norfolk State University, South Carolina State College, Taylor Business Institute, Trident Technical College, the University of the District of Columbia, the University of Miami, the University of South Carolina, George Mason University, Voorhees College, Winthrop University, Coppin State University, Virginia Tech, James Madison, Tennessee State University, the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Christopher Newport University and others.
These same Sanders descendants, whose individual accomplishments over five generations are indeed varied and great, are now privileged to witness the election of the first Afro-American, Barack H. Obama, to the Presidency of the United States of America - the greatest nation in the Free World. Obama's inauguration in January,2009 marks the beginning of yet another chapter in the ever expanding role of Afro-Americans in US history and culture.
My sincere thanks to the entire Sanders family, to all the citizens of our great nation, and especially to Almighty God for allowing us all to witness and participate in this historic achievement. A simply stunning evolution has occurred within five generations of our family's history as we have seen the Afro-American rise from slavery and ascend to the White House..
Finally my heart felt personal thanks to my cousin, Marion Sanders of Cross, SC, for the untold hours of work and tireless dedication in the genealogical research of the Sanders family he has so successfully pursued and which has been the factual basis of this chapter of the book.
Perry Foster, Sr. 1875-1937
Perry Foster, Sr. was born in April, 1875. He came to South Carolina as an adult. We Do not know much about his youth. Some said he came from Florida and others said he came from Georgia. He joined the Briner Christian Church and was a member there until his death.
Perry wandered down to Berkeley County on Highway 311. There he met, fell in love, and soon married the young Estelle "Daught" Smith, the only daughter of Mr. primous and Rose Smith., in 1897. He was twenty-three and she was fifteen. They moved to the Bull's farm where they sharecropped for a while. Perry and Estelle had nine children; however, only seven lived to adulthood.
Baby Foster 1897 Julius February 1899 Sebia 1903 Lula August 15 1906 Thomas 1908 Perry, Jr. August 8 1910 Victoria October 1912 Ellen April 11 1915 Jessie Bell 1917
Perry, Sr. was a quiet man so he did not talk much. He stood about five feet, nine inches tall and weighed about 175 pounds. Every time his wife would ask him to talk to their grandson, Dollar, whenever he did something wrong, Perry, Sr. would say, "I might Have to brake-up his bone if I fool-up with him."
Perry Foster, Sr. could not read or write, but he made a good living sharecropping. Back then he raised chickens, cows, hogs, a pony and the mule, Pet. Pet was a gentle mule. He pulled the wagon and buggy, but whenever it started to rain, someone would have to get out of the wagon/buggy and lead Pet around every big puddle or else he would just stand there.
The land they lived on belonged to the Murray family. Even though they planted a garden, corn, and whatever they wanted, the land and house belonged to someone else.
So when Perry, Sr. died in 1937, his wife, Estelle "Daught", had to move since the Murray's needed the house and land for another sharecropper.
Estelle "Daught" Smith Foster 1882-1954
Estelle "Daught", the only child of Mr. Primous and Mrs. Rose Smith, was born October, 1882 in a little community off Highway 311 in Berkeley County near the Parker's Plantation.
"Daught", as she was called, grew up in Berkeley County, but there was no school for her to attend there back then. At the age of fifteen she married Mr. Perry Foster, Sr. in 1897. They were soon the proud parents of nine children. Seven lived to adulthood.
Baby Foster 1897 Julius February 1899 Sebia 1903 Lula August 15 1906 Thomas 1908 Perry, Jr. August 8 1910 Victoria October 1912 Ellen April 11 1915 Jessie Bell 1917
Mrs. "Daught" was avery petite lady. She stood about four feet, eight inches tall and weighed 95 to 98 pounds. She was a shy, kind person who had a heart full of love for everyone.
Mrs. Estelle "Daught" was a church-going little lady. On Sundays she would hitch up the wagon or buggy and take her grands or anyone else on to church with her. She would take a bundle of fodder for "Pet", the mule. She would pack a picnic bag for all her grands. Most of the time this meal consisted of Southern fried chicken and sweetbread (cake). This snack was usually prepared early Sunday mornings when "Daught" went up to Mrs. Angie Murray's house to cook for them for that day. Briner Christian Church was the family church and "Daught" enjoyed singing in the choir there.
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