The Franklin County, Mississippi Census of 1850 shows the household of Hezekiah Mitchell, age 32. He was born in Mississippi. Also living in the home were Susan and Elizabeth, ages 24 and 4, respectively. Susan and Elizabeth, as Hezekiah, were born in Mississippi. Hezekiah’s occupation was listed as none. Hezekiah and Susan are listed as white and Elizabeth is listed as mulatto. Franklin County marriage records show Hezekiah Mitchell and Susan Kennedy were married on June 26, 1845. It appears that Elizabeth was born by October of the following year, 1946.
I have been unable to find Hezekiah and Susan in the Franklin County Census of 1860. Elizabeth, however, is shown at age 14 living in the home of Allen Smith and his family that year. Allen and his wife Emmeline were the parents of seven children in 1860, four sons and three daughters. The children’s age were between 1 and 17 years. One of their sons was John Jasper Smith who became the father of sons Nicholas J. “Bud” and Pearly “Pearl” Smith. The Franklin County marriage records show Allen Smith and Emmeline Kennedy were married January 31, 1840. Susannah (Susan) and Emmeline were daughters of Cade Levi Kennedy, Sr., and Mary Calcote Kennedy. Elizabeth, also called “Beth” and “Betsy”, is believed to have been Susan’s daughter and thus, a Calcote descendant.
The basis family tradition which lead me to the documents which cause me to believe that Elizabeth was Susan’s child was told to me by an elderly cousin who lives in Mississippi. On her birthday next year, she will be 100 years old. Elizabeth was her grandmother. According to my cousin, her grandmother was the child of a white woman and a black man. Documents support this belief in that Elizabeth is shown as mulatto in both 1850 and 1860. The fact that she is listed as being free supports the claim that her mother was white considering the fact that mulatto children assumed the status of the mother during the era of slavery.
As young girl, one of Elizabeth’s uncles carried her to the slave market to sell her. Fortunately for her, another uncle came home and found out what had happened and became very angry as he left on his horse for the slave market to find Elizabeth and carry her back home, which he did. As mentioned earlier, Elizabeth was a member of the Allen Smith household in 1860, and Allen is believed to have been the uncle who prevented the attempt to sell her into slavery.
Elizabeth married at least two times and had children by three men. Her first husband was Peter Black, who fathered four children with her before he died in 1879. Elizabeth had at least one child by Edmund “Clark” Bowie, and she later married and had two sons for Jacob Rancifer. She died around 1904. In addition to the granddaughter, a Black descendant, who is almost 100, a granddaughter who is a Bowie descendant also lives in Mississippi. She is 90 years old.
Many of Elizabeth’s descendants live in Mississippi. In view of the fact that family tradition and documentation suggest Elizabeth was Susannah’s daughter, her descendants are also descendants of Cade Levi Kennedy, Sr., and Mary Calcote Kennedy.
A photo of Elizabeth can be seen at: http://www.angelfire.com/wi/Carver/beth1aa.jpg.
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