My Almost Perfect American Family


The Frémont Emancipation was part of a military proclamation issued by Major General John C. Frémont (1813–1890) on August 30, 1861 in St. Louis, Missouri during the early months of the American Civil War. The proclamation placed the state of Missouri under martial law and decreed that all property of those bearing arms in rebellion would be confiscated, including slaves, and that confiscated slaves would subsequently be declared free. It also imposed capital punishment for those in rebellion against the federal government.

Frémont, a career army officer, frontiersman and politician, was in command of the military Department of the West from July 1861 to October 1861. Although Frémont claimed his proclamation was intended only as a means of deterring secessionists in Missouri, his policy had national repercussions, potentially setting a highly controversial precedent that the Civil War would be a war of liberation.[1]

For President Abraham Lincoln the proclamation created a difficult situation, as he tried to balance the agendas of Radical Republicans who favored abolition and slave-holding Unionists in the American border states whose support was essential in keeping the states of Missouri, Kentucky and Maryland in the Union.[2]

When I began studying my genealogy in 1997, I was happy to find Captain Samuel Rosamond who fought alongside Francis Marion ‘The Swamp Fox’. Marion Francis Rosamond was named after the Swamp Fox, who had no children. All was well, then I read Samuel’s Will. He owned slaves and gave them to his children. I was appalled!

I asked Marilyn Reed if I could read this Will at the Choir’s coming  event at the Hult Center as the bookend to what Eric Richardson was going to say. I was confused when she said “No.” My kindred and their slaves lived in close quarters. The plantation house was not that big. I am sure there were bonds between servant and master. There is no evidence they were mistreated. They had value. However, in this Will, there are left monies to build a church. I believe this church is ‘For Whites – ONLY’.

Here is where my kindred became way less than perfect. The image of me reading this truth in front of the citizens of Eugene, brought tears to my eyes, because here was a evil judgement, that declared black people un-equal in the eye of God.  Could the predominantly white audience relate to their ancestors owning slaves? Well, apparently some members of the Inspirational Sounds Gospel Choir could not relate. I believe there is/was an attempt to hijack my family history that I told Marilyn Reed was “The real Gone With the Wind”

For fifteen years I blogged on my Rosamond kindred uncovering our lost graves at Mulberry Creek, and compared it to the murals of ‘Briar Rose’ by Sir Edward Burnes-Jones. The Sleeping Beauty Princess is named ‘Rosamond’. With the discovery that co-founder of the NAACP, Mary White Ovington, was put on a new life-course after discovering William Morris and Jack London, is the last swing of the sword of Cultural Justice, that frees my family history, and save my families history, from the thieves who are desirous to own it: for, Morris and Edward formed a partnership.

On this day August 7, 2016, I suggest that the State of South Carolina declare the  Walnut Grove Baptist Church are and the Rosamond graveyard a State Monument, and hire an expert archaeologists to search for the graves of the Black Slaves owned by the Hodges and Rosamond family. They must be close by,  put just outside their Rosy Sacred Circle, that has been blown away with the Wind of War, that my Benton kindred began, and ended, when John Fremont emancipated the slaves of Missouri.

What I will try to ascertain, is, was the Walnut Grove Church purchased with the sale of slaves? Has any researcher considered this aspect that brings us to the core mission I believe the True Jesus was sent to fulfill, being, the restoration of the Jubilee Laws that were done away with a hundred years before he was born. Jesus was a ‘Go’el Savior who confronted the Debt Archives that contained debt scrolls, bound in a thread. If the lost graves are found, then I suggest they be brought within the grounds of the Walnut Grove Church. This will fulfill a prophecy that Jesus fulfilled, as I will show in my book ‘Capturing Beauty.

Since 1969 I have declared my love for the Pre-Raphaelites was my church, my religion. In the video of Edward’s work we see groups of beautiful white women. In Christine Rosamond Benton’s ‘Lena and Her Sisters’ we behold a beautiful group of black girls. Lena was our beloved maid for two years. She used to take Christine home with her on the bus to stay at her home with her sisters who came from out of the Deep South were they were maids in Southern Homes. Rosemary told me they adored Christine because they adored the young white girls they brought up, from the cradle…… the grave! Here is The Lost Church of the Blessed Adoration, for indeed, in the eyes of God, and the Angels He maketh, we are equal……and we are Beautiful!


“The threat of war, the hope of peace,
The Kingdoms peril and increase
Sleep on, and bide the latter day
When Fate shall take her chain away.” [1] 

Jon Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press Co.

Copyright 2016

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898) was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, who worked closely with William Morris on a wide range of decorative arts as a founding partner in Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in Britain

Sure enough, they both knew where it was. David lead us to it, and he lead us to the few graves on Mulberry Creek that mark the original site of the church that was organized in 1826. Talk about luck! This was so exciting!!! We were so lucky to have ran into these two gentleman.

These graves are right along a paved road in the woods (I mean, the stones are right along the road). This cemetery is in bad shape. No one is taking care of it. It is over grown in weeds, trees and with poison oak and ivy everywhere. David, Mark and I ventured out into the cemetery a little ways. Couldn’t go to each stone because the poison oak & ivy is soooo thick. There aren’t many stones. Some graves are marked with field stones and doesn’t have any writing on them, and some of the field stones looked as those they had been chiseled on but you couldn’t read it. There are Mays buried there and one stone was a Williams. Stones are in bad shape, you can hardly read them. They have black mildew, moss or what ever from the trees, all over them. There is one stone laying on the ground in perfect condition. No mildew or anything on it. You can read it clearly. It is the marker of Lucrete Mays born Dec 14, 1797 died Feb 14, 1845. Y’all, this is probably Sarah “Sally” Mays Rosamond’s mother. What do you think?

I couldn’t hardly leave there without looking at each stone, but the poison oak was to bad. Mark and I are highly allergic to these plants. I knew though, that we are all going to be there next year, or whenever and we can be better prepared to tackle this adventure. As soon as David left, Mark and I changed jeans, socks and shoes right there by the car on the side of the road. Pretty picture! That poison oak and ivy will go through your clothes if you give it time. We were very lucky, we were o’k the next morning. Only one car passed on that road the whole time we were at the cemetery, so it isn’t a busy one.

Nancy and James were very active in the Walnut Grove Baptist Church.  Both of their names are listed in a record of the proceedings on the 24th day of June 1826, and the following list of congregants indicates not only their membership, but that of their eldest son, Thompson Hodges, as well.

Names of the Members:
Samuel Hill, Nancy Hodges, Richard Gaines, Mary Youngblood, William Graham, Peggy Henderson, Valentine Young, Dicey Sharp, Thompson Hodges, Jincy Gaines, Benjamin Rosemond, Robert Gaines, Susanna Roseman, James Hodges, Francis Roseman, William Hodges, Tabitha Hodges, Jane Huskerson
A newspaper article written in 1943 described the history of the church as follows:

The “Church at the Walnut Grove on Mulberry Creek” as it was always described by the clerk, did not show any gain in membership by the end of its third year. Beginning with eighteen charter members, it lost within two years two of these by letters of dismission and on Oct. 20, 1828 Susannah Rosmond died, the first loss by death. This brought the membership down to fifteen, but the addition of ‘Polly Hodges’, wife of James Hodges by letter from Turkey Creek about this time, brought the membership up to sixteen. Then on Jan. 4, 1830 after a sermon by the Rev. Nicholas Ware Hodges, the first two members [were] received by baptism.  These were ‘Polly Hodges, sister of, and Mahala Hodges, the wife of Thompson Hodges.’ (This made the total membership eighteen again.) Incidentally, there are three ‘Polly Hodges’ already noted in the record.”

Benjamin Rosamond (son of James Rosamond and Lettice ?)43 was born 1790 in South Carolina43, and died Bef. May 16, 1859 in Attala County, Mississippi43.He married Susannah Hill, daughter of John Hill Sr. and Susannah

Benjamin Rosamond:
[Rosamond-Master File 5-27-02.GED]
Benjamin Rosamond, R255, M. Born in 1790 in South Carolina. Was on the census for Attala County, Mississippi in 1850. Benjamin died in Attala County, Mississippibef 16 May 1859, he was 69.
In “Greenwood County Sketches” Benjamin, Susannah and son Thomas are mentioned as members of the Walnut Grove Baptist Church located near Ware Shoals in 1834.Before 1850, Benjamin had remarried to Jane Rogers Mays.
A number of records from the Walnut Grove Baptist Church were published in a series of newspaper articles in the “Greenwood Index-Journal” in the early 1940s. The text of these articles, written by Harry L. Watson, are contained in Volume 2 of “Greenwood Historical Society Scrapbooks”. These were later reprinted in a book titled “Our Old Roads” by Margaret Watson, daughter of the author. Benjamin and his family are mentioned several times in these records as detailed below. Each article was numbered based on date of publicatiion, not the date of the church record.
———- From “Our Old Roads” ————–
No. 101, Year referenced in text 1826. Newspaper article 6 November 1943.
(Regarding the Walnut Grove Baptist Church)
“The original minute book begins with this entry:
A Record of the proceedings of the Baptist Church of Christ at the Walnut Grove on Mulberry Creek in Abbeville District, S. C., constituted on the 24th day of June 1826 by the Rev’d Arthur Williams and Chesley Davis, both of the district aforesaid and teh Rev’d Moses Holland, of Pendleton District.”
The names of the members constituted are as follows:
Samuel HillNancy Hodges
Richard GainesMary Youngblood
William GrahamPeggy Henderson
Valentine YoungDicey Sharp
Thompson HodgesJincy Gaines
Benjamin RosemondSusanna Roseman
Robert GainesFrancis Roseman
William HodgesJane Huskerson
James HodgesTabitha Hodges
It will be noticed the names of the male members are in the first column and the names of the female members are in the second column. And that was the way the members in all the churches sat in the early days and even within the recollection of people of middle age and better today, the men on one side, usually the right side after entrance, and the females on the left side after entrance.
No. 157, Year referenced in text 1837.
The church was again involved in neighborhood and individual difficulties. In one meeting in which the members were voting on the matter of fellowship with a former member who was now an officer of another church, it appeared after a vote that this former member would be “excluded” and this would embarass the sister church in which he was now an official. Whereupon, an old member, B. Rosamond who was also a charter member, got up and told the members voting to “exclude” that if they could not vote to keep the former member in good standing, to “sit still and not vote at all” so as to bring about harmony. His suggestion was followed and the record says twenty members “sat still and refused to vote” and this saved the day for the former member who was now an official in another church.
No. 164, Year referenced in text 1828. Newspaper article 4 December 1943.
The “Church at the Walnut Grove on Mulberry Creek” as it was always described by the clerk, did not show any gain in membership by the end of its third year. Beginning with eighteen charter members, it lost within two years two of these by letters of dismission and on Oct. 20, 1828 Susannah Rosmond died, the first loss by death. This brought the membership down to fifteen, but the addition of “Polly Hodges”, wife of James Hodges by letter from Turkey Creek about this time, brought the membership up to sixteen. Then on Jan. 4, 1830 after a sermon by the Rev. Nicholas Ware Hodges, the first two members to be received by baptism are named. These were “Polly Hodges, sister of, and Mahala Hodges, the wife of Thompson Hodges.” (This made the total membership eighteen again.) Incidentally, there are three “Polly Hodges” already noted in the record.
…(also from No. 164)
“On Christmas Eve, the Rev. Thomas A. Rosamond, “a member of the Methodist clergy” (a member of the Rosamond family of this section and many members of it were members of the Walnut Grove), preached and the following joined: John and Thomas Rosamond (sons of B. R.) and this notation by the clerk must have meant they were sons of Benjamin Rosamond, one of the charter members in 1826,…”
No. 165, Date referenced June 23, 1832.
At this meeting Valentine Young was granted the privilege of “a public gift of prayer within the bounds of the church”. It was explained that this was the same privilege which had been granted to Richard Gaines and Benj. Rosamond, …
—————- End records from “Our Old Roads” ———————-
Benjamin is also mentioned several times in “Abstracts of Old Ninety-Six, Abbeville District Wills and Bonds” as witness to wills and deeds.
According to an article in J.P. Coleman’s “Choctaw County Chronicles” under New Zion Baptist Church, organized December 1842, Benjamin ws one of the first two deacons. Also among the organizers was a Rosander Rosamond (don’t know who he/she is).
By 1850 Benjamin had sold his South Carolina property which was located somewhere near the Mulberry Creek/Saluda River area. He divided the profit with his sons and was living near his brother Samuel in Atalla County, Mississippi. In the same time period his other brother Thomas and all his sons except Thomas and Joseph were also in Mississippi. In 1850 Benjamin was listed in the Mississippi census as owning 9 slaves and being married to Jane. Census Ed. 126, 495/495.


State of South Carolina, Pendleton District

In the name of God, Amen. I, Samuel Rosamond, being in health and of a disposing mind, do make this my last will and testament and desire it may be received as such by all whom it may concern.

First, I do will and positively order that all my just debts be paid.

Secondly, that the plantation whereon I now live consisting of three small tracts with the mill thereon be sold as soon as conveniency will admit of by my executors hereafter mentioned and titles made to the same and that a plantation or tract of land at not more than One Thousand Dollars price be purchased by them for my wife and family to live on, either in Abbeville or Pendleton Districts, convenient to some place of public worship such as they make choice of, and at my wife’s death or a second marriage to fall to my male heirs. Notwithstanding, if my wife and family should incline to move to some other place, they are hereby empowered to sell said land and purchase other land for the same purpose in any other place in this state or in any of the United States out of the monies arising from the sale of such land and to receive titles to it for the above mentioned purchase.

I will and order as soon as conveniency will allow my three Negro women, Teeney, Tonny, and Sign, to be sold and that three other young wenches be purchased in their places at not more than Twelve Hundred Dollars price, and said Negroes and their increase, if any, shall remain with my wife and family that remains with her and to be under her direction for her benefit and the benefit of the family that remains with her. Notwithstanding, it is put in the power of my wife and executors, hereby, to dispose of to my children as they marry or come of age a certain portion of the property that is with the family so that that portion is not more than their equal divide of such property.

As to Negro Peter, I allow to be sold or to remain with family as my wife and executors shall find to answer best. If sold the monies arising from his sale with the other money belonging to the estate to be put to interest and to continue at interest until five of my children are come of age or married and has issue. Then the half of said money to be divided among the five and the remainder of the money to remain at interest until the remaining children shall arrive at such state as the first five when it shall be equally divided amongst the minor children.

And whereas, Negro Will, by his late mistress’ will, at my death has the privilege of choosing his master or mistress amongst my children. When he has made his choice and that one child has confirmed his choice, he shall then be valued by Sovorin appraisers, and that child shall take him as so much of their lawful divide, and whereas William Pyle and his wife was given their choice of the two Negro girls that they have yet the same privilege allowed them, the other girl shall be accounted as part of the undivided estate.

I will and order to be sold one horse wagon and my two stills, my desk and folding table with some other small articles, my stock of cows and hogs with three horse creations, Snip Tomeny and a yard filly, to remain with the family for their use, my books (Scots Family Bible excepted which is to remain with the family) to be divided into lots for my children and the eldest to have the first choice and so on to the last. The land and negroes with other things ordered to be sold upon a credit of two years paying interest for the last year.

I will that every one of my children shall have at my wife’s death their part as the law in such case has provided except the land mentioned in page first of this my will.

I hereby empower my executors to make titles to Robert Young for two hundred and seventy nine acres of land sold to him in Abbeville, where I formerly lived. Upon his paying up, the purchase money according to bargain, I give to my two executors, hereafter, named upon condition of their both acting the sum of Twenty Five Dollars more than commission.

I do hereby appoint and ordain my son-in-law, William Pyles, of Abbeville, and Robert McCan, Esquire, of Pendleton my executors in witness whereof, I hereby do hereunto set my hand and seal this Second Day of September and in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eight.

Saml Rosmamond (SEAL)


John Westfield John Jones Ambrose Jones


I, Samuel Rosemon, in the foregoing or annexed last will and testament having further considered the same do think proper to make constitute and publish the following codicil thereto in the following manner-

First, I will and request of my executors to dispose of the plantation and lands whereon I now reside at public sale.

Secondly, I leave my Negro man, Will, to be disposed of according to my will bearing date of September 2, 1808, and the residue of my Negroes namely, Peter, Jim, and Dudly, with Tenah, Sinah, Jenny, and Charlotte, are to be sold. And further, I give to my affectionate wife all my household and kitchen furniture with six milk cows and the stock of hogs that belongs to the mill-with a sufficient quantity of corn for the support of the family for one year.

It is my will that my executors pay yearly to my affectionate wife, Sarah Roseman, out of my estate, five pounds for each minor under age.

It further is my will that the grist mill be kept in good repair and the expenses to be defrayed out of the income of the mill and the remainder to go to the use of the family.

And, I do constitute Robert McCann, Esq. And Capt Barksdale Garrison, my true and lawful executors to my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand Seal this 18th Day of June 1812.

Saml Rosamond (SEAL)

Witness present:

Wm Farip Sam (X) Tucker [his mark] David Thomas

Recorded in Will Book A, page 140 Recorded October 5, 1812 Proved October 5, 1812 John Harris, O.P.D.
In November 1858, James Rosamond (Benjamin’s son James ??) was appointed guardian of Jerusha W. (who is this?) and Tilman J. Rosamond. Then on May 16, 1859, Jane is named as guardian of Tilman J. and Marion F. Rosamond. These are her sons by Benjamin. On this date she gave her annual accounting regarding her sons.
On 12/20/ 1858, William T. Wright, referred to as the guardian of Jantha Rosamond (presumably Jantha Mays who was under guardianship of Benjamin and Jane), gave his final accounting. Jantha at this time was married to John F. Temple.
1850 Census Data, Attala County, MS
Page 126 & 127
495/495 Rosemon, Benj., Age 60, farmer, value 400, born SC = means b. ca. 1790
Jane, Age 44, born 1806, SC = Jane Rogers Mays
Lucretia, age 14, born SC
Daniel, age 12, SC
Jantha, age 11, female, SC
Marion F., age 2, born 1848, SC – – -Contradicts Carroll County, MS birth.
Mayse, Abner, age 18, male, born SC–Question-when did Benjamin get to MS?
The above record is not the only that contradicts the birthplace of Benjamin’s son Marion Francis Rosamond. The 1880 census of Montgomery County, AL which also lists his wife and children records his birthplace as Alabama. Any of these are possible since he could have been born just before the family left SC for MS, enroute between SC and Mississippi, or shortly after the family’s arrival in Mississippi. However, the death certificate of Marion Francis Rosamond who died July 8, 1935 shows his birthplace as Mississippi, this information being provided by his son Joseph Franklin Rosamond with whom he was living at the time of his death.
One handwritten note from Ruth Menhel indicates that Benjamin was on the tax roll in Attala County in 1847. Since there is a probate record for Benjamin and Jane in 1845 in SC, that would date the move to MS between 1845 and 1847. And this would mean that Marion Franklin was born in Mississippi. But if Benjamin was on the tax roll in Attala County, that would indicate that Marion Francis was born there rather than in Carroll County.
Benjamin first married Susannah Hill, daughter of John Hill, Sr. and Susannah ? Hill. In John Hill Senior’s will, he named his children as well as Benjamin and Susannah’s seven sons to receive Susannah’s share since she had already died. From the the will it says, “Susannah, who intermarried with Benjamin Rosemond, now dead, leaving as her only heirs her said husband Benjamin Rosemond, and seven children to wit, James, Benjamin, Samuel, John, Thomas, William and Joseph.”
After the death of his first wife, ca 1843 when Benjamin was about 53, he married Jane Rogers daughter of Daniel Rogers Jr., & Lucretia Harris, in Abbeville County, SC. Born on 4 Oct 1803 in Edgefield Co., South Carolina, Jane died in Mississippibef 1870, she was about 66.
Following his marriage to Jane, Benjamin was made guardian to three Mays children, Abner Mays, Jr., Aletha Mays and Jessee Mays. I believe these are Jane’s children from her first marriage to Abner Mays, Sr.The children are listed as neices and nephew of Benjamin’s son Thomas and Sarah Mays Rosamond. “Mays Minors, Box 68, Pack 1658 – On Oct 14 1840, Benjamin, John Rosamond, Felix Rogers bound to Moses Taggart Ord., Abbeville Dist sum $2,000. Benjamin Rosamond made guardian of Lethe, Jessy and Abner Mays, minors of Abner Mays, decd. 1841. Rec’d of Mathew Mays, Admn. of S. Whitley, Decd., who was guardian of above children.”
There is some confusion regarding children adopted by or under the guardianship of Benjamin and Jarne Rogers Mays Rosamond. I believe that the three Mays children to whom Benjamin was made guardian after his marriage to Jane were her children by Abner Mays, Sr. Their names were Abner, Jr., Aletha and Jessee.
In the 1860 census, Ally Wright, daughter of Althea Mays Wright is listed as living in the household of Jane Rogers Mays Rosamond.
Personal note: I can remember my dad, Ennis Herman Rosamond, and my Aunt Christine Rosamond Stedman referring to Benjamin’s second wife Jane as the Widow Mays. Also, Dad said on several occasions he remembers his grandfather, Marion Francis Rosamond (son of Benjamin and Jane) referring to his brother Daniel. This must be Daniel Mays who was under Benjamin and Jane’s guardianship after the death of his father.
In an email from Ruth Menhel, she said she had a record from the probate court in Edgefield County, SC that shows Benjamin and Jane Rogers being married in 1845.
Per “Attala County Pioneers” by Betty Couch Wiltshire:
Kosciusko, Attala County, MS Probate Book 1, 1858-1863.
Page 35: (Is this the page in Probate Book, or in “Attala County Pioneers”??
“James Rosamond, Guardian of Jerusha W. and Tilman J. Rosamond.(Note: Tilman is the brother of Marion Franklin Rosamond. Also, what is the date of this record? It can be assumed that Benjamin Rosamond died prior to this event, so it could help date Benjamin’s death.)
Page 105:
May 16, 1859 – “Jane Rosamond, guardian of Marion F. and Tillman J. Rosamond presented her annual account”.
Note: According to birth date of 1803 from Rogers book, Jane was forty-five years old when Marion Franklin Rosamond was born (making her age 48 at the time of the 1850 census), and about 47 when Tillman Jasper was born.This conflicts with birth date in 1850 census which shows her as 44 years old, i.e. born in 1806.
More About Benjamin Rosamond:
Census: 1850, Attala County, Mississippi.43
Children of Benjamin Rosamond and Susannah Hill are:

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to My Almost Perfect American Family

  1. Reblogged this on rosamondpress and commented:

    Captain Samuel Rosamond fought for the Swamp Fox. In his Will, he lets his slave, Will, chose his master. The Rosamond family fled Ireland, and owned plantations all thru the South. ‘Gone With The Wind’ is fiction. “And whereas, Negro Will, by his late mistress’ will, at my death has the privilege of choosing his master or mistress amongst my children. When he has made his choice and that one child has confirmed his choice, he shall then be valued by Sovorin appraisers, and that child shall take him as so much of their lawful divide, and whereas William Pyle and his wife was given their choice of the two Negro girls that they have yet the same privilege allowed them, the other girl shall be accounted as part of the undivided estate.”

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