Biographies

Mathew Broyles was an African American minister in Hardin County, Tennessee. He officiated the wedding of Elias and Rachel Falls in June 1849. In her application for Elias's pension, Rachel states that she is unable to produce Broyles as a witness because he had by then passed.


William Green Bryan was born in New Bern, North Carolina, on January 12, 1807. At age sixteen, he relocated to Kinston where he was a clerk for a merchant. Upon his return to New Bern, he started his own business and later became postmaster. He served as clerk of the Craven County Court for many terms.


Abner Buford was born around 1826. Prior to emancipation, he was enslaved by William Buford in Lafayette County, Tennessee. He grew up alongside Rachel (Buford) Parks (both being then enslaved by William Buford) but does not seem to have been related to her despite sharing a last name. At the time of Rachel's marriage in the immediate years before the war, he and Rachel shared a house together on their enslaver's property. Her wedding in fact took place at this house. In March 1874, he maintained a residence "near Germantown" in Shelby County, Tennessee.


Prior to emancipation, Eliza Buford and her sister Rachel (Buford) Parks were enslaved by William Buford in Lafayette County, Mississippi. Buford (Eliza) resided near Oxford, Mississippi, in March 1874 and was recorded as visiting Rachel in Memphis that same month and year.


George Moore Burras was born in Martin County, North Carolina, in 1833 to Eugene Burras and Emily Moore Burras. In 1860, Burras enslaved twenty-two people and had real and personal wealth amounting to $1,250 and $12,000, respectively. He died in 1905.


James Butler was the brother of pension claimant Martha Hodges. He is listed as a witness of her pre-war marriage to Harrison Hodges. Butler's wife was Mahalia Butler. He died sometime before January 1874.


Mahalia Butler was the sister-in-law of pension claimant Martha Hodges. She is listed as a witness of her (Martha's) pre-war marriage to Harrison Hodges. Butler's husband was James Butler. He died sometime before January 1874. At that time, Mahalia was known to be living "in the country."


Newton Campbell was born in Madison, Alabama, (unclear if that is a town or county) around 1832. Sometime after the war, he relocated to Savannah, Tennessee, where he died of heart disease on February 24, 1914.


Edward W. Carpenter was born in October 1832 in Syracuse, New York. Carpenter first arrived in New Bern, North Carolina, in March 1862. He was then a reporter with the Associated Press and was covering the movements of General Ambrose Burnside. Following the war, he served as a claims agent for the Pension Bureau, assisting Black and white disabled veterans and widows in applying for their benefits. Following some controversy over alleged collection of illegal fees, Carpenter was suspended by the Pension Bureau from making further application on behalf of veterans and widows.


James Carr was a Black minister who married Jerry Tyson and Catherine Epsom in Jackson, Tennessee, in either 1859 or 1862.


Arden Cherry was born around 1832 in North Carolina. He lived in Tarboro, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, in 1865. By 1870, he had married a woman named Amanda and the two had the following children: Mary Jane, Primus, Arden Jr., Sally (or Sarah), John, Lancaster, Manda (or Mandy), Mary Eliza, Garfield, Martha, Arthur, and Nancy.

Resident of Robertson County, Texas, in 1899.


Jack Cherry was an African American preacher of the gospel—in an affidavit, he described himself as a "licensed Preacher"—in or around Hardin County, Tennessee. In 1858, he presided over the marriage of Gideon Irvin and Martha Guinn, who where then enslaved. He was a resident of Hardin County, Tennessee, in 1867.


Alicia Clark was born around 1868 in North Carolina. In 1870, she resided in Upper Conetoe, Edgecombe County. In 1880, she resided in Deep Creek, Edgecombe County.


While enslaved by George Moore Burras, Dolley Powers married Ephraim Crandall, an enslaved man who was previously married. Little is known about their wedding ceremony, which transpired on or about October 30, 1855, and it’s unclear if Ephraim and Dolley willingly entered into this relationship or were forced to. We do know that Burras himself presided over the ceremony and that other people then enslaved by him were in attendance.


John Clark was born around 1865 in North Carolina. In 1870, he resided in Upper Conetoe, Edgecombe County. In 1880, he resided in Deep Creek, Edgecombe County.