Tag Archive | Amanuensis Monday

Amanuensis Monday: Christmas Letter 1981, Christmas Memories

My mother wrote a Christmas letter every year. It is really cool to read these letters becasue frankly I forgot many of the years of my childhood and these definitely sparks my memory. Here is one I found and decided to share.

Season’s Greetings”I was hungry and you formed a humanities club to discuss my hunger.
I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly and prayed for my release.
I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.
I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health.
I was homeless and you preached to me the spiritual shelter of God’s love.
I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.

You seem so holy, so close to God.
But, I am still very hungry and lonely and cold.”

December 21, 1981

Dear Friends and Relatives,
     Here’s another Christmas letter from “old reliable.”  There are a few of you I haven’t heard from in quite some time.  Too bad!  We are interested in you and in the events in your lives.  For most of you, however, your yearly (or more often) communications give us a warm feeling crossed between “social security” and “Roots”, and we love you dearly for helping to keep our relationships alive!

     Walter’s job category has changed.  He’s now Dean of Student Services at the same institution-The Educational Cultural Complex.  It makes for a much better family life, because now he doesn’t have to work so many evenings.

     Marshall is in the tenth grade.  He attends Patrick Henry High School.  He “made” the Jr. Varsity basketball team!  This keeps him quite busy, and the feeling of succeeding is great for his self-image.  At age 15, he’s around 6 feet 3 inches tall, and still growing!  His clothing bill is staggering!

     Yvette is a very pretty thirteen and one-half year old in the eighth grade at Lewis Jr. High School.  This past summer a very silly boy shot her in the leg with a “BB” gun!  It was considered wise not to remove it, so we keep a careful watch.  She is very interested in dramatics, and we’re going to try to get her into our “Junior Theatre” program in Balboa Park.

     I’m at the same school in the same room.  This year I have a 5/6 Gifted Cluster class.  I just finished training a terrific Student Teacher and will start-in on another one in January-and so it goes!

     We couldn’t resist returning to Lake Tahoe for our family vacation.  This time we stayed in a cabin in West Lake Tahoe.  “Wally” hit the Jackpot in Carson City, Nevada on our anniversary!  Such fun!  We also went to cute, quaint Virginia City, Nevada and saw Mark Twain’s desk, among other things.  Our friends, Ed and Yvonne Crute joined us in Tahoe.  It was great!

     Best wishes to you all for health, safety, love and security.  Let’s all hold good thoughts for world peace.  Much love,
Walter, Marshall, Yvette and Betty Porter, by B

Amanuensis Monday: The Death of Mattie Bernice Dove

Researching People, their names, their relationships, their communities, and the places they live, I discovered this death certificate of Mattie B Dove. I have come across many documents of the sort, but I rarely see a Certificate of Death that lists homicide as the cause.

Mattie B Dove Death Certificate
     In The County of Craven, Township #8, of the City of New Bern, North Carolina, Mattie B. Dove of T-2 340 Craven Terrace, New Bern, NC died at the Craven County Hospital on 08 March 1967.
     Mattie was a female, negro and married.  Her date of birth was 18 August 1933 and she died at the age of 33.  Her mother was Ethel Morris with no father named. Her husband was Alvin Dove.
     Mattie’s immediate cause of death was *Decubitus ulcers and emaciation due to transection of the spinal cord.  The interval between onset and death of both was five (5) months.  Her death was determined to be a homicide as a man pushed her on the back of her head and neck.  The date of her injury was *15 October 1966, and happened probably on the street in New Bern, NC.
     Mattie was buried on 13 March 1967 at the Trenton Cemetery in Trenton, Jones County, North Carolina.

Mattie’s death certificate was filed on April 6, 1967.

*Decubitus Ulcers are “bed sores” or pressure sores from being in a laying down position for long periods of time.  For more information on transection of the Spinal Cord go to this link Here

This is a supplemental report to the cause of death (Homicide)
Mattie Dove.
Information on Ancestry

Item 20a completed for HOMICIDE

As per newspaper clipping attached (from Sun Journal New Bern N.C. of 5/24/67.

Grand Jury Cites
Negro in Murder

A true bill of indictment charging Franklin Hoskins, Negro of New Bern, with murder was returned here this week by the Craven County Grand jury, according to court records.
He is charged with the capital crime in the death of Mattie Dove, Negro of New Bern here on *October 14, 1966.

*There is a conflict between the Death Certificate and the newspaper article as to the date of the crime by one day October 14, 1966 or October 15, 1966.

Further investigation I found that Mattie’s middle name was Bernice.

The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

Amanuensis Monday: Daddy of Forty-Seven, Not My Daddy…

     I am spending my days reading newspapers from 1790-1960’s, and looking at the historical attitudes and happenings of the days in the areas of Massachusetts and North Carolina.  I came across this article and was kinda shocked at the number of children this man procreated.

25 March 1922
Charlotte Observer
Charlotte, North Carolina

NEW BERN, March 24-

A.S. Shields, a negro preacher who is the father of 47 children, celebrated his 72nd birthday today with a fair gathering of his children around him.  All but five of his children are living.  He married a second time 18 years ago and has had 17 children by this marriage.  Shields was a slave in a family of which representative Claude Kitchin and former Governor W.W. Kitchin are members.  He preaches his sermons  in a church he owns himself.


Amanuensis Monday: Muriel Arrington Ferguson

I posted this photo awhile back but the correspondence was not attached at the time, so I thought I would do another post.

Muriel Arrington & Betty Peters with their dates
Betty’s dress made by Agnes Peters

Dear Betty

I promised you I would send you a copy of this picture.

It goes back a long way.  I don’t even remember where and when it was taken!

Oh how young we were.  We certainly don’t look the same.-but we have had long, interesting and fruitful lives Thank God.

You seem to have a better memory than I have.  Maybe you can remember where and when.

I hope and pray you are doing well and enjoying….

…all the good times you and Walter enjoyed with each other and with your children in your home and with your many friends.

This picture is the past and will remind you how you had fun then and how much more you have had since then.


Your friend, Muriel.

Oh how I wish my mother was still here.  I would have so much to ask her.  Oh how I miss her, and I guess I always will.

Amanuensis Monday: Wedding Solomnized At Marian Anderson Estate

     Miss Dolores Duncan was my mother’s friend from childhood.  This is an article I found in the Amsterdam Newspaper from April 22, 1950 that reported on the wedding of Dolores Duncan Wharton.  My mother Betty Peters was her Matron of Honor and my grandmother Agnes Peters, renewed the Heirloom dress that Dolores wore.  I recently visited my mother’s friend Dolores and finding this article adds to the richness of the Historical Novel I am preparing to write.
Top Society Wedding Solemnized at Anderson Estate…
New York Amsterdam News (1943-1961); Apr 22, 1950;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers New York Amsterdam News: 1922-1993
pg. 21
Top Society Wedding Solemnized…
Miss Dolores Duncan Weds
Clifton Wharton of Boston
by Gerri Major
     DANBURY, CONN-In the artistically appointed studio of Miss Marian Anderson, on her Danbury, Connecticut estate, last Saturday afternoon at three o’clock, two of the country’s most distinguished families were united in an Episcopal service.  Miss Dolores Mae Duncan, daughter of Mrs. James Owens of Kenosia, Conn, and Kenneth Duncan of New York, became the bride of Clifton R. Wharton, United States Consul General to Lisbon, Portugal, and Mrs. Wharton.
     The double ring ceremony was performed by the Rev. Oliver B. Dale, rector of the Church of St. Augustine’s and St. Martin, Boston, and the Rev. Shelton Hale Bishop, rector of St. Phillips Church, New York City.
Bridal Costume
     The beautiful bride wore an heirloom dress of point d’esprit which designer Agnes Peters combined with nylon net.  The fitted bodice and full skirt ending in a short train were edged with rows of ruffles.  The original gown was the wedding dress of Mrs. Thomas Dorsey of Philadelphia, great-aunt of the bride, who as Miss Blanche Bradford was wed Nov. 14, 1901 in St. Luke’s Church, Washington, D.C.
     From the bride’s cap of lilies of the valley, flared a full, waist length veil, dotted with sprigs of lilies, the creation of Mrs. Dorothy Gatling of Philadelphia.  White shoulder length gloves and white satin slippers completed the wedding costume.
     The only jewelry worn by the bride was a necklace of matched pearls, a graduation gift to the late Miss Helen Dorsey, her cousin.  The bride carried the prayer book of her great-aunt, Miss Mary A. Bradford.  From a white orchid which rested on the book, cascaded white ribbons and lilies of the valley.
Bridal Attendants
     The Bride was given in marriage by her stepfather, the well-known composer and arranger, James Owens.  She was attended by Mrs. Ira Aldridge, Jr. matron of honor, Miss Bettye Peters, both of New York City; and Miss Bettye Fitzgerald of Boston, a cousin.  They were attired in gowns embroidered organza over taffeta-pink for the matron, yellow for bridesmaids, gifts from the bride.  They wore fuchsia caps, outlined with lilies of the valley, and carried bouquets of yellow snapdragons and lavender iris.
     The bride’s mother selected a navy blue chiffon with an under-dress of chartreuse taffeta, and a picture hat of bottle green French felt trimmed with roses.  The groom’s mother wore a cocoa French lace gown, and flower and lace trimmed sailor.
     The groom’s 16-year-old brother, William Wharton, a student at Boston English School, served as best man.  The ushers were Jack Duncan, brother of the bride, Ira Aldridge, Jr., of New York City, and Joseph Mitchell, Jr. and William Ellis of Boston.  The latter was the classmate of the groom.
     The wedding processional was played by Steuart Griffin of Danbury, who also furnished incidental music for the reception.  Miss Georgette Howell, guest soloist, sang the Lord’s prayer by Malotte.
Wedding Reception
     The wedding reception also was held in the Anderson studio which was bedecked in white and yellow spring flowers.  The bride’s table was dominated by a three tier festooned cake.  At another table, champagne punch was ladled from a magnificent silver-encrusted bowl.  Plates of chicken salad, relishes and rolls were served from an adjoining room.
     Many guests followed the bridal couple to the Owens’ home at nearby Lake Kenosia, where a room of wedding gifts were displayed-linens, silver, glassware, china, bedding, household appliances, and a set of dirilyte, gift of the bride’s parents.  The Groom’s family sent a handsome silver well and tree platter.
      For traveling, the bride selected a brown wool, tailored dress with matching cape, gift of Agnes Peters and a straw bonnet.  The….
Continued on PAGE 27
Miss Dolores Duncan Weds
Clifton Wharton of Boston
Continued from PAGE 21
….Miss Dolores Duncan Weds-4 destination of the couple was not disclosed.
     The bride, a graduate of Bethel High School, attended New York University and the Neighborhood Playhouse.  She currently is studying under Martha Graham in New York.
     The groom is an alumnus of Boston Latin School and graduated from Harvard cum laude in 1947.  He was the first Negro admitted to the School of Advanced International Studies where he received an M.A. in international affairs in 1948.  At Harvard and the School of Advanced International Studies, he held the Oliver Bishop Harriman and the William Benton Foreign Service scholarships awarded by the U.S. Department of State.
     Mr. Wharton, who is bilingual in Spanish and English, is a program analyst with the American International Association for Economic and Social Development, of which Nelson A. Rockefeller is President.  He has published several articles dealing with Latin American economic problems and the problems of underdeveloped areas in the “Inter-American Economic Affairs” and other magazines.
     Relatives and close friends from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, New York and Danbury attended the wedding.  From New York were: Dr. and Mrs. Louis Fairclough, Dr. and Mrs. Sylvester Carter, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Maxwell; also Messrs, and Mmes, Grenier Turner, Emanuel Howard, Theodore Daniels, William Carman, Jr. and Sr., Joaquin Fiorillo, William Austin, Alexander Rose, John Swartz, Clifford Alexander, Earl Brown, B. Stewart, Clarence Curley, James Conway, Robert Mangum, Goodwin Alston, Charles Wharton, Robert Cooper, Robert W. Hudgins, James Maddox, Lawrence Levy, Bernard Grogan.
     Also Mmes, Helen Sterrett, Louise Hart and daughter, Eva Duncan, Minta Turner, June Thompson, V. Thompson, D.W. Anderson, Iris Kreigar, Thornton Wood, Thomas Harmon, Vivian Ford and daughter; also Misses Daisy Hamer, Marguerite Reid, Wendy Salmond, Selma Kroll, Evelyn Kiner, Rosemary A. Rockford, Jean Davis, Emma Gilbert; also Messrs, William Holland, William Small, George Carter, Clifford Alexander, Jr., Bill Graham, Raymond Savoy, William Lippman, Charles L. Drayton, Rockwell Colaneri, William Anastos.
     Among the Danbury and Bethel residents present were: Dr. and Mrs. Conrad Edwards, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Rotella, Mr. and Mrs. O Hodge Fisher, Mrs. C. Bethany Powell; also Misses Janie Ritchie, Rose and Adell Eyes; also father Salmone, William Goldburg and daughter; and Dr. James Leee of Waterbury.
     From Boston were: Mr. and Mrs. Everett Yates and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ellis; Mmes Joseph S. Mitchell, McFarland Fitzgerald, and Thomas H. Hicks; also Miss Barbara Hill, Harold Smith, Harold May.
     Philadelphia guests included: Messrs. and Mmes. Thomas Dorsey, Harry Black, John Gatling, Norris Brown, Stanley Lomax; also Mmes. Albert Bradford, Thomas H. Lee, Anna Anderson, Rosa Allen, Rita Feirson; also Misses Mary Bradford and Mary Clayton.
     Baltimore was represented by Mr. and Mrs. Bradford James, Mrs. Howard Wright, and Mrs. Beatrice Hawkins.
     From Liberia was Rudolph Grimes.

Amanuensis Monday: There’s REAL Progress in San Diego

     A few years ago, the ProQuest Historical Newspapers database was offering free access for a week.  I took advantage of it and inputted family and close friends of the family names to see what articles I would find.  I had found about 80 articles that I felt were relevant to my family and historical research.
     The article below had my father “Wally Porter” and my Uncle, “Henry Hodge” along with some of the community leaders of San Diego that I knew, of which I bolded their names.

Wash’s Wash
Col Leon H. Washington Jr.
Los Angeles Sentinel (1946-2005); Feb 11, 1971
ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Sentinel: 1934-2005
pg. A6

Wash’s Wash
       There’s REAL Progress in San Diego
                                Col. Leon H. Washington. Jr.
     Several days ago I rode down to San Diego to see some old friends and to get a firsthand view of the growing city and its community activities.  Accompanying me on the trip was my assistant, Bill Robertson.
     I was amazed at the building program now under way.  In practically every commercial area of the city you will find ultramodern facilities going up.
     The recently built 1-1/2 mile toll bridge is a sight to behold,as the beautiful man-made island that has several famous-name restaurants on it.  The new airport is practically in the heart of the city.  There is no doubt that San Diego is fast becoming one of California’s most progressive cities.
     Many years ago when I used to go to San Diego there were few Negroes in the city.  Now, I am told, there are more than 60,000 Negroes residing in the town.
     My longtime friend, Atty. Al Montgomery, told me Negroes are really advancing and obtaining better paying jobs than ever before, in spite of the tight job situation.  Like in most places in recent years they had to do a bit of protesting and voicing their demands.
     Montgomery, according to a reliable source, is reported in line for a judgeship.  The longtime Republican is one of the most prominent attorneys in the state.  I hope the governor appoints him very soon.
     Leon Williams, a very likeable young man, is the only Negro city councilman there.  Report on him is that he is doing a commendable job as a lawmaker.
     We saw Wally Porter, a former Angeleno, who now lives there and is with the San Diego Adult School System.  Also learned that Henry Hodge is making his home there and is holding a big county position.
     Understand there are quite a number of young lawyers, teachers and administrators there now who formerly lived in Los Angeles, Porter and Hodge are said to be among the top young men of leadership in the city.
     While at Montgomery’s law office, my old friend H.W. Ragsdale came in.  He is the owner of the Anderson-Ragsdale Funeral Home.  He was looking fine and is still active in the progressive community programs.  He told me that confirmation for approval of San Diego’s first black bank had recently been made.
     The proposed directors and organizers of the Community Bank of Sand Diego are: Richard A. Bland, who is also president of the Logan Heights Realty Board; George Walker Smith, member of the San Diego School Board; Charles T. Robinson, captain of the San Diego Fire Dept.; Hartwell W. Ragsdale, Atty. Alpha Montgomery, Mrs. Valleta Linnette, San Diego faculty member and Hayward Bland, real estate investor.
     The trip was most delightful and I was pleased to see some of my old friends and spend the day looking at progress being made in the border city that will benefit the majority of its residents and visitors.
     The community progress campaign continues!

Amanuensis Monday: Recital Given By Miss Jane Gilliam

     In 2004, I discovered through the NewsBank/and or the American Antiquarian Society an article in the Worcester Daily Spy dated April 4, 1902 that announced Miss Jane Gilliam’s recital.

     Jane Gilliam was my Great Grandmother’s (Nora Ann “Gilliam” Cully) Sister, which would make Jane my Great Grand Aunt.  Jane was born in North Carolina Oct of 1877 and moved to Worcester, MA when she was 3 years old.

Worcester Daily Spy News Paper
April 4, 1902



     Miss Jane Gilliam gave a recital last night in Elocution Hall, 24 Front Street.  She was assisted by the Cecilian Male Quartet and Fred Bates, tenor: George Cooper, baritone; George Stewart, bass: William Johnson, humorist: Miss Sadie Shannon, soprano: Miss Grace Johnson, pianist.  Miss Gilliam gave a number of readings which were much applauded.  There is but one more recital in the course given by the Worcester School of Elocution and Delsarte.  The next one will be by Miss Laura Joudrey.

     Seeing this article had me think “That’s Why Zara Cully Brown was an elocutionist in Worcester.”  Zara Cully Brown was Jane Gilliam’s niece, and had been an actress on the “Jefferson’s” television sitcom.