Search This Blog

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Annette Houston Harlow

Annette Houston Harlow with her son, Finley

     Today I am showcasing the colorization talent of graphic artist and friend of Spotsylvania Memory, Deborah Humphries. Beginning with the original image shown below (provided by Elizabeth Robinson), Deborah was able to bring to life my cousin Annette and her young son, Finley Houston Harlow, in late 1913 or early 1914.

     Annette Willson Houston (1878-1960) was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, the daughter of Finley and Grace Alexander Houston. Finley Houston, one of the leading citizens of Lexington in his day, has been the topic of a previous post, which can be read here.

     In September 1905, Annette married Washington & Lee graduate, Benjamin Franklin Harlow, Jr. (1873-1961). Ben Harlow's father was an attorney, Civil War veteran and publisher of the Greenbrier Independent in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Ben and Annette were married at 'Clifton,' her family's home near Lexington, Virginia. In the family portrait taken on the day of their wedding, Ben and Annette are standing at far right, their eyes turned to the camera lens. Her parents are seated, her sister Mary stands at center, and sister Bruce and her husband William Emrys Davis stand at left:

     After they were married, Annette and Ben moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where Ben worked in the printing business until early 1917. Ben also taught Latin at the New Mexico Military Academy, whose superintendent was Annette's cousin, James William Willson.

     Once the Harlows came back to Lexington, Virginia, Ben became the publisher of the Lexington Gazette. After his retirement, he was succeeded by his son Finley, who held that position until his death in 1972.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Slaves at the Museum

Display at the Chancellorsville Museum, National Park Service

     Last week, while in Virginia doing some research and making headway on my upcoming book, I finally had the opportunity to visit the Park Service's  recently updated contact station at Chancellorsville. I was interested in seeing several of their exhibits, including this one. Please click on the images in my blog for enlarged viewing.
     This particular exhibit speaks to the exodus of slaves from the Spotsylvania region while Union troops were nearby. Among those enslaved people who escaped to freedom were a number from Greenfield plantation in western Spotsylvania. Their flight to freedom in 1862 was documented by my great great grandmother, Nancy Estes Row, in this list of runaways written in her own hand:

List of runaway slaves from Greenfield

     My great great grandmother had the foresight to include the last names of those "servants," which made it possible to discover the fates of three of these people, whose story appears here. The story of another Greenfield slave, Ellen Upshur, who had been given as a present to a relative in 1857, can be read here.