Posts Tagged ‘hucksters’

Then as now, military service is an opportunity to broaden a person’s horizons. This soldier was discharged from a New Orleans hospital, took a steamer to Cairo, Illinois, and traveled by train to Baltimore before returning to family in Norfolk — a family that included a brother who served in the 10th U.S. Colored Troops. 


Invalid — 608,218 / 428,508
Widow — 1095,445 / 828,861, Mary A. Wright 

Marriage License [copy], Raphael Wright & Mary Ann White, 2 September 1880
[marriage] 9 September 1880
[husband’s age] 30
[wife’s age] 23
[husband’s condition] single
[wife’s condition] single
[husband’s birthplace] Nansemond Co., Va.
[wife’s birthplace] Nansemond Co., Va.
[husband’s residence] Nansemond Co., Va.
[wife’s residence] Nansemond Co., Va.
[husband’s parents] James and Louisa Wright
[wife’s parents] Jefferson and Phoebe White
[husband’s occupation] laborer
[minister] J.W. Sumler.”


Sworn Statement, D.H. Trotter & Robert Smith, [illegible] May 1888
“That they are well acquainted with [the applicant]; that they were from the close of the war until his removal to Norfolk some few years back, his close neighbors and associates living within a mile or so of his & his mother’s residence; that Dr. McCann was Wright’s (attending) physician and their own also up until the doctor’s death some four years ago; [details about Wright’s various ailments — Leslie] for more than twenty years with their personal rememberings before he moved to Norfolk and was up to the latter time for eight years prior thereto was provided with money by their benevolent order of which he was a member in order to get medical assistance.”


Sworn Statement, Jerry White & Joseph Nelson, 14 May 1888
“[they stated that Raphael Wright] while serving as a private in the ranks, keeping guard day & night alternatively, & the other duties of a soldier, while serving at or near Brazos Santiago in the State of Texas in summer of 1865 [contracted] severe cold and bilious fever or malaria, by reason of said exposure and sleeping on planks on the ground for some time after they reached Texas … that he was sent for treatment of this illness first to the post hospital, thence without recovering or returning to his company, he was sent to the Genl Hospital at New Orleans for further treatment and did not at any time after his first illness return to his company; that they have seen him periodically ever since his discharge and his return home … Jerry White, 54 Williamson Lane, Norfolk, Va.; and from Joseph Nelson, 224 Charlotte Street, Norfolk, Va.


Deposition, Joseph Nelson, 29 March 1889
44 years old; undertaker; residence & post-office address, 224 Charlotte Street, Norfolk, Va. … “He and I was [sic] sick about the same time and I was sent to Post Hospital where the claimant soon joined me for treatment … After remaining in post hospital about a month or so, he was sent with others, as I understood, to a hospital in New Orleans, La. after which I did not see him until I returned to Norfolk, Va. in the early part of the year 1866 where I found him and where I have known him and from personal observation.”


Deposition, Jerry White, 29 March 1889
51 years old; laborer; residence & post-office address, 54 Williamson Lane, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va. … “I served during the late war in Co H, 2nd [sic] USC …”


General Affidavit, Owen Hopper & Sandy Deans, 3 September 1892
“[Hopper, 51 years old] ‘that he has known [Raphael Wright] and know [sic] he served in Co. H 1st USCC Cav during War of the Rebellion; have known him since his return from Army and have lived in same town with claimant and worked with him at various times and knows he has from time to time of his return been a very great sufferer from diseases  [specific ailments described here — Leslie]; that he is totally disabled and unfit to do manual labor and dependant [sic] …

“[Deans, 50 years old] “His knowledge is obtained from having known him from time of service to present time and have lived neighbors to him and worked with him and have had every opportunity to see and known his condition from time of service to present time and have lived neighbors to him and have worked with him and have had every opportunity to see and know his condition from time of return from army to present time, and know he totally unfit for manual labor, and is now very dependant [sic].”


Questionnaire, Raphael White, 2 August 1897
[residence] 80 Avenue A, Huntersville, Norfolk, Va,
[married] Mary Ann Wright, Mary Ann White
[where, when, by whom] September 2nd, 1880, Nansemond Co., Va., J.W. Sumler
[record of marriage] “I have got the marriage certificate”
[previously married?] no
[living children] “have one but not legitimate”
“Date of reply: August 8th 1899, Raphael Wright, 18 North Street, Huntersville, Norfolk, Va.”
[I think the questionnaire was dated August 2nd when it was sent to the claimant and the claimant dated his reply as August 8th — Leslie] .”


Questionnaire, Raphael Wright, 2 August 1899
“[residence, post-office address] 18 North Street, Huntersville, Norfolk, Va.
[residence from 2[illegible] December 1865 until present address] When first came out of service lived in Norfolk, Va., then went to Western Branch, Norfolk County, Va., don’t know the dates
[post-office nearest to this address] 1st Norfolk, Va. then Churchland
[occupation since Dec 2[illegible], 1865] job work, very light
[known by another name] no
[served in military or naval service under another name] no.”


Deposition, Raphael Wright, 5 August 1901
60 years old; marketman; 18 North St., Huntersville, Norfolk, Va. “… was discharged from the hospital at New Orleans, December 24, 1865, by reason of a disability
“I was born in Nansemond County, Va. but was raised principally in Norfolk Co., and was owned by Belson and William Barnes. My father was James Wright and it was from him that I got my name. I have never gone under any other name except that of Raphael Wright.
“I was on detached duty from my Regiment for nearly six months at Williamsburg, Va., My Company and Company A, were detached from the Reg’t to guard that part of the country.
“Since discharge I have lived in Nansemond and Norfolk Counties — most of that time being spent in this city:

“I lost my certificate of discharge on my way from Cairo, Illinois, to Baltimore, Md., soon after discharge. You see I was discharged at New Orleans and took steamer up to Cairo, and from there took train for Baltimore and on route was sick and while sick some one [sic] stole my discharge.
“Garrard was Colonel of my Regiment. We had no Lt. Col. … Brown was our 1st Major and [he was succeeded by] Sykes was 2d Major.
“Richardson was my First Capt. but he was succeeded by Lt. Waterman. Ricker acted as 2d Lt. … He belonged to my Regiment but not to my company. I do not know to what company he belonged:
“The following were sergeants of my Company: P.H. Boyd, Ord.; Connelly; Shaultz; Rood; Pierce; and Wright.
Arthur Harrell and Richard Wright eat [sic] and slept with me in service…. I first took lung trouble about Petersburg, Va. … I had been in the Army about six months when I first took it; was never in hospital from it till I went to the hospital from sunstroke. I was sunstruck in Texas in 1865 and my condition became so bad.

“My witnesses were Joe Nelson, Jerry White, James Wilson, O.D. Harper, and Frank Williams. I paid them nothing for testifying for me. I was a witness for Harper…No, I did not testify for any of the others. Harper was in Company G….
Mr. Wilson was my attorney; paid him nothing. but he received either ten or twenty-five dollars from the Government when my claim was allowed.
Mr. Hubert executes my vouchers; charges fifty cents and he always swers [sic] me and I show my pension certificate. I have never pawned my papers.

“I have married only once; married Mary White; we were married in Nansemond Co., Va.; we were married by Rev. Sumner [sic]; neither my wife nor myself had been previously married and we are now living together. We have no children under 16 years of age.”


Questionnaire, Raphael Wright, 2 March 1915
[date / birthplace] June 22, 1841 / Nansemond Co., Va.
[organization] Company H, 1st USCC
[post-office address] Norfolk, Va.
[wife] Mary Ann White
[when, where, by whom] Sept 9, 1880;  Nansemond Co., Va.; Rev. J.W. Sumler
[record’s location] Nansemond Co., Va. clerk’s office
[wife’s previous husbands] none
[living with wife] yes
[names, birthdates of all children] Thomas Jefferson Wright, born May 23, 1902.”


Death Certificate [copy], Rapheil [sic] Wright, 3 March 1917
[place of death] 740 Freemont [sic] St., Norfolk, Va.
[full name] Raphield [sic] Wright
[sex / race / status] male / colored / married
[age] 62
[occupation] laborer, huxter [sic]
[father’s name / birthplace] James Wright / Va.
[mother’s name / birthplace] Luisa / Va.
[informant] Mary Jean Wright, 740 Fremont Street
[death date] March 3, 1917
[cause of death / duration] paresis caused by cerebral apoplexy, 7 days; arteriosclerosis,
[signature] A. Lman [sp?] Pary, MD, 1036 [?] Church Street
[burial] Calvary Cemetery, March 5, 1917
[undertaker] [illegible].”


General Affidavit, Mary A. Wright, 6 May 1917
59 years old; residence, Norfolk, Va., post-office address, 740 Fremont Street, Norfolk, Va. “that she is the widow of Raphael Wright, who died on March 3, 1917; That she believes she is fifty-nine years of age having been born (as she has been informed) in September 1857 in Nansemond County, Va.; and having been twenty-three years of age at the time of her marriage…”


Deposition, Mary A. Wright, 2 July 1917
“60 years olf age on next 29th day of next September .. I ‘huckster,’ buy and sell vegetables …”; post-office address, 740 Fremont Street, Norfolk, Va. … I was owned in slavery by Willis Wilder near Nansemond and Norfolk County lines.
“My father was named Jefferson White. My mother was named Phoebe White.  On 1870 I was on the same farm with my parents where I was born. The post office we used was Churchland, Norfolk Co., Virginia but it was in fact Nansemond and the voting place was Belleville.
“Brother John and Sister Sarah were at home. In 1880 when the census was taken I reckon we were all at home to assist my mother and my father. I staid [sic] there until I was married to Raphael Wright. I do not remember the date of our marriage but it was on our marriage certificate that I sent to Washington, DC. My father, mother, brother, and sister are all dead.  I have no relatives living who knew me in Nansemond County.

“I was 23 years of age when I got married. I had not been married previous to my marriage to Raphael Wright. … I went to Brooklyn, NY once for three months and on another occasion for four months … I never had any children born to me … I have an adopted child nearly fifteen years old named Thomas Jefferson Wright. His mother was Rachel Foreman. She is strolling around Norfolk somewhere.

“My husband died March 3 of this year. He died on Saturday morning before day about 3 o’clock. My adopted child, a man named Peter  Smith and his wife live in the house with me. … I had not been away from my husband to work for 14 years before he died. I had not known Raphael Wright about three years before I got married to him.

“I suppose Cornelius Wright soldier’s brother can tell you all about him. … My husband had three children laid to him before I married him: Daniel Oscar Wright; Thomas Wright, Norfolk, Va.; Thomas Wright,Norfolk, Va., a laborer: Lizzie Wright, dead; were the children laid to him. Daniel Oscar is a farmer.

“Daniel Oscar’s mother was named Jane. She married Jessie Jackson. They are both dead. …

“I did not know the name of the mother of Thomas and Lizzie. I understand she is dead.
… Daniel Oscar lives up about Churchland. I do not know whether he goes by the name of Wright or Jackson.

“I never knew soldier’s woman by whom he had a boy Thomas. Do not know whether this woman was soldier’s slave wife or not.”


General Affidavit, Raphael Wright, 2 January 1917
75 years old resident, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Virginia, post-office address 740 Freemont Street; “[H]e was always told by his parents that he was born on June 22, 1841,


Deposition, Josiah Bailey, Sr., 2 July 1917
63 years old; laborer; post-office address 1271 Bolton Street, Norfolk, Va… “I was reared near Churchville, Va. [There’s a “Churchville” and “Churchland” this part of Virginia — Leslie].  I knew Raphael Wright ever since my childhood.
“I knew Amelia Ballin, his first wife. They one child Thomas. He lived here in town. He worked around the market the last I knew. I think Amelia was his slave wife. She died near the close of the war. Wright never had any other wife after after Amelia died until he got married to Amelia, no, Mary Ann White.
“I heard soldier had a son named Daniel Oscar by a woman named Jane but I know nothing about that. I do not know about the sister Lizzie of Thomas Wright.
“I cannot say whether the marriage of soldier to the Balans woman was a slave marriage or a regular marriage by license. I was young then. I did not know any of the Balans woman’s relations. Cornelius Wright is the only relative of soldier I know of.
“I heard the claimant had a man before she got married to Wright but I did not learn his name. I did not hear she was married to the man.”


Deposition, Cornelius Wright, 2 July 1917
75 years old; job worker; 753 Ave. B, Huntersville, Norfolk, Va.; “I served in Company F in 10 Inf. during the Civil War.
“Raphael Wright was my full brother. I lived in the neighborhood of Churchland from the close of the war until about 1891. Since then I have resided here. My brother Raphael came here 7 or 8 years before I did. I lived in the immediate neighborhood with him until he came here. He had no wife in slavery. My brother lived with a woman named Mamie or Melia. She married John [illegible]. My brother had three children by this woman. I only knew two of the children — Thomas and Elizabeth. The other one died when small. Elizabeth died when a young woman. Thomas lives here in town.

“This woman died long before my brother got married to Mary White. I saw her buried. She was buried at Churchland graveyard, Norfolk Co., Va. My brother had a child laid to him called Daniel Oscar. His mother was named Jane Jackson. He did not live with the Jackson woman and I know he was not married to her. She died about 10 years ago. Her husband died before she did.

“This child was born before brother married or took up with this “Balans” woman.
“I cannot be mistaken about the Balans woman dying before my brother before my brother got married to Mary Wright.
“Her boy Thomas will know about that too.

“The claimant bears a good name. I have known her since she was a child. She was not married before her marriage to my brother. She lived right in my neighborhood from her childhood until she got married to him. She may have had a sweetheart but nothing more. I knew her parents and saw this claimant and others at church often.”


Deposition, Elijah D. Adams, 9 July 1917
38 years old; driver; post-office address 738 Fremont St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have been acquainted with Mary A. Wright for over 20 years. I have resided next door to her for sixteen years.
“She was living with Raphael Wright as his wife when I first knew her. I did not know him any longer than I did her. …
“He died last March. She has made a living by keeping a stand in the market ever since his death. She has a boy named Thomas Jefferson about 15 years old that she adopted.

“The child’s mother was Rachel Foreman. I heard she had gone to New York.
“No one lives with claimant but her adopted boy. This claimant has borne a good name as to virtue for the last 16 years.
“She has no callers since her husband’s death.”


Deposition, Josiah Bailey, Sr., 9 July 1917
“I have a desire to correct the deposition made before you one week ago today.
Question: Why?
Answer: Because I got that wrong. I got excited and did not understand that I was saying this claimant had any man. I did not mean to say I heard she had one for I never did hear such a thing. I never did hear a word against her character. I have heard my full deposition re-read. It is correct with the corrections I now make. I did not know I made the statement against the woman’s character until she called me about it after I left you. I sure did not intend to make such a statement for it is untrue as to hearing anything against her.”


Deposition, Emma Brown, 9 July 1917
62 years old; housekeeper, with my children; post-office address 1511 King Street, Portsmouth, Va. … “I have been a widow two years. I was reared near Churchland in this county and staid [sic] there until 33 years ago when I came to Portsmouth. Mary A. Wright is my cousin. We growed [sic] up children together. We lived around Churchland and until this claimant got married to Raphael Wright. Her maiden name was Mary Ann White. … She had sweethearts now and then but never had a man until she got married to Wright. I resided about one half mile from her while she was a single woman near Churchland. She lived with her father and mother and I lived with my father and mother. She got married before I did.

“I had not been moved to Portsmouth long before this claimant moved to Norfolk with her husband. I visited her about once or twice the month after she came here and she came to see me the same. …. I did not know Raphael Wright before he got married to this claimant. I know nothing about his former wives.”


Deposition, Henry Johnson, 11 July 1917
71 years old; janitor; post-office address 2521 Hale Street, Norfolk, Va. … “I was born and reared in this county and have resided here all the time except while I was in the army and in 1874 when I was in Washington City…. [I served in] Co. E 10 US C Inf. I served nearly 3 years. I got acquainted with Raphael Wright before the Civil War and knew this claimant when she was a girl. We all lived in the same neighborhood near Churchland in this county. We all lived in the same neighborhood for near 30 years right after the war was over. We all came here to Norfolk near the same time. This claimant was named White before her marriage. Her father was named Jefferson White. [She and] Raphael Wright had no children. They adopted a child named Thomas Jefferson. No, sir, the child did not belong to Wright. Nor was this claimant his mother. I knew the child from the time he was a baby. The soldier Raphael was never married until he got married to this claimant.

“I knew a woman named Jane Jackson. I did not know Wright had a child by her. I know he was not married to her. I never knew the mother of Thomas Wright, soldier’s boy. I used to see the soldier leading him around to church. I know soldier was never married to the mother of Tom. I heard about Tom’s mother dying. She died some time before soldier married this claimant.”


Deposition, Thomas C. Wright, 11 July 1917
44 years old [“I was born March 23, 1873 at Norfolk, county of Norfolk, Va.,]; laborer; post-office address 751 Avenue B, Huntersville, Va.
“My father was named Raphael Wright. My mother was named ‘Mimi’ Wright. I cannot remember my mother. She died when I was about 2 years of age near Churchland, Va. I had a sister Lizzie who was old than I was.  She died when she was about 18 or 20 years and before [illegible] this county near Churchland.

“I always understood father and mother were married about the close of the war in this county near Churchland.

“I never knew mother’s surname.
She had no brothers or father to my recollection. I am sure mother died before father got married to Mary Ann White.
Mary Ann my stepmother helped ‘raise’ me.
Father and she lived together as husband and wife from the time of my earliest recollection until father died last March. I never heard a word against this claimant’s character.”


Deposition, Julia Wright, 14 July 1917
65 years old; shucking oysters and cooking in market; post-office address 1030 London Street, Portsmouth, Va. … I lived near Churchland in this county for 15 years just after the “fall of Richmond.”  I used to know Raphael Wright. I knew him from the close of the war and before the war too. No sir, he did not have any slave wife. He first had a wife named “Mimi” Crumble. He had two children by “Mimi” a girl and a boy. The girl died but the boy was reared by this claimant. I did not know their names. I do not believe Raphael Wright was married to this woman. She died during the Centennial Year. I was working in Philadelphia and when there I got a letter about her death and when I came back here folks said she had died and I feel sure she died as I never saw her after the time she was said to die. Yes, sir, this was before Raphael Wright got married to the claimant. I knew this claimant from the time she was a child. She never was married before she got married to Wright.
“I did not know anything about Wright having a child by a Jackson woman.”


Deposition, Daniel Oscar Wright, 14 July 1917
“I am 47 years of age being born January 1, 1870” … farmer; post-office address Churchland, Va. … “My father was named ‘Rafe’ Wright. My mother was named Jane Jackson. Mother has been dead about 8 years. I saw her buried. She lived with Jesse Jackson as his wife ever since I can remember. He died in 1897. Mother was named Cousins before she got married or began to live with Jackson. She had children by Jackson — ‘Standin’ and John Ann (girl). She is the wife of Jerry Simmons and lives here in Norfolk. Standin lives at Bowers Hill near Churchland. Mother never was married to any man. No, sir, she never was married to Raphael Wright. No, sir. My father never lived with my mother, at least that was my understanding. It was just a ‘bush jump’ business between them. My mother has one brother living Samuel Conner in Portsmouth, but he has not lived any around Churchland and knows nothing about my mother. I never knew my father when he lived around Churchland. Mother always told me she was never married to any man and that she never lived with my father. She never lived with but one man and that was Jesse Jackson and she was not married to him.


Deposition, Julia Watts, 17 July 1917
65 years old; shucking oysters and cooking in market; post-office address 1013 London Street, Portsmouth, Va. “I lived near Churchland in this county for 15 years just after the “Fall of Richmond.”
“I used to know Raphael Wright. Knew him from the close of the war and before the war, too. No, sir, he did not have a slave wife. He first had a wife named ‘Mimi’ Crumble. He had two children by ‘Mimi,’ a girl and a boy. The girl died and the boy was reared by this claimant. I did not know their names. I do not believe Raphael Wright was married to this woman. She died during the Centennial Year. I was working in Philadelphia and when there I got a letter about her death and when I came back here, folks said she had died and I feel sure she died. Never saw her after the time. She was said to die. Yes, sir, this was before Raphael got married to this claimant. I knew this claimant since she was a child. She never was married before she married Wright.

“I did not know anything about Wright having a child by a Jackson woman.”


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