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Category Archives: St. John the Baptist Parish Louisiana

Haydel and Muggah

It is the year 2015 and I am still busy researching. With constant communication on 23andme, Gedmatch.com, Ancestry.com and Facebook, it appears I am neglecting my blog.

This past month I have posted that Ambroise Heidel is my 7th great grandfather. Vilmont Schexnayder’s 3rd great grandfather.The Whitney Plantation, originally known as Habitation Haydel, is located less than an hour from New Orleans, on the historic River Road in Wallace, Louisiana. Ambroise Heidel (1702-ca.1770), the founder of this plantation, emigrated from Germany to Louisiana with his mother and siblings in 1721. The plantation has been in the news lately due to the museum has been remodeled to make slavery the central focus.
I am also taking the time to read books in my busy schedule. I am reading at this time a book call Bouki Fait Gombo: A History of the Slave Community of Habitation Haydel (Whitney Plantation) Louisiana, 1750-1860 by Ibrahima Seck. The book mentions the Haydels, Schexnayders and the Roussels. If you recalled from earlier postings the Roussels were the last slave holder of Vilmont Schexnayder.

Whitney plantation whitney-plantation

This past January, I finally verified my lineage to James Milne Muggah Sr. Born about 1785 in Facteabers in Barissehore, Scotland and moved to Patterson Louisiana. A direct descendant of James Milne Muggah’s granddaughter Margaret Mackey Muggah, also did his DNA testing through 23andme. My new found cousins were gracious enough to share a picture of the homestead and the picture of Jame Milne Muggah Jr. It has been a great to find my European lineage with extended roots, but I still feel compel to find which son of James Sr. is my direct lineage and still have Arabella’s parents to find. At least I have Arabella’s name, unlike Vilmont’s mother.

JamesMuggah_hm,jpg (3)

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Louisiana’s Code Noir (1724) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed

Listed are excerpts from the Louisiana’s Code Noir (Black Code/Slave code) 1774:

II. Permits the exercise of the Roman Catholic creed only. Every other mode of worship is prohibited.

My ancestors were only to practice Catholicism. 

IV. Negroes placed under the direction or supervision of any other person than a Catholic, are liable to confiscation.

You converted to Catholicism if you wanted to keep your Negroes without the fear, that they will be confiscated by the government.

V. Sundays and holidays are to be strictly observed. All Negroes found at work on these days are to be confiscated.   

Negroes did not work on Sunday nor holiday

VI. We forbid our white subjects, of both sexes, to marry with the blacks, under the penalty of being fined and subjected to some other arbitrary punishment. We forbid all curates, priests, or missionaries of our secular or regular clergy, and even our chaplains in our navy to sanction such marriages. We also forbid all our white subjects, and even the manumitted or free-born blacks, to live in a state of concubinage with blacks. Should there be any issue from this kind of intercourse, it is our will that the person so offending, and the master of the slave, should pay each a fine of three hundred livres. Should said issue be the result of the concubinage of the master with his slave, said master shall not only pay the fine, but be deprived of the slave and of the children, who shall be adjudged to the hospital of the locality, and said slaves shall be forever incapable of being set free. But should this illicit intercourse have existed between a free black and his slave, when said free black had no legitimate wife, and should said black marry said slave according to the forms prescribed by the church, said slave shall be thereby set free, and the children shall also become free and legitimate ; and in such a case, there shall be no application of the penalties mentioned in the present article.

Marriage is not allowed between white folks and black folks. Whites, manumitted or free-born blacks cannot shack up/have sex with slaves. Now if they did not listen to this law and had a baby, the slave master has to pay 300 livres (France currency) Now if the master was the parent of the child, the master paid the fine and the slave mother and child would be removed from the master and lost any rights of being free. But if a free black man is the parent of his slave’s child and he is not married, he will married the slave woman. She and her child will become free.

VIII. We forbid all curates to proceed to effect marriages between slaves without proof of the consent of their masters; and we also forbid all masters to force their slaves into any marriage against their will.   

Priests are forbidden to married slaves without their masters permission. 

IX. Children, issued from the marriage of slaves, shall follow the condition of their parents, and shall belong to the master of the wife and not of the husband, if the husband and wife have different masters.

Slave marriages can occurred between two slaves of different masters, their children would belong to the wife’s slave master. 

X. If the husband be a slave, and the wife a free woman, it is our will that their children, of whatever sex they may be, shall share the condition of their mother, and be as free as she, notwithstanding the servitude of their father; and if the father be free and the mother a slave, the children shall all be slaves.

If a child is free or slave depends whether the mother is free or slave. Father’s status does not matter.

XV. We forbid Negroes to sell any commodities, provisions, or produce of any kind, without the written permission of their masters, or without wearing their known marks or badges, and any persons purchasing any thing from Negroes in violence of this article, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of 1500 livres.

slave badge

LIII. We command all manumitted slaves to show the pro foundest respect to their former masters, to their widows and children, and any injury or insult offered by said manumitted slaves to their former masters, their widows or children- shall be punished with more severity than if it had been offered to any other person. We, however, declare them exempt from the discharge Of all duties or services, and from the payment of all taxes or fees, or any thing else which their former masters might, in their quality of patrons, claim either in relation to their persons, or to their personal or real estate, either during the life or after the death of said manumitted slaves.

Once a slave is free, he better not act like a fool and show disrespect to the ex-master, his wife and children or he will be punished more severe than he could ever imagined.

LIV. We grant to manumitted slaves the same rights, privileges, and immunities which are enjoyed by free-born persons. It is our pleasure that their merit in having acquired their freedom, shall produce in their favor, not only with regard to their persons, but also to their property, the same effects which our other subjects derive from the happy circumstance of their having been born free.
In the name of the King,
Bienville, De la Chaise.

I have not found a direct line ancestor that was manumitted in Louisiana.

Photo courtesy of http://www.ebay.com/itm/STAR-PLANTATION-STRAW-BOSS-SLAVE-TAG-LOUISIANA-/161100461052

 

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“Slavery is not a shame on me, my ancestors were some of the most creative and enduring people.”

“Slavery is not a shame on me, my ancestors were some of the most creative and enduring people.” a quote from “Many Rivers to Cross” PBS special.

Vilmont real

I look at this picture and think that Louisiana wanted everybody to believed that Vilmont was not human, born as property. He was not a Mandingo in statue, since he was not of breeded stock. His White father did not claim him like the free people of color was accustomed to.  He was a slave on a Perique tobacco plantation and a sugar plantation He worked hard from sun up to sun down. When he was 23 years old he was valued at one thousand dollars…He was not the top dollar item…Did he work in the house?…I don’t know…but I do know the house Negro worked as hard..don’t believe the myth that the house Negro had it made. They did not stay in the house in comfort. But I don’t know if he was a house Negro or field Negro, but I do know that he was given a slave quarter after the war, was it the same one he had lived in before the war?.. I don’t know…but his ex-master allowed him to live in an ex slave quarter and share crop on the property.

Vilmont price3

Vilmont is the six name down. Vilmont was a named property in the settlement of the estate of George Roussel on January 28th 1859. He was passed down to his son Louis Amedee Roussel.

recruitment-broadside_2

Vilmont ran off Louis Roussel’s plantation and joined the United States Colored Troop. He did return after the war to Louis Roussel’s plantation.

81st Regiment,

United States Colored Infantry

COMPANY:K SOLDIER’S

RANK IN:Corporal SOLDIER’S

RANK OUT:Private

FILM NUMBER:M589 roll 77 NOTES: REFERENCE CARD. Original filed under Belmont/Seching Belomont Sechnight.

When the enlistment officer asked for Vilmont Schexnayder’s name, this is what he heard coming out of Vilmont’s mouth, “Belmont Sechnight”  Vilmont said that during roll call, he answered to that name, since no one else was stepping up to the name, he said “It must be me.”

memorial

Vilmont was honored with the other African-American Civil War soldiers. His name is on a plaque at the African-American Civil War Memorial, at the corner of Vermont Avenue, 10th St, and U Street NW in Washington, D.C.

I am not ashamed of this man nor any other ancestors who were bought and sold as properties. I give them all the reverence, starting with the ancestors on that Trans-Atlantic boat to the ones that finally heard that “We are Free”.

 

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