Tag Archives: Stephani Juleeana Miller
Case Study: How did Milton and Julia (Schexnayder) Muggah participated in the Great Migration?
1920 United States Federal Census had Milton Muggah (59 years old) living with his wife Julia (45 years old) and daughter Mildred (12 years old). They were residing in Patterson, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. His occupation was a laborer at the saw mill.
During the four decades following 1870, labor recruiters and promoters blanketed the south with literature enticing blacks to “Go West!”
“Black mill workers from the old South were a principal labor force in the wood products industry in at least three California counties between 1920 and 1960. Experienced Black mill workers recruited directly from the South are known to have migrated to lumber towns in Plumas and Siskiyou counties in the 1920s. Weed and Foresthill are two lumber towns that serve as examples of Afro-Americans’ critical participation in the industry. McCloud and a number of other towns share a similar history. Black settlements were established in Quincy and Weed during the 1920s by Louisiana-based sawmill companies that purchased existing California mills and recruited experienced workers from communities adjacent to the parent company’s home operation. Transportation costs were advanced, and housing was guaranteed for those willing to relocate. In the 1920s, when Southern Black mill workers entered the California lumber industry’s labor force, racial discrimination was flagrant throughout the industry.” http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/5views/5views2c.htm
Family oral history states that Milton Muggah migrated to McCloud California. I have not found any documentation as of yet to proved this location. I believed that the family must have traveled by train to California. But when and where they step on California soil, is still a mystery!
I did find Milton Muggah in California, a registered voter in Kings County California, August 26 1924 primary elections. Address:220 S. Douty, Hanover, Ca. Party affiliation: Republican Occupation: Whitewasher
Milton Muggah’s death certificate index states that he died 26 Nov 1926. He died in Patterson Louisiana. Milton returned to Louisiana without his wife Julia and daughter Mildred. It was not a good parting of ways, if the death certificate was not found, the running story was that Julia had dumped Milton’s body somewhere in California.
In the Oakland, California, City Directory, 1926 listed Mildred Muggah as a factory worker living at 1167 8th.
In the Oakland, California, City Directory, 1928 listed Julia Muggah as a clerk living at 952 Chestnut St. Her daughter Mildred Muggah was also clerk and living at the same address.
In the 1930 Federal Census Julia Muggah was living by herself in Oakland, Alameda, California. Widow Occupation: Canner at the Cannery.
“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.
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 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.
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.
United States Colored Infantry
RANK IN:Corporal SOLDIER’S
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.”
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”.