Their Life Together
When John Coe took possession of Patsy, as far as Ezekiel was concerned, she was a welcomed addition to his household. He was at a stage in his life where he had a place that he called home, steady work, and he had even managed to save himself a little money. But a significant piece of his life was missing from his efforts to achieve fulfillment. He like most single hard working men, longed for a companion. Therefore, the arrival of Patsy was no doubt, the right woman at the right time to fill that void.
She had come from a place where she had received love and attention, and lived a life unlike that of a slave. It was clear for Patsy to see that Ezekiel was a strong and determined man, and he was free. His presence, no doubt, eased some of the fears and concerns she may have had in her new environment. It’s not hard to understand why they would let there be no barrier to their romance. In fact, what they shared together revealed itself in the following year, when Patsy gave birth to their daughter, who they named Mary.
John Coe was probably wondering how so much, could have taken place between the two, in a short period of time and right under his nose. Patsy very well could have lived out her life without any children, and the link between her and the white Coes, would have died with her. However, the birth of Mary, put that notion to rest. Nevertheless, John Coe was not without some recourse. Patsy, after all was a slave, and he had possession of her. So he decided to end her and Ezekiel’s relationship. It’s uncertain, but something that was written in William Lynwood Montell’s 1970, “The Saga of Coe Ridge” on page 53 may have had a bit of merit in this situation. He wrote, that a Mrs. Myrtle Kerr informed him of the following:
“That her grandmother, who was a Coe, came into possession of Mary, a daughter of Zeke (Ezekiel) and Patsy Ann Coe, because Patsy told her that Mary was to be sold and thereupon Mrs. Kerr’s grandmother went to Mahster Coe to tell him not to sell Mary. Coe then agreed that she could take Mary as her own, by deducting her cost from her portion of the estate.”
It’s hard to say whether or not, Mrs. Myrtle Kerr’s recollection of this situation is accurate. Nevertheless, it is definitely food for thought.
John Coe’s decision was a big setback for Ezekiel. Just when he thought he had the worst part of his life behind him, this had to happen. But he wasn’t willing to just walk away and do nothing. He was determined to do all that he could, to make Patsy and their child a part of his life. Thereby, during this lonely and empty period, Ezekiel sought out opportunities and worked tirelessly, at whatever job became available. His hope was to earn enough money to buy Patsy and his daughter Mary’s freedom. Unknown to him at the time, even though the two people he cared so dearly for were valued and given a price, they were not for sale. In spite of that