Ezekiel and Patsy

The year 1854 also brought life, when Patsy gave birth to a son named John. If namesake was a measure of what effect John Coe had on Ezekiel and Patsy’s life, then this gesture speaks for itself.

After john Coe’s death, there was little change to the arrangement and living conditions of Patsy and her children, Betty and Ransom. It no doubt gave them all a great deal of comfort. But with that said, the idea of Patsy’s first born, Mary, living apart from the rest of them, had to be a troubling thought. In Mary’s case, one has to wonder if a bit of assurance hadn’t been taken out, to assure that Patsy’s identity remained a secret. Nevertheless, this was the way it was and the way it would be, until around 1858.

With everything pretty much as it was when John Coe was living, the biggest and most devastating change for these slaves wouldn’t occur until the above mentioned year. It was the year that Nancy Coe would join her husband, John in the hereafter. Her death would trigger what he called for in his Will, which sent Patsy and all t he others to their designated homes. Outside of all the sadness surrounding that event, there also came a little joy with the birth of Ezekiel and Patsy’s daughter, Sarah. John Coe had made a conscious decision to split his slaves up, and one has to wonder whether or not it was based on the economics of their upkeep. Nevertheless, there was no way he was about to sell them, and there was no way he was about to let them go free.

John Coe’s children didn’t seem to be the type of folks, who took a real interest in owning slaves. However, they did take possession of Ezekiel’s family and the others. Perhaps their participation had everything to do with kinship, and their loyalty to their father. It can’t be said with any real deliberation, that in the various homes in which Patsy and her children went, that they received preferential treatment, but its believed that they did. Still, in the manner in which they were split up, it definitely had to have been a blow to a family who perhaps had their eye on when they could partake in some of the same freedoms and opportunities, that the white folks around them partook in. In conjunction with all that seem to be going against them, Ezekiel, who had to feed and provide for himself, was without the earning power he relied on when John Coe and his wife were alive. He was back to looking for work in other places. Not only that, from his vantage point and that of Patsy and his children, for him to visit with them all in a single day, was no doubt a thing of the past. The notion that he might be able to someday put himself in a position to attain his family’s freedom was obscure at best. If there was any consolation in their predicament, it was that they were all alive and they never gave up hope.

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