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“Ex-Slave of Page Wants to Hear of People Long Dead”

March 27, 2009

From the Sept. 21, 1928 issue of the PN&C

Mary Powell of Columbus, Ohio, an aged colored woman who seems to have belonged to the Almonds of this county in slave times, some time ago wrote a letter addressed to ‘The Old Baptist Church and David Almond, Luray, Va.’ in which she made inquiry of the people she knew in her younger days spent in Page. In our Aug. 31 issue reference was made to this old woman in an article dealing with the old ex-slaves of the county, who are still living. That article based on information given by John P. Washington, colored, said that Mary Powell left here about 1867, and lived for years with a family at Wheeling, W.Va. who made provision for her support in an institution for the aged in Ohio, Washington’s report that she is 109 years old is not sustained in the letter which is reproduced below:

This letter makes inquiry of people who without an exception have passed away , some of them fifty years ago. It well shows how the minds of the old dwell in the past. The letter was doubtless written for the old woman by some one else.

Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 29, 1928

Mr. Almond: – I felt like I wanted to write to you to know who all is living. Is Tommy and Ida living and is their mother living? Is Mrs. Bell Borst living? Is her husband living? Is Mrs. Betty Ashby living? Is Dr. Almond living. Are any of the Lionbergers and Jordans living? Any of the Buracker family?

I am putting all of the old pastors of the church down by name. I want you to know that I have not forgotten all of the old pastors. There was Ambrose Booton, Is preacher Lauck living?

The 18th of last May I was 96 years old, and the only letter I had was from this church. Give my best regards to anyone I ever knew. I expect to die in the Lord. If any of the boys are living tell them to send me something for Christmas.

Mary Powell
Henry Powell’s widow
1240 E. Long St.
Columbus, O.

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