dee_burris: (Default)
Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2011-02-03 06:54 pm

Friends of Friends Friday: Wiley

Last summer, my dad and I made the rounds of several little Pope County cemeteries close to the Burris homeplace, looking for graves of Burrises and allied families.

I was surprised to see this stone in Appleton Cemetery - it is considered a "white" cemetery.

Wiley (black boy) died Feb 26 1857
about 28 years old - servant of Joe Poe

Obviously, that's not a 150 year old stone, either in condition or language. I remember that I remarked cryptically to my dad that someone had used a strange euphemism for the word slave when the stone was carved. Dad wondered if there was more to it than that, given that Wiley was buried in a cemetery for whites.

Joe Poe was a landowner in Pope County with a very large family. I checked the 1860 Federal Census Slave Schedule, and did not find him listed, although he and his family were enumerated in the 1860 census.

So I went back to 1850. He had one male slave, 20 years old in that census.

Maybe Dad was right.

Maybe Wiley had more significance to Joe Poe than "just" a slave...

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