Robert D. Cody

A View Inside the Confederacy: Ordinance of Secession Milledgeville, Georgia – 21 January 1861

Ordinance_of_Secession_Milledgeville,_Georgia_1861

What a surreal experience to read family centric, first person accounts of the same historical period from both sides of slavery — hearing the voice of the slave and the slave owner.

By way of a WPA Slave Narrative, my 4th uncle Pierce CODY (brother-cousin of Catie and Ailey) gives insight to my family’s daily work and spiritual life on Robert D. CODY’s plantation.

Bob CODY was the grandson of Edmund CODY. Pierce was owned by this line, as were most of my maternal Ancestors — Catie, Ailey II, Ailey I, Dicey (Dorothy) and Rachel. Uncle Pierce lived to be an old man, his narrative recorded May 8, 1937.

MDCody_1858AugustaI’ll be writing more of Uncle Pierce’s story in the days ahead. What I’d give to have a picture of him!:)

From Claude Carr CODY, son of Madison Derrell CODY, I’ve an insider’s view of the other slave holding family of my Warren County Ancestors.

Me and My Folks is C.C.’s family journal, relaying Madison’s narrative and sharing his correspondence to family, friends and prominent politicians of the time. It’s intimate and often very uncomfortable for me to read.

Madison initially owned my paternal CODY Ancestors — Pierce’s father (my 5th […]

To Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil – Part I

Pierce CODY ~ WPA Slave NarrativeInteresting enough, this is a challenging post for me to pen.

I’ve always been respectful of Ancestors — both their flawed nature and their personal journeys. I’ve never written to deliberately expose an Ancestor’s faults or failures. I’ve recognized there are some stories appropriate for the Internet, and others not.

I have though always vested in telling the truth and not “interpreting” history to make myself or other family members more comfortable. I stick to the facts of what I know and learn, leaving interpretation — and judgement — to the reader.

I have reservations/conflicts writing today about the CODY family that owned many of my Warren County Georgia Ancestors — including my 4th Grandmother Catie and her Sister Ailey.

So know this documentation isn’t about vengeance — slave owning CODY Ancestors have had to answer for their actions themselves.

Today’s post is for posterity of record, so should someone in my line pick-up the work, they’ll know which questions remain and which have been answered.

I also write to make sense of it all, as much of the information I’ve learned over the past 24 hours, I’ve chased for 14+ years! A very surreal experience, I need to “see” it mapped out.

Chronology…

9/11: I wrote about the reunion of Sisters Ailey and Catie, separated at ages 12 and 10 years, when Catie was loaned to Rev. James Madison DICKEY as he traveled to oversee the reconstruction of the Smyrna Church in Wilkes County. As I put […]

LUCKIE DANIELS: 2014 SPRING ANCESTOR CHALLENGE

Catie WINGFIELD-DORSEYMystery of The Smyrna Church: Retracing Rev. DICKEY’S Historical Footprints

Challenge: Under what conditions was Catie given and/or sold to J.M. Dickey in 1859-60 & which CODY owner was involved in this transaction?
Ancestor(s): 4th Great Grandmother Catherine WINGFIELD DORSEY (b. abt 1850 – d. 1933)
Others: Slaveowners – Robert Donnelson CODY & Rev. James Madison DICKEY
Years: 1859-1865
Tribe(s): Georgia – Wilkes & Warren County
Summary: Mystery of The Smyrna Church: Retracing Rev. DICKEY’S Historical Footprints

QUESTIONS:

  1. Did Minister Dickey purchase Catie or was she loaned by her CODY owner?
  2. Where did Catie go, once Reverend DICKEY left Wilkes in 1862 — still 3 years before Emancipation?
  3. Who Pastored Smyrna Church AFTER Rev. DICKEY? Could Catie have been given to another family in 1862/63?
  4. How did Minister DICKEY cross paths with Catie’s owner anyway? What was their connection?

REFERENCES:

Luckie Daniels – What Reference Materials Do I Need?

  • Estate Inventory for Robert Donelson CODY
  • Will of Robert D. CODY
  • Confirmation of HARDSHELL BAPTIST church attendance by Robert CODY
  • Insurance Policy if Catie was “loaned” to DICKEY
  • Smyrna Church Roster/Minutes
  • DICKEY bible […]

Mystery of The Smyrna Church: Retracing Rev. DICKEY’S Historical Footprints

The Smyrna ChurchIf you’ve been on the Our Georgia Roots journey since its inception, sometime in 1998/99, you know I sought Ailey, my 4th Grandmother Catie’s Sister for a very long time before discovering her in 2010 via the 1870 Warrenton Census married as Ailey DAWSON, and then eventually being connected to Ailey’s descendant Gwen and my DAWSON/DORSEY/JONES family in 2011.

Even longer than seeking Ailey, I’ve sought to understood how it came to be a family not known for selling slaves (CODY) somehow allowed a 10 year old Catie to leave Warren County Georgia in 1859, to accompany Rev. James Madison DICKEY as he traveled to Wilkes County to oversee the reconstruction of The Smyrna Church.

Did Minister Dickey purchase Catie or was she loaned by her CODY owner? Where did Catie go, once Reverend DICKEY left Wilkes in 1862 — still 3 years before Emancipation? How did Minister DICKEY cross paths with Catie’s owner anyway? What was their connection?

So no one could have been more surprised than me when recently working on the Ailey & Catie post, the Sisters began whispering in my ear. Subtle thoughts yes, but clear as a bell — “you know Madison Derrelle CODY didn’t own Catie, it was Robert Donnelson CODY. That’s the connection you’ve been missing with the minister. Go back to Pierce’s narrative, it’s there…”

Just like that, in the […]