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 Slave Once Sold at Auction Here is Almost 100

                  Copied from Mexico Weekly :Ledger, May 19, 1932 p3 c2


     J.B. DeVault and J. Earl Brown enjoyed a visit Wednesday at New Florence, with Martha Garrett, old Negro woman and former slave, now almost 100 years old, who is alert and active and recalls that she was sold as a slave at auction on the courthouse square here at Mexico, in the days of slavery before the War between the States.

     Martha Garrett, despite her years, had walked three miles the day the Mexico men saw her.

     Her story is an interesting , historic one. She came here as a slave girl when two families, the Johnsons and Taylors, drove through Franklin County, Kentucky, in ox carts.  They crossed the Missouri River at Herman, and moved into a large house, near the old camp grounds here.

     The head of the family soon died, and to settle the estate, she was put up at auction, on a platform erected for the purpose in  the courthouse yard, and offered for sale.  She began to cry and the people offering her for sale refused to separate her from her mother, Biddie Garrett, and they were both sold together. 

     They were purchased by Alex Carter and taken to his farm, north of Mexico. They remained with Mr. Carter until about two years before her mother’s death, many years after the civil war. Although offered their liberty, they were given such a good home by Mr. Carter, they refused to leave his family. Mr. Carter was the father of the late Judge Alex Carter.

     Martha married a man by the name of George Lewis, and moved to south of New Florence, and the couple bought 120 acres of timber land, which, after many years, they paid for and cleared of timber. Lewis lived until about three years ago and died a very old man.

     Martha is still enjoying good health, and acts very much like a woman of sixty years. She does not know her age but she was working for some of Mr. Carter’s folks in Mexico when the survey was made for the North Missouri Railroad in the 50’s.

     She told the Mexico men that the town then had one store, conducted by a Mr. Arnold, and the hotel proprietor was Mr. Inlow,  and  that there was a blacksmith here, whose name she did not recall.  She said all the slaves were well treated by their owners in this territory as far as she knew, with the exception of a slave trader, and that Negroes were much afraid of falling into his hands.  She is a Methodist, and is very devout and religious.