The Journey in Uncovering Harry Flowers’ Early Life: The Llambias

When I enlisted and before that I lived here in St. Augustine. I was born and brought up here…I was a slave and belonged to Llambias There were four brothers and they all lived together and we all lived right in the yard with them and I did not belong to any particular one. They were named, Tony, Jerome, Jonny, and Dale. They are all dead. They were all bachelors and they did not have families. My father and mother are dead. There were no fellow servants only our own family. I have three brothers living, one older and two younger. They are named John, Dowings, and Alfonse…My father died with consumption. My mother died of old age.

Antonio Pappy, Deposition B, March 29, 1897

We left off introduced to four bachelor brothers who owned the Pappy family: Tony, Jerome, Johnny, and Dale Llambias. We were also introduced to Antonio Pappy’s living relative–three brothers, John, Dowings, and Alfonse Pappy. My hope is that the Pappy’s history of slavery will lead us to Harry’s for they were friends who grew up together. If not, well I just discovered another family to conduct research on which is just what I need…

The Llambias Family

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sources for Images

Today, the Llambias home is a national landmark within the St. Augustine Town Plan Historic District. Although it is not the oldest building in St. Augustine, this home is one of the few buildings to that date back to Spanish colonial times. The home was originally owned by Pedro Fernandez in the late 1700s and acquired by the Llambias family in the 800s. Owned by Joseph A. Llambia and Catalina Usina, the married couple would have four boys–Michale George, Joseph Francis, John, and a younger child whose name I do know.  This does not match the names of the four bachelor Llambias sons who owned the Pappy brothers prior to the Civil War. Dead end #1.

The surname Llambias is of Minorcan descent. Minorca is a small island off the coast of Spain (no worries I had to Google it as well). Immigrants would sail off from this island to the New World with their eyes set on one destination, the Florida Colony to raise cotton, indigo, silk,  olives, and grapes for wine. Minocrans first settled in New Smyrna, Florida and in 1768, Minorcans migrated to St. Augustine. An important characteristic of the Minorcans to note is their surnames.  Among the most common surnames is Papi, sometimes spelled Pappy. the Pappys were previously owned and later enslaved within a micro-Minorcan slave trade.

I do not want to dive into a full post about the Minorcan, yet it seems as if the Pappy brothers were owned by descendants of this group. There is a possibly that William, Frank, and Antonio could have been half-Minorcan as well.

21st USCT

As you may note, the brothers are listed as having a brown complexion, brown hair, and gray eyes as oppose to the black, black, and black description typically seen. There differences were noted. Perhaps they were mulatto, half-Black and half-Minorcan (European/Spaniard/white?). Now lets go back to Tony, Jerome, Johnny, and Dale. It took me a while to find a lead, but here is the Llambias in the 1850 Federal Census.

record-image

Link (1850 Census)

In 1850, Johnny (25,grocrer), Dale (22,painter), Jerome (clerk,28), and Antonio (carpenter,30) lived with their mother Anna and sister, Barbara.  Anna is the daughter-in-law of Joseph and Carina Llambias, the owners of the historic Llambias home. The Llambias’ listed race–mulatto. This changes with the 1885 Florida State Census.

record-image (1)

Link (1885 Florida State Census)

In this census, three brothers are listed, Jerome (64), Antonio (65), and Dale (57). All were listed as white. Now, what does this have to do with Harry? Well, I may not have uncover his slave roots, but I found a lead from the Llambias and the 1850 Federal Census–neighbors.

Until the next post,

Christina

Links:

Minocrans in Florida

Minocrans in St. Augustine, Florida

History of the Llambias Home

October: Homecoming, Conferences, and Papers

As October draws to an end, I made a promise to myself that my last blog post would not be from September and I will remain true to this promise. October has been a month full of blessings. So here is a post about my latest adventures.

Homecoming

No one expected me back for Homecoming. I jokingly told everyone during my senior year I was taking a five to ten year break from Messiah College. It all changed the Thursday before Homecoming. Last Homecoming, I assisted in an annual brunch for the multicultural and international alumni. It is usually a hit or miss event; however, in 2013 only four to five alumni attended the event. The student leaders within the Office of Multicultural Affairs personally invited alumni back through letters and phone calls, but our efforts were in vain, or so it seemed. At the event, one of the founding members of the Black Student Union attended and through her presence an idea was birthed. What if we held an event honoring the founding members of these organizations (Asian Student Association, African Student Union, Black Student Union, ISA MuKappa, La Alianza Latina, and the Multicultural Council)? The idea was born and through the work of Cora Hines, who is currently the Vice President of Diversity Affairs (my previous position), the event was held this October. It was truly a beautiful event and although many of the honorees could not attend, the simple act of recognizing their efforts was enough. All were honor, including myself!!!, with the Multicultural and International Student Impact Award.

wpid-wp-1414723105230.jpeg

wpid-wp-1414723058156.jpeg

Black Doctoral Network Conference 2014

Making the Connection was this year’s theme. I was encouraged by my professor to submit a proposal for this conference and to both of our surprise it was submitted. I gave a 15 minute presentation on ‘History Beyond Theory: Connecting Biographies, Institutional Memory, and Diverse Publics’. Overall, it went well and people asked questions…which is always a good sign. The conference included multiple panels, keynote speakers, workshops, and sessions. Keynote speakers included Dr. Khalil Muhammad, Director of Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (one of my favorites places), Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and Camille Ragin. What struck me was during Dr. Guy-Sheftall’s presentation. She casually brought up her mini-vacation with Alice Walker and her discussion of womanist and feminist. Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender. Beautiful analogy, but who has the privilege of hanging out with Dr. Walker in that manner. I was extremely jealous. Overall, it was an amazing conference with great networking opportunities with black professionals across the nation. If you are a black professional or simply an undergraduate or graduate student, check out the Black Doctoral Network. You will not regret it.

Papers

I am currently working on two papers–one for my historical methods course and another for my introducation to library science course. The first is a historiography paper on Dr. Carter Woodson’s motivation behind writing black history and how scholars have either disagreed or agreed with his reasoning overtime. My second paper explores the beginning of the Schomburg Center and the influence the Harlem Renaissance played in its development. I will also be completing research on finding Harry’s slave roots as well as a post dedicated to finding your family’s history. So look out for these posts!

Also today the Rachel Flowers’ jazz suite was played at Messiah College. I received so many messages, videos, and was even placed on speaker phone. It was an amazing performance and my heart was full of joy. Hopefully I can get a recording up soon for you all to enjoy the musical production as well.

Until the next post!

Christina

Well Well Well

In the midst of finalizing housing for graduation school, (sending in payments next week!), and doing research, my laptop broke. It has been an on and off relationship with my computer, literally sometimes it would turn on and sometimes it would turn off. Luckily, it was not the hard drive and I was able to store all essential documents to a flash drive. As a computer technician, it was not hard to locate the problem, but after spending around $100 in parts and opening up my computer, I realized it was an issue I was unable to fix. Great!

What does this mean? Well, hopefully I will begin computer shopping in the next week or so, but as far as blog post, as you can see, they will not be up for a while. It is nice, I have to say, to spend time away from electronics; however, it does not help with job hunting. Most of my time is spend looking for a last minute summer job (which has been going well) and jobs in Boston when I move up there in early August. Other than that, I have journeyed into a bookstore, 2nd Charles.It was my first time there. We pulled up to the place and the first thing I saw was a bin of free books. I screamed and dug through the bin for about 30 minutes with my mom frowning upon my strange addiction to books. I ended up picking two novels one by Anne Moody, the other I am unsure. I also found a Billie Holiday CD collection.

Other non-exciting things in my life

1. I turned 22 and spend the day at home while my mom and step dad vacationed in Orlando…
2. Watched Law and Order SVU of course
3. Began reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks….MUST READ!
4. Started watching the show Catfish…seriously people are sending thousands of bucks to people they met online only to find out they are not who they say they are. Easily an addictive show.
5. Helped my mom with her graduate school work. She is getting her MDiv. We are officially in graduate school together!

Other than that life is boring. I have been home for a month, which is the longest period of time I have ever stayed at home and now I am starting to realized why now. But, I will be gone soon.

Until the next post

Christina

Where Have I Been?

Senior year has been busy. 

I had my multiple leadership roles, 15 credits of class, and my honors thesis. It has been a stressful, yet wonderful year that is finally wrapping up. I I just submitted in Roots of a Hidden Legacy: The Story of the Flowers Family to my research adviser. And I am also proud to announce that I have finished the Flowers family website, flowersfamilyproject.wordpress.com. This website will also feature my new blog. Yes, I know Diary of a (Future) Historian has been a great joy in my life; however, keeping up with two blogs will be a challenge. My adventures are not over, I am moving this blog to my new blog where I will continue to post updates about the Flowers family. 

Join me on this new journey. 

Christina 

Senior Year: The Final Chapter

It has arrived. Less than 99 days until I graduate and I am ready, to some degree

I am ready to graduate and to not be overly busy with classes, leadership, mentoring, etc. I am tired. I was hoping for an easy, by easy I mean not as stressful, final semester, but at the end of the day, I am proud to hold the leadership roles that I have. I only wish for more time in one day, is that too much to ask for? In terms of post-undergraduate life, I am not worry at the moment. Perhaps I am overly optimistic and I am certain I will secure a job or graduate school. Who knows? Maybe in a future post, I will be frantically searching for a job at the last minute. I do have one interview for a graduate school in Boston which I am excited about, but I did receive one decline from a graduate school in Chicago. In terms of jobs, I am searching, seeing what is out there, and continuing to decide whether I will migrate back South to the land of warm weather and sweet tea, not unsweetened or raspberry tea. On a complete tangent, why is this consider an alternative to sweet tea everywhere I go? The irony in looking for jobs focus on history is that they require previous professional experience. I need more professional experience, yet if this is a prerequisite to 99% of the jobs I am looking at how will I ever gain this experience? Yes, I could apply to a multitude of internships, but majority of these internships are part-time and unpaid. I also need to eat and pay bills, so this route rarely works. Again, the woes of being a college senior. 

Despite my readiness to jump into the “real world” outside of my college, I am not ready to depart from my research. Although the Flowers family project is great, I feel as if it only connects to my college because they were my institution’s first black students. There story does not connect to other universities and would probably hold little importance there. It will be a sad day when a researcher is removed from her research or finishes the Flowers’ story. However, this will not happen anytime soon. I can completely finish Rachel’s story in 2052 when I am 60 years old. I understand and respect the government’s 72 year long release period after each census year, but it is such a roadblock for genealogist, researchers, and families digging into the past. There should be exceptions to the rule. I cannot wait until I am 60 years old to complete Rachel’s story, I will be dead by the time the last census records for Vincent are released! All jokes aside, I will seriously be dead or over 100 years of age. 

At the moment, I am preparing for the 2014 Center of Public Humanities Symposium tomorrow afternoon. I will be presenting on I, Too, Sing America: Lessons of Cultural Resilience from Messiah College Alumni Rachel Flowers and Vincent Flowers. I am nervous. I cringe every time I pass by the classroom I am presenting in. I am a good public speaker, but everyone is looking forward to this presentation which means it must be good. Pressure is on and I have less than 24 hours to finish preparing for this. Outside of preparing for this presentation, I am beginning to write the Flowers’ biography, finalize the website, and the logistics behind accomplishing that. I am still looking for a surviving member of the Flowers family as well as finding more photos. I learning ArcGIS, Microsoft Access, coding, research methods, and even learning how to navigate Google Earth. Their story awaits to be written and I am ready to begin. 

 

Until the next post!

Christina

 

 

Time For Something New

Was not planning on the For Evers series to be stretched this long. I was hoping I would trace his family as far back as I could, but it was much challenging then I thought. It is quite impossible with missing and limited records. I am quite disappointed, but I did all I could do, but schoolwork got in the way as well. Stay tune for the next post!

Christina

Hilda Flowers: Mississippi Civil Right and Grassroots movements

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) focused on getting students involved in nonviolent civil rights and grassroots organizing. SNCC members assisted black voters in the rural South and help formed the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. The SNCC members of Philadelphia faced daily harassment from local authorities who responded to white fears of black militancy and racial violence. In 1966, the SNCC office was raided by a heavily armed, eighty men force.  Headlines suggested that dynamite was found in the office and several arrest were made. In reality, dynamite was found at the apartment used by Young Militants, a group associated with NAACP not SNCC. The SNCC office of Philadelphia never recovered from the raid.

In 1963, Hilda became the administrative secretary for the Philadelphia chapter of SNCC. She supervised the office, gather volunteers, assisted with fundraising, and spoke at colleges and churches. According to this newsletter, Hilda left in 1964, meaning she was not in the office during the raid, yet she could have been for she began working on another project through SNCC.

image

In 1964, Geraldine, Hilda’s daughter moved to Mississippi to work with SNCC in establishing educational programs for children. She co-founded the Mississippi institute for Early Childhood Education. Geraldine left Mississippi in 1966 and became director of the regional Training Office for Head Start Programs at New York University.

Hilda moved to Mississippi in 1966 to continued her daughter’s work. Talk about a good mother. She worked as a trainer for the Poor People’s Corporation and worked for Friends of Children of Mississippi. In Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazer and Torchbearers, 1941-1945 by Vicki L. Crawford and others, Hilda wrote in her diary,

The ladies of the sewing group arrived at 9:30 am ready to learn and work, about ten of them. A great group. We talked about organizing a business, what has to go into it. That, and how much they were willing to order to make that grow. They are determined to learn cutting. They are determined to learn to sew. They set up machines; they practice sewing straight seams, cutting to save cloth’s quality. A very good day…These ladies are fast learners; they only need the opportunity, that’s all. “

This is from her diary at the Mississippi Archives. I cannot wait to visit.

She served as a Parent Involvement Coordinator and was a member of the advisory board for the Mississippi Institute for Early Childhood Education resigning in 1973. She also owned a small business, Clifford’s House of Gifts and was a member of the Business and Professional Club, her big sis Rachel was also a member in Philly.

Well, until the next post.

 

CJT