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From Honor to Oblivion

Samuel - In 1861 Amos’ son Samuel (1833-1917) enlisted in the Confederate Army and eventually became the Colonel of the Alabama 35th Infantry, in which capacity he served for four years. Dragged off the battle field at the “Battle of Franklin” in November, 1864, shot “nearly head to foot,” he survived to age 83. Twisted by the profound bitterness, racism, and savage hatred of the Reconstruction era, his son Shalor (1861-1933), murdered a black man in the spring of 1884. A fugitive, Shalor fled to Indian Territory, soon to become the state of Oklahoma, became a farmer and started a family. In 1933 Shalor’s son, also named Shalor (1903-1959), the author’s father, traveled to California with his wife and family as part of the so-called “Okie Migration,” a journey that ended in despair and shattered dreams, but which ultimately set the stage for a new beginning.

Chapter One

      At about half past nine in the morning on Sunday, the twenty-sixth of May, in the year 1861, the sort of morning that presages a day of warm sunshine and silvery clouds propelled by the lightest of breezes, a most unusual gathering, one virtually unprecedented in the storied history of the region in which it was to occur, was about to get underway at the Centre Star Presbyterian Church, near the village of Masonville, Alabama, just a few miles south of the Tennessee line. On an ordinary Sunday, depending on the manner in which the word “ordinary” might possibly be construed in that very troubled time and place, several dozen families from the surrounding area, members of the congregation, having traveled by buggy, wagon, and horseback, and a few by shanks’ mare, would have already arrived, or would be converging on, the church with the glowing prospect of attending a service and hearing a sermon delivered by 41-year-old Rev. Claiborne Mayes Coffee, the somewhat hatchet-faced great nephew of General John Coffee, the local hero who had so valiantly served under “Mad” Andrew Jackson during the Creek Wars. This particular morning, however, was different…


pp. 779-781 “In 1836, Levi Woodbury, Secretary of the Treasury...” See The Wool Textile Industry in Great Britain [no general editor cited] Routledge and K. Paul (publisher) London and Boston, 1972 See also The Farmer’s Cabinet...” Volume III, Prouty, Libby & Prouty (publisher) Wilmington, Delaware, p. 372 See also “Spinning Mule” Wikipedia (online) See also “Power Loom” Wikipedia (online) Power_loom See also Navigating Failure, Bankruptcy and Commercial Society in Antebellum America, Balleisen, Edward J. (author) The University of North Carolina Press (publisher) Chapel Hill and London, 2001 pp. 27-38, 48-53 See also “Arthur Pendleton Bagby” Alabama Department of Archives and History (online) See also “Panic of 1837 Political Cartoon” Encyclopedia of Alabama (online) http:// See also “Jacksonian Monetary Policy, Specie Flows, and the Panic of 1837” Rousseau, Peter L. (author) The Journal of Economic History Vol. 62, No. 2 (Jun., 2002), pp. 457-48 JSTOR (online) https:// See also “Congress passes the Surplus Revenue Act” The History Engine (online) 536#:~:text=According%20to%20a%20Treasury%20Department,the%20support% 20of%20Andrew%20Jackson.&text=Jackson%20began%20to%20assert%20that% 20its%20distribution%20would%20be%20unconstitutional. See also “Panic of 1837” Wikipedia (online) (All retrieved November 29, 2020)

p. 783 “n July 11, 1836, Jackson issued the so-called “Specie Circular”...” See “Specie Circular” Wikipedia (online) Specie_Circular#:~:text=The%20Specie%20Circular%20is%20a,be%20in%20gol d%20and%20silver. See also “No. 95 Specie Circular” Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, Macdonald, William (editor) The Macmillan Company, New York, 1916, p. 359 See also “Luddite” Wikipedia (online) https:// See also “When 'Luddites' Attack: Destroying Machines To Save Their Jobs” NPR - National Public Radio (online) https:// to-save-their-jobs (All retrieved November 29, 2020)

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