As John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff, laments the lack of “compromise” that led to the Civil War it is useful to look back at the many effects of the war. One effect was the separation of slave families and the monumental efforts some of them had to go through to reunite with their kin, as the story below demonstrates.
Parted as Slaves, Father Meets Son After Forty-Five Years
After War is Ended, Former Slave Settles in New England—And Is Unable to Find Trace of His Son Until Recently—The Son Has Been Engaged in Orange Growing In Sorento, Fla. –The Story of a Generation Ago—Which Caused a Division Between North and South
Dec. 19, 1903
Lynn, Mass., Dec. 5—The old slave holding days before the civil war are brought to mind by the story of William J. Taylor, of No. 21 West Street, this city. The story is of the times the present generation can hardly realize, but which were real to the people of that generation, and which caused the division between the North and the South, and which finally resulted in the abolition of slavery.
Before the war William J. Taylor, one of the most respected men of this city, lived in North Carolina, and was the property of a white man who claimed him as his own. In 1858 his master sold him away from his family, as was the custom in that day, and that part of the story practically ended.
He had a son born to him a few months after he was sold and that son he never saw until this week. In 1862 Taylor came North and tasted for the first time the sweets of freedom, which he had been longing for all his life up to that time. He settled in West Lyon, and became one of its most respected citizens.
As soon as he was able he carried out his desire to learn something of his family, and after persistent advertising got trace of his brother in 1897, whom he had not heard from for over forty years. Through this medium he learned of the whereabouts of his son, whom he had never seen, and immediately opened up a correspondence with him, the son living in Florida. The result was that the son, Lewis O. Taylor, arrived in Lynn last Monday evening and is now with his father, and it is needless to say both are happy, the father rejoicing in the son he never saw and the son equally happy in finding his father.
The son has been engaged in orange growing in Sorento, Fla. and he has a wife and child there. He thought his family had better remain in Southland until Spring, and if he can obtain a situation here he will remain near his father and bring on his family, when the cold of the Winter season is over.