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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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July 5, 2011     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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July 5, 2011
 

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pirit of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE James Taylor presents family history to, Sons of Confederacy BRYAN CLARK Spirit Staff RIPPON -- James Taylor, a for- mer local coach and teacher as well as a co-founder of the Jefferson County Black History Preserva- tion Society, was the guest speak- er at the June meeting of the Jef- ferson County camp of the Henry Kyd Douglas Sons of the Confed- eracy. Taylor spoke frankly about the history of his and other black families in Jefferson County at the time of the Civil War. Doug Perks introduced Taylor and explained why he had been invited to speak at the meeting. "[Taylor] frequently comes to the Library and Museum, and there we have a little round table. We've solved many problems around that round table. One day he came in and he told this story." "I didn't have much interest in the Civil War," began Tay- lor, "until one day I went to my mother's father's house, and I saw my mother's bible. I opened it up and there was this little ar- ticle from the Spirit of Jefferson - I almost missed it - and the ar- ticle said he came with Banks." Major General Nathaniel Banks was a Union commander who fought against Lieutenant Gener- al Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson at Winchester in 1862. "Now I'm gonna mention a couple of Union generals, so don't get upset," joked Taylor. The room erupted in laughter. "I found out that he (Taylor's great grandfather) was at Win, chester with the Union Army when they retreated back to the 'contra- band camp' at Harpers Ferry. I didn't know that much about 'con- traband', so I did a little research." "What I found out was that during the Civil War - around 1861 - there were three slaves that were contracted to work for the Confederate Army, and they didn't like that but there wasn't anything they could do about it." The slaves were then told, Tay- lor explained, that once they were finished they would be transferred to work for the Confederate Army in North Carolina. "They decided they didn't want to do that. They decided to escape," said Taylor. "Not far from there was a Union camp called Fort Monroe. They rowed to Fort Monroe, not knowing whether they would be accepted or not because this was still 1861." The Emancipation Proclamation was not issued un- til the beginning of 1863, and so slaves captured in the North were still sometimes retumed to slav- ery in the South. "They went to General But- ler, who was running Fort Mon- roe, and said, 'Please, don't send us back.' " said Taylor. "Gener- al Butler did not know what to do, and he started to send them back." When Butler checked with his superiors, continued Taylor, the decision was made not to send the slaves back be- cause if sent back they would be working for the Confederate Army again. "So General Butler decided to keep them as 'contra- band,' "Taylor concluded. As Stonewall Jackson advanced, the Union Army was forced to re- treat from Winchester through Charles Town all the way to Harp- ers Ferry, where a large'contraband camp' was established for thou- sands of escaped slaves. Taylor said that his great grandfather had bro- ken away and hid out somewhere in Berkeley County for a time until he got word of the camp established at Harpers Ferry. Escaped slaves were still not safe in the contraband camps, as Taylor explained, because af- ter a time slave owners from the Shenandoah Valley began to come to Harpers Ferry to recap- ture escaped slaves. Further, he explained, food shortages, dis- ease and joblessness made life exceedingly difficult for resi- dents of the camps. Taylor explained that, after a time, the Freedmen's Bureau was established by the War De- partment with the objective of establishing churches, schools and employment opportunities for former slaves. Reverend Na- than C. Brackett was charged with completing this task for the entire Shenandoah Valley. Taylor said that Brackett ini- tially "found nothing but chaos" in the camps, but, through con- stant work, he established Storer College. Storer College was a pre- dominantly black university Which succeeded in training a large num- ber of black teachers throughout its 90 years of existence. Taylor's story was greeted with great interest by members of the Sons of the Confederacy. In a lat- er interview member Danny Lutz, who has an extensive knowledge of local history, said that Taylor had contributed a great deal of new historical information to the group. "When I was a child," said Lutz, "most of these things were only spoken about in whispers." Lutz said that the Value of histo- ry is to place the current day with- in a broader, more expansive per- spective. "We must acknowledge where we have been so that we can see where we're going," he said. Taylor's simple yet powerful refrain throughout the presenta- tion echoed this sentiment, "You can't change history," he said. JEWELERS, INC. A B ARNOLD & BAILEY Family Law DUI Divorce Gregory A. Bailey S./=undrew Arnold 208 North George Street Charles Town, WV 25414 Voice: 304-725-2002 or 304-876-1575 info@acbattorneys.corn News. Teen workers lend lp" a he lng hand to e area seniors TONI MILBOURNE Spirit Staff CHARLES TOWN - The Jefferson County Council on Aging has partnered with a teen program sponsored through the Catholic Diocese of Arlington in an effort to help area senior citizens receive needed assis- tance with home improvement projects. Elfreda Slack, with the JC- COA, worked with WorkCamp Coordinator Terry Simons who saw a need in the Jeffer- son County area. Simons led a group of teens who were housed at Millbrook High School in nearby Winchester, Va., who worked on approximately nine projects in Jefferson as well as on projects in Frederick, Clarke, Warren and Shenandoah coun- ties in Virginia. Slack said that the program is one of the most rewarding ones she has ever been involved in. "It was wonderful what they did for seniors and it cost noth- ing," Slack said. All materials were paid for by the group and all labor came at the hands of teens reaching out to help those less fortunate than themselves. Ranson senior Mary El- len Goff was the recipient of the hard work of some of the teens. The seven-member group worked at her modest home landscaping her prop- erty, trimming bushes and mulching to make the outward appearance bright. The teens then, with the supervision of adult mentors, replaced 12 windows in Goff's home to, make them more effective in keeping out cold weather. "Those old windows were 47 years old," Goff said as she showed off the new windows around her home. In addition, Goff shared, the group took out a window unit air condi- tion that 'had been in place since 1997 and completely cleaned it before restoring it to its place. Sharon Staubs, whose mother Elizabeth Domer also received assistance with the rebuilding of a deck and the installation of a brand new wheelchair ramp, new windows and roofing work, Local teacher gets SHENANDOAH JUNC- year- for teachers m pursue TION- Carolyn Thomas,a worthy projects in science teacher at Wildwood Middle education. has received a plans to use a project which Week Ending 6125111 JEFFERSON COUNTY.. $3,982,189.85 BOLIVAR ........................ $381,309.69 CHARLES TOWN ........ $1,061,035.88 HARPERS FERRY ......... $112,059.67 RAHSON ..................... $1,0rr, O00.l SHEPHERDSTOWN ........ $438,721.09 TOTAL FUNDS DISTRIBUTED .......... ".. $7,052316.22 For your add-a, bead bracelets... iS her6! o,,v at The Vintage Lady/ 180 HIGH STREET . OPEN 7 gAYS A WEEK * HARPERS FERRY - 304,535.1313 9AM - 3PM Ages: 6 to 12 yrs. Cost: $ 5 (no camper limifl) A jam-packed week with fanf, astic summer fun, kids enjoy each day filled with exciti.9 activities like: Act, ion Games Team Time Bible Time Missionary =St, oileD Chapel and 5inflin0 Fun Craft, 40b Daniel gd., 5henandoah Jot., VW (304) 72b-3700 Wednesday, July 6, 2011 3A Mary Ellen Goff stands outside one of the newly-replaced windows at her home. could not say enough about the program. "I think this is an awesome pro- gram and the young people de- serve to be recognized," Staubs said. The program began in 1989 and has provided an opportunity for teens to serve their commu- mty by repairing and improving residences. The focus, according to WorkCamp Coordinator Paul C. Bevins, is to make the resl- dent's homes warmer, safer and drier. Slack indicated that the con- version of bathrooms to showers that are handicap-accessible and senior-friendly was one of the main projects of benefit to many seniors. She saw the program as a huge success and expects that it will expand in the future into Jef- ferson County. Charter the "Sutton Queen" Dinner Boat Perfect for: Wedding Receptions, Church Functions, CompanypicMcs, Family Outings oFany kind... Seats up to 50, Meal Catedng Available Houseboat Rentals A unique Family Vacation orFriends Fishing Boat Rentals get-a-mr.. Sleeps 10, All the Pontoon Rentals .f.-"conveniences oFhome, but -- -- / ...... ,, ,, ,, \\;on the beautiful clear ana mucn more  ,. "" llEIgll water of Sutton Lake -.-. vMm take Exit 67  Wv{ldaulWon-..  Flatwoods of 1-79 follow the signs Call for quote comparisons on your printing needs today! PTOGTESSIVE FREE Pick-up and Delivery within a 60-mile racllusl Printing AND GRAPHICS 526 West King Street Martinsburg, WV 25401 304-263-9646 DUI? If you think it was bad getting stopped, wait until you get to court. David A. Camilletti Attorney At Law 103 W. Liberty St' Charles Town, WV (304) 725-0937 dcamilletti@frontier.com CRIMINAL " TRAFFIC * DUI The City of Charles Town will be accepting letters of interest for a vacancy on each of the following City of Charles Town Committees: 1) Building Commission 2) Board of Parks and Recreation Interested parties must be City of Charles Town residents and are to send a letter requesting appointment to: City of Charles Town, P.O. Box 14, Charles Town,  25414, Attention: City Clerk. Letters should include relevant professional and volunteer experience. For more information call Joe Cosentini, City Clerk, at 725-2311 x239. 2011 Heritage Festival Plans are underway for the 2011 Heritage Festival which will be the 3rd weekend in September. Check out our website, www.histori charlestownwv.com for updates on this and Charles Town's 225th IIL. Anniversary celebration. ........................... i =ml:i Phone: 304-725-2311 =m,=v*' 101 E. Washington St./P0 BOX 14 LI Charles Town, WV 25414-0014