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So the size of the building or the persons involved in its construction were not known with certainty.

Bustuh believed and so does Mama that the most prominent person involved in Jerusalemís history

was the the Reverend William Bassett, who at one point owned most of the land in the area.

Bassett, probably a mulatto, was Jerusalemís first minister. 

 

 

Letters of an Abiding Faith:

Legacy of a Slave's GrandDaughter to her Son

written by Ella Lewis to her Son (Rudolph Lewis)

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Letter 25

 

December 8, 1983

 

Dear Son,

Just a line or two, let you know I received your letter. Glade to hear from you and know you was doing OK. As for my self my Cold is Better But I been out sick. I am still under the Doctor. It getting cold down here now. We had lot of rain. All send love to you. Sistuh Been in hospital she out now doing OK. I sure was looking For you Being here For Xmas. But I know how it is. Times is hard and look like it getting worse.

Well Von Carter have started on his house. He building over by Clint's house.* I went to Church last Sunday. Had a nice Time. The Church in Southampton where we went when you was here. Dont wait so long Before you rite. I am trying to give you answer to your Question the best I know how.

We had another shocking death. Tad Mason died Buried Sunday which was the 4th of Dec. He died in sleep.** Well no Body is coming home Xmas. I guess it Be a dull Xmas May the good Lord Bless and keep you until we meet again. I do hope you take care of your self. Keep praying. I praying For you too.

I love you

Mother

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Commentary

*Von Carter, son of Susie, had lived in a trailer up on 301 in Jarratt with his wife and kids. With the countryís new federal housing programs, new houses built by professional contractors were springing up all over Jarratt. His brother Clint with his wife Jane and their kids had been living in their house for sometime on the Cary Mason Road.

**Tad Mason was a member of the large Mason clan. They were prominent member of Jerusalem Baptist Church. John "Bustuh" Mason, a carpenter and father of John "Pudding" Mason (a former schoolmate), believed that Mamaís grandmother Fannie Mason, wife of Sam Williams (both former slaves), was related to this family. They often in a playful tease referred to each other as "cuz." 

It was through visits that Bustuh Mason had with Mama that I gained further affirmations about the history of Jerusalem Baptist Church. He too knew of the old Jerusalem, which had been built before the present edifice. He too knew of it only through word of mouth. So the size of the building or the persons involved in its construction were not known with certainty. Bustuh believed and so does Mama that the most prominent person involved in Jerusalemís history was the the Reverend William Bassett, who at one point owned most of the land in the area. Bassett, probably a mulatto, was Jerusalemís first minister. 

Bassett seemed to have come into conflict with the deacons of Jerusalem. For, it seems, he led a portion of the members out of Jerusalem and established Hasiadiah Baptist up near Route 301, closer to the township of Jarratt. His burial site at Hasiadiah makes clear he was a noteworthy personality. For no Negro in the area was ever buried with the grave enclosed by an iron wrought fence, nor with a four-foot headstone. For some reason or another the church has allowed his grave site to go to weeds and disrepair. But this negligence is the natural outcome for those who have little or no appreciation for their history. or maybe it is emblematic on a long-standing and unstated and unremembered conflict between the former minister and the members of Hasiadiah that has yet to be resolved, even over a century after his death

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Boisí Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 31 December 2011

 

 

 

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