(c 1845 - 1915)
Harriett Mace Mozique
Source: Photo courtesy of Sheila Cohen
The Story of Young Harriet
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Harriet’s life journey would take her deeper into the clutches of slavery just as the institution was bracing itself for a reckoning to be witnessed on the world stage. Harriet’s story is unique but not uncommon. Like so many others, she and her child were sold further south into the depths of the Cotton Kingdom in the period before the Civil War. But the Mace family would emerge from the wreckage of slavery and war ready to forge a path ahead, and to force out of their country a modicum of freedom and independence.
Our genealogical research strongly indicates that Harriet had Native American ancestry. Native people existed in Kentucky for thousands of years before Europeans arrived with African slaves. When they did, Native people intermarried with European and enslaved and free African men and women and fostered blended families and cultural identities.
In the colonial project to eliminate the landscape of Native Americans, these mixed-race people simply became known as “colored” people through bureaucratic erasure in public records.
Harriet probably took a steamboat at least part of the way to Mississippi. Her grandchildren recall her describing the big steamboats that would traverse the western rivers, she called them “slave boats.” They remember Harriet telling them she was forced to dance when the captain would let down the drawbridges and invite the townspeople to watch her and the other slaves perform, she was a slave dancer. She knew it was really just a ruse to trick black folks into getting on the boat for a dance or a drink. They say a million souls went this way over the course of the domestic slave trade, sold down the river. Never to return.
Domestic Slave Trade and Slave Revolts circa 1850
When Harriet arrived in Mississippi from Kentucky to work for the prominent Montgomery family, she had not anticipated that a war of such magnitude was just months away, no one had. At that time, there were less than 1,000 free black people in the state of Mississippi. Soon, with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the end of the Civil War in 1865, the thousands in bondage would also be free. In Kentucky, they were still having it out over the status of slavery there although the state had remained loyal to the Union when the war commenced. Had she stayed in that Upper South state, Harriet would have likely seized freedom along with the majority of slaves remaining in Kentucky at the time of the war—escaped across that great River of Hope. But Harriet would make what she could of freedom in Mississippi.
In Hinds County, it seemed like the Montgomery family were going to let Harriet and George stay on with them and start working for a wage. Harriet must have thought, Mississippi could be home. Besides, she had recently met a man, his name was Nat.
He promised to treat Harriet and little George as his very own. They never talked much about his or her befores.
Together Nat and Harriett raised ten children including George Mace Sr.
Harriet outlived Nat by about eleven years. When she died in 1915, her children were well on their way to solidifying her legacy in Hinds County. She had done it; she had made Mississippi home.
This 1880 Hinds County, Mississippi census record is the first official record of Harriett Mozique and her family. On June 22, 1880, the census-taker for the Auburn Precinct recorded the Mozique household, headed by Nat (husband of Harriett). In the house were Nat, Harriett and children, George (listed as step-son), Abby, Nat, Emma, Mary J, Nejer, Johnny, and a 2 year old granddaughter who was unnamed.
Spouse: Nat Mozique
Born: c. 1845 in Louisville, KY
Died: 1915 in Hinds County, Mississippi
Children of Harriett:
George William Mace Sr (1862–1944) - father unknown
Abby Mays Mazique (1866)
Lee Mozique (1871)
Nate Mozique Jr (1872–1910)
Mary J. Mays (1873–2002)
Emma Lee Mozeak (1875–2002)
John Mozique (c. 1876–1959)
Pattie Virgie "Pink" Mozique (1884–1953)
Charles Mozique (1885–1959)
Tatty Mozaque (1887)
*Notice that the spellings of the same last names varied. This is typical when doing genealogical research.
COLONEL WILLIAM ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY
(1844 - 1925)
When Harriet arrived in Mississippi from Kentucky she worked and lived on the Montgomery family land. Her son was raised with the Montgomery children. Throughout the decades following slavery these families would have a long standing relationship.
Yes, the Montgomerys were slave owners but did they have another connection to Harriet and her son, George William Mace Sr.?
A Tale of Perseverance
MONTGOMERY, WILLIAM ALEXANDER, soldier, farmer, lawyer, legislator, was born Oct. 18, 1844, in Winston county, Miss.
His parents were Charles Warren And Olivia Feree Moore Montgomery. Who Married. 25th July 1843. Lincoln Co, Tennessee.
William was one of Seven children.
He married Bettie Claiborne Henry on the 16th of April 1884 in Edwards, Hinds Co, Mississippi.
Together they had four children.
Source: Encyclopedia of American Biography, 1800-1902 - Ancestry.com
William Alexander Montgomery grew up on a large farm on Fourteen Mile Creek, between Edwards Station and Raymond, Mississippi. A handwritten biographical memoranda in the Mississippi State Archives in Jackson, signed by W. A. Montgomery, Jr. and dated October 4, 1915, provides interesting information about his family background. His father, W. A. Montgomery, and an uncle, A. K. Montgomery, each married sisters who were among the eleven daughters of General William Moore of Mulberry, Tennessee. Will Montgomery grew up hearing stories about the deeds of his ancestors. Will's paternal grandfather Charles Montgomery rode with Francis Marion in South Carolina during the Revolution. Marion, the "The Swamp Fox," was young Will's hero. His maternal great-grandfather William Moore, Sr., was a Kentucky pioneer and Indian-fighter (*interesting fact considering that Harriett was originally from Kentucky and a descendant of Indians) whose son, General William Moore, fought with Davy Crockett under Andrew Jackson and was a close personal and political friend of James K. Polk.
Will's life was typical for his times and his family's station in life. He describes himself in his memoirs as "fond of horses, guns, and dogs as a boy," and "a reckless rider of indomitable energy." Along with his brothers and several cousins, he received his early education at home under tutors employed by the Montgomery family. He mentions J. M. Leet of St, Louis and John Brady, who prepared him for entrance into college as a sophomore before he was sixteen years old. Following family tradition, Will attended Union University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, near his paternal grandfather's home, just as General Moore's son, William Lawson Moore, had been educated at Center College in Kentucky, near his mother's relatives. His grandfather often visited Will and his cousins there.
When the Civil War began, sixteen-year-old Will was summoned home from school. He volunteered for a three-year term in the Hinds County Light Guards, but his father persuaded him to join the Raymond Fencibles, a twelve month company of the 12th Regiment, Mississippi Volunteers, instead. He was with them in Virginia when he fell ill and had to return home. No one expected that he would see further military service, but the Confederate commanders were happy to have a scout, even a crippled one, who knew every creek, woods, and bayou in the vicinity.
After the war he went to the law school of Lexington, Ky., and was a successful lawyer and farmer of Edwards, Miss. In 1873 he served as a member of the Mississippi state senate. He was among the first to raise the cry against carpet bag rule in Mississippi, and in 1875 commanded the citizen forces that went to Jackson to demand that the negro militia companies be disbanded, and was successful in that demand.
According to the Statistical Official Register of the State of Mississippi, 1917 Centennial Edition he was the Penitentiary Trustee for the State of Mississippi in 1907, Trustee of Mississippi College, he served in the Confederate Army as QuarterMaster, Master and High Priest of the Masonic Lodge, Grand Cyclops of the Klu Klux Klan during the days of Reconstruction after the Civil War and countless other accolades representing his “Birth Of A Nation” embodied in a man.