11/27/11

Mattie Maude Pittman Faulkner


Mattie Maude Pittman Faulkner
Born: October 23, 1880
Died:  April 14, 1948   
Daughter of:   George Washington Pittman and Emma June Howell Pittman

Sister of: Beulah Magnolia Pittman James
Lula Leodia Pittman White
Robert Rene Pittman
Columbus Chapel Pittman
George Lowery Pittman
Alison Lee Pittman
Ruth Beatrice Pittman Brown
Howell Cobb Pittman
 Lizzy May Pittman
Howard Grady Pittman

Wife of:  John Thomas Faulkner
married:  March 11, 1901 in Mason, Texas

Mother of:  Mable Ester Faulkner
Wayman Faulkner
Iola Ruth Faulkner
George Laurence Faulkner
Floyce Faulkner
Helean Jean Faulkner
Aline Faulkner Denman
Emma Lou Faulkner
John Howard Faulkner

Mattie Maude Pittman was the sixth child of George and Emma Pittman.  Her birth is recorded in Douglasville, Douglas County, Georgia which was originally known as Skint Chestnut...a name derived from a large tree used by Indians as a landmark which was stripped of its bark so as to be more conspicuous.  The Town of Douglasville was established on February 25, 1875...five years before Mattie was born.  Although her birth records reflect her birth in Douglasville, the 1880 Census taken in June show that George and Emma were residents of Cobb County  as well as George's brother Albert Singleton and their widowed mother Mary Anne Howell Pittman.  It is likely that Mattie was born at home and her birth recorded in the closest County Seat to their farm which was Douglasville.

In the 1880's many of the Pittman Clan were residents of Cobb County and farmed in and around the townships of Lithia Springs, Mableton , Powder Springs and Marietta.  Atlanta was 25 miles from Douglasville and the center of  Georgia's Reconstuction Era.  Just three days before Mattie's birth on October 20, 1880 the First Electric Lights were shown at Oglethorpe Park in Atlanta. 

On May 4, 1895, Mattie's mother Emma June Howell Pittman died at the age of 45 years.  Mattie was fourteen years old.  Emma gave birth to five more children after Mattie, and with most of her older siblings already gone from home, Mattie assumed the household chores and task of helping raise the younger children.


It is known from passed down family history and documented in Census Reports that Pittman Family members of this era received a basic education in reading, writing and arithematic.  With that in mind, this author claims a 'Writer's Priviledge' of continuing Mattie's Story by way of  a fictitious journal and letters.  Although these are spurious journal entries and letters , they are based on documented, timelined events and historical research.  

Mattie's Journal and Letters 
The Year of Mourning
~~~~~
Trail of Tears
by Sandra S. Pittman
July 26, 1895
Today is Pa's birthday.  He has been sad since Mama died.  He misses her something terrible...we all do.  I tried my best to make supper special for him.  I baked sweet bread and cooked a stew.  Pa said it was good and thanked me for setting the table with Mama's embroidered table cloth.   I put a dish towel over it for baby Grady.   We all held hands as Pa blessed the supper.  He thanked the Lord for us and sent our love to Mama in heaven.  Amen.  Mattie

August 20, 1895
Dear Beulah,
   How are you?  We are all doing fine.  Grady fell off the porch last week and cut his arm.  Lizzy has been helping me with the washing.  She is tall enough now to hang the clothes over the fence.  The garden is ready for picking.  Mama would be happy to see all the seeds she planted made a good crop.  We should be shucking the corn in a week or two.  I am hoping you can come for the tomato and okra canning.  I am not sure I know how to do all the canning by myself.
   Pa and the boys have been working from morning til dark in the fields.   Chappo says the cotton crop is good this year.  The cotton chopping has been hard with the weeds growing so thick.  It has been the same in the garden.  We are mindful to take a hoe when picking tomatoes.  I chopped off the head of a snake a few days ago. 
   Pa wanted to know if you would get the canning supplies before you come, Beulah.  He can't get to town before then, and said you would know what to buy.  He will pay you when you come.  Mama's jars are washed and ready.  I hope there will be enough of them.  I'm glad you and Lula are coming.
   Today is Mama's birthday.  We are all miss her more than I can say.  I am trying my best, but it seems I never get done with the daily chores.  How did she do it all?  We are all counting the days until you and Lula can come. 
Your sister,
Mattie

October 23, 1895
Today is My Birthday.  My thoughts are of Mama.  I don't think I ever thanked her for my life, and now she is gone.  I remember her every night in my prayers.  Tonight I will thank her.  Amen.  Mattie

January 20, 1896
Dear Buelah,
     I hope this letter finds you and yours keeping warm by the hearth.  It was good to visit you and Samuel at Christmas.  Thank-you for having us on Christmas Day.  Pa especially enjoyed the time away from home.  Our first Christmas without Mama, but one filled with sweet memories of her and our Christmas' past.   We trimmed the tree as she would have with strings of berries, pine cones and bows of muslin. 
     When it came time to place the Star of Bethlehem on top, Pa handed it to me.  He said it was now my place to crown the tree.  I know I told you this, but I wanted to write it down while it is a fresh memory.  The Joy of Christ and Mama's love filled my heart as I crowned the tree.  I will forever remember that moment. 
     Lizzy loves the doll you made for her.  She named her Magnolia, and remembers you in her bedtime prayers.  She is a sweet girl.  Thank you for the yardage of calico.  The sewing is going slowly, as I want to make it my best sewing yet.  I am using a piece of crochet lace that Mama made around the cuffs and collar.  There are pieces for you and Lula, too.  She is so on my mind with every stitch taken. 
     Today feels as if it is a special day for someone, but I can not remember that it is anyone in the family's birthday.   Do you know of anyone?  Odd, isn't it?  Pa says that Mama had a sixth sense about her.*  I am not sure what that means.
     I close for now, Sister, and hope that your winter days are happy ones.  Remember us in your prayers as we remember you and Samuel in ours.
As always, your Sister,
Mattie

May 4, 1896
I write on this the anniversary of Mama's death, with sadness that the memories of this day hold.  However, my spirits are lifted with the thought of her resting in heavenly peace in the arms of our Lord.  We gathered today at the Howell Cemetery.  The day was warm with the afternoon rays of the sun shining through the trees.  The Cherokee rose vines have grown up the iron fence around Mama's grave.  Pa said he knew she must be pleased as it was her favorite flower not only for it's beauty, but for the story of how it got it's name.*  Thank you Lord for this day and the comfort of knowing that Mama is safe in your loving arms.  Amen.  Mattie




*The Cherokee rose is an evergreen climbing shrub that blooms in late March and early April.  A native of China, the Cherokee rose appeared in the mid 1800's in Georgia and was planted by the Native American Cherokee.

Adopted as the Georgia State Flower in 1916, the Cherokee rose is forever linked to Georgia's history through the "Trail of Tears".  A tragic event in 1838 in which thousands of Cherokee were forced out of Georgia and other lands east of the Mississippi River. 
According to legend, the path of the Native Americans took was dubbed the "trail of tears" because of the tears shed by Cherokee women on the journey.  Cherokee chiefs prayed for a sign to give their women hope and the strength to care for their children.  It is said that wherever a tear dropped, a Cherokee rose bloomed.
 * Reference Website.


Mattie Maude Pittman Faulkner was my Grand Aunt. 
Read more about her in:

*Sixth Sense - a power of perception or keen intuition seemingly independent of the five senses.
Thank-you Great Grandmother Emma.  Your spirit and sixth sense endures.
Sandra Sue Pittman
January 20, 1947
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3 comments:

Ames said...

Sue I so enjoyed this story. And when I came to the part where Mattie realized she forgot to thank her momma for giving birth to her I just bawled. I didn't get the chance to thank my mother either. Oh the things we take for granted. My father has told us that we are part Cherokee. All I know is that he said he remembers his grandmother had darker skin and she was so little they had to help her up in the chair when she was an old woman. Her name was granny Daws. That's all I know . Not much to go on. Love ya!~Ames

CollectIn Texas Gal said...

Oh my Friend Ames, your emotional reaction to Mattie's story gives me inspiration to continue writing in Mattie's Journal. For some reason, Mattie has struck a chord with me...maybe it's Emma's Sixth Sense at work. I truly believe her mother knew, as mothers do, how Mattie felt. My Sixth Sense tells me your Mother knows, too.
Ditto!~Sue

Gini said...

Sue, I have to say too that when I read the part where Mattie forgot to thank you mom, it hit home for me, I lost my mom in July 2010 and I think often about whether or not I thanked her enough for being my beautiful special mom and how I wish I could just hug her now.

What a beautiful story, Sue, one that I would love to read more of . . . and thank you for wishing my little Emma a happy birthday - we love our Emma's! Thank you so much for sharing this.