Olivia's Secret...Proverbs 31

The Boarding House Journal
Date:  November 1912

Proverbs 31 the virtuous woman?  For heaven sakes, I'll have to dust off my Bible and read that passage.  What in the world could have happened between Olivia and Franklin that made their daughter, and possibly other children, think their mother was their aunt?  What was he thinking?  Perhaps leaving the photograph and card was quite deliberate.  Well, here I am with many questions and no answers and supper to get on the table.  First things first.

My mind did not stop whirling while fixing supper for the guests, of which there were only half a dozen and of course the Sheriff and Sarah.  I can make biscuits with my eyes closed, so it was a good time to mentally sort through some of the information in Olivia's letter.  For heavens sake, I nearly left out the baking powder.  The guests will surely notice flat biscuits.  Olivia's secrets and the letter evaluation will have to wait til after supper. 

After supper, the men as usual, retired to the parlor to talk politics.  Polictics hold little interest for me, but with Roosevelts 'Bull Moose' party trying to get him elected for a third and unprecedented term, politics and the Presidental Election of 1912 makes for lively after supper conversation.  However, on this evening, the men were more concerned about the upcoming trial for the Mexican Railroad Bandits, as they were now called.  Local politicians and county officials are quite concerned that the outcome will determine the future of  Pecos County becoming a major shipping depot.

As a matter of courtsey, I invited the ladies to join me in an evening cup of tea.  Sarah excused herself to take an evening walk with her Ranger, the singer salesmens wife thanked me, but thought she should finish some sewing samples for her husbands portfolio, and Olivia, understandably, was not feeling well.  So, I too, retired.  Proverbs 31 was on my mind.
It is not often my journal writing is about myself, but this evening, my pen seems to have the need to write thoughts I find difficult to talk about.  Words of confession.  I must admit that Olivia's letter and the references to Proverbs 31 gave me feelings of unease, dread and guilt.  I was surprised at my own reaction and physical discomfort from the flush that struck within me...like the feeling you get just before you know you are about to hear bad news.   I hope my reaction was not visible to Olivia. 

'Dust off my Bible'...Oh dear Lord, my Baptist ancestors are turning in their graves.  How far I have drifted from my upbringing.  There was a time when hearing a Bible reference, I would have at least had some inkling as to it's meaning.  Today I was dismayed at my lack of memory, and the realization that I have been absent from the House of Our Lord...spiritually and physically.  I should pray...

Dear Lord, in the back of mind, I know I think of You and have the comfort of knowing that You are with me.  Your Spirit and Word has always lived within me. Today, I had a revelation of sorts, of which you already are aware, but I will feel a stronger conviction to my pledge of renewed devotion by writing it on paper.  With that said, know that I will make a greater effort to be more faithful to your Word and your House of Worship.  Now guide me as I attempt to understand Proverbs 31.  Amen

Hallelujah!  Proverbs 31, as I read it, is not a passage a man would read with remorse for lost love or regret for actions that might lead to losing a virtuous woman.  Oh, no, Dear Reader, it is much more revealing of a man's deep and abiding regard for his mother's opinion of a virtous wife or ideal woman.  A mother of deeply religious convictions that a 'Woman of Worth' must be all things to her husband with little or no regard for herself. 

 Oh, my dear Olivia....how worthy were you?
...To be continued...

Authored by Sandra Sue Pittman
Photos by Author
Photos are not Representative of People or Places in this Story.
Used strictly for interest and support of story.
Photos are Authentic Representations of the Period.
This Account/Writing/Photos is an Exclusive Publication
CollectInTexas Gal and Tracks of My Texas Ancestors


Rene Marion Pittman - Notable Ancestor

Rene Marion Pittman
Born - January 28, 1812 in Columbia County, Georgia
Died - October 24, 1873 in Queen Mills, Cobb County, Georgia

Son of
Ichabod Byrd and Frances Jackson Stone Pittman
1780-1827       1783-1857

Thomas Agustus Pittman
Selina Ann Pittman
Joseph Marshall Pittman

Mary Anne Howell Pittman
January 28, 1822 - August 22, 1890
Married - December 20, 1840 
Rene Marion and Mary Ann Howell Pittman and the Howell Family lived in the Southern part of Cobb County in the vicinity of the Chattahoochie River. The Howell property, near Garrett's Bridge is now (1850's) owned by Mrs. Hampton Howell, the daughter of R.N. Pittman (? if N is meant as M). The adjoining Pittman property is owned by Mrs. Hattie Pittman Parish, daughter of Allison Pittman. (Allison son of Rene and Mary Ann)

Mary Ann's father, Isaac Howell, was a pioneer settler of Cobb County, and the brother of Evan P. Howell of Gwinnett County, then Atlanta County. Her brothers married Sewell sisters, and another brother married Elizabeth Redwine whose family was also associated with the Word Family in neighboring Coweta County.

Many Fulton and Cobb County landmarks are named for the Howell and Sewell families including: Howell Mill Road, Sewell Mill Road, Sewell Farms Subdivisions.

Mary Ann's Uncle Captain Evan P. Howell acquired the Atlanta Constitution Newspaper when it was struggling in it's infancy, and was the Editor-in-Chief for many years.
(From: The First Hundred Years, A Short History of Cobb County Georgia)

Children of Rene Marion and Mary Anne Howell Pittman
William Howell Pittman
George Washington Pittman
Albert Singleton Pittman
James Allison Pittman
Mary Eugenia Pittman Howell
Fannie Margaret Pittman
Emma Pittman
Elizabeth Lizzy Pittman
Isaac Marion Pittman
Savannah Bartow Pittman Brown

Rene Marion Pittman served in the 7th State Guard Volunteer Infantry Regiment of Georgia, and enlisted as a Sargent in Company K at the age of 49 years on May 31, 1861. (documented in US Civil War Records and Profiles). 
    The 7th Georgia along with the 8th, 9th, 11th, and 59th made up Gen. 'Tige' Anderson's Brigade in Hood's Division of Longstreet's Corps. The GA 7th Infantry Regiment was formed in May, 1861, at Atlanta, Georgia, and in June moved to Harpers Ferry,Virginia. Assigned to Colonel F. S. Bartows Brigade, Army of the Shenandoah, it was active in the fight at First Manassas. In April 1861, the regiment had 611 effectives and served under the command of General G. T. Anderson until the end of the war. It participated in the campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days Battles to Cold Harbor, except when it was detached with Longstreet at Suffolk, in Georgia, and at Knoxville. The 7th was not involved in the Battle of Chickamauga. It was active in the long Petersburg siege south and north of the James River and later the Appomattox Campaign. (From:  The War for Southern Independence In Georgia)

    Rene Marion and Mary Anne Howell Pittman lived most of their lives in Cobb County, Georgia, and were documented in the following US Census:
    ~US Census of 1840 - R.M. Pittman, age 28, head of house with 4 free white males and 1 free white female in household.  4 Slaves...2 males and 2 females with ages that indicate a young couple with two young children.  Agriculture.
    ~US Census of 1850 - R.M. Pittman, age 38, head of house with wife Mary Ann age 28.  Children:  William, George, Albert, James and Mary Eugenia.  Occupation Farmer.
    ~US Census of 1870 - R.M. Pittman, age 58, head of house with wife Mary Ann (47) and children:  James (23) farmhand, Mary, Fannie, Emma, Elizabeth, Isaac Marion, and Savannah.  Occupation Farmer.  Listed Real Estate value at $2500 and Personal Estate $500.
    ~US Census of 1880 - Mary A. Pittman, age 54, widowed head of house with children:  Eugenia (30), Fannie (28), Lizzie (23), Savannah (19)...all keeping house...Isaac (2l) Farmer.  (This Census taken 7 years after Rene Marion's death shows his widow and children farming his land.  His older sons Albert, George and Loren as living on neighboring farms.  Is possible that older sons inherited their part of their fathers estate and continued to farm all of R.M. Pittmans land.
    ~US Census of 1890 - There is no 1890 Census.  It was destroyed in a fire.  By the next Census in 1900, Mary Ann Howell Pittman has died, her older sons left Georgia for Texas, and her daughters have married or have moved in with relatives.  It is not know what became of the R.M. Pittmans Land....still researching.

    Rene Marion and Mary Anne Howell Pittman are buried in The Howell Family Cemetery.
    The Howell Family Cemetery is located in Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia.
    There are 99 Howell/Pittman and Relatives buried there .
    A descendent of the Howell Family, Clark Howell Hogan discussed founding the Howell Family cemetery in one of the Volumes of Cobb County Georgia Cemeteries. He said, "the cemetery was established in 1860 with the death of *Isaac Howell who fell dead, according to family legend, while 'cussing' Abraham Lincoln. Having said he would rather die than see Abe elected President."  *Isaac Howell was Mary Anne's Father.

    Find A Grave Memorial Links:

    Rene Marion and Mary Anne Howell Pittman
    2X Great Grandparents of
    Sandra Sue Pittman, Author
    Tracks of My Texas Ancestors
    through their son
    George Washington Pittman
    MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected


James Greene Pittman - Notable Ancestor

Son of John and Mary Polly Rowe Pittman
Brother of
Buckner Pittman
Phillip Pittman
Timothy Pittman
John Ichabod Pittman
(4x Great Grandfather of Author)
James Greene, his Father John and four Brothers were soliders in the Revolutionary War where James rose to the rank of Lieutenant.  When Georgia fell into the hands of the British, James Greene returned to Virginia the state of his birth. 
July 2, 1781 Marriage To
Martha Patsy Taylor
Daughter of James and Nancy Owens Taylor
Family Lineage of
President Zachary Taylor
In September 1788 James Greene, Martha and three children born in Virginia, returned to Georgia.  Documents of Letters and Land Grants show that he owned large tracts of land in Franklin County which in 1796 became a part of newly formed Jackson County, Georgia.  In 1812 a portion of the Pittman land was made part of another new county, Madison County.   He also owned a large tract of land in Wilkes County, Georgia where the Pittman Family home once stood, but was destroyed by fire.
After the war, James Greene took an active role in the affairs of Georgia.  In 1796 he represented Jackson County at the 1795 Convention.  He returned to the 1798 Convention, again as a Representative of Jackson County which has been referred to as *the largest and ablest that ever assembled in Georgia.  They formed the Constitution that was not materially changed until after the War between the States.  *Historian George Smith.
James Greene Pittman State of Georgia Appointments
Judge of the Inferior Court of Jackson County - June 21, 1796
by Gov. Jared Irwin
Captain in the Jackson County Militia - Oct. 13, 1798
House of Representatiaves 1797-1799
Commissioner of Jackson County Academy - Feb. 11, 1797
In 1812 Jackson County was divided and Madison County was formed. 
Commissioner of Madison County Academy - Nov. 6, 1812
Legislative Representative for Madison County
Militia District of Madison County Honoree
Dist. named for James G. Pittman
John Greene Pittman died on Christmas Day, December 25, 1850 at the age of 94 years. 
He is buried in the Pittman Cemetery in Madison County, Georgia.
John Greene Pittman Memorial - Find A Grave Website
Donated By
Erected In Memory of Lieut. Pittman
By His Descendants
Find A Grave Memorial and Photos by Leigh Williams Kitchens
4X Great Granddaughter of John Greene Pittman

Martha Taylor Pittman, wife of James Greene died in May 1850, seven months before his death in December.  During the summer of 1850, he had his slaves build a rock wall enclosing her grave and that of his daughter Martha and her husband, Abner Wells.  James Greene's grave is marked with the Bronze Marker of the United States Daughters of 1812 and with the Government Marker of the Revolutionary War.  This was secured through the efforts of two of his great -granddaughters in 1912. 
James Greene and Martha Patsy Taylor Pittman Children
John Green Pittman  1782-1873
Pleasant Owen Pittman 1784-1849
Martin Hughes Pittman 1786-1836
Sir James Pittman 1788-1848
Elizabeth Alice Pittman 1790-1850
Nancy Sarah Pittman 1792-1830
Lucinda Pittman 1794-1864
Timothy Franklin Pittman 1797-1883
Sarah Ann Pittman 1798-1854
Martha Diana Pittman 1801-1890
Noah Washington Pittman 1803-1890
Teresa Pittman 1807-1888
Elizabeth Ann Pittman 1822-1888

Ancestry.com Public Document
Judges James Greene and John Greene Memorial Presentation
Find A Grave Memorial
Leigh Williams Kitchens
The Georgia Historical Society's
Index To US Census of Georgia for 1820

James Greene Pittman
4X Great Uncle
Sandra Sue Pittman, Author
Tracks of My Texas Ancestors
MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected


By The Lamp Light...A Sisters Letters from 1861

August 5, 1861
My Dear Brother Jessie,

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that our Dear Mother has joined her heavenly father in the promise land.  Praise be, she is free of the pain and suffering that has long been her burden to bear. 

In her final hours, Jessie, her thoughts and prayers were for you.  Tears of love and sorrow filled her eyes as she prayed to Our Lord and Savior to comfort you with his healing touch on your wounds and heart. 
'Sweet Jessie, we will be together in the Glory of Heaven." 
With those last words, she went peacefully to The Glory.

Your devoted sister,
Mary Amanda

Agnes Susan Castelberry Leatherwood departed this life August the 5th, 1861, aged 52 years, on month and 15 days.  The deceased was a native of South Carolina, then moved to Benton County (now Calhoun) Alabama where she remained until her death.  She had been affected for some time, and the latter part of her afflictions was very severe and yet she bore the same without murmur.
The deceased lived a member of the Baptist church and adorned her profession by a godly walk and close conversation;  but her seat is now vacant in the church house, and also in the family circle;  but in the language of Revelation, "blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from hence forth, yea saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works, do follow them." 
Her Christian walk will still live in the memory of those with whom she associated.  She was a warm and devoted friend, and generous and forgiving to her enemies - a good and generous neighbor - a kind and affectionate wife and mother.  She has left a husband, 10 or 11 children, and many relatives and friends to mourn her loss, but their loss is her eternal gain.  We sympathize with the family in their bereavement, and may the Lord give them grace to sustain them in their heavy bereavement.
Obituary - The Jacksonville Republican News, Jacksonville, Alabama - December 12, 1861

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.  Give me strength and wisdom of thy words to convey with heartfelt sympathy the message I must write.  Amen.  Mary Amanda

August 20, 1861

My Dear Brothers George and John,

It is with a greater sadness than you will ever know that I write to you of the death of our beloved Mother. I do so at this later date than her passing to include the Obituary from the Jacksonville News.

As I write this letter and think of Mother's last days, I am reminded to tell you of her concerns for her three sons as you fight in this terrible war.  Her prayers were constant for her sons so far from home in Tennessee and Texas. 

Days before her passing, we recieved a letter from Jessie.  It was penned by another, but were his words of news that he was mortally wounded and lying in the hospital at Camp Bristow, Tennessee. 

With her dying breath, Mother's words, "Sweet Jessie, we will be together in the Glory of Heaven", gave witness to the news to come of Jessie's passing.  Mother and son are now in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father.  Jessie passed from this earth one day after Mother on August 6, 1861.  Her faith and close conversation with The Lord opened her heart and soul to a vision of the Glory of Heaven.  In my minds eye I see her inside the Golden Gates, her loving arms reaching out for Jessie as he walks the golden path to comfort and love of his Mother and the Lord they so love.

I pray, my Brothers, that Mothers vision and words are prophetic for the safety and well being of you both.  It has been many months since you left Alabama for Texas, and the lack of news from you gives us concern.  We continue to pray for you both and for news of your safety and well being. 
Your loving Sister,
Mary Amanda
Agnes Susan Castelberry Leatherwood
June 2, 1809 - August 5, 1861
Wife of
Zachariah Perry Leatherwood, Sr.
April 15, 1807 - April 24, 1869
Mother of  13 Children including:
John More Leatherwood
October 19, 1833 - October 11, 1914
(John More Leatherwood...Third Great Grandfather)


By The Lamp Light...A Sisters Letters from 1861 is a fictionalized account based on true facts, dates and names from my Leatherwood Family Tree.   Through Mary Amanda's letters, the hardships and heartbreak of one families life during the early years of the Civil War are told.  This is the first of what I hope will be the story of  the Leatherwood Family's migration to Texas.  The family members presented here are documented in my ancestry.com Family Tree, included in Tracks of My Texas Ancestors Genealogy Blog, and Memorialized in Find A Grave. 

Below are the Links to their Find A Grave Memorials:  

Photos by Sue Pittman McPeak
Photos not Representative of People or Places in this story.
Used for added interest and support of title.
Photos are Authentic Scenes of the 1860's - 1900 Period.

This Account/Writing/Post is published in
CollectInTexas Gal~Tracks of My Texas Ancestors
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