Coleman and Caroline Kenner-Morgan
As it is told, Febi, a Black slave woman, served her master’s household well. As his mistress, she borne unto him a son named Willie Morgan in Edgefield, South Carolina. As it is remembered, Willie, the oldest and the only known son of his master, was born on his father’s kitchen floor; and was never sold into slavery. Instead, he grew into adulthood on his father’s plantation.
Willie Morgan grew into adulthood and later married a young woman named May Liza, who in 1846 borne him a son and called him COLEMAN. As the years passed, May Liza borne here other children, named Clarunder, Lee and Gus Morgan. When May Liza died, Willie Morgan remarried a young lady called Henrietta Broadwater, who borne to him five additional children, Frances, Mary, Julia, Harrison, and Henrietta Morgan, all half-sisters and brother to COLEMAN MORGAN.
Likewise, as it is written, Richmond Kenner was born the son of his slave master in Edgefield, South Carolina. It came about that the master never sold his beloved son, Richmond, but allowed him to work on the plantation. Richmond’s father not only watched him grow, but paid this son a small salary for the work he performed. The master treated his son well – he taught him how to read and to write (See the Biblical Illustrations below), thereby providing him with the best education of the times.
In October 1842, Rev. Richmond Kenner respectfully married Matilda Weaver also of Edgefield, South Carolina at Martontown (See Marriage Certificate below). Their marriage was officially witnessed by H. Meriwether and E. Meriwether. The union formed between Rev. Richmond and Matilda Weaver Kenner created eight children, CAROLINE KENNER, takes history as the first child and the oldest daughter, born in 1848. Richmond used the guidance and teaching of his father (his master) to promote and develop his own family. Richmond became a well-known Minister, and after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, he taught school, thereby sharing skills that he had learned with others.
As it happened, COLEMAN MORGAN and CAROLINE KENNER, both of Edgefield, South Carolina, both representing the first-born child rank in each individual family, formed a union through matrimony shortly after slavery. This couple gave birth to their first-born child on the third anniversary year (1868) of slavery or after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Apparently, CAROLINE KENNER MORGAN was truly fond of her father, the Rev. Richmond Kenner, for she named her oldest son Richmond, and, thereby started the history chain of naming relatives after favorite persons.
However, Rev. Richmond Kenner was quite deserving of the respect he received from his family. For he showed a keen concern and future insight into his family’s well-being; through the act of purchasing one hundred acres of land for $1.00 an acre (suspected with some of the money he had been paid by his father (master)) immediately following the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which officially denounced the continuation of slavery in America. His wife, Matilda Weaver Kenner, who was a fine friendly woman, offered him much support. She is remembered as singing numerous songs to her grandchildren, “Rock-a-Bye-Baby” as a favorite tune. Both Richmond and Matilda taught their oldest, handicapped grandchild to read and to write.
During her married life, CAROLINE KENNER MORGAN continued her father’s cleverness and wit by becoming a business-woman. She took portions of her inheritance (land), sold a portion of it in order to help COLEMAN MORGAN (her husband) on the purchase of over 200 acres of land in Salley, South Carolina.
COLEMAN MORGAN was not only an adult, who married after slavery, but also a dreamer. One of his dreams was to keep his family together. To accomplish this goal, he invested in over 200 acres of land, thereby becoming a landowner. COLEMAN interceded in obtaining over 200 acres of land on which most of his ten (10) children would be able to purchase individual share and/or to maintain their families. COLEMAN’s dream came true. Bothe COLEMAN and CAROLINE KENNER MORGAN’s children were able to won land and homes; the yards leading up towards the housed were remembered as huge; surrounded by gardens, flower beds and large farms – the vastness of the property could be viewed for miles as it formed into a community.
COLEMAN MORGAN was also a religious man. His insights went beyond the mere materialist things on earth. He continued to focus his dreams during adult life around the future of his children, but he allowed “prayer” to rule his home. COLEMAN became the first to organize a church, presently named JERUSALEM BRANCH BAPTIST CHURCH of Salley, South Carolina.
As a religious and dedicated leader, COLEMAN MORGAN decided to hand-pick individuals needed to organize this community church, so he selected his wife, CAROLINE KENNER MORGAN; oldest son Richmond, a daughter, Emma; daughter-in-law, Georgia; and two friends, Richmond Nelson and his daughter, Dora Nelson Jackson.
Every grandchild who could remember Deacon COLEMAN MORGAN speak of him as a “lover of children and family; a fine man; a kind, free-hearted man; a big farmer with sharecroppers; a faithful husband and a religious man.” Some grandchildren remember how COLEMAN and CAROLINE worked in the church; how they used boards for chairs so that the members could sit on them at the Bruch Harbor. Deacon COLEMAN believed strongly in righteousness and his family; characteristics he would willingly give up his life, respectively. In 1904, COLEMAN MORGAN departed this life (1846-1904) and was on the first buried at JERUSALEM BRANCH BAPTIST CHURCH’s cemetery.
CAROLINE KENNER MORGAN shared the honor as the first mother of the JERUSALEM BRANCH BAPTIST CHURCH. Her grandchildren remember her as a fine, friendly, quiet lady who had a tremendous sense of investment. She was also a strong woman, who lived a long time. She survived her husband, and several children, including a son and two daughters. She, like her husband and father, never gave up the vested interest in her family’s future. Prior to her death, she divided the family’s cash money on hand among her children. After her death, the land which she had owned was equally divided and/or sold for the financial benefit of her children. Today some of these children’s children own this land.
Moreover, all of COLEMAN and CAROLINE KENNER MORGAN’s children, who were a member of any church, were FIRST a member of JERUSALEM BRANCH BAPTIST CHURCH: e.g.: before joining any other church. Their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren have served and still serve as deacons, ushers, clerks, and sisters, mothers, officers, sextons, secretaries and members of JERUSALEM.
By the turn of the Nineteenth Century, both COLEMAN and CAROLINE KENNER MORGAN had held high the Banner of Christ, consecrated through prayer; and their inherited talents as business persons as well as connoisseurs of the finest things in life for their family, motivated by the driving need to keep the Morgan family together, had succeeded. Through their own personal initiation, they were truly the beginning of ten (10) children who later yielded approximately sixty-seven (67) grandchildren and over 150 great grandchildren, with a multitude of great great and great great great grandchildren.
COLEMAN and CAROLINE MORGAN, we your true descendents, pay homage….
COLEMAN & CAROLINE
History supplied & recalled by:
Matilda Corine Morgan Jackson (granddaughter daughter of son Wyatt)
Mae Bell Morgan Staley (granddaughter daughter of son Richmond)
Marietta Corbitt David Trowell (granddaughter daughter of daughter Emma)
Willie Luther Loyd (grandson of daughter Rosa Etta