Saturday, August 15, 2020

Ginger Cake: The Fighting Abe McQueen












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Name:Abe McQueen • 
Event Type:Death
Event Date:1 Nov 1931 • 
Event Place:Dalkeith, Gulf, Florida, United States 
Event Place (Original):Dalkeith, Gulf, Florida
Residence Place:Wewahitchka • 
Gender:Male
Age:50
Marital Status:Unknown
Ethnicity:American
Race:Black
Birth Year (Estimated):1881
Burial Date:2 Nov 1931 • 
Burial Place:Dalkeith, Fla. • 

Abraham was a man born in a time that didn't favor him. As such, he did the best he knew how.
Above is his death record in Gulf County, Florida. He had grown up working in the turpentine industry and had relocated to Florida doing what he knew how, working in the turpentine industry. This is his story.


Name:Abram McQueen
Age in 1870:6
Birth Year:abt 1864
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:114
Home in 1870:Troy, Montgomery, North Carolina
Race:Black
Gender:Male
Post Office:Troy
Household Members:
NameAge
A M Mclucia71
Sarah Mclucia55
Neill Mclucia21
Sarah Mclucia7
Lends Mclucia30
Mande Mclucia17
Abram Mclucia6
Betsa Mclucia4
Bud Mclucia2


Abraham McQueen was born March 28, 1864 near the present town of Candor, in Montgomery County, North Carolina.  He is seen in the above census record of 1870, as 6 year old Abram. 71 year old Alexander Marcus McQueen, the head of household, was his father. 55 year old Sarah McQueen was A. M. McQueen's wife, but not Abraham's mother. That would be 30 year old Lends, otherwise seen as Linda or Lindy. 21 year old Neil McQueen was the son of Alexander and Sarah, and 7 year old Sarah was their granddaughter. The other children shown after "Lends" name were also her children and also the children of Alexander McQueen.



Neil McQueen, Abe's half-brother and the youngest son of Alexander M. McQueen with his wife, Sarah, would keep a Family Bible that is still in family hands, and would record, not only the family history of his father's arrival to North Carolina from Scotland as a 3 year old, but also the births of his 8 older siblings. But unlike most Family Bibles from the Reconstruction Era, the Bible of Neil McQueen also recorded the birthdates of his half-siblings. Neil not only made note of the births and deaths of his father's white children with his legal wife, but also of the 12 mixed-race children that Alexander had sired with 3 different women who at one time had been his slaves. Abe had been born at the end of the Civil War, but his full-siblings, Betsy, Bud (Alexander) and Cranford, who would be born in 1871, arrived after emancipation, when their mother was a free woman, but still living in the household of their father and his wife.



Name:Abe Mcquean
Age:19
Birth Date:Abt 1861
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Troy, Montgomery, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number:81
Race:Black
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Son
Marital status:Single
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's name:Lea Mcquean
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
Lea Mcquean57
Abe Mcquean19
Bet Mcquean12
Crauford Mcquean9




Ten years later, in the 1880 census, Abe is living with Lea McQueen, in a separate household, but right next door to his half-brother, Neil McQueen. In the decade that passed, their father Alexander M. McQueen had passed away, making Neil administer of the estate. Neil recieved the Lion's share of the estate, with the 4 daughters of his deceased son, Neil's oldest brother, James Batten McQueen, being mentioned, along with James's wife, Nancy Britt McQueen. In his final words, Alexander had left something to, and had mentioned, the remainder of his nine children with his legal wife, Sarah Batten McQueen, who passed away one year before he did. He had not mentioned Abe, or any of his children born outside of wedlock.


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Abe was counted as 19 in the 1880 census, but he was really about 16. He may have looked older. He is described in a later newspaper article as being a "bright mulatto", meaning a light-skinned person of mixed ancestry, further described as the color of ginger cake, or a golden -brown, with green eyes. He was slender built, described as "spare", 140 lbs and 5 foot 8 inches tall, and of  'pleasant features', meaning Abe was a good-looking young man.




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Also living in the home was his sister Betsy and his baby brother, Cranford McQueen. On the other side of  them was his older sister, Hannah, who had married Alexander Butler. So it was an area of family living near to each other. Neil probably ran the same farm his father did and Abe and his siblings were probably laborers there, as laborers were what their profession was listed as at this time.


If there is one thing, besides sandhills and peach trees, that the east side of Montgomery County, and its bordering neighbors, Richmond and Moore are known for, its pine trees. And in the mid to late 1800's, that meant turpentine.



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By 1889, Abe had found work at a turpentine distillery owned by James Tompkins. There, he had a violent encounter with one William McPherson, whom I believe came from Richmond County.  A warrant for Abe's arrest was issued, as McPherson's injury appeared serious. As Abe was described as 19 in the 1880 census when he was really 16, he was described as 23 in 1889, when he was really 25. Age was fluid.

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CLIPPED FROM
The Montgomery Vidette
Troy, North Carolina
12 Sep 1889, Thu  •  Page 3



Abe, knowing he was a wanted man, apparently went into hiding. It's unknown where he hid, possibly with relatives, or he possibly took to the hills and went hiding deep in the Uwharrie Mountains on the western end of the county. William McPherson died, and the Governor issued a warrant for his arrest.


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CLIPPED FROM
The Montgomery Vidette
Troy, North Carolina
31 Oct 1889, Thu  •  Page 3

A $200 reward was offered for the capture of Abe McQueen, about $5700 in todays funds. The proclaimation claimed that he had either left the state, or had hidden himself very well. He was charged with murder.
In addition to describing Abe as a gingercake mulatto with pleasant features, a number of scars, from previous fights, apparently, with knives, were also described. He bore a major scar from his nose across his left cheek, and another on his forehead near his hairline. He also had a knife cut scar across his shoulder. Abe had survived multiple fights it appears.Alchohol was most likely involved. Many problems described in the newspapers of the day began with drunkeness, and these continuous issues are probably what led to the coming era of prohibition.
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CLIPPED FROM
The Montgomery Vidette
Troy, North Carolina
21 Nov 1889, Thu  •  Page 3
So, what became of Abe? His freedom was temporary, as I found that two years later, his case came before the jury. 
As the assualt occured in October of 1889, and Abe was discovered in Georgia in October of 1890, it appears he remained on the lam for a full year.  The below article states that Sheriff Saunders of Montgomery County, left Raleigh for Dalton, Georgia, as Abe had been captured. It is possible he came under the attention of the police there, and afterwards, it was discovered he had a warrant.Location in Whitfield County and the state of GeorgiaDalton is in North Georgia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Abe may have headed for the safety of the Blue Ridge in North Carolina, before following them south into Georgia. He looks to have not been there, only seen there, when Sheriff Saunders set out to find him.
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CLIPPED FROM
The Atlanta Constitution
Atlanta, Georgia
25 Oct 1890, Sat  •  Page 3
Talapoosa, Georgia, where Abe was actually picked up, is a little further south than Dalton, in Haralson County. It's located on the Georgia/Alabama border. Abe may have met a girl there, or a group of friends, as you will see later.

Location in Haralson County and the state of Georgia
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CLIPPED FROM

The Wilmington Morning Star
Wilmington, North Carolina12 Nov 1890, Wed  •  Page 3





Abe was jailed in Salisbury, in Rowan County, until his trial. It may have been that the Rowan County jail was more secure, and further away from people who might seek to help break him out. At this point, he was considered a murderer.
 -
CLIPPED FROM
The Montgomery Vidette
Troy, North Carolina
09 Apr 1891, Thu  •  Page 3



When Abe's case finally made it to trial, it all seemed rather anticlimatic. He was granted the right of self-defense and the jury rendered a judgement of 'justifiable homocide". Abe was released, a free man. But he did not stay in North Carolina, he returned to Georgia.




Name:Maggie Mcqueen
Age:22
Birth Date:Jan 1878
Birthplace:South Carolina, USA
Home in 1900:Arran, Wakulla, Florida
House Number:241
Sheet Number:12
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:248
Family Number:248
Race:Black
Gender:Female
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Abe Mcqueen
Marriage Year:1895
Years Married:5
Father's Birthplace:South Carolina, USA
Mother's Birthplace:South Carolina, USA
Mother: Number of Living Children:1
Mother: How Many Children:1
Can Read:No
Can Write:No
Can Speak English:Yes
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
Abe Mcqueen34
Maggie Mcqueen22
James Mcqueen2



I do not know exactly where Abe met Maggie, but she was born in South Carolina, and their oldest son, Lonnie James McQueen, was born in Georgia in 1897. They were married in 1895, and probably in Georgia. Maggies family was clearly from South Carolina, and 2 year old "James", was her only child. At the turn of the century, the young family is found in the now Ghost Town of Arran, in Wakulla County, Florida. Wakulla is on the Gulf side of Florida in the "Big Bend" streach at Appalachee Bay. Located south of Tallahassee, it remains a very isolated place, very rural and moderately populated.


Wakulla County, 1893


The couple would have  another son, and possibly a daughter as well.


Name:Abraham Mcqueen
[Abaham Mclaren] 
Age in 1910:40
Birth Year:abt 1870
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1910:Precinct 9, Santa Rosa, Florida
Race:Mulatto
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital status:Widowed
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Native Tongue:English
Occupation:Turp Farm
Industry:Laundry
Employer, Employee or Other:Wage Earner
Home Owned or Rented:Own
Home Free or Mortgaged:Free
Farm or House:House
Able to Read:Yes
Able to Write:Yes
Out of Work:Y
Number of weeks out of work:0
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
Abraham Mcqueen40
Lonnie Mcqueen13
Mayron Mcqueen8





Maggie McQueen would pass away between 1902, when Marion was born, and 1910. The 1910 census shows that Abe is working in what he knows - turpentine- as a Laborere. No, he was not doing the laundry, that's a transcription error. The census tells us that he has worked 12 full months and that he is a widower, meaning his wife, Maggie, is deceased. His boys Lonnie James and Marion live with him and an amazing thing to see is tha he owns his home free and clear, no mortgage. Abe has progresssed a long way since his birth in Montgomery County, NC.

Map of Florida highlighting Santa Rosa County


They are now living in Santa Rosa County, Florida. Santa Rosa County, in Florida is located in the Panhandle, still on the Gulf side of Florida. They had moved a little north.

The next decade would prove to be an eventful one for Abe and his sons.

Name:A L Mcqueen
Gender:Male
Marriage Date:14 Nov 1915
Marriage Place:Bay, Florida, USA
Spouse:Bulah May
Film Number:000988462

In 1915, Abe would remarry to a younger woman named Beulah May.

Beulah had a daughter named Bertha, who would adopt the McQueen surname and list Abe as her stepfather on her documents, and marriage to a William J. Tasker.

Both of his sons would marry, Lonnie to Mirella "Ella" Dougal (or McDougal), and Marion first to a Nancy Banks and second, to Elnora Brown.

Name:Marion McQueen
Gender:Male
Marriage Date:29 Mar 1924
Marriage Place:Franklin, Florida, USA
Spouse:Nancy Banks
Film Number:000988312

In 1920, Abe's sons have moved to Southport, in Bay County, Florida and have followed their father into the turpentine industry. Marion is boarding with his brother Lonnie and his young family with wife Ella, and oldest daugther, Thelma. Southport is just a little ways down the coast from where they were in 1910.








Name:Marion Mcqueen
Age:19
Birth Year:abt 1901
Birthplace:Georgia
Home in 1920:Southport, Bay, Florida
Residence Date:1920
Race:Mulatto
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Boarder
Marital status:Single
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Able to Speak English:Yes
Occupation:Chipper
Industry:Turpentine Co
Employment Field:Wage or Salary
Able to Read:Yes
Able to Write:Yes
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
Lonnie Mcqueen22
Ella Mcqueen20
Thelma M Mcqueen5
Marion Mcqueen19



1920 finds Abe and Beualah, in Jackson County, Florida. There are two little girls living with them, Eunice and Ilena Byrd, who are listed as their adopted daughters. These may have been grandchildren of Beulah, as I haven't found much about her.


Name:Abe Mcqueen
Age:55
Birth Year:abt 1865
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1920:Compass Lake, Jackson, Florida
House Number:X
Residence Date:1920
Race:Mulatto
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Beulah Mcqueen
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Able to Speak English:Yes
Occupation:Farmer
Industry:Genl Farm
Home Owned or Rented:Owned
Home Free or Mortgaged:Free
Able to Write:No
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
Abe Mcqueen55
Beulah Mcqueen34
Ilena Byrd5
Eunice Byrd9
Abe has given up working in turpentine, now that he is in his 50's and has bought a farm, now owned free and clear.



Name:Abe McQueen
Issue Date:22 Aug 1918
Place:Jackson, Florida, USA
Meridian:Tallahassee
Township:002n
Range:011W
Aliquots:E½SE¼
Section:6
Accession Number:645631
Document Number:010736
Original URL:


Descendants of Abraham McQueen, their half-Scottish, half-African ancestor, who was born into slaverly, later became a fugitive, was cleared due to self-defense and moved to Florida to start a familly and ended up becoming a land owner in his own right, should be very proud of this man and the long, hard journey he had made. He bought his farm in Jackson County in 1918, free and clear, no mortgage.





Map of Florida highlighting Jackson County




Jackson County is still in the Florida Panhandle, but not on the Gulf, it's surrounded by land. Abe had moved quite frequently, but all within a connected area. I found the below record that shows he may have also had a daughter.



Name:Estelle Howard
Event Type:Death
Event Date:20 Mar 1948
Event Place:Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States
Event Place (Original):Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States
Address:290 Bainbridge
Residence Place:Brooklyn, Kings, New York
Gender:Female
Age:48
Marital Status:Widowed
Race:Black
Occupation:Maid
Birth Date:16 Feb 1900
Birthplace:U.S.A.
Burial Date:23 Mar 1948
Burial Place:New York City, New York
Cemetery:Cypress Hill Cem.
Father's Name:Abe McQueen
Father's Birthplace:U.S.A.
Mother's Name:Mattie McQueen
Mother's Birthplace:U.S.A.
Spouse's Name:Lawrence Howard
Certificate Number:cn 6526


I can't locate Abe and Beulah in the 1930 census, but both were still alive. Abe would pass the next year, in 1931, in Gulf County, Florida, in a rather informal death record. He may have been there on business, or purchasing things for his farm, because Beualah outlived him and I don't believe they had moved.



Name:Abe Mcqueen
Gender:Male
Race:Black
Death Date:1931
Death Place:Gulf, Florida, United States


By 1935, Abe's widow, Beulah, was living in Palm Beach.



Name:Beulah McQueen
Age:48
Gender:Female
Race:Colored (Black)
Birth Place:North Carolina
Est. Birth Year:abt 1887
Marital status:Single
Census Year:1935
Locality:Precinct 10
County:Palm Beach
Page:26
Line:45
Archive Series #:S5, Roll 22
Household Members:
NameAge
Beulah McQueen48

Abe McQueen made a long journey during his 68 years of life. He was born into slavery, but never knew it as his family was free the next year. His mother, a slave of African ancestry, had raised him in the home of his father, a Scottish immigrant, in Montgomery County, North Carolina. He began working in the turpentine industry, where he would continue to make a living for most of his working career. As a young man, he got into an altercation with another man he worked with that had came to blows. The man ended up dying from his injuries and Abe attempted to flee justice, uncertain of his future, and had fled to Georgia. During the year he spent in Georigia, he may have made some acquatainces and friends. His year as a fugitive would end and he was arrested and returned to North Carolina for trial. It was found justifiable, as he had acted in self-defence and Abe was again a free man. He did not return to North Carolina, but appears to have returned to Georgia. There, he married Maggie, a girl from Georgia and had at least two sons, Lonnie James and Marion. One of his half-brothers in North Carolina had an older son named Lonnie James, so this may be where the name came from. 

By the turn of the century, Abe and family were in Florida, where he would remain. Despite moving around quite a bit, he would stay in the Gulf/Panhandle area. By 1910, he owned his own home, free and clear. In 1918, he purchased a farm in Jackson County, Florida withot a mortgage. 

Widowed, he would marry a woman named Beulah May with a daughter named Bertha. In middle age, they would adopt two little girls, Eunice and Ilena Byrd. Abe created a good foundation for his two sons and step-daughter. 

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Lonnie James McQueen (1897 - 1971) would raise his family in Bay County, Florida, first in Southport and then for the remainder of his life, in Panama City. He married Mirella "Ella" McDougal by 1914, and together they had 9 children: Thelma May, Retha, Lonnie Jr., Jenny, John L., Mozell, Osceola, Eldie W. and Ruby M. McQueen. The couple was married for 53 years until Ella's death in 1967.  Lonnie worked in lumber and for the International Paper Company, according to City Directories. 


Marion McQueen (1901-1970) lived in Gulf County, Florida before settling in Miami. He had 4 sons with his second wife, Elnora Brown McQueen: Harrell, Bonnie, Ezell "Bud", and Marion, Jr. 

Marion made a career in the military and worked in his later years in a military store. Both sons had served their country in WWI and WWII.