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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Mary Clark & Shannon X'n
In Response To: Alfred Anderson VA>OH ()

I've located a white Mary Clark living in Wellsburg twp. of Brooke Co., Virginia in 1820. It seems Mary Clark is passing for white at that time. Living with Mary are two young boys and no one else. This appears to be Alfred's mother.

The only other clue to Mary Clark's birth family is that she was reared from a young age by "Mrs Ralston the widow of an officer of the American Revolution." I have a lead on a regional Ralston revolutionary veteran, but there were likely numerous Ralston officers in that war.

Following is background info I've gathered on Gov. Shannon and a possible link to Alfred Anderson. Gov. Shannon was Wilson Shannon b.1802, son of George Shannon and Sarah Milligan. He was one of seven sons & two daughters. His father froze to death while hunting. His elder brothers helped raise the family.

Wilson Shannon ". .. early engaged in politics, being a strong and reliable Democrat from the beginning. As such, by election and appointment, he filled the following offices: County Attorney, 1832 to 1836; Governor of Ohio, 1838-40, and again 1842-44; Minister to Mexico, 1844; Member of Congress, 1852-54."

In 1855 he was appt'd gov. of Kansas. He was pro-slavery and quickly found the intense heat of the slavery question in Bloody Kansas. He called in federal troops, but the commander would not consent to the request without direct orders from Washington. Shannon resigned the governor's office in the summer of 1856. I suppose it was a bit too hot in Kansas for Gov. Shannon.

George Shannon, an older brother, was sent as a youth to live with an uncle near Pittsburgh. George ran away at age 18 or 19 and managed to get himself on board the Lewis & Clark expedition. He was put on trial probation, passed snuff, and worked as one of the hunters. He could also sign talk with the Indians. Shannon got himself wounded trying to return a Mandan chief L&C brought to Washington, to his tribe. Shannon lost his leg, then attempted to get an education.

William Clark helped George Shannon get into Transylvania Univ. at Lexington, sending a letter of intro to his brother Jonathan Clark in Lexington. Shannon attended school and studied law for a brief time. He was then sent east by Wm. Clark to help draft the official journals of the L&C expedition, following the death of Lewis.

So George Shannon has an ongoing connection to a Clark family and has family ties to the area of Pittsburg -- close to Wheeling WV where Alfred Anderson was born. George Shannon was also a prolific traveler. All this suggests he is a likely suspect as Alfred Anderson's father. Any other theories or suggestions about this link?


Messages In This Thread

Alfred Anderson VA>OH
Mary Clark & Shannon X'n

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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