Evangelist Carolyn Malaika Foster-Brooks
If you have any additional information on this family, PLEASE SHARE IT WITH ME!
August 28, 2003, 5:55 pm
Author: Evangelist Carolyn Malaika Foster-Brooks
THE MISSING LINKS.....
According to the oral history of the family as given by Eula Foster-Conley
(granddaughter of Sue Bryan-Foster and Viola Childs Crosley who now resides at
Darcy Hall Nursing Home in West Palm Beach, Florida), "Ma Sue" as she was
affectionately called by all who knew and loved her was a slave.
Ma Sue, a very beautiful, black complexioned woman, along with her mother,
father, 2 brothers and 3 sisters were sold into slavery at Fort Gaines (Clay
County), Georgia. Sue, her mother and 3 sisters Josephine, Lue & Pussey)were
seperated from the men and they ended up in Baker County, Georgia. Date
unknown. It is believed that Ma Sue and her family came over on a ship. It is
said that the slave dealer that brought this family over was Captain Joseph
Bryan (thus the name Bryan/Bryant originated) and that the Bryan/Bryants were
land rich. Sue's father and brothers acquired land from the Bryan/Bryant family
in Clay County.
It is possible that Ma Sue met her husband, John Foster who is reportedly a
Black Creek Indian, who was born circa 1850 in Clay County,Georgia. The reason
I belive this is because the 1860 Census for Clay County lists several Foster's
who were slaves at Cotton Hill.
It was common for people who lived in the same community to marry just as it is
To the union of John and Ma Sue were born: Will, Charlie, Lucious, Raif (John),
Evannah (only girl) and Ernest.
At this writing it is known how or when John Foster died, but in the census
records of June 30 ,1880, Sue is shown at age 23 as the wife of John (30
Mulatto) with two sons, Charlie (age 3) and Raif (age 6 months). The next
census shows Sue as a widow with 7 children. Therefore it is believed that John
Foster died between July 1880 and 1890.
Apparently Ma Sue found favor in the eyes of a young,enterprising farmer
named Scott E. Bridges, who lived in the Patmos Community. Although they did
not marry, to that union of Scott and Sue, a son was born on January 30, 1897.
His name was Robert (Bob/Bobby) Bridges Foster in Baker County, Georgia. Scott
Bridges acknowledged his son, as "his little nigga" when he saw him at the
local community grocery store owned by the Jones. Much to his disdain, Bobby
didnot like that reference, yet was thankful to know who his father was and it
was not a secret in the family. Actually it could not have too much of a secret
to the white neighbors because Scott took care of Sue and her children by
giving her land . It is not known how this transaction legally took place. All
is known at this writng is that Sue and her mother and sisters lived on the
Smith Plantation ( Tom and Georgia Smith. At some point Sue was given 5 acres
of land and on this land there were 3 houses. The first house was a log house,
the second house was where "Papa Bob" (my grandfather:son of Sue & Scott) lived
and the house that Ma Sue's mother and sisters lived in.
Ma Sue was an active member of Christ Methodist Church which evolved into
Christ CME Church and Scott was a member of The Patmos Free Will Baptist Church
and was active in the Milford Masonic Lodge in which he held 3 titles during
the years 1903-05.
To date it is not known how the community reacted to Scott and Sue's
relationship. It could have been one of shame and disgrace, but considering the
fact that negroes and especially negro women were considered as subserviant in
those days, Sue could have been a "trophy" of Scott's and he was admired for
it!! The truth to this matter is now in the grave.
But I tend to believe the latter considereing the fact that Scott married
Ida Walton on June 17, 1898, daughter of Samuel Westley Walton ( twice the
Worshipful Master of the Milford Masonic Lodge). And that Scott and Ida lived
in a twostory house south of Patmos near Alligator Creek in the early 1900's
(which is after his son , Bobby Bridges Foster was born).
There is much more to the history of this extended family, but with Susan
(aka Sue) Bryant-Foster, The Missing Links begin and as time goes by, the links
will be found and recorded forever in cyberspace for her diverse family to know