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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

[GA] Cont' with the story of Martha Mitchell-Venebrooks

Martha Venebrooks or Mattie Greenwood as she is known by either name, was arraigned in the police court yesterday afternoon on the charge of being a suspicious character.
She is the white woman of pure Caucasian blood, who was once a slave in Georgia; the woma who was given away to negro slave and was herself sold as a slave; the woman who, knowing now that she is a Caucasian is forced to accept the social position of a negro.
This wonderful story, which was told in yesterday's Constitution came out in the recorders court yesterday afternoon and as the recorder remarked its counterpart was never known in the court annals Ga before.
The police had found Martha Venebrooks among negroes, and the face that she was living as she was made her case suspicious and she was held for investigation.
As soon as the woman walked from the waiting room Recorder Broyles remarked' "There is a no mistaking the fact about her being a white person." "What have you to say about living with negroes?" the recorder asked the woman she she replied:
"It is the truth, but what else am I to do? I have told the police who and what I am. I stated to them last night that I was born in Augusta fifty-five years ago, and that my father and mother were both white. I was given to a mulatto woman, named Liza Mitchell claiming me as her child. I was sold as a slave, and was married to a negro man by my master. My name at first was Martha Mitchell, and the man I married was named Venebrooks. When I was sold to an Atlanta lawyer, just beore teh close of the war, I was seperated from Venebrooks, and never saw him again. After the war I married Greenwood, and taht is why I am called by that name. I learned that I was white from the late Judge WRight who knew all about my birth. HE wanted me at one time to enter suit against my father and mothers estates. I was never educated, and cannot read nor write. That is my history as truthfully as I can tell it. Now, admitting that I am a white person and am living as a negro and with negroes, I ask you what else can I do?"
"In the first place." said Recorder Broyles, " I can't see that you have violated any city ordiance, I cannot advise you now to live as regards your racial position, but I must remarked that your history is one of the strangest I have ever heard. It does seem that since were a slave and married a negro for oever half a century you could hardly expect the result of which was a terrible curse that rested upon you. The case against you in this court is dismissed."
The woman went away, doubtless to take up her old life among the race of people to which she belongs by a prescription of fate, if not by a hertiage of blood.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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