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Reconstruction Period Research Forum

Black Legislator Shepherd Mullen

Who has information to prove or disprove my hypothesis? I believe that my ancestors Isaac and Jane Mullen of AL are relatives, possibly parents, of Shepherd Mullen (c. 1828-1871), a former slave elected during Reconstruction as a representative from Waco, McLennan Co., TX to the Texas Legislature. Isaac was born about 1804 in NC; Jane about 1809 in VA. (The surname is variously spelled as Mullen, Mullens, Mullin, Mullins. I use Mullen for the black family and Mullins for the white family, though they are connected by blood as well as bondage.)

Shepherd Mullen, possibly son of Isaac and Jane, was born a slave in Lawrence Co., AL. He arrived in 1854 in McLennan Co., TX with the slaveholding family headed by Thomas and Charity Mullins of AL. Thomas is a brother of James R. Mullins of Lawrence Co. They are sons of William Thomas Mullins who migrated to AL from VA.

My ancestors appear as a "mulatto" farming family in 1866 and 1870 census rolls for Wolf Spring, Lawrence Co., AL. They apparently were former slaves of James R. Mullins of Lawrence Co., AL, who claimed 32 African Americans as his property in 1850. He kept a record of 22 slaves given to his heirs 1832-1861, listing 21 of them by name. His father William Mullins in Franklin Co., AL claimed 5 slaves in 1820. Apparently my ancestors Isaac and Jane remained with the slaveholding patriarch James Mullins until Emancipation. Isaac had personal property worth $250 in 1870. Perhaps he was among the freedmen whose votes helped to re-elect Ulysses S. Grant as president in 1872, following ratification of the 15th Amendment.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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