Jude Beach


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Slave trunk reportedly made in Calloway County, Kentucky, by an enslaved individual for "Aunt Jude" Beach. who also was enslaved.

Wooden trunk made of salvaged rough hewn boards. Hand forged iron strips secured with nuts run across both ends of the lid. A hand forged iron hasp and a sheet metal plate serve as the locking mechanism. Cast iron bail handles are attached to heart-shaped, hand forged iron plates are affixed to both ends of the trunk. There is evidence that some kind of stain and/or paint was applied to several of the boards. A leather strap on the inside of the lid connects to the bottom half of the trunk.

Note: Documenting the lives of 19th century African Americans, especially formerly enslaved individuals, is challenging. Beach/Bean/Smith family tradition holds that "Aunt Jude" Beach (b. about 1805) was an enslaved woman who was part of the dowry of Mary J. Beach (1827-1897) of Henry County, Tennessee. Both women moved to Calloway County, Kentucky, after Mary Beach married Dempsey Bean (1829-1910) in 1849. The property of Aunt Jude, this trunk was reportedly made by an unknown enslaved individual. While Jude Beach does not appear on the 1850 or 1860 U.S. Census, the 1880 Census lists Juda Beach. According to the later Census, she was born in Virginia, had been widowed and currently was employed as a servant. Her information was recorded immediately following the data for the individuals in Dempsey Bean's household.


Civil War 1861-1864, Confederate States of America, African Americans, Blacks


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