STEAGALL FAMILY

RETURN TO OS CONFEDERADS

STEAGALL FAMILY

Henry Farrar Steagall was an American Civil War veteran, fought for the Confederacy. He enlisted in 1862 as a private in Capt. John R. Smith's Company of Gonzales County (Texas) Cavalry, which became Co. B of Waul's Texas Legion. At the time of his enlistment, he was described as age 41, born in North Carolina, married and a resident of Gonzales County, Texas. He was listed as present on the muster roll for June 13, 1862, at Camp Waul, Washington County, Texas. He was captured at the Fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 4, 1863. He was exchanged on September 12, 1863, and was transferred for duty in Texas. He was present for duty on May 16, 1865, at Galveston, Texas, as a private, although at least one muster roll lists him as a "Brevet 2nd Lieutenant". After the war, he migrated with his family to Brazil in 1867 and settled in Santa Barbara d'Oeste - SP.

The colony of Confederates gave rise to the city of Americana. He is buried along with other veterans at the "Cemitério dos Confederados" in Santa Barbara d'Oeste.

Henry Farrar Steagall, born 2 March 1821 in Franklin Co. NC; died 4 January 1888 at 5:AM in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, SP, Brazil and is buried, with his wife, in Cemitério do Campo, in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste. He was the son of Edward Steagall and Martha Williams Bobbitt. He married Delia Elisabeth Peck 7 November 1848 in Lake Reelfoot, Union City, TN. Delia was born 4 February 1833 in Davidson Co. TN; died 19 October 1894 in São Paulo, SP. She was the daughter of John Peck and Temperance Amanda Crawford.

Henry Farrar Steagall was born in a wealthy family, from his mother's side. He had one brother and two half sisters of an earlier marriage of his mother. About his father, the only thing we were able to learn was his name, from an old bible record in the family's bible. We also know that his father died before 1832, thus when Henry was younger than eleven years old.

Between 1932 and 1948, so after his father's death, he moved with his family to near Lake Reelfoot, Union City, Weakley County in Tennessee, where he met and married Delia. However, it seems he still was listed on the 1848 tax list of Johnston County, NC.

Henry Farrar Steagall was one of the pioneers who helped to establish Texas state, from a very educated family, whose one member, was professor at the state university, his Uncle John Bobbitt. He came from Tennessee to Gonzales County, Texas, in 1852. He was contagiated by the pioneer spirit ruling those days around 1850. He sold his property, bought some new fabrics covered wagons, gathered his belongings and slaves and loaded on them. And went to the unknown Texas. His family travelled in a cozy carriage ahead the wagons. His wife Delia Peck and three little children formed his family; the oldest was Martha Temperance four years old, called Pattie by her family, John Edward; the newborn Thomas Henry, and Henry's mother Martha Williams Bobbitt. Pattie walked large part of the trip side by side to the convoy, holding her father's hand. They crossed the Mississippi River in a ferry, camping at the roads margins in the evenings. Pattie, much fearless, didn't want to sleep into the tent with her mother, prefering to sleep with her father, under the sky, looking at the stars.

What prompted Henry and Delia Peck Steagall to move their family to Texas?

Weakley County, Tennessee was surveyed by Henry Rutherford and John Weakley who also surveyed much of middle Tennessee and North Carolina. Henry Rutherford was the son of Griffin Rutherford, a noted surveyor or North Carolina. Henry Rutherford married the daughter of Col. John Johnson who died 4 March 1816 in Williamson Co. TN. The Johnson's were closely affiliated with another middle Tennessee family, the McCrory's, who by tradition have ancestral Irish ties to Crawfords, Delia relatives. Henry Rutherford's daughter, Elizabeth, married John Crawford, another surveyor 27 of February 1808. Nothing is known of the ancestry of John Crawford who was born 16 March 1784 and died in Williamson Co. TN in 1813. John Crawford's siblings, identified through family letters, were William Crawford, Alexander Crawford, Samuel Crawford, and Mrs. McCoy. When John Crawford died, Lazarus Crawford of Rutherford County, Tennessee,

Henry Steagall.jpg

Henry Farrar Steagall

Delia Peck.jpg

Delia Pack

Sarah Elizabeth Steagall.jpg

Sarah Elizabeth Steagall) Married Robert Wilson McFadden),

Martha "Patti" Temperance Steagall - Married Robert Cicero Norris), 

Margaret Cynthia Staegall - Married Leroy Chalmers Holland

in New Orleans, during their travel to Brazil in 1867.  Patti had sewed this dress herself, and was so happy that she wanted to take this picture.

Delia's grandfather, held a note against the estate. John and Elizabeth Rutherford Crawford had three sons, Washington P. Crawford b. 6 June 1809, died 17 July 1834, Henry Rutherford Crawford born 26 April 1811 died 9 August 1870, and his twin, James Johnson Crawford born 26 April 1811, died 22 August 1844. Henry Rutherford Crawford left Weakley Co. TN and made his way to Texas... first settling in Gonzales County. About 1844 he moved to the area of San Marcos, Texas. We have assumed that Henry Rutherford Crawford wrote back to his friends and relatives in Weakley County, TN and said "come on out to Texas"! Gonzales County is north-northeast of San Antonio in an area that contains many underground springs one of them being the largest underground spring in the world, as they used to say.

They settled at Gonzales Co. TX, where they had a farm. In Texas, Henry and Delia had five more children. They lived there few years before and during the war, when Henry left the farm under his wife rule and went to the front. Hard times to manage a farm, when there were no men to work on it. And also there were the children's education to think about. They lived so far a school that was necessary to have a teacher at home. Pattie, the oldest child, was who benefit more of this, receiving a very sophisticated education.

In 1862 Henry Farrar Steagall enlisted as a private in Capt. John R. Smith's Company of Gonzales County Cavalry, which became Company B of Waul's Texas Legion. It was the first company to left Gonzales. At the time of his enlistment, he was described as age 41, born in North Carolina, married and a resident of Gonzales County, Texas. He was listed as present on the muster roll for June 13, 1862, at Camp Waul, Washington County, Texas. He went to Virginia, got sick and was dismissed. Soon he got healthy again and went back to war. He was captured at the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 4, 1863. He was exchanged on September 12, 1863, and was transferred for duty in Texas. He was present for duty again on May 16, 1865, at Galveston, Texas, as a private, although at least one muster roll lists him as a Brevet 2nd Lieutenant.

Pattie tells us: "It was beautiful my fathers's farm. Many acres of fertile lands, good houses, horses and cattle in quantity, corn flour-mill, cotton benefactor machines, but in that terrible days, of incredibe terror, the reconstruction after the civil war, it was impossible our staying. Crimes were commited every day, all around, by former slaves that didn't work and who lived in plundering and robbing. Many recent arrived Yankees protected them and it was not allowed us to complain. The cotton fields were all white waiting for somebody to harvest them. And there was nobody to do it. One day a man appeared with many freed slaves and soon harvested it all."

When Henry came back from the war, found his plantation lost in the jungle and nobody to help him to grow them. He took his state of things during two or three years, then decided to emmigrate to Brazil. He was fearless of starting everything again, for this was what he did when went to Texas. That adventure gave him experience to a greater enterprise. He knew what was necessary and what was superfluous to take. It is said also that when Henry decided to come to Brazil, he payed for the trip to about ten friends from Gonzales who wanted to come with them but could not afford.

About the trip of the family to Brazil we have the precious story that Maggie left us in "Wealthy Memories of a Long Life" published in August 11th, 1908 on Brazilian-American, edited on Rio de Janeiro. Henry contacted a Jewish man named Charles Natan, who was gathering unsatisfied Southerners to go to Brazil. Henry rented a cart to take their belingings to Indianola, 110 miles distant, and there they took a vessel to New Orleans, where they arrived December 24, 1867. Receiving word from the delaying of the vessel, Henry found a place and loddged in a large family house. They stayed there for three weeks, afterwords he rented and furnished a house, where they waited in until April the eleventh, to go to Brazil. We know that having not much to do in New Orleans, Pattie decided to learn how to sew. She herself made a beautiful dress and was so proud of it that wanted to take a picture wearing it. This is the photograph all the family still has a copy today, where can we see Pattie and her two next sisters.

Henry carried a letter of introduction from the Office of E. E. Tansil General Commission Merchant, 58 Carondelet Street, New Orleans dated 8 April 1868:

"To all whom it may concern,

"This will be presented by my friend Henry Farrar Steagall, who immigrates to Brazil for the purpose of making it his future permanent home. He is a good Citizen, and is in every way worthy of the highest esteem and confidence. I have known him for years, and can vouch for him as a reliable and trustworthy gentleman in every respect.

 

Very Respectfully.

E. C. Tansil".

There were no steamers those days, and theirs was a sailing boat named Wren, which they had rebuilted and renamed Tartar. They found and hired a Capitain, payed by day, who had the courage to sail an adapted ship, used before to break the maritime siege during the war. Nathan brothers had made the rebuilting to transport of emigrants to Brazil. Two hundred twenty five persons were fearless enough to get on board in April 17, 1868. God protected them and they had clam sea during all the trip. If a storm had beat them it would be the end, for the ship was old, had no weight enough and any strong wind could turn it up side down. It was much slow, the trip lasting almost two months. The acomodations were awfull and the passengers hat to settle the best they could. Having just left the wintertime and crossing the Equator, most children got cold and coughing, and the only medicine they had on board was a water glass where they added a couple of chlorine droppings. Clothes were a big problem. There was a little of water to wash them but, where do find some live coal to fill the iron? Necessity is the mother of all inventions. Mrs. Carlton, who was a pretty fat lady and did not had much balance to stand up in the ship, was mostly of the time seated in a swinging-chair. Nothing easier than perfectly fold the clean clothes and make her to spend a couple of hours seated over them.

Aunt Emma (Amelia Jane Steagall) told Itamar Kitzmiller that during the trip to Brazil, they had a stop in some island's port, and their nurse maid, an Irish girl, desappeared. During the next day she came back, and when Delia asked her "where were you?" she answered: "In jail".

The vessel stopped for five days in Belém, the Capital of the Brazilian State of Pará, where many passengers landed. They spent one night in Pernambuco and, after three days, finally landed in Rio. It was May 29th. The Tartar's passengers had left behind desolate lands, poverty, beloved relatives, friends, schools, churches... How might be the starting new life? The oldest had their hearts heavy of the departure pain and also life's experience enough to know they were not properly going to find calm sea at the landing harbour. Although slowly they got amused with the novelty of ship travelling and with day-by-day chores, which always looked ordinary, and became dificult in a different environment.

Many families had to take their own food and cook it on board. Weather was calm and the pans stood over the fire, did not sliding due to the vessel's swinging. Mothers always had to take care the children being sure that nothing bad happen, but the girls, who usually cared about the house cleaning and embelishing, had nothing to do. Lockie, daughter of John Trigg, was much pretty and friendfull and soon became friend to other boys and girls. They where in that age that everything was a golden dream, the new land was going to be sun and springtime. Amongst the people, there was a kind boy, named Andrew Jackson Peacock, a very adventured spirit, who faced the unknown all alone. This young man did not satisfied being alone for long time. He loved Lockie Trigg and got married just after landing in Rio.

In Rio everybody lodged at the Immigrant's Hotel, where stayed for a week, until find a definitive direction. It was a much big house that the Brazilian Government, waiting for a lot of Immigrants that time had adapted to offer lodging and food to the newcomers. The Americans were visited by Emperor D. Pedro II, who was specially interested about the ones who came to Brazil. The old king talked to eachone and when saw little Jenny Carlton put his hand over her head and said he wished the girl was a blessing to her new motherland. The Americans who were already living in Brazil also visited the newcomers. So Rev. Emerson learnt that, since the comercial agreement with England, in 1810, foreigners could built their chapells here, but the buildings were forbiden to have towers and look like churches. British and Germans had already built theirs, but were not spreading out their faith. Americans put more effort on that, and distributed some bibles in Rio and were beguining in the country side.

Pattie Tells: " I want make clear that we did not consider ourselves immigrants, but so were called. We considerated ourselves refugees, running from tumult and attribulation, to this land of peace, abundance and generous people. We stayed a week in the House then Daddy boughh tickets to Santos, a harbor city in São Paulo State.

"What a travel was that! Certainly we did not know the language. As Daddy thought he was buying first class tickets, we went to the vessel's big room. As soon as we got seated, a man showed making us gestures to follow him. He took us, and about thirty other people, to a small room with a table, benches and shelves on the walls. After few hours, the hunger drove us to ask for food. They brought us a bowl with yucca root flour, where they had layed some hot water. This or nothing else. Nobody could sleep that night, of course.

"Arriving to Santos, in the next day, we had a good meal in a decent hotel. Same day we got the train to Jundiai, end of the line. The train cars were open, they had floor, roof, benches, but no walls, only rails on the sides. In Jundiaí we went to a hotel whose walls were made of clay, the roof of dried palm tree leaves, and the floor of beated mud, but the food was wonderful. Men found some ox carts, the only way of placing that many people, spite they had a carriage named "diligência", which used to quickly take people to Campinas. The ox wagons, being slow, gave us, to the young ones, the opportunity of walking. After we put, by walking, a great distance ahead the convoy, we arrived to Rocinha very hot, tired and hungry. The hostel, also made of clay walls, was managed by a German man who kindly offered us german food and excellent coffee and, wow, white bread! How many of you can evaluate what does it mean?" Pattie might never guess her granddaughter, Mary Jones, was going to marrie, one day, Hans Rehder, great grandson of this very same German man.

It is said that Martha Bobbitt was a little senile when they got ot Brazil. During this trip the ox cart conductors, wanting the oxes to go faster, frequently said "Anda, diabo!" (Faster, Devil!) and Martha's first word in Portuguese, that she was repeating on and on was "diaba". When, few days, after their arrival to Santa Bárbara, some people asked for water, she gave them, they thanked and she said "diaba!".

Pattie goes on; "After we got saciated, we created courage to go on. Just before reaching Campinas, a horseman came toward us speaking in loud English. What a gentle music to our ears! His name was Paul Velaki, and he had a Hotel in Campinas. Came to met us as customers and we were very glad to accept his lodging. We met Cel. White, from Texas, who was very well acquainted to everybody but us. Anywasy who was able of Speaking English we welcame very well. We rented a house and stayed there for a week. We had all our furniture from New Orleans. Meanwhile the men went to Santa Bárbara search for a place for we to settle. It was in this house that I first met my future husband, Capt. Robert C. Norris. He visited us with Dr. Christopher Ezelie and Mr. George Northrup, all from Alabama.

"Our men bought land from Cel. Norris, my future father-in-law, and there we went, in the unavoidable ox carts, until we could get some horses at the Norris' farm. It was a large farm, with many houses, were we could temporary cosyly stay. It was in this houses we had our first met to "bicho-de-pé". Thousands of them! We suffered till we learnt how to avoid they to enter our skin. Then came the "bernes" and "mosquito-pólvora", and how they burnt! Nobody had a little rest during the day, nor the men at the plantations, neither the women at home, if we did not make a fabric braid and burn it to make some smoke, thus driving away the insects. After a couple of years they desappeared. (It seems Brazilian insects caused strong impressions on them. Pattie wrote a letter where most of the time she drescribes them, read full explication about the insects in this letter, translated soon ahead) "We were happier than many Americans, for we had all of our furniture and two hundred thousand "reis" in the pockets, what was a fortune then. And other did not have a Penny or quite a few. Bralizian people were much generous, giving us presents, and credit selling, helping the poorest to grow their first harvest. We were the first ones to have kerozen lamps. Lightening those times was candle light, usually with home made candles."

The general habit in Santa Bárbara was going to bed early, as soon as got dark, thus saving the candles. One night one of the old neighbors asked to her husband: - "Do you think is going to rain this night?" The old man walked by the dark corridor and mistook the back door, opening the panstrys instead. Puting his nose inside, he inhaled deeply and said "It is damn dark and smells like cheese!"

There was so many things to do then, the first days they got settled in the new home. First came the plantations: A lot of land to plow, as it was late in the year and rainy season was arriving, and with it, seeding time. Henry Steagall worked so much that in the evenings just wanted to get rest. Letters to friends and relatives were thus usually written by Pattie. Here is the copy of one of her letters:

"Santa Barbara, December 29, 1868. "Capt. J. W. Stell,

"Dear sir,

"We were extremely glad of reading your letter of November 8th, which we received last Sunday. As Daddy is quite busy with the plantaion and does not like much writting. He makes me his Secretary; I am going to answer in my name, spite your letter had been addressed to him. This is the first letter we received from Texas, since we left New Orleans. The newpapers you have sent did not get here, what made us very disappointed, for during a long time we do not read one. Papers sent from United States are picked at the post offices by any American who see the m and are never returned or delivered to their owners; thus it is almost impossible to receive them unless they are wrapped or inside an envelope.

"We are in good health now, but Thomas who had slight fever, he is better though. Grandma had a lot of creepings during the travel and soon after our arrival, however is strong now. Mr. Peacock have been pretty sick five months ago but got healed. Everybody else had passing coughs. There is almost no diseases amongst the American and Brazilian people. Two deaths happened to the first ones in this part of Brazil. One child, grandchild of Cel. Norris and Mrs. Oliver, from Texas, who died of tuberculosis, a disease that Brazil does not heal. The mild weather and clean atmosphere of this country will make well to someone who is not too bad, but will not reach the permanent healing. However, the ones who have weak loans should come here. "I think the Americans are not affected by this country's diseases, for we have different habits than the natives ones. They have jowl, which must be caused due to the fact they live in houses with no wooden floor and walk barefoot all the year around. They also have leprosy and feet swellings. I've seen several Blacks and Portugueses lacking one or more toes.

"The insects from this country are many and some are much disturbing, There is a large red ant which appears in the cotton plantations that, if not immediately destroyed by the ants killing machine, eats all the crops and cotton. There are great many and they much disturb the farmers. Daddy already killed a lot in his plantation. There is a smaller black one that pricks sharply, but is easy to kill digging its house with the hoe. Although, beside these, farming has no other enemy. In summertime the small mosquitos are a nuisance. The ones who work in the fields have to wear lightened ropes hanging from their hats, to drive them away from the face. There is a larger one, like the buffalo-mosquito, which bites but the itchiness is light. There are some small bees, which sometimes attack men and animals and prick them till they die. When you hear them arriving, the best is running away as fast as you can. It is not always that they kill though. Several Americans have been pricked by them but managed to escape in time. The prick is much painfull and produces much swelling. There is another mosquito which lay one egg inside the skin and soon after become a worm, like the ones from the cattle. If it is not pulled, grows a lot. The egg, or larvae, that is named "berne" here, can be easily destroyed with a little of smashed tobacco. It can also be squished alive, but then is too painfull, and it is easier after it is dead.. People say that there are no pain while it is under the skin. We have flyes, mosquitoes and castor beans. Bedbugs there are, and many. There is another smaller insect, but very alike the thumbtacks, called "bicho-de-pé", which invade the skin of the feet and hands and form a small nest inside the skin, within it spawns its eggs, and, if not pulled soon, makes a colony. The nest can be pulled with the top of a knife, making no pain or scar, and healing fast if one is healthy. When the feet are cleaned everyday with cold water, they hardly ever appear. In the spring and summer there are a lot of louses.

"There are deers and other wild animals which would give a lot of satisfaction to any hunter, if the jungle was not that closed. It is always necessary to open your way there with a knife. Many dot panters have been seen by the Americans, but none has atacked. The "tatu", a small animal, that has a kind of armor in the back and dig holes to hide, is very tastefull to eat. There are quite large lizards, much appreciated by Brazilians, few Americans eat them though. Monkeys there are in quantity, the Brazilians are very fond of eating them too. Exist also wild pigs and wild dogs and many other animals that I do not remember the names. Since our arrival, never heard of anybody snake bited. There are few and mostly are not poisoning.

"Your seasons and ours are exactly opposite, being your Summer our Winter and vice-versa. Now, while you complain about the cold and get closer to your fireplaces, here, the ones those work in the fields have to rest at noon, during one hour, due to the hot weather. Summer here is hotter than in our region in Texas. Winter is not that strong, spite sometimes we have frostings and in June 23th a much stronger one. Summer evenings usually are fresh and nice. Sometimes rains start in the middle of December lasting till March. The rest of the year we have scattered rains.

"The land is undulated and ordinarily much fertile. They produce corn, cotton, tobacco, rice, sugar cane, potatoes (sweet and common), coffee, all sort of green leaves to salads and vegetables, bananas, pineapples, lemons, peaches, oranjes, etc, in abundancy. The water is excellent and enough.

"The plantations are beautiful. Daddy has twelve acres of cotton, crossed by corn, each twelve feet, and eight acres of corn alone. Pastures are good all year around and we spend no money feeding cattle, unless they work in the fields. Pigs, weighting 200 to 300 pounds worth from 30 up to 50 thousand "reis" , 15 to 25 dollars. Spawning female pigs can be purchased for moderated prices and grow well with a few of caring. Horses and mules keep fine with the pastures, and a good and docile one worths 50 to 120 thousand reis. Milking cows with calf, from 40 to 60 thousand reis. Coffee worths 5 thousand each 30 pounds, corn 60 cents for acre of 64 pounds, molasses 5 thousand a barrel of 15 gallons. Chicken worths 8 to 30 cents and grows quite well here.

"There are about fifteen or twenty families in the closest neirborhood, all American, as respectable and intelligent as the ones which live in the United States. They talk about builting a school as soon as possible. Then we will have lectures, Sunday school and ordinary school. The Americans keep coming and I hope seing soon many of our friends from Gonzales. This is, undoubtfully, a large country, and those who want to work enough can get wealthy. We can purchase molasses, coffee, sugar, rice, beans, corn flour, pigs and tobacco, all in this neigborhood. In Santa Barbara, seven miles from here, beautiful french calicos worth 25 cts, and the ordinary cotton from 15 to 30 cts. And everything else is cheap too.

"Write us always, and we will be very thankfull if you send us, once in a while, a paper in an envelope. Regards to your family and closest friends.

"Respectfully,

Pattie T. Steagall

"P.S. The Paraguay war did not damaged the country and we have heard it is over. "From here to 60 miles, and on, Brazilians will provide, to the ones who want to grow coffee, as much land as they can farm, they will pay 10 cents each formed coffee tree, what means 80 dollars an acre, and also will let you grow corn, cotton, etc., in between the coffee during four years, at the end of which, they will give the employees a credit bill that one can sell in Rio, or slaves to the who wants to establish on farming. The contractors also will have rights over the coffee harvest of the fourth year. The Brazilian lowest class can be hired paying quite a few money. Lands there are high and much appropriate to farming coffee. "Respectfully, Pattie"

Pattie still writes: " Cotton plantations were the main activity of Americans in Brazil and were much profitable till the farms were invaded by "coruquerês". Then they became sugar cane farmers. It was a fight to earn money enough those days. Spite the heavy hard work, to the men and women either, privations, and complet lacking of diversions, we were much happy, for had reached the calm see after the storm."

Three years after their arrival in Brazil, Henry and Delia had their last child, Hellen Virginia, the only born there.

Henry was remembered by his friends in Brazil as a very skilled man, great carpenter, he made the first made plow structures to the Americans helped by John Domm, who was a blacksimth, wagon parts, etc. He helped to build the Retiro School, in Americana, and made all its benches, but one of his more beautiful works were the symbolic columns of the Masonic store, all craved wood. His sons inherited his gifts and were great leather weavers. Henry made a little dam on his property's creek, and dammed water to move the water wheels of his cotton machine and corn flour mill. He had a huge orchard in his home at Retiro Neighborhood, with all sort of fruits, many qualities of bananas, peaches, quinces, figs, oranges, lemons, persimon and grapes, that hanged in huge black clusters, of which he made juice for all the year. Like in the American ancient homes, he dug a sort of cellar, before made the house over, and there kept the grapes juice, sweet potatoes, onions and pumpkins, in a dark place to not bud. And Delia was always remembered by women having babies. There were few doctors in Santa Barbara and she was the one who was requested to help these women.

The old Henry Farrar Steagall died in the beginning of 1888. After the death of her husband, Delia Elisabeth Peck sold her property and moved to São Paulo with the single daughters. She went to live where her daughters cold have more opportunities of working and studying. After her death her remains were brought to Santa Barbara. She is buried on Campo Cemetery with her husband and several children.

In the American Immigration Museum of Santa Barbara d'Oeste, we can see several objects that once belonged to Henry Farrar, among them a linen shirt and many ancient pictures of his family. One of them as old as 1864, taken in New Orleans, when they were waiting for the steamer they came to Brazil. The Steagall family has preserved records, Bibles, and letters. Letters include those from S. C. Thomason to " my very dear niece". The letters are written from Dresden, Weakley Co, TN. There are also letters from Murfreesboro, TN whereby Pattie replied to "Aunt Tempy". Joseph G. Thomason's letters were signed "your dear Uncle Joe". Family letters also include postmarks of "Southerland Springs" and "Home Valley" (not identified yet). Southerland Springs is in NC Wilson Co. TX between Laverina and Stockdale. It was Established c.1831 as the plantation headquarters of John Sutherland and the Sutherland family. In 1860 it was a resort due to mineral and hot springs in the area around Cibola Creek. Dr. John Sutherland was an active early Texas patriot known for unsuccessfully rallying aid for the Alamo. Later he was aide-de-camp for Gen. Houston and his private secretary.

According to Bible records, Henry Farrar Steagall was the son of Edward Steagall and Martha Williams Steagall of Franklin Co. NC. Henry was born 2 March 1821 in Franklin Co. NC and died 4 January 1888 at 5:00 a.m. in Santa Barbara D'Oeste, Sao Paulo, Brazil and is buried at Campo Cemetery.

From Judiyh McKnight Jones book, 'Soldier, now you may rest', p. 169, there is some excerpts of a long story:

"Henry Farrar Steagall was one of the pioneers that helped to establish Texas state, from a very educated family, whose one member was professor at the state university. He came from Tenessee, near Lake Reelfoot, Union City, Henry Steagall m. Delia Peck of Weakley Co. TN c.1848 - moved to Gonzales Co. TX 1852. His family was formed by his wife Delia Peck, three little children, the oldest was Martha Temperance four years old, an his parents. They settled at Gonzales Co. TX, where they had a farm. They lived so far a school that was necessary to have a teacher at home. Maggie, the oldest chield, was who benefit more of this, receiving a very aprimorate education."

Henry Farrar Steagall enlisted in 1862 as a private in Capt. John R. Smith's Company of Gonzales County (Texas) Cavalry, which became Co. B of Waul's Texas Legion. At the time of his enlistment, he was described as age 41, born in North Carolina, married and a resident of Gonzales County, Texas. He was listed as present on the muster roll for June 13, 1862, at Camp Waul, Washington County, Texas.He was captured at the Fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 4, 1863. He was exchanged on September 12, 1863, and was transferred for duty in Texas. He was present for duty on May 16, 1865, at Galveston, Texas, as a private, although at least one muster roll lists him as a "Brevet 2nd Lieutenant".

"It was beautiful my fathers's farm, tells Maggie. Many hectares of fertile lands, good houses, horses and cows in quantity, corn flour-mill, cotton benefactor machines, but in that terrible times, the recon-struction after the civil war, it was impossible our staying. Crimes were practiced every day, around, by former slaves that didn't work and who lived in plundering and robbering. Many recent arrived yankeys protected them and was not allowed us to complain.

About the trip of the family to Brazil, on board of Tartar, in 17 April 1868, we have the precious story that Maggie left us in "Whealty Memories of a Long Life" published in August, 11th, 1908 on Brazilian-American, editted on Rio de Janeiro."

From Judith McKnight Jones book, 'Soldier, now you may rest', p. 287:

"The old Henry Farrar Steagall died in the begining of 1888. He was a very skilled man, great carpenter, he made plow structures, wagon parts, etc. He helped tu built the Retiro School and made all its benches, but one of his more beautifull works was the simbolic columns of the masonic store, all craved wood. His sons heired his gifts and were great leather weavers. Henry made a little dam on his property's creek, and diked water to move the water wheels of his cotton machine and corn flour mill. He had a huge orchard in his home at Retiro Neighborhood, with all sort of fruits, many qualities of bananas, peaches, quinces, figs, oranges, limons and grapes, that hanged in huge black clusters, of which he made juice for all the year. Like in the American ancient homes, he digged a sort of cellar, before made the house over, and there kept the grapes juice, sweet potatoes, onoins and pumpkins, in a dark place to not bud."

In the American Immigration Museum of Santa Barbara d'Oeste, we can see several objects that once belonged to Henry Farrar, among them a linen shirt and many ancient pictures of his family.

What prompted Henry and Delia Peck Steagall to move their family to Gonzales County, Texas?

Weakley County, TN was surveyed by Henry Rutherford and John Weakley who also surveyed much of middle Tennessee and North Carolina. Henry Rutherford was the son of Griffin Rutherford, a noted surveyor or NC. Henry Rutherford married _____ Johnson, daughter of Col. John Johnson who died 4 March 1816 in Williamson Co. TN . The Johnson's were closely affiliated with another middle Tennessee family, The McCrory's who by tradition have ancestrial Irish ties to Crawfords.

*** A Henry Steagall is listed on the 1848 tax list of Johnston County, NC. *****

Weakley Co census 1850. - District 2 60

H. F. Stegall 29 M 3500 NC

Delia 17 F TN

Martha 8/12 F TN

Martha 53 F NC

A. J. Grissum 30 M NC

G. A. Hunt 21 M NC

E. Skocky 52 F deaf & dumb NC

Henry Farrar Steagall set sail from New Orleans, LA to Brazil on the steamer "Tartar" in 1868. With him he carried a letter of introduction from the Office of E.E. Tansil General Commission Merchant, 58 Carondelet Steet, New Orleans dated 8 April 1868. "To all whom it may concern: This will be presented by my friend H.F. Steagall, who emigrates to Brazil for the purpose of making it his future permanent home. He is a good Citizen, and is in every way worthy of the highest esteem and confidence. I have known him for years, and can vouch for him as a reliable and trustworthy gentleman in every respect. Very Respectfully. E. C. Tansil"

The Steagall family has preserved records, Bibles, and letters. Letters include those from S. C. Thomason to ______________ " my very dear niece" The letters are written from Dresden, Weakley Co, TN There are also letters from Murfreesboro, TN whereby Pattie replied to "Aunt Tempy". J.G. Thomason's letters were signed "your dear uncle Joe". Family letters also include postmarks of "Southerland Springs" and "Home Valley" (not identified yet)

Southerland Springs is in NC Wilson Co. TX between Laverina and Stockdale. It was Established c.1831 as the plantation headquarters of John Sutherland and the Sutherland family. In 1860 it was a resort due to mineral and hot springs in the area around Cibola Creek. Dr. John Sutherland was an active early Texas patriot known for unsuccessfully rallying aid for the Alamo. Later he was aide-de-damp for Gen. Houston and his private secretary.

"Aunt Pattie" had a dream of writting a book, but only published a few articles in "The Alabama Historical Quarterly" The first called "Rich Memories of a Long Life" and the last "Thirteen years in Texas", both of which were published in 1920.

Henry Farrar Steagall's Timeline

1821

March 2, 1821

Birth of Henry Farrar Steagall

Franklin County, North Carolina, United States

1850

February 4, 1850

Birth of Martha Temperance Steagall

Union City, Obion County, Tennessee, United States

1852

February 28, 1852

Birth of John Edward Steagall

Weakley County, Tennessee, United States

1854

June 13, 1854

Birth of Thomas Henry Steagall

Weakley, Weakley, TN, United States

1856

November 28, 1856

Birth of Sarah Elizabeth Steagall

Gonzales, Gonzales County, Texas, United States

1859

July 6, 1859

Birth of Robert Stell Steagall

Gonzales, Gonzales County, Texas, United States

1862

February 11, 1862

Birth of Margaret Cynthia Steagall

Gonzales, Gonzales County, Texas, United States

1864

June 29, 1864

Birth of William Pierce Steagall

Gonzales, Gonzales County, Texas, United States

1867

April 29, 1867

Birth of Amelia Jane Steagall

Gonzales, Gonzales County, Texas, United States

SOURCE:

https://www.geni.com/people/Henry-Farrar-Steagall/6000000000866092366

Steagall 1.jpg
Steagall 2.jpg