Brown, Hallie Q.
|LUCRETIA HARPER SIMPSON -- 1820-(?)|
Lucretia H. Simpson, now 105 years old (December, 1925) was born in Lafayette, Woodford County, Kentucky, in the blue grass country.
Her master, Edward Darneal, was a planter. He was kind to his slaves. Her father, Reuben Ford, was a free man. His master liberated his slaves and left his estate to them. The will was broken by relatives of the master and all the younger slaves, including her father and his three brothers were sold down in New Orleans. This happened three weeks before Lucretia was born. She never knew her mother for she too was sold soon after Lucretia's birth. When she reached womanhood she was married. Her husband was a free man, but all too soon died, at Lafayette, Kentucky.
She and three other young women decided to go to Maysville and cross the river into Ohio. This they did taking "French leave." Although the war had begun, they were in fear of being caught and returned to slavery but by traveling at night and hiding by day they soon were safe on Ohio soil. Friends came to their relief and Lucretia was sent to Toledo where she soon found employment. She vividly recalls the day when the first colored soldiers came to her home in Kentucky--the praying in secret for Freedom .
When she reached Ohio she heard the open unafraid petition. It was most interesting to hear her relate the news that spread that glad hour. It was on one night. They were on their knees singing, praying when excited voices in the street were crying what all thought to be fire, fire, fire. Hurrying out they found the cry was freedom, freedom,
After Emancipation, "Granny" as she is called, went to Adrian, Michigan, where she now lives with her son, Mr. William Simpson. She goes up and down stairs unaided. Stands and walks erect without the use of cane or support. She loves flowers and may be seen during the summer in the midst of blooms by the cottage side.
She is a member of the Presbyterian Church and has an abiding faith in God's mercies.