Samuel Ruth's Search For His Mother

Turns out you can go home, it just may take awhile. After being separated from his mother on a South Carolina plantation, an Ercildoun man finally finds his link to the past.



(page 1 of 8)

Samuel Ruth’s mother, Leah.Our mothers, say psychologists, provide a safe base from which to explore the world. We may roam, but most of us strive to preserve that primal connection.

That’s how it was for Samuel Ruth of Ercildoun. Born into slavery on a South Carolina plantation, Ruth was separated as a child from his mother, when the man who’d fathered him sold her. He never got over it. Almost 40 years later—after settling in Chester County, building a successful business and raising 12 children—Ruth headed south to find his lost parent.

“‘Is she alive? Is she well? Does she need me? How can I find her?’ Those questions haunted Samuel for years,” wrote granddaughter Ida Jones Williams in Great Grandmother Leah’s Legacy. “Many nights, he relived the sale, in 1857, when he watched his mother as she was led onto the auction block. The loud strike of the gavel would always awaken him.”

Ruth was the son of Leah, the name given by Beaufort County, S.C., plantation owner Robert Fredrick Ruth to a woman kidnapped from Guinea and bought by him in the 1820s. (Importation of enslaved Africans had been banned in the United States in 1808, but smuggling still occurred.)
 

Continued on page 2 ... 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Newsletters

To subscribe to a newsletter(s), just check the appropriate box(es) and click the button below.
Email:
Type: HTML Text
Hot Tickets Events E-Newsletter
Learn about upcoming concerts, plays, galas, art exhibits, and family-friendly happenings on the Main Line.
Main Line Today VIP Invitations & Special Offers
Receive special offers on event tickets, products or services. Note: Emails may include promotional copy from our advertisers, but we do not share our email lists.
The Main Course:
The Main Line's Dining Insider

Our weekly EPPY Award-winning dining newsletter features foodie news items, profiles on the hottest regional chefs, specials, food-and-drink events, and more. Additional food content can be found on The Town Dish.