Vernon Parish was created from Sabine, Natchitoches, and Rapides Parishes in 1871. Western Vernon Parish was called Many Ward in 1860.
All of Sabine Parish had 144 slave owners (95 with six or more) owning 1,520 slaves. Western Vernon Parish had about 47 slaveholders (21 with six or more) owning about 289 or more slaves.
The 1860 slave schedule for Sabine Parish contains 19 pages. Present-day Vernon Parish slaveholders are on pages 13, 14, 18, and 19, primarily. The remaining slaveholders of Vernon Parish are scattered in the remaining 15 pages. Using the 1880 census, land records, and burial records, I was able to make the following list of slave owners with their number of slaves:
Rev. Nathan H. Bray, 4; Gilman B. Burr, 19; Murray Wadsworth Burr, 7; Rachel Hart Burr, 3; William Pickney Cain, 6; John J. Cole, 7; Rebecca Conerly, 21; Willis Cooper, 7; Wiley Corley, 3; William B. Crumpler, 1; Isaac Dickerson, 2; William Dixon, 7; Wyley C. Faircloth, 17; Murdoc A. Ferguson, 6; Walter M/W. Ferguson, 3; William T. German, 1; Drury O. Kay, 7; Letha Kay, 1; Isaac/Isaiah Kirk, 4 or 6 or more; Jesse Leach, 2; Moses E. Leach, 1; William Lott Martin, 1; David May, 1; Mark McAlpin, 11; John McGee, 12; Austin S. McNeal, 1; Fletcher Rollins, 8; Elijah Self, 5; James J. Self, 3; William J. Self, 2; Dr. Edmond E. Smart, 5; John Fleming Smart, 1; John R. Smart, 29 (plus 3 held in trust for E. E. Smart); Louis Wilson Smart, 5; Mary A. Smart, 8; Nathan P. Smart, 9; Susan B. Smart, 6 or more; William W. Smart, 2; V. P. Smart (?), 6 or more; Stephen Smith, 6; William A. Steele, 3; M. Stephens, 1; Thomas B. Stephens, 4 or 6 or more; Cyrus B. Thompson, 9; Madison West, 6 or more; Elijah A. Winfree, 5 (plus 4 held in trust for Sarah Winfree); Rev. Absalom Wright, 4; and Henry Youngblood, 5.
The purpose of this article is not to embarrass any person or family. Slavery was part of our divided history, a divide that divides us still.
We can live together or die separately.