After the civil war millions of formerly enslaved desired to find the people that they lost in slavery. Parents wanted to find the children that were taken from them and sold. They wanted to find the man or woman that they fell in love with. Children longed to locate their mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. How do you find someone that was sold years ago, or someone who escaped? The need to be reunited with or at the very least to know what happened to a loved one was something that some people carried to their graves. People died never knowing what happened to their loved ones. It is a desire that lives within a lot of people today. It lives in me.
The Southwestern Christian Advocate published in New Orleans was a newspaper (1877-1929) that ran a column called, “Lost Friends.” Two dollars brought you a one-year subscription where you could run an ad in an attempt to locate loved ones. The paper was distributed to 500 preachers, 800 post offices and more than 4,000 subscribers in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The paper asked Pastors to read the column from the pulpit. Below is an ad that was placed in the newspaper. I want you to put yourself in that person’s shoes, imagine how it would feel not knowing what happened to the people that you loved. For fifty-two years people placed ads trying to find out what became of the people lost in slavery.
Mr. Editor: Sister Liba Penny is anxious to find her children. She was owned by Richard Rosell, of Gaston county, N.C. Her children, Thomas, and Patty Rosell, or Roswell, were sold to trader Davis, who took them down South some years before the war. She has never heard from them since. Her husband’s name was Tom Penny. After the surrender she took her husband’s name. God grant that you may be successful in finding her children for her. Sarah A. Daloy, Greensboro, N.C.