jane-bryant

Jane Bryant: The Bold Slave
(b. 1807-1815 - d. after 1848) Jane was Robert Matson's slave, along with her four children.  She was a light-skinned mulatto woman, as were three of her four children.  It was believed that her father was Robert Matson's brother, James, and that her children were also fathered by white men.  She and her mother were probably owned by Matsons their whole lives. Matson had brought her to his farm, Black Grove, two miles east of today's Newman in 1845 to keep house.  She is a strong and courageous woman, who when her children were threatened, protected them and won their freedom.  She and the children endured 58 days in the Coles County Jail awaiting the circuit court trial, then with hope they traveled thousands of miles to Liberia in search of a "free" life. Unfortunately, they arrived in Liberia with little money and became sick in the foreign environment.  We do not know what happened to the family as the recent Civil War there caused the destruction of many records.
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