Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday

This post is duo-fold. It is my post for "Not So Wordless Wednesday", and also in response to the GeneaBloggers Week #35 challenge: Share a photo that conjures mixed emotions in you. Explain why this is the case as you detail the who/what/when/where/why of the subject matter.
And so, with those two projects in mind, let me introduce you to Annie Caroline Tennille.
Annie Tennille was born 11 November 1858 in Texas. She was only 13 years old when she was wed to James Thomas Clements. "Jim", as everyone calls him, went down in history as the first cousin, and best buddy. of old west outlaw, John Wesley Hardin.
Annie's grandfather, George Culver Tennille, Sr. was born in Pennsylvania, and was among the original group of white settlers brought into Texas by Stephen Austin. He received a Mexican Land Grant.
Annie should have had a life of relative ease with position having been attained by her grandfather. But that was not to be.
Annie and Jim had 11 children between 1875 and 1896.
All the while, Jim either ran with Hardin, or ran from the Law. When he was home, he was there long enough to get Annie with child, yet once more, or to physically abuse her.
In 1897, just 2 years after the gunning down of his cousin, Wes Hardin, Jim abused Annie for the last time.
There is alot of controversy over the actual events. And even when the local officials held an inquisition to determine what happened to Jim, the truth was never brought to light.
It seems Annie had finally had enough and asked for refuge from Jim. Her family readily gave it. Jim, wild with rage, went looking for his family.
From here, we have only speculation, and family lore to depend upon. But it appears that either family members stepped in and Jim was killed, or Annie shot Jim herself defending her daughter, whom Jim threatened to harm. [Family lore says that the daughter became pregnant while Jim was gone on a cattle drive. When he found out who the baby's father was, he threatened to stomp the baby from the girl.]
Some say Jim's body was buried in a riverbank that later washed away. Still another account stated that Jim's body was buried away from all other graveyards, and covered with rocks. The men in the family would take the new sons-in-law to visit the grave to warn them that this is what happened to men who abused the family's women.
Annie lived to the age of 77. She lived to see modernity come to the Lone Star State. She died in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas on 14 October 1936, just one month shy of her birthday, at the home of her daughter.
Annie was the mother of Virginia, Viola, Crawford, Emma, James, Ella, William, Laura May, Lela, Nancy and Bessie.
Laura May married William Jacob Sparks, another long-standing Texas family. They had a daughter, Ora Lee. Ora Lee married John Rotge. And to them was born Betty.
Betty was my sweet hubby's mother. Betty was born in 1930 and passed away in 2003.
Alot has been written around the events surrounding the death of Annie's husband, Jim. Perhaps, because I had been married to an abusive husband years ago, I find myself strangely attracted to Annie. And therefore attracted to the idea that perhaps Annie was a woman who had finally had enough, and stood up to the bully she was married to. My personal speculation is that Annie made sure she protected her children, and herself, with everything that was in her.
What a woman!

1 comment:

dustbunny8 said...

A ancestor to be proud of.Thank you so much for sharing a timeless story with us.I like to see the truth in our history, not just the happy things.We learn from it all,good and bad, if we allow ourselves.