Rose Lee (Carter) was born in 1788, the daughter of William Lee and a mother we believe to have been Sarah (Sarah (Sally) Carter born abt. 1774) and was enslaved on Virgo Plantation until set free by Robert Carter III in 1806. As was common among many ex-slaves, she assumed and used the surname of Carter as needed and identified in her burial that occurred in 1864. We do not know when and where she might have used the surname of Lee, Banister or Carter as reflected in Freedmen's Cemetery Records. CARTER, Rose, 15 JUN 1864, 70y, Long House
We assume that at age 18 years when freed she would naturally have settled and sought work with or near her mother's known relatives freed from the Robert Carter plantations. The 1810 Virginia Census affords information that indicates Rose after her emancipation in 1806 at age 18 years would likely have lived and worked in vicinity of her mothers relatives, and only later migrated to the Richmond-Petersburg Virginia tobacco production area wherein she likely met James Bannister and given birth to James and Nancy in 1824-1825 period.
Rose may have given birth to other children before mating at age 36 years with James Bannister around 1823 generating her son James Lee Bannister, born in 1824. She was the mother to my great-grandmother Nancy Lee Banister, born in 1825, who said her father was James Banister we have sought to identify via above link.
We believe that Rose Lee had a sister, born in 1789 on the Carter plantations, and was named Nancy. We perceive that she named her daughter to honor her sister and her likely Aunt Nancy Primus Lee, born abt 1774 on the Shirley Plantation.
Research indicates that Nancy (Carter) Lee and her sister Rose (Carter) Lee and other relatives were likely indentured to the Carter Estate of Robert E. Lee's mother, Ann Hill Carter Lee. She was apparently also employed as a indentured house-keeper by the estate of Robert E. Lee and his wife Mary Randolph Custis Lee after she inherited the Custis family's Arlington Estate around 1857. We do know for certain, from first-hand accounts, that Nancy's son Thomas Findley Lee was born at the White House Estate in Arlington on the day (2 December 1959) that John Brown was hanged; and, remembered fondly his "Grandma Rose" from when he was a child.
Emancipation of Rose Lee (Carter)
Carter's public records show that he emancipated Rose in 1806 at which time she would have been eighteen years of age. The Alexandria Registry, 1809 of free Negroes and Mulattoes record Rose as single and who by then would have been twenty-one years of age and likely related to James (Carter) who was also listed as free. And, no doubt there are other names on the listing likely related to Rose, such as Sarah who would have been 35 years of age in 1809. So far as we have been able to determine, Rose likely lived much or most of her life in the Alexandria, Virginia area: excepting for a possible period between 1823 and 1833 wherein she gave birth to three children, including Nancy Lee Banister, by James Bannister we assume to have been a free man of 31 years age in 1823. Rose had Carter relatives in both Richmond and Petersburg likely employed as free men and women in the tobacco industry. The other huge industry in the Richmond area that employed thousands of free and enslaved men, and paid them cash money, was the coal mining industry.
Census records reviewed suggest that Nancy and her siblings were born in Chesterfield County (Richmond-Petersburg-James River areas) wherein the Banister family tobacco enterprises were located and affording work and cash money to skilled freemen. A lot of African-American freemen and slaves worked in the tobacco industry inclusive of: land clearing and preparation, planting, hoeing away weeds, harvesting, production, seasoning, packaging, loading and shipping by wagon and boat.
Below link is near necessary reading for new generations interested in gaining an insight as to how, when and where some African-Americans began the long arduous campaigns abolition of slavery in America and keeping the faith that Africa matters in their Christian faith. Indeed, most Americans have never been able to understand or even accepting of the fact that numerous African-American scholars have relentlessly held forth their faith in uplifting Africa, "the free Mandella Movement" being an excellent example of "keeping the faith."
Official government records of burials recorded that she was buried on 15 June 1864 in the Freedman's Cemetery, Alexandria, Virginia.
Oh, freedom! Oh, freedom!
Thomas Findley Lee, born 1859 lived at the so-called "Arlington White House" as a child and remembered his Grandma Rose, ... apparently before Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the U.S. Army and moved to Richmond where he accepted a commission in the rebel forces. It is not likely that Lee would have taken the elderly Rose Lee to Richmond and confirms our earlier research indicating Rose died in 1864 and is buried in the Freedmen's Cemetery of Arlington, Virginia wherein the city later bull-dozed over to be a parking lot.
What we know for certain is that Thomas Findley Lee, a literate mulatto (born in 1859) and died in 1946, ... voiced to children and grandchildren, remembering well his beloved grand-mother "Rose Lee." This issue is very critical to descendents of William Lee because it affirms relationships with him and his brother Frank Lee, and explains the extensive numbers of offspring that followed them.
The following record "Register of Free Negroes & Mulattoes," 1809 etc. is transcribed from original now in manuscript collection of the University of Virginia. The register was copied into the back of a contemporary town expense ledger and is among a variety of official town records made available on microfilm as "Alexandria City Papers." The order, numbers, names, and spellings are as in the original document; corrected spellings of some surnames are provided in brackets. The numerals refer to the "No. of Return" in the original; they seem to indicate a distinct household.
Some returns contain several entries, indicated by ", i.e., "ditto," beneath the number. Looking at return number 80, for instance, the apparent head of household is "Domini," almost certainly the well-respected tavern-keeper Domini (or Dominick, Dominy) Barecroft (or Bearcroft, Barcroft). Beneath his name are the names of three males, at least one of which, Ephraim, is known to be the name of one of Barecroft's children.
All but the last four entries below were compiled as a list submitted September 26, 1809. Entries 119 and 120 were added June 19, 1812. The entries newly designated 121 and 122 are undated and are found a couple of pages after the rest of the register. They are likely to be substantially later records (possibly 1820s or 1830s, but certainly pre-1847). The list below also supports our belief that Johanna Weaver listed below was in fact married to a free Negro, and the same Joanna the widow aunt in household of James Lee in Roanoke, and perhaps a twin sister to Rose.
Below census data reflects a Lee living in Dinwidde County that we believe may have been Rose Lee because documentation shows that her daughter Nancy Banister Lee was born there in 1825. And, listed at the bottom is a record of Daniel Bannister that believe was the likely father of Nancy and siblings.
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