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                                                       Private Joseph Cryer

                                                                                                                            

            I Jacob Mickler of the State and County aforesaid being sick and weak in body, but perfect in memory, calling t.... that it is appointed for all men to die....in the name of God do make, and..... last will and testament, g.....

            Estate both real and personal, to my lawful heirs in the following manner to wit,

            In the first place I give and bequeath to my daughter, Margaret Mickler, a negro girl named Martha.

            in the second place I give and bequeath to my son, William Mickler, a negro boy named Andrew.

            In the third place I give and bequeath to my son, Jacob Mickler, a negro boy named Joseph.

            In the fourth place, I give and bequeath to my son, Peter Mickler, a negro boy named Henry.

            All which negroes are the children of my negro wench named Nancy. It is my will and desire that at my death, that the above mentioned wench Nancy and her increase or issue (if any) hereafter, together with all my real and personal estate not heretofore mentioned be sold, and after all just debts are paid to be equally divided amongst my above said children. I also nominate and ordain William Mickler and David Jones (both of Town of St. Mary's) as executors to my Estate. In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal the first of May, 1809.

 

Jacob Mickler

in presence of James Campbell.

 

            This will can be found in the Camden County Will Book A, pages 142 and 143 in the State of Georgia. It represents the first official mention of Joseph Cryer, son of Nancy. From this first mention of Joseph Cryer some of the mystery of his service in the Civil War is explained. How old he was in 1809 is unknown from this record, but his future wife Charlotte Floyd Mickler Cryer was born according to Mrs Elizabeth C Mickler Ochus around the time of her mother in 1795. The ages of both Joseph and Charlotte would be of some contention for the many years that they both lived.

 

            They were married in St. Augustine by a magistrate named Mr. Jenks. Erinstalia Benjamin another slave of the Micklers related that the Micklers would "put us together in those days just to keep us together and that was our marriage then and sometimes by a magistrate." Joseph was a slave of Jacob while Charlotte was a slave of his wife.

 

            William Mickler a Civil Engineer in St. Augustine at the turn of the nineteenth century was the son of Jacob Mickler. Col Mickler was a member of the convention of 1871 that elected the first Democratic governor of the state after the Civil War. He died on April 24, 1927 and is buried in the San Lorenzo Cemetery in St. Augustine. He knew that she was married to Joseph legally because they lived right in the yard together and he knew that "my mother and father would not have allowed it if they had not been married."

 

            Manuela was the daughter of Antonio Jose Fernandez de Mier and Ana Margarite de Ortagus. Antonio is buried in Tolomato Cemetery. She was married to Jacob Mickler around 1831. They had 15 children. Jacob died in 1857.  From the disposition of Charlotte either the Micklers or Joseph and Charlotte were married in Diago on the North River. Manuela is buried in Live Oak Florida at the Pine Grove Methodist Church Cemetery.

 

            Charlotte remembered it as: "We had a good marriage. Mr. Jenks married us he was a magistrate. Mr. Jenks married all that was married both white and colored. We were married right in our master's house. It was before the first Indian War. Yes sir, it was long before the stars fell (pre 1833). I had been married about a year before my first child was born. We were married in Christmas the first night on Christmas and I had a little one the night the stars fell after we married. I don't think there is any record of that marriage I don't know."

 

            In 1901 she would guess her age at 106 years old. At that time she estimated it from a Mr Pogeo or Pozo who was living in Philadelphia, PA. He had stopped at the St. James Hotel in St. Augustine and told here that she was older than her father. He brother another Civil War veteran was Adam Floyd who died in 1900. He was 96 years old when he died and she was ten years older than he was. Her father's name was Charles Floyd. She also had another veteran, David Hall, give a deposition for her. He was a distant cousin.

 

            By the time of the Civil War they had 16 children. The youngest was Nancy Cryer who married Henry Allen. She was the surviving child of the family by 1900. Nancy's brother Andrew also served in the Civil War for the Union. Andrew when he was mustered out moved to Jacksonville. He became a cook on a schooner and died in New York.

 

            Somehow at the time of the Civil war he was able to enlist at St. Augustine on January 15th, 1863 to serve 3 years. He stated that he was born in St. Mary's Georgia and that he was forty-five years of age, 5 feet 3 inches high, dark complexion, black eyes, curly hair and by occupation when enlisted a Porter. He was stationed at the Brickyard Picket Station on Port Royal Island.

 

            If he had been born in 1809, he would have been 54 at his time of enlistment. His daughter, Nancy was born in 1843. If he was as old as his wife he would have been 68 at enlistment. Unfortunately the strain was to great on him and he was discharged on May 21 1865 at Beaufort, South Carolina. He would die in December of that year of smallpox. It appears that many of the Cryer family had smallpox at the same time including Charlotte, Nancy, and one other daughter who died. Charlotte for a time worked in one of the smallpox hospitals in Jacksonville. She remembered that a man by the name of Charles buried her husband. She recalled the events as: "They would carry the dead out in their coffins to a place and then the man who buried them would cover and pat it and I was right there until the last. I know he died just after Christmas. The year the soldiers came home, they were going around then getting their discharges, ...I know I had a son who was a Corporal or Sgt. who had been home a good little while."

 

            Henry Allen, her son in law also recalled the smallpox camps at the time: "My wife had the small pox at the same time. Old Dr. Mitchell had charge and Dr. Danniels also attended the patients at the small pox camps. There was a lot of the soldiers sick then and they ... a regular camp then." He listed the time of Joseph Cryer's death as March of 1865 from small pox.

 

            Mrs. Elizabeth Mickler Ochus remembered that Charlotte had the small pox and several of here children were taken at the time. "It was very prevalent amongst the colored people and Charlotte... to work to the Poor House to nurse and care for the patients an I am not sure whether her husband died with the small pox or not."

 

            During the war Joseph had also been injured by falling into a vessel upon an expedition and was sent to the hospital. This was reported by his brother-in-law Adam Floyd.

 

            After the death of her husband Charlotte moved back to St Augustine.  She became a cook for the Mickler family around 1886. She never could read or write and had no family bible or other records. In 1890 she owned a small house in Jacksonville worth from 150 to 200.00. In 1894 the house was burned down and she lost the land for back taxes.  She was supported by her children and grandchildren. By 1900 she was living with her daughter and son-in-law.

 

            The reason all this material was available was the extreme difficulty that she had in collecting a pension. It wasn't until 1900 that she finally received her pension as the widow of Joseph Cryer. Much of the information had to due with the marriage and the fact that it was a slave marriage. Finally in 1900 an opinion was rendered by JW Cuddy, Chief of Law Division.

 

                        In the case of Harriet Tinnin (8P.D. 218) it was held: The proclamation of President Lincoln of January 1, 1863, known as the Emancipation Proclamation, was effective only as a "war measure," and did not, ipso facto, and by the mere force of its own terms, set free, or change the legal status of persons held in slavery in the States, or parts of States, there indesignated, but operated to give freedom to such persons only when it was enforced by the armed forces of the United States, and by the subjugation of the territory where they resided and its subjection to the military power and authority of the Federal Government.

 

                        It would appear that the authority of the United States was reestablished by force of arms and military occupation in those parts of the State of Florida where this claimant and the soldier resided at time of his enlistment and discharge, hence, these premises considered, I am of the opinion, inasmuch as these parties became free by virtue of the emancipation proclamation of January 1, 1863, in their then place of residence, and as the validity and effect of said proclamation and its operative force were never questioned but became the law of the land in all sections of the country coming within its purview, when under the military control of the United States, that claimant and soldier were made free man and free women thereunder, and that their subsequent cohabitation as husband and wife, while within the Federal lines until separated by his death, may be taken and deemed as a ratification by them of their former slave marriage, and that during this time she was his lawful wife and has title to recognition as his widow.

 

            There are no Cryers left in the St. Augustine area. However, there are Floyds, Micklers, and Allens that may be related to this family.

 

            This article is the accumulation of items located in Joseph Cryers pension records and The Micklers of Florida by Patricia Ferguson Mickler.

 

 

 

                                                                             

Document List:

Certificate of Disability for Discharge

Statement Charlotte Cryer

General Affidavit - Charlotte Cryer

Declaration for Widow's Pension (Act of June, 1890) - Charlotte Cryer

Index Sheet (Widow) Claim No. 452,263

General Affidavit - Adam Floyd

Statement Benjamin Clark

General Affidavit - Benjamin Clark

General Affidavit - Joshua Hagaman/Adam Floyd

Statement - Joshua Hagaman

Statement - Adam Floyd

Deposition N - Wm Mickler

Deposition M - Elizabeth Ochus

Deposition L - Ernstatia Benjamin

Deposition K - David Hall

Deposition I - Henry Allen

Deposition E - Jack Jones

Deposition D - Martha Wright

Deposition B - Charlotte Cryer

Opinion of Cuddy (Chief of Law Divison) on slave marriages in Florida

Statement JA Davis Special Examiner

 

Factual History Joseph Cryer

 

Private Joseph Cryer of Captain C T Trowbridges Company A of the First Infantry Regiment of Carolina Volunteer was enlisted by St. ? Billings of the 1st Regiment of SC Volunteers at St. Augustine on the 15th day of January 1863 to serve 3 years; he was born in St Marys in the State of Georgia is forty five years of age, 5 feet 3 inches high, dark complexion, black eyes, curly hair and by occupation when enlisted a Porter. Last two months the soldier was unfit for duty 15 days. He was stationed at Brickyard Picket Station on Port Royal Island. He was discharged on the 21 day of May, 1865, at Beaufort, South Carolina. (Discharge)

 

Died December 1865. Dr. Mitchell last physician. (He was also dead by the time of her affidavit) (Charlotte Cryer, General Affidavit)

 

Died March, 1865 at Jacksonville. Married by Justice of the Peace Jenks at St Augustine (Charlotte Cryer, Declaration for Widow's Pension.)

 


Married to Charlotte Cryer about December 1831. Time of death December, 1865. He served with Joseph in regiment. Never divorced. Never remarried. (Adam Floyd, General Affidavit)

 

Joseph Cryer based on the information given me by his wife, died sometime after the war, perhaps a year after, perhaps less than one year, or perhaps more, from small pox in Jacksonville FL Benjamin Clark.

St Aug, Mary 24, 1899 (Statement Benjamin Clark)

 

he died in 1865 in December (Affidavit of Benjamin Clark)

 

Died from small pox (index sheet)        

 

injured by falling into of vessel upon an expedition and was sent to hospital (Adam Floyd general affidavit of Floyd and Hagaman)

 

Joseph Cryer belonged to the father of William Michler a Civil Engineer. (Deposition N.)

 

Charlotte Cryer:

Charlotte Cryer, 88 years, a citizen of St Augustine. She has no education. To old and feeble to work. No record of marriage or any witnesses (all were dead years ago). Colored peoples marriages were not paid any attention to nor any records kept. She had no family bible record not being able to read and has never kept any dates or records. She may have filed an earlier claim in 1890 but nothing came of it. Joseph Cryer was never married before and never married anyone else. She is still the widow of late Joseph Cryer. She had owned a small home and lot in Jacksonville in 1890 worth from 150. to 200.00. In 1894 the house was burned down and being so poor I could not keep paying taxes, so it was sold to the state for taxes three years ago. Having no income she has been supported by here children and grandchildren for the last twenty years.  9, July, 1898. Witnessed by Phillip Walkin and Alex Brane. (General Affidavit)

 

Maiden name Charlotte Mickler. She was 88 at this date. (Declaration for Widows Pension July 11, 1890)

 

Benjamin Clark knew Charlotte since he was a little boy (he was 70 years old at the time of the General Affidavit). (Benjamin Clark, General Affidavit)

 


William Mickler was a Civil Engineer. Charlotte belonged to his father and mother, his mother inherited her. She was a cook for his family after the war around 1886. He know that she was married to Joseph legally because they lived riht in the yard together and I know my mother and father would not have allowed it if they had not been married." deposition n.

 

We owned a part of her family. Charlott belonged to the Micklers as far back as I can recollect. We used to call her Charlott Mickler servants then was called by their owners names. She had a husband named Joseph Cryer. Charlott had had the small pox and sever of her children were taken at the time. It was very prevelent amongst the colored people and Charlotte ???  to work to the PoorHouse to nurse and care for the patients an I am not sure whether her husband died with the small pox or not. It was after the war closed.I do not know her age, but I know that she was very old. Charlott was about the age of my mother and my mother was born in 1795. I don't think that she has one change of clothes left, she has been very dependend for a long time and lives with her daughter I think. Her daughters name is Nancy Allen. (Mrs Elizabeth C Ochus, widow of Augustus Ochus no 125 Ocrau St Jacksonville FL. 12 day of Jan 1901 Deposition m)

 

I was a little girl at the time of the first Indian War, but I can remember the war and the time that they fetched Powell in. I am the wife of William Benjamin. My post office address is No 26 Spanish St. St Augustine.

I belonged to the Micklers in slavery tiemes and when they got Charlott she was about that high (indicating 4 feet with her hand from floor). and when she got married I was about that high (indicating about same height). I remember the night she and Joseph got married. I saw them married. They were married in their owners house. They were married by Mr Jenks, he was a magistrate. Our owner would put us together in those days just to keep us together and that was our marriage then and sometimes by a magistrate. Charlott was a good deal older than I. She was a woman when I was a little girl.

I knew Joseph Cryer the same time I knew Charlott. Joseph's master married Charlotts young mistress. Joseph Cryer died in Jacksonville the time they had the small pox then and one of their daughters to.

(Deposition L taken Jan 1901). Erinstalia Benjamin.

 

I have known Charlott Cryer ever since I can remember. She belonged to Robert Mickler in slavery times and I belonged to Mrs Erfil Gongh (?) and lived in the same neighborhood. When I can first remember Charlott Cryer, she was the wife of a man named Joseph Cryer. Her husband belonged to Jacob Mickler. ............. He was an old man though and he was discharged before I was. He had grown children at the time he went to the Army and one of them named Andrew Cryer was in the Army. I have lived close to the claimant since her husban died. I know she has not remarried and she lives with her daughter and her son-in-law, Henry Allen. Her daughters name is Nancy Allen. I am a distant cousin to her.

David Hall.  Deposition K

 


Henry Allen, age 66, I am by occupation a common laborer. The claimant Charlott Cryer is my wifes mother. The first of my accquaintance with Charlott Cryer was in 1864. I was married to her daughter, Nancy in Dec. 1866. My wife is fify seven and she was the last of the children born to Mrs Cryer. I believe Mrs. Cryer had sixteen children and that the youngest was my wife. The children are all dead but my wife.   (He died early in March 1865. He died with small pox at the pox house. His wife staid right in the ? with him until he died and one of the daughters died. His death was reported at the time. My wife had the small pox at the same time. Old Dr. Mitchell had charge and Dr. Danniels also attended the patients at the small pox camps, there was a lot of the soldiers sick then and they ? a regular camp then. The son Andrew Cryer was mustered out and moved from here right after in a schooner as cook. He was taken sick on the way and died in New York. He was never married.  .....house.... It has been eighteen years since she lost it, I have been taking care of her and she lives with my wife and myself and has for eighteen years.My age is I gave it when I enlisted would make me about 67, but I learned from some of my white people since that my right age is 70 years old the 15th of February

(14 January 1900 Deposition I)

 


I got my age from a man named Mr Pogeo or Pozo who lives somewhere in Philadelphia PA. He was here a few years stopping at te St. James Hotel and he said I was past his fathers age, that father used to live in St. Augustine. I had a Brother named Adam Floyd who died about a year ago and he was ninety six years old. I am ten years older than he, my brother. So much different people I suppose fixing my papers is how they got my age as eighty eight, I don't know how they got it. I was grown up and married and had two children time of the first Indian War. I do not remember the war before that, but I was a goodly child then. I gave birth to a child the night the ? fell. (1833) I had sixteen children before the last war and the youngest was grown up and she married after the war. I had a husband and a son in the war. I belonged to Jacob Mickler before the war and my name was Charlott Mickler then. My fathers name was Charles Floyd. I married Joseph Cryer at a place named Dago up the North River. That is where the folks called then, I heard th? call it twnety one miles from St. Augustine. My husband belonged to Jacob Mickler. His master married my mistress. We had a good marriage. Mr. Jenks married us he was a magistrate. Mr. Jenks married all that was married both white and colored.. We were married right in our masters house. It was before the first Indian War. Yes sir, it was long before the stars fell (????) I had been married about a year before my first child was born. We were married in Christmas  the first night on Christmas and I had a little one the night the stars fell after we married. I don't think that there is any record of that marriage I don't know. ...........I do not know the colored man who buried my husband, I was ? then and there was one man they called Charles something or another. There was one who waited on the sick, a ? and They would carry the dead out in their coffins to a place and then the man who buried them would cover and pat it and I was right there until the last. I know he died just after Christmas. The year the soldiers came home, they were going around then getting their discharges, .... I know I had a son who was a Corporal or Sgt, who had been home a good little while.

Charlott Coyer Deposition B January 1901.

 

In the case of Harriet Tinnin (8 P.D., 218) it was held:  The proclamation of President Lincoln of January 1, 1863, known as the Emancipation Proclamation, was effective only as a "war measure," and did not, ipso facto, and by the mere force of its own terms, set free, or change the legal status of persons held in slavery in the States, or parts of States, therein designated, but operated to give freedom to such persons only when it was enforced by the armed forces of the United States, and by the subjugation of the territory where they resided and its subjection to the military power and authority of the Federal Government.

It would appear that the authority of the United States was reestablished by force of arms and military occupation in those parts of the State of Florida where this claimant and the soldier resided at time of his enlistment and discharge, hence, these premises considered, I am of the opinion, inasmuch as these parties became free by virtue of the emancipation proclamation of January 1, 1863, in their then place of residence, and as the validity and effect of said proclamation and its operative force were never questioned but became the law of the land in all sections of the country coming within its purview, when under the military control of the United States, that claimant and soldier were made free man and free women thereunder, and that their subsequent cohabitation as husband and wife, while within the Federal lines until separated by his death, may be taken and deemed as a ratification by them of their former slave marriage, and that during this time she was his lawful wife and has title to recognition as his widow

JW Cuddy, Chief of Law Division

 

Charlott Coyer post office address is 1215 Bridge St, Jacksonville

Statement Davis Special Examiner