THE MILAWAUKEE SENTINEL
NOVEMBER 15, 1880
THE NEW USE FOR BURNT CORK
How a Young White Girl Married was Enabled to Marry a Negro in Ulster County
Kingston, N. Y., dispatch: Social circles at Gardiner, in this county, are greatly excited at present over the elopement and marriage of Miss Carrie M. Plant a young white woman with James W. Sampson, a mulatto. Miss Plant is a niece of Mr. John H. Deyo, a well-to-do farmer residing in the town in Gardiner, who during the war was extensively engaged in trading along the Mississippi and estimated to be worth $150,000. He was well known at New Orleans and thereabouts. After the war Mr. Deyo settled down on his farm in this country, and as he was childless his niece, Carrie Plant, was adopted into the family. During the summer Mr. Deyo being sick and unable to assist in the work of his farm, hired James Wesley Sampson, a young colored man about 21 years of age. He was a good worker, polite and pleasant about the house and farm, and soon won the good will and respect of those about him. After a time it was noticed that Mr. Wesley paid Miss Plant too much attention and her uncle two weeks ago, decided it would be advisable to send his niece off on a visit for a month or so. But before he could make his intentions known both Wesley and his niece were missing. Search was at once instituted, but without avail. The climax was reached on Saturday last, when it was discovered that, after encountering many difficulties, the runaway pair had been made man and wife. Sampson and his bride, it finally leaked out had visited a number of ministers and a Justice of the Peace but under no circumstances would they listen to their entreaties to be married. They had about given up in despair and left for the house of one James Cantine, who keeps a low resort. There the wife of Catine (a white woman) resolved that the pair should be united, even if she had to resort to a strategy. It was decided that Miss Carrie’s face should be blackened with burnt cork. This was done, and the pair started off to the parsonage of the Reformed Dutch Church, of the Stone Ridge, where the Rev. V. S. Hurlbert, the pastor, without for a moment of suspecting deception, united them in wedlock. When the news reached her former home her uncle was nearly crazed. Sampson and his wife have settled down at Lapala, a negro colony, not far from the city. Miss Plant, who is now about seventeen years of age, would have fallen heir to the larger part of the property of her uncle, who is estimated to be worth $60,000 to $70,000.
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James Wesley Sampson appears in the 1870 Marbletown, NY census as a 12 year old living with his mother and father, John and Jane Sampson and his two siblings. His father is listed as a stone cutter. Carrie Plant was the daughter of John H. Deyo's sister, Hannah Jane Hardenburgh (1834-before 1868), who married Charles Plant. Hannah Jane died before 1868, leaving Carrie motherless. She moved in with her aunt and uncle some time between 1870 and 1880. The following was found in the Marbletown Dutch Reformed Church Records, "October 9, Wesley Sampson (colored) of Marbletown married to Carrie Plante (white) of Kingston." Underneath this is this remark made by the minister, "I wish to put on the record that the girl deceived us by being colored black." This newspaper clipping was reprinted in the January 2008 GENIE.
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