From the diary of Keziah Brevard, March 18, 1861:
This has been a cold wet day– I fear some of the chickens will freeze this night — My feelings are not good today — I have heard of some fighting on my place & I am not satisfied that some negroes should be punished every time they fight & others go unpunished. I think Jim’s family & Old Dick’s descendants are enough to kill any one who thinks to manage them. I begin to see that Ben wants to do as he pleases — Old Dick’s & Old Jacob’s descendants are next high in power & the ruling spirits at Cabin Branch. I just want to hear that our blessed country is safe — then I want to get rid of all my bad negroes — I want to spend my last day quietly. Lord give me the firmness to do what is right. Oh my God save us all. Near 9 o’clock at night — nature takes strange freaks some would say — This afternoon it commenced freezing — now it is snowing — I can see the tops of the houses are white & the steps — how sorry I am to see & feel this weather — I see no chance to save the peaches. God can do all things & we must not murmur — but feel thankful he gives us food & raiment to keep us from sufferings. Oh God preserve us from war & let us know that this cold is a trifle compared to what thou couldst send on us — I have ventured to read a little to day — I do not see any thing very encouraging — Lord save us — we are not worthy — but spare us & make us better. My little servant Dorcas sits beside me while I write — I cannot persuade her to go to bed — she says it is so cold, she has her bed — three blankets & a No. Ca. Coverlet to cover with. I cannot help laughing at her — she dreads the cold so much.
She would, of course, get rid of all her Negroes, bad and otherwise, within a few years. Sherman’s men burned two of her homes, although the house on her main plantation, “Alwehav,” survived the war. I wonder where the descendants of Jim, Ben, Old Dick, and Old Jacob are today?