Emancipated Slaves Marker - Pioneer Cemetery - Salem, Oregon
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member ddtfamily
N 44° 55.165 W 123° 02.735
10T E 496401 N 4973998
Quick Description: Grave marker describing the life histories of a pair of emancipated slaves
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 1/25/2014 8:14:23 AM
Waymark Code: WMK0GA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 1

Long Description:
This grave marker, located within Salem's historic Pioneer Cemetery, marks the final resting places of Albert Bayless (1819-1907) and his wife Mary Bayless (1823-1907). The front of the marker includes the words "EMANCIPATED SLAVES" while the reverse side contains a fascinating historical account of their lives. I was excited to find this marker as there are relatively few historical markers dealing with slavery in the area as Salem, Oregon is about 2,500 miles from the heart of the former Confederate States. The text of the marker reads:

Albert was born into slavery in Tennessee. He had a kind master with whom he lived for 30 years. Upon his master's death, he was sold to an owner who mistreated him. Albert escaped to the California gold fields, then to Salem where he conducted a successful blacksmith business. A member of the Methodist Church, Albert retained his faith until death. In death, he left behind his faithful wife, Mary Ann, his only known surviving relative.

Mary Ann was born into slavery in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1839 when she was 16. She was freed by her master and moved with his family to Missouri where she married David Reynolds. There, David and two of their children died. In 1864, she and her two remaining children moved to Oregon with the James Ord family. On October 18, 1866, in Salem, she married Albert Bayless, a blacksmith. On April 24, 1907 in Salem, only days after Albert's death, Mary Ann died of a broken heart and was laid to rest next to her husband.

Dedicated May 2002 by FOPC & SCV


Click a photo to enlarge

Historic Topic: Pioneer

Group Responsible for placement: Other

Marker Type: City

Region: Willamette Valley

County: Marion

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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