When the two sisters, Delphine and Niecy, became mothers, they lived together and raised their "eighteen"children in a one bedroom house affectionately known as the
"HOUSE OF TWENTY"
Delphine and Niecy made homes at several plantations around Copiah County, Mississippi as they worked to survive and strengthen the next generation of free-born Alexanders.
After Gilmore passed, Delphine and Niecy farmed, with their mother Rose, on the Tom Harris plantation.
GILMORE ALEXANDER was born in 1839 somewhere in Mississippi. He was born enslaved and lived twenty-six years in bondage. Although born enslaved, Gilmore knew his parents. They were both from Virginia. Gilmore may have been European parentage because the 1870 Census reports him as a "white". This was probably a physical assessment by the census taker. It may be safe to reason that Gilmore was very light-skinned. The State of Virginia during the 1700's through the 1800's was heavily involved in the enslavement of human beings. It was common for European slaveholders to force themselves on (rape) enslaved women for sport or commerce. Their inhumane actions brought forth a mixed coloring of the enslaved people of African descent.
Father Gilmore was younger than his wife Rose and was a supportive head of their family. Under his roof he sheltered his family and relatives. He also provided for a disabled (crippled) member of the family. Gilmore was a farm laborer. No family stories or historical records show that he owned property. He worked the land and lived with Rose until his death sometime during the 1900's. Hopefully, family will find his death record in Mississippi.
ROSE ALEXANDER was born enslaved in Louisiana in 1835. Family members tell a story of Delphine and Niecy being enslaved and moving from Louisiana to Mississippi, but census records clearly shows that Delphine and Niecy were born in Copiah County, Mississippi after the Civil War. The belief is that the story given to Delphine and Niecy is actually the life story of their mother Rose Alexander. While young, her family was separated, --- "probably sold to a new slaveholder" and with her mother and a brother, Rose was moved to Mississippi to labor on the "Tom Harris" plantation.
Grandmother Rose bore 15 children in her lifetime. Most of her children were not with her on the 1870 census. Indeed, only three of her children are listed. Custur, Joseph and baby "Delphine". We can only wonder with sorrow the fate of her other children. Rose was enslaved 30 years. During her young childbearing years she was "chattel" property as were any children she bore. It is hard to think true, but slaveholders robbed mother Rose's children from her arms. By 1910, when she is widowed and living with daughters Delphine and Niecy, Rose reports to the census taker that she had 15 children and only three are known to her to be alive.
The children of Delphine and Niecy remember their mother being able to speak French. The "mother" they remember speaking "French" is probably their grandmother, Rose. Rose was brought up in French Louisiana and it is likely she was exposed to the language there. Storied of Rose were told by family but unfortunately they were lost through the generations. Niecy honored her mother by naming her first daughter Rose after her mother. Grandmother Rose lived with her daughters and their children until her death, although do not have her death notice at this time.