Southern-Style: A Downhome Perspective on All Things Southern

A Downhome Perspective on All Things Southern
Home   About Us  Blog   Genealogy  Recipes   Gardening  Manners and Etiquette  Destinations  History  Art   Photojournalism 
 Southern Furniture Maker   Inspiration  Write Life  Opinion Contact  Education   Southern Wedding  Baby Showers  History

On to Angola
Dear Sharman,

Congratulations!!!  I have just purchased a copy of your new book, "On To Angola."  The book is fabulous and it's hard for me to put it down for any length of time.  I am gravitated to it like a high power magnet. 

Best wishes,

James E. McCalister

List Price: $20.00
Historical Fiction
Black and Native American History

Sharman Burson Ramsey tells the complicated, important story of a haven for freedom on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Angola, a maroon community of self-emancipated slaves and free blacks, was hidden from slave raiders and from history, until recently. Piecing together the archaeological and historical information on the hundreds of people living near the Manatee River and Sarasota Bay in early 19th century, the novel skillfully weaves a story of people from across Spanish La Florida, the US southeast, and Britain who sought freedom and family in Tampa Bay, themes that continue to inspire us today.

Uzi Baram
Professor of Anthropology
Director of the New College Public Archaeology Lab
New College of Florida
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34243 USA


List Price: $20.00
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
338 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1985094154 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1985094150
BISAC: Fiction / Action & Adventure
“Towards the end of the month of April last, some men of influence and fortune, residing somewhere in the western country, thought of making a speculation in order to obtain Slaves for a trifle. They hired Charles Miller, William Weatherford [and others], and under these chiefs, were engaged about two hundred Cowetas Indians. They were ordered to proceed along the western coast of East Florida, southerly, and there take, in the name of the United States, and make prisoners of all the men of colour, including women and children, they would be able to find, and bring them all, well secured, to a certain place, which has been kept a secret.” 
“Advice to Southern Planters” in Charleston City Gazette. 

This third novel in the Creek Indian family saga, historical fiction, reunites twins Cato and Andro, separated at the Massacre at Fort Mims, one raised as a slave, the other as the adopted son of a Duke. Their quest to find their mother leads to a race against the Coweta raiders. They deal with slavers, unscrupulous English men, pirates, and the untamed frontier. In this adventure they join Red Stick survivors of the Creek and First Seminole War in a joint race for survival.

This novel is Florida History at the time of Andrew Jackson being territorial governor of Florida. It is Black History. It is Native American History. It is good and evil. It is OUR History.

Sandy road and water

Scrub Oak
Fictional are in red
Jay Kincaid
Mo (Andro)
Zebulon (also sold to James Adams and accompanied the twins)
Timmy TEW 1807 13 in 1821, shrewd silver grey eyes Henri Caesar
Sabrina Stapleton
Gabriel Kincaid

Joie Kincaid
Godfrey Lewis Winkel
Caid Kincaid
Lyssa Rendel Kincaid
Jake Rendel
Malee Rendel
Lance Rendel
Master James Smith
Alexander Smith
Sir Barklay Biddlesworth
Lord Archer Aston

Authentic Historical people in this book

Sir Phillip Stapleton MP  
Gasparilla ? LEGEND OR TRUTH?
Gopher John
Andrew Jackson
Richard Keith Call 1792
Associate of Jackson Florida’s 3rd and 5th territorial governor 29 in 1811
Zephaniah Kingsley  December 4, 1765 to September, 1843 born in Bristol England Quaker 56 in 1821
Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley born 1793 in West Africa
George Kingsley
Abraham 1787 "Sauanaffe Tustunnagee" (Suwannee Warrior)
Moses Elias Levy (1781 40 in 1821
Abraham Mordecai
John Horse 1812-1882 Payne’s Prairie on the Alachua avannah in central Florida. 9 in 1821
Bukra Woman Chief Payne’s sister
Bowlegs b. abt. 1800 would be 21 in 1821
Simency Bowlegs sister
Miccanopi Pond Governor  Became Chief 1821 Under influence of Jumper and Abraham
Holatoochee born about 1800 heir of Miccanopy
John Horse Cavallo 1812 – 1822  fought alongside Osceola acted as interpreter
Chief Alligator
Sam Jones (Abiaka) Crazy Rattlesnake (Medicine man) 1760
King Phillip on St. Johns
John Caesar chief adviser
Wild Cat (Coacoochee) born 1800 21 n 1821
Gopher John
Brevet Major Edward Nichols of the Royal Marines (1779 Coleraine
Billy Powell (Osceola) 1804
Peter McQueen
James McQueen
Betsy Durant
William Weatherford
George Stiggins
Isaac Jackson

                 If you have relatives involved in this event, we would love to hear their stories. Please email me at

Q&A ON TO ANGOLA                                                        


The mahogany skinned woman, head turbaned with a strip of yellow silk that gleamed in the blistering sun, stood like Lot’s wife as still a pillar of salt, looking at what was to her the end of the world. Her eyes fixed eastward where the bateaux bearing her twin sons disappeared around the bend in the bayou where moss dripping river oaks bent and gnarled by time and tribulation obscured her view. And yet her gaze never faltered. Their terrified shrieks drifted back over the Black water. Her chest ached where the big, gruff white man, an overseer, representative of a Georgia plantation owner, had ripped her tiny sons from her clenched arms. The fresh stripes of the whip upon her back stung with the perspiration that dripped from her body … punishment for the fight she put up. She did not flinch.  The pain of those lashes were nothing compared to the pain in her heart. There were not enough tears though her face was wet with them.

Lafitte’s agents were stronger than she and now the small bateaux carried her babies further and further away from her where she stood on the tiny island in the morass of Louisiana bayous.  Here Jean Lafitte held his illegal slave auctions hidden away from the authorities
at the Temple, a peculiar earthwork mound halfway between Grande Terre and New Orleans.

She tried not to breathe for fear she would lose the sweet smell of their little bodies. Silently she cursed the heat for the sweat that washed away the last of their touch and the feel of their curly hair upon her cheeks. Her sons. Her beautiful boys. Just over a year old. Big for their age. They would be tall they said because she was tall. They walked early. They spoke early. They fetched a good price.
Barely twenty years old, the woman had already endured much. She’d survived the violence of the Haitian revolution having been rescued as a girl of ten by a boy just a few years older than she.  Just a child himself, he was big for his years and had become a leader of the revolution. Her mother had been a practitioner of the Petwo Voodoo cult. At a service at Bois Caiman her mother was possessed by Ogoun, the Voodoo warrior spirit. She sacrificed a Black pig and spoke in the voice of the spirit. But the ultimate crime she committed was to name those who were to lead the slaves and maroons in the revolt.

After the death of her mother, who became a major target of the resistance, that boy, little older than she, arranged with some fishermen to take her to a community of free Blacks and escaped slaves located on the Manatee River near the Spanish Fisheries on the west coast of Florida. He reappeared ten years later with yellow silk meant for the girl he had saved. The boy, grown to be a massive, ebony skinned man, turned every woman’s head. Yet it was she who had captured his heart. He left but promised to return for her. Then while walking along the shore near the Fishery, she and others at Angola who had come for supplies were captured by pirates and taken to Jean Lafitte in Barataria to be auctioned.

Her pregnancy showed early. Jean Lafitte purchased the beautiful woman himself to sell later. He reasoned two slaves were much more valuable than one. She gave birth to her sons.  Lafitte allowed her to keep them until weaned.

Zebulon, also bought by the Georgia overseer, promised to watch over them but she knew how helpless a Black man was against the will of an overseer and his whip.

It was a future her sons would share.

“Tell them. Tell them please to remember. As long as there is breath in my body I will wait for them at Angola,” she said as she handed her sons over to Zebulon, attempting to smile and reassure her wailing sons. 

Down came the whip, but not a whimper passed her lips.

From the bayous they would board a wagon and travel the Federal Road to Georgia she’d heard the overseer tell Jim Bowie, an associate of Lafitte’s who had offered to purchase her.

Bayoux le TerreHis lascivious eyes told for what purpose. The overseer told Bowie he would cross the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers at a place called Mims Ferry and go through Creek country. Bowie wanted to take her with him to Texas. Further from her children.

“I hear there’s Red Sticks on the war path in Creek country,” Bowie told him eyeing her and trying to keep his voice down.  In her grief every word was magnified, every whisper heard.

Slaves, drained as they were with their own misery, acknowledged her pain. One voice began it, the song that drifted over the crowd gathered for the sale of the two boys, over the bewildered and frightened men and women still in chains awaiting their turn.

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
A long way is from home
A long way is from home
Do believe us, A long ways from home
A long ways from home
Yes, sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Why? 'Cause nothin' ever happens
Well nothin' good
(So what's good?)

The sale continued. More families ripped apart. Still Lafitte kept her apart from the others. 

The sun set and night, as Black as the future she imagined, obscured the bayou down which her sons had long since disappeared.

Sheba lifted her hands to the sky and shrieked a cry of pain so awful God in Heaven must have heard. And then she crumpled to the ground.