The Powes originally came from Wales, England and settled first in Spotsylvania County, VA and Cheraw, SC. Marsom Powe (1725-1782) brought with him his son Thomas Powe (1747-1817), a black named Croe as well as a black couple named Tom and Ruth. The slaves took on the name of Powe. All of this took place around the year of 1762.

Thomas Powe later migrated to Cheraw, SC and became the founder of the Powe Family of Cheraw, SC (He was of English and Welch ancestry). He was a man who accomplished many things and accumulated much wealth and recognition for his achievements. In addition to the children her fathered with his wife Rebecca, Thomas fathered two mulatto sons, Cyrus and Frank, whom he recognized. He instructed his wife Rebecca S. Powe (he also recorded the same instructions in his Last Will and Testament) to take care of them and use them until they were twenty-four years of age. She was to emancipate them from slavery and equally divide the owner slaves and assets between herself and all of her children including Cyrus and Frank. Thomas’ will was followed.

Cyrus and Frank migrated to the Mississippi territory and became successful landowners and inventors. In 1811 William Powe (1766-1841), another of Thomas’ sons migrated from Cheraw, SC into the Mississippi territory, by way of the State of Georgia, with his wife, eleven children and forth-six blacks. Although there was a lot of history created from his family, much of it cannon be documented since many of the records were burned in fires in the homes during the Civil War. The Wayne County Courthouse located in Waynesboro, MS also burned down.

It is known, however, that William Powe settled about one mile North of Buckatunna, Ms. While another brother Alexander Powe (1771-1825) settled three miles higher up the Chickaswhay River, which is two miles South of Winchester, MS.

William was very successful and had a large plantation with many slaves. (The Buckatunna Area was Indian Territory). Chief Pushmataha, a Choctaw, did not like the whites or the blacks but William was able to gain the Chief’s respect because of his great success. Chief Pushmataha did not like the blacks because he felt superior to them. He did not realize that the whites felt the same superiority towards the Indians. William honored Chief Pushmataha by having the slaves stand and fan him as well as wipe his month as he ate. Thus, they became friends. After a period of time the Indians began to do some swapping of blacks and other supplies with the whites. They traded grain, furs, and other commodities. Now the black race was infiltrated with Indian blood as well as white.

William Powe’s home still stands today. The home was built by Farris, a black carpenter by trade. The planks were hand sawed and plained by slaves. Molding for the home was also done by hand. The crepe myrtle is extraordinarily beautiful in the summer. There are Cedar and Oak trees stills standing on the property.

History has it that the Powe brother smoked the “pipe of peace” with their friends the Choctaw Indians under one of the trees. In fact, William Powe is buried on the property



Wesley Powe [abt 1826] & Jennie Collins [abt 1831]

Wesley was a slave and his parents were from South Carolina and Jane's parents were from Mississippi
Home in 1870: Township 7, Wayne, Mississippi

Jennie Collins (abt 1831), Wesley's 1st wife and the mother of his children, was born 1831 in AL and died 1888. Her mother was Edith Slay (b. in MS, Parents' from NC d. between 1880-1890). Jennie's brother was Levi Collins (b. 1832-1842) , living in AL in 1902. Through stories and court records, Jennie was 1/4 Choctaw Indian and was listed as a Mulatto in 1870 Census. Edith Collins Slay (Jennie's mother). Edith was born a slave and 1/2-blooded Native American. Edith was married Jim Slay (slave, b. in MS; Father was from NC and Mother from VA; 2nd wife Emeline Slay b. abt 1970, daughter Mattie Slay b. abt 1892) when Jennie was a young girl.

Virginia (1834), Wesley's 2nd wife. Virginia's parents were from Mississippi and Wesley and Virginia made their home in Beat 1, Wayne, MS in 1880.


Rachel (abt 1852)
Edith “Eidy” (abt 1854)
Robert (abt 1856)
Eliza (abt 1857)
Oliver (abt 1860)
Frances (abt 1861)
Jackson (abt 1862)
Edwin (abt 1864)
Mobly (abt 1864)
Collie (abt 1866)
Nancy (abt 1869) 

Collie and Jackson went to court in 1902 to declare their Choctaw status. In both cases, they were denied Native American Choctaw status.


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