Hannah Culver's Deposition in the Pension Case of John Culver

Remembering Hannah Culver aka Hannah Coleman and Hannah McMillan
Slave Wife of John Culver
Former Slave of Dougal McMillan
by Linda Durr Rudd

Hannah was born about 1840 to Moses Wright and Nancy McMillan in Mississippi. Hannah and her mother were the slaves of Dougal McMillan. According to Dougal McMillan's 1862 inventory listing of slaves, Hannah was listed as being valued at $900. Hannah's relationship with John Culver ended near the start of the Civil War when he "took up" with another of McMillan' slaves named Jane. After John left to serve as body servant to George McNeill, Hannah began a relationship with George Coleman which lasted until George's death in 1894.

Hannah's Deposition
February 12, 1909
Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi

I am 75 years of age. P.O. and residence, 513 Rankin Street, Natchez, Miss. I am the widow of John Culver, on account of whose service as a soldier in the Federal army, and subsequent death, I claim pension. I was born on Homochito River, Copiah Co., Miss., the slave of Dugal McMillan, and I remained his slave until freedom. Moses Watson and Nancy McMillan were my parents. Both are dead. I have one sister, Flora Wright, of Morgantown, this Co. I have one brother, Charlie Moses, of near Brookhaven, Miss. Flora is the widow of Allen Wright. I was married to John Culver in slave time. He belonged to John McNeal, a neighbor. I can not give the year. I was 17 years of age when I married him. We lived as man and wife until he left to join the army. My Master married us. He read the matrimony to us at his own house. After the war, the first woman he had was named Susie. I do not know her other name. He took this Susie on his return from the army. He had Susie only a few years, until he went blind. This Susie left him, and went off with a show. I have never seen her since nor do I know now where she is. I went to see him while he lived with Susie. Yes, Susie and I were friendly. We were friends in old slave time. I went there to get my man, but he refused to live with me, and leave Susie. After Susie left him, he went out to his brother's, on the Homochitto River and remained there a good while, a few years, and then he came to Natchez and married Mississippi Banks, by license. He lived with Mississippi until she died. I tried hard to get him to stay with me, but he refused. He took up with Susie Smith. This was the fourth woman he had since the war. He lived with Susie until he died. They say he lawfully married this last Susie. This last Susie was younger than my oldest child. I knew her from a child. I had two children by John in slave time. They were Edward and Elizabeth. Both are dead. He had no children by the first Susie. He had none by Mississippi. I think he had but one child by the last Susie, named John. He is with his mother in Lincoln Co. I knew this last Susie from a child, and I am sure that John was her first and only husband. I do not know what John died of. I think he had too much whiskey. He was a hard drinker ever since the war.

Hannah (her X mark) Culver

Wm. Calvin
Lizzie Johnson


John Culver's Federal Military Pension Records
Private John Culver of the 58th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry

Remembering Their Names

Mississippi Death Index - Culver
1912 - 1943