Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums
Pleasants Family Album
Scope and Content
This photograph album was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums in 2020.
Isaac Pleasants was born in Virginia in 1821. He eventually escaped across the Ohio River and lived in Cincinnati where he worked in a barbershop. He married Cassandra Harper. Pleasants earned enough income to open his own barbershop. He and Cassandra moved to Columbiana County. Following Cassandra’s death, Isaac brought his three sons and three daughters to Mansfield, Ohio, where he married a second time to Rose Amanda Abraham. Together, they had four children.
According to Mansfield news articles, Isaac, who lived on East Third Street, worked to recruit volunteers for Civil War service from the city’s Third Ward. He also headed the Union Colored Sabbath School and helped found the AME church in 1875.
James grew to manhood and worked as a foreman in a local box factory and then, like his father, became a barber. He spent time with his brothers Jasper and Thomas in Cleveland and Sandusky, Ohio. However, he returned to Mansfield where he died of Bright’s disease at the early age of 36. Like his parents and several of his siblings, James is buried in the Mansfield Cemetery.
James’ youngest sister, Clada, a talented musician and newspaper correspondent for the “Cleveland Gazette,” took part in an 1890 benefit concert to help raise funds for John Brown’s daughter, Mrs. Henry Thompson, then living in California in near poverty. More can be learned about the Pleasants family and Mansfield’s African American community at the Mansfield Memorial Museum.
Scope and Content
This photograph album contains 26 carte de visites of identified African Americans, of which many are from Mansfield, Ohio; the John Brown family; and several abolitionists. All images are identified. There are no dates, but the CDVs indicate that the album dates from the 1860s to the 1880s.
- John Brown “of Harper’s Ferry great abolitionist”
- Calvin Fairbanks and wife “Great abolitionist imprisoned 17 years and received 35,000 stripes for stealing slaves”
- Amanda Pleasants
- Harriett Barker
- Ruth Brown Thompson, “daughter of John Brown the abolitionist of Harper’s Ferry”
- Jason Brown, “son of John Brown the abolitionist’
- John Brown, Jr. “of Put-in-Bay” [in Civil War uniform]
- John Brown
- Thomas Pleasants
- John Winkfield
- Anna Henderson [image missing]
- David Foster [image missing]
- Bradford [image missing]
- Thompson children “grandchildren of John Brown, Sr.
- “A Slave Girl”
- Richard Green
- Jimmie Pleasants
- Tilly Reynolds
- Strother Moore
- Viola, Mary, & Clada Pleasants
- Pleasants boys
- James French
- Chris Hart [image missing]
- Pete Campbell