Portrayals of Historical Characters

Martha Tolton Poster99

This presentation provides the story of Martha Jane Chisley, a slave in Missouri, and her son Augustine Tolton, who became the first full blooded African American priest in America.




Gladys portrays “Aunt Rachel,” a former slave whose real name was Mary Ann Cord. This heart wrenching performance is a recollection of her life as a slave. This story tells the sorrow of being torn apart (sold) from her husband and children.   Mark Twain wrote her story “Word for word, as I heard it” and published it in the Atlantic Monthly in 1874.



The story of Adeline, a slave in Savannah, Missouri, will be performed by Gladys Caines-Coggswell. Adeline was present at Abraham Lincoln’s debate with political opponent Stephen Douglas. With the North’s victory in the Civil War Adeline became a free woman. She and her family chose to continue living with and working for the family that once owned them.