Friday, December 17, 2010
Sammie was mentally sharp and physically disabled. When his parents died, he went to work for the WPA at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. According to his WWII draft card of 1942, he was 5 foot 3 and 100 lbs., has curvature of the spine and wears glasses. When you compare that to his WWI draft card, you can see the change in society's perception of the physically disabled. That says "cripple". I winced.
He was born 10 Sept 1886 in Baker Settlement in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada and was 6 years old in 1892 when he came with his parents and his siblings. We know from a passenger list that the family returned to Nova Scotia in1897. My in-laws spoke fondly of Sammie and when they told us about him, didn't say anything about his disability ntil I asked what work he did and was he married. Then, they told us that he was very smart, personable and disabled. Just think about his mother Naomi and all those infants that died before and after Sammie, Phares, Jeremiah and Rhoda (the surviving children) and how much heartache she endured.
Sammie is listed in the 1930 census as working in a shoe shop. He became a naturalized citizen in 1937. He died on 5 January 1956 at age 69. He never married. We found two professional photos of him that I will post soon.