Monday, March 9, 2015

Dr. Thomas Reuben Seastrunk

© Kathy Duncan, 2015

Dr. Thomas Reuben Seastrunk was Sameul Seastrunk's partner in crime. Like Samuel, Reuben removed to Texas in 1857, under orders to be out of Copiah County, Mississippi in 15 days. They were probably brothers.

Ironically, on the 1850 census of Copiah Co., MS, Reuben Seastrunk owned three slaves: a black female age 23, a mulatto male age 4, a mulatto male age 1. Like Samuel, he must have had a change of heart shortly afterward when he and Samuel began helping slaves escape from Copiah County. See post on Samuel Seastrunk and wife Lydia Kelly, which contains a physical description of Reuben Seastrunk.

DEATHS - 1906
T. R. Seastrunk, M.D., Charleston Medical College, 1840, died at his home in Burkeville on August 20th. Age 86. He was a native of South Carolina, and spent his early youth on a farm. He practiced medicine in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi before coming to Texas. He located in Newton County, Texas, in 1857, where he remained for about fifty years until his death. He was one of a family of eleven children remarkable for longevity--no one of whom died under 70 years of age, and for ten years previous to his death there were three generations of his immediate  family practicing medicine.
To many he was not only a true physician, but a father and friend in time of need, and his many acts of kindness will ever be remembered by them. He was a successful physician and a public-spirited gentleman, loved and honored in every walk of life.
[Source: Texas State Journal of Medicine, vol. 2]

Thomas Reuben Seastrunk is buried in the Burkeville Methodist Church Cemetery. According to an historical marker on the site, "In that era [1850s] circuit riders served the congregation, which included both black and white worshippers."
[Source: Texas State Historical Marker]

In 1885, the congregation of New Hope Baptist Church in Shankleville, TX, a community of African Americans, wanted to stop renting and a church building and build their own church. They purchased three acres, at $5.00 per acre, from T.R. Seastrunk, and they were then able to build their own church on their own land.
[Source: National Registration of Historic Places Registration form for Odom house, Burkeville, TX]

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