Prestonia Mann Martin and
Recent Correspondence with Enid Mastrianni
I'm grateful that you posted my correspondence because people have contacted me as a result, including a couple of descendants of Newton Mann.
I have become immersed in abolition research. Indeed, sometimes Prestonia's parents and relatives seem more interesting to me than Prestonia!
I was able to confirm that Dr. John Preston Mann did go to the Oneida Institite in the 1830s when he was a teen. So he knew Beriah Green and Henry Highland Garnet, et al.
Also, there is a J. Mann listed as a delegate to the October 21, 1835 Organizational Meeting of the New York Anti-slavery Society in Utica, which was mobbed and reconvened the next day at Smith's estate in Peterboro. The list is of people who made it to Peterboro. This was a pretty important meeting in the history of the movement.
Could be any old J. Mann. However, Beriah Green is on that list as is Rev. A. Parmelee. (Alvin Oliver Parmelee, b. 1802: I have more info about him; he signed antislavery petitions to congress in 1839)
Rev. Parmelee's daughter, Sophia Kelsey Parmelee, married John Preston Mann's brother, George Doolittle Mann, in 1855. This list is available in the appendix of Tom Calarco's book, The Underground Railroad in the Adirondack Region, and also online in the Samuel J. May Collection at Cornell. One of Sophia's sisters and her husband even name their child George Mann.
I also figured out that the letters sent by Julia Doolittle Mann to her grandchildren were sent to Quincy, Illinois where her son in law Gilbert Littlejohn and his new wife, Helen Wilcox, were living in 1855. Sometime after 1855 George and Sophia moved to Keokuk, Iowa, about 50 miles north of Quincy on the Mississippi. Both cities border Missouri, which in 1855, was a slave state. The fourth child of Julia Doolittle Mann moves to Detroit, Michigan. Were they just part of the swarms of people who went west? Or were they on a mission? John Preston Mann moves to NYC at around the same time:mid 1850s. Hmmm...
1. Correspondence, Enid Mastrianni to Afrolumens Project, January 9, 2006.