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Sarah Allen Huckins Confederate Passport, 27 July 1864, Chester District, S.C.

Manuscript, 27 July 1864, printed form, issued to Sarah Allen Huckins by George W. Curtis, clerk of court for Chester District, is a rare surviving example of an internal passport issued to a South Carolina citizen. Its existence raises speculations about security procedures under the Confederacy.

Sarah Huckins's passport certified her as a good and loyal citizen of the district and state and granted her an unmolested passage to Greenville on business. The pass identified Sarah as a citizen of Chester District, but four years earlier, the 1860 census had listed her as a resident of ward 4 in the city of Charleston. She was the daughter of the Rev. James L. Huckins (1807-1863), the pastor of Charleston's Wentworth Street Baptist Church, and his wife Rhoda Barton (1808-1875), a Mayflower descendant.

James Huckins was a native of New Hampshire and a graduate of Brown University in Rhode Island. Despite his northern origin, he was a Southern Baptist, a slaveholder, and a defender of slavery. In 1838, the American Baptist Home Mission Society had commissioned him to raise funds in Georgia and South Carolina. During the 1840s, he had become the first Baptist missionary to the republic of Texas, a pastor of churches in Houston and Galveston, and one of the three principal founders of Baylor University. Huckins came to Charleston in 1859 and ministered to Confederate soldiers until his death in 1863. He was buried in Magnolia Cemetery.

His daughter's need for a passport in 1864 Chester County may have arisen from a northern accent, a dark complexion, or an unusual surname. Moreover, her handwriting seems to have confused the clerk, who misread "S.A. Huckins" on the signature line and transcribed it in the top blank as "S.J. Huckins."

As an unmarried young lady, Sarah exercised the feminine prerogative of counterfeiting her age in government records. According to the New England Genealogical and Historical Register, she was born in Providence, R.I., on 22 August 1838. Yet in June 1860, when she was twenty-one going on twenty-two, she told the Charleston census taker she was nineteen. By July 1864, her deduction factor had grown. The nearly twenty-six-year-old Sarah told the Chester clerk she was twenty-two. After the war, she finally married (at the genuine age of twenty-nine) Waters Smith Davis, a merchant and railroad executive of Galveston, Tx.

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