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The Sorrel-weed House


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#1 OffDutyCop

 

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 01:38 PM




The Sorrel-Weed House was one of the first two houses in Georgia to be designated as a State landmark.
At approximately 16,000 square feet, the Sorrel-Weed House is considered to be one of the the largest houses in Savannah.

Commissioned by Francis Sorrel, a prominent figure in Savannah society at the time, the Sorrel-Weed house was finished between 1839 and 1840. In the following years, the Sorrel house was considered to be the toast of Savannah, and was home to many lavish parties. Years later, it would host both the Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and the Union General William Tecumseh Sherman at different times during the American Civil War. It could be argued, that it was the beauty of homes like the Sorrel House, and the southern hospitality of it's occupants, which caused General Sherman to spare Savannah from the same fiery fate that other cities such as Atlanta, Georgia, had suffered.

It is thought that somewhere around the year 1861, Mr. Francis Sorrel was discovered to have been entangled in an affair with a slave known as "Molly". According to the story, Mrs. Sorrel was so distraught at this revelation, that she threw herself to her death from the second floor balcony. Approximately two weeks later, "Molly" was found hanging by her neck from the rafters of the carriage house.

To this day, the staff at the Sorrel-Weed House continue to get reports of ghostly activity taking place on and around the property.

In October of 2005, The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) filmed part of a Halloween Special at the Sorrel-Weed House. During the investigation, the team believed that they had captured an EVP of a woman's voice yelling "Get out! Get out! Help me, my God, my God." Based on this, and other evidence found during the investigation, the TAPS team declared the Sorrel-Weed House to be haunted.

One of our very own members, Natalia2009, recently posted a thread on the forums about some time she recently spent at the Sorrel-Weed House. Natalia believes that during this visit, she was able to record her very own EVP, the thread for which can be found here:

http://www.paranormalsoup.com/forums/index...showtopic=35192



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#2 xjadedx

 

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 02:00 PM

Cool story and beautiful house!

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#3 Natalia2009

 

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 04:01 PM

Thanks for the background on the house.  I love the picture too!

Great job on the write up.

#4 trin

 

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 07:18 PM

Beautiful architecture!  (gushing cartoon hearts)

Hmmm, this is like the third mansion I can think of JUST OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD where part of the story is about a slave or servant girl um "getting it on" with the master of the house and ending up dead by hanging...  

Just how common WAS this sort of thing anyway?


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#5 knower333

 

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 03:13 PM

LOL nice house with interesting history  Picture 510.gif
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#6 Judecat

 

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 09:35 PM

It was very common for white slave owners to "use" their female slaves in that way, but it was hardly a "love affair", since the slave had no choice at all in the matter one way or the other,  the slave derived no benefit from the arrangement, and in most cases the children were slaves also,  and farily often were sold away from their mother as soon as they were old enough to be worth any money, and in many cases were in a committed relationship with a fellow slave (and if they did not co-operate,  their lover could and would be sold) and the wife of the family did not suffer because of it -- some were actually relieved that their husbands were not bothering them for a while.   The entire culture was based on the fact that slaves where not actually people.
There are some places (New Orleans )that it was an accepted practice to keep one particularly nice slave woman as a mistress,  and set her up in he own household to raise her children,  however the woman and her children were still slaves,  and this was a culturally accepted thing in those circles.  Often a young man would be presented with one of his father in laws mixed race children as a wedding present.  Light skinned girls were sought after as mistresses,  dark skinned girls and most boys (unless they were light skinned enough to run away and "pass" were treated the same as other slaves.
  Some geneologist believe that up to 80 percent of  all African Americans have some white blood.  

So --I don't know if the house is haunted -- but I really doubt the story about who is supposedly haunting and why.

#7 OffDutyCop

 

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE
nd the wife of the family did not suffer because of it -- some were actually relieved that their husbands were not bothering them for a while.


Jude -


While I believe that this was probably true in many circumstances, especially considering the mindset of the times, and that many marriages were based solely on status and wealth as opposed to love, I don't think that we can make the generalization that it was true in all.

Certainly, there must have existed some women, even those of wealth and status, who would have been just as distraught to learn of an unfaithful lover as many women are today.
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#8 Judecat

 

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 01:25 PM

Even if such woman excisted,  it would not account for every other haunted plantation house,  or other site in the south having a story of a man having a "love affair" with a slave.

Edited by Judecat, 25 October 2009 - 01:27 PM.


#9 OffDutyCop

 

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 01:34 PM

QUOTE(Judecat @ Oct 25 2009, 05:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Even if such woman excisted,  it would not account for every other haunted plantation house,  or other site in the south having a story of a man having a "love affair" with a slave.


You're absolutely right, Jude.  good.gif As you and Trin have both pointed out, the story seems to be quite common amongst haunted locales in the South.

Of course, I'm not attempting to vouch for the legitimacy of this story at all, I was simply recounting the local "legend" as it were. I know very little about the history of this location beyond the commonly circulated story.

My motivation for posting this topic was to provide a little general information on the house, in direct response to Natalia2009 posting a thread about a EVP that she believes she captured there. After reading that thread, I thought some members might appreciate a point of reference, and being from Savannah, I was happy to provide it.

Perhaps during some of my off time, I will attempt to delve a little deeper, and attempt to find out if this legend has any documented truth to it at all.  biggrin.gif



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#10 mainemom207

 

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 05:20 PM

I want to live there! I could lose the whole house in that place.. let's see the kid, grandpa and the dogs and most important HUBBY!
LOL
Love the house and the history thank you for sharing smile.gif
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#11 Lady Sorbus

 

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 05:38 AM

Very well done OCD, sir, but where does the 'Weed' part of the name come from?

-- Comments about the rest of the thread deleted. --

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#12 Judecat

 

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 05:53 AM

XII.      Antonine-Francois Sorrel, born at Grenoble, 6 Nov 1737; died at Attakapas, Saint Mary's Parish, Louisiana, 9 May 1830; married secondly, at Port-au-Prince, Saint Domingo, in 1792, to Eugenie de Sutre', or de Sutro, born unknown; died at "Miraqoane", Parish of Petit Goave, Saint-Domingo, 23 Sep, 1793  



One child, named:

  

XIII.      Mathurin-Francois Sorrel, born at "Miraqoane", Parish of Petit Goave, Saint-Domingo, 4 May 1793; died at Savannah, GA, 5 May 1870.  He changed his name to Francis Sorrel; married secondly, at Washinton, DC., 1 Oct 1829 to Matilda Aminta Douglass Moxley, born at Westmoreland County, VA, 27 Feb 1806; died at Savannah, GA 27 Mar 1860



  

   His mother,  name uncertain,  and date of birth unknown,  died in the slave revolt in September,  when he was 4 months old.

It has been suggested that Francois was 1/4 black,  a fact that he would have taken great pains to hid from his wives.

Francis and his first wife Lucinda had 5 children. One of whom was
    Dr Francis Sorril, who had set up his medical practice in the Sorril-Weed house, before enlisting in the US army and fighting in the "Indian Wars in Florida", resigning his commition to go to San Francisco and setting up his practice in one of the biggest mining camps in the area, charging upward of $10 per visit, payable in gold dust, being elected to the California state legislature in 1861-1822, resigning his policical office and returning to Richmond and joining the confederate army as a surgeon, and rising to become Surgeon General. After the war he married and settled in Richmond, until his wife's death, when he moved to Washington DC. I'm not certain of his date of death, but it may have been 1916-1917, aged 87, which would have made his birth date 1828, or 1829.  This would lead me to believe that Lucinda died from childbirth,  and Francis married his sister very shortly after.
Francis and Mathilda had 8 children, one of whom was Moxley Sorrel born in 1838  chief of staff for General Longstreet,  and the youngest general officer in the confederacy.
Mathilda and Francis's oldest child was a girl name Lucinda (Lucy) who was born in 1831.



At the time of Mathilda's death she was 52 years old and had born 8 children.  Francis was at least 68 years old, and had fathered 13 children.  I believe that at that point of their lives if she found out that he was part black,  that would have been more devistating than any "relationship" with a slave.  

I didn't realize a the start of this thread that we were discussing Moxley's parents,  I've had bits and pieces of his geneology hanging around my computer for ages.  And I've always known of the rumours that he was "passing" his whole life.  Given what I know about him,  I don't think he would risk having a child with a slave.

So I would be really interested in more links to investigations, because there seems to be someone haunting the place,  I'd like to find out who and why.

Edited by Judecat, 26 October 2009 - 05:56 AM.


#13 OffDutyCop

 

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 05:10 AM

I just found out that Ghost Hunters International were at the Sorrel-Weed House last night, October 31, 2009, presumably filming an investigation.
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#14 mainemom207

 

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:55 PM

oh wow kewl i will have to see that online smile.gif thanks for letting us know smile.gif
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