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Mary Hunter Bassett
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Birth: Jul. 25, 1777
Henry County
Virginia, USA
Death: Jul. 26, 1866
Monroe County
Missouri, USA

Mary Hunter was the daughter of Alexander Hunter & Martha Hairston Hunter who raised their family in Henry county, Virginia near Smith's River and Blackberry Creek.
Mary became the bride of Burwell Bassett on 24 January 1793, in Henry county. She was widowed at 39, when her youngest son Burwell was 5 months old. The Hunter family was large and well positioned in Henry county, Virginia. She appears to have had all the help she needed.
As she passed the age of 60, two of her sons began to plan a move to Missouri, which was really no longer a frontier.

The plan became a reality and in 1843 her sons George Hairston Bassett and Burwell, Jr. took their families & cousins & friends to Monroe county in that state. They followed the emigrant route known to so many, taking wagons to Wheeling, West Virginia where they boarded boats that carried them down the Ohio. At Cairo, Illinois a more powerful machine took them up the Mississippi to Hannibal, Missouri where they once again traveled by wagon to Middle Grove, which was their new home. Mary did not accompany them. She vowed she would not go and was ignored, for the plans were to bring her with the next group to leave Henry county.
Her sons took more slaves to Missouri than did most other families and purchased great tracts of land. George Hairston Bassett bought one thousand acres for his start. They raised grain & tobacco, generally farming like Virginians, and they were prosperous.
Mary resisted, but made the trip. No one knows how this came to be, but when she arrived she wrote her son Alexander back in Henry county, telling him to remain where he was. Missouri was not a fit place to live. There is a story told in the family that she devised a way return to Henry county, somehow using or relying upon the children of her son, Burwell. It is said that George & Burwell sought an injunction against her, and she was forbidden by law from leaving. Court records for this period are easily obtainable & Bassett vs. Bassett has never been found. There is no doubt that she was very unhappy, and little doubt that this story has been embellished.
Mary remained. Most unfortunately her last years were filled with the terror of the Civil War in a part of the border state of Missouri known as Little Dixie where Southern sympathies were strong. Guerilla warfare and bushwhacking were rife in Monroe county. Bloody Bill Anderson, Jesse & Frank James, George Todd, & remainders of Quantrill ran back & forth across Monroe county. Their cruelest crime, the Centralia Massacre was committed about 15 miles from the Bassett plantations on 27 September 1865 when 24 Union soldiers were forced from a west bound train, lined up and shot in the head.
One can hope that Mary Hunter Bassett, age 87, somehow missed knowing that this happened. The next year, what slaves remained of the very large family holdings were freed and life for the Bassetts of Monroe county, Missouri was never again the same.
Mary died July 26, 1866 and was buried in the small burying ground of what had been George Hairston Bassett's plantation.

Family links: 
  Martha Hairston Hunter (1753 - 1834)
  Burwell Bassett (1768 - 1816)
  Burwell Bassett (1815 - 1845)*
  Mary Hunter Bassett (1777 - 1866)*
  Mary Hunter Bassett (1777 - 1866)
  Powhatan B Hunter (1799 - 1835)*
*Calculated relationship
Bassett Family Burying Ground
Monroe County
Missouri, USA
Created by: Anna Jaech
Record added: Jan 05, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 103140412

She was the ggg grandmother of the renowned Bassett scholar Anne Bassett Stanley Chatham whose works are invaluable. Mrs. Chatham died 9 Jan 2013.
- Anna Jaech
 Added: Mar. 17, 2014
Rest~In~Peace to my maternal 4th Great Aunt:)
- Julie {Palmer} Clark
 Added: Jan. 27, 2014
"Missouri is not a fit place to live."
- Mary Hunter Bassett
 Added: Nov. 18, 2013

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