Law enforcement officers probably didn’t expect to be confronted by my great grandmother, Addie Jackson, when they arrived to evict her daughters, Marie and Virginia (my grandmother), from their Tarrytown, NY home. But that’s exactly what happened. And one officer left with the bruises to prove it.
Constable William Beekman alleged that Momma Addie “shoved him” and caused him to fall against a wall and tear ligaments in his left shoulder, according to an article in an early 1920s issue of the Tarrytown Daily News.
Beekman, who charged Momma Addie with assault, arrived in court “with his left shoulder and left side strapped with adhesive tape and his arm in a sling from injuries,” the article says.
The Constable learned the hard way that “Momma Don’t Take No Mess.”
My great grandmother, Addie Jackson (or Momma Addie), knew Harriet Tubman. At least I’m pretty sure she did. Here’s why I say that. In the last years of her life, Tubman lived in Auburn, NY, where she’s buried, and her primary caretakers were members of the Empire State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. Momma Addie was the financial secretary of the club at the time.
The Tubman biography, “Bound for the Promised Land,” says this about the club’s care for Tubman when she was “penniless and ill” at about 90 years old: “Through the efforts of Mary Talbert (the group’s president), the Empire State Women’s Clubs also helped raise funds for Tubman’s care…”
The same biography also says this about Talbert’s relationship with Tubman: “Mary Talbert recalled her last visit with Tubman, about a month before her death. Tubman grasped her hand as she was about to leave, urging her to ‘tell the women to stand together for God will never forsake us.’ ”