During my early years I had several “pen-pals” with which I shared all my thoughts and political views.  One was my brother, George Payne now deceased, and two others were then State Senator's Howard Baker and Jim Sasser, one Republican and one Democrat.

I remember the very first thing that Senator Sasser was able to assist me with. I was injured on the job with a semi-truck trailer manufacturing company, Black Diamond Industries, Tazewell while earning money to attend college at LMU. The company refused to pay for my X-ray’s that found two cracked ribs and refused to pay my Workman’s Compensation Benefits. I had seen several worse accidents while working there and after becoming thoroughly disgusted with the conditions asked the good Senator to assist me in filing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) complaint against them. He did this and as a result the Claiborne Hospital was paid for the X-rays and although I was not offered compensation for the days of work I missed was able to go back to work there in the metal fabrication shop. The factory was forced to close after several months and all I could say is good riddance.

I would recommend to any young person who is just starting their work life in the American workplace, should you find conditions unhealthy, dangerous or not conducive to what you think normal safety standards are, locate the proper means to see that you and your working companions are safe.

Take a look at what now an older man is able to do for his co-workers at American Collectibles Network in June of 2002. I am still employed by the company and conditions have improved 10 fold.

Senator Sasser also helped me with several Freedom of Information requests I had during the process of Security Clearances while working in Washington, D.C. 

Having had been fortunate enough to have been genealogically linked to Senator Baker through a marriage I was able to share some family history through a mutual “cousin”, J.T. Baker. Then Senator Baker has promised that he and I would someday meet for a "long talk" on our mutual family interests.


The other, James Ralph Sasser, I never knew any family history at all.  With some new initiatives now in DNA studies the Sasser family are taking it upon themselves to connect several of the early (in relation to America) families who settled in the Colonies.  I am putting together some information that some may find of interest regarding the Sasser heritage.


First what has happened to the beloved former Marine, Senator and Ambassador to China Ambassador Sasser was also held hostage for an extended period of time while serving in China. .  Well other than welcoming Panda’s to the Memphis Zoo I found him attending a recent conference held at Texas A&M University,   “China-U.S Relations: Past, Present and Future”.  The following is taken from The Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies Website:


IR/PS in the News: Eagle

"Conference could open many doors"

November 5, 2003

By David Grebe
Eagle Staff Writer

Texas A&M University is playing a pivotal role in providing the stage for high-ranking officials from the United States and China to come together to discuss conflicts and common problems that — if resolved in the years ahead — could lead to improved relations between both countries.

A Sino-American conference that gets under way Wednesday morning on the A&M campus will bring together high-ranking leaders from both nations for four days of talks that will focus on economic issues and threats posed by global terrorism and North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction.

The conference, “China-U.S Relations: Past, Present and Future,” is sponsored by A&M, the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

The implications for Texas A&M and the A&M System could be large given the university’s broad range of academic expertise in the fields of anti-terrorism, agriculture, energy and oceanic research.

The genesis of the conference started with Rick Younts, the former president of Motorola Asia and a 1967 A&M graduate. He is the 2003 Lockheed Martin Scholar in Residence at A&M’s International Center at the Bush School, where his role includes working with the school to set up the conference.

Younts contacted former President Bush, whose White House and diplomatic experience in China paved the way for the conference to unfold at Texas A&M. From 1974 to 1976, Bush served as chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing. At the time, there was no U.S. ambassador because the United States didn’t normalize relations with China until 1979.

Their efforts led to the conference, which will involve more than 400 people from academia, government and business from both countries. Secretary of State Colin Powell will participate, as will former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and James Baker III.

Members of the Chinese delegation include Qian Qichen, former vice premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. He will be among more than 90 Chinese representatives at the gathering, which will include the largest number of vice ministerial officials ever outside of China, said Richard Ewing, vice president for research at A&M.

Younts said he came up with the idea for the conference more than a year ago after a high-ranking Chinese official suggested a forum to promote interaction between Chinese and American representatives.

Points of contention

China’s fast-growing economy is likely to spark controversy with the United States, said Jim Sasser, former U.S. ambassador to China.

Sasser, in College Station for the conference, said the Chinese aren’t to blame for American economic woes.

“There’s always an effort to find a scapegoat ... I think there’s some scapegoating in the administration and Congress that’s directed at the Chinese,” Sasser said.

In the 1980s, Sasser said, Americans often blamed Japan for economic conditions that were the consequence of American policy. Today, he said, some Americans are accusing the Chinese of keeping their currency undervalued in an effort to boost exports to the U.S.

It may be imprudent to blame the Chinese, Sasser said, since they’ve been helpful to the United States in dealing with terrorism and with North Korea. The Chinese even shut off oil supplies to North Korea in an effort to force the regime into talks about its nuclear program, Sasser said.

“If any nation has any influence on North Korea, it would be the Chinese,” Sasser said.

Having economic issues at center stage is a good sign, said Susan Shirk, professor of international relations at the University of California at San Diego. Shirk isn’t a conference participant.

“That in a way shows you how far we’ve come, when the toughest issues are the trade relationship,” Shirk said in a telephone interview.

But Shirk said the economy isn’t the biggest challenge.

“It’s been Taiwan from day one. From the time of Henry Kissinger’s talks with [former Chinese premier] Zhao Enlai. It certainly hasn’t been resolved,” Shirk said.

After the communists seized control of the Chinese mainland in 1949, Chinese Nationalists retained power in Taiwan. Today, some Taiwanese are pushing for formal independence, something China has said it won’t accept.

The United States is opposed to any violent reunification, so a conflict could create a difficult situation, Shirk said.

Sasser said Taiwan could be “the real flash point” but said he doubted Taiwan’s leaders would go so far as declaring independence.

“I think Taiwan is going to want to maintain the status quo. Taiwan has become so commercially linked to China,” Sasser said.

Points of opportunity

Getting past the rhetoric is one of the major purposes of the conference, Younts said. Both countries have a number of common problems to address — including a need to reduce dependence on Middle East oil.

The Chinese sometimes do business with Middle Eastern regimes the United States doesn’t like, Younts said, but they do it because they need the oil.

“We’ll see if we can’t find solutions, or at least get the right people talking about them in the right manner,” Younts said.

Not all of the major issues are drawing media attention. One of the latter is sustainable development in coastal areas, A&M Provost David Prior said. “The coast of Texas is very important [in terms of population]; the same is true in China,” Prior said. “So we share a lot of geoscience issues.”

One of those major projects is the Ocean Drilling Project, in which China is partnering with A&M. The ODP, a project dedicated to studying the ocean floor, is A&M’s largest research project. Prior served as chief technical adviser on two U.N. projects in China, where he worked in coastal and offshore geosciences.

Promoting such exchanges is part and parcel of A&M’s attempts to broaden its links to the outside world, said Roman Popadiuk, executive director of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation.

“I think it’s important for A&M because it opens additional doors and adds to its reputation as a major university in the U.S.,” Popadiuk said.

This article taken from:


Article taken from:



From: "Bob Sasser" <sasser@lcc.net>
> Old-To: <SASSER-L@rootsweb.com>
> Subject: Re: [SASSER-L] Jim Sasser
> Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 13:15:36 -0500
> Jim Sasser is my cousin. His father was J. Ralph Sasser, his Grandfather
> was J.P. (Joseph Ples) Sasser (born 1884). I am not sure past this. My
> father, Robert Harry Sasser lives in the Sasser hometown of Coington, TN.
> As you probably know Jim is now Ambassador to China.
> Bob Sasser


Above from Rootsweb Query:



Joseph SASSER 




Birth Date:

15 Oct 1884 



Death Date:

Apr 1973 



Social Security Number: 




State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: 




Death Residence Localities



ZIP Code:





Covington, Tipton, Tennessee



Above from SSI Search for father’s death.  The only Joseph found born doing Internet searches was Joseph Chester Sasser born 1884 in Clay County, Kentucky and was the son of Eli Sasser and Mary Tuttle.  On further research at: http://www.geocities.com/luvacuzn/sasserEli.html#joe  I find that this was a mistake. 


A search of the Tipton County GENWEB site found that a possible brother and sister of Joseph were:



Sasser, Joseph




Sasser, Willy



Sasser, Mary Anna

Oct. 5, 1888-Dec. 18, 1916



Maybe Aunts and Uncles:


Sasser, Helen S.

1914 - 1962



Sasser, R. Harry (from query above)

1914 - 2000









HONOR MISS HARBOUR--A number of the younger set of Covington and nearby towns arranged a hayride on the evening of July 4th to compliment Miss Jennie Louise HARBOUR,of Dyersburg,house guest of Mrs.T.HARBOUR,of this city.The young people made a wide circuit in a hay-filled truck,eating picnic lunch in Brownsville.Among those present from Covington and other towns: Jennie Louise HARBOUR, Catherine BLANKENSHIP, Mary Frances GREER, Maqrgie Greer, Mary & Alma ELAM, Evelyn SMITH, Lucille SASSER, Louise GRAY, Ruth HAYNIE, Mary Lee HAYNIE, Edith GRAY, and Jimmie HARTMAN, Rudie BAIRD, Peyton SMITH, Clint WRIGHT, Reese MULLIN, Martin GRAY, J.T.SCOTT,Jr.,Lawrence WALTON, Harry SASSER and John RALPH.Mrs.T.HARBOUR chaperoned the young people.


And the following regarding the Sasser DNA Studies:

Genealogy One

1 William Sasser born 1759,Wayne County, North Carolina, died 1815, Smithfield, North Carolina
sp. Martha Bishop
---|-2 John Henry >Sasser born 1778, Johnston County, North Carolina, died 1859 Laurel, Kentucky
---| sp. Nancy Kirby
------|-3 Willian< Henry Crawford Sasserr born 1824,
Smithville, North Carolina, died 1872, Laurel Kentucky
------| sp1. Rhoda Gilbert
-----------|-4 James Buchanan Sasser born 1857,
Laurel, Kentucky, died 1944, Laurel, Kentucky
-----------| sp1.
-----------| sp2. Cynthia E. Williams
Taylor Franklin Sasser born 1887, Laurel, Kentucky, died 1949, Laurel, Kentucky
----------------| sp. Rosa Lee Brock ---------------------|-5 Robert Edwardd Sasser born 1911, Sasser/Laurel,
Kentucky, died 1979, Columbus, Georgia
--------------------| sp. Maude Muller EEsttep

Genealogy Two

1 Thomas Sasser born between 1760 and 1775, North Carolina, died after 1821 Screven County, Georgia
sp. Clarisy
---|-2 Bryant Sassser born about 1795 in Geeorgia, died after 1850 in Florida
---| sp.
------|-3 John Sassser born about 1818 in GGeorgia, died after 1870 in Bradford County, Florida
------| sp1.
-----------|-4 Salomii Sasser
-----------|-4 Celia A. Sasser
-----------|-4 Mary K. >Sasser
------| sp2. Martha Jane Worthington ------------|-4 Jesse >Sasser
-----------|-4 John B. >Sasser born about 1854 in Florida
-----------|-4 Fernandina Sasser born 1856 in Union County, Florida
-----------|-4 Samuel SSasser born about 1858 in Florida
-----------| sp. M. J. >Griner
-----------|-4 Matha< "Mattie"; Sasser
-----------|-4 Elizabeth Sasser
-----------|-4 Lorena SSasser
-----------|-4 Walter SSasser born 1866 in Florida
------|-3 Sarah Sasseer
------| sp John M.S. Dees
---|-2 Elizabeth Sassser born between 1790 and 1800 in Georgia, died 1848 in Screven County, Georgia
---| sp. James Parker
---|-2 Mary Sasser born about 1796 in Georgia, died about 1872 in Screven County
---| sp. John Bragg
---|-2 Thomas Sassser Jr. born between 17955 and 1800 in Georgia
---| sp1. Margaret Belll
------|-3 Mary Ann Saasser born about 1825
Screven County, Georgia
------| sp1. Beenjamin Platt
------| sp2. Lewis Wade
------|-3 Clarisa Sasser born 1826
Screven County, Georgia, died 1889
------| sp1. James Bragg
------|-3 Ellendar (Eleander) Sasseer born about 1828
Screven County, Georgia
------| sp. Furna B. Oliver
------|-3 Jane Sasserr born about 1831
> ------| sp. Melton Oliver
------|-3 ? Sasser born between 18335 and 1840, died before 1850
---| sp2. Nancy
---|-2 Howell Sassser born about 1807, Georrgia, died 1882 Screven County, Georgia
---| sp Susan A. Bell
------|-3 Thomas SSasser born 1825, died 18876
------| sp. Mary O'Coonner
-----------|-4 Howell J. Sasser born 1851 Screven County, Georgia, died before 1900
-----------| sp. Martha Jane Waters
> ----------------|-5 Edgar H. Sasser born 1873 Screven County, Georgia
----------------| sp. Florence Ophelia WWatters
---------------------|-6 Roy Sasser born 1896 Screven County, Georgia
---------------------|-6 Perter Sasser born 1898 Screven County, Georgia
----------------|-5 Ester E. Sasser
----------------|-5 Anna Ada Sasser
----------------|-5 Carrie Agnes Sasser
----------------|-5 Henry W. Sasser born 1880, died 1907
----------------|-5 Harley M. Sasser born 1884 Screven County, Georgia, died 1912
-----------|-4 (female) Sasser
-----------|-4 Susannah Sasser
-----------|-4 Temperance Sasser
-----------|-4 Francis Marion Sasser born 1859 Screven County, Georgia, died 1893
-----------| sp. Minnie L. Sasser
-----------|-4 James Buuist Sasser born 1860 Screven County, Georgia, died 1902
-----------| sp. Isabelle McBride
----------------|-5 EEula A. Sasser
----------------|-5 Effie Sasser
----------------|-5 Julian Beauregard Sasser born 1889 Screven County, Georgia, died 1946
----------------| sp. Annie Mae "Doollly" Cockfield
----------------|-5 Clayton C. Sasser
----------------|-5 Marjorie D. Sasser
----------------|-5 Ralph Waldo Sasser born 1896 Screven County, Georgia, died 1952
----------------| sp. Lucille Pierce -----------------|-5 Thomas Sasser born 1898 Screven County, Georgia
----------------|-5 Louis Sasser
----------------|-5 James Buist Sasser Jr. born Screven County, Georgia
-----------|-4 Mary Ophelia "Molliee&qquot; Sasser
-----------|-4 Tallulah Augusta Sasser
-----------|-4 Thomas Judson Sasser
-----------| sp. Carrie B. Laing
----------------|-5 Catherine Sasser
-----------|-4 Eunice Mae Sasser
------|-3 Ellender Sasser
------|-3 Margaret Saasser
------|-3 Howell SSasser Jr.
------| sp1. Mary Ann Daughtry
-----------|-4 John B. >Sasser
-----------|-4 James H. Sasser
-----------|-4 Jane E. >Sasser
-----------|-4 Juanita "Jennie&quoott; Sasser
-----------|-4 Cornelia Susan Sasser
-----------|-4 Ida G. SSasser
-----------|-4 Mary E. >Sasser
-----------|-4 Howell O. Sasser
------| sp2. LLousiana
-----------|-4 Minnie L. Sasser
-----------|-4 William H. Sasser****
-----------|-4 Mattie Frances Sasser
-----------|-4 Louellla Sasser
-----------|-4 Uley Sasser
-----------|-4 Mills S. Sasser
-----------|-4 Mynus< M. Sasser
------|-3 Littleton A. >Sasser
------|-3 Clary Sasseer
------|-3 Allen Saasser
------|-3 Susan A. Saasser
------|-3 Mary Ann Saasser
------|-3 William M. Saasser
---|-2 John Sasserr born between 1797 and 11800 in Georgia, died 1870's
---| sp1. Elizabeth Daavis
---| sp2. Mrs< Margaret Christie
---|-2 Everitt> Sasser
---|-2 Clarisa> Sasser born 1803 in Georrgia, died 1870 after 1870
---| sp Matthew Faircloth
---|-2 Sarah Sasser born about 18111 in Georgia, died after 1870
---| sp William Faircloth
---|-2 William Sassser born about 1814 in GGeorgia, died after 1870
---| sp Sarah Davis
---|-2 Sabra <Sasser born 1815 in Georgiia
---| sp John Boyett
---|-2 Littleton Eugene Sasser born about 1817 in Georgia, died 1893
---| sp1. Zilpha Emily McCroan
---| sp2. Sarah Elvira >Cassels

source: http://www.edenfield.org

Genealogy Three

1 John Sasser born 1784, North Carolina, died 1875, Hardeman County, Tennessee
sp. Mary Ann Ewing
---|-2 Joel Stephen Sassser born 1836,
Hademan County, Tennessee, died 1905 Middleton, Tennessee
---| sp1. Hepsy Jane Casey
------|-3 John Daniel SSasser, Jr.
------|-3 Henry Lee Sassser
------|-3 Julia Sasseer
------|-3 Sarah Sasseer
------|-3 Joel Albert SSasser born 1873,
Middleton, Tennessee, died 1946, Middleton, Tennessee
------| sp. Nellie Lee Crawford
-----------|-4 Joel Robert Sasser, Sr. born 1909,
Hardeman County, Tennessee, died 1997, Bolivar, Tennessee
-----------| sp. Hazel Estelle Duncan >-----------|-4 Ethel Matilda Sasser
---| sp2. Susan Franciis Ammons
------|-3 Francis Ruth >Sasser
------|-3 Lois Sasserr
------|-3 Minnie Sassser
------|-3 Walter Bell SSasser
------|-3 Morgan Tilden Sasser,
------|-3 Claude M. SSasser.
---|-2 Julia Sasser
---|-2 Mary Sasser
---|-2 John Daniel Sassser, Sr.
---|-2 William Henry Saasser




Other Sasser Links:











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