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7 Days of Juneteenth 2013~ Day 1: Beaufort, SC Voter Registrations, Elders on 112 Plantations

The Slaves of Tx Declared Free Norfolk Post 11 Jul 1864 Chronicling America

The Juneteenth holiday, one of the oldest Emancipation Day celebrations in the United States, commemorates the events of June 18 and 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, took possession of the state and declared all enslaved people in Texas free.

Although Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had been issued in 1863, it had little effect on Confederate states, where African Americans continued to live in slavery until the war's end.

On June 19, 1865, Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3” to crowds assembled at Galveston's Ashton Villa:

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

Following Granger's reading of General Order No. 3, former slaves in Galveston celebrated joyously in the streets. This day, and the holiday commemorating it, have come to be known as Juneteenth, a blending of the month (June) and the day (nineteenth) enslaved ancestors were freed in Galveston.

Juneteenth commemorations were held in Texas one year later, and the commemoration has since grown to national significance [1].

Here at Lowcountry Africana, we have an annual tradition of celebrating 7 Days of Juneteenth ~ each day for 7 days leading up to June 19, we roll up newly-digitized records made in the first days of freedom. Lowcountry Africana Co-Director Alana Thevenet and Senior Editor William Durant have been indexing records since January for this year's celebration!

We begin with 1868 voter registrations for Beaufort, SC, and a Freedmen's Bureau register of rations issued to elderly and infirm in the Moncks Corner Subdistrict, which encompassed many of the plantations in Berkeley District along the Cooper River corridor.

The 1868 voter registrations offer the rare opportunity to locate newly-freed ancestors prior to the 1870 US Census. The Freedmen's Bureau rations list names hundreds of ancestors who were ages of 50 and upward in 1867, by plantation, for 112 plantations in the Moncks Corner Subdistrict. We hope you find an ancestors among them.

Many thanks to Alana and William for their hard work in indexing these new records!

7 Days of Juneteenth, Day 1:

Beaufort County, SC Voter Registrations, First Registration Precinct, Chisolm's Election Precinct, 1868

Beaufort County, SC Voter Registrations, Prince Williams Parish Registration Precinct, Gardner's Corner Election Precinct, 1868

Freedmen's Bureau Register of Destitutes (Rations Lists) by Plantation, Moncks Corner Subdistrict, SC, 1867

Happy Ancestor Hunting from the crew at Lowcountry Africana!

References Cited

[1] "Juneteenth,",, accessed June 13, 2013.

[2] "The Slaves of Texas Declared Free," Norfolk Post, 11 Jul 1864, Page 2. Chronicling America, Database Online at Library of Congress,, accessed June 13, 2013.


Freedmen's Bureau Register of Destitutes (Rations Lists) by Plantation, Moncks Corner Subdistrict, SC, 1867

Cover Register of Destitutes Moncks Corner

Freedmen's Bureau Rations Lists (Register of Destitutes)

Charleston District, Moncks Corner Sub-District

Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina,

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872

NARA Record Group 105

M869, Reel 89

Indexed by William Durant


June 4, 1867


Berkeley District

Goose Creek

Farbers Plantation

James Johnson Plantation

Ladaras Plantation

Sineaths Plantation

T E Ledbetter Plantation

Whaleys Plantation

Daggell's Plantation

Sheen Place

Name, Age, Race, Residence:

Tom McCants, 67, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Tenah McCants, 66, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Frank Barksdale, 74, James Johnson Plantation

Doley Barksdale, 67, James Johnson Plantation

Frank Deas, 76, Sineaths Plantation

Annie Deas, 70, Sineaths Plantation

Celia Wilson, 45, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Jemimah Friend, 30, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Ephriam Chisolm, 40, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Francis Chisolm, 43, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Qumina Smith, 70, Farbers Plantation

Sarah Smith, 64, Farbers Plantation

John Selby, 56, Ladaras Plantation

Martha Selby, 50, Ladaras Plantation

Prince Adams, 53, Whaleys Plantation

Prince Adams' wife and mother, Whaleys Plantation

John Edwards, 50, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Cathrine Edwards, 45, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Dick Jones, 40, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Silvia Jones, 40, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Bob Snipe, 20, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Nippy Snipe, 45, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Dick Follin, 45, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Betty Follin, 40, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Hercules Washington, 60, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Judith Washington, 55, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Cyrus Frazier, 40, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Peggy Frazier, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Nukolos McNeil, 45, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Dick Campbell, 40, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Hester Campbell, 35, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Thomas Hazel, 30, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Cortia Hazel, 25, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Billy Bowman, 23, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Sally Bowman, 70, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Mirian Hazel, 70, colored, T E Ledbetter Plantation

Oliver Fripp, 50, white, Daggell's Plantation

Mrs Fripp, 46, white, Daggell's Plantation

Mrs Huron, 43, white, Daggell's Plantation

Glenn Holt, 55, white, his own place

Mrs Holt, 40, white, [her] own place

Sam Lyons, 50, white, Sheen Place

[illegible], 45, Sheen Place

Charles Lee, 60, white

Mrs Lee, 45, white


Freedmen's Bureau Rations Lists (Register of Destitutes)

Charleston District, Moncks Corner Sub-District

Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina,

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872

NARA Record Group 105

M869, Reel 89


Cooper River

Black Branch Plantation

Eutaw Springs


Name, Age:
Black Branch Plantation

Isaac Richardson, 50, [blank]


Sylvia Brisbane, 70

Flora Waring, 70

Maria Nick, 54

Lucy Bennett, 73

Rose Finnick, 55

Anny Brandt, 12

Cena Bonneaus, 70

Dackmun Wade, [blank]

Betty Toby, old

Sarah Blood, 4 months

Silvy Drayton, 10

Bina Drayton, 5

Maria Drayton, 2

Kate McNeil, [blank]


Freedmen's Bureau Rations Lists (Register of Destitutes)

Charleston District, Moncks Corner Sub-District

Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina,

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872

NARA Record Group 105

M869, Reel 89


Cooper River


Strawberry Depot

Name, Age:

Tenah Smiley, 77, [blank]

Dick Ricardson, 9, [blank]

Charlotte Carter, 37, [blank]

Lauda Baylor, old, [blank]

Molly Simmons, 75, Mepkin

Betty Lucas, 77, Mepkin

Dennis Felder, [blank], Mepkin

Chloe, [blank], Mepkin


Freedmen's Bureau Rations Lists (Register of Destitutes)

Charleston District, Moncks Corner Sub-District

Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina,

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872

NARA Record Group 105

M869, Reel 89


Cooper River

St Johns



Name, Age:

Nelly Mitchell, 60

Peggy Cash, 50

Amy Cash, 12

Isaac Simons, 80

Isaac Lincoln, [blank]

Jersan Brown, 90

Phillis Carson, 11


Pino Judge, 70

Cyrus Thompson, 85

Maria Williams, 68

Conny Gadsden, 80

Pierce Walkie the Water, 90

Christianna Drayton, 65

Betty Jenkins, 67

Josiah Read, 65

Rino Nesbith, 68

Mary Holmes, [blank]

Mairan Judge, [blank]

Juba Sumter, [blank]





Name, Age:

Scye Logan, 80

Leah Logan, 78

Jacob Cormick, 60


Mary Holmes, 58

Stanley Reed, [blank]

Tony Cain, 6

Grace Jenkins, 4

Roselim Jenkins, 5

Rebecca Jenkins, 2

Aba Green, 70

Sam Green, 80

Jim Blacklock, 47

Hector Prioleau, [blank]

Betty Prioleau, [blank]

Jack Aiden, 47

Amy Read, [blank]


Cooper River


Bushy Park

Name, Age:

March Allen, 72

Delia Ngotte-Grant, 60

Cango Glenn, 70

Marian Nesbith, 60

Dolly Gadsden, [blank]

Bushy Park

Molly Faber, 69

Mary Manigault, 67

Quashy Wright, 83

Cyrus Small, 69

Jimmy Brown, 80

John Mazzak, [blank]

Marcus Taylor, [blank]

Sarah Taylor, [blank]

Maria Wright, 70

Cyrus Rivers, 5

Mary Rivers, 6

Bess Rivers, 2

Jim Rivers, 4

Hagar Pinkney, [blank]

Joe Pinkney, [blank]

Juliette Tile, [blank]

Hanna Manigault, [blank]


Cooper River




Name, Age, Residence:

Carney Grant, 80, Morefield

Sarah Weston, 80, Morefield

Sam Bash, 67, Morefield

Ben Campbell, 55, Morefield

Hector Hamilton, [blank], Morefield

Dina Joint, 65, Morefield

Robin Joint, 80, Morefield

Asuma Pinkney, [blank], Wadboo

Lucy Nesbitt, [blank], Wadboo

Amy Bennett, 70, Wadboo

Nanny Vanderhorst, [blank], Wadboo


Moncks Corner

Cooper River

North Chachan

Name, Age, Residence:

Cecily Ravenel, 70

Tenah Grant, 65

Mingo Parker, 72

Maria Petigrew, [blank]

Billy Lisbeth, 13

Robin Frazer, 60

Scithney Berrach, [blank]

Flora Nesbeth, 53

Nancy Lincoln, 53

Hagar Gedders, 53

North Chachan

Jane Lucas, 60

Hanna Field, 65

Fanny Montcrief, 60

Cate Ancrain, 50/ Marian Small, 35

Nelcy Pinkney, 70

Caesar Livingston, 65

Dolly Washington, 75

Pleasant Dream, 70

February Gibbs, 8

Daphne Wilson, 55

Dilsy McDaniel, 80

Charles Mitchel, [blank]

Celia Ann Shakelford, 2


Cooper River


South Chachan

Name, Age:

Jack Simms, 85

Pender Garrett, 82

Daniel Wright, 81

William Ruddy, 81

Lydia Bonaparte, 41

Mary Ball, 71

David Bryan, 10

Rebecca Bryan, 6

Isaac Bryan, 6

Betsy McPherson, 11

John Aiken, 62

Belinda Aiken, 68

Dido Ruddy, 58

Bina [blank]

South Chachan

Patsy Brown, 10

Lavinia Brown, 7

Phillis Mack, 5

Jack Robinson, 70

Lucky Pritchard, 40

Tenah Gedders, 40

Julia Shakelfoot, 6

Thomas Shakelfoot, 7

Tewsy Hayward, 10

Titus Hayward, 12

Renty Gibbs, 5

Harriet Fyall, [blank]


Cooper River


Willow Grove

Name, Age:

Dorset Gadsden, 71

Peggy Gadsden, 81

[illegible] Holmes, 12

Tony Holmes, 10

Nathan Holmes, 3

C[illegible]g Brickin, 20

Sarah, [blank] [orphan]

Rachel, [blank] [orphan]

Bob, 12

Willow Grove

Alfred Lloyd, 45

Charity Davis, 70

Nanny williams, 70

Sarah McDonnel, 80

Aaron Pinkney, 4

Harriet McDonnel, 3

Maria Price, 80

Flora Felder, [blank]


Cooper River

Black Oak



Name, Age:

Tenah Wright, 72

King David, 77

Doll David, 60

Elvira Watson, 92

June Edwards, 80

Heather King, old

Dolly Rivers, 9

William Jones, 6

Bob Jones, 8

Cathrine Jenkins, old

Abigal Brown, older


Lucky Kinlaw, 80

Molly Scott, 82


Back River

Santee River

Glenn Camp

Spring Grove

Name, Age:
Spring Grove

Celia Hamilton, 65

Aggy Waring, 70

Ann Vaughn, 60

Scipio Robertson, 13

William One, [blank]

Glenn Camp

Patty Glenn Camp, 43

Mary Mitchell, [blank]

G Deveaux, [blank]

Tena Deveaux


St Johns



Name, Age:

Marcus Macbeth, 65

Scipio King, 100

Silvy King, 80

Tenah Durang, 50

Sarah Waring, 95

Jenny Smith, 65

Leonard Macbeth, 80

Joe Williams, 42

Jenny Macbeth, 65

Philip Jenkins, 45

Susan Singleton, 50

Mary Mazzak, 54

Amy Small, 53

Sally Singleton, 49

Fredrick Small, 13

Grace James, 73


Isaac Snipe, 70

Robert Bob, 60

Frank Point, 81

Savana Macbeth, 97

Dina Macbeth, 82

Celien Carson, 70

Judy Ravenel, 79

Primus Ransom/McKelvey, 70

Liddy Ranson/McKelvey, 26

Mary Thomas, [blank]

Billy Mitchell, [blank]

Rosella [Rosetta?] Snipe, [blank]

Nancy McKelvy, 67



St Johns

Rac[c]oon Hill


Name, Age:
Rac[c]oon Hill

Joie Garrett, 75

Lucinda Garrett, 70

Paul Simons, 75

Billy Wright, 12


Eva Squire, 6

July Squire, 4

Silvy Squire, 40

Cinda Washington, 67

Simon Sinclair, 14

Polly Owens, 53

Elizabeth Wright, [blank]

Jupiter Owens, 70


Cooper River




Name, Age:

Linda Mitchel, 80

Primus Hamilton, 80

Binal Rucrans, 78

Susan Huger, 77

Mariah Pinkney, 70

Peggy Hamilton, 80

Rose Dawson, 74

Alec Dawson, 10

Sally Dawson, 8

Isabella Jefferson, 60

Babett Marian, 18

Phillis Roper, 56

Beck Gadsden, 78

Sam Gadsden, 60

Sally Small, 70


Caesar Haig, 97

Simson, 96

Dido, [blank]

Emily, [blank]

Julius, 65

Janus, [blank]

William, 60


St Johns

St Stephens



Name, Age:

Judy Ford, 87

Clarissa Sam, 87

Dolly Chisolm, 85

Binah General, 86

Phillis Washington, [blank]

William Gourdin, old

Judy Pinkney, [blank]

John Washington, [blank]


Nancy Lewis, 40


Cooper River

St Johns



Name, Age:

Dick Lincoln, 98

John Lincoln, 8

Binah Nelson, 90

Bob Vane, 71

Dinah Washington, 40

Fanny Jefferson, 60

Rose Berrbin, 46


London Ellington, 80

Nemia Ellington, 75

Daphne Mitchel, 70

Charlotte Hayward, 9

Bebe Mitchel, 10

Peter Ferguson, 7

John Hayward, 80

Peter Geddes, 90



St Stephens

Santee [River]

Belle Isle


Hickory Hill

Name, Age:
Belle Isle

Rebecca McCrea, 26

Hannah Snipe, 90

Abel Dubois, 90

Fayette Mitchel, 78

August Navalle, 70

Hester Navalle, 68

Nancy Debois, 68

Glover, [blank]

Nancy, 60


Dolly Boyard, 25

Rachel Johnson, 30

Hickory Hill

Rosa, [blank]


Cooper River


Dean Hall

Name, Age:

Jack Johnson, 88

Neptune Lloyd, 80

Pussy Lloyd, 76

Sally Manfield, 70

Hannah Washington, 71

Charlotte Carter, [blank]

Katy Milton, 60

Bina Johnson, 29

Eleonor Ramsey, 70

Marian Jubian, 50

Maria Evans, old

Martha Perry, [blank]

Harriet Walker, 15

Harriet Laws, 60

Hamer Warner, 79

Nancy Dollison, [blank]

Dean Hall

Clara Neiley, 85

Delinda Cash[?], 72

Dennis Cash, [blank]

Lesther Carson, 78

Jane Brown, 61


Black Oak

State Road

Old Burns

Cedar Spring


Old Burns

Harriett Snipe, 76

Betsy Lincoln, 63

Cedar Spring

Amy Jervey (Stephen), 81

Bristol Jervey, 60

Abel Gothrough, 70

Phoebe Ramsey, 61

Emma Brown, 22


Molly Thompson, 46

Quash Mockelaine, 80



McKewn place


McKewn place

Henry Sanders, 75

Nancy Sanders, 71

Bess, 70


Lincoln Green, 61

Caty Green, 60

Shiloh Green, 9

Francis Green, 5

Francis Green, 6

Wool Green, 3

Charlotte Green, 2

Betsy Green, 1


Moncks Corner


St Stephens


Jack Warley, 85

Peggy Kingston, 71

Fante Lyer, 75

Jane Olefield, 63

Betty Ashby, 60

St Stephens

Nero Hall, 57

William Richardson, 8

Sarah Richardson, 14

Derry Captain, 77

Abel Devost, [blank]

Frank, old

Fanny Jeffords, [blank]

R Blanding, [blank]

Sam Owens, 4

Anthony, [blank]

Martha, [blank]

Rose Defoe, old

Harriet McDonnell [blank]

Paddy Platt, 92

Pinkey White, [blank]

Brake Hay, 7

Friday Bryan, [blaank]

Sarah McMiken, [blank]

M Glover, 47

Sam Aiken, 66

Sally Davis, 46

Alex Swall, [blank]

[illegible] Warren, [blank]


Cooper River

Foster Creek


Stoney Landing

Stoney Landing

Mary Pinkney, 86

Hannah Sinclair, 70

Hanicah Manigault, 65

Amy Pinkney, 12

Lydia wilson, 40

Jos Mansion, [blank]

Francis Johnson, 70

Diana Cookson, [blank]

Fanny Richardson, [blank]

Emeline Mansion, [blank]

Isabella Veneken, [blank]


March Gedders, 70

Jimmy, 75

Lucy Green, 60


Back River

Foster Creek


Cedar Hill


Israel Davis, 76

Judy Davis, 70

Mariam Wilson, 33

Memba Watson, 67

James Morris, 3-1/2

Adam Morris, 7

Dick Mitchel, [blank]

Nany Johnson, 73

Maryann Richardson, [blank]

Phillis Howard, 67

Julia Rodgers, 65

Tobias Green, [blank]

Tony Scott, 57

Sentry Preacher, 11

Flora Nesbith, 52

Cedar Hill

Tony Jenkins, 80

Clarinda Smith, 75

Julianne Leftenant, 12

Leftenant Dubose, [illegible]


Martha Perry, white, 45

Darcus Williams, 80

Thomas Mazzak, 60

Henry Clay, 75

Tenah Clay, [blank]

Daniel McCloud, 74

Jenny McCloud, 73

Billy Knowles, 61

Billy Knowles, 59

Risa/Rachel Sinkler, 64

Sam Bash, 63

Zmyh Bash, 69

Sylvia Gaillard, 64

Billy Gaillard, 71

Simon Manfield, [blank]

Tirah Manfield, 73

Pender Smith, 67

Phoebe Thompson, 57

Sally Pearce, 50

Charity Smith, [blank]

Phoebe Green, [blank]

Darcus Owens, [blank]

Hagar Richardson, 50

Elsy Stuart, old

Rachel Johnson, old

Scilla Davis, old

Lucy Gantt, old

Mary Black, old

Alice Jenkins, old

Amarita, old

Nero Richardson, 10

Willis Lewis, 0

Darco McCloud, old

John Nellis, old

Dick Richardson, 5

Sarah, 9

Sarah Kitt, 20

Cloe, [blank]



St Johns




Linda White, 90

Drindo Fryall, old

Darcus Washington, [blank]


Billy Novel, 62

Bella Novel, 60

Amy Rivers, 1



St Stephens

Johns Run



Napoleon Bonaparte, 80

Dria Bonapaarte, 76

Eugene Simons, 60

Judy Rutledge, 45

Pawley Due, 8

Tony Hill, 66

Melissa Ferguson, [blank]

Johns Run

William Brown, 65

Leonora Palmer, 75

August Palmer, 80

Nancy Palmer, 100

Ben Palmer, 65

Sam Palmer, 18

Harry Palmer, 80

Jimmy Palmer, 16

Mary, [blank]

Mary, [blank]

Claus Green, [blank]

Alouisa, [blank]

Sarah Angus, 75

H Palmer, 70


Cooper River

Cote Bas


Gants Mill

Cote Bas

Cuffy Roach, 83

Cato Roach, 80

Nanny Roach, 71

Gants Mill

Martha Wiggins, 45


Tenah Bryan, 41

Elsy Holmes, 26

Caty Darlington, 51

Peggy Shark, 61

Florence Brisbain, 57

Sally Massey, 61

John Massey, 63

Emilin Drayton, 31

Debra Gleem, 63

Tyra Franklin, 61

Die, [blank]

Sarah, [blank]

June, [blank]

Grace, [blank]

Stephen, [blank]

[illegible, [blank]


Ladson Road

St Stephens

Cherry Hill


Sheeps Island

Cherry Hill

Stephen Lamb, 75

Sheeps Island

Sarah Pinkney, 43


Scipio, [blank]


Black Oak

Goose Creek

Ladson Road



Adam Palmer, 25

Jeanette Thompson, 63

Eve Manfield [blank]

Ladson Road

Abram Johnson, 100

Liddy Johnson, 67

Howard Tyler, 42


Black Oak

St Stephens

Edytown Woods

Graod Hill

Edytown Woods

July McKee, 73

Maley Weber, 63

Marcus Holmes, 85

Garod Hill

William, [blank]


Back River

Black Oak

Foster Creek



Castle Hill


Isabella Thompson, 60

Grace Brown Lincoln, 56

Jane M Lane, 45


Carlos Small, 60

Baccus Nelson, 70

Lunnon McNeil, 70

July Richardson, 65

Castle Hill

Martha Brown, 55

Lousa Brown Johnson, old

Jack Dawson, 80

Flora Green, [blank]

Tilla, [blank]

Sarah, [blank]

Hanna, [blank]

Toby, [blank]

Mary Lee, [blank]

Phoebe Green, [blank]

Dian Green, [blank]

Tena, [blank]

Isaac, [blank]

Nancy Walker, [blank]

[illegible] Small Diana, [blank]


St Stephens




Dick Conterier, 68

Mary Conterier, 67

Mary Gauman

Peggy Conterier, [illegible]

Eve Cordes, 64

Mary Jeffords, [blank]

Diana Green, old

Rina, [blank]

Amy Palmer, [blank]

Rebecca Conterier, old

Betty Palmer, 70

Susan Cline, 12

Jack, [blank]

George Deveaux, old

Tina Deveaux, old

Russell, 60

A Palmer, 70


Sarah Warley, 63

William Warley, 5

Grace Warley, 7


Jim Knott, [blank]

Charles Palmer, old

Nancy, [blank]

Diana, [blank]

Alice, [blank]

Ch Jefferson, 50

Venus, [blank]

Lawrence, [blank]

Fredrick Cordes, [blank]






Joe Witten, 83

Jenny Bash, [blank]

Aaron Small

Liddy White, old

Ned White

Clappen, [blank]


Priscilla Chisolm, [blank]

Tenah Thomas, 75

Robin Dubose, [blank]

Haty McNeil, [blank]

Jane, [blank]


Cooper River


Sportsmans Retreat


Sylvia Porcher, 87

Harriet Doctor, 60

Hector Doctor, 65

Celia Grant, 70

Lucy Nesbith, [blank]

Judy Vance, 56

Jonas Dubose, 7

Hanna Nelson, 63

Ansel Doctor, [blank]

Murray Doctor, [blank]

Maria Wethers, [blank]

Hanna Boggs, 71

Elizabeth Wethers, 6

Primus, 2

Tenah, 4

Laby Dingle, old

Sportsmans Retreat

Jesse, [blank]

Belle Frazer, [blank]


Wadboo Bridge



Belmont Plantation

Amy Bennett, 70

Tena Grant, 60

Jenny Bryan, 50

Mary Lunons, old

Belmont Plantation

James Ravenel, [blank]

Howard Ravenel, [blank]

Becky, 61

Delia, 60


Black Oak




Judy Ravenel, 71

Sandy Ravenel Bowen, 70

Lucy Bowen, 70

William Pinkney, 67

John Singleton, 40

Scipio King, 80

Venus Gadsden, [blank]

Charlotte, [blank]


Penny, [blank]

Betty Singleton, 68


Mount Holly

Jimmy Kinglaw, 73

Clarissa Green, 8

Jonas Green, 6

James Green, 4

Simon Peters, 62

Sophy Peters, 52

Louisa Hunt, 56

Bristoe Gedders, 50

Louisa Simons, 6

Eunica Simons, 3

Mazie Simons, 3

Tena Drayton, 85

Bob Fludd, 80

Rosa Fludd, 70

Tony Gaillard, [blank]

Ellen Kinlaw, 20

Cotto Oree, 53

Phillis Rudjo, 40

Delia Middleton, 60

Harriet Halback, 70

Jane Lewis, old

Bristoe Gedders, 60

Maria Ford, 67

Julia Morton, [blank]

Patience Major, [blank]

Bina Nelson, 63

Nancy Green, 50

Nelly Collins, 56

Pompy Cockrum, [blank]

Lizzy Gedders, 70

Nancy Hughes, 71

Daphne Williams, [blank]

Louise Frazer, 6

Bess Major, old

Margareth West, old

Amey Simons, old

Juna Johnson, old

Miles Middleton, old

[illegible], [blank]


Ladson Road

Ancram Hill


Ancram Hill

Joe Warren, 54


Bristoe Legree, [blank]

Dolly Legree, [blank]

Davy, [blank]

Dido Mack, [blank]

Lizzy Williams, 60

Fanny Jackson, [blank]


Cooper River


South Mulberry


Rollo Milliken, 73

Judy Milliken, 65

Adeline Milligan, 40

Fanny Smith, 89

Ned Edwards, 63

Joe Milliken, 8

Patty, [blank]

South Mulberry

Cotto Nelson, 73

Rachel Village, 72

Bess Campbell, [blank]


Black Oak




Betty Ferguson, 97

Nancy Porcher Gourdin, 63

Polly G[illegible], 70

Hagar Pear, 61


Harriet, [blank]

Clarissa, [blank]

Lucy, [blank]

Simon, [blank]


Black Oak

Back River




Lucy Drayton, 82

Euqila Lewis, 74

Lily Lewis, 76

Betty Ferguson, [blank]

Ann Yeoman, [blank]

Diana Jenkins, 6


Edward Stevens, 60

Julia, 50


Cooper River

Foster Creek


Hickory Hill


Marcia Stewart, 76

Fanny Richardson, [blank]

Juno Levy, 4

Priscilla Levy, 2

Paul Levy, 6

Fanny Levy, 8

Maria Small, old

Cotto Nelson, [blank]

Ansel Bryan, 60

Hickory Hill

March Rivers, 13

June Small, 32

Robert Ladsden, 6

Rose Fuller, old

Maria Chimers, old

Jane Small, old

Hanna Rivers, old


Back River


Pond Bluff

London Simons, 70

Doll Simons, 68

Isaac Hayward, 34

Henry Smith, 37

Pleasant Smith, 40

King Smith, 19

Betty, 68


Begin Church


Broad Axe


Broad Axe

Priscilla Chisolm, 90

Robert Dubose, 60

Lucy Dubose, 57

Hanna McNeill, 52


Sally Clinton, 10

Nelly Clinton, 5

Fisher Clinton, 6

Prince Washington, 80

Sue, 70


Eutaw Springs

St Stephens




Currise Richardson, 85

Charles Simons, 89

Isaac Simons, 45

Jeremiah Simons, 13/ Martha Simons, 11

July McCrea, 76

Betsy McCrea, 69

Alec Shade, 76

Rose Shade, 60

Jack Robison, 70

Clarinda Robison, 80


Constantia Marion (Howard), 80

Abel Deveaux, 80

Martha Bars, [blank]

Bina Singleton, [blank]

Henry Singleton, [blank]



St Stephens


Twenty Two Mile

Twenty Two Mile

Emma ALston, 17

Henry Johnson, 32

Betty Middleton, 61

Nanny Middleton, Washington, 62

Dolly Marion, 36


Hannna, [blank]

Easton, [blank]

Amy, [blank]

Francis, [blank]

Maria, [blank]

Samuel, [blank]

Dau Gourdin, old

Ardy Ainno, 7

Monday, 3

Ryna, 10

Clara, [blank]

Captain Gourdin, very old

Meyers, 6

Macy, 70

Sibby, 4

Sanders, 6

Polly, 85

Diana, 74

Rosa, [blank]

Amy, [blank]

Emilia, [blank]

Amy Myers, 6

Marah, [blank]

Sally, [blank]

Eva, [blank]

Nancy, 70

Maria, 75

Dido, 66


Moncks Corner

St Stephens

Clark Hill

Oak Hill


Oak Hill

Grace Campbell, 60

Morris, 12

Clark Hill

Francis Edy, old

Hatchel, old

Nancy, [blank]


Massy, 70

Silvy, 9

Rina, 10

Buncomb, 10



Moncks Corner

St Stephens


Mitten [Mitton]

Spring Plain[s]

Mitten [Mitton]

Rachel Proilkan, 50

Nancy Ashby, [blank]


Fanny, [blank]

Spring Plain

Sibby Myers, old


Black Oak

St Stephens


Chappel [Chapel] Hill

Chappel [Chapel] Hill

Mary Davis (Gibbs), 25

Tony Jenkins, 70

Jacky Shirer, 80


Rose, old

Warren, [blank]

Calvin, [blank]

Watch, [blank]

Dover, 55

Nancy Cooper, 48

Lucy, 60

Sarah, 56

Henry, [blank]

Mary P, [blank]

Esther Lucas, [blank]


Moncks Corner

St Stephens

Moss Grove


Poplar Hill

Moss Grove

Beck Finnick, 60

January Jonas, 64

Nancy Jonas, 59

Silpha Gaillard, [blank]

July Garrett, 13

Maria Williams, [blank]


Latimer, old

Poplar Hill

Adam Final, [blank]

Primus, [blank]

Russell, [blank]

Louisa, [blank]


Moncks Corner

St Stephens





Dye Sanders, 75

Maria Sheppard, 70

Minda Fial, 50

Sue Judge, 60

Louisa Duncan, 15

Roland Fial, 12

Titus Squire, 40


Charles, old

Liddy, [blank]

Ben Marion


Ned, [blank]

Lucy, [blank]


St Stephens Parish

St Stephens



Tower Hill


Venus Connor, 70

Sappho Gohl, 60

Frank Oldfield, 81

Delia Dingle, 83

Sue Hardtimes, 63

Esther Ford, 65

Tower Hill

Claus Green, 85

Scye Marion, 85

Caesar, old


Polly, [blank]


Mt Holly

St Stephens

Canty Hill

Laurel Hill

Canty Hill

Phillis Waring, 51

Simon Cloud, 30

Betsy Mazzak, 40

Laurel Hill

Mary Palmer, 90

Bina Haines, old

Joe Child, [blank]

Priscilla, [blank]

Tena, 6

Susan, 50

Bella, [blank]

Paddy, [blank]

Rhina, [blank]


Bonneaus Depot


Fort Moultrie

St Stephens

Spring Grove

Spring Grove

Anthony Sh[illegible]thern, 100

Warly Taylor, 67

Lyette Toyatt, 68

Rhina, [blank]

St Stephens

Robertson, 63

Liddy, 55

Rose Stewart, 65

Lizette, [blank]

Florence, [blank]

Chance, [blank]

Maria Gambler, 50

Charles Rollins, [blank]

Pleasant Johnson, old

Scye Marion, 85

Mary Murphy, [blank]

Tina, old

Caesar Broadwell, [blank]

Jack Shipman, 70

Beck Glover, [blank]

F Mitchell, [blank]

Polly Pom, 58

Ad Brighton, [blank]

Body Gohl, 6

Judith Clark, 110

Linah, 60

Miriam, [blank]

Ellen, 65


Beaufort County, SC Voter Registrations, Prince Williams Parish Registration Precinct, Gardner's Corner Election Precinct, 1868

Beaufort County, SC Voter Registrations

Prince Williams Parish Registration

Gardner's Corner Election Precinct, 1868

Source: South Carolina, Secretary of State, Records Deposited with the Secretary. Abstracts of Voter Registrations Reported to the Military Government, 1868. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Record Group 213000, Series No. S 213103

Indexed by Alana Thevenet

  • Aikin, William
  • Alstin, Elias
  • Ashley, Prince
  • Ashley, April
  • Ashley, Ben
  • Ashley, Nero
  • Alston, Peter
  • Ashman, Jacob
  • Atkins, Samson
  • Ashly, London
  • Barnwell, Robert H.
  • Baggett, He(illegible)
  • Barnwell, John G.
  • Brown, Ceasar
  • Black, Harry
  • Brownson, Isaac
  • Beasley, Samuel
  • Brown, Jim
  • B(illegible), William
  • Brooks, Cato
  • Burns, Shiley
  • Black, Tim
  • Burnett, Tom
  • Blue, Ned
  • Brown, Abram
  • Blunt, Isaac
  • Bowman, Abram
  • Brown, Philip
  • Bowman, Lock
  • Bolt, Ben
  • Brown, Middleton
  • Brown, (Illegible)
  • Bryan, Frank
  • Brown, Brown
  • Burnett, Sam
  • Brown, Nestor
  • Brown, Tom
  • Bankhead, Jack
  • Brown, Abram
  • Black, John
  • Bogg, Daniel
  • Buckner, Aaron
  • Barnwell, London
  • Brown, Isaac(illegible)
  • Bryan, Noah
  • Brown, Isaac
  • Brian, George
  • Britter, Charles
  • Bowman, R(illegible)
  • Brown, Scipio
  • Brown, Jacob
  • Bryan, Prophet
  • Cotter, Toby
  • Champion, David
  • Campbell, Charles
  • Cutbret, John
  • Comers, Cato
  • Chisholm, Tony
  • Comer, Hamlet
  • Chisholm, Jesu
  • Copeland, Lewis
  • Crosby, Frank
  • Casseman, Frank
  • Chisholm, Adam
  • Campbell, John
  • Chishold, Bobb
  • Collinton, Nero
  • Chishold, Pea
  • Dash, Hector
  • Devoe, Ben
  • BeaufortVoterRegsP4
  • Davis, Joe
  • Diley, Charles
  • D(illegible), Tony
  • Devaux, Ben
  • Day, Ceasar
  • Dawson, Bram
  • Dash, Hector Jr.
  • D(illegible), Jacob
  • Edwards, (Illegible)
  • Edwards, Peter
  • Ensign, William
  • Edwards, Soje
  • Evans, Sam
  • Fishman, Elijah
  • Frazier, York
  • Ford, Walley
  • Fripp, Matt
  • Fields, Joe
  • Ferguson, Dick
  • F(illegible), Ned
  • Frederick, John
  • Fields, Joseph
  • F(illegible), Frank
  • Frazer, Mark
  • Finney, Robert
  • Frazer, Noah
  • Ferguson, Roger
  • Ford, Monday
  • Fishbone, Moses
  • Frazer, Jim
  • Frazer, Charles
  • Foly, James
  • Fishburn, Edward
  • Ferguson, William
  • Giles, Stephney
  • Giles, Thomas
  • Gadsden, July
  • Green, Adam
  • Graham, Sharper
  • Gadsden, Jonas
  • Grant, David
  • Gadsden, August
  • Graham, Sharper
  • Gregory, William
  • Gadsden, Anthony
  • Green, Barney
  • Gibbs, Andrew
  • Gardiner, Neptune
  • Green, Henry
  • Garrett, Wally
  • Green, Latson
  • Grant, Samboe
  • Gord, Abram
  • Green, Charles
  • Green, Robert
  • Green, Jonas
  • Gadsden, Neptune
  • Garrett, Henry
  • Green, Plenty
  • Graham, John
  • Green, Sam
  • Gettis, John
  • Green, Briscoe
  • Gadsden, Daniel
  • Green, Jack
  • Grant, Paul
  • Gould, Clarann
  • Garrett, Henry
  • Grant, London
  • Grumbil, Sam
  • Gailiard, Ned
  • Green, Billy
  • Grant, Jack
  • BeaufortVoterRegsP5
  • Grant, Larry
  • Green, Silar
  • Green, Wash
  • G(illegible), Ben
  • Grant, Robert
  • Goodwine, Clement
  • Goldwine, John
  • Grimbull, Samuel
  • Green, Joe
  • Green, Glascoe
  • Green, Dorsey
  • Gould, Abram
  • White
  • Hawthorne, Jas.
  • Colored
  • Huger, Neptune
  • Hedden, Jim
  • Holmes, Paul
  • Hamilton, Paul
  • Holmes, Richard
  • Hamilton, George
  • Holmes, Summer
  • Haynes, Jack
  • Hamilton, Toby
  • Haywood, Cyrus
  • Holmes, John
  • Haywood, Cato
  • Haywood, John
  • Hudson, Peter
  • Haywood, London
  • Haywood, July
  • Haywood, Andrew
  • Hamilton, William
  • Haywood, Bob
  • Haywood, Frank
  • Hudson, Henry
  • White
  • Jenkins, Will
  • Johnson, Sam
  • Johnson, Limus
  • Colored
  • Jenkins, Samuel
  • Jenkins, John
  • Jenkins, Tony
  • Jenkins, Richard
  • Johnson, Sam
  • Jenkins, Jonas
  • Johnson, Simon
  • Jones, Harry
  • Johnson, Jack
  • Johnson, John
  • Jack, Boles
  • Johnson, Joseph
  • Jenkins, Bob
  • Jones, Clement
  • Jenkins, Sancho
  • Jones, Sam
  • Jenkins, David
  • Jones, Larry
  • Johnson, Plenty
  • Jackson, Corlener
  • Jenkins, Robert
  • Johnson, Prince
  • Jenkins, Alfred
  • Jenkins, Beckham
  • Kinsler, David
  • Kelley, Alfred
  • Latson, Abram
  • Lewis, Sabiel
  • Latson, Dick
  • Latson, Latt
  • Locust, Charles
  • BeaufortVoterRegsP6
  • Loyd, John
  • Lambode, David
  • Lucus, John
  • Lighthouse, Charles
  • Locust, April
  • Legray, Jeff
  • Loyd, Cuffey
  • Latson, Daniel
  • Mathews, Abram
  • Millin, Friday
  • Millin, Captain
  • Moultrie, Isaac
  • Molley, Jack
  • Middleton, Paul
  • McCloud, William
  • Maxwell, Richard
  • McCloud, Francis
  • Moultrie, David
  • Main, Sol
  • Main, Prophet
  • Moutrie, Marcus
  • Mew, John
  • Mack, Ben
  • Mack, Cockles
  • Moutrie, Sam
  • Mack Plenty
  • Main, Harry
  • Main, Turtus
  • Main, Sam
  • McNeil, Mathew
  • McCloud, Dick
  • Myers, Cuffy
  • Morgan, Tom
  • Maxwell, Thaddeus
  • Mitchell, Robert
  • Middleton, Charles
  • Martin, Jack
  • McNeil, Will
  • Morgan, March
  • Moore, Jack
  • Maxwell, Ben
  • Millen, Anderson
  • Mitchell, Pompy
  • White
  • Nehemias, Ernil
  • Colored
  • Nemair, Gabriel
  • Noble, Ham
  • Nelson, Ben
  • O'Brien, Somerset
  • Owens, George
  • White
  • Perry, Ralph
  • Colored
  • Patterson, Button
  • Patterson, Jimmy
  • Proctor, John
  • Polite, Jacob
  • Parker, Jim
  • Polite, Gabriel
  • Prejon, Ben
  • Pinkney, Peter
  • Parker, Adam
  • Prophet, David
  • Powell, Henry
  • Powell, Prince
  • Polite, Prince
  • Perry, Jim
  • Powell, Isaac
  • Pinkney, Robert
  • Pinkney, Castilla
  • Parker, William
  • BeaufortVoterRegsP7
  • Perry, Jack
  • Pinkney, Jacob C.
  • Pinkney, Jacob
  • Polite, Joe
  • Pryor, Ben
  • Pinkney, Goerge O.
  • Pryon, Silar
  • Parker, Smart
  • Primus, James
  • Peoples, Peter
  • Polite, Stephen
  • Polite, Abel
  • Rhett, Albert
  • Richardson, Chapman
  • Robinson, Joe
  • Rivers, Peter
  • Robinson, Sam
  • Robinson, Richard
  • Ribbon, Brass
  • Roan, Enoch
  • Robinson, Andrew
  • Robinson, Frank
  • Robinson, Prince
  • Road, Isaac
  • Robinson, Jacob
  • Robinson, Rome
  • Small, Stephen
  • Small, Drum
  • Sharp, Peter
  • Sheppard, Frank
  • Stephens, Pompey
  • Shields, James
  • Simmons, Edward
  • Smith, Tony
  • Smith, Simon
  • S(illegible), Hardtimes
  • Smith, Simon
  • Simons, Edward
  • Simmons, Ben
  • Spires, Martin
  • Simond, Thomas
  • Swisher, Thaddeus
  • Simmons, Abram
  • Singleton, Paul
  • Stewart, Waldy
  • Sheppard, James
  • Singleton, Scipio
  • Singleton, Harry
  • Singleton, Wa[illegible]
  • Scott, Ben
  • Simmons, Tomlin
  • Singleton, Ned
  • Singleton, Many
  • Simmons, William
  • Smith, Henry
  • Smith, Jerry
  • Small, Billy
  • Small, Stephen
  • Singleton, January
  • Small, Jemmy
  • Snipe, Simon
  • Sheppard, Tom
  • Swansea, Richard
  • Shoman, Calina
  • Scott, Bob
  • Scott, Ben
  • Snipe, Ben
  • Small, Sol
  • Shephard, Frank
  • Stewart, Isaac
  • Singleton, Allister
  • Small, Abram
  • Stout, Charles
  • Singleton, Sandy
  • Salters, Solomon
  • Sheldon, Bill
  • Snipes, Harry
  • BeaufortVoterRegsP8
  • T(illegible), Cyrus
  • T(illegible), James
  • Thompson, Tamlin
  • T(illegible), (Illegible)
  • T(illegible), Abram
  • W(illegible), John
  • W(illegible), Bram
  • W(illegible), (Illegible)
  • W(illegible), (Illegible)
  • W(illegible), (Illegible)
  • Wainright, Dick
  • White, Cuffy
  • Wilson, Sampson
  • William, Dick
  • W(illegible), Samuel
  • Wright, Jacob
  • Washington, Cain
  • Warren, Jordan
  • Wilson, Albert
  • Wainright, Cuffy
  • Wright, William
  • White, Selin B.
  • Wilson, Alfred
  • Washington, Simon
  • Williams, Robert
  • Williams, Prince
  • Williams, Ben
  • Washington, Sambo
  • White, Michael
  • Washington, Bram
  • Williams, John
  • White, Cirus
  • Wright, Frank
  • White, Selim
  • Wilson, Edward
  • Washington, Gilbert
  • White, Stepney
  • Williams, Robert
  • Watson, George
  • Washington, William
  • Washington, Frank
  • Young, Cuffy
  • BeaufortVoterRegsP9

    Beaufort County, SC Voter Registrations, First Registration Precinct, Chisolm's Election Precinct, 1868

    Beaufort County Voter Registrations

    First Registration Precinct

    Chisolm's Election Precinct

    Source: South Carolina, Secretary of State, Records Deposited with the Secretary. Abstracts of Voter Registrations Reported to the Military Government, 1868. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Record Group 213000, Series No. S 213103

    Indexed by Alana Thevenet

  • Anderson, L(illegible)
  • Aikins, James
  • Alston, Williams
  • Alston, A.H.
  • Brown, Martin
  • Bedon, Stephman
  • Brown, Brister
  • Barnwell, Frank
  • Burrian, William
  • Brown, Neptune
  • Binnard, John
  • Barns, Isam
  • Brown, James
  • Blood, Jack
  • Bond, Ben
  • Bobian, Henry
  • Cockron, Abram
  • Cockron, Cuffy
  • Camel, Primas
  • Chisholm, Krit
  • Cannon, William
  • Chisholm, James
  • Cockfield, William
  • Chishold, Alic Hunt
  • Cohen, Jim
  • Cambell, Cuffy
  • Coan, Isreal
  • Chisholm, Will
  • Doctor, James
  • Drayton, John
  • Dawson, James
  • Doctor, Jesu
  • Ensign, Jack
  • White
  • Fripp, Joseph
  • Colored
  • Filer, Anthony
  • Fraser, Samson
  • Feldon, Braddock
  • Ferguson, London
  • Frazer, Will
  • Frost, Fryday
  • Frazer, Nat
  • Frazer, Abram
  • Gr(illegible), Paul
  • Green, Littleton
  • Green, Loisa
  • Grujorn, Ansil
  • Gadsden, Jimmy
  • Green, Anthony
  • Gates, Robin
  • Gadson, Cain
  • Gedding, Isiah
  • Gibson, John
  • Gills, William
  • Graham, Dan
  • Green, Jeffy
  • Giles, Adam
  • Grant, Thomas
  • Giles, Jacob
  • Gettis, Lott
  • Glover, Ben
  • Gadson, Adson
  • White
  • Hawthorne, Jas. G.
  • Beaufort 1868 Voter Registrations Chisholms Election Precinct Anderson o Hawthorne
  • Haywood, Matt
  • Hamilton, William
  • Henry, John
  • Haywood, Joseph
  • Haywood, Dago
  • Hamilton, Williams
  • Hayward, Billy
  • Jones, Burton
  • Jones, Dick
  • Jones, Samuel
  • Jones, Antony
  • Jones, Adam
  • Jackson, Loby S.
  • Jones, Richard
  • Jefferson, Thomas
  • Johnson, Joseph
  • Jefferson, Hector
  • Jenkins, Jonas
  • Jennings, Peter
  • Latson, Ishmael
  • Latson, William
  • Lawton, Scipio S.
  • Lacy, John
  • Latson, Latt
  • Latson, Jack
  • White
  • Mathews Jr., J.F. (White)
  • Mathews, J. Raven (White)
  • Colored
  • Murray, Henry
  • Middleton, Hercules
  • Middleton, Johny
  • Middleton, Billy
  • Moutrie, Adam
  • Morrisey, Joe
  • Maxwell, Stephen
  • Masong, Peter
  • Maxwell, Peter
  • Morlinstobe, Paul
  • Mannigue, Philip
  • Mannigue, Peter
  • Mannigue, Henry
  • Mulligan, John
  • Mulligan, Peter
  • Mitchell, Peter
  • Moore, Bram
  • Means, Thomas
  • McNight, Robert
  • Mow, John
  • McKnight, Esaw
  • McKnight, Alfred
  • Nightingale, Joe
  • Owens, David
  • Proctor, Henry
  • Polite, August
  • Pinkney, Morris
  • Pettigrew, July
  • Powell, Morris
  • Polite, Dick
  • Polite, Thomas
  • Polite, Stafford
  • Polite, Marshall
  • Polite, Cuffey
  • Polite, Smart
  • Powell, Collins
  • Parker, Ben
  • Beaufort 1868 Voter Registrations Chisholms Election Precinct Haywood to Parker
  • Parker, Moses
  • Polite, Adam
  • Polite, Dick
  • Polite, Michael
  • Pryor, York
  • Powell, Henry
  • Parker, John
  • P(illegible), Marcus
  • Pinkney, Robert
  • Reilly, Adam
  • Rivers, Peter
  • Robinson, Ferdinand
  • Richards, Dick
  • Reed, Harry
  • Robinson, Smart
  • Robinson, Enoch
  • Robinson, Romeo
  • Simmons, Abram
  • Singleton, Robert
  • Simmons, Renty
  • Small, Major
  • Smith, Aaron
  • Stewart, Cuffy
  • Simmons, Adam
  • Small, Richard
  • Simmons, Frank
  • Scott, Radley
  • Small, Tony
  • Savis, Isaac
  • Small, Bob
  • Seabrook, Richard
  • Snipe, Jack
  • Singleton, Abia
  • Simmons, Peter
  • Simmons, Prophet
  • Singleton, Stephney
  • Smith, Sharper
  • Sattir, Robert
  • Virgina, Richmond
  • Wallace, Cat(illegible)
  • White, Emanuel
  • Williams, Henry
  • White, Primas
  • Washington, Jonas
  • William, Prince
  • Washington, Beson
  • White, Jacob
  • Washington, Robert
  • Wedders, John
  • Washington, Robert
  • Washington, Donas
  • Washington, Isaac
  • Wickfall, Isaac
  • Watt, Isah
  • Washington, Frank
  • White, John
  • White, Robert
  • Washington, Larry
  • Washington, Moses
  • Beaufort 1868 Voter Registrations Chisholms Election Precinct Parker to Washington

    Hinder Me Not ~ Sankofa Bound! Slave Dwelling Project's Stay on Ossabaw Island, GA

    Osaabaw Island Historical Marker
    Group One Ready to Head to the Island
    Dormitory Where Part of the Group Stayed
    Guests on Porch of Big House, Ossabaw
    Group 2 in Front of Tabby Slave Dwelling
    Group 2
    Joseph McGill in Blue-Framed Doorway of Tabby Slave Cabin
    Donkeys on Ossabaw
    Friendly Donkeys
    Pigs Roaming on Ossabaw
    Keeper and Storyteller Patt Gunn
    Tabby #2
    Tabby #2
    Toni Renee Battle in Doorway of Cabin #2
    Wormsloe Plantation Big House
    Sarah Ross, Wormsloe Plantation
    Slave Cabin at Wormsloe
    Wormsloe Cabin
    Interior of Cabin at Wormsloe
    Interior of Cabin at Wormsloe
    Interior of Cabin at Wormsloe
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    Operated by the state of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources, Ossabaw Island, Georgia would be the second stay for the Slave Dwelling Project with a high level of bureaucracy, Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Virginia was the first. The nature of the Slave Dwelling Project now dictates that I invite as many other people to join me in the stay as the dwelling can accommodate. This stay would have a slight variation. To get to the island, one has to catch a boat. Twelve of us would stay on the island on Friday, May 10, three of us in one of the slave cabins and the remainder in a dormitory.

    Given only three slots for sleeping in the cabin, I had to choose the two people who would stay with me very carefully. Toni Battle of the Legacy Project chose her spot based on the early release of the project’s 2013 schedule so she knew more than six months ago that her spot was secured. Additionally, for her, travelling from San Francisco would take some intricate planning. The fact that this would be her third stay in a former slave dwelling had her somewhat prepared for what she would experience. Her two other stays were Bacon’s Castle in Surry, Virginia and Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Virginia. The second person who would join me would be author Tony Horwitz. I met Tony over 20 years ago when I was a young Park Ranger at Fort Sumter National Monument. He interviewed me for a book that he was writing titled Confederates in the Attic. He had planned to stay in a slave dwelling with me two months earlier at Hopsewee Plantation in Georgetown, SC but unforeseen circumstances caused him to postpone. Tony is now writing for a major magazine and will do a story on the Slave Dwelling Project. Both Toni Battle and Tony Horwitz flew in to Charleston, SC and we all rode to Savannah, GA together.

    Our host Paul Pressly, Director of the Ossabaw Island Education Alliance at Ossabaw Island Foundation, planned the events for the stay well. The formation of a new collaboration between the Pin Point Museum, Ossabaw Island Foundation and Bethesda Academy to tell their respective stories within the framework of the Gullah-Geechee culture dictated that a press conference be held. This event which was held at the Pin Point Heritage Museum, a former oyster and crab factory, was well attended by a wide array of movers and shakers from the Savannah community as well as stake holders in the newly formed collaboration. Hanif Haynes with Great Grandmother Formerly Enslaved on Ossabaw Before the press conference, I was introduced to Hanif Haynes whose great, great, great grandfather David Bonds was born into slavery about 1815 at Middle Place on Ossabaw Island. Hanif, who would be spending the night with us on Ossabaw Island, told me the real story of the how the land for the Pin Point Museum was acquired and it was not all pretty. At the press conference, I was happy to share the stage with the illustrious Emory Campbell my former boss when I worked as Director of History and Culture on Penn Center on St. Helena Island, SC. After the press conference, lunch was served at Bethesda Academy which began as a colonial orphanage in 1740 but is now a private, residential and day school for young men in grades six through twelve.

    Storyteller Patt Gunn

    Spending a night at McLeod Plantation on James Island, SC gave me the first opportunity to sleep in a slave dwelling on a sea island. Ossabaw Island, GA would be my second opportunity but it would be the first time that I would have to catch a boat to get there. Ossabaw Island would also give me a better sense of how isolation factored into maintaining the deep traditions of the Gullah Geechee culture and the “Africanisms” that still exists. Ironically, we had to go through a gated community to get to the dock that the boat was located that would transport us. Our first stop upon getting to the island was the dormitory where the nine participants not staying in the cabin would stay. Through an introductory session led by our host Paul Pressly, we all learned about our reasons for being on Ossabaw Island. The session included storytelling by Patt Gunn. Patt did a beautiful job in weaving the Gullah dialect into a story that included how Georgia was settled and the roles that the enslaved played in that process. We then embarked on a walking tour in the direction of the slave cabins. Along the way, we stopped at a smoke house that was made of tabby and got an inspiring lesson from Paul and Hanif on how tabby buildings were constructed.

    Tabby Number Two View

    Three cabins made of tabby still exist on the island. The two front doors on all three cabins were clear indications that they were all designed to house two families. My examination of the first cabin reinforced my fear of having to sleep on a dirt floor. We were slated to sleep in the second cabin which also had a dirt floor but luckily for us the half where we were to sleep that night had a newly restored wood floor. When the group entered the space, I immediately went to the place that I knew I would be laying my sleeping bag for the night. It was there that I described for the group how this former slave dwelling compared to others of which I slept.

    We then all loaded onto a truck for a trip to the site of Middle Place and Middle Place Plantation. On our way there the former presence of Native Americans was evident throughout and well interpreted by our host Paul Pressly. At our destination we saw ruins of where the first plantation house was located. While visiting the ruins of one of the slave cabins, we had an encounter with a cottonmouth snake. As I turned around to hold a plant to keep it from brushing back and hitting the people behind me, I noticed the well concealed snake at the base of a tree. In passing, I had stepped within a foot and one half from its location. Rather than panicking and causing everyone else to panic, I emphatically instructed them to pass as close to me as possible. When everyone was clear of the snake, I then told them of its presence and we made a collective decision that we would not be returning on that same path. Someone in the group knowledgeable of snakes identified it as a cottonmouth and although it was coiled they estimated it to be about five feet.

    Mr. Roger Parker

    Dinner was served on another part of the island which took us past the home of Mrs. Eleanor Torrey West, her family owned the island during part of the 20th century and she sold it to the state of Georgia with the condition it remain a nature preserve and educational center. She is now 100. Our cook, Mr. Roger Parker, who also cooks on a part time basis for President Jimmy Carter did not disappoint serving up barbeque pork, grilled chicken and all of the fixings. Mr. Parker was the last person to inhabit one of the tabby slave cabins. He told us that he was quite familiar with the cottonmouth snake that we saw on our excursion.

    The entire group made its way back to the slave cabin tabby # 2 to conduct a sacred moment of blessing the space. After assembling an altar in the middle of the room which we all encircled and using a term called smudging, Toni Battle released aromatic smoke into each corner of the space with the aid of huge feathers that had fallen from birds on the island. Toni then led us in the pouring of libations with everyone getting an opportunity to call on ancestors of their choosing. We all then proceeded back to the dormitory where various conversations were carried on until midnight.

    Featured Gallery: Photos By Jeanne Cyriaque

    Joe in Front of Indigo Plants Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Paul Pressly Explains Ossabaw History Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Hanif Haynes Showing Tabby Blocks Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Ossabaw Somkehouse Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Inside the Smokehouse Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Joseph McGill Inside Slave Dwelling Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Patt Gunn, Joe McGill, Hanif Haynes and Toni Renee Battle Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Paul Pressly In Front of Indigo Plants Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Tabby 2 Slave Cabin Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Detail of Tabby Construction Material Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Front of Tabby 2 Slave Dwelling Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Window of Tabby Slave Dwelling Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Tony Horowitz and Joseph McGill
    Donkeys at Ossabaw Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
    Ossabaw Scenery Photo by Jeanne Cyriaque
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    When Toni Battle, Tony Horwitz and I got back to the cabin we laid out our sleeping bags and got comfortable within them. It was evident that Toni Battle was operating on west coast time as Tony Horwitz and I slowly faded into sleep. The following morning it was great to wake up to the sounds of nature and hear nothing that was manmade. Our conversation included opportunities for slaves to escape; the underground railroad running south to Florida; and where we would stay on Saturday night. Tony Horwitz expressed that for the purpose of the story that he would write, sleeping on a dirt floor would have been more compelling. After a hearty breakfast, the group that stayed in the dormitory was transported back to Savannah. Their absence gave Toni, Tony and me the opportunity to use the showers in the facility as we saw fit. This was great because another group was scheduled to come over to the island to interact with us for a few hours. They showed up as planned and, with the exception of spending the night, they were treated to the same program of the previous group. After that repeated routine, we all boarded the boat and returned to Savannah.

    Wormsloe Plantation

    When Toni Battle, Tony Horwitz and I left Charleston, SC on Friday, May 10, 2013, we knew that we would be staying in a tabby slave cabin on Ossabaw Island, GA that night. We also knew that on Sunday, May 12 that I would address the congregation of Sweetfield of Eden Baptist Church in Pin Point, GA. What we did not know was where we would stay on Saturday night. I had alerted my host Paul Pressly to this concern and he was working on a solution which may have included a hotel stay. Knowing that this was a pending issue, I made a request to the group that showed up for the press conference. During my presentation, after having familiarized the attendees of why the Slave Dwelling Project was necessary and knowing that Savannah like Charleston, SC had many places that qualify, I asked if anyone had a place that fits the criteria of the project that we could stay on Saturday night. Immediately after the press conference was over, Sarah Ross, President of the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History offered the slave cabin on Wormsloe Plantation for the Saturday night stay. My mind was now at ease knowing that I could proceed to Ossabaw Island not worried about where we all would stay on Saturday night, moreover it was a place that aligned with the intent of the Slave Dwelling Project.

    Wormsloe Cabin

    On our way to Wormsloe, Hanif Haynes took us on a detour to see Mr. Herbert Kemp a senior African American community member. Mr. Kemp, who was not expecting us, made us aware that he had read about the newly formed partnership between the Pin Point Museum, Ossabaw Island Foundation and Bethesda Academy and knew of our reason for being in the area. It was time well spent because Mr. Kemp who is a retired carpenter revealed how that skill was passed down to him through generations from an ancestor who was enslaved on Wormsloe Plantation. His research had also revealed that some of the enslaved skilled craftsmen from Wormsloe Plantation were rented out to places as far away as Charleston, SC to apply their skills. He told us that years ago he took a group of boy scouts out to an island in the area and they spent the night in some slave cabins that still existed at that time. Hearing him say that preserving extant slave dwellings was a good thing was very reassuring to me that the Slave Dwelling Project was necessary.

    Wormsloe Plantation

    Upon entering the gate to Wormsloe, I set my eyes upon one of the most spectacular avenue of oaks that I had ever seen. The spectacular avenue of oaks at other places that I had spent nights in slave cabins like Evergreen Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana and Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, SC had nothing on Wormsloe for it stretched for what seemed like miles. Our host Sarah Ross, whose exuberance at the press conference the day before got us our place to stay for the night, met us on the property to give us a tour. She took us to the slave cabin which was a stark contrast to the tabby cabin we slept in the previous night on Ossabaw Island. It is a wooden structure that is currently used as a guest house so all of the modern amenities were included. This suited me quite well because in my 42 slave dwellings where I have slept, I have seen all extremes. For the intent of Tony Horwitz writing an article on the Slave Dwelling Project, something al little more raw would have been in order.

    Sarah Ross Wormsloe Plantation

    With darkness about to descend, the tour of the property was somewhat hasty, but boy was it spectacular. Contained on the property is the ruins of the oldest building in the state of Georgia, constructed of tabby and brick, it was explained how slaves from South Carolina were loaned/rented from South Carolina to help build the infrastructure for the Georgia’s early settlers. Sarah also showed us what was believed to be the slave burial ground on the site. It was amazing to hear Sarah explaining the intent of the owner and the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History. In their effort to interpret the land scientifically and environmentally exists the opportunity to interpret the people that occupied the land, Native Americans, African Americans, and Europeans. That is what compelled her to respond to my plea at the press conference for a place to stay that fits the intent of the Slave Dwelling Project.

    Over our dinner in the cabin of lowcountry boil that Sarah prepared for us, we learned that for us to stay in the cabin that night, two researchers had to find a room in a local hotel. That to me was a testament to the power of this project. I was thrilled Hanif Haynes was able to join us on the tour and stay for dinner for he will now be the local liaison between Wormsloe and the local African American community. Sleeping in a bed that night was much more comfortable than the experience the previous night in the tabby cabin on Ossabaw Island. Before leaving the next morning, I assured our host that because this stay was so impromptu, we have to plan another that will be more programmatic and beneficial to the intent of all entities but most of all get the local community especially African Americans more involved in what happens at Wormsloe.

    Sweetfield of Eden Baptist Church

    I have given the Slave Dwelling Project lecture in churches before, the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama and Mt Moriah Baptist Church in North Charleston, SC but they have always been at a time other than a regularly scheduled Sunday church service. Sweetfield of Eden Baptist Church in Pin Point, GA would be different for the presentation was given during the service from the pulpit and it was on Mother’s Day. After being instructed to show up at noon, my instincts got the best of me. Knowing that I had to leave shortly after the presentation, I convinced Toni Battle and Tony Horwitz that we should show up at 11:00 am because I was scheduled to present at noon. My incorrect assumption was that like my Baptist church, the service would start at 11:00 am. Well, showing up at 11:00 was far too early but it did give us time to take photographs outside of the church. When we entered the church there were a few youths conducting themselves in a noisy and disorderly fashion when one senior female came in and pulled out her switch and quickly restored order. As others began to gather, it was revealed to us that the lady who pulled out the switch to restore order is the mother of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

    The presentation went well and as planned, we had to leave immediately after. Our attempt to find a place to have lunch in Savannah on Mother’s Day was met with failure when parking became a challenge so we gave up and drove back to Charleston. The drive gave Tony Horwitz great opportunity to go more in depth with me by asking questions about the Slave Dwelling Project for the article that he would be writing. We reached Charleston safely and being that it was Mother’s Day, after dropping Toni and Tony off at their hotels, I proceeded home to celebrate the occasion with my wife Vilarin and daughter Jocelyn.

    Hinder Me Not ~ Sankofa Bound!

    by Toni Renee Battle
    Photo at Pin Point Museum

    On a bright Friday morning, Joseph McGill, founder of The Slave Dwelling Project, myself and Tony Horwitz, author and journalist, rolled down an oyster laden driveway blanketing the Pin Point Heritage Museum. We were minutes from Savannah, Georgia and were in the heart of a community named Pin Point, founded by former slaves of Ossabaw Island. As we exited the car, murals greeted us as we walked to the entrance of the museum. Entering the space we were greeted by black and white photos of black elders, representative of Pin Point’s history. The photos told a story of hard work, tradition and determination. Many residents of Pin Point, Georgia made a livelihood of crabbing and farming and shucking oysters at a regional factory.

    While browsing the photos, an older gentleman approached us and introduced himself as Hanif Haynes, a board member of the Museum and Ossabaw Foundation, and a descendant of Ossabaw Island. He immediately began sharing the oral tradition of storytelling by giving details of how the ancestors who were left on Ossabaw, following Emancipation, made a way for themselves and those who left Ossabaw eventually formed the community known today as Pin Point, Georgia.

    Hanif Haynes Relates Ossabaw History to Joseph McGill

    As we listened, more and more people began arriving for the day’s press conference announcing collaboration between the Georgia Historical Society, Pin Center and Ossabaw Foundation. The honoring of this collaboration was The Slave Dwelling Project’s overnight stay on Ossabaw Island. While at the press conference, you heard from historians, community members and Ossabaw descendants speaking to this historical occasion and the importance of maintaining community voice in keeping Gullah-Geechee culture alive. Following the press conference, we found ourselves in numerous talking circles. Within these circles I was honored to meet many Keepers (grios maintaining culture, tradition and history).

    Lunch at Bethesda School Photo by Toni Renee Battle

    Following the press conference, we headed to Bethesda School campus for a community luncheon before heading to the docks for Ossabaw. As we arrived at the docks, we were greeted by local Keeper, Patt Gunn. She would be joining us on Ossabaw to share in traditional Gullah storytelling. Additionally, our host, Paul Pressly (Ossabaw Foundation), Hanif Haynes (Ossabaw descendant and Foundation board member), Tania Smith-Jones (Administrator of Pin Point Heritage Museum) and Tony Horwitz (author and journalist) were part of the sojourn to Ossabaw Island.

    The only way you can access Ossabaw Island is by boat. As the engine started, we all eagerly cheered as the boat lurched forward to ancestral lands. Haynes named off the names of other islands and sand bars as we passed by on our journey. He explained the importance of gauging the distance from the shoreline, otherwise one could end up stuck on a sandbar. After about twenty minutes, we slowly pulled up to the dock of Ossabaw Island. Upon arrival, you are greeted with a main sandy road which leads to the large big house, with a wrap-around porch.

    Guests Inside Ossabaw Slave Cabin Photo by Toni Renee Battle

    Our small party, entered the big house and gathered in the main living room. Pressly provided us with a historical overview of Ossabaw; the island is originally the ancestral lands of the Creek and Cherokee Native Americans before being occupied by Europeans, who enslaved Africans and Natives to labor on four known plantations. During the 20th century, the West family purchased the island and during the 21st century sold Ossabaw to the state of Georgia as nature and educational preserve.

    Gunn brought our gathering to life by engaging everyone in a traditional version of Gullah storytelling. She invited everyone to welcome the ancestors into the space and to celebrate their lives, traditions and customs during our time on the island. It was a fitting start to The Slave Dwelling Project’s overnight stay.

    Patt Gunn Gullah Storyteller Photo by Toni Renee Battle Following Gunn ending the welcome with a traditional spiritual, we embarked on our exploration of Ossabaw Island. Pressly announced we would walk to the slave quarters and then ride by truck to the center of the island, where one of the original plantations existed. As we exited the big house, Pressly stopped to show us an indigo plant. He explained, this plant was a descendant of the original plantation crop planted on Ossabaw.

    Just beyond the indigo plants, Pressly stopped in front of a smokehouse built by the enslaved. The smokehouse was built with brick, wood and tabby materials. Tabby is made of a combination of oyster shells, lime and sand. It is a known building style used in parts of West Africa, that the enslaved brought to the Americas. The material is unique, strong and resistant to weather elements. We continued to walk a pathway from the smokehouse to a row of slave cabins. As we approached them, the group began to cease talking and instead stand in quiet reverence of the sacred space before us.

    Sankofa Bird Over Slave Cabins Photo by Toni Renee Battle

    Right before we entered the cabin, a Sankofa bird circled and looked back at us. Haynes and Gunn immediately noticed and pointed to the sky. We all looked up and smiled, feeling the ancestors welcoming us to reclaiming the past and acknowledging their contributions to the history of the land (The concept of Sankofa comes from the Akan people of West Africa. It loosely translates to “go back and fetch what you forgot.” The deeper meaning encourages us to go back and revisit the past in order to move forward. We reach back to retrieve what our roots teach us, so that we can achieve our best in moving forward. The bird is symbolic of this belief, as it flies forward, while looking backward).

    Pressly gave McGill the honors of opening the cabin door. As we entered the space, many of us stood in silence with a flurry of tears. You could feel the energy of pain, joy, anger and hope. The surrounding walls were made of tabby and wood. A brick fireplace divided the cabin into two separate quarters. We slowly exited the cabin to explore the rest of the island.

    We climbed into the truck and traveled toward the center of Ossabaw. We travelled a main road lined with humongous oak trees lining either side of the road. Haynes explained that we were headed to what was known as Middleton Plantation, which was the plantation his direct ancestors were enslaved on. Upon arrival, we viewed the overgrown vines and some tabby slave cabins that were not structurally sound. Just beyond the yard sat a sandbar area with a tree dipping into the water. Haynes and I ventured beyond the group and stood in the wet sand and took in the reverence of the moment.

    He shared that his ancestors farmed oysters on this very site as a means of survival post slavery. Haynes shared with our group that there had been a church on the island that the enslaved had named “Hinder Me Not.” These same men and women who were once slaves later made a home in a community that formed on the mainland of Savannah, Georgia that they named Pin Point. As he shared this story many of us looked at each other and smiled with pride and repeated, “Hinder Me Not!” Imagine how empowering that must have been? To have been a slave, become free and to then enter a place of worship called “Hinder Me Not.” Each time one would feel they could not go on, all they simply had to do was utter the name of the church. The very name of the church spoke to the very spirit of these ancestors that refused to allow any hindrance to block their freedom path.

    Featured Gallery: Ossabaw Photos by Toni Renee Battle

    Press Conference at Pin point Museum Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Quote at Pin Point Museum Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Photo at Pin Point Museum
    Hanif Haynes Relates Ossabaw History to Joseph McGill
    Keeper Circle at Pin Point Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Author and Journalist Tony Horowitz Joined In the Cabin Stay Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Tony Horowitz and Joe McGill Discussing Enslaved History Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Blue Painted Doorway on Tabby 2 Cabin Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Detail of Tabby on Ossabaw Slave Cabins Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Donkeys Follow Group As They Tour Ossabaw Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Door of Slave Cabin Ossabaw Island Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Dr Felicia Bell Pat Gunn Tania Smith-Jones and Toni Battle With Sankofa Bird
    Paul Pressly Explaining Tabby Building Material Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Tabby Wall Interior of Cabin 2 Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Guests Inside Ossabaw Slave Cabin Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Guests Listen As Paul Pressly Narrates Cabin History Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Interior of Tabby 1 Ossabaw Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Joe McGill Inside Slave Cabin 2 Ossabaw Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Joe Takes a Breather Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Paul Pressly of Ossabaw Foundation Relates History of Slave Street Cabins Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Joseph McGil Morning After Stay Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Joseph McGill and Tonia Smith-Jones In Truck On the Way to Ossabaw Photo by Toni Battle
    Joseph McGill on Porch of Big House at Ossabaw Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Main Road on Ossabaw Island Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Window of Tabby 1 Ossabaw Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Patt Gunn Gullah Storyteller Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Ossabaw Island Scenery Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Original Beam in Tabby 2 Slave Cabin Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Mr Hanif Haynes Ossabaw Descendant and Keeper Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Hanif Haynes with Great Grandmother Formerly Enslaved on Ossabaw
    Mr Hanif Haynes Ossabaw Descendant Shows Sample of Tabby Block Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Mr Hanif Haynes Ossabaw Descendant and Keeper of Ossabaw History Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Joseph McGill Inside Tabby 2 Cabin Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Indigo Plant Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Lunch at Bethesda School Photo by Toni Renee Battle
    Smokehouse at Ossabaw Photo by Toni Battle
    The Big House Photo by Toni Renee Battle
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    Pressly called out for our group to gather together quickly because we were being hosted for dinner by Mr. Roger, who was one of the caretakers of the island. We journeyed back towards the outskirts of the island and part of our party decided to walk towards Mr. Roger’s residence. We were met with true southern hospitality! Mr. Roger and his family had a home-cooked meal awaiting us and shared tall tales of his more than 30 years of residing on the island. It turns out that Mr. Roger is also a cook for former President Jimmy Carter! He travels from time to time to Plains, Georgia to personally cook for the Carter family. He is a true cowboy with a larger than life personality and a love for the land of Ossabaw Island.

    Following dinner, we travelled back to the slave quarters to begin our overnight stay. McGill, myself and Horwitz were the only three to stay the night in the cabin. The rest of the group stayed in the big house about five minutes down the road. We all joined together to participate in a libation ceremony to honor our ancestors and those who had been enslaved on the land of Ossabaw Island. We also blessed the space and sang spirituals to pay homage to those who came before us. Following our ritual, we exited the cabin and were greeted by thousands of stars lighting the sky and our path. One group headed to the big house and the other group gathered belongings to lay down for the night. McGill, Horwitz and I made pallets and stretched out on the hardwood floor. We talked about race, slavery, war, Django (the movie) and ancestors. In particular, we discussed how as a slave on this island one would have truly had to be strategic to escape due to having to cross such a large waterway. McGill shared how Harriet Tubman had been known to have travelled this area of the Gullah Islands. Laying there, I thought about the untold stories of the ancestors who had laid their bodies within this same cabin. The ancestors who prayed and dreamed of a day their descendants would be free.

    Toni Battle at Ossabaw

    The next morning we awoke and stretched shortly after dawn. We reconnected with our group and shared about our experience of the overnight. Our group members were leaving and a second group were scheduled to join us within a few hours. We quickly freshened up and awaited the second group of visitors. This group had visitors from Boston, Atlanta, Savannah and other areas. Upon arrival, they were met with Gunn’s traditional storytelling and then we all shared lunch under the oak trees and headed back to the slave quarters. After McGill finished his historical overview, group members began heading back to the big house to get out of the heat. I noticed that the white group members headed immediately up the road, while the black group members took every opportunity to take photos and reluctantly kept revisiting the cabin.

    Seven Shouts

    It then struck me, at what time would there be almost ten black folks out of enslaved history, from different parts of the country, in the midst of a slave cabin with McGill, on Ossabaw Island? I gathered everyone and asked for us to stand in the cabin, in traditional circle format and pay homage. Homage Circle in Slave Cabin Ossabaw Island Photo by Toni Renee Battle We all immediately returned inside, circled up, held hands and bowed heads. I felt moved to pray and give thanks to the ancestors, others followed and Haynes began a traditional shout of ancestral energy. We all repeated seven shouts. On the seventh round, I could no longer contain the overwhelming energy and gave into Spirit and shouted and cried. I began clapping, and others joined in. All of us began shuffling our feet and clapping our hands in a traditional ring shout. Our bodies moved in ancestral ways that our DNA could only know. The energy poured, lifted and shifted through the circle with grace, love and freeness. The power of our stomps hit the hardwood floors as our claps thundered a drum beat indicative of our ancestral lands. All of a sudden we all stopped, tears pouring down our faces in awe of the powerful experience we had just shared in the sacred space. As we walked out, many of us said how empowering the experience had been to acknowledge the culture in that celebratory way. We gathered in front of the slave cabin’s blue doorway. The enslaved painted and stained doorways with the color blue to protect against evil spirits. This door is also known as a “haint door.”

    Sankofa Bound

    By the end of the day, it was time to leave Ossabaw. As we walked the road leading to the docks, I kept looking back feeling a sense of loss. While on the water, I mentioned to Haynes that I heard him mention the name of “McAlpin” in part of the Ossabaw story. I shared that one of my ancestors was a McAlpin and our family had difficulty locating others. Haynes smiled and said, “Toni, you and Joseph are not saying goodbye to Ossabaw. Both of you will be back. You see that island over there? There’s a large group of McAlpins living there!” My mouth dropped. I responded, “WHAT?!” Haynes laughed and said, “This is the beginning of much work to do. The two of you are doing Sankofa! Your Ossabaw experience is Sankofa bound!”

    Lest We Forget

    by Toni Renee Battle

    Joseph McGill, Founder of The Slave Dwelling Project, picked me up from the Charleston, South Carolina airport describing our upcoming overnight stay. Tony Horwitz, author and journalist, would join us the following day for our road trip to Savannah, Georgia and then a boat trip to Ossabaw Island (Gullah barrier island). McGill explained that Friday night we were scheduled to stay overnight on Ossabaw and possibly Saturday night. He said, “I’m not sure if Saturday night we will stay on Ossabaw, or if our host has found another plantation within the area where we may do a second stay. It’s all in the air right now.” I responded, “Joseph don’t worry, ancestors will direct us where we are supposed to be!” McGill laughed and looked over his glasses at me and said, “Toni, there you go!” I responded, “There you go! You know when we get together for a stay, ancestors always surprise us with a purpose. Why would this be any different?”

    Ossabaw Island was going to be my third stay with The Slave Dwelling Project. October 2012, I had done two back-to-back stays at Bacon’s Castle (Surry, VA) and Sweet Briar College (Sweet Briar, VA). Both stays had been powerful and had huge community implications afterwards. Based upon our past stays, I was confident that we would be ancestrally directed for Saturday night. Where we needed to be would be revealed by Saturday morning.

    Dr Felicia Bell Pat Gunn Tania Smith-Jones and Toni Battle With Sankofa Bird

    The following day, we connected with Horwitz and hit the road to Savannah, Georgia! As we rode, Horwitz interviewed McGill and slowly began sharing his own personal story. The three of us swapped stories, laughed, and spoke about the impact of legacy to its descendants and to this country called the United States of America. We pulled into the oyster laden driveway of the Pin Point Historical Museum located in Pin Point, Georgia. We were attending a press conference to announce a regional collaboration of the museum, Ossabaw Island, Penn Center and the State of Georgia regarding preserving Gullah-Geechee culture. The Slave Dwelling Project overnight stay on Ossabaw Island was to commemorate this collaboration. We toured the museum which told the stories of descendants of the enslaved of Ossabaw Island whom, after Emancipation, started a community called Pin Point and worked in a regional oyster factory. While touring the museum, McGill and I met Hanif Haynes, a descendant of Ossabaw and a board member of the museum and the Ossabaw Foundation. He graciously shared oral tradition stories of the ancestors as we awaited the press conference to begin.

    Eventually, Paul Pressly (Ossabaw Foundation), kicked off the press conference with lots of excitement of the meaning and impact of the collaboration. He then introduced McGill to speak to the celebration of The Slave Dwelling Project stay. McGill took the microphone and shared the importance of preserving slave dwellings and then said, “If there are any of you who are aware of additional locations within the area that will welcome us, we are seeking a Saturday night opportunity.” Following the press conference, a tall red-headed women immediately approached McGill. While they spoke, I ended up in two talking circles of Keepers (people who are Keepers of culture, tradition and histories of their people and/or cultural group) and community members.

    Before embarking for Ossabaw, McGill excitedly called me over. He said, “Remember what you said in the car? Well we’ve been directed!” I said, “Uh?” McGill continued to explain that the tall red-headed woman I saw would be our Saturday night host. Her name was Sarah Ross and she had invited us to stay at the local Wormsloe Plantation. McGill continued, “Some folks view Wormsloe as one of the largest plantations in the state of Georgia.” My mouth fell open. My eyes filled with tears as McGill updated Horwitz of where we were being led to stay for Saturday night. As we walked, I thanked God and the ancestors for directing our path on this trip and wondered what our purpose would be when we encountered Wormsloe.

    Friday night and Saturday we spent time on Ossabaw Island. That journey was beyond words of people we encountered and what we experienced while there. We departed Ossabaw by boat and headed back to the mainland of Savannah, Georgia. Hanif Haynes volunteered to guide us to Wormsloe Plantation, but asked if we could stop by an elder’s house who was directly descended from Wormsloe. McGill agreed and once in the car, we followed Haynes to our second night stay.

    Joe With Master Carpenter Mr Ross Ossabaw Elder

    Haynes guided us to another community started by former slaves called Sand Fly. Within Sand Fly lived an elder named, Mr. Bess. Haynes requested permission for us to have wise counsel (meeting with an elder which involves traditional oral storytelling seeking information in a respectful and honoring way) with him. Bess agreed and we entered his home and settled into the living room. McGill spoke with him about our upcoming stay and our purpose in visiting the area. Bess began sharing that he was a direct descendant of the Wormsloe Plantation and that many of the enslaved had been master craftspeople. He explained that the plantation was massive and some of the enslaved had even traveled to Charleston, South Carolina because of being farmed out due to their high skill level. Many of the enslaved were carpenters, iron smiths, cooks, seamstresses, etc. Bess was descended from master carpenters. He showed us his fireplace mantle, which had intricate carvings displaying his ancestral skill. He explained that he had learned from two generations of elders and they had learned from generations before them. Majority of the generations had been enslaved. He said each family in community was known for a particular trade and/or craft which had been passed down since slavery.

    Detail of Carving in Home of Ossabaw Descendant Mr Bess

    We thanked him for his time and he encouraged us to return to the area in the future. Haynes then guided us to Wormsloe Plantation. We drove onto the main road which led to the big house. As we continued to drive, I realized we had been driving more than five minutes! The main road of the plantation was lined with over two hundred arching oak trees. Finally we arrived at the back side of the big house and McGill called Sarah Ross, President of the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History and our host.

    Ross drove up in a golf cart and encouraged us to follow her to the slave cabin. We followed and passed the plantation library and were in amazement of the mere size of the grounds. Eventually we arrived at a white cabin with red shutters. As we entered the space, it was obvious it had been majorly upgraded, yet still had remnants of its original use. The cabin was currently used as a cottage space for guests and scholars. Ross gave us a quick tour of the cabin which was divided into two separate spaces. She then told us she had cooked a Lowcountry Boil (shrimp, potatoes, corn, vegetables boiled with seasoning) for us, but first wanted to show us some of the plantation.

    We followed her out to a golf cart and climbed onto the front and back. Ross drove for another good ten minutes and shared that the plantation itself covered thousands of acres. We stopped first at a mound of oyster shells which were evidence of the Cherokee’s ancestral footprint. We stopped at the side of the road and walked the land. I gave thanks to my Cherokee and Choctaw ancestors. Tears overwhelmed me as I thought of them and the history this space represented.

    Tabby Walls Constructed by Enslaved at Wormsloe

    Ross looked at the sky and suggested we move forward before sundown. We continued on in our golf cart and stopped at a site that left us breathless. Ross said that we were viewing what used to be the original big house and was now ruins. All that remained was the outline of the foundation. Horwitz, McGill, Haynes and I stood in the space with our mouths open. The walls surrounding us were made of tabby! Tabby (a mixture of oyster shells, lime, clay and sand) was a building style found in West Africa, which the enslaved used to build structures in the local area of this country. Ross continued, “We’ve established that this is considered one of the oldest structures in the state of Georgia.” I began crying, Haynes rubbed my back and had tears and McGill and Horwitz quietly took in what was before us. We reverently walked to the wall and laid our hands on the tabby wall. Black and white hands laid hands on the proof that ancestors had been present.

    I said to Ross, “Do you realize how significant this is? This is HUGE! We come from oral tradition which dominant culture consistently dismisses as NOT accurate. You’ve shared with us your work of documenting this plantation’s footprint which matches up with many oral stories Haynes and Bess have shared with us. YOU can be a bridge to the local black community trying to establish their roots!” Ross had tears in her eyes and said, “I know. I want to be a bridge. That’s part of why I reached out to The Slave Dwelling Project. We have the history here and are now obligated to be part of the change. We can do this!” I gave her a bear hug and said, “Sarah, thank you for being a cultural ally! You represent what is needed to engage the difficult conversations, but also the acknowledgement of this horrific history and the right way to flex privilege! We will support you.” Haynes confirmed that locally he would begin initiating a relationship with her to build a bridge.

    Featured Gallery: Wormsloe Photos by Toni Renee Battle

    Joseph McGill, Mr Bess (Ossabaw Elder) and Hanif Haynes
    Carving Tradition of Ossabaw
    Detail of Carving in Home of Ossabaw Descendant Mr Bess
    Joe With Master Carpenter Mr. Bess, Ossabaw Elder
    The Big House at Wormsloe
    Joseph McGill on Porch of Wormsloe Big House
    Library at Wormsloe Plantation
    Joseph McGill In Front of Fireplace in Wormsloe Plantation Library
    Joe McGill at Wormsloe Plantation
    Sarah Ross Relates Wormsloe History to Tony and Joe
    Tabby Ruins of Original Wormsloe Plantation House
    Tabby Walls Constructed by Enslaved at Wormsloe
    Inside the Tabby Ruins of Wormsloe Big House
    View Through Window of Tabby Ruins of Original Wormsloe Plantation House
    Tony Horowitz Joseph McGill Sarah Ross and Hanif Haynes Inside Tabby Ruins of Wormsloe House
    Hanif Haynes and Joseph McGill at Burial Ground of Enslaved
    Slave Cabin at Wormsloe
    Sarah Ross and Joseph McGill In Front of Wormsloe Slave Cabin
    Interior of Wormsloe Cabin (Now a Guest House)
    Interior of Wormsloe Cabin Showing Ladder to Loft Area
    Joseph McGill in Interior of Wormsloe Slave Cabin
    Joseph McGill In Front of Fireplace of Wormsloe Cabin
    Wormsloe Cabin Loft
    Joseph McGill and Grand Oak Behind Wormsloe Slave Cabin
    View from Back Porch of Wormsloe Cabin
    Ancestral Altar for Libation at Wormsloe
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    We walked the sacred space and hesitantly left and Ross shouted, “Oh! There’s one more place I need to take you to before sundown! How could I forget?” We drove on and stopped in front of an open area surrounded by a circle of trees. The air became quiet and the wind shifted. As we stepped out Ross announced, “I knew you would want to visit this space. This is the enslaved burial grounds.” Haynes, McGill, Horwitz and I all exchanged looks. Haynes, McGill and I immediately began walking the area. We cried, held our chests and kept turning around. I put my hands out over a depressed space. Haynes and McGill joined me and we circled up. We prayed, gave thanks to the ancestors and their sacrifice, we called out that they had not been forgotten. Additionally we honored the land our Native ancestors had walked and also died on. The wind picked up and kissed our faces. With tears on our cheeks we sought out Ross and Horwitz. Ross shared that the plantation had utilized new LiDar technology to discover the burial site. LiDar is able to x-ray more than four layers of earth by a military plane.

    Hanif Haynes and Joseph McGill at Burial Ground of Enslaved

    My head shot up. I looked at McGill and Haynes and said, “That’s part of our purpose here!” They looked at me confused. I quickly turned to Ross and continued, “Could this be done anywhere?” She said, “Yes, why?” I said, “Just two hours earlier on Ossabaw Island, Haynes had told our group that local community were still distressed about not being able to find the enslaved burial grounds on Ossabaw Island! Based on what you’re saying, this is now possible!” Ross shook her red hair, nodding in agreement. She said, “Yes it’s definitely possible. We could partner.” Haynes let out a joyful, “ASHE’!” He jumped in the air and we hugged at the magnitude of the moment and discovery. Horwitz responded with a “Wow!” McGill let out a breath and said, “Ancestors are just having their way, aren’t they?!” We laughed in agreement and headed back to the golf cart. I sang with joy on the back of the cart, giving thanks in traditional songs. Haynes joined in and we all enjoyed the peace which entered our souls.

    We toured the plantation library and Ross gave us another piece of news. Wormsloe had been a plantation that owned its own steam mill for the crop of rice. Slaves actually operated the steam mill. Additionally, Wormsloe had also attempted to cultivate silk worms as an investment. Ross stated that this would have been overseen by the women of Wormsloe Plantation. This was information we had never heard of and slowly took in this new twist to the local history.

    Sarah Ross Treated Guests to Dinner of Lowcountry Boil

    We ended our evening over the enjoyment of Ross’ cooking skills of the Lowcountry Boil. We circled up and talked for hours on the back porch of the slave cabin. We talked about the legacy of slavery, its impact and the current work at hand. We also appreciated what Ross represented. She was knowledgeable of the history, acknowledged the history and within her privilege of position, she was willing to take risks to be a change agent. She was open, honest of what she knew and most of all she knew in order to truly impact she needed community voice and support. Wormsloe was an open history book willing to revisit its history and create action around slavery’s footprint. I looked forward to what that future would look like with creating bridges with Pin Point and Sand Fly communities.

    We ended the evening with returning inside the cabin. Ross headed to the big house, Haynes headed home and McGill, Horwitz and myself stayed to bed down for the night. Since the cabin was updated, we slept in twin beds and had a restroom. I paid homage to the ancestors through ritual and blessed the space. McGill and Horwitz fell asleep before me. I laid under my blankets and began to cry.

    Ancestral Altar for Libation at Wormsloe

    I thought of the fact that the following morning I would wake up in a slave cabin, on a plantation, on Mother’s Day. The mothers are what I went to sleep thinking about.The enslaved mothers who were my ancestors. The very image of being sold from your mother or child. The irony of my past and present history collided in that moment. I thought of how my great grandmother once told of her mother, who had been enslaved, saying to her, “You don’t know da pain of being sold off from a chile. You don’t know.”

    At sunrise, those words came back to me. I prayed and asked God to give her spirit rest. I asked that all the mothers who were raped, birthed babies, auctioned off, torn apart from family have rest. That their spirits know that their descendants had survived and many of us were honoring who they were through our work and also through the act of remembering. Lest we forget. The act of remembrance is a powerful way to bear witness to pain, joy and to heal from generation to generation.

    We awoke and ended our morning by attending Sweetfield of Eden Baptist Church in Pin Point, Georgia. We entered the church and awaited the Mother’s Day service to begin. As we quietly talked we were interrupted with, “Do I need to get my switch? Ya’ll know betta!” An elderly black woman jumped up from a church pew with a switch (twig from a tree) and shook the church as she stormed down the aisle to reprimand some disruptive teens. She came back and began sharing with McGill and I about a lesson her uncle had taught her when she was a rebellious youth. I chuckled and told her she had given me a flashback when she jumped up with that switch. I felt the sting of what the switch represented. She laughed and said, “It taught you a lesson. You remembered to mind ya elders!” I responded, “Yes Ma’m I did!” We settled back and a community member said, “Have you met Miss. Leola?” I answered we hadn’t formally, but informally she and I had enjoyed our cultural exchange of storytelling. She said, “Oh ok. You do know that’s Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ mother?” McGill and I looked at each other and laughed for about five minutes at the irony of it. It was true. Miss. Leola was Thomas’ mother.

    Horwitz came back to our occupied pew and said he was looking forward to a good black church experience. He said he enjoyed our traditional music and missed hearing it on a regular basis from some his earlier days of living in various communities. As devotion began, Horwitz was not disappointed. I sat back and drank my cup of spiritual food: call and response, shouting and soulful praise through song. We swayed, clapped, shouted and sang in Spirit! As my arms were held in the air, tears of joy came for the blessing of the experience I had shared on this journey with Horwitz and McGill. I was thankful for the act of remembrance and the ability to do so in a cultural way; in ways that my ancestors would have been punished for on many plantations. It was there in the sanctuary that I gave thanks of knowing and living the words of the ancestors… "Lest we forget.” My chant to them on the altar was, “You are not forgotten. We remember you with praise and honor.”


    Slave Dwelling Project Visits Woodburn House, Pendleton, SC

    Blugrass Band Entertains Attendees of Bluegrass and Barbeque at Woodburn House
    Bluegrass and Barbeque, Woodburn House
    Cistern Pipe, Woodburn House
    The Cistern Provided the Water Supply at Woodburn
    Gathered Before the Fireplace - Photo by Richard Owens
    Inside the Woodburn Cabin - Photo by Richard Owens
    Joe and the Bluegrass Band - Photo by Richard Owens
    Joe McGill Inside the Woodburn House Cabin
    Joe Stands In the Doorway of Woodburn House Cabin
    Joseph McGill Adresses Attendees of Bluegrass and Barbeque - Photo by Richard Owens
    Joseph McGill Inside the Woodburn House Cabin
    Joseph McGill on Steps of Woodburn House Cabin
    Replica Carriage House
    Ruins of Milking House, Woodburn
    Testing the Amenities
    The Big House at Woodburn
    Warm Fire Made the Cabin More Welcoming
    Woodburn House Barn
    Woodburn House Slave Cabin
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    When I started the Slave Dwelling Project in 2010, I established some rigid rules. Here are a few: 1) No sleeping in dwellings that are not in their original location. 2) No sleeping in dwellings that have been recreated.

    On Thursday, May 2, 2013, I broke both rules by spending a night in the recreated slave dwelling at the Woodburn House in Pendleton, SC.

    Additionally, when I received the invitation from Richard Owens (a board member of the Pendleton Historic Foundation) to stay in the dwelling, the 2013 calendar for the Slave Dwelling Project had already been well established. More specifically, it was an invitation to be the keynote speaker for the Annual Pendleton Historic Foundation membership meeting and social. Richard made it an offer I could not refuse by offering bluegrass music, barbeque and samples from Palmetto Moonshine followed by dancing.

    Its website describes the Woodburn House as follows: "Woodburn is a graceful four-story clapboard plantation house built c. 1830 with a wrap-around-2-story piazza built as a summer home by Charles Cotseworth Pinckney (1789-1865). The house is an excellent example of an early 19th century SC Upcountry plantation house. While owned by members of the wealthy Adger family of Charleston, the house was expanded to 18 rooms, and the farmland was increased to over 1,000 acres. The historic site now consists of the house museum furnished with antebellum antiques and family artifacts, situated on 10 acres of the original plantation with a walking trail to the ruins of other farm outbuildings. Also on site are three outbuildings, a reproduction of the Adger Victorian Carriage house that contains the traveling coach of Thomas Green Clemson; a one-room c.1810 log house built by Robert Moorhead serving as the cookhouse; and a reproduction of a slave/tenant house interpreting the life of Jane Edna Hunter, the African-American activist who founded the Phylis Wheatley Society, who was born in such a house at Woodburn in 1882."

    Presentation at Mt. Lebanon Elementary School

    Joseph McGill and Mt. Lebanon Elementary School Principal Mona Guy Fleming - Photo by Richard Owens
    Joseph McGill at Mt. Lebanon Elementary School - Photo by Richard Owens
    Joseph McGill Interacts With Students at Mt. Lebanon Elementary - Photo by Richard Owens
    Setting Up the Presentation - Photo by Richard Owens
    Students Enjoy Joe's Presentation - Photo by Richard Owens
    Mt. Lebanon Elementary - Photo by Richard Owens
    Mt. Lebanon Elementary School Presentation - Photo by Richard Owens
    Joseph McGill is Introduced by Principal Mona Guy Fleming - Photo by Richard Owens
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    In true fashion of the project, I requested that my host maximize my time in the area by planning other events. To that end, a presentation was scheduled for Mt. Lebanon Elementary School. There I met my host and conducted a presentation that went over extremely well. Afterwards the third and fourth graders asked relevant and engaging questions during the question and answer period.

    Stay at Woodburn House


    When I arrived at the Woodburn House I was impressed at the size of the “big house” but I could not help but wonder who cut down the trees that were made into the lumber for building the house. I met Tim Drake the knowledgeable site historian who offered to give me a tour of the grounds. Knowing that the slave dwelling that I would sleep in was a replica, I was anxious to see where the original cabins once stood. Tim took me to those places. The thought of some of the plants that I was walking through being poison ivy did cross my mind but what I was witnessing and learning minimized that threat.

    I learned that the plantation made most of its money by raising horses and cattle. I saw the chimneys that were left of the cabins that once stood in those spots. I saw a nearly intact cistern that was made of brick. Those bricks and all other bricks that composed the antebellum buildings on the property were made by slave labor. I saw the ruins of the brick building that was once used for milking of the cows.

    Cistern at Woodburn House


    I saw an intact barn that was a clear indication that the raising of horses on that property was once a massive operation. I saw the remains of the cobblestone street that was laid that led to where the horses were kept which was a clear indication to me that the owner took pride in what was located on both ends of that street and wanted his family, visitors and clients to have access with ease.

    Woodburn Horse Barn


    Knowing that the slave cabin at the Woodburn House was only a replica, made bonding with it quite different from all the previous cabins. While I have stayed in one cabin that was disassembled in one spot and reassembled in another and several that were restored using 50 % of new material, this would be the first that I would sleep in that was a total replica. Woodburn House Slave Cabin Its close proximity to the “big house”, and the attempt to interpret its transition beyond emancipation made it seem a bit cluttered. I had to also take into account that as a “self proclaimed” expert on the matter, I could be overly critical. I also had to take into account that slave owners on the frontier with less means tended to have more interaction with the few slaves that they owned which in a system of chattel slavery tended to favor the enslaved. The potential to have a fire in the fireplace and sleep in the bed were quite welcoming.

    As the audience for the meeting and bluegrass and barbeque began to assemble, I took every opportunity to interact with as many people as possible. The threatening rain still allowed for a robust turnout for the event. I began to notice a trend which was that everyone that I talked to believed in ghosts and had at least one story to justify their beliefs. I had the pleasure of meeting a representative from the John C. Calhoun house which is located on the campus of nearby Clemson University. This gave me the perfect opportunity to share with him some information that was just presented to me which was that John C. Calhoun, “the Great Nullifier” has African American descendants. His response was scholarly and non committal. He did verify that there is an upcoming Calhoun reunion that will include some of the African Americans who have made that claim.

    Joseph McGill Addresses Attendees of Bluegrass and Barbeque Photo by Richard Owens

    For my presentation, the absence of powerpoint, dictated that I use a method of presentation that I had used only once before. I would query the crowd to check their relationship with the 12 states in which I had stayed in slave dwellings. Their choices were Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Using this method, only Connecticut and Pennsylvania were left out but they were talked about as a group anyway for I had to make it clear to this group of southerners that this was a project that focused on preserving buildings used in telling the whole story of how slavery existed on this continent and the north does not get a pass. After the presentation, the question and answer period far exceeded the five minutes that I was allotted. Knowing that there was a Bluegrass Band waiting to perform, I had to end the question and the session. As the band performed, I continued to interact with members of the audience.

    When the crowd left, I proceeded to the cabin and to my pleasant surprise, a group had gathered there. With a roaring fire in the fireplace, I knew that this gathering had the potential for meaningful conversation about many subject matters. All members of this splinter group had ghost stories. Guests in Woodburn House Cabin Photo by Richard Owens We had a beautiful conversation about the economics of slavery. We even covered the subject of bastardy and women’s rights during the period of slavery. The overall conversation was quite stimulating, with all participants feeding off each other’s passion for their reason for being in the space at that time. In the end, only Tim Drake, the site historian; Andy Sova, the recent Clemson University graduate and the bartender for the Bluegrass and barbeque event; and special quest Carol Burdette, the former Mayor of Pendleton would spend the night in the cabin with me. The following morning, we began to leave the cabin Carol Burdette first, me second. I left without disturbing Tim and Andy as I had to be on the road no-later-than 6:00 am.

    The stay at the Woodburn House was not my first stay in the upcountry of South Carolina for I had already stayed on Morris Street in Anderson, Roper Mountain in Greenville and the Price House in Woodruff. The support for the project thus far in this part of the state has been great. Sure there is more work to be done for there was not one African American audience member there for the program but that is a good problem to have because it can easily be fixed. When trying to save places that interpret slavery in America, authenticity is important but having any tangible place that can do that also has its value. Had I stuck to my rigid rules, I would not have gotten the opportunity to spread the slave dwelling project to the Woodburn House in Pendleton, SC. I applaud their effort to tell the whole story and I will continue to do all that I can to assist.


    Remembering Isaac Seabrook, Company C 21st USCT, Edisto Island, SC

    Remembering Isaac Seabrook, Company C 21st USCT

    Isaac Seabrook USCT Compiled Military Record Detail

    Isaac Seabrook, born on Edisto Island about 1840, enlisted in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) in Hilton Head, SC on May 11, 1863 [1]. Isaac was one of six young men born on Edisto who enlisted that day. The others were Prince Seabrook, Peter Seabrook, James Seabrook, Ishmael Seabrook and Edward Seabrook, all born on Edisto.

    Isaac Seabrook was 16 years old when he enlisted to serve a three-year term in the military. He was placed in Company C, 21st USCT. He was mustered out in Charleston, SC on April 25, 1866.

    History of the 21st USCT

    The 21st USCT was organized from 3rd and 4th Regiments, South Carolina Colored Infantry, March 14, 1864. The 3rd Regiment was organized at Hilton Head, SC in June of 1863. The 4th Regiment was organized at Fernandina, FL in July of 1863. Both units were re-designated 21st Regiment USCT March 14, 1864.

    The 3rd Regiment, organized in Hilton Head, saw duty at Jacksonville, Fla., till April, 1864. They were moved to Hilton Head, SC, thence to Folly Island, SC, April 18. They served on Folly Island, Morris Island and Coles Island operating against Charleston, S. C., till February, 1865.

    From June 30 to July 10, they served in an expedition to James Island, SC. They saw combat action on James Island July 2. The Regiment served garrison duty at Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, S. C., till August, 1865, and at various points in SC and GA till October, 1866. They were mustered out October 7, 1866 [3].

    Freedmen's Bank Record, Isaac Seabrook

    Sometime in 1868, Isaac Seabrook opened an account at the Freedmen's Savings and Trust (Freedmen's Bank). The account register contains many biographical details as well as the names of Isaac's family members [4].

    The information Isaac supplied for the account register was:

    No. 2756 Isaac Seabrook, "C," 21

    Where Brought Up: Same Place

    Where Born: Edisto Island

    Residence: Seabrook Landing, SC

    Age: 20

    Complexion: Dark

    Occupation: Farming

    Works For: Himself

    Wife: Lizzie Williams

    Children: Richard Ford

    Father: Alfred

    Mother: Katie

    Brothers: Simon & George Ford

    Sisters: Margaret & Nanny Ford and Nanny Jones

    Signature: Isaac Seabrook X His Mark


    Life After the USCT

    Isaac may have changed his name to Ford (the surname of his immediate family members) sometime between 1868 and 1870, or may have had the surname Ford before Emancipation. Many USCT troops in South Carolina were enlisted with the last name of the final slaveholder and later changed their names [2].  In his Freedmen's Bank application, Isaac Seabrook listed his parents as Alfred and Katie, his wife as Lizzie, his son Richard Ford and brothers Simon Ford and George Ford.

    The 1870 Census finds the following household in Beaufort, SC in 1870 [5]:

    Ford, Isaac,  Age 24, Male, Black, Farmer, Born SC

    Ford, Jane, Age 21, Female, Black, Keeping House, Born SC

    Ford, Richard, Age [illegible, very faint], Male, Black, Born SC

    Ford, Rose, Age 2, Female, Black, Born SC

    Ford, Albert, Age 50, Male, Black, Farmer, Born SC

    Ford, Katie, Age 50, Female, Black, Keeping House, Born SC

    Ford, Simon, Age 22, Male, Black, Farm Labor, Born SC

    Ford, George, Age [illegible, very faint], Male, Black, Farm Labor, Born SC


    1880 Federal Census, Hilton Head, Beaufort, SC

    In the 1880 Census, Beaufort, SC,  we see [6]:

    Ford, Isaac, Black, Male, Age 37, Farm Laborer

    Ford, Lizzie, Black, Female, 28, Farm Laborer

    Ford, Richard, Black, Male, 13, Son, Farm Laborer

    Ford, Rose, Black, Female, 11, Daughter, Keeping House

    Ford, Romeo, Black, Male, 8, Son

    Ford, James, Black, Male, 5, Son

    Ford, Mary, Black, Female, 1, Daughter

    Also in Beaufort in 1880 we find:

    Ford, Alfred, Black, Male, 70, Farm Laborer

    Ford, Katie, Black, Female, 69, Keeping House


    Military Pension Index

    That Isaac may have changed his name to Ford is further supported by a pension index record in the name of Isaac Seabrook alias Isaac Ford, for service in Company C, 21st USCT [7]:


    Death Certificate, Hilton Head, Beaufort, SC

    A death certificate for Isaac Ford may also support that hypothesis the Isaac changed his name to Ford after serving in the USCT. The certificate, below, states that Isaac Ford, Black, Male, Farmer died May 4, 1920. His parents are listed as Alfred Ford and Katie Ford, both born in SC [8].


    We recall that Isaac Seabrook who served in C Company, 21st USCT, listed Alfred and Katie as his parents. His siblings were listed with the surname Ford, as was his son. If this is your family, the possibility of a name change is certainly worth looking into further.

    We remember Isaac Seabrook and honor his service in the 21st USCT.


    References Cited

    [1] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served With the United States Colored Troops: Infantry Organizations, 20th through 25th; Microfilm Serial: M1823; Microfilm Roll: 32

    [2] Gourdin, John Raymond. 2009 Borrowed identity : 128th United States Colored Troops : multiple-name usage by Black Civil War veterans who served with Union regiments organized in South Carolina. Westminster, MD : Heritage Books

    [3] U.S. Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System; database online,, accessed 31 May, 2011.

    [4] Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1871 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.Original data: Registers of Signatures of Depositors in Branches of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, 1865-1874. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Micropublication M816, 27 rolls.

    [5] 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1870; Census Place: Hilton Head Island, Beaufort, South Carolina; Roll: M593_1485; Page: 171A; Image: 345

    [6] and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Year: 1880; Census Place: Hilton Head, Beaufort, South Carolina; Roll: 1221; Family History Film: 1255221; Page: 142A; Enumeration District: 46

    [7] National Archives and Records Administration. Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288, 546 rolls.

    [8] South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1955 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: South Carolina. South Carolina death records. Columbia, SC, USA: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.


    Index of USCT Bounties Paid, South Carolina, 1866-1868


    Source: Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 (NARA Micropublication M1910), Reel 23
    Sample Page, Index of USCT Bounties Paid 1866-1868

    Sample Page, Index of USCT Bounties Paid 1866-1868

    Names of 166 USCT veterans who were paid bounties from 1866-1868 ~ Please click on link below to view document images:

    Index of USCT Bounties Paid, SC 1866-1868 (pdf)

    Honoring William Parsons, First USCT Soldier to Fall in Battle in SC

    Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 11

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    Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 13, Detail

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    Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 13

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    Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 2

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    Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 3

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    Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 5

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    Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 7

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    Wm. Parsons Service Record, Page 9

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    The first military action of the United States Colored Troops in South Carolina was an expedition organized by Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, commander of the 1st SC Infantry (later redesignated 33rd USCT). From January 23 to February 1, 1863, the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry was on expedition from Beaufort up the St. Mary's River, which forms the boundary between Georgia and Florida.

    The goal of the expedition was to surprise a Confederate encampment and capture much-needed lumber stores. Acting as guide on this expedition was Corporal Robert Sutton, who had made his escape to Union lines down that very river.

    A skirmish developed as the 1st South Carolina was intercepted by a Confederate patrol from Captain Clark's cavalry before reaching the encampment. Private William Parsons of Company G, standing near Higginson, was killed instantly in the opening volley.

    In his diary, Colonel Higginson recalls the expedition thus:

    It was after midnight when we set off upon our excursion. I had about a hundred men, marching by the flank, with a small advanced guard, and also a few flankers, where the ground permitted. I put my Florida company at the head of the column and had by my side Captain Metcalf, an excellent officer, and Sergeant McIntyre, his first sergeant ... We plunged presently into the pine woods, whose resinous smell I can still remember.

    All had gone smoothly as the troops made their way to the camp of the opposing troops; so smoothly, in fact, that Higginson was already imagining the troops springing from the woods, surprising the Confederate camp and forcing a surrender. Then suddenly:

    There was a trampling of the feet of the advanced guard as they came confusedly to a halt, and almost at the same instant a more ominous sound, as of galloping horses in the path before us. The moonlight outside of the woods gave that dimness of atmosphere which is more bewildering than darkness, because the eyes cannot adapt themselves to it so well. Yet I fancied, and others aver, that they saw the leader of an approaching party mounted on a white horse and reigning up in the pathway; others, again, declare that he drew a pistol from the holster and took aim; others heard the words, "Charge in upon them! Surround them..." Perhaps at the first shot a man fell at my elbow [1].

    The man who fell at Colonel Higginson's side was private William Parsons of Company G. Just 26 years old at the time of his death in battle, Parsons had enlisted at Port Royal, SC in January of 1863.

    Born in Lowndes County, AL, Parsons listed his occupation as farmer at the time of his enlistment.

    The 1st SC USCT were newly-formed when they made their first excursion up the St. Mary's, during which William Parsons was killed. The unit had received their charter and regimental colors just 24 days before.

    So new was the regiment that at the time of his death in battle, William Parsons had not yet received his first pay [2].

    Above: Detail from the Service Record of William Parsons, 33rd USCT. You may view the entire document on Fold3.

    On this Memorial Day, we remember William Parsons of the 1st SC Infantry (later 33rd USCT), and honor the sacrifice he made in service to our country.

    References Cited

    [1] Higginson, Thomas Wentworth. 1962 Army Life in a Black Regiment. Reprint: Dungan Books. Digitized by Google Books, accessed 28 May 2012.

    [2] "Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served with the United States Colored Troops: Infantry Organizations, 31st through 35th," database online, Fold3 (, accessed 28 May 2012, entry for William Parsons, 33rd USCT.


    Laurelwood Plantation ~ The One That (Almost) Got Away

    By Joseph McGill, Slave Dwelling Project

    Contractor Grant McDonald with Joseph McGill

    Exterior of Laurelwood Slave Dwelling

    Grant McDonald, Contractor for Slave Dwelling Renovation

    Interior of Restored Slave Dwelling

    Justin Castor Joseph McGill and Harold Taylor

    L to R - Jeremy Thomas, Justin Castor, Joe McGill, Terry James, Tim Shipley, Harold Taylor and Prinny Anderson

    Lenny Nisbet and Son Jeremy Thomas

    Lenny Nisbet

    Mike Bedenbaugh, Director Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation and Prinny Anderson

    Nancy Floyd (Last Resident of the Former Slave Dwelling) with Joseph McGill

    Newly-Renovated Slave Cabin, Laurelwood Plantation

    Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation Director Mike Bedenbaugh with Joseph McGill

    Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation Director Mike Bedenbaugh

    Plantation House at Laurelwood

    Restored Slave Dwelling at Laurelwood Plantation

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    I know for sure that I have spent nights in slave dwellings in twelve states. In the states of South Carolina and Mississippi, I have had some repeat stays. When placing a number on slave dwellings that I have spent the night, I state thirty nine however that might be a misnomer. I will let you be the judge.

    There was one stay that eluded me. On April 15, 2011, I was faced with a decision that tested my resolve to remain true to the Slave Dwelling Project. It was on that day that I had my first opportunity to spend the night in the slave dwelling at Laurelwood Plantation in Eastover, SC. Its dilapidated condition and a desire for self preservation factored into my decision not to sleep in the cabin however, I did sleep on the porch of the “big house” which was also in need of restoration. Saturday, April 20, 2013, I would return to Laurelwood Plantation to spend the night in the restored slave cabin that I refused to sleep in two years prior.

    The new property owners Jeremy and Jackie Thomas kept good a promise of restoring the cabin. This was not an easy feat because the two of them currently reside in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. Their ultimate intent was to be living in the restored “big house” by now but the necessity to hire a new contractor and an unexpected medical issue delayed its restoration however the work continues with the ambitious plan of having it completed by August.

    When I arrived at 3:00 pm the site was bustling with activity. The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation was conducting an open house for the property. They played a major role in ensuring the property would be restored by purchasing and placing easements on it and holding on to it until they found a preservation minded buyer.

    I bypassed all of the activities going on at the “big house” and proceeded directly to the restored slave cabin which is located a considerable distance away. This proved to be a wise choice because I got to spend some quality time alone with the place. I took many pictures and spent some time inside inspecting the work that was done to the building. Still missing a few windows, I was thrilled that the contractor used all of the material that was salvageable. My fear that the cabin would be constructed of all new material was put at ease because I knew the challenge that the contractor was faced with based on my knowledge of the dilapidated condition of the cabin when I saw and refused to sleep in it two years prior.

    Satisfied with what I saw at the newly restored slave cabin, I then took a walk to the big house to participate in the happenings there. I met Grant McDonald, the gentleman responsible for the cabin’s restoration work. I could tell that my verbal approval of his work was a relief to him. The owner of the property, Jeremy, made the trip from England for the event, he introduced me to his mom, who made the trip with him and was seeing the property for the first time. Jeremy had plans to spend the night in the cabin.

    Prinny Anderson from the group Coming to the Table and a descendant of President Thomas Jefferson came from Durham, NC as promised to spend her second night in a slave dwelling, her first overnight was Bacon’s Castle in Surry, VA.

    Two Lower Richland High School seniors Harold Taylor a future Clemson University student with aspirations of being a veterinarian and Justin Castor a future United States Marine along with their history teacher Mr. Timothy Shipley showed up for the stay. Mr. Shipley met me at a teacher’s workshop earlier this year at the College of Charleston. The subject of the workshop was teaching the Civil War 150 years later. Terry “Old Reliable” James would show up after the visitors left.

    I was summoned over to a group that was talking about the fate of a slave dwelling at nearby Kennsington Plantation. I was told of how the owner, International Paper, was doing everything necessary to move and restore the dwelling when defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory because an individual at a state agency did not move quickly enough to perform a necessary act that would have moved the process along. Now with a new plant manager in place and an expired grant, the momentum has been lost. Not surprisingly, I am now on an unofficial team to regain that momentum and move the project forward. This exchange was a reminder to me of how bureaucracy is often the worst enemy of restoring and interpreting extant slave dwellings.

    It was a great pleasure to see how the visiting public was splitting their time between the mansion and the slave cabin. I interacted with as many of them as time would allow. Some were there at the gathering two years ago when I made the decision not to sleep in the cabin so they appreciated more the progress made thus far to the cabin and the mansion.

    What I have found out since I started the Slave Dwelling Project in May 2010 is that a lot of the former slave dwellings are still on the American landscape because they were lived in well beyond emancipation. This cabin was lived in until the 1940s. On this day, I met Mrs. Nancy Floyd, the last person to live in the cabin and to my surprise, she was not African American. Unfortunately, we did not have time to hang out because I wanted to know more about her experience living in the cabin.

    So far, all of the slave dwellings I’ve stayed in this year have come with amenities, more specifically, electricity and a nearby restroom. This would not be the case at the cabin at Laurelwood. Knowing of these challenges, I told all of the people staying to plan accordingly. Nevertheless, these challenges would still have to be overcome.

    One other challenge to overcome was the unseasonably cold weather which was predicted to drop to 47 degrees. Prinny and I took to the surrounding woods to gather as much firewood as we could. With the help of Grant the contractor we would supplement our wood supply with some unusable wood from the debris pile that came from the interior of the mansion. For Jeremy, this would be the first opportunity to test the fireplace in the slave cabin and his skills at building a fire. He finally got the fire going but we had to let it burn out because we would all have to leave the site to find a place to eat dinner. We ate dinner at Mr. Bunky’s Restaurant and Market on Highway 378. While there, to exclude taking a shower, all of us took advantage of all of the opportunities that a modern bathroom would present.

    When we got back to the cabin, Jeremy got the fire going again this time with much more ease although he expressed his reluctance to burn the historic wood that came from inside the mansion. That reluctance only made me think about the labor force that was necessary to prepare that wood to be used for construction.

    In true Coming to the Table fashion, Prinny Anderson led us in a session to bless the space. We all took the opportunity to give thanks and express our reason for being there. Prinny talked about her slave owning ancestors; Terry talked about sleeping in shackles; Jeremy talked about his opportunity to restore the cabin; Tim talked about the teaching opportunities of the space; and the two students Justin and Harold talked about the learning opportunities of the space.

    We continued the conversation with Jeremy stressing that the cabin should continue to be used for educational purposes in the future and for that I have unlimited access. Tim and I vowed to work together to coordinate the next date for students to join us in a sleepover in the cabin. Jeremy engaged me in a conversation about how the cabin should be furnished. I told him that since the cabin was in use far beyond emancipation, furnishings that fit that period would be appropriate. I added that it would be unlikely that there would be furniture in the cabin during the time of slavery. I further added that some stewards of like properties tend to over adorn them by placing items such as furniture and other fixtures that no average slave owner would have issued or allow their slaves to have. Furthermore, that space was used mostly for sleeping.

    It was then time for all of us to claim our spot to spread our sleeping bags on the floor where we all drifted off to sleep. The last of us to get up the next morning was Justin, the future Marine. We all took the time to remind him that his sleeping habits will have to change when he enters boot camp. After a session of intense picture taking, we all went our separate ways.

    "I am still unsure if I should label this as an initial or repeat stay. What I am sure of is that this cabin at Laurelwood Plantation is the best example of why the Slave Dwelling Project should continue to exist. The mansion and the cabin were almost victims of demolition by neglect. The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation stepped in and saved both. The new owners Jeremy and Jackie Thomas also deserve praise because of their willingness to breathe life back into these properties and go above and beyond to ensure that the cabin will be used for educational purposes."

    Joseph McGillSlave Dwelling Project

    I am looking forward to working with all entities necessary to ensure that this cabin will reach its fullest potential in inspiring others to come up to the standards that The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation and owners Jeremy and Jackie have set. The ancestors would be proud!

    Overnight at the Laurelwood Slave Dwelling

    By Prinny Anderson

    "This overnight stay highlighted for me in a personal and physical way what the lives of enslaved people might have been like. It made me much more thoughtful about the harsh contrast between the lives of free, privileged, European American slave owners, like my own ancestors, and the lives of the enslaved and intentionally deprived African American people. It gave the shame of benefitting from slavery a physical form, a cold night on the floor. It also gave me a way of contributing to the re-warming and restoration of “right relationship” among the descendants of the enslaved and the slaveowners, a way of taking tiny steps towards making amends and seeking reconciliation."

    Prinny AndersonComing to the Table

    My overnight stay at Laurelwood was my second sleepover in a slave dwelling, and as expected, it was different from the first one. Two themes from the stay continue to echo in my mind. Bringing seven people together to sit around a fire in the hearth, talk and tell stories, and sleep in the cabin was like a housewarming event. And much of what stood out to me about the visit were the ordinary aspects of life – how it probably was 150 years ago compared to how it is now, how it was for enslaved people compared to how it is for a privileged, comfortably off, middle class professional.

    The notion of “house warming” resonates in several ways. For one thing, that April evening was unseasonably chilly, and fortunately, a couple of people in our group knew how to build a fire and then looked after it diligently. That fire warmed the house enough to make our evening delightful and our overnight stay tolerable. Since our overnight stay was the first time in several decades since anyone had slept in the building, and since the cabin had been restored, with parts of the foundation, the floor, the walls and the roof having all been reconstructed, we were “re-warming” the space. We were bringing life back into the building. What’s even more important to the seven who spent the night is that we were the first people since Emancipation, as best we know, who came to sleep in the cabin with a focus on the enslaved people who had lived there. We were there to “re-warm” the memory, honor and respect those people should have.

    Finally, for me, there were echoes of my experience at the community gathering held at Monticello. In 2007, descendants of all the people, enslaved and free, workers and owners, African and European, gathered at Monticello to become acquainted with one another, to talk about our shared heritage, and to look for ways to reconnect. As we came up to the mansion, the President of the foundation that cares for the building called out, “Welcome home, welcome back home.” At Laurelwood, we were welcomed home by the current owner of the property. We the living and the memory of those gone on were all welcomed home.

    The other aspect of my experience was paying attention to the very ordinary details of life. The cabin has no furniture now; it probably had very little furniture when it was a slave dwelling. We pulled planks together to create seating, and we had all brought bedding for the night, so we were reasonably comfortable. But we reflected on what the enslaved people would have had – probably no chairs or tables; probably a thin, straw-filled pallet to lie on at night; and, if the overseer was doing his duty, a blanket, but maybe only one blanket. That chilly April night would not have been very comfortable. January would have been much worse. And back in the day, the owners and overseers mostly likely didn’t give a second thought to allowing people to live in such conditions.

    There was no running water at the cabin; we brought our own water, in jugs and bottles. Perhaps there was a well or a pump somewhere on the property in earlier times, but fetching it and storing it would have been a constant chore performed by enslaved people, first for the convenience of their owners and then for their own use. Carrying water is time-consuming and exhausting, to the extent that still there are places in the world where people do not wash and do not stay sufficiently hydrated simply because of the effort involved. Was that the case for the Laurelwood enslaved community?

    Of course, with no running water, there were no toilets. There might have been a latrine. Or the enslaved inhabitants of the cabin may have had the same experience we did, of finding a sheltered spot in the woods. That’s manageable for camping. Imagine it as a daily way of life. Imagine it as daily life for people whose duties included emptying the chamberpots of European Americans who did not have to run out to the latrine or find a quiet spot in the woods.

    This overnight stay highlighted for me in a personal and physical way what the lives of enslaved people might have been like. It made me much more thoughtful about the harsh contrast between the lives of free, privileged, European American slave owners, like my own ancestors, and the lives of the enslaved and intentionally deprived African American people. It gave the shame of benefitting from slavery a physical form, a cold night on the floor. It also gave me a way of contributing to the re-warming and restoration of “right relationship” among the descendants of the enslaved and the slaveowners, a way of taking tiny steps towards making amends and seeking reconciliation.


    by Tim Shipley

    "As I teach students history, I often encourage them to look into their own past and heritage. One cannot understand where they are going until they understand where they have been. I look to future experiences at Laurelwood with my students. This will be a great way to open their eyes to the past in knowing their heritage."

    Teacher Tim ShipleyLower Richland High School

    The idea of staying overnight in a slave cabin would never have crossed my mind until I met Joe and Jeremy. Over the past year, Jeremy has worked to connect our school with the slave cabin and offer the use of it to teach students. Well, after an overnight stay in the slave cabin it has been interesting since, as I talk to others about the experience and they say “you really stayed”. Normally, as a history teacher, I would look at this as another experience to use in the classroom however, having looked into my own family history the past few years made this experience different.

    Sleeping overnight in the conditions I was not used to opening my eyes to what even life must have been like for my own ancestors much less African-Americans. It made me wonder how my ancestors might have been towards people of other races. I do know that there were sharecroppers in my past, but for them the conditions still were not to the level of ridicule and segregation of African –Americans during that time.

    As I teach students history, I often encourage them to look into their own past and heritage. One cannot understand where they are going until they understand where they have been. I look to future experiences at Laurelwood with my students. This will be a great way to open their eyes to the past in knowing their heritage.

    Slave Cabin Stay

    by Harold Taylor, Student

    "To compare the lifestyles of the white man and the black man on the plantation is to compare day and night. The master lived in a big, lavished, warm, cozy house, while the slave toiled all day only to return to a shanty shack with barely a fireplace to warm the hearth. The black man worked to carry the economy the white man thrived on. The white man took what the black man broke his back to give, maybe not freely, but in the same sense, the black man had to give."

    Student Harold TaylorLower Richland High School

    Slave cabins were the lodgings of individuals who were forced to work for nothing in the United States in the beginnings of the creation of the United States. The slaves were forced to do labor just about every day in the field for fear of abuse or attack. These men and women went day in and day out working, more often than not, for people who cared nothing of their well being as long as they were alive. At the end of the day these poor souls would be forced to return to cabins that were little more than large sheds.

    While in the Laurelwood plantation’s slave cabin it was hard not to notice the size of the cabin itself. The cabin was no bigger than around twelve by ten feet. This cabin was devoid of anything more than a few shanty doors and drafty windows, with only a single fire place to heat the whole home. The slaves returning after a hard day’s labor in the field would do little more than come inside and go to sleep. In fact, according to several individuals who stayed at the cabin overnight, that is all the cabin was probably used for. This shows what kind of torment the slaves lived in. The cabin itself was quite cold without a fire, very drafty if any open area was not blocked, and covered with small cracks in the floor that made sleeping in a sleeping bag almost unbearable.

    Many slave cabins had little to no furniture on the inside so slaves were forced to sleep on the cold hard floor. According to a one mister Joe, the cabin might have had a small table with just enough space to set a few items on to eat or what not. In this way the slaves obviously had to become very resourceful to stay warm during the colder winter months. As those who experienced the overnight stay will recall, the cabin was quite cold. The individuals who stayed will also recall that they stayed in the spring, as the weather was warming up. Slaves who lived in the cabin had to live there year round. During the summer, the slaves had to fear snakes crawling through the floor boards, and during the winter the slaves had to fight the cold just to stay warm. Both of these tasks were hard as cracks in between the floor boards made plenty of room for snakes to enter and the sole fireplace required constant attention to warm the room.

    The slaves must have relied on each other immensely. During the summer, the slaves could open the windows for a cross breeze, but the draft could put out the cooking fire. The slaves who stayed in that cabin, must have found a way to keep the place cool, but cook at the same time. Surely it was difficult, but the winters must have been worse. The slaves relied upon whatever they were given or could find. Slaves would probably make blankets and huddle together to keep warm, but even the mornings were cold and they would be forced to go to work.

    To compare the lifestyles of the white man and the black man on the plantation is to compare day and night. The master lived in a big, lavished, warm, cozy house, while the slave toiled all day only to return to a shanty shack with barely a fireplace to warm the hearth. The black man worked to carry the economy the white man thrived on. The white man took what the black man broke his back to give, maybe not freely, but in the same sense, the black man had to give.

    Overall, from one night of staying in a slave cabin, it is easier to see the misdeed of early white Americans. While history favors the white man early on, it is deeper to feel the pain and suffering of the early black man. However, it is important to recall that without each of their contributions, the white man’s cruelty and black man’s sacrifice are part of the reason why Americans today can live together in harmony. Without the pain of slavery there wouldn’t have been the joy of today, when the white man and the black man can look upon each other as equals, as friends, as brothers.

    My Experience at The Laurelwood Plantation

    by Justin Castor, Student

    "I can say that the experience has made me a better person. It’s taught me humility for those who lived daily in the conditions I experienced for only 12 hours. It’s shown me an importance in knowing and attempting to learn about your history. Most of all, it has proven that history is real."

    Student Justin CastorLower Richland High School

    I have never quite taken the time to contemplate the idea of slavery or the fact that, at one point or another, my ancestors went through it. As I visited the slave cabin at Laurelwood, I was faced with 2 conflicting views, and that is exactly how I wish to present my experience. On one hand, being a student in IB history lent to my interest and the analytical approach I took upon first arrival. On the other, being an African- American didn’t sink in until the night. I had to come to terms with the magnitude of the event. The stay caused me to question the system of slavery, the current state of the African Americans in America, and me. Hopefully by explaining these views, you can gain an insight not only on the physical conditions, but also my personal feelings involved with staying at Laurelwood.

    From the historical perspective, slavery had and has always been an institution since biblical times. I had grown accustomed to looking at “the bigger picture”, and the bigger picture tells me that slavery in North America was much more civilized than in Latin America. That being said, it was hard for me to empathize with slavery, much like Americans who fail to understand soldiers. The cabin was about half the size of the average high school class room, and was split into 2 main rooms (the porch of the cabin was enclosed in at a later period, creating a 3rd room which we did not use). History tells us that the space allocated would have held a family of 10+, with minimal consideration for basic living conditions. This space actually would have worked fine, considering that the house would only be used to sleep in, as the slaves would have been working on the 2500 acres that the Laurelwood plantation would have covered.

    Growing up, I neglected doing research into my ancestors and my own family line. I thought that it was simply “the cool thing to do” for African Americans and held no real substance. I had grown to refuse a connection to my slave ancestors, as I felt too many people would use these ancestors as a crutch to continue various negative social practices in the African American society. When I arrived at the cabin, it took a while for me to fully digest what I was feeling. I eventually understood that heritage was a very important thing. I understood that learning your history can be one of the most enlightening experiences you can ever hope to undergo. Being so close, you can literally imagine what may have happened in the past. Suddenly, what I read in textbooks became something I was able to see in my mind’s eye.

    In some ways, the event is indescribable. Joe told us that “every stay is different” and I am sure that each stay will mean something different to each person. I can say that the experience has made me a better person. It’s taught me humility for those who lived daily in the conditions I experienced for only 12 hours. It’s shown me an importance in knowing and attempting to learn about your history. Most of all, it has proven that history is real. I think that students in history classes can sometimes forget that that what they read in books was once as real their own lives and experiences. Slaves slept on the very floor I slept on, braved the same cold, and did so with less than half of the accommodations I enjoyed. Knowing that, I can personally say that the stay in the slave cabin is something I will never forget.

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