Tag Archives: Slavery in North Georgia

Independence United Methodist Church, 1871, Tignall

From the historical marker placed in 1978: Old Independence Church, built for all denominations, was situated near the campground across the road from its present site. The Methodists organized a membership and claimed the church. The matter was carried to the courts. A young lawyer, Robert Toombs, defended the Methodists and won the case. The beginning of the Old Independence was around 1783, and it became a Methodist Church in the 1830s. In 1840, Thomas L. Wooten deeded the lot on which the Old Church building stood to the trustees. In 1870, this church building was sold to the black people who moved it to land given them to them in Tignall. A new church building was erected, and in 1871 Bishop George F. Pierce preached the dedication sermon. A Sunday school celebration was held in 1879 with almost 1,000 attending. Dr. A. G. Haygood, President of Emory College delivered the address. The church has been remodeled many times. In 1930 the Church School Annex was added and a Fellowship Hall was built in 1974. Many prominent families in the county have been identified as members of this church. Several have been licensed to preach at her altars, the more prominent being, Reverend J.W. Hinton, D.D., a preacher and writer of national fame.

It is known that enslaved persons attended services here, as well.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under --WILKES COUNTY GA--, Tignall GA

Wellborn Plantation, Circa 1795, Warrenton

This is one of Warrenton’s oldest and most historic homes. It was once the center of a large working plantation. In 1858, the owner,  George Washington Hardaway, willed the plantation to his daughter, Frances Markham Hardaway Wellborn (Mrs. Marshall Wellborn).

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under --WARREN COUNTY GA--, Warrenton GA

Adams-Duggan-Trawick House, Circa 1858, Linton

The following history and reminiscence was kindly shared by Saralyn Duggan Trawick Kimsey, who noted that she was hopeful it would clear up an error made by John Linley in The Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area. Linley stated that the house had always been in the same family, and though there is a thread between the families, that statement was technically incorrect. This was something the Saralyn’s Aunt Jessie Trawick wanted corrected. [I have condensed it slightly].

This house was built circa 1858 by John Trawick for his brother-in-law, Reverend Thomas J. Adams. John formed the bricks and fired them in a ditch in front of the house near the curve in the dirt road.

Reverend Tom Adams was principal of the newly formed school in Linton, the Washington Institute. Some time after 1858, Reverend Adams moved his family, furnishings, house servants, etc. to the Sandersville School and the principal there, Dr. Ivy Walker Duggan moved his family, furnishings, and house servants to the Linton house where he became the new principal of the Institute.

[Detail of the only known image of the Washington Institute  from the original tintype, date unknown. Courtesy & © Saralyn Duggan Trawick Kimsey]

Dr. Ivy and Sallie Duggan “took in” Ivy’s younger half-brothers and sisters after the death of their parents. One of these was Georgia Margaret Duggan. As Georgia grew older and completed her education she became a teacher at the Washington Institute. 

Jesse Thomas Trawick, son of the builder of the house, and the boy next door, also taught at the Washington Institute. Georgia later married Jesse Trawick. Jesse and Georgia bought the house from Georgia’s half-brother Ivy, when Ivy moved to Rome, Georgia.

Jesse and Georgia’s family were raised in this house: George T. Trawick; Dr. Andrew J. Trawick, Sr., DVM; and Miss Jessie Trawick, who taught Chemistry and Physical Science at Georgia College in Milledgeville.

Other prominent Georgians who lived here include: Dr. William Adams, who moved to Texas and became Chief Surgeon for the Fort Worth, Denver and Santa Fe Railroads; Dr. James R. Duggan, professor of chemistry at Wake Forest University; and Mell Duggan, Georgia State School Superintendent.

Current owners are the children of Dr. A. J. and Lorene Veal Trawick: Andy Trawick, Jr., and Saralyn Duggan Trawick Kimsey.

[An early image of the Adams-Duggan-Trawick House, date unknown. Courtesy & © Saralyn Duggan Trawick Kimsey]

The house includes lower and upper porches across the front. The lower front entrance is framed with an etched glass vine in the form of an arch with cranberry glass above the door. The house originally included three rooms on the lower floor with a long hallway extending from the front to the back. The large room on the right was the dining room and two rooms with closets were on the left of the hallway. The kitchen was a wooden house in the back yard. Later a wall was built to divide the long room in the main house. The front room became the parlor and the other half became the kitchen.

Two large rooms and two closets on either side of a long hall form the second floor. A door on the second floor leads to an attic which is about 10’x10′ with a wooden rail on the open side at the steps. Glass window panes were in the windows of the attic in its early years. A member of the family living in the house used this attic for his room. Many stories have circulated about its purpose. One of the stories speaks of the owner watching his slaves in the fields. Another story calls this a widow’s walk as is found on the coast. The present owners feel that one of its important purposes is for circulation from bottom to top of house. It provides natural air conditioning when the door to the attic steps is open.

[May 20, 1902 Trawick Family Photograph L-R: Georgia Margaret Duggan Trawick; Andrew Jackson “A.J.” Trawick; George Thomas Trawick, Edmund Duggan “Eddie” Trawick; and Jessie Thomas Trawick. Pennie Ray, helper and friend of the family stands near the steps. Eddie died 1 1/2 months after tihs picture was taken. Sisters Jessie and Pearl were born later. Jesse Thomas Trawick is the son of John Trawick who is the brother of Charity, Sarah, Marry, Jesse, and Andrew Jackson “Dack” Trawick. The house was bought from Georgia’s half-brother, Ivy Walker Duggan when Georgia and Jesse married. Georgia and her younger brothers and sister, Archie, Mary and Eddie Duggan lived here with their half brother, Mr and Mrs Ivy Duggan after their parents died. Georgia was only 12 when her father died and 14 when her mother died. Courtesy & © Saralyn Duggan Trawick Kimsey]

Life in the house had many “conveniences” of the era. One was a chance to “warm one side of your body at a time” by backing up to the fire in the fireplace where wood provided the means of heat. Fat “lighter’d” stumps provided splinters from which the fires were started.

The ladies outhouse had a path leading to it lined with pretty sweet smelling flowers. It also had a concrete floor and upright form which provided a place for a wooden “seat of honor”. On the other hand the men’s outhouse was in a different direction from the house and was a three-holer  open to the wind in back. It wasn’t proper for the men and women to go in the same direction to take care of bodily needs. The first and only bathroom was added to the house in the late 1950s (almost a hundred years after the house was built).

When the kitchen moved inside the house, a wood stove was still used for much of the cooking even though an electric stove was available. I remember as a child in the early 1940s having my breakfast kept warm on the oven door of the wood stove.

A fun activity of our childhood was sliding down the smooth, polished banister which lined the very sturdy steps. We had to have a “lookout” person for this activity as Grandma’s bedroom was at the foot of the stairs and she would sometimes be waiting at the bottom to clear us off the banister. My brother and are responsible for at least one of the etched glasses near the front door having to be replaced as it was fun to let a ball roll down the long steps from top to bottom. The ball gained bouncing power as it descended and sometimes did not stop with the person at the bottom but went to the prized panes.

The National Register of Historic Places nomination notes that Washington Institute students roomed here. It is certainly a possibility, as Linton was solely focused on the Institute.

 

Linton Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

1 Comment

Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--, Linton GA

Montpelier United Methodist Church, Baldwin County

Montpelier is the oldest congregation in Baldwin County. I’m unsure as to the date of construction of the present church, but records of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist church indicate (in a document from 1972) that the structure was built before 1843. That appears to be a good possibility. Slaves attended the church with their owners in the antebellum era. The historical marker placed by the Georgia Historical Commission in 1996 gives more insight to the history of the community than it does the church itself: This church is named Montpelier after Fort Montpelier of 1794, 1/2 mi. below here down the Oconee. This fort and others were built during the Creek Indian troubles. Captain Jonas Fouche was ordered to guard the Georgia frontier from the mouth of the Tugaloo to Fort Fidius on the Oconee. 200 militia cavalry and infantry raised under Governor Telfair were placed under the command of Major Gaither, Federal commandant. A note on Fouche’s map reads: “As it is 40 mi .from Fort Twiggs to Mount Pelah where Maj. Gaither laid in garrison, it is recommended that a public station might be created by the Government (at Cedar Shoals)´

Leave a comment

Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--

Rockwell, Circa 1838, Milledgeville

This house is perhaps the most enigmatic in Milledgeville, due largely to its present derelict appearance. [It’s apparently more stable than the grounds would suggest]. Built by Joseph Lane for Samuel Rockwell (1788-1842), the house has also been known over time as Beauvoir and the Governor Johnson House. Rockwell, a native of Albany, New York, first practiced law in Savannah before establishing a practice in Milledgeville around 1828. He served as Inspector of the 3rd Division during the Creek Indian War of 1836.

Closely related, stylistically, to the Milledgeville Federal houses, Rockwell is more highly realized in form.

Among numerous owners throughout the history of the property, Governor Herschel Vespasian Johnson was perhaps its best known resident. As the commemorative slab of Georgia granite placed by the WPA and the UDC in 1936 notes, it was his summer home. Governor Johnson was notably the state’s most vocal opponent to secession but eventually came around, as borne out by the acquiescent quote, no doubt chosen by the UDC: “To Georgia, in my judgement, I owe primary allegiance.”

The house was documented by photographer L. D. Andrew for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in 1936, owned by the Ennis family at the time. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

Thanks to Michael Massey for bringing this house to my attention.

National Register of Historic Places

3 Comments

Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA

Uncle Remus Museum, 1963, Eatonton

Constructed from derelict slave cabins, the Uncle Remus Museum opened in Eatonton in 1963. Its location, Turner Park, was the boyhood homeplace of Joseph Sidney Turner, the inspiration for the “little boy” to whom “Uncle Remus” relayed all his critter stories in Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings (1880) and later works. Turner’s father, Joseph Addison Turner, owned Turnwold Plantation where Harris apprenticed as a teenager during the Civil War. A reconstructed blacksmith shop is also located in the park.

Carvings of many of the animal characters populate the grounds, which are a delight to walk around. I’m not sure who did all of these wonderful wood sculptures, but they’re a wonderful addition to the property. And forgive me if I confuse Bre’r Fox and Bre’r Wolf!

Bre’r Fox

Bre’r Wolf

Bre’r Bear

Bre’r Tarrypin

And last, but certainly not least, Bre’r Rabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Eatonton GA

Indian Spring Hotel, 1823, Butts County

The first section of the Indian Spring Hotel was built as an inn by William McIntosh, who operated it with his cousin Joel Bailey. McIntosh, a half-Scot half-Native American and the cousin of Governor George M. Troup, was Chief of the Coweta band of Creek Indians; he was also the owner of over 70 slaves. The two-story addition which gave the hotel its present appearance was completed in 1825, the year McIntosh signed the Treaty of Indian Springs, ceding much of the historically Creek lands to white settlers. His role in this treaty, viewed unfavorably by a majority of Creeks, lead to McIntosh’s subsequent execution. The addition included a tavern known as the Treaty Room and a large ballroom. Significantly, the McIntosh Inn is  the only known antebellum mineral springs hotel still standing in Georgia. Mineral springs resorts were as popular in Georgia in the 19th century as coastal resorts are in the modern era. In 1850, the property was purchased by the Varner family, who owned and operated it as the Varner House, a nationally famous resort. The Varner descendants sold it to J. H. Elliot in 1953. Today, the Indian Spring Hotel/Museum is open on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --BUTTS COUNTY GA--, Flovilla GA, Indian Springs GA