Tag Archives: Slavery in North Georgia

John S. Jackson House, Circa 1850, Hancock County

This imposing Greek Revival plantation home, situated on a high point overlooking acres of gently rolling hills and pristine farmland, was built by William Jackson for his son, John Swinney Jackson and his first wife, Artemesia Hall. The elder Jackson acquired the property from William Knowles in 1832. John Jackson, who had lived all of his life in Hancock and Greene Counties developed the property, through slave labor, into a thriving agricultural operation. At the outset of the Civil War, Jackson owned over 1000 acres and 38 enslaved Africans. Like most Georgians, Jackson served the Confederate cause and the futile effort ended in his loss of the plantation. It was purchased by Robert M. Grimes in 1870 who sold it to James M. Harris in 1874. Grimes reacquired it in 1880, but after a lawsuit over debts sold it back to Harris in 1881. Harris sold it to Henry Thomas Lewis in 1900. Lewis was an Associate Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court who lived in Greensboro and Siloam, keeping the plantation as a country retreat. After Lewis’s death, his widow sold the plantation to Jeff W. N. Lanier, whose family owned neighboring lands. Subsequent owners were D. B. Taylor and Dorsey L. Campbell. Campbell’s daughter, Alice Hartley, deeded the house back to the Lanier family in 1982.

The property is known today as Shoulderbone Plantation, for the historical Shoulderbone Creek which runs nearby.

National Register of Historic Places

 

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--

Springfield Baptist Church, Circa 1907, Greensboro

An historic marker placed by the church and the Georgia Historical Society in 2010 states: Springfield Baptist Church was established on January 27, 1864 prior to the abolition of slavery, and is among the first African-American churches founded in Middle Georgia. Enslaved workers purchased land from Mrs. Nancy Bickers and began monthly meetings. Levi Thornton, a slave, served as the church’s first pastor. Prior to the Civil War most local congregations were racially integrated, though blacks and whites sat separately. However in 1867 African Americans were dismissed from local congregations. At their dismissal, the white congregations presented Springfield with $200 to help build the current building…

Henry Porter, Frank Massey, Umply Stocks, and Jack Terrell were instrumental in the organization of the church. The congregation first met in the old Georgia Railroad depot in Greensboro. To my understanding, construction of the present structure commenced in 1907 and the bricks were salvaged from the old Greensboro Methodist Church.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --GREENE COUNTY GA--, Greensboro GA

James & Cunningham Daniel House, 1810s, Wilkes County

One of the great landmarks of Federal architecture in Georgia, this highly stylized brick I-house may be unique in the state. This house type is much more common in Virginia and, to a lesser extent, North Carolina but this is the only one I’ve encountered in my travels in rural Georgia. The dedication of family members and later guardians to preserve the house has been central to its continued survival.

James Allen Daniel, Jr., (1740-1821) was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia. With brothers John, William, and David, James migrated through the Carolinas and served as a dragoon in the American Revolution during this time. James was one of three Daniel brothers who married three Cunningham sisters of Amelia County, Virginia [James married Elizabeth Cunningham (1749-1819) in 1767]. In 1791 he was among the early settlers of Wilkes County and one of the fathers of the Presbyterian church in the eastern Piedmont region. Family records indicate that James built the home for his son Cunningham (1768-1839) but may have occupied the property until his death. From Cunningham the home passed to his son James Ewing Daniel; from James Ewing Daniel to his daughter Frances Daniel Dillard; and finally to Frances Dillard’s son, Roy Dillard, who was the last Daniel descendant to occupy the house (1954). The house was unoccupied until 1967 when Roy Dillard’s heirs sold it to the David and Diana Blackburn, who subsequently named it “Kettle Creek Manor” for the three branches of Kettle Creek which run through the property and the nearby Revolutionary War battle site of the same name.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --WILKES COUNTY GA--

Colley-Barksdale-Thomas House, Circa 1838, Washington

Built by Francis Colley for his son, Henry F. Colley and his wife Isabella Harris Colley, this home stayed in the same family until 2005. Captain Henry F. Colley was killed in action in the Civil War in 1862.

East Robert Toombs Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --WILKES COUNTY GA--, Washington GA

Cowles-Bond-Woodruff House, 1836-1840, Macon

Elam Alexander began construction on this house on Coleman Hill in 1836, for Jerry Cowles, the financier who brought the railroad from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Macon and who served as president of the Ocmulgee Bank. The house took on its present monumental appearance with the addition of the colonnade in 1840. Financial woes led Cowles to New York during the 1840s and the house was purchased by Joseph Bond, one of Georgia’s most prominent cotton growers. Bond’s time in the house was short, however, as he was killed by a neighboring plantation owner in a dispute over slave.

In 1865, the estate served as the headquarters of Union Brigadier General James H. Wilson during his occupation of the city. In 1879, James T. Coleman purchased the property and the surrounding area became known as Coleman Hill.

The Oriental/Moorish gazebo, built during the Victorian era, is one of Macon’s most popular photo subjects.

Beginning in 1960, the house served as the segregationist Stratford Academy for a time [now an inclusive institution located elsewhere] and was later gifted to Mercer University by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. It remains one of Macon’s most enduring landmarks.

Macon Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BIBB COUNTY GA--, Macon GA

Clopton-Comer-Winter House, 1834, Macon

This Greek Revival mansion was built by Alfred Clopton and was the centerpiece of what was originally a 23-acre estate. It was sold to Major Anderson Comer of Jones County in 1844. Comer raised his family here, including his three daughters known as the “Comer Belles”. One of the Comer girls married James J. Winter and they lived here until the early 1900s. During the ownership of T. E. Merritt, the house was modified and the stucco siding added. Judge E. P. Johnston was the last private owner; it was sold to Drs. William Orr and Oscar Spivey in 1963 and the interior was modified for use as offices.

Vineville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BIBB COUNTY GA--, Macon GA

Stephens-Colbert House, Circa 1850, Macon

This was built by Allen R. Stephens, a farmer from Monroe County. Originally a raised Georgian Cottage with a dry moat for air circulation, it was lowered during a later renovation. Remains of a slave dwelling have been uncovered in the back yard, likely occupied by a house servant/cook.

Macon Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BIBB COUNTY GA--, Macon GA