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Lowndes County Emigrants

One hundred and twelve Black men, women, and children emigrated from Lowndes County Georgia to Liberia in 1871 and 1872, just 7 years after the Civil War. These were families of farmers, craftsmen, and laborers who left Lowndes County looking for a better life, one free of terrorism and racism. When the Union Army withdrew from the region during Reconstruction, the civil unrest was so bad that on June 30, 1869 a local citizen made a jaded plea for help in the South Georgia Times (The Valdosta Time's Predecessor). The person stated, "Dead (explicative)s!" In this and neighboring counties. The land is literally strewn with deceased colored gentlemen. Every log has one behind it, "clay root" conceals some half dozen, every gopher hole is trying to swallow; and has one half way down, every frog pond contains one or more, we need the military. These Ku Klux outrages must be stopped until the crop is gathered."

The first group of 63 emigrants was headed by Jefferson Bracewell, a farmer and carpenter who was cited in the 1870 Census as having $6,000 of personal property. Aaron Miller, a farmer that owned 450 acres of land in what is now known as Hahira, Ga., led a second group of 59 people. The two groups settled in Arthington, Liberia. Liberia was founded by the American Colonization Society and former American slaves in 1822.

The Lowndes County settlers in Liberia prospered for a while then fell upon hard times. Many like Jefferson Bracewell and nearly his entire family died from Malaria while others were killed in conflicts with the local population. Aaron Miller was also one of the ones who died a few years after their arrival. Other settlements met similar fates. However, as the years passed some of these emigrants saw their dreams and ambitions fulfilled. Today descendants of former American slaves only make up 5% of the Liberian population.

List of Lowndes County Emigrants for Liberia

Ship: Barque, Edith Rose. Departure: Hampton Roads, Virginia. Date: November 7, 1871.

No.NameAgeOccupationEducationReligion
1 Jefferson Bracewell 47 Carpenter Read & Write  
2 Rhoda Bracewell 40     Baptist
3 Joseph Bracewell 19   Read  
4 Isaac Bracewell 18   Read  
5 Littleton Bracewell 16   Read  
6 Scinthea Bracewell 14   Read  
7 John Bracewell 13      
8 Dennis Bracewell 11      
9 Nathaniel Bracewell 10      
10 Joshua Bracewell 5      
11 Sarah Bracewell 2      
12 Virginia Bracewell 1      
13 Jefferson Bracewell, Jr. 21 Farmer Read & Write  
14 Emily Bracewell 16      
15 Henry Bracewell 2      
16 Phyllis Bracewell 6mos      
17 Toby Washington 24 Farmer    
18 Laura Lane 16      
19 Eli Ponder 22 Farmer Read &Write  
20 Grace Ponder 20      
21 Isaiah Ponder 2      
22 Levi Ponder 1      
23 Nancy Ponder 50      
24 William Dickerson 45 Farmer    
25 Catherine Dickerson 42     Baptist
26 Polly Dickerson 21      
27 Frances Dickerson 17      
28 Sara Dickerson 16      
29 Grace Dickerson 14      
30 William Dickerson, Jr. 10      
31 Lewis Dickerson 6      
32 Andrew Turkett 38 Farmer   Baptist
33 Edith Turkett 40     Baptist
34 Mary Turkett 15      
35 Annice Turkett 11      
36 Moses Turkett 8      
37 Cornelia Turkett 6mos      
1 Jefferson Bracewell 47 Carpenter Read & Write  
2 Rhoda Bracewell 40     Baptist
3 Joseph Bracewell 19   Read  
4 Isaac Bracewell 18   Read  
5 Littleton Bracewell 16   Read  
6 Scinthea Bracewell 14   Read  
7 John Bracewell 13      
8 Dennis Bracewell 11      
9 Nathaniel Bracewell 10      
10 Joshua Bracewell 5      
11 Sarah Bracewell 2      
12 Virginia Bracewell 1      
13 Jefferson Bracewell, Jr. 21 Farmer Read & Write  
14 Emily Bracewell 16      
15 Henry Bracewell 2      
16 Phyllis Bracewell 6mos      
17 Toby Washington 24 Farmer    
18 Laura Lane 16      
19 Eli Ponder 22 Farmer Read &Write  
20 Grace Ponder 20      
21 Isaiah Ponder 2      
22 Levi Ponder 1      
23 Nancy Ponder 50      
24 William Dickerson 45 Farmer    
25 Catherine Dickerson 42     Baptist
26 Polly Dickerson 21      
27 Frances Dickerson 17      
28 Sara Dickerson 16      
29 Grace Dickerson 14      
30 William Dickerson, Jr. 10      
31 Lewis Dickerson 6      
32 Andrew Turkett 38 Farmer   Baptist
33 Edith Turkett 40     Baptist
34 Mary Turkett 15      
35 Annice Turkett 11      
36 Moses Turkett 8      
37 Cornelia Turkett 6mos      
38 James Robertson 21? Farmer Read & Write  
39 Henry Jones 38 Farmer   Baptist
40 Martha Jones 28   Read Baptist
41 Jefferson Jones 7      
42 Henry Jones 1      
43 Lewis Hart 24 Farmer Read & Write Baptist
44 Judy Hart 30     Baptist
45 Laura Yerby 14      
46 Lawson Yerby 10      
47 Caeser White 34 Farmer Read & Write Baptist
48 Elizabeth White 38     Baptist
49 Katie White 12      
50 Isaac White 11   Read  
51 Jonas White 9   Read  
52 Mary White 8   Read  
53 Frances White 6      
54 Ann White 4      
55 Wesley White 2      
56 Simmie White 6mos      
57 Hood Kershaw 40 Farmer   Baptist
58 Mary Kershaw 25     Baptist
59 Reuben Kershaw 15      
60 Lewanna Kershaw 10   Read  
61 Charlotte Kershaw 8      
62 John Kershaw 5      
63 James Kershaw 1    

The Edith Rose, Captained by A. Alexander sailed from Hampton, Virginia on Tuesday, November 7, 1871 direct for Monrovia, Liberia. The Emigrants settled in the Liberian town of Arthington.

Source: The African Repository: Vol. XLVII. December, 1871 (No. 12) pg.353-356

List of Lowndes County Emigrants for Liberia

Ship: Barque, Jasper. Departure: From: New York City. Date: November 21, 1872.

No.NameAgeOccupationReligion
1 Aaron Miller 40 Farmer Methodist
2 Henrietta Miller 39   Methodist
3 Samuel Miller 13    
4 Rachel Miller 12    
5 Sophia Miller 11    
6 Alonzo Miller 10    
7 Jacob Miller 6    
8 Henrietta Miller, Jr 4    
9 Sarah F. Miller 1    
10 James De Lyon 22 Farmer Methodist
11 Robert De Lyon 18    
12 Harriet Miller 28   Methodist
13 Alfred Inman 16    
14 Robert Inman 12    
15 Lizzie Miller 11    
16 Jeremiah Horne 24 Farmer Methodist
17 Fereby Horne 19   Methodist
18 Celida Anne Horne 3    
19 Joseph Horne 2    
20 Hannah Horne 6mos    
21 Anderson Obey 37 Farmer  
22 Susan Obey 35   Baptist
23 Clarissa Obey 13    
24 Wallace Obey 11    
25 Julia Obey 7    
26 Peggie Obey 6    
27 George Obey 2    
28 Martha Obey 2mos    
29 London Wright 43 Farmer Methodist
30 Hannah Wright 35   Methodist
31 Mary Wright 12    
32 Charlotte Wright 11    
33 Louis Wright 8    
34 Margaret Wright 5    
35 Rufus Lee Wright 1    
36 David Wright 39 Farmer Methodist
37 Mary Wright 38   Methodist
38 Samuel Wright 16   Methodist
39 Richard Wright 15    
40 Thomas Wright 13    
41 Caroline Wright 11    
42 William Wright 9    
43 Andrew Wright 7    
44 Ellick Wright 5    
45 Fereby Wright 2    
46 Clarissa Wright 2mos    
47 Fortune Lemmon 39 Farmer Methodist
48 Lucretia Lemmon 35   Methodist
49 Silvia Lemmon 18   Methodist
50 Abaraham Lemmon 16    
51 Jordan Lemmon 14    
52 Julia Lemmon 9    
53 David Lemmon 8    
54 Emeline Clemmon 36   Methodist
55 Marshall S. Clemmon 15    
56 William Clemmon 8    
57 Daniel Clemmon 2    
58 Rachel Nelson 55   Methodist
59 Eliza Nelson 16   Methodist

The people traveled to Savannah, direct from their homes in Lowndes County early Saturday Morning on November 16. On the same day they took the steamer, San Salvador, which arrived at New York on the night of the 20th. The next morning they were transferred by the government steamer Henry Smith to the Jasper. The Jasper left New York on Thursday November 21, 1872. The Jasper arrived at Monrovia on January 1, 1873 and the emigrants joined there friends and Family in the Liberian town of Arthington.

Source: The African Repository: Vol. XLVIII. December, 1872 (No. 12) pg.353-356

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