23 April 2015
I always hate to hear about the loss of history – be it documents, memories, stories, buildings, communities, and more.
This was reaffirmed as I read “Black towns, established by freed slaves after the Civil War, are dying out” in the Washington Post last month.
Sugarland was founded on Oct. 6, 1871, when three freedmen — William Taylor, Patrick Hebron Jr. and John H. Diggs — “purchased land for a church from George W. Dawson, a white former slave owner, for the sum of $25,” Reese says. The founders made a small down payment and continued to pay until the debt was settled. The deed dictated that the land be used for a church, a school and “as a burial site for people of African descent.”
Today, Sugarland is mostly horse country with million-dollar homes that sit on rolling hills. Many of the houses that former slaves built have been torn down. The forest has overtaken lots where freedmen once lived. The winding dirt roads that separated this black community from a white world are now paved.
This article gives fascinating insight into not just Sugarland and into the history of the rise and fall of the so-called Black towns established after the Civil War.
A related article, also published in the Washington Post is All-black towns across America: Life was hard but full of promise.
If you Google Search “
Black Towns” or “ All-Black
Towns” you will find many references
to these communities and unfortunately, many of them are to the fact that they
are disappearing, such as “One
by one, Missouri’s black towns disappear.”
Did your ancestors live in an
? Does it still exist? All-Black
Editor’s Note: This past weekend I was in
and couldn’t believe how far along the construction on the National Museum of African American History
and Culture. Though the physical elements of historical
black towns will probably continue to disappear, this museum is part of the
effort to help preserve African American History, including all “Black Towns.” Washington DC
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!