Freedmen's Towns and Enslaved/ADOS influenced settlements

BigAggieLean.

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'City Within a City': The recent history of blacks living in Biloxi

African Americans living in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Before integration, there was a community in East Biloxi, Mississippi called “Back of Town” AAs would go to work in the city, and then return to this area after a day of work. The barbershop I used to go to is located here, and my barber used to always talk of “Black Biloxi”. His barbershop was on the strip. You had a gang of churches, juke joints, and black food establishments. With the air force base being nearby, you’d have all of the black airmen from out of town living and having a good time in the area. The beaches down there were even segregated.
 

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Weeksville, Brooklyn


Map of Weeksville

Weeksville is a neighborhood founded by African American freedmen in what is now Brooklyn, New York, United States, part of the present-day neighborhood of Crown Heights.


History
Weeksville was named after James Weeks, an African American stevedore [1] from Virginia, who in 1838 (just 11 years after the abolition of slavery in New York State)[2] bought a plot of land from Henry C. Thompson, a free African-American and land investor, in the Ninth Ward of central Brooklyn. Thompson had acquired the land from Edward Copeland, a politically minded European American and Brooklyn grocer, in 1835.[3]Previously Copeland bought the land from an heir of John Lefferts, a member of one of the most prominent and land-holding families in Brooklyn.[4] There was ample opportunity for land acquisition during this time, as many prominent land-holding families sold off their properties during an intense era of land speculation.[5] Many African Americans saw land acquisition as their opportunity to gain economic and political freedom by building their own communities.[4] The City of New York confuses[6] Weeks with a man of the same name who lived 1776-1863.[7]

The village itself was established by a group of African-American land investors and political activists, and covered an area in the borough's eastern Bedford Hills area, bounded by present-day Fulton Street, East New York Avenue, Ralph Avenue and Troy Avenue.[8] A 1906 article in the New York Age recalling the earlier period noted that James Weeks "owned a handsome dwelling at Schenectady and Atlantic Avenues."

By the 1850s, Weeksville had more than 500 residents from all over the East Coast (as well as two people born in Africa). Almost 40 percent of residents were southern-born. Nearly one-third of the men over 21 owned land; in antebellum New York, unlike in New England, non-white men had to own real property (to the value of $250) and pay taxes on it to qualify as voters.[9] The village had its own churches (including Bethel Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Berean Missionary Baptist Church), a school ("Colored School no. 2", now P.S. 243), a cemetery, and an old age home.[10] Weeksville had one of the first African-American newspapers, the Freedman's Torchlight, and in the 1860s became the national headquarters of the African Civilization Society and the Howard Colored Orphan Asylum. In addition, the Colored School was the first such school in the U.S. to integrate both its staff and its students.[11]

During the violent New York Draft Riots of 1863, the community served as a refuge for many African-Americans who fled from Manhattan.

After the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge and as New York City grew and expanded, Weeksville gradually became part of Crown Heights, and memory of the village was largely forgotten.

Rediscovery of Weeksville and the Hunterfly Road Houses
The search for Historic Weeksville began in 1968 in a Pratt Institute workshop on Brooklyn and New York City neighborhoods led by historian James Hurley. After reading of Weeksville in Brooklyn's Eastern District, a 1942 book by Brooklyn historian Eugene Ambruster, Hurley and Joseph Haynes, a local resident and pilot, consulted old maps and flew over the area in an airplane in search of surviving evidence of the village.

Four historic houses (now known as the Hunterfly Road Houses) were discovered off Bergen Street between Buffalo and Rochester Avenues, facing an old lane—a remnant of Hunterfly Road, which was at the eastern edge of the 19th century village.

As of 2015 Weeksville has been receiving attention from investment types, according to a broker with Douglass Elliman. There are still investment 'finds' to be had in this Brooklyn area. There are homes priced between $549,000 and $977,000. Weeksville's close proximity to public transportation is a major attraction to these new investors who have their eyes set on Weeksville.[12]

Weeksville Heritage Center
The 1968 discovery of the Hunterfly Road Houses led to the formation of The Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History (now the Weeksville Heritage Center). Joan Maynard was a founding member and executive director for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History. The preservatioh of the Hunterfly Road Houses became her life's work. [13]

Hunterfly Road Historic District is a national historic district. It consists of four contributing residential buildings, erected no earlier than the 1860s, within the 19th century free Black community of Weeksville, along a road dating back to American Indian tenure of the area which led to shellfish beds at the Jamaica Bay end of Fresh Kill/Creek. Sections of Hunterfly Road started closing after 1835. The houses are one and one half to 2 1⁄2-story wood-frame dwellings.[14]

In 1970 the houses were declared New York City Landmarks, and in 1972 were placed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Hunterfly Road Historic District.[15] The houses were purchased by the Society in 1973.[16]

The houses were rehabilitated in the 1980s,[17] and again after vandalism in the 1990s.[18] In 2005, following a $3 million restoration, the houses reopened to the public as the Weeksville Heritage Center, with each house showcasing a different era of Weeksville history.[2]

Construction of an 19,000-square-foot (1,800 m2) education and cultural center adjacent to the houses is complete.[19]

Weeksville, Brooklyn - Wikipedia
 

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Timbuctoo, New York


Timbuctoo was a farming colony of African American homesteaders in the town of North Elba in the 1840s.[1] It was located where Lake Placid is today in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York.[2] African Americans also settled in areas known as Negro Brook near Bloomingdale, and Blackville near Loon Lake, New York.

In 1846 New York State enacted a law that required free black men to own real estate worth at least $250 or a house in order to be able to vote. This restriction only applied to free black men. Gerrit Smith a wealthy abolitionist and land owner gave away 120,000 acres of land to black people in 40 acre lots. The plots were given to 3,000 black New Yorkers. It was set up to create rural land ownership and self-sufficiency for black people, and as an alternative to urban city life. It would also give black males the right to vote. It was an alternative response to the influx of Irish and white immigrants competing for urban employment.[3][4][2][5][6] The development of Timbuctoo was a land reform and voting rights plan by Gerrit Smith.[7][8]

Gerrit became involved in the anti-slavery movement. In 1836 Gerrit Smith became president of the New York Anti-Slavery Society. His estate in Peterboro was a station for the underground railroad. He was elected to Congress in 1853 as the Free-Soil candidate for the Free Soil Party. The Free Soil Party's purpose was opposition to the expansion of slavery into Western territories. He advocated for free men on free soil.[9] Timbuctoo was a social experiment that became known as 'Timbuctoo'.

Frederick Douglass worked with Smith to promote the land distribution and recruitment to North Elba.[10][11][6] Brown is known for the raid on Harper's Ferry.

In 1848 John Brown moved his family to North Elba to support the development Timbuctoo.[12][13] Gerrit Smith was a supporter of John Brown's antislavery activities. Gerrit Smith was accused of supplying John Brown with guns for the 1859 raid on Harper's Ferry.[14][15]

In 1848 Gerrit Smith gave Willis Hodges a free black from Virginia 200 acres to settle in the Loon Lake area with 10 families. The named it Blacksville. The community was disbanded after two winters due to harsh conditions. By 1855 the experiment was over. Lyman Epps was one of survivors of the Timbuctoo project. His family lived in the area for over 100 years. The last member of the Epps family, Lyman Epps Jr died in 1942.[13]

In 2001 there was an exhibition called John Brown "Dreaming of Timbuctoo" which opened at the Adirondack Museum. The exhibit documents the story of the Black homesteaders that were given land in the Adirondacks in the mid-1840s.[16][17][11][18]

In 2016 the John Brown Farm became the permanent home of the “Dreaming of Timbuctoo” exhibition.[19]

There is an annual Blues at Timbuctoo festival in Lake Placid. The festival is held at the historic John Brown Farm. It is presented by Jerry Dugger, and by the organization John Brown Lives. The festival is a combination of blues music and conversation around race relations. The festival was launched in 2015. Martha Swan is the executive director of John Brown Lives.[20][21]

Timbuctoo, New York - Wikipedia
 

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Land of the Blacks (Manhattan)

The Land of the Blacks or Negro Frontier or Free Negro Lots was a village settled by people of African descent north of New Amsterdam from about 1643 to 1716. The inhabitants initially mostly belonged to the half-free social class of the colony.[1] There were about 30 African-owned farms over about 130 acres centered on the modern Washington Square Park.[2][3][4][5] It was created as a buffer area by the Dutch governor Willem Kieft when white people evacuated the region due to Kieft's War against the native Lenape people, and was effectively ended by anti-black laws after the New York Slave Revolt of 1712.

A later neighborhood was called Little Africa in Greenwich Village. Its legacy is preserved at the African Burial Ground National Monument.[6]

Land of the Blacks (Manhattan) - Wikipedia
 
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Winston-Salem's African American Legacy by Cheryl Streeter Harry | Arcadia Publishing Books

Just a little background on my hometown, and it’s African American history.

Tobacco is mentioned, and how the tobacco industry allowed for the black communities in the cities to rival the black Wall Street of Tulsa and other thriving black communities at the time. My pop tells stories of picking tobacco as a kid, and how most every black person in the city knew someone who worked at the tobacco plant; RJ Reynolds. My pop used to talk of picking tobacco, having to watch out for the tobacco worms, and my grandpa buying he and his 5 other siblings one Mountain Dew bottle, and then having to share it. He said you didn’t wanna be the one with the last swig lol
i actually live in WSNC.. its very rich in history..

matter of fact, i just shared a story the other day of a AA who had a brick masonry here.. and, over 80% of not only RJ Reynolds, but downtown Winston-Salems buildings were made from his bricks..

just found out theres a statue of him downtown.. also a museum i just found out about downtown, and its got alot of dope AA history in it..

also- if you have time/can find it.. African-American History in North Carolina(Crow, Escott & Hatley) is a great read..
 

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Clinton Park, Houston

After World War II development in the area began due to the area's close proximity to the Port of Houston.[2] Clinton Park was one of the first communities developed for African-Americans in Texas.[1] When Clinton Park was originally developed, it was marketed to middle class black families.[3] When Clinton Park was first developed, laws required segregation between White people and Black people; Blacks could not live in White neighborhoods. Clinton Park had many businesses. When racial integration occurred, Blacks no longer patronized Clinton Park and the community declined.[1]

In the 2000s Mayor of Houston Bill White started the Houston HOPE program to make some low income neighborhoods attractive to families with children; Clinton Park is one of the neighborhoods in Houston HOPE. A nonprofit job training program in the Clinton Park area closed several years before 2006.
Clinton Park, Houston - Wikipedia
 

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Finally leaving Houston(proper) lol

Barrett, TX

BARRETT, TEXAS. Barrett, just south of U.S. Highway 90 on Farm roads 1942 and 2100 in eastern Harris County, began during Reconstruction as a black community. The community was named for former slave Harrison Barrett, known as "Uncle Harrison," who had been born in Texas around 1845 to slave parents. After emancipation, Barrett settled his family on part of Reuben White's league east of the San Jacinto River and, in 1889, purchased the land for fifty cents an acre. It became one of the largest holdings in Harris County to be acquired by a former slave. Barrett named the property Barrett's Settlement. The community began with seven houses, which Barrett helped to build with lumber from his land. He helped members of his family to set up farms, established a sawmill, a gristmill, and a coffee mill and granted others open access to fish and crayfish in the spring and gully near his homestead. Harrison donated land for Shiloh Baptist Church, which also served as a school. In 1947 a high school and a post office branch known as Barrett Station opened. Barrett, who died in 1917, was buried in Journey's End Cemetery in the settlement, and a museum and park were later named in his honor. State highway maps in 1936 showed a school, St. Martin Cemetery, and a camp at the townsite. The population reached 2,364 in 1960. U.S. Highway 90 was built through the area in the 1970s, and by 1990 the population was 3,644. In 2000 the population dropped to 2,872. The town celebrates its heritage every Juneteenth.
BARRETT, TX | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)
 

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Black cowboy town

'The Settlement', Texas city, TX


The 1867 Settlement Historic District is the only Reconstruction-era African American community in Galveston County. The Bell, Britton, Caldwell and Hobgood families, whose patriarchs were African American cowboys, pioneered the community, which was self-sustained for more than 100 years. The men survived the hardships of slavery, including being torn from their families during the Civil War to serve their masters on the battlefield and drive cattle for the Confederacy. When freedom came in June 1865, the men worked on the Butler Ranch in north Galveston County; some had been slaves of the Butler family. In 1867, they began contracting acreage from Judge William Jones with money earned by driving cattle up the Chisholm Trail to Kansas. After the Civil War, Judge Jones set aside the only land in the county available for purchase by freedmen who could get testimonials from local businessmen proclaiming their good morals and work ethics. Many descendants of the original pioneers still reside or own property within the historic community boundaries, where trail rides and horses are common sights. Interpretative kiosks are located throughout the district. The oldest structure, the 1887 Frank Sr. and Flavilla Bell home, is being developed as a community museum.
http://texasindependencetrail.com/p...ities/sites/1867-settlement-historic-district
 

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Prairie View, TX


PRAIRIE VIEW, TEXAS
(Waller County). Prairie View is on U.S. Highway 290 and the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, between Hempstead and Waller in north central Waller County. It traces its roots to Alta Vista, the plantation home of Jared E. and Helen Marr (Swearingen) Kirbyqv. Alta Vista was one of four plantations and several small farms owned by the Kirbys in the vicinity of Best and Iron creeks, and at one time claimed a population of 400 slaves. Kirby was a colonel in the Confederate Army, and his home was Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith's headquarters during the later phases of the Civil War. When her husband died soon after the war, Mrs. Kirby was left in debt. In 1867 she transformed the mansion into a boarding school for young ladies called Alta Vista Institute; when she moved the school to Austin in 1876 she sold Alta Vista to the state of Texas. That year the Fifteenth Legislature established the first public institution of higher learning for blacks in Texas, to be located on the former Kirby plantation. The new agricultural and mechanical training school opened in March 1878 with only eight students, who did not remain long. In April 1879 an act of the state legislature established Prairie View Normal and Industrial Training School (now Prairie View A&M University) to extend broader educational opportunities to black youth. It opened on October 6, 1879, with sixteen students, and flourished.

In 1892 the first post office in Prairie View was established by Duncan D. Robertson in his home, which also served as a general store for the area's black college students and for white farmers and stock raisers. The population at this time was reported as 300. The post office was discontinued in 1938, but in 1988 mail still came to a branch office in the Prairie View A&M student center, via the Hempstead post office. The presence of an academic institution contributed as significantly to the area's growth as did agriculture. In the late 1980s the town remained both a college and agricultural community. It got its water from the Prairie View A&M University water system and was dependent upon the university for fire protection, ambulance service, and medical service. Local farmers produce corn, melons, and other commercial crops and benefit from the expertise available from the school's agricultural department. Prairie View citizens voted to incorporate in the spring of 1969, electing W. D. Thompson as their first mayor. The City News, published twice a month, began publication in July of that year. The town had six churches, retail businesses, the Waller ISD Junior High School, and a bus station. Prairie View is also home to St. Francis Episcopal Church, established in 1870. The church was originally located in Hempstead and was moved to its present location in 1958. The population of Prairie View was 4,129 in 1980 and 4,004 in 1990. By 2000 the population was 4,410.
PRAIRIE VIEW, TX (WALLER COUNTY) | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)



PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY

PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY. In 1876 the Fifteenth Texas Legislature, in compliance with the federal Morrill Land-Grant College Act, which provided public lands for the establishment of colleges, authorized an "Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Benefit of Colored Youth" as part of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). A three-man commission bought Alta Vista Plantation, near Hempstead in Waller County, from Helen Marr Kirby for some $15,000, and commissioner Ashbel Smith turned the school over to the A&M board. Texas A&M president Thomas S. Gathright hired Mississippian L. W. Minor as the first principal, and on March 11, 1878, eight young men enrolled in the short-lived Alta Vista Agricultural College at a tuition of $130 for nine months of instruction, board, and one uniform. Governor O. M. Roberts, A&M board chairman, suggested closing the college in 1879 because of the lack of patronage. But Barnas Sears, an agent for the Peabody Fund, persuaded the Sixteenth Legislature to charter two "normal" schools for the training of teachers, one of which was named Prairie View Normal Institute. The A&M board met at Hempstead in August 1879, established thirteen elementary and secondary subjects, and founded the coeducational institution. Girls were housed in the plantation house now called Kirby Hall, and boys were housed in a combination chapel and dormitory called Pickett Hall. The board hired E. H. Anderson as minister-teacher and his brother Laurine C. Anderson as his assistant. In 1882 a storm took Pickett Hall off its blocks. Worse still, $8,000 in biennium funds ran out, and state comptroller William M. Brown refused to continue paying the school's debts from the university fund, which forced the governor to solicit money from merchants. E. H. Anderson died in 1885, and L. C. Anderson became the principal of Prairie View as the legislature resolved a heated debate in 1887 by adding an agricultural and mechanical department. Academic Hall and an experiment station were thrown in for good measure.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)
 

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AFRICA, TX

AFRICA, TEXAS. Africa is three miles southeast of Center in central Shelby County. This predominantly black community was settled in the last quarter of the nineteenth century by former slaves who cleared the heavily wooded area for farming. The focus of the community was originally a one-room building that served as a school and as a meetingplace for the congregation of St. John's Baptist Church. Later a building was constructed for the church. Residents also built a two-story town hall, which served as a school building and community center where lodge meetings and other social affairs were held. Although periodic attempts were made to establish other churches in the community, none of them was successful. The school had forty-seven students in 1899, twenty in 1903, and seventy-six in 1938. At one time Africa also had a gristmill, a syrup mill, and three stores. During the 1940s and 1950s the population of the area declined, and improved transportation led to the consolidation of the school district with the Center school district. By 1983 only St. John's Baptist Church, a cemetery, and a few houses remained.
AFRICA, TX | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)
 
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@AggieLean. @Citi Trends

this is George Henry Black.. heres his statue in downtown WSNC..

WS-EDIT-STATUE-2-DC07.png


if either of you are in town, go check out New Winston Museum.. :salute:
 
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Akata Man Bromo

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Jonesville, Florida(where a huge portion of my family is from, and still resides) is also one of the first freedmen towns..

was just down that way recently for a funeral, and the stories my family still shares to this day are nothing short of incredible.. :wow:

heres a cool little piece about it..

For Nearly 150 Years, This One House Told a Novel Story About the African-American Experience | At the Smithsonian | Smithsonian
Sistrunk has to be one of these towns too let me look that up :jbhmm:
 
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