Tag Archives: Native Americans in South Georgia

Saddlebag Tenant House, Bulloch County

Bulloch County GA Adabelle Area Vernacular Farmhouse Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

This simple farmhouse is located near Adabelle, just south of Statesboro. I believe it was associated with the Croatan Indian community that once thrived in the area.

Bulloch County GA Adabelle Area Croatan Indian Community Vernacular Farmhouse Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2015

A nearby historic marker tells the store of the Croatan community: In 1870 a group of Croatan Indians migrated from their homes in Robeson County North Carolina, following the turpentine industry to southeast Georgia. Eventually many of the Croatans became tenant farmers for the Adabelle Trading Company, growing cotton and tobacco. The Croatan community established the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Adabelle, as well as a school and a nearby cemetery. After the collapse of the Adabelle Trading Company, the Croatans faced both economic hardship and social injustice. As a result, most members of the community returned to North Carolina by 1920. The tribe to which these families belonged became known as the Lumbee in the early 1950s.

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Filed under --BULLOCH COUNTY GA--

Benjamin Hawkins Monument, 1931, Roberta

Colonel Benjamin Hawkins Memorial Roberta GA Crawfordville Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The text on the monument gives a good overview of Colonel Hawkins’ life. Some of the language wouldn’t be used today, such as referring to Native Americans as ‘savages’. Erected in 1931 by the United States government to commemorate the life and public service of Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, who was born in Warren County, N. C.  August 15, 1754 and died at the Creek Indian Agency on the Flint River, June 6, 1816. He was a student at Princeton and shortly after the beginning of the Revolution became a member of General Washington’s staff with the rank of Colonel, serving with distinction throughout the war. He was one of the first senators from North Carolina and was conspicuous for his interest in Indian affairs. Colonel Hawkins was asked by General Washington to assume jurisdiction over all the Indian tribes south of the Ohio River. At the height of his career he came to Georgia and established his home among the Creek Indians on the banks of the Flint River in Crawford County. He built the fort which was named in his honor on the Ocmulgee River at Macon and lived there while the fort was being erected, but his permanent home was at the Creek Agency. His body lies on a bluff overlooking the Flint River where he lived among the savage tribes for 16 years, a man of letters, a mediator of peace and faithful unto death.

Colonel Benjamin Hawkins as Senator in North Carolina Public Domain Image Used on Vanishing South Georgia 2014Colonel Benjamin Hawkins – Public Domain Image via Wikipedia

Roberta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --CRAWFORD COUNTY GA--, Roberta GA

Battle of Shepherd’s Plantation Monument, 1936, Florence

Creek Indian Wars Battle of Shepperds Plantation Monument Stewart County GA Omaha DAR WPA Fort Ingersol Jones Fort McCreary Picture Image Photograph Copyright © Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2013

This monument, placed as centennial remembrance by the Roanoke Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the WPA in 1936, commemorates the bloodiest engagement of the largely forgotten Creek War of 1836. The main text reads: On this site was fought the Battle of Shepherd’s Plantation between Creek Indians and pioneer settlers aided by volunteer soldiers stationed at Forts Ingersol Jones and McCreary under Major Henry W. Jernigan and Captain Hamilton Garmany. A second tablet lists the four Stewart Countians killed in the battle: Captain Robert Billups; Jared Irwin; David Delk; and —-Hunter. [Jared Irwin was the nephew of Governor Jared Irwin].

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Filed under --STEWART COUNTY GA--, Florence GA

Indian Alarms Monument, 1934, Allentown

allentown-ga-indian-alarms-monument-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2013

Erected on 12 October 1934 by the Georgia Society and John Ball Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, this marker is located on the lawn of the beautiful Allentown Methodist Church. It glorifies early white settlers who helped run Native Americans off land that was rightfully theirs, so I’m glad that such a commemoration would likely not be considered today. Nonetheless, its integral to the history of the area. It reads: Intersection of Carolina, West Florida, and Savannah Lower Creek Trails. Traditional Indian Village Site and Burial Grounds. Early White Settlement and Haven for Refugee Families in 1812 Indian Alarms. Though I can’t find a reference to the “Indian Alarms” in a quick scan of the literature, I’m sure the term “haven for refugee families” suggests that Allentown was an early outpost in the westward expansion of Georgia.

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Filed under --WILKINSON COUNTY GA--, Allentown GA

Croatan Indian Memorial Cemetery, Bulloch County

historic-croatan-indian-cemetery-bulloch-county-ga-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2013

In 1870 a group of Croatan/Croatoan Indians migrated from Robeson County North Carolina, following the turpentine industry to southeast Georgia. Many became tenant farmers for the Adabelle Trading Company, growing cotton and tobacco. They established the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Adabelle, as well as a school and this nearby cemetery. After the collapse of the Adabelle Trading Company, the Croatans faced both economic hardship and social injustice. As a result, most members of the community returned to North Carolina by 1920. Some historians have connected the Croatans to the Lumbee, but I’m unclear as to this history.

Few headstones remain, though there are five or six in the cemetery, likely of local people somehow connected to the tribe.

Text of the Marker: In memory of Lucinda Locklear, Pink Locklear, Hezie Emanuel and Margaret Adline Locklear, and the other dauntless Indians from Robeson County, North Carolina, who settled, lived, and died here sometime between the close of the Civil War and the 1920s and whose graves are unmarked. Dedicated June 4, 1989.

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Rattlesnake Master, Ben Hill County

Rattlesnake master eryngium yuccifolium ben hill county ga photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

Pioneer Wiregrass settlers mistakenly thought the root of this odd member of the carrot family (not the Yucca family, as the name would imply) to be an antidote to rattlesnake bites. In earlier history, Creek Indians used the dried seed heads of Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium) as rattles.

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--