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The Natural History of Ocmulgee Bottoms

Ocmulgee Bottoms is a corridor of the Ocmulgee River Flood Plain in the central region of the State of Georgia that begins at the Fall Line in Macon, GA and continues 38 miles southward to near Hawkinsville, GA. This region is located in Bibb, Twiggs, Houston, Bleckley and Pulaski Counties. The Ocmulgee River’s velocity slows dramatically upon entering the Bottoms and has a serpentine channel. Over the eons, the river here has meandered frequently across the breath of the flood plain, leaving hundreds of ponds and swamps, plus a deep layer of rich, alluvial soil. On top of the alluvial soil is from one to ten feet or red clay that was deposited during the period when cotton was cultivated in the Piedmont, upstream.

Native American History of Houston County, Georgia

Houston County is located in central Georgia and is part of the Macon, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA.) It is named after American Revolutionary leader, John Houstoun (1744 –1796). The spelling of the county’s name was changed to its current form after his death. However, it is pronounced House-ton, not like the Texas city of the same name. Its county seat is Perry. John Houstoun was born in St. George’s parish near present-day Waynesboro. His father was a baronet (minor nobility) from Scotland and a successful planter. Houstoun was appointed to the Governor’s Council by Royal Governor James Wright, but soon became an active proponent for Georgia’s autonomy from Great Britain. He was elected to both the 1775 and 1776 Continental Congresses, but did not attend the one in 1776 that adopted the Declaration of Independence. When the first president of the Georgia Committee of Safety, Archibald Bulloch, was poisoned by a British agent, Houstoun took over leadership of the patriot government in Savannah. He also was in command of the Georgia militia, until his personal conflicts with regular Continental Army officers contributed significantly to the failure of an attack on St. Augustine in British East Florida. He was elected Governor of Georgia in 1778, but had to flee Savannah in December of 1779, when it was captured by the British. After the Revolution, Houstoun served another one year term as governor. In 1790 he became the first elected Mayor of Savannah. In 1791 was appointed a justice of the Superior Court of Georgia. In 1792 he was appointed president of the Chatham Academy, Georgia’s oldest high school, and...

Slave Narrative of Mose Davis

Interviewer: Edwin Driskell Person Interviewed: Mose Davis Location: Atlanta, Georgia In one of Atlanta’s many alleys lives Mose Davis, an ex-slave who was born on a very large plantation 12 miles from Perry, Georgia. His master was Colonel Davis, a very rich old man, who owned a large number of slaves in addition to his vast property holdings. Mose Davis says that all the buildings on this plantation were whitewashed, the lime having been secured from a corner of the plantation known as “the lime sink”. Colonel Davis had a large family and so he had to have a large house to accommodate these members. The mansion, as it was called, was a great big three-storied affair surrounded by a thick growth of cedar trees. Mose’s parents, Jennie and January Davis, had always been the property of the Davis family, naturally he and his two brothers and two sisters never knew any other master than “The Old Colonel”. Mr. Davis says that the first thing he remembers of his parents is being whipped by his mother who had tied him to the bed to prevent his running away. His first recollection of his father is seeing him take a drink of whiskey from a five gallon jug. When asked if this was’nt against the plantation rules “Uncle Mose” replied: “The Colonel was one of the biggest devils you ever seen—he’s the one that started my daddy to drinking. Sometimes he used to come to our house to git a drink hisself”. Mose’s Father was the family coachman. “All that he had to do was to drive the master and...

Slave Narrative of Salena Taswell

Interviewer: Cora M. Taylor Person Interviewed: Salena Taswell Location: Miami, Florida 1. Where, and about when, were you born? (Answer) In Perry, Ga. in 1844. 2. If you were born on a plantation or farm, what sort of farming section was it in? (Answer) Ole Dr. Jameson’s plantation near Perry, Ga. north of Macon. 3. How did you pass the time as a child? What sort of chores did you do and what did you play? (Answer) I worked around the table in my Massy’s dining room. I didn’t play. I sometimes pulled threads for mother. She was a fine seamstress for the plantation. 4. Was your master kind to you? (Answer) Yes; I was the pet. 5. How many slaves were there on the same plantation or farm? (Answer) He must have had about 400 slaves. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now 6. Do you remember what kind of cooking utensils your mother used? (Answer) We had copper kettles, crocks, and iron kettles. “I waited on de table when Lincum came dare. That day we had chicken hash and batter cakes and dried venison.” 7. What were your main foods and how were they cooked? (Answer) We had everything that was good (I ate in...

Slave Narrative of Sophie D. Belle

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson Location: Forrest City, Arkansas Age: 77 “I was born near Knoxville, Georgia. My mother was a professional pastry cook. She was a house woman during slavery. She was owned by Lewis Hicks and Ann Hicks. They had Saluda, Mary, Lewis, and Oscar. “Mother was never sold. Mr. Hicks reared her. She was three-fourths Indian. Her father was George Hicks. Gordon carried him to Texas. Mr. Bob Gordon was mean. He asked Mr. Hicks to keep mother and auntie while he went to Texas, Mr. Gordon was so mean. My mother had two little girls but my sister died while small. “I never saw any one sold. I never saw a soldier. But I noticed the grown people whispering many times. Mother explained it to me, they had some news from the War. Aunt Jane said she saw them pass in gangs. I heard her say, ‘Did you see the soldiers pass early this morning?’ I was asleep. Sometimes I was out at play when they passed. “Master Hicks called us all up at dinner one day to the big house. He told us, ‘You are free as I am.’ I never had worked any then. No, they cried and went on to their homes. Aunt Jane was bad to speak out, she was so much Indian. She had three children. She went to another place to live. She was in search of her husband and thought he might be there at Ft. Valley. “Mother stayed on another year. Mr. Hicks was good to us. None of the children ever worked till they was ten or...

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