Welcome to the International African American Museum! Advanced timed tickets are required for all visitors. Popular dates and times may be sold out.
14 Wharfside StreetCharleston, SC 29401
Museum open 10am to 5pm (last entry 4:00 PM) Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Monday.
IAAM will challenge, illuminate, inspire and, ultimately, will move people to action.
14 Wharfside Street — Charleston, SC 29401
Oct 31, 2019
I ordered this book to document my great great grandfather,
Beverly Vance (1832-1899) years ago. The author of the book states that he
included black officeholders during Reconstruction. If you have researched
African Americans for any period of time you recognize how hard it is to find
records to document them. I proudly found a short paragraph in the directory:
South Carolina. Black. Illiterate. Laborer.
A constable in Cokesbury, Abbeville County, South Carolina,
Vance was threatened with violence in 1876, subjected to an economic boycott,
and lost his land when a promissory note was called in. His crime, he told a
congressional committee, was that “I’d always taught the colored people in my
part of the county to stick to the Republican party.” A farm laborer, Vance owned no property
according to the 1870 Census.
Allen B. Ballard, One More Day’s Journey: The Story of a
Family and a People. (New York, 1984), Manuscript U.S. Census 1870.
I was grateful to be led to this account of Beverly. I read One More Day’s Journey by Allen Ballard. I lead me to all the congressional testimonies he gave which led me to other where he was mentioned by others. I also discovered he became a property owner after 1870.
When I was searching for Mitchell Goggins (born about 1850) last week, I thought of Eric
Foner’s book again. I got it out and looked him up and there he was! Two for
two. Can you believe that?
South Carolina. Born a slave. Black. Literate. Farmer.
South Carolina – born; represented Abbeville County in state
House of Representatives, 1870-72 and 1874-1876.
Holt, Black over White, app.
Now as I sit and think about other resources where he can be
found, I need to order the book the was referenced, Black over White by Holt. I
see he served two terms in the House of Representatives. I can find his record at
The State Library in South Carolina. I should also look for him in records at
the South Caroliniana Library which is downtown Columbia also.
Could your ancestor be among the 1,500 included in the directory in Eric Foner’s book, Freedom’s Lawmakers? Taken from seven states some of the officeholders are unknown today so having this book could be really enlightening. If you know your ancestor was an officeholder, let us know on Facebook.
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