This page covers the period from 1814 through 1891, which includes the ownership of Cedar Grove by the Blackshears and later, John T. Metcalfe in the postbellum period.
In 1814, maps of SW Georgia did not include political boundaries. By 1818, the land west of Thomasville was chartered as Early County with Irwin County to the east. Circa 1822, Edward Blackshear moved to the Thomasville area from then Pulaski County. Thomas County was chartered in 1825, with lands assembled from portions of both Early and Irwin counties.
Edward Blackshear was born January 20, 1762 in Craven County, North Carolina. He married Emily "Amy" Goodwin Mitchell, 20 years his younger, in Georgia sometime after 1790. The lake and town of Blackshear, Georgia, are named after General David Blackshear, Edward's younger brother. General Blackshear fought in the American Revolutionary War as a youth, the War of 1812 and the Creek Indian Wars. For his services, from 1785 through 1798 Gen. Blackshear was granted 2837 acres in Wilkes and Washington Counties, Georgia. Also, sometime near this period he was granted 184,960 acres on both sides of the Oconee River where he built his home, Springfield. It is non-extant.
Edward Blackshear's first land purchases in the Thomasville area were land lots 295 and 296 in the 18th district from Josiah Everett, recorded September 17, 1822. Edward built his original homeplace on the north side of Wolfe Creek which runs from east to west through land lot 296.
Edward and Amy had 5 children, Elizabeth Goodwin, James Joseph, Thomas Edward, Mary Louise and Anne Emily. Edward continued to acquire land in 250 acre land lots that had been awarded to various land owners during the 1820 lottery. Edward wrote a final will on August 2, 1929 and he died on September 3, 1829. By then he had acquired the land lots recorded in the diagram below.
He willed LL 295 and that portion of 296 north of Wolfe Creek to his wife until her death and then to his daughter, then Emily Coalson. He left LL 268 and 293 to his daughter, then Mary Louise Hall and LL 309 to his daughter Ann E. Blackshear. The southern portion of 296, 303-305 and 335-338 were left jointly to his sons James Joseph and Thomas Edward. They continued to acquire land.
It is Edward's son, James Joseph who would later begin the big house. He was born in Pulaski County, Georgia, on August 11 or 13, 1807. The 1830 census records James Joseph with 9 male and 5 female slaves. Governor Lumpkin commissioned him Justice of the Inferior Court from 1833 to 1837.
[Perry Lynnfield Blackshear, Blacksheariana, Atlanta, 1954]
[Thomas County Courthouse Records]
Edward's Oldest Son, James Joseph, Marries Harriet Jones
On April 21, 1836, James Joseph married Harriet Jones. He was 29 and she was 19. She was born March 26, 1817 in Screven County, Georgia. Harriet Jones was the sister of Thomas Jones, master of Greenwood Plantation. As described on the John Wind page at this website, members of the Jones family built several plantation homes in the Thomasville area.
Cedar Grove is Begun
By the 1840's, the success of James Joseph and Harriet is well established. They have had 5 children and three will grow to maturity: Thomas Edward, James Mitchell and Anne Elizabeth. The 1840 census records 43 male and 59 female slaves in the household.
They solicit the services of John Wind to design the big house at Cedar Grove. The earliest known photograph of the completed Cedar Grove is given below (courtesy of the Thomas County Museum of History).
James Joseph is Killed
On November 28, 1843, the Milledgeville Southern Recorder ran the following obituary: "Died, in Thomas county, on the 4th inst., James J. Blackshear, from an accidental stroke on his head from the lever of his cotton screw, aged 36 years two months and twenty-one days. He survived the accident but three hours and a half, leaving an affectionate but disconsolate wife and four children, besides a numerous family of relatives and friends to morn his loss. He was taken off in the bloom of manhood, and while enjoying perfect health. How impressive the lesson, 'be ye also ready'." At age 26, Harriet was left with the responsibilities of both master and mistress of Cedar Grove plantation. Tragedy would strike again when her daughter Emily Goodwin died "In the Moon' of her youth".
Thomas Edward Moves to Navasota, Texas
James Joseph's brother, Thomas Edward, was a graduate of the University of Georgia in 1828, and married Emily Goodwin Raynes in 1831. He served in the Georgia House of Representatives in the 1830's and the Senate in the 1840's. As the Thomas county shifted from a frontier to a developed agrarian area, he grew restless and moved west, proclaiming Thomas county was "too thickly populated." He soon built sizable holdings near Navasota.
Thomas Edward Blackshear's third son, Edward Thomas left from Texas for the American Civil War, was captured, and starved in a Northern prison. He was exchanged and returned to Cedar Grove where he was too weak to recover. He was buried at Cedar Grove.
Thomas Edward died of Yellow Fever in Grimes county, Texas, on October 20, 1867. His son told the poignant tale, excerpted here in brief from Blacksheariana.
"In 1867, Navasota, Texas, seemed to be in a state of healthy, growth and prosperity...Early in the summer the physicians encountered many cases of severe fever...The panic created by the epidemic was equal to any made by an invading army...out of a population of over 3000, there were only about 1200 to 1300 who remained in the city...Many who left died where they fled to, and scores of the survivors never returned...It completely revolutionized the city and prostrated it more than four years of the war had done...The Mayor, William E. Jones, left the city precipitately and all was in the most utter confusion, every carriage, wagon, or conveyance of any kind was brought into use to haul away people and their effects...Provisions soon became scarce and dear...H.H. Geisel took a very active part in helping the sick and burying the dead...he assumed the duties of Mayor...He died January 3, 1872, aged 39 years. In justice to him, the people should rear a monument over his grave."
[Perry Lynnfield Blackshear, Blacksheariana, Atlanta, 1954]
Harriet Blackshear is a Prominent Planter
Harriet Blackshear was certainly up to the task of mastering Cedar Grove. Her brother Thomas was the master of Greenwood, and her brother Mitchell was the master of Oak Lawn, both leading plantations in the area. How much support they provided is unknown. James Joseph's brother Thomas Edward, Harriet Blackshear and her brother Mitchell Jones were named executors of James Joseph's estate. It was Thomas Edward who maintained the ledger. Copies of the ledger are kept at the University of Texas in Austin. From this ledger, Cedar Grove receipts for cotton were $2415.54 in 1843, $2789.51 in 1844 and $5274.52 in 1849. Smaller lots of cotton were sometimes bought, presumably for ginning and/or transportation and resale with Cedar Grove cotton. Jackson J. Mash, Mitchell B. Jones and Thomas Edward were regular recipients of some of the larger payments from the estate, but these entries were not listed as cotton. John Wind was paid $225 on January 9 and $394.80 on December 9, 1845. The later payment was for work as a carpenter. This was the last payment to Wind in the ledger, and this perhaps signifies the completion of the main house.
Anne Elizabeth Marries Capt Henry Sapp
Anne Elizabeth married Captain Henry M. Sapp on July 6, 1865. On January 28, 1969, Harriet's son Thomas Edward sold a 1/3 interest in Cedar Grove including about 4264 acres to Capt Sapp for $4000. She already owned 1/3 of Cedar Grove by inheretance, so it is probable her family resided at Cedar Grove.
Their children were Elizabeth Goodwin Sapp, Harriet Blackshear Sapp born circa 1873 and Henry M. Sapp who died as an infant. Elizabeth Goodwin was married to William Elkin and died in Atlanta circa 1901.
Around 1840, the portrait artist John Houston Mifflin (1807-1888) visited the Thomasville area and painted portraits of planters and their wives. He often painted portraits of young children. James Joseph Blackshear was 33 and Harriet was 23 when sitting for these portraits. The portraits are on permanent display at the Thomas County Museum of History. The portraits are registered with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture, Control Number 83780024. They had been on loan but were given to the Museum on January 25, 2009, by Edward Blackshear Brown, Jr. and Mary Eugenia Cotten. They are great grandchildren of James Mitchell, third son of James Joseph and Harriet Blackshear. The Thomas County Museum of History also has portraits painted by Mifflin of Colonel Richard and Sophronia Mitchell and of Thomas Bratton Winn and his wife Elizabeth Jones Neely Winn.
Cedar Grove Land Expansion Peaks when James Joseph's Will is Executed
On February 5, 1859, the estate was executed, and Harriet and Thomas Edward, Jr. each received 1/5 of James J. Blackshear's estate, and the other three surviving children received 3/5 with Thomas Edward, Jr. as the guardian. The probated lands are shown in the map above. It is interesting that the plantation house is neither near the original Edward Blackshear homeplace or contiguous to the large block of lands. The chosen site is a high spot near the old Thomasville-Quincy road (now Meridian). It was also probably served by good water from a hand dug well. The immediate area included 14 acres in the SE corner of 376 and 50 acres in the NE corner of 385. The total acerage at Cedar Grove at this time was 4814 acres, all in the 18th district. The estate also included land in Hall and Montgomery counties.
Harriet continued to operate Cedar Grove. In 1860, Harriet's eldest son, also named Thomas Edward, was 23 and her son, James Mitchell was 19. Thirteen Thomas county planters produced over 100 bales of cotton and she had the record with 235 bales. She was also one of the county's larger rice producers and she raised 5000 bushels of sweet potatoes. Plantations of the time were largely self-sufficient, and she had to produce food crops to support not only her family, but also the hundred slaves who worked her land and household.
Harriet Blackshear died in 1863 at age 46, having managed Cedar Grove plantation for 20 years. It is perhaps a blessing that she would not live to experience the pain of the almost complete destruction by the American Civil War of a way of life that was certainly not as carefree as the movies promoted, but was an important phase of the history of the South. It is interesting to note, that for the interior of southwest Georgia where only horse, wagon and foot traffic penetrated, the antebellum cotton era lasted only 40 years, or two generations.
[James J. Blackshear Papers: Administration of Estate 1844-1859, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin]
[William W. Rogers, Antebellum Thomas County 1825-1861, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 1963]
Slavery at Cedar Grove
Plantations are often defined by the land. Consider the words of Pa in Gone with the Wind "Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin' for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for, because it's the only thing that lasts." Yes, but it was slaves that represented the majority of the wealth. There are no known records of the life of the slaves at Cedar Grove; no master's log, no visitor diaries, and no paper advertisements for runaways. There is no reason to believe their lives at Cedar Grove were any different than the general. The photo above is scanned from a glass negative, courtesy Claudia Mason, probably taken circa 1890 on Susina Plantation. This old slave quarter was probably assumed by a servant. Notice the active and well worn footpaths.
The field slaves rose before dawn, prepared their meals, fed the livestock and rushed to the fields to arrive at daylight. Cotton was planted in late March and picked from September to Christmas, perhaps later. The numerous other cash and food crops had their own schedules. During "slack" time, there were bugs and worms to pick off the crops, land to clear, firewood to gather, fences to mend, buildings to build and maintain, personal gardens to tend, and livestock to feed and slaughter. All by hand.
[ J.W. Blassingame, The Slave Community, Oxford University Press, New York, 1972]
But to assume the relationship was simply a whip driving a human machine is unrealistic. The boys who would become masters were often suckled and raised by black nannies, and until puberty, many of their playmates were black children. Some masters probably became as respectful as the system allowed, while sadly, others were vindicative, and sometimes even sadistic. The ultimate injustice however, was that the slave had no choice or practical alternative, and occasionally could not keep the family together. Because the quantity of slaves continued to expand throughout the history of antebellum Cedar Grove, probably few were sold, and families remained intact. When James Joseph's will was executed in 1857, 161 slaves were listed with the names and estimated value of each. They may be viewed in the scroll box below.
Lot #1 of Negroes
Sandy $ 800
L Frank 425
Old Hi----y 175
Old Jim 600
Frances & child 800
Bet & child 1500
Hannah & child 1500
L Tom 650
L Ben 1250
Total 27 $ 20,270
Lot #3 Negroes
Isiah $ 1200
Rhonda (Yellow) 960
Rachel (Yellow) 850
Big Manah 500
Catherine & child 800
Ellen & child 650
Delphy & child 850
Mary Ann & child 850
Helen & child 550
Old Ben 0
Old Celia 0
Total 36 $ 22,280
Lots #2-4-5 of Negroes
Roger $ 1200
George (Mineson)$ 1200
Little Henry 600
Little Rhonda 900
Jane & child 900
Little Charlotte 320
Little Manah & child 1060
Old Manah 200
Ann & child 1110
Little Kisiah 500
Moses (carpenter) 280
Little Jim 1200
Ben (Mineson) 850
Moses (wagonner) 800
Amanda & child 1500
Evaline & child 950
Little Martha 400
Little Hinney 400
Black Rachel 650
Jonas (Yellow) 750
Little Moses 750
Rose Ann 650
Polly & child 850
Little Frank 400
Georgia Ann 400
Little Abraham 375
Tom & carpenter tools 2800
Little Sarah 400
Old Abraham 0
Support for Aaron -$700
98 $ 63,355
Wills of the time almost invariably listed the assets in the order of land, slaves, mules and horses, food livestock and then household effects and tools. There are 161 slaves listed by name in the will executed in 1857, at an estimated value of $105,905, an average of approximately $660 per slave and several times what had been paid for the 4814 acres of Cedar Grove. It is unnerving by modern standards to see slaves listed by name followed by mules listed by name. Mules and horses in James Joseph's will were valued at 60 to 170 dollars. The last entry for a slave was Aaron valued at $0. The will included "$700 for care support for this boy he being both idiotic and otherwise afflicted."
Decendents of Edward Blackshear and Emily "Amy" Goodwin Mitchell
The information in this section is taken primarily from the geneology work and website of Henry Poole which is a wealth of information on the Blackshear, Mitchell, Wyche and other families. The decendent numbering system here complies with his. A link to his website is given here. Data in the link begins with Henry Mitchell, born in 1634 in Scotland, as the first generation. It has some data through the thirteenth generation. The scroll box below has only the Edward Blackshear decendents from the sixth through the ninth generations of Hnery Poole's list.
Edward Blackshear b. 1/20/1762 Craven Co., NC d. 9/3/1829 Thomas Co., GA
m. Emily "Amy" Goodwin Mitchell b. 10/22/1782 Pulaski Co., GA d. 2/23/1861 Thomas Co., GA
+275 Elizabeth Goodwin Blackshear b. 3/15/1805
+276 James Joseph Blackshear b. 8/13/1807
+277 Thomas Edward Blackshear b. 8/18/1809
+278 Mary Louise Blackshear
+279 Anne Emily Blackshear b. 11/11/1813
275. Elizabeth Goodwin Blackshear b. 3/15/1805 Pulaski Co., GA d. 4/26/1853 Thomas Co., GA
m. Paul Coalson 2/20/1823 Pulaski Co., GA d. 3/23/1830 buried Melrose Plan., Thomas Co., GA
He was the original owner of Melrose Plantation.
+558 Edward Blackshear Coalson b. 2/10/1824
559 May M. Coalson b. 10/2/1826 d.c. Oct. 1828 Thomas Co., GA
+560 Mary Elizabeth Coalson b. 10/12/1828
276. James Joseph Blackshear b. 8/13/1807 Pulaski Co., GA d. 11/3/1843 Thomas Co., GA
m. Harriet Jones 4/21/1836 b.c. 1817 Screven Co., GA
+561 Thomas Edward Blackshear C.S.A. b. 5/8/1837 Thomas Co., GA
562 Mitchell Jones Blackshear d. in infancy. 1 of 4 markers in Blackshear Cemetery
+563 James Mitchell Blackshear C.S.A. b. 2/27/1841 Thomas Co., GA
+564 Ann Elizabeth Blackshear
565 Emily Goodwin Blackshear d. "in the bloom of her youth"
277. Thomas Edward Blackshear b. 8/18/1809 Pulaski Co., GA d. 10/20/1867 Navasota, TX
m. Emily Goodwin Raines 1/12/1836 d. 6/19/1855 Navasota, TX alternate source d. 1/19/1866
He sold his interest in Cedar Grove to Harriet Blackshear in 1857 and moved to Navasota c. 1857 stating Thomas Co. "too thickly populated"
+566 Robert David Blackshear C.S.A. b. 10/30/1833 Thomas Co., GA
+567 James Joseph Blackshear C.S.A. b. 1/27/1838
568 Edward T. Blackshear b. 2/5/1840 Taken prisoner in Civil War and released in prisoner exchange, but never recovered and died at Cedar Grove.
+569 Angelina R. Blackshear b. 1/1/1842 Thomas Co., GA
+570 Duncan Ray Blackshear b. 11/18/1843
571 Sarah F. Blackshear b. 11/19/1845
+572 Emily Goodwin Blackshear b. 2/21/1848
573 William E. Blackshear b. 1/31/1851
574 Franks Blackshear b. 8/29/1852 d. 10/9/1877
278. Mary Louise Blackshear b. Pulaski Co., GA
m. John Choice Hall 12/28/1827 Thomas Co., GA. Also know as John C. Haall
279. Anne Emily Blackshear b. 11/11/1813 Pulaski Co., GA d. 10/26/1856 Thomas Co., GA
Also known as Ann Elizabeth Blackshear
m. Lucian Hamilton Raines 1/28/1930 b. 11/29/1801 Hancock Co., GA d. 11/29/1859 Thomas Co.
Wedding ceremony performed by Duncan Ray, ESQ who was named in Edward Blackshear's will as trustee and dear friend.
+575 Emily Blackshear Raines b. 11/21/1830 Thomas Co., GA
+576 Sarah Ann G. Raines b. 9/16/1832
+577 Robert H. Raines b. 8/31/1835
578 Mary Elizabeth Raines b.c. 1837 d. young
+579 Harriet Blackshear Raines b. 8/1/1840
580 Frances Mitchell Raines b. 8/14/1844 d. 6/8/1853
581 Richard Mitchell Raines b.c. 1847 d.c. 1872 never married
+582 Lucian Hamilton Raines, Jr. b. 12/21/1849
558. Edward Blackshear Coalson b. 2/10/1824 Clarke Co., GA d. 3/16/1872 Cartersville, GA
m. Jennie Lester
m. Harriet Amanda "Hattie" Young 11/19/1846 Bullock Co., GA b.c. 1830 d.c. 1861
980 Laurie Coalson b.c. 1847
+981 Paul Coalson C.S.A. b.c. 1849
982 Jimmie Coalson
560. Mary Elizabeth Coalson b. 10/12/1828 Thomas Co., GA d.c. Dec 1862 Grimes Co., TX
m. Littleton Wyche Jr 4/14/1850 Thomas Co., GA d. 11/11/1875 Grimes Co., TX
+555 Mary Elizabeth Wyche b.c. 1852
556 Susannah Wyche b.c. 1854
557 Paul C. Wyche b.c. 1862
561. Thomas Edward Blackshear C.S.A. b. 5/8/1837 Thomas Co., GA d. 8/12/1899 Thomas Co.
m. Olivia E. Bryan 12/22/1863 Savanah, GA b.c. 1839 in NC
983 James Blackshear b.c. 1864 Thomas Co., GA d.c. 1869 Thomas Co., GA
984 Mary Blackshear b.c. 1865 d.c. 1869 Thomas Co., GA
985 Anne Elizabeth Blackshear b.c. 1868 d.c. 1870 Thomas Co., GA
986 Thomas Edward Blackshear b. Thomas Co., GA
987 Olivia Goodwin Blackshear b. Thomas Co., GA Also known as Olive Goodwin Blackshear
988 Charles Whitney Blackshear b. Thomas Co., GA
563. James Mitchell Blackshear C.S.A. b. 2/27/1841 Thomas Co., GA d. 9/25/1917
m. Harriet Elizabeth "Hattie" Mitchell 10/24/64 b. 9/19/1846 d. 1/12/1931
649 Harriet Goodwin Blackshear b. 4/24/1866
+650 Frances S. Blackshear
651 James Mitchell Blackshear b. 4/25/1870
652 Elizabeth Sapp Blackshear b. 3/28/1872
+653 Mary Olivia Blackshear
+654 Thomas Raines Blackshear
655 Richard Raines Blackshear b. 7/17/1878
656 Emily G. Blackshear b. 4/11/1880
+657 Anne Louise Blackshear b. 3/5/1882
564. Ann Elizabeth Blackshear b.c. 1842 Thomas Co., GA
m. Capt Henry M. Sapp 7/6/1865 Thomas Co., GA
+989 Elizabeth Goodwyn Sapp
990 Harriet Blackshear Sapp b.c. 1873 Thomas Co., GA d. 8/31/1877 of bilious fever
991 Henry M. Sapp d. as infant
566. Robert David Blackshear C.S.A. b. 10/30/1833 Thomas Co., GA d. 2/3/1915 Navasota, TX
m. Emily Susan Wyche 8/13/1857 Thomas Co. b. 6/1/1836 Thomas Co., GA d. 11/20/1861 Navasota, TX
948 Mitchell Blackshear b. 12/9/1858
m. Sarah L. Foster 4/10/1866 b. 3/11/1843 d. 6/24/1908
992 Robert Thomas Blackshear b. 8/4/1867 Navasota, TX
+993 Emily E. Blackshear b. 7/26/1868
994 William James Blackshear b. 1/24/1870 Navasota, TX d. 6/28/1899 Navasota, TX
+995 Edward Duncan Blackshear b. 9/11/1871
996 Loula Estella Blackshear b. 10/6/1876 d. 10/17/1928
567. James Joseph Blackshear C.S.A. b. 1/27/1838 Thomas Co., GA d. 6/22/1874 Thomasville, GA
m. Harriet Eliza Winn c. 1864 b. 8/9/1840 Thomas Co., GA
997 Emily Elizabeth "Bessie" Blackshear
+998 James J. Blackshear
+999 Mary Winn "Mamie" Blackshear
569. Angelina R. Blackshear b. 1/1/1842 Thomas Co., GA d. 5/1/1919 Grimes Co., TX
m. Thomas E. Foster b. 6/10/1865 TX b. 2/7/1839 GA
1000 Pinkard R. Foster b. 6/12/1875 d. 6/19/1878
+1001 Ivy Foster b. 12/16/1871
570. Duncan Ray Blackshear b. 11/18/1843 Thomas Co., GA d. 8/12/1906 Dallas, TX
m. Laura M. Freeman c. 1867
1002 Edward Blackshear
1003 Ira M. Blackshear
572 Emily Goodwyn Blackshear b. 2/21/1848 d. 1/23/1920 Grimes Co., TX
m. William J. Foster 10/15/1868 TX b.c. 1845 GA d.c. 1908
+1004 Ivy Foster
+1005 Annie S. Foster
575. Emily Blackshear Raines b. 11/21/1830 Thomas Co., GA. d. 10/25/1874 Atlanta bur. "home Place" Duncanville, GA.
m. Doctor Andrew May Manning 7/25/1855 b. 3/8/1830 Butler City, AL. d.c. 1907
1006 Ann Elizabeth MANNING d. young
1007 Lucian MANNING d. age 17
+1008 Edward Blackshear Manning b.c. 1856
576. Sarah Anne G. Raines b. 9/16/1832 Thomas Co., GA. d.c. 1866.
m. Charles Powell "Charlie" Chaires 4/30/1850 Thomas Co., GA. b.c. 1830 FL d. 8/17/1881
His plantation in Leon Co., FL was Vedura
577. Robert H. Raines b. 8/31/1835 Thomas Co., GA. d. 9/22/1891. bur. "Home Place" Duncanville, GA
m. Mary J. Hart 1/13/1858. bur. "Home Place", Duncanville, GA
1009 Robert Raines Jr d. in childhood.
1010 Dr. Thomas Hart Rainew Thomas was living at Springwood Plantation in Thomas Co., GA in 1909.
He did a lot of research on the family.
579. Harriet Blackshear Raines b. 8/1/1840 Thomas County, GA d. Iamonia, Leon Co., FL. bur. "Home Place", Duncanville, GA.
m. Fletcher McQueen 11/28/1861 Thomas Co., GA. b. 5/29/1829 AL. d. 5/31/1884 on train in Butler.
1011 James McQueen d. young.
1012 Anne Goodwyn McQueen
+1013 Lucian H. Raines McQueen
1014 Robert Cottrell McQueen
582. Lucian Hamilton Raines Jr b. 12/21/1849 Thomas Co., GA d.c. 1918 Savannah, GA.
m. Anna Mitchell Davenport 2/11/1873 at Cedar Grove Plantation, Thomas Co., GA. b. 4/8/1853 d. 1/22/1915 Savannah, GA
+1015 Martha Stone Raines b. 3/31/1874
+1016 Richard Mitchell Raines b. 4/9/1876
1017 Lucian Hamilton Raines Jr b. 3/4/1879 Iamonia, Leon Co., FL. d. 1/22/1884 Iamonia
1018 Mary Judson Hart Raines b. 7/27/1881 Iamonia, Leon Co., FL. d. 1/31/1899 Savannah, GA
+1019 Davenport Raines b. 11/28/1888
650. Frances S. BLACKSHEAR.
m. Melville Beach
1114 Grace Beach
+1115 John Herbert Beach
653. Mary Olivia BLACKSHEAR
m. Ed Lee Brown 7/26/1899 Thomas Co., GA
654. Thomas Raines Blackshear
m. Susan Reid Mitchell
657. Anne Louise Blackshear b. 3/5/1882 Thomas Co., GA. d. 1/2/1968 Thomas Co., bur. Laurel Hill
m. Henry "Harry" WYCHE 8/14/1914 in Macon, GA. b. 3/17/1888 in Dupont, GA. d. 4/10/1963 bur. Laurel Hill
981. Paul Coalson C.S.A. b.c. 1849 Thomasville, GA.
m. Jemison Elizabeth Wyche 10/26/1881 Thomas Co., GA. b. 1/7/1864 d. 10/16/1931 Houston, TX
968 Lester T. Coalson b.c. 8/1882
969 Artie J. Coalson b. 3/24/1884
+970 Hallie W. Coalson b.c. 9/1886
971 Edward Coalson
972 Paul Frost Coalson b. 11/20/1888
973 Ruth E. Coalson b.c. 3/1891
974 Florence Coalson b.c. 8/1894
975 Margaret Coalson b.c. 9/1898
987. Olivia Goodwin Blackshear b. Thomas Co., GA. a/k/a Olive Goodwin Blackshear
m. Ernest Barrs 1/23/1901 Thomas Co. a/k/a John Ernest Baars
989. Elizabeth Goodwyn Sapp b. GA d.c. 1901 in Atlanta, GA
m. William Elkin.
993. Emily E. Blackshear b. 7/26/1868 Navasota, TX
m. [?] Noble
995. Edward Duncan Blackshear b. 9/11/1871 Navasota, TX.
m. May Terrill 6/5/1895. b. 5/22/1878
998. James J. Blackshear
m. Sarah Elizabeth Mitchell 9/26/1894 Thomas Co., GA. b. 8/9/1867
1085 Joseph J. Blackshear
999. Mary Winn "Mamie" Blackshear b.Thomas Co., GA
m. Paul Norwood Harley 10/23/1895 Thomas Co., GA.
1001. Ivy Foster b. 4/25/1882
m. Collins Camp 4/11/1901
1329 Nellie Camp
1004. Ivy Foster b. Grimes Co., TX.
m. Collie Camp
1005. Annie S. Foster b. 12/16/1871 Grimes Co., TX
m. Ward B. Templeman 11/25/1895
1330 Reba Templeman b. 12/131898.
1008. Edward Blackshear Manning b.c. 1856.
m. Anna Barksdale c. 1879. b.c. 1857 d.c. 1908
1331 Edward Barksdale Manning
+1332 Frances Manning
1333 Anne Manning
1334 Ethel Manning
1335 Ella Lee Manning b. Leon Co., FL
1336 Zoe Hamilton Manning
1337 Leon Jay Manning
1013. Lucian H. Raines McQueen
m. Katherine Owens
1338 Katherine McQueen
1339 Margaret McQueen
1015. Martha Stone Raines b. 3/31/1874 Springwood Planatation, (?Iamonia, Leon Co., FL?)
m. Henry Wyche Lester Savannah, GA. b. 11/15/1874 Horseshoe Plantation, Leon Co., FL. d. 8/17/1941 bur. Laurel Hill Cemetery, Thomasville, GA
1016. Richard Mitchell Raines b. 4/9/1876 in Iamonia, Leon Co. FL
m. Meta Rowena Meek 1/18/1905 in Palatka, FL.
+1340 Richard Mitchell Raines Jr b. 6/20/1906
1341 Almon Rice Raines b. 10/10/1909 Savannah, GA
1342 Ann Elizabeth Raines b. 11/5/1916
1019. Davenport Raines b. 11/28/1888 Savannah, GA.
m. Alice M. Wheat
Hard Times Fall on Cedar Grove
Cotton throughout the South, and sugar in the lower Mississippi delta, were the economic driving force for plantations and the South in general. Cotton production was 750 thousand bales in 1830, 2.5 million bales in 1850 and 4.5 million bales in 1860. Much was exported, largely to England. During the war, England found new supplies in India, Egypt and to a lesser extent, Brazil. The American Civil War devastated the South, particularly during and immediately after the war. A generation suffered an all-consuming distraction and lost many of its sons. Cotton production in the South fell from 4.5 million bales in 1860 to 300 thousand bales in 1864. Pennsylvania was the only northern state with significant battles, while destruction in the South was nearly complete, particularly the transportation systems and what few factories there were.
Since they had not been educated and knew no other life, many Negroes stayed on the plantations and some worked for support. According to Dattel, during and after the war, Union officers supported methods to deal with slaves that had escaped behind Union lines and to keep Negroes "placed on the abandoned plantations to till the ground". It some cases, Union generals merely replaced planters as the masters of labor. Set labor rates, harsh treatment and practical matters made emancipation nearly mute for many Negroes, a situation that would take generations to overcome. Early farming practice was poor, and cotton had depleted the land. Nevertheless, even after the war, cotton was needed. Cotton farming continued, with some on large plantations, but also by sharecropping and tenant farming. Practices also improved. By the late 1870's, the nation was so busy with expansion to the West and the coming prosperity of the Gilded Age, that northern interest in reconstruction and the plight of Negroes was lost. A disputed election for President of the United States was settled by Rutherford B. Hayes assuming the White House by his promising to remove troups from three remaining southern states.
By 1880, exports of cotton had recovered to 1860 levels. Nevertheless, agriculture in the South was depressed for decades. The Great Migration of Negroes from the South to the North did not began until World War I.
Uniquely in the Thomasville area, plantations here would soon flourish via a new economic model.
[Eugene R. Dattel, Cotton and the Civil War, Mississippi History Now, Mississippi Historical Society, July 2008]
James Joseph and Harriet had five children, all born in Thomas County. Thomas Edward born April or May 8, 1837, Mitchell Jones died in infancy, James Mitchell born February 27 or 28, 1841, Anne Elizabeth, date unknown and Emily Goodwin, date unknown.
Edward Blackshear Brown, Jr. has a quilt hand made by Harriet Blackshear circa 1852. The following photograph is courtesy of Mr. Brown.
(Copyright) Lancaster County's Historical Society (Pennsylvania)
Panoramic picture "King Cotton" by J.C. Coovert c. 1907 from the Library of Congress depicting the picking of cotton in the Memphis area
Thomasville in the Gilded Age
During the 1870s and 1880s, the the economy grew at the fastest rate in U.S. history, with wages and wealth advancing rapidly. During this age, the U.S. became the world's economic leader. By then, railroads were well developed, and Thomasville shared in the prosperity, becoming a major winter resort. The August 18, 1887 Richfield Springs (New York) Mercury newspaper read "The present time from New York City to Thomasville, and with but one change of cars, is 38 hours, all rail, and by steamship 56 hours.
Visitors came to breathe the pine-scented air, to sooth pulmonary ailments. Soon they were joined by friends to enjoy hunting, fishing, golf and horse racing. Two grand hotels offered fine cuisine and an active social scene. John Philip Sousa entertained in Paradise Park and Mark Hanna and William McKinley plotted strategy on Dawson Street for McKinley's nomination for President. Barons from the North arrived in "private varnish", their personal rail cars.
As wealthy visitors returned each winter, they soon discovered the area plantations. By the end of the 19th century, every one of the 70 or so plantations surrounding Thomasville had been acquired for use as hunting preserves and retreats. However, only a few of these large plantations had extant antebellum mansions. In some cases, the wealthy built new palatial estates, such as Chinquapin and Millpond, and later Pebble Hill. In other cases, modest homes or hunting lodges were built. Some staff remained year round to maintain the properties and some personal staff traveled with the new land owners. The wealth brought to Thomasville remains to this day an enduring feature of the local economy.
John T. Metcalfe Acquires and Renames Cedar Grove
The same Mercury newspaper article mentioned above wrote "Dr. John T. Metcalfe, of New York city, has purchased a plantation of 1800 acres last winter." Dr. Metcalfe was one of New York's most eminent physicians. He was born in Natchez, MS, on July 10, 1818 and was a 1838 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. While at the Military Academy, he was co-author of a popular song, Benny Havens, Oh, that is still sung at the Academy.
To listen to a modern rendition, use this icon.
He resigned the Army in 1840 and began study at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and graduated in 1843 or 1844. He was a founding member of the New York Academy of Medicine and president of the New York Pathological Society in 1852.
Actually, Thomas County records indicate that Dr. Metcalfe bought 1162.5 acres in Georgia District 13 on January 30, 1883, and a total of 7857 acres in District 18 from January 31, 1887 through November 16, 1888, the later being the original Cedar Grove plus an additional adjacent 3043 acres assembled from several owners.
After acquiring Cedar Grove, Dr. Metcalfe renamed it to Susina Plantation. He had a daughter named Susan and Susina is Italian for plum. Plum grew wild on the property and it might have been cultivated by James Joseph's son, Thomas Edward Blackshear. Mr. Blackshear was known to have cultivated other produce such as strawberries and watermellon, which were shipped to the North by rail and steamship.
Dr. Metcalfe may not have lived at Susina, but rather used it as a hunting preserve. He owned lots in the city of Thomasville as well. In 1895, Dr. Metcalfe was wintering at Burbank Cottage in Thomasville. Pictured above is Dr. Metcalfe (in the chair) sitting on the front steps at Susina, with hunting friends, bankers from the North. Dr. Metcalfe sold Susina in 1891 but continued to winter in the Thomasville area. The town of Metcalf, GA, 10 miles east of Susina, is named after Dr. Metcalfe. Dr. Metcalfe died at his winter residence in Thomasville on January 30, 1902.
[Obituary, John. T. Matcalfe, M.D., Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, p. 154, February 6, 1902]