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Slaves at Clapp's Factory

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  • John Mallory Land
    All, Kemis has been told that if we can document that there is even one slave buried in the Clapp s Factory Cemetery, we probably will be eligible for grant
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2003
      All,

      Kemis has been told that if we can document that there is even one slave
      buried in the Clapp's Factory Cemetery, we probably will be eligible for
      grant money. There is no question but that there are slaves buried
      there. Slaves were owned by the company that operated the factory, and
      segregation did not become the standard practice until after
      Reconstruction. The only place in the Clapp's Factory community where
      anyone would be buried is logically the Clapp's Factory Cemetery.

      On 31 DEC 1835, James A. CHAMPMAN of Warren Co, GA, sold for $900 to
      Ebenezer C. CHANDLER and Julius R. CLAPP two Negro Slaves, a 25-year-old
      woman named Lucinda and her youngest child, a four-month-old son named
      Allen.

      As evidenced in liens filed in 1837 and 1838, CLAPP and CHANDLER were
      partners in carpentry. By 1837, they had begun acquiring interest in
      the Clapp's Factory business. When CHANDLER died in 1847, CLAPP bought
      from the heirs all of CHANDLER's interest in their various investments,
      which logically would include any slaves the partners owned.

      In 1848, Charles D. STEWART sold in separate deeds to Henry V. MEIGS and
      George HARGRAVES interest in the Clapp's Factory enterprise, each
      including "an undivided 1/8 interest in two slaves, Myer and Sheppard,
      engaged in work at the mill."

      In 1862, Henry V. MEIGS sold to Julius R. CLAPP his interest in the
      business, and "also, one undivided eighth interest in the following
      Negroes: Shepherd, John, Jake & Dick, heretofore owned and employed by
      the said Columbus Factory Company..."
      One would conclude that the slave called Myer in 1848 was either sold
      (if so, there should be a record) or died, unless he escaped to the
      North. If he died, he most likely is buried at Clapp's Factory.

      Note also the reference to slaves in the following, from photocopies
      provided by Sue GILBERT - no source given - begins on p. 11:

      The COLUMBUS (CLAPPS) factory, in addition to making cotton goods,
      also produced woolen goods, operated a tannery, a shoe factory, a grist
      mill noted for its fine quality of corn meal, and a saw mill. This
      large concern was located on the river just north of the city on the
      present site of Bibb Mills. On the bluff above the mill were located
      the company houses, gardens and other facilities for the workers. In
      1861, the textile units of this factory employed 110 men and women.
      From 600 bales of cotton and 60,000 pounds of wool, the mill annually
      produced 300,000 yards of cotton cloth, 75,000 yards of woolen goods and
      40,000 pounds of yarn and thread. The 30 slaves in the tannery and shoe
      factory tanned 5,000 sides of leather and manufactured 12,000 pairs of
      heavy shoes for field workers. Upon the outbreak of the war, the mill
      increased its output more than threefold to meet the demands for all its
      products. By December 1862, raw wool and hides had become so scarce
      that the company was hard pressed to maintain its accelerated
      production. They instituted a barter system whereby they distributed
      finished goods in exchange for raw materials needed. The COUMBUS
      Factory also owned the bridges across the river. There are two islands
      at the bridge site. It took three bridges to span the river. A short
      one in the center and two larger ones on the Alabama and Georgia banks.
      There were no piers [p. 12] needed for the bridges. All this was
      destroyed by the Federal forces on 17 April 1865. (Footnote for this
      passage: Diffee William Standard, Columbus, Georgia in the Confederacy
      (New York: The William Frederick Press, 1954), Chapter 3, p[p]. 27-28.
      Also: Personal Letter Written by Mr. Clapp now in possession of Mrs.
      Loretta Chappell, Librarian, W. C. Bradley Memorial Library.)>>

      I would like to find out the source of this passage, as well as locate
      the items referenced at the end - does anyone know when Mrs. CHAPPELL
      was librarian at the Bradley, and where she is now? - jml

      We know from the published funeral notice of Julius R. CLAPP (1876) that
      at least some of the former slaves stayed on in service at the factory
      or to CLAPP personally. Any that died while still residing in that
      community would likely be buried in the cemetery as well.

      I have not checked the Muscogee Co. 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules to see
      if the Clapp's Factory slaves are listed, but I will do so as soon as I
      am able. If anyone else has references to slaves working at Clapp's
      Factory, I would appreciate knowing about them.

      John in TX





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