Eylau Plantation was the home of Dr. Samuel Oldham and his family. Dr. Oldham relocated to Lauderdale County from Virginia in 1827. Once they arrived Dr. Oldham purchased land from Columbia University (land speculators I suppose?) about 8 miles east of Ripley to build his farm. Eylau was built entirely by his slaves and completed in 1835. Eylau was a show place with fireplaces in each room and the like. It was built for entertaining with the first floor being converted into a ballroom.

Eylau Plantation
Eylau Plantation built by slaves and completed in 1835

Dr. Oldham is said to have treated his slaves kindly and they were provided with comfortable living quarters. Oral history has also stated that some of his former slaves are buried in the cemetery that was on the grounds of Eylau. Details in his will indicate that he did not want his slave families to be separated. He also mentions a few of his slaves in his will. They are as follows,

George Young from the Forest Home Plantation

Peter (a boy)

Jim and Bet (husband and wife)

After his death the slaves on the Eylau Plantation were divided equally between two of his sons. Special provisions were made for Jim and Bet. Dr. Oldham saw to it that they were allowed to stay in the home they currently lived in, that they were provided wood in the winter, and that the family always looked after them.

– Tiffany

– Source and picture: Lauderdale County From its Earliest Times by Kate Johnston Peters