Archive | January, 2015

Best of Black Ripley Awards 2014

29 Jan

In keeping with last year I am back with 2014’s Best of Black Ripley Awards. This is just a way to document the Best of Black Ripley for the past year. This year I am going to highlight the most read posts on the website.

1. 10 Things You Didn’t Know About African American Life in Ripley – #1 Ripley was known for the largest African American Labor Day Celebration in the United States

Just like last year this was the most read post on the blog. Labor Day certainly does hold a special place in the heart of people from Ripley. This post was also the most shared post from this site on Facebook.

You can review the original posting here:
10 Things you Didn’t Know About Black life in Ripley, TN –  1. Ripley was known for the largest African American Labor Day Celebration in the United States

 

2. Lost Ripley – Eylau Plantation

This one was a complete surprise! I was not expecting this one to appear on the list for the most read posts at all. Eylau Plantation was the home of Dr. Samuel Oldham and family. According to the book, Lauderdale County from its Earliest Times by Kate Johnston Peters, Eylau was a show place for the Oldham family. Peters also notes that Oldham treated his slaves kindly (as kindly as you could treat someone you treat as property I suppose).

You can review the original posting here:

Lost Ripley – Eylau Plantation

 

3. Runaway Slave – Memphis Daily Appeal February 21, 1857

The third most read post was the Runaway Slave post in the Memphis Daily Appeal. I always save runaway slave postings whenever I come across them. I cannot help but to think of the desperation and fear that those individuals must have felt as they made their way towards freedom.

You can review the original posting here:

Runaway Slave – Memphis Daily Appeal February 21, 1857

 

4. 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Black Life in Ripley, TN – 2. The Madison County Area was once involved in a plot to capture a slave thief named John Murrell.

Although this post does not directly involve Ripley, it did take place in the area and is an interesting story involving the Henning family, namesakes of Henning, TN. The story involves plots of slave stealing and inciting slave revolts and helped to create one of the biggest legends in West Tennessee history in John Murrell.

You can review the original posting here:

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Black Life in Ripley, TN – 2. The Madison County Area was once involved in a plot to capture a slave thief named John Murrell. 

 

5. Lost Ripley – Clay Funeral Home on College Street

And lastly, the 5th most read posting on the site for 2014 belongs to the former Clay Funeral Home on College Street. The Clay Funeral Home was founded by Alex Clay and served the black community in Ripley faithfully. After the original posting, Mr. William Carson provided the site with actual pictures of the funeral home. That type of collaboration is exactly what is needed to preserve the stories that make up this site.

You can review the original posting here:

Lost Ripley – Clay Funeral Home on College Street

You can view the posting with pictures of Clay Funeral Home here:

Lost Ripley – Clay Funeral Home – Follow Up

 

There you have it! Those were the most read posts for 2014. What would you like to see featured on the website in 2015?

 

– Tiffany

Advertisements

An Update

29 Jan

Hello everyone,

As you all know I took some time off from the website during the fall to adjust to the rigors of graduate school. I’m pleased to say that I made it through the first semester and I am at the start of my second semester. So far, so good. Thanks for your patience with the lack of posts.

During my hiatus, I did find the time to do some research and attend history related functions. Below are a few photos of what I’ve been up to.

This fall I attended the reburial commemoration ceremony for 20 slaves found at the Nashville Zoo. The slaves had been reburied this past June, but a big ceremony was not held until October. The slaves were discovered on the property in the 1980s and left undisturbed until construction required their removal. The slaves were moved from their original burial site and reburied on the historic farm site located on the zoo. Prior to being reburied DNA samples were taken to identify the ancestry of the individuals and as suspected African ancestry was found. They were reburied according to the original way they were buried in an effort not to disturb what may have been family groupings. They were also reburied using the original stone markers for their graves.

Slave Burial Site Marker

Slave Burial Site Marker

 

Slave burial site. Note the headstones

Slave burial site. Note the headstones.

I also attended a lecture on the bioarchaeology behind these remains and learned of new techniques to determine DNA and the possible geographic locations that these individuals might have lived in prior to living at what would become the Nashville Zoo.

Skull of Slave Woman

Skull of Slave Woman

I also worked on a project to bring commemoration to a neighborhood known as The Bottoms in Murfreesboro that was removed from the landscape due to urban renewal. Researching neighborhoods that have been removed from the landscape has quickly become my favorite area of research.

I was quite busy, but I missed working on Black Ripley. It feels good to be back!

 

– Tiffany