Johnson's Parrottsville Slaves

Johnson's Parrottsville Slaves (HM1QO7)

Location: Parrottsville, TN 37843 Cocke County
Country: United States of America

N 36° 0.509', W 83° 5.412'

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Inscription

Origin of Tennessee Emancipation Day

In 1842, state senator Andrew Johnson, a resident of neighboring Greene County, purchased his first slave here in Parrottsville. Her name was Dolly, and she was fourteen. Her son claimed that she approached Johnson and asked him to buy her because she "liked his looks." Johnson later bought Dolly's half-brother, Sam. In 1857 he acquired another boy, thirteen-year-old Henry.

When Tennessee seceded in 1861, Andrew Johnson 9by then a United States senator) remained loyal to the Union. President Abraham Lincoln appointed him military governor of the state in March 1862. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in states still in rebellion on January 1, 1863. Tennessee, although it had seceded, was considered under Union control and therefore exempt from the Proclamation's provisions. Johnson, nonetheless, freed his own slaves on August 8, 1863. He followed his personal action with an official proclamation on October 24, 1864, declaring all Tennessee slaves to be free.

After Johnson liberated Dolly and Sam, they took his surname as their own. Dolly Johnson had three children, Liz, Florence, and William. Sam Johnson and his wife Margaret had nine children. Dolly Johnson lived with her son William in Andrew Johnson's former tailor shop in Greeneville, where they baked and sold pies. In 1937, William Johnson met President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who presented him a silver-headed cane.

Beginning in 1875, African Americans in this area observed August 8 as Emancipation Day. Now the date officially marks Tennessee's commemoration of Andrew Johnson's decision to bestow the dignity of freedom on his Parrottsville slaves.
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Details
HM NumberHM1QO7
Tags
Year Placed2015
Placed ByCivilWarTrails.org
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:01am PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 311622 N 3986909
Decimal Degrees36.00848333, -83.09020000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 0.509', W 83° 5.412'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 0' 30.54" N, 83° 5' 24.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)423, 865
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2101 Old Parrottsville Hwy, Parrottsville TN 37843, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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