Many of the most fundamental assumptions by the Anthropology profession concerning the Pre-European history of the Lower Southeast were developed during the mid-20th century as a result of a massive, federally-funded excavation of archaeological sites near Macon, GA. While today, anthropologists, museums and the National Park Service present a united front stating that the body of knowledge, which resulted from the Ocmulgee Bottoms studies, was the result of comprehensive analysis, plus well-thought out consensus by some of the most brilliant men of their time, the truth is quite a bit different.
Location: Bibb County GA
Ocmulgee Bottoms is a corridor of the Ocmulgee River Flood Plain in the central region of the State of Georgia that begins at the Fall Line in Macon, GA and continues 38 miles southward to near Hawkinsville, GA. This region is located in Bibb, Twiggs, Houston, Bleckley and Pulaski Counties. The Ocmulgee River’s velocity slows dramatically upon entering the Bottoms and has a serpentine channel. Over the eons, the river here has meandered frequently across the breath of the flood plain, leaving hundreds of ponds and swamps, plus a deep layer of rich, alluvial soil. On top of the alluvial soil is from one to ten feet or red clay that was deposited during the period when cotton was cultivated in the Piedmont, upstream.
Bibb County is located in central Georgia and is part of the Macon, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA.) It is named after William Wyatt Bibb (1781 -1820.) Its county seat is Macon. Bibb County contains one of the most important and largest archaeological zones in the United States, the Ocmulgee Bottoms. It is one to two miles (1.6-3.2 km) wide and approximately 12 miles (19.2 km) wide. The Ocmulgee Bottoms was the location of one of the earliest centers of advanced Native American culture north of Mexico and the traditional location where the Creek Indian Confederacy was born. Ocmulgee National
Interviewer: Adella S. Dixon Person Interviewed: Della Briscoe Location: Macon, Georgia Della Briscoe, now living in Macon, is a former slave of Mr. David Ross, who owned a large plantation in Putnam County. Della, when a very tiny child, was carried there with her father and mother, Sam and Mary Ross. Soon after their arrival the mother was sent to work at the “big house” in Eatonton. This arrangement left Della, her brother and sister to the care of their grandmother, who really posed as their mother. The children grew up under the impression that their mother was an older
Interviewer: Elizabeth Watson Person Interviewed: Alice Battle Date of Interview: 1936 Location: Hawkinsville, Georgia During the 1840’s, Emanuel Caldwell—born in North Carolina, and Neal Anne Caldwell—born in South Carolina, were brought to Macon by “speculators” and sold to Mr. Ed Marshal of Bibb County. Some time thereafter, this couple married on Mr. Marshal’s plantation, and their second child, born about 1850, was Alice Battle. From her birth until freedom, Alice was a chattel of this Mr. Marshal, whom she refers to as a humane man, though inclined to use the whip when occasion demanded. Followed to its conclusion, Alice’s life
Interviewer: Adella S. Dixon Person Interviewed: Berry Clay Location: Macon, Georgia Age: 89 Telfair County was the home of some colored people who never were slaves, but hired their services for wages just as the race does today. Berry Clay, half Indian, half white, was the son of Fitema Bob Britt, a full blood Indian, who died shortly after his son’s birth. His mother later married William Clay, whose name was taken by the children as well as the mother. The family then moved to Macon. Clay, next [TR: ‘to the’ scratched out] oldest of five children was 89 years
Interviewer: Martin Richardson Person Interviewed: Bill Austin Location: Greenwood, Florida Bill Austin – he says his name is NOT Williams – is an ex-slave who gained his freedom because his mistress found it more advantageous to free him than to watch him. Austin lives near Greenwood, Jackson County, Florida, on a small farm that he and his children operate. He says that he does not know his age, does not remember ever having heard it. But he must be pretty old, he says, “cause I was a right smart size when Mistuh Smith went off to fight.” He thinks he
Interviewer: Rachel A. Austin Person Interviewed: Samuel Simeon Andrews Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 86 For almost 30 years Edward Waters College, an African Methodist Episcopal School, located on the north side of Kings Road in the western section of Jacksonville, has employed as watchman, Samuel Simeon Andrews (affectionately called “Parson”), a former slave of A.J. Lane of Georgia, Lewis Ripley of Beaufort, South Carolina, Ed Tillman of Dallas, Texas, and John Troy of Union Springs, Alabama. “Parson” was born November 18, 1850 in Macon, Georgia, at a place called Tatum Square, where slaves were held, housed and sold. “Speculators” (persons
Interviewer: Cora M. Taylor Person Interviewed: Salena Taswell Location: Miami, Florida 1. Where, and about when, were you born? (Answer) In Perry, Ga. in 1844. 2. If you were born on a plantation or farm, what sort of farming section was it in? (Answer) Ole Dr. Jameson’s plantation near Perry, Ga. north of Macon. 3. How did you pass the time as a child? What sort of chores did you do and what did you play? (Answer) I worked around the table in my Massy’s dining room. I didn’t play. I sometimes pulled threads for mother. She was a fine
Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden Person Interviewed: Sarah Anderson Location: 3815 W. Second Avenue, Pine Bluff, Arkansas Age: 78? “I don’t know when I was born. When the Civil War ended, I was bout four or five years old. “I jes’ remember when the people come back—the soldiers—when the War ended. We chillun run under the house. That was the Yankees. “I was born in Bibb County, Georgia. That’s where I was bred and born. “I been in Arkansas ever since I was fourteen. That was shortly after the Civil War, I reckon. We come here when they was emigratin’ to