Enslaved People and UGA
While most records in our research have not specified the names, some documents have shed light on the specific enslaved people that worked on and around the University of Georgia campus. This list serves to highlight some of those people which had connection to the University of Georgia.
Alfred, Caloline, Elvir, Hanson, Louisa, and Sophia were all enslaved people mentioned in Alonzo Church’s will records. While these people may not have had direct contact with the University of Georgia campus, they were part of Alonzo Church’s economic system. Church served as the UGA president from 1829 until 1859.
Dick Cary: According to Augustus Longstreet Hull, Dick Cary worked as a bell ringer and college servant on campus during Dr. Moses Waddell’s tenure as the President of the University of Georgia from 1819 to 1829. Cary was described as a well-dressed and “tall, fine looking old negro, wearing his white hair very long, that is to say very bushy” in Annals of Athens.
Louis: A boy, named Louis, was mentioned in the Demosthenian Literary Society Minutes as having completed a “certain service.”
Lucius Henry Holsey: Lucius Henry Holsey was enslaved to Richard Malcolm Johnston, who worked as a professor on the University of Georgia’s campus. Holsey worked as a carriage driver, house servant, and gardener for Johnston, though it is not clear whether he ever worked on the campus. However, inspired by the academic environment of Athens, Holsey learned to read and joined the Methodist Church. These events had a huge impact on his life, and he went on to help found the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church and Paine College.
Patrick: Patrick worked in the Botanical Garden, at least in 1842 and 1843, as noted in the Prudential Committee Meeting Minutes.
Bill Hull: According to Augustus Longstreet Hull, Billy Hull worked as a carpenter on the campus under Dr. Alonzo Church.
Davy Hull: Davy Hull was also a carpenter, though it is unclear whether he worked on campus or not. However, in Annals of Athens, A.L. Hull notes that Davy Hull often interacted with the students, who nicknamed him "doctor." Hull described him as “a natural wit” and having “a keen sense of humor.” He died a year after the Civil War of small pox.
Old Sam: Sam Harris worked as the college bell ringer. According to Annals of Athens, he also “made the fires in the professors’ rooms, sometimes swept them out and was at the beck and call of every student in Old and New College.” Upon freedom, he was called Sam Watkins.
Lewis: Lewis was enslaved to John H. Christy and he turned the crank at the Southern Watchman newspaper press. While it is unclear whether he ever worked or interacted with people on campus before emancipation, A.L. Hull described him as a “friend of the college boys,” who referred to him as “Old Tub.” He worked as a blind beggar until he died in poverty.