30 August 2012

Shadrach Inman Made Two Fortunes

Shadrach Inman's obituary was carried in newspapers all up the east coast, from Georgia to North Carolina to New York. He was a man of the South who made fortunes in two eras -- the "old" south prior to the Civil War, and the "new" south after it. His story was related in an article by Tammy H. Galloway for the New Georgia Encyclopedia: "The Inman family is representative of those members of the planter class who lost much of their wealth during the Civil War (1861-65) but recouped their fortunes in a postwar urban environment."

Shadrach Inman came to Atlanta from Tennessee about 1865 and established a dry goods store with his youngest son, Hugh. Hugh T. Inman was the father of Louise and Hugh, previously profiled on this blog.

Ms. Galloway continues, explaining how the Inman family, including Shadrach, his brothers, and his sons, expanded their wealth after the Civil War: "The dry-goods stores of the time served as places to barter goods, particularly for farmers growing cotton, but were later discontinued in favor of direct dealings in cotton. The Inmans worked as factors, purchasing cotton from farmers and reselling it when the market turned more favorable. From their interest in cotton they expanded into such related areas as fertilizers, cotton presses, steel hoops to hold compressed cotton, and railroads for the shipping of cotton."

Inman Family Plot
© 2012 S. Lincecum
Shadrach's obituary from the New York Herald (New York), 4 February 1896, Pg. 6 (available online via GenealogyBank):
He Was the Father of John H. Inman, a Well Known Broker, of This City.

ATLANTA, Ga., Feb. 3, 1896. -- Shadrach Inman, father of John H. Inman, of New York, and Samuel and Hugh Inman, of Atlanta, died here to-night.

Mr. Inman was a native of Tennessee. He made two fortunes, his first having been destroyed by the war. His sons are all successful business men.

John H. Inman came here last week to attend his father in his last hours.
Shadrach died at the age of 84, and was buried in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery. In a slight twist of irony, Shadrach's son John died just 9 months later at the much younger age of 52. He was laid to rest in Bronx, New York's Woodlawn Cemetery.

10 August 2012

A Cherub Rises Above His Earthly Coffin

Little Hugh Inman, son of H. T. and J. V. D. Inman, was born 22 October 1879. He died just eleven days shy of his second birthday. His tombstone in Oakland Cemetery at Atlanta, Georgia is full of symbolism. Hugh is depicted as an infant angel hovering above a rock piling. He lifts a cloak to reveal a coffin underneath. The rocks represent a firm foundation for life, and the rising above a revealed coffin represents victory over death. As was with his sister, Hugh's likeness was sculpted into the cherub form.

All photos © 2012 S. Lincecum

09 August 2012

I Remember, I Believe : The Avondale Burial Place

I followed this story for some time -- the relocation of remains from an African American burial ground in Bibb County, Georgia. Throughout the process, I always felt proud of how the project was being handled. I remain so to this day. A kind Facebook friend shared this documentary with me. It is 30 minutes long, but time so very well spent. If you have an interest in archaeology, cemeteries, history, or African American history specifically, please watch.

In addition, I wrote a post four years ago about a man who might just have a connection to this burial place -- Daniel Ryder, U.S. Colored Infantry.

For more information about this project, including contact information if you might be related, please visit www.avondaleburialplace.org.

05 August 2012

Louise Inman's Death Mask

Photo © 2012 S. Lincecum
Louise Inman was a daughter of H. T. and J. V. D. Inman. She was born 5 December 1883, and died 2 May 1888. The tree stump sculpted for her tombstone in Atlanta, Georgia's Oakland Cemetery indicates a life cut short, and she is depicted writing on a tablet -- possibly the particulars of her time on earth. According to the Historic Oakland Cemetery Self-Guided Tour & Map, Louise's face is a death mask.
"In Western cultures, a death mask is a wax or plaster cast made of a person’s face following death. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, or be used for creation of portraits. It is sometimes possible to identify portraits that have been painted from death masks, because of the characteristic slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mold. In other cultures a death mask may be a clay or another artifact placed on the face of the deceased before burial rites." [Wikipedia]
Photo © 2012 S. Lincecum

01 August 2012

The Pedigree of Edward Greenway Hitt, Jr.

Not to be outdone by his wife Margaret Peavy, Edward Greenway Hitt, Jr. (b. 1920 Illinois, d. 2001 Georgia) was a pretty cool cat. His obituary in the 9 September 2001 edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says as much. Copyright prevents me from printing it in its entirety here, so let me just itemize some tidbits about the son of Edward Greenway Hitt and Lamar Jackson Slaton:

- Edward was a retired insurance executive and underwriting member of Lloyd's of London.
- He co-founded The Southern General Insurance Company about 1951.
- He founded the Southeast Commandery of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus in 1980.
- He attended Emory University, and memberships included The Society of Colonial Wars, The National Society -- Americans of Royal Descent, The Military Order of the World Wars, The Georgia Trust for Historical Preservation, Historic Oakland Cemetery, and the Georgia Historical Society.
- He "was the great great great grandson of one of Georgia's earliest governors, General James Jackson, of Revolutionary War fame. General Jackson accepted the surrender of Savannah from the British and served the state of Georgia as a Representative and U.S. Senator. History books also record General Jackson's exposure of the Yazoo Land Fraud."
- He "was also the great nephew of the late John M. Slaton, former governor of Georgia from 1912 - 1915."
- His "maternal great grandfather, James Jackson,...was a Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of Georgia. He was a colonel and Judge Advocate General for Robert E. Lee in the Army of Northern Virginia during The War Between the States."
- "His paternal great grandfather, William Franklin Slaton, a major in the Confederate Army, was founder of the Atlanta Public School system and its first superintendent."
- His "grandfather, William Martin Slaton, former principal of the Old Boys High School, was also superintendent of Atlanta's public schools for many years."
- "Mr. Hitt was a collateral descendant of President George Washington."

Edward, his wife, and his parents all rest in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery.

Photo © 2012 S. Lincecum

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