843.872.5352 iaam@iaamuseum.org

Census of Contraband Camp, Otter Island, SC, April 1862, Slaveholders Listed

Contraband Camp Otter Island SC

 

In the days following the U.S. military’s capture of Port Royal, South Carolina in November of 1861, hundreds of enslaved men, women and children flocked to military encampments and Union Navy vessels, seeking freedom and protection from Confederate raids aimed at returning them to slavery. As the numbers of those seeking sanctuary began to swell, the U.S. military established temporary contraband camps on and around the sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia. Two such encampments were established at Otter Island, South Carolina and Tybee Island, Georgia.

In March of 1862, military superintendents of the Otter Island and Tybee Island contraband camps recorded the names of the men, women and children in those camps. Remarkably, the lists also contain the names of the final slaveholders of the more than 100 individuals in the camps. The records are preserved in the collection “United States Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866,” digitized at FamilySearch.org. Here, we present transcriptions of those census lists, and a brief background of the contraband camps at Otter Island and Tybee Island.

Otter Island

Otter Island is a small island opposite Edisto Beach on the South Carolina coast. It is bounded by the Ashepoo River and St. Helena Sound. Now part of the St. Helena Sound Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area, the island of just under 2,000 acres was a strategic point for the United States military to occupy because of its proximity to Charleston1

The Confederate Army established a fort on Otter Island in 1861, but abandoned the fort in November of that year after the Union capture of Port Royal. Union army and naval forces occupied the abandoned fort on Otter Island in December of 1861. There, they encountered a small settlement of self liberated African Americans, some of whom provided important intelligence of Confederate movements and positions in the area. Naval Commander Percival Drayton established a contraband camp at Otter Island in December of 1861. The camp was placed under the supervision and protection of Navy Lieutenant James W. Nicholson, whose ships patrolled the waters around Otter Island to protect the contrabands from Confederate raids, and provide cover for contrabands as they foraged for food provisions2

The lists transcribed below are searchable. You may also select how many rows to view per page for each list. These lists were transcribed by Alana Thevenet.

Semi Monthly  Return of Contrabands from Feb. 15, 1862 to March 1st 1862 On Otter Island S.C. 3

Names of ContrabandsFormer Owners Date of arivalNo. of daysRemarks
Elizabeth O Ferry
Cato Frayser " "Dec 8th 18619Eliza Hutchenson
George Washington " " "9Acting Agent
Frank Scott " " "9John Lariby Overseer
Quash Frip " " "7
Daniel Bailey " " "8
Benjamin Jenkins " " "9
Sambo Fergeson " " "10
Cain Berns " " "8
Cuffy Simmers " " "11
Cudgel Gaston " " "11
Stephen Seymour " " "8
Amos Wilson " " "9
Major Friday " " "11
Robert Middleton " " "11
Sipio Talbot " " "10
William Simmons " " "8
Ceaser Grant " " "8
Monday Washington " " "8
March Seabrook " " "11
Ben Jenkins " " "11
James Maygood " " "11
Frank Simmers " " "12
Jim Shingleton " " "11
Dan[illegible] Baker " " "12
Joe Seymour " " "18
[Illegible] Tomsand " " "11
Grifeth Brane " " "12
Cain Shingleton " " "12
Sam Smith " " "11
[Illegible] Christopher " " "8
Jacob Polite " " "8
George Hardtime " " "8
Elizabeth O Ferry
Adam Simmons " " "10
Joe Robinson " "11
Toby Riggs " " "12
Fay Bainell " " "11
Prince LeroachIn charge of Joshua Leroach "Dec 18th 18619
June Leroach "8
Fortune Leroach " " "7
James Leroach " " "8
Peter GrandersonJohn G Marshel "11
Adam Greenformer Owner "10
Dick Jenkins "13
Jacob Hasleton "12
Saby Moris "11
Wiliam Alston "11
William FeldaPaul Felda formeer owner "8
Daniel WrightL.C. CliffordJanuary 28th 186211
Peter Wrightformer owner "12
Sam Bligeon "11
Isaac JohsonMiss Katy VidereFebruary 8th 186211
Charles Washingtonformer Owner "12
Frank BeadsSamson Paul former owner "14
Hackless Was.Major Merry "7
John Merryformer Owner "8

Descriptive List of Negro Contrabands Under Age on Otter Island, March 31, 18624

NamesAge: Yrs-MoFormer OwnerMarriedSingleWhen Landed on Otter IslandInfirm
Charles Wyatt9 yrsJohn R. Mattersx25th March
Robert Talbot5 yrsMajor Massyx8th DecMeasles
Richard Gadson8 yrs " "x " "
Cuffee Wright15 yrsJames Craytonx31st Jan
Samuel Legree7 yrsWilliam Mattersx1st Feb
Jeffry Legree2 yrs " "x " "
Thomas Wright8 yrs " "x1st Jan
Hue Wright14 yrs " "x " "
Marion Walley15 yrsMajor Walleyx15th March
Jacob Brown19 yrsJ.G. Hazeltonx9th Jan
Henry Laroach10 yrsEdward Laroachx18th Dec
Toney Laroach5 yrs " "x " "
June Shingleton16 yrsx8th Dec
Sambo Shingleton13 yrsMrs. Marchx " "
David Hutchinson13 yrs " "x " "
James Hutchinson8 yrs " "x " "
Albert Simons3 yrs " "x1st March
Robert Christopher16 yrs " "x10th "
Moses "12 yrs " "x " "
Ephram "5 yrs " "x5th Dec
Rowling "3 yrs " "x " "
March Seabrook8 yrs " "x8th Dec
Abraham "4 yrs " "x " "
Ceaser "3 yrs " "x " "
William Seamore18 yrs " "x1st MarchCrippled
Joe "13 yrs " "x " "
Steven "5 yrs " "x " "
Dick Laroach10 yrsEdward Laroachx13th Dec
Amos "1 yr " "x " "
Edwin Brown2 yrsMajor Massyx1st MarchMeasles
James Wright2 yrs " "x " "
Robert Mack15 yrsMrs. Marchx8th March
Jeffry Hardtimes7 yrs " "x8th Dec
[Illegible] F. Hardtimes1 yr 6 mo " "x " "
John Lincoln Fripp0 yrs 6 mo " "x " "
Andrew Simons8 yrs " "x " "
Cuffee "6 yrs " "x " "
Sire Bailey5 yrs " "x " "
Ed. Beaver Bailey0 yrs 3 mo " "x " "
John Jenkins8 yrs " "x " "
James "3 yrs " "x " "
Dick Robert March6 yrs " "x " "
July R. March4 yrs " "x " "
Quash barns1 yr " "x " "
Thomas Baker6 yrs " "x5th Dec
Aaron "4 yrs " "x " "
Simon Drayton15 yrs " "x " "
Joseph Talbot6 yrs " "x8th Dec
Lenard "4 yrs " "x " "
Richard "3 yrs " "x " "
Fay Barnwell19 yrs " "x " "
Tom Bolds2 yrs 6 mo " "x " "
York Hazelton15 yrsMrs. Hazeltonx " "

Descriptive List of Male Contrabands On Otter Island April 1 1862: Males Over Age4

NamesAge: Yrs-mosFormer OwnerMarriedSingleWhen Landed on Otter IslandInfirm
Abraham Brown26-00Major Murryx1st March
Thomas Gadson24-00 " "
Jesse Dunken30-00 "x "
Steven Ruben24-00 " "
McNeal Wyars40-00John R. Mattessx25th March
Hackless Walsh28-00Major Murryx15th Febr
William Brown30-00Mr. Leex25th March
Peter Gadson25-00Major Murryx "
Frank Simons23-00 "x8th Dec
Timothy Videer54-00Samuel Videerx25th Febr
Charles Washington26-00 "x "
Thomas Mattess40-00John R. Mattessx12th March
Daniel Wright25-00J.C. Cliffordx31st Jan
Peter "40-00Wm Mattessx1st Jan
James Blanchard50-00 " "x " "
William Felder54-00Pall Felderx " "
Saby Morris25-00Col Morrisex " "
Robert Simons40-00Wm Simonsx15th March
Peter Granderson59-00Wilson Marshalx9th Jan
Dick Jenkins39-00 " "x " "Ruptured
Adam Green50-00 " "x " "Blind of one Eye
Lee Hardtimes40-00Mrs. March1st DecCrippled Feet
Toby Biggs20-00 " "x11th Jan
Monday Washington25-00 " "x8th Dec
Prince Leroach24-00Edward Leroachx13th Dec
June Leroach45-00 " "x " "
Joshua Leroach52-00 " "x " "
Cain Shingleton40-00Mrs. March8th Dec
Cato Frazier25-00 " "x " "
Tom Hutchinson110-00 " "1st MarchInfirm of Age
David Haywood25-00Col. Chismx15th Dec
James Hutchinson84-00Mrs. Marchx8th Dec
Yahill Simons25-00 " "x1st March
Kit Christopher42-00 " "x5th Dec
March Seabrook32-00 " "8th Dec
Steven Seamore54-00 " "x " "
Fortune Leroach45-00Edward Leroachx13th Dec
James Leroach22-00 " "x " "
Judge Hardtimes52-00Mrs. Marchx8th Dec
Quash Fripp22-00 " "x1st "
Cuffee Simons54-00 " "x8th "
Daniel Bailey30-00 " "x " "
Homer Shingleton22-00 " "x1st March
Titus Jenkins55-00Dr. Gerardnex " "
Ceaser Grant75-00John Jenkinsx8th Dec
Charles March55-00Mrs. Marchx1st March
Ben Jenkins32-00 " "x8th Dec
Benjamin Jenkins32-00John Jenkinsx " "
Joe Robert March40-00Mrs. Marchx " "
William Simons25-00 " "x " "
Judson Gadson23-00John Jenkinsx " "
Major Friday46-00Mrs. Marchx " "
Cain Burns35-00 " "x " "
Da[illegible] Baker65-00 " "x5th "
Adam Simons40-00Col. Chism15th "
Amos Wilson23-00Mrs. Marchx8th "
George Jenkins83-00 " "x " "
Sambo Ferguson49-00 " "x " "
Jacob Polite42-00 " "x " "
Cudjo Read25-00 " "x25th March
John Chism25-00 " "x10th March
Samuel Smith24-00 " "x8th "
Scipio Talbot47-00Mrs. Marchx8th Dec
Frank Scott20-00 " "x " "
George Washington22-00Capt. Byfordx " "
Caser Bolds51-00Mrs. Marchx " "Body Pains
Primas Morris35-00Col. Morrisex25th March
Sam Hazelton60-00Mrs. Hazeltonx " "
Cuffee Legree24-00Mrs. Legreex " "
Jackson Hazelton21-00Mr. Hazeltonx " "
Charles Morrise23-00Col. Morrisex30th "
Ned Morrise21-00 " "x " "
Peter Morrise20-00 " "x " "
Mose Sheridan25-00Hugo Sheridanx " "
William Alson25-00Wilson Marshalx9th JanSick

Descriptive List of Female Contrabands on Otter Island, April 1, 1862: Females Over Age4

NamesAge: Yrs-MosFormer OwnerMarried SingleWhen Landed on Otter Island Infirm   
Susen Brown22-00Major Murryx1st March
Lavenia Dunken28-00     "           "x  "        "
Eliza White35-00     "           "x  "        "
Milley Wyass35-00John R. Mattesx25th   "
Cellia Walsh28-00Michael Seabrookx16th Febr
Minty Brown30-00Major Murry
Susen Tolbert30-00    "            "
Cloie Gadson30-00    "            "25th    "
Charlotte WashingtonSamauel Videerx  "         "
Sibby Mattess43-00John R. Mattessx12th March
Judy Field40-00     "                 "x1st         "
Mary Neal28-00     "                 "x  "           "
Harriet Legree45-00William Mattessx1st Febr[All of her info is crossed out]
Jane Wright45-00     "   "x1st Jan
Annie Blanchard40-00     "                  "x  "      "
Fanny Felder35-00William Elliotx  "      "
Peggy Simons35-00Benjamin Walleyx15th March
Dinah Green40-00Wilson Marshal9th Jan
Harriet Riggs19-00Mrs. Marchx10th Dec
Rose Washington28-00  "            "x8th      "
Harriet Leroach30-00Edward Leroachx18th    "
Minda         "70-00       "               "x  "         "
Sarah Shingleton46-00Mrs. Marchx8th      "
Dora Frazier29-00  "            "x  "         "
Dapheny Hutchnson  "            "x  "         "
Susen Haywood18-00  "            "x  "         "
Nora Hutchinson62-00  "            "x  "         "
Elsey Simons26-00  "            "x1st March
Lidia Christopher37-00  "            "x5th Dec
[Illegible] Seabrook30-00  "            "x8th      "
Tyra Seamore27-00  "            "x  "         "
Jema Leroach35-00Edward Leroachx13th Dec
Cinda Hutchinson53-00Mrs. Marchx  "        "
Clarinda Hardtimes40-00  "            "x8th      "
Molly Fripp22-00  "            "x  "         "
Sinda Simons45-00  "            "x  "         "
Mila Bailey84-00  "            "x  "         "
Dinah Hutchinson75-00  "            "x  "         "
Juda Elliot80-00Thomas Elliotx15th March
Rose Jenkins45-00Mrs. Marchx8th Dec
Peggy Grant52-00  "            "x  "      "Asthma
Hager March90-00  "            "  "      "
Elizabeth  "35-00  "            "x1st MarchDeaf
Lucy Jenkins28-00  "            "x8th Dec
Betsy R. March22-00  "            "x  "      "
Rose Simons19-00  "            "x  "      "
Lizzie Gadson18-00Ellick Chismx  "      "
Derinda Friday22-00Mrs. Marchx  "      "
Sibby Burns26-00  "            "x  "      "
Martha March75-00" " X" "
Rebecca Baker47-00  "            "x  "      "
Jemima Simons30-00Col. Chismx15th Dec
Dolly Wilson21-00Mrs. Marchx8th Dec
Lucy Jenkins28-00  "           "x  "      "
Tammy Ferguson30-00  "           "x  "      "
Becca Polite30-00  "           "x  "      "Mute
Fibby Chism93-00  "           "x10th March
Eliza Talbot30-00  "           "x8th Dec
Hester Bolds35-00  "           "x  "      "
Eve Hazelton40-00Mr. Hazeltonx25th March
Lousia Legree72-00  "             "  "           "
Julia Hazelton80-00  "             "  "           "
Mary Hazelton40-00Mr. Hazeltonx25th March
Sarah        "65-00  "               "  "           "
Pantie Morrise25-00Col. Morrisex30th      "
Cloie           "26-00  "             "x  "           "
Nora           "30-00  "             "x  "           "

Suggestions for Further Research

If you find an ancestor’s name among these lists, there are several avenues of research you can pursue next. Here are some starting points:

  • Search Freedmen’s Bureau records to see if your ancestors had further interactions with the U.S. military or the Freedmen’s Bureau. You can start at www.discoverfreedmen.org to search for your ancestor’s name. 

 

 

  • Search for your ancestor in the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census. Note their location in relation to the slaveholder – did they return to their pre-1862 homes, or choose to live in an entirely different location?

 

  • Research the slaveholder in the U.S. Census Slave Schedules. Note the age of your ancestor in the 1862 list, then search the 1860 U.S. Census Slave Schedules for the name of the slaveholder, to verify that they held an enslaved person of the gender and age that would match your ancestor’s age in 1860.

 

  • Research the slaveholder’s genealogy to identify other slaveholding family members. In most cases you need not start from scratch, you may find family trees on Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org that have been posted by descendants. Do be sure to conduct your own research to verify the family relationships in any family tree you find.

 

  • If your ancestors were adults in 1862, search for probate records for the parents of the final slaveholder in the list transcribed here, to see if your ancestors are mentioned in wills, estate inventories or estate accounts. South Carolina probate records and Georgia probate records are searchable on Ancestry.com.

If you would like to learn more about the contraband camp at Otter Island, please see the book Bluejackets and Contrabands: African Americans and the Union Navy, by Barbara Tomblin. The book is searchable at Project Muse.

References Cited

[1] Map of Otter Island, Edisto Beach. https://www.edistobeach.com/otter-island/, accessed 8 Aug 2017.

[2] Tomblin, Barbara 2009 Bluejackets and Contrabands: African Americans and the Union Navy. University Press of Kentucky, pp. 66-68.

[3] “United States Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939V-MK95-9?cc=1845948&wc=M6KL-T38%3A165419801%2C165440901 : 22 May 2014), Records by Number and Date > 00821-01078, Mar.-Apr. 1862 > image 468 of 1211; citing NARA microfilm publication M416 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[4] “United States Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939V-MV97-NR?cc=1845948&wc=M6KL-T38%3A165419801%2C165440901 : 22 May 2014), Records by Number and Date > 00821-01078, Mar.-Apr. 1862 > image 754 of 1211; citing NARA microfilm publication M416 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This