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Let Us Not Forget Those Who Paid the Price for Us: Mitchell Goggins (b. abt. 1850)

Robin Foster
by Robin Foster
"United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6WS9-C83?cc=1438024&wc=92KC-PT1%3A518655201%2C519483101%2C518737801 : 14 June 2019), South Carolina > Abbeville > Greenwood > image 8 of 71; citing NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
“United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6WS9-C83?cc=1438024&wc=92KC-PT1%3A518655201%2C519483101%2C518737801 : 14 June 2019), South Carolina > Abbeville > Greenwood > image 8 of 71; citing NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Above you can see the earliest census documenting Mitchell Goggins. Mitchell Goggins as far as I have been able to tell as of yet was born about 1850 in Abbeville County, South Carolina. He was one of the eldest children of Columbus Goggins. Columbus and Margaret, not sure she is  the mother of Mitchell Goggins, are buried in Tabernacle Cemetery, also known as Old Tabernacle Cemetery in Cokesbury, Greenwood County, South Carolina. Tabernacle Cemetery was established in about 1812. Other African Americans are buried there.

I have also documented other members of the Goggins family in St. Paul AME (Old Site) in Cokesbury, Greenwood County, SC.  I still have yet to find where Mitchell is buried. He is the brother of Samuel Goggins (1887-1951) who married Carrie Johnson Goggins (1888-1948) the daughter of Lewis Johnson (1865-1909) and Arie Anna Vance Johnson (born 1865), and their parents are Beverly and Matilda Dunlap Vance and Andrew (1823-1909) and Jane Smith Johnson (1834-1919) who are all my great great grandparents.

When you go beyond the census, you find Mitchell Goggins really did a lot to assist African Americans in the cause of becoming an American citizen during a time when we were not seen as such. Searching Chronicling America database for South Carolina shed light on what he fought for back then.

In July 1870, Mitchell Goggins was nominated the House of Representatives for SC in Abbeville County. This article was published in The Charleston Daily News:

The Charleston daily news. [volume] (Charleston, S.C.) 1865-1873, July 25, 1870, Image 1. Image provided by University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026994/1870-07-25/ed-1/seq-1/
The Charleston daily news. [volume] (Charleston, S.C.) 1865-1873, July 25, 1870, Image 1. Image provided by University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026994/1870-07-25/ed-1/seq-1/

In October 1870, Mitchell Goggins was elected to The House of Representatives for Abbeville County:

The Abbeville press and banner. [volume] (Abbeville, S.C.) 1869-1924, October 28, 1870, Image 2 Image provided by University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC. Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026853/1870-10-28/ed-1/seq-2/
The Abbeville press and banner. [volume] (Abbeville, S.C.) 1869-1924, October 28, 1870, Image 2 Image provided by University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC. Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026853/1870-10-28/ed-1/seq-2/

In October 1872, Mitchell Goggins was appointed supervisor of election for Greenwood, SC:

The Charleston daily news. [volume] (Charleston, S.C.), 10 Oct. 1872. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
The Charleston daily news. [volume] (Charleston, S.C.), 10 Oct. 1872. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

On October 16, 1872, Mitchell Goggins was appointed as election manager for Cokesbury Precinct, Abbeville County, SC. Would you look at the person listed before him? That’s Beverly Vance, my great great grandfather! I have only found him in records as an elected constable. I know they considered themselves as family, but to think of that now after finding this resource is breathtaking. I think this is a good time for a break.

The Abbeville press and banner. [volume] (Abbeville, S.C.), 02 Oct. 1872. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
The Abbeville press and banner. [volume] (Abbeville, S.C.), 02 Oct. 1872. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Sharpen the Saw

Everybody looks at census records, but do they also look for their ancestors further like in newspapers? I did not know Mitchell Goggins or Beverly Vance would turn up in these articles. Newspapers can serve to tell you a little more about your ancestor. Could you be overlooking a person that played such an important part in American history? Let us know what you have found in our Facebook Group.

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