Historic Markers Across Alabama

Wilson Family Cemetery 19th Century / Slave Cemetery 19th Century

Marker ID:  
Location: on Plantation Springs Drive, Florence, Alabama
County: Lauderdale
Coordinates: N 34° 51.045    W 087° 37.773
  34.85075    -87.62955
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMJ9GM


Wilson Family Cemetery 19th Century

In 1818 three Wilson brothers John, Matthew and Samuel, came from Virginia to purchase large farms in this area. The plantations of John and Matthew joined near this cemetery. All three brothers and their families are buried here. Inscriptions on two gravestones tell of a Civil War atrocity when, on April 30, 1865 two local Union guerrilla gangs tortured and murdered John Wilson and his nephew, Matthew Jr. Two others in the house were shot, yet lived to tell the story. The plantation overseer was murdered the following morning.

Slave Cemetery 19th Century

A number of slaves are buried here adjoining the south wall of the Wilson Cemetery. There were 160 slaves on the two Wilson plantations at Wilson's Crossroads (now St. Florian). The graves of Christopher Brewer and his wife are probably located here. They were the maternal grandparents of William Christopher Handy. Florence's famous "Father of the Blues". Brewer a freeman was with John Wilson in 1865 when the family was terrorized by guerrilla gangs. Brewer was wounded but survived to lead the Wilson heirs to where the family valuables were buried.

Erected by Florence Historical Board Florence Alabama.

End of Wilson Family Cemetery 19th Century / Slave Cemetery 19th Century