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[IL] Early African Americans

African Americans, former slaves, migrated to Illinois to settle. Many were brought to Illinois by their slavemasters and set free. Slave traders would often kidnap them, carry them south, and sell them back into slavery. A 100% profit.

Charles Adams, a free black born abt 1790, lived in Illinois with his wife, Maria Adams, a free black born abt 1794. In 1842, Maria and seven or eight of their small children were kidnapped by slave traders. The slave trader, Kuykendall, also kidnapped in Illinois and sold in 1839 a free black named Lewis Adams, born 1824, and died 1930 in Copiah County, Mississippi.

1842 is the same year that my great grandfather, Mingo Adams born 1833, and his brother, Levi Adams born abt 1832, and sister, Sarah Adams born abt 1831, were deeded as gifts by a plantation owner in Copiah County, Mississippi. I do not know if they are Charles and Maria's children.

Years ago, my grandfather, Stewart, told me that his family lived in Illinois but were "taken back to slavery". This was one of my reasons for focusing part of my family history research on Illinois during the slavery period. This brought me to getting involved with events in Coles County such as Trial & Tribulations and the play "Three-Fifths of a Man".

Click on the link below to read about African Americans in Coles County, Illinois.

Ed Adams

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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