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Hannibal in Marion County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Joseph Douglas

Founder of Douglasville

 

— 1822 - 1923 —

 
Joseph Douglas Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 15, 2020
1. Joseph Douglas Marker
Inscription.  

"I am not Injun Joe"

As a young boy, Joe was found scalped and left for dead in Oklahoma by a man named Douglas who brought him to Hannibal. He lived on this site in the 1840's when he worked as a roustabout on the river wharf where young Sam Clemens played. He always denied the local legend that claimed he was the model of the villian, "Injun Joe." In Mark Twain's book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In 1871, after the American Civil War, he became one of the first African American landowners in Hannibal. By saving his meager earnings, Douglas purchased this marshy valley and sold building lots to more than forty families of former slaves. In doing so, he created one of the oldest communities of African American property and business owners in the nation. The community is called Douglasville in his honor and included one of the oldest African American schools, Douglasville School, built in 1870. This is the place where these families started their move up from slavery.
 
Erected 2016 by the Descendants of Douglasville.
 
Topics. This historical

Joseph Douglas Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 15, 2020
2. Joseph Douglas Marker
marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEducationSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 39° 42.527′ N, 91° 21.901′ W. Marker is in Hannibal, Missouri, in Marion County. Marker is at the intersection of Hill Street and 9th Street, on the left when traveling west on Hill Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hannibal MO 63401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eighth and Center Sts. Baptist Church (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fifth Street Baptist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Site of First School House in Hannibal (approx. 0.3 miles away); World War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); William Henry Hatch (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named William Henry Hatch (approx. 0.3 miles away); City Hall Site (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hannibal.
 
Also see . . .
1. Hannibal's African American Notables: Joseph Douglas. (Submitted on September 21, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Douglasville: A venerable old school (2004)
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. (Submitted on September 21, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Memory of Joe Douglas, Douglasville celebrated at unveiling of sign (Courier-Post, 2016). (Submitted on September 21, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 21, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 21, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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Oct. 21, 2020