“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rosewood in Levy County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Rosewood, Florida

Rosewood, Florida Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Julie Szabo, March 6, 2009
1. Rosewood, Florida Marker
Racial violence erupted in the small and quiet Rosewood community January 1-7, 1923. Rosewood, a predominantly colored community, was home to the Bradley, Carrier, Carter, Goins, and Hall families, among others. Residents supported a school taught by Mahulda “Gussie” Brown Carrier, three churches, and a Masonic lodge. Many of them owned their homes, some were business owners, and others worked in nearby Sumner and at the Cummer Lumber Mill. This quiet life came to an end on January 1, 1923, when a white Sumner woman accused a black man of assaulting her. In the search for her alleged attacker, whites terrorized and killed Rosewood residents. In the days of fear and violence that followed, many Rosewood citizens sought refuge in the nearby woods. White merchant John M. Wright and other courageous whites sheltered some of the fleeing men, women and children. Whites burned Rosewood and looted livestock and property; two were killed while attacking a home. Five blacks also lost their lives: Sam Carter, who was tortured for information and shot to death on January 1; Sarah Carrier; Lexie Gordon; James Carrier; and Mingo Williams. Those who
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survived were forever scarred.

Haunted by what had happened, Rosewood residents took a vow of silence, lived in fear and never returned to claim their property. That silence was broken seventy-one years later. In 1994 survivors, including Minnie Lee Langley, Arnett Turner Goins, and Wilson Hall, filed a claims bill in the Florida Legislature. A Special Master, an expert appointed by the Speaker of the House, ruled that the state had a “moral obligation” to compensate survivors for the loss of property, violation of constitutional rights, and mental anguish. On May 4, 1994, Governor Lawton Chiles signed a $2.1 million compensation bill. Nine survivors received $150,000 each for mental anguish, and a state university scholarship fund was established for the families of Rosewood and their descendants. A fund was also established to compensate those Rosewood families who could demonstrate property loss.
A Florida Heritage Landmark

Erected 2004 by The Real Rosewood Foundation, Inc. and Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-497.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & ReligionCivil RightsFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsSettlements & SettlersWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1923.
Rosewood, Florida Marker side 2 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Julie Szabo, March 6, 2009
2. Rosewood, Florida Marker side 2
29° 14.322′ N, 82° 55.958′ W. Marker is in Rosewood, Florida, in Levy County. Marker is on State Road 24, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cedar Key FL 32625, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Atlantic to Gulf Railroad (approx. 9.2 miles away); Island Hotel (approx. 9.2 miles away); John Muir at Cedar Key (approx. 9.3 miles away); Cedar Key Veterans Monument (approx. 9.3 miles away); The Cedar Keys: Pencils, Lumber, Palm Fiber and Brushes (approx. 9½ miles away).
Additional keywords. Jim Crow, terrorism
Rosewood, Florida Marker and Well image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Wendy Friday, June 7, 2018
3. Rosewood, Florida Marker and Well
Between the posts of the marker can be seen the water well where some Rosewood residents were lowered to hide from a murderous mob. John Wright, a white shop keeper, lived here in the large Victorian house which still sits to the right of the well. He hid people in his house and property, fighting back a hostile mob and arranging for the train to stop and take survivors away. This is the last home from the era to remain.
Rosewood, Florida Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Wendy Friday, June 7, 2018
4. Rosewood, Florida Marker
closer view of well. The house was sold to new owners in April of 2020:
Credits. This page was last revised on December 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 6, 2009, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. This page has been viewed 13,940 times since then and 150 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 6, 2009, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida.   3, 4. submitted on July 15, 2020, by Wendy Friday of Gibsonton, Florida. • Christopher Busta-Peck was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 18, 2024