Florence in Lauderdale County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Wilson Family Cemetery 19th Century / Slave 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.
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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Agriculture • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1865.
Location. 34° 51.045′ N, 87° 37.773′ W. Marker is in Florence, Alabama, in Lauderdale County. Marker is on Plantation Springs Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Florence AL 35630, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Andrew Jackson's Military Road (approx. 1.1 miles away); Deibert Park (approx. 1.2 miles away); St. Florian Historic District (approx. 1.6 miles away); St. Michael's Catholic Church (approx. 1.7 miles away); Larimore Home (approx. 1.8 miles away); Governor Hugh McVay Home Site and Cemetery (approx. 1.8 miles away); Sweetwater (approx. 2 miles away); Weeden Heights (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florence.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 4, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 4,338 times since then and 573 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 4, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. 4. submitted on March 6, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. 5, 6. submitted on March 10, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.