Georgia Cotton Planter

At 14, in 1809, Henry Skilton Atwood Jr. (1795 to 1864) traveled from the Atwood farm in Watertown CT  to Savannah GA to work for a relative.  His father Henry Skilton Atwood (1770 to 1843) was my fourth great grandfather.  In 1825 in Savannah, Henry Jr. married Ann Margaret McIntosh, whose Scottish immigrant family owned cotton plantations on the coast. They had eight children.


Sarah, Ruth and Jane Atwood. Three daughters of Henry Skilton Atwood circa 1860 (Georgia Archives)

Henry Jr became a lawyer, cotton planter, and manufacturer.  He planted Sea Island cotton on his Cedar Point plantation on Cedar Creek, eleven miles northeast of Darien, GA.  He also purchased a cotton mill.  His sons later owned an oyster canning factory.

Atwood’s businesses were supported by the labor of slaves.  In the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Federal Census-Slave Schedules, Henry Jr. is listed as owning around 85 unnamed slaves, listed only by age (2-60) and sex.Family.Atwood.Slave Census

While my Irish ancestors, the three Black brothers, fought in the Union army, Henry Jr.’s son, William H. Atwood (1836 to 1912), became a captain in the Confederate army.

Family.AtwoodConfederateDarien was burned to the ground by the Union Army in 1863, after soldiers ransacked homes and stole the cotton and other supplies.

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