Forum: The Journey of Thomas Jefferson Waters of Gwinnett – NEGA History Center

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Forum: The Journey of Thomas Jefferson Waters of Gwinnett – NEGA History Center

February 13 @ 7:00 pm

From Slavery to Colonizer to Free Person of Color:
The Journey of Thomas Jefferson Waters of Gwinnett
Tuesday, February 13th at 7 PM

Online Registration Is Appreciated at

Join historian and professor Dr. Michael Gagnon for a fascinating lecture on Tuesday, February 13th at 7:00 PM at the Northeast Georgia History Center.

When George Morgan Waters died at his plantation on the Chattahoochee River in Gwinnett County in 1852, he attempted to emancipate over 40 slaves in his will. Although emancipation had been illegal in Georgia since 1817, his executors prevailed in upholding his will both in Gwinnett Superior Court and in an appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court in 1855, which met in Gainesville to decide the fate of the enslaved African-Americans. By 1856, the formerly enslaved joined a shipload of other freed people from around the South being transported by the American Colonization Society to Liberia in West Africa. However, a series of disasters beset the freed people both onboard ship and upon landing in Africa. Within a year, one survivor, named Thomas Jefferson Waters, returned to tell the tale of what had happened to his family and friends, and then live as a free person of color on the plantation on which he grew up in Gwinnett.

The Northeast Georgia History Center’s monthly Forum lecture series is free for Members and $5 for non-Members. Become a Member today at


February 13
7:00 pm
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NEGA History Center
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NEGA History Center
322 Academy St NE
Gainesville, GA 30501 United States
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