Britton, E.H., ed., , The Southern Quarterly Review From
"Making of America". "Domestic Histories of the South", Volume 5, Issue 10,
Columbia, S.C. April 1852. Look for the story of Austin Dabney, free black incorrectly reported as
wounded at Kettle Creek. Also, found here.
Robert Scott Davis, article: "The Kettle Creek Battlefield",
SCAR n/l V3N2, p.36:
Former Georgia governor
George Rockingham Gilmer started this trend with his published
parable, in 1851, of how slave Austin Dabney had been awarded a
pension, land, and his freedom for having been disabled by a wound
in the Battle of Kettle Creek. Records recently discovered in the
National Archives show, however, that Dabney actually received his
wound in Augusta in May 1782.
No longer accessible online: From Revolutionary War Photo Archives:
This excellent site also regretfully speaks of Dabney being wounded at Kettle Creek on the index page, but the error is corrected in Davis's remarks.
"Comments by Professor Robert Scott Davis on Austin Dabney":
Austin Dabney was a true product of these times although
that fact has only been fully appreciated in modern
scholarship. As a mulatto belonging to Richard Aycock, he was
wounded and permanently disabled fighting for the American
cause in Augusta on 25 May 1782 under a Captain Barber and Col.
Elijah Clarke. With Clarke’s support, the state of Georgia
purchased Dabney and emancipated him in 1786. The state also,
uniquely for an African-American, bestowed upon him land grants
in 1784 and 1821, as well as a state pension. The United States
government later took over the disability pension. ... Austin Dabney supported himself as a small farmer, slave owner,
race horse owner, and businessman before his death, by
September 1830 in Pike County.
No longer accessible online: Austin Dabney record. Georgia SAR. Coordinates for headstone are 33.09877, -84.35633 :
Three quarter mile from Zebulon courthouse on Hwy 18W. Turn left on Pope St. for one-half mile. Pope St. turns right on crushed grave l road through locked gate for three-quarter miles to grave site located on West side of a Georgia Power line fire break. Cemetery is on private property owned by Giles Harris/Samuel Mitchell descendants.
For the relief of Austin, otherwise called Austin Dabney,
a Freeman of colour.
WHEREAS, by an act of the General 'Assembly of the state of
Georgia, passed on the fourteenth day of August, 1786, it is stated
that the said Austin, during the revolution, instead of advantaging
himself of the times to withdraw himself from the American lines and
enter with the majority of his color and fellow-slaves in the service of
his Britannic Majesty, and his officers and vassals, did voluntarily
enrol himself in some one of the corps under the command of Col.
Elijah Clark, and in several actions and engagements behaved against
the common enemy with a bravery and fortitude which would have
honored a freeman; 'and in one of which engagements he was severely
wounded and rendered incapable of hard servitude; and policy as
well as gratitude,- demand a return for such services and behavior
from the Commonwealth; and it was further stated in said act, that,
said Austin "should be entitled to the annuity allowed by this state,
to wounded and disabled soldiers." And the said Austin having petitioned
the Legislature for some aid in his declining years, and this
body considering him an object entitled to the attention and gratitude
of the state he has defended, and in whose service he has been disabled;
Sec. 1. BE it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Assembly met, and it is hereby
enacted by the same,
That the lot or fraction of land situate,
lying and being in the county of Walton, in the first district, and
known and distinguished by number two hundred and eighty four,
containing one hundred and twelve acres, be the same more or less,
be and the same hereby is conveyed and transferred to the said Austin
during the period of the natural life of him the said Austin Dabney.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the Austin Dabney
be, and he is hereby entitled to a plat for the same.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the lot and number
above named is, and shall be exempted from the contemplated sale
of Fractions in said county, authorized by an act at the annual session,
of the Legislature, in the year 1820.
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
President of the Senate
[Partial version of the immediately preceding] Act for the Relief of Austin Dabney, 14 May 1821
Poor images retrievable above from "Georgia's Virtual Vault".
Preamble as transcribed in
White, George, Statistics of the State of Georgia, Published 1849 W. Thorne Williams, p.407-408.
Whereas, by an act. of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, passed on the fourteenth day of August, 1786, it is stated that the said Austin Dabney during the Revolution, instead of advantaging himself of the, terms to withdraw himself from the American lines and enter with the majority of his colour and fellow-slaves in the service of his Britannic Majesty and his officers and vassals, did voluntarily enrol himself in some one of corps under the command of Colonel Elijah Clarke, and in several actions and engagements behaved against the enemy with a bravery and fortitude which would have honoured a freeman, and in one of which, engagements
he was severely wounded, and rendered incapable of hard servitude; and policy and gratitude demand a return for such service and behaviour, from the Commonwealth; and it was further stated in said act that said Austin should be entitled to the annuity allowed by this State to wounded and disabled soldiers; and the said Austin having petitioned the Legislature for some aid in his declining years; and this body considering him an object entitled to the attention and gratitude of the State.
Another quote from White's book, p.408, immediately following the above
At the election for members of the Legislature the year after;
the county of Madison was distracted by the animosity and strife
of an Austin Dabney and an Anti-Austin Dabney party. Many
of the people were highly incensed that a mulatto negro should
receive a gift of the land which belonged to the freemen of
White, George, Statistics of the State of Georgia, Pp.406-407, Published 1849
W. Thorne Williams. Makes the usual "wounded at Kettle Creek" error. Suggested by article by Robert Scott Davis, "General John Twiggs of Georgia", in SCAR newsletter Vol.3 No.12, December 2006.
Elliott, Dan, ed. Stirring up a Hornet's Nest. Pages 84-85, 163.