|May 17, 1828|
This advertisement appeared in the Alexandria Phenix Gazette
Rachel Dagg estimated birth year around 1800. She was 35 years. She and five of her children; Charles, Eliza, Joseph, Ellen, William Henry, departed from Alexandria, District of Columbia. John Armfield was the first shipper/owner. The second shipper/owner was Brandon McKenna and Wright.
Isaac Franklin and John Armfield leased a brick building with access to the wharves and docks in 1828 as a holding pen for enslaved people being shipped from Northern Virginia to Louisiana. They purchased the building and three lots in 1832. From this location, Armfield bought bondspeople at low prices and shipped them South to his partner Franklin in Natchez, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana. By the 1830s they often sold 1000 people annually, operating as one of the largest slave-trading companies in the United States until 1836.
Charles was married to Eliza Thompson Daggs, they were the parents of; James, William, Rachel, Lucinda, Joesph, Isaac, Emanuel, Sophia, George, and Louis Daggs. Many of descendants still live in the southern states. Some of them migrated up north. His daughter Lucinda went to Chicago with her son Jimmie Noone who was a professional Jazz musician.
Just how much is known about a man who was bound by the shackle of slavery by determined to build a better life for himself, his family and community. The more I research Charles Daggs, I gain a deep appreciation for him, his works and legacy. This is the first time in my research that I can exactly say that I can place someone on a slave ship, the name of the ship.
I'm planning on visiting the LSU Library and the St. Helena Parish Courthouse to learn more about Charles Daggs. From my research, this is the first time I have heard that a family in Tangipahoa Parish has been able to trace their family history back to a slave ship, the owner of the slave ship, where they were held and when they arrived in Louisiana.
This article was written and researched by Dr. Antoniette Harrell, a genealogist and family historian, with genealogical concentration in the Southeast Parishes.
Photo of John Armfield, Courtesy of Elizabeth Coppinger, Beersheba Springs, Tenn (1981)