Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Charles Daggs A Pioneer Who Stood the Test of Times

May 17, 1828
This advertisement appeared in the Alexandria Phenix Gazette
Charles Daggs was a man who stood his grounds and stood up against any man or system that brought about injustice. Charles, his mother Rachel and siblings arrived in New Orleans October 1,  1835 on a slave ship called the Tribune.  Charles was stated to be 21 years old when he arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana. A total of 977 enslaved Africans were shipped in last three months of 1835.

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. 

Daggs-At Hammond, LA Jan 26, 1909. Charles Daggs, colored. He was born in Washington, D.C.: served on the U.S.S. Scioto and went south soon after the war. He enjoyed the respect of all, regardless of race.  He attained the age of 99 years, four months, 18 days.

John Armfield
In John W. Gurley Papers at the LSU Libraries Special Collections,  you can find Charles Daggs in the John W. Gurley Papers (Mss. 507) Inventory. John W. Gurley, an attorney of New Orleans, La., was associated with Edward G. Stewart, a planter of Oak Lawn Plantation, Tangipahoa Parish, La., and former resident of New Orleans, Gurley and his wife, Rosa, were registered as being enemies of the United States during the Civil War but were excused after they signed oath of allegiance.

In the scope and content note, Charles Daggs was a tenant farmer, and he is discussing production and marketing of charcoal, farming, rations, clothing, needed goods, timber sales and freedmen wages (1865-1866). 

Charles a newly freed slave in 1867, established Greater St. James AME Church in Hammond, Louisiana. After being discharged from the Union Navy, he worshiped at St. James AME church in New Orleans, Louisiana for three years before moving to Hammond, Louisiana.  He was the first pastor of the new Hammond church.  Daggs was a powerful voice in the Africa American community after the Civil War. He advocated strongly for the voting rights of freed slaves, and once protested and testified at the courthouse in Greensburg, Louisiana. He knew that potential black voters were being threatened by whites with loss of their jobs.

During that time and era, Tangipahoa Parish was known as bloody Tangipahoa and Daggs knew that he was putting his life and the life of his family on the line. He stood up against prominent white men in the parish for corruption.

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. 

Bibliography Resources

National Register of Historic Places Registration Form

Charles Daggs' gravestone in the graveyard of the former church site on E. Thomas in Hammond LA. (photo by Ann Swigart)

Charles Daggs, The National Tribune from Washington, District of Columbia-Page 7. Issue Date: Thursday, June 10, 1909

Gurley ( John W.) Papers 1858-1866, LSU Libraries Special Collections

Warren Jones, Oral Interview with Dr. Antoinette Harrell. Warren Jones is the 3rd great grandson of Joseph Daggs

May 17, 1828,  this advertisement appeared in the Alexandria Phenix Gazette,  Cash in Market

Photo of John Armfield, Courtesy of Elizabeth Coppinger, Beersheba Springs, Tenn (1981)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Jazz Musician Jimmie Noone " Grandson of Charles Daggs"

All Star Band with Jimmie Noone
Charles Daggs daughter Lucinda and son-in-law were the parents of Jimmy Noone.  Jimmie was born on April 23, 1894 on the Stanton Plantation in  Cut Off, Louisiana. He grew up in Hammond, Louisiana, where he started playing the guitar.

In 1910, Noone's family moved to New Orleans. Noone switched to the clarinet and studied with Lorenzo Tio and the young Sidney Bechet. He played with noted Jazz musicians like Kid Oryandn Oscar Celestin until the Storyville district was permanently closed.  In 1918 Noone moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he studied with symphony clarinetist Franz Schoepp.  Noone's married  Rita Mary Mathieu and they had three children.  On April 19, 1944,  he had a heart attack, at the age of 48 and died.

On the United States World War I Draft Registration Card; 1917-1918, Noone's name is listed as James Noone. He stated that he was born on Stanton Plantation. He was employed as a musician at the West End. He was living at 2337 St. Peter Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was  finaically supporting his wife and mother at the age of twenty-three.

Dr. Antoinette Harrell interviewed one of the relatives of Jimmie Noone name Warren. Warren is the descendant of Joseph Daggs, one of Charles Daggs sons. 

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The History of Greater St. James A.M.E. Church of Hammond, LA.

Greater St. James AME Chruch
Hammond, LA 
Several months ago, Dr. Antoinette Harrell was invited to lunch meeting by Hammond President/Councilman Lemar F. Marshall to meet with Rev. Shelton Myers and others. They informed me that the church has submitted an application to the United States Department Interior National Park Service to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The history of Greater St. James A.M.E church is indeed a rich history.

The church had just celebrated their 150th anniversary on March 26, 2017.  Greater St. James was established in 1867, it is a branch of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the first black church in Hammond, LA. It was organized by Rev. Charles Daggs, who served the church faithfully until his death. As a coal burner after the Civil War in New Orleans. Daggs work brought him to Hammond. Upon his arrival, he found there was no place for blacks to worship; so he sought to organize a church for blacks. A small band of worshippers, led by Daggs, went from house to house holding prayer meetings. 

Charles Daggs was born around 1830 in Washington, D.C. He was married to Eliza Thomas Daggs. They were the parents of; Louis, Charles, Emanuel, George, James, Williams, Isaac, Sophia, Rachel, and Lucinda.

Charles mother was named Rachel Daggs. Rachel was born around 1800. Rachel arrived in New Orleans on Oct 1, 1835, on a slave ship named the Tribune. The Port of Departure Alexandria, District. The first shipper/owner was named John Armfield. The second shipper/owner was Brandon McKenna and Wright. 

After a period of time, they were given permission to worship in a small school house located on of  their own Richard Allen, the band then moved to a different location East Thomas Street. A wealthy citizen of Hammond, Charles Cates, donated the site and it still remains at 407 E. Thomas Street to this very day.
Greater St. James Cornerstone
South Oak Street that was owned by whites. The building was used as the sacred tabernacle for whites, which forced black worship services to be held last. It was there, that they worshiped for several years until their assembly began to perish. The white congregation grew socially and spiritually disconnected which caused the black congregation to seek an art of their own. Grace Memorial Chruch, gave the worshipers permission to use their property to nurtured in the spirit

Under the leadership of Daggs, the first church was erected. Daggs previously worshiped at historic, St. James AME Church in New Orleans and came to Hammond with that named deeply rooted in his heart. He desired the same spirit in the newly erected Hammond church. Naming the church was easy; the church was named Saint James in honor of Daggs' home church in New Orleans. Rev. James Reese presented the official request to the Louisiana Annual Conference. The conference assigned the church their first pastor, Rev. O.J. LaBeouf.

I've had several conversations Juan Rigo Castille, the great grandson of Alexander C. Evans about the work of his grandfather. He put me in contact with his mother to learn more about Alexander C. Evans. Alexander built the church in 1925.


National Register of Historic Places of Registration Form

U. S. Census

Dr. Antoinette Harrell oral interview with Juan Rigo Castille

Charles Daggs A Pioneer Who Stood the Test of Times

May 17, 1828 This advertisement appeared in the Alexandria Phenix Gazette C harles Daggs was a man who stood his grounds and stood ...