The Forks of Cypress

OVERVIEW

Location: Florence, Lauderdale Co., AL
Date Constructed/ Founded: 1818 – 1830 (construction of the plantation house)
Associated Surnames: Jackson, Moore
Historical Notes: James Jackson (b.1782 in Ireland) moved from Nashville, TN to Alabama in 1818 and established what would become a ~3000 acre cotton plantation. He started serving as president of the Alabama Senate in 1830. His widow Sarah Moore Jackson was the executor of his will (recorded September 15, 1840) that directed his nephew Thomas Kirkman to manage a trust. Some of writer Alex Haley’s ancestors, including Queen Jackson Haley, were enslaved on this plantation as described in his book “Queen: The Story of an American Family.”
Associated Pages: None


ASSOCIATED ENSLAVED PERSONS

Jackson family: Easter Jackson (b.1816-d.1860); Queen Jackson (b.1857-d.1941) – dau. of Easter and James Jackson (b.1822, son of J. Jackson, enslaver)

Haley Family: Alex Haley (b.1845-d.1918); Queen Jackson Haley (b.1857-d.1941) – wife, dau. of Easter and J. Jackson (enslaver)

Information from Antebellum Census & Estate Records

1840: 86 slaves – 19 boys under age 10 (b.1830-1840); 18 males, age 10 – 23 (b.1817-1830); 4 men, age 24 – 35 (b.1805-1816); 8 men, age 36 – 54 (b.1786-1804); 5 men, age 55 – 100 (b.1740-1785); 12 girls under age 10 (b.1841-1840); 8 females, age 10 – 23 (b.1817-1830); 3 women, age 24 – 35 (b.1805-1816); 8 women, age 36 – 54 (b.1786-1804); 1 woman, age 55 – 100 (b.1740-1785); [1830 US Federal Census, Lauderdale Co., AL, James Jackson]

1860: Female age 60 (b.1800), Female age 30 (b.1830), Male age 21 (b.1839), Female age 18 (b.1842), Female age 2 (b.1858), Female age 8/12 (b.1860) [1860 US Federal Census (Slave Schedule), Carroll Co., MS, James Jackson, 6 total, 2 houses]

ASSOCIATED FREE PERSONS

Jackson family: James Jackson (b.1782-d.1840) – owner of The Forks of Cypress; Sarah Moore Jackson (b.1790-d.1879) – wife (m.1810); Mary Steele Jackson (b.1811-d.1833) – dau.; Martha Jackson (b.1812-d.1879) – dau.; Ellen Kirkman Jackson (b.1814-d.1897) – dau.; James Jackson (b.1822-d.1879) – son; William Moore Jackson (b.1824-d.1899) – son; George Moore Jackson (b.1829-d.1883) – son; Jane Jackson (b.1831-d.1839) – dau.; Elizabeth McCulloch Kirkman (b.?-d.?) – stepdau.

Kirkman family: James Kirkman (b.?-d.?); Mary Steele Jackson Kirkman (b.1811-d.1833) – wife (m.1830), dau. of J. and S.M. Jackson; James J. Kirkman (b.1831-d.1864) – son; Mary Moore Kirkman (b.1833-d.1834) – dau.

Hunt family: Rev. William Henry Mitchell (b.1812-d.1872); Martha Jackson Mitchell (b.1812-d.1879) – wife (m.1851), dau. of J. and S.M. Jackson, formerly married to Robert Andrews (1835); James Jackson Andrews (b.1838-d.1896) – son; Mary M. Mitchell (b.1845-d.1915) – dau.; William H. Mitchell (b.1852-d.1872) – son; John Jackson Mitchell (b.1854-d.1930) – son

Hunt family: Abraham Dagworthy Hunt (b.1809-d.1885); Ellen Kirkman Jackson Hunt (b.1814-d.1897) – wife (m.1810), dau. of J. and S.M. Jackson; Sarah Moore Hunt (b.1831-d.1872) – dau.; Katherine Grosh Hunt (b.1833-d.1909) – dau.; Mary Kirkman Hunt (b.1835-d.1908) – dau.; James Jackson Hunt (b.1836-d.1840) – son; John Wesley Hunt (b.1837-d.1838) – son; Ellen Kirkman Hunt (b.1844-d.1854) – dau.; Elizabeth K. Hunt (b.1848-d.1930) – dau.; Annie L. Hunt (b.1850-d.1937) – dau.

Jackson family: James Jackson (b.1822-d.1879) – son of J. and S.M. Jackson; Elizabeth Perkins Jackson (b.1832-d.1872) – wife (m.1850); Jane Jackson (b.1853-d.1853) – dau.; Mary Steele Jackson (b.1854-d.1861) – dau.; Sarah Jackson (b.1856-d.1861) – dau.; Eleanora Jackson (b.1858-d.1937) – dau.; Charles Pollard Jackson (b.1864-d.1936) – son; Robert Andrew Jackson (b.1865-d.1936) – son; Elizabeth Jackson (b.1869-d.1871) – dau.


RESEARCH LEADS AND RECORDS

  • None

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

  • Original Plantation House (1830) – The Greek Revival plantation house was designed by architect William Nichols for James Jackson and his wife, Sally Moore Jackson. On June 6, 1966, the plantation house was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. It was never rebuilt, but the Dowdy family carefully preserved the brick pillars (still standing), the original log house, several outbuildings, and the Jackson family cemetery.
  • Replica: Regions Bank building (1983) – A near replica of the main house was built in 1983 in downtown Florence, Alabama at 321 N. Seminary Street, 5 miles (8.0 km) away from the original site. The replica serves as a Regions Bank branch.
  • Replica: Residential home (2005) – Located near the Historic Natchez Trace Parkway in western Lauderdale County, Alabama ~16 miles west of Florence. This building is a private residence and it is not open to the public.
  • National Register of Historic Places – The Forks of Cypress is on the NRHP, reference No. 97001166. https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/97001166

REFERENCES

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