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10 May 2013

About Andrew Bryan, Noted Negro Preacher (A Friend of Friends Friday)

From Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials, and Legends by Lucian Lamar Knight, page 95:
Caesar, one of the numerous slaves owned by Jonathan Bryan, lived to be a centenarian. But long before his death he was made a free man by the voluntary act of his master. Andrew, a son of the old ex-slave, became a noted negro preacher of Savannah during the early ante-bellum period. The following brief items, copied from the records, tell a story of some interest. First, the death notice of Jonathan Bryan's faithful servant Caesar. This reads as follows: "Nov. 27th, 1798. Savannah, Ga. Died at the plantation of Col. Wylly [son-in-law of the late Hon. Jonathan Bryan] aged 103 years, negro Caesar, father of the celebrated Parson Andrew. Caesar was a faithful servant of the late Jonathan Bryan, Esq., for forty-two years, when he gave him his freedom." -- In Book B. Chatham County Records, pp, 213, 214, dated May 4th, 1789, will be found an entry showing where William Bryan, planter, son of Jonathan Bryan, sets free Andrew, a former slave on the estate of Jonathan Bryan and by division of estate, William Bryan's slave. -- In Book N. Chatham County Records, p. 117, dated Sept. 4th, 1773, there is an entry showing where a plot of ground at Yamacraw in what was then called the village of St. Gall was deeded to William Bryan and James Whitefield, in trust for a black man, named Andrew Bryan, a preacher of the gospel. The consideration involved was thirty pounds sterling. On this plot of ground was built the negro church of which Andrew Bryan was the pastor until his death. As an item of interest for the future historian, this fragment illustrative of life under the old feudal regime at the South is worthy of preservation.

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