Southern Maddox's

Southern Colonies

In 1663, King Charles II gave the land between Virginia and Florida, called Carolina, to eight proprietors. Proprietors are like governors except they had ownership of the land and they gave parcels of it out--larger pieces to wealthier men, but small ones to anyone who agreed to come and clear it for farming.

Carolina attracted British settlers, French Protestants and Americans from northern Colonies as well.  In 1712, the northern two thirds of the region was divided into two colonies, North Carolina and South Carolina.  North Carolina developed as a colony of small farms and active fur trading activity.  In South Carolina, wealthy landowners established rice and indigo plantations.  The plantations required many laborers and landowners filled this need by bringing many blacks to the colony as slaves.  Charleston  SC became a rich seaport.

The southern third of Carolina was mostly unsettled until  James Oglethorpe of England founded Georgia in 1733.  He'd hoped Georgia would become a colony of small farms but by 1750, Georgia law had been changed to allow settlers to bring in slaves and so plantations soon developed.

Southern Life was mostly agricultural

How a Southerner fared depended on who he was and where he lived.  Those who had a lot of plantation property lived in charming surroundings for the time period.  Some managed beautiful mansions and developed a society of what is now considered a Southern charm of genteel elegance--of Southern comfort.   Some of the fashionable plantation mansions and old stately Southern homes remain, surrounded by beautiful and abundant flowers. One of the most impressive of all was the David Shelton Mansion, refurbished most recently by a Maddox.

Maddox Families in the South

Maddox families arrived in the South early.  Some brought slaves with them from the north 200 years ago.  Some of their descendants remain today in the same counties and others have moved across the growing nation.   Most Maddoxes did not have the means to own slaves but they farmed and operated business as did Americans everywhere building a new nation. Southern Maddoxes fought in the Civil War as rebels.   Some were wealthy plantation owners, others were poor farmers (lots of poor farmers!), small businessmen, educators, and politicians holding local and state offices. The fortunes of the South affected the fortunes of Southern people named Maddox, Mattox, Matox, Maddocks.

This section of the Maddox Family Website contains stories based on contributions from readers whose ancestors lived in the South.  Many of these stories, submitted by Dorothy Maddox Bishop, reflect the live and times of Southerners during both good times and economic depression.   It is a part of the saga of America, and it is how your ancestors lived.
 

Georgia

Georgia Overview, families
Governor Lester Maddox

BW Maddux's Civil War Stories

Judge, Congressman John Maddox

The David Shelton Mansion

Some Georgians are honored on the Famous page

Alabama

Alabama History and Overview
What's Become of Rural America?

Dent Maddox's family tales

Mr. Maddox's Automobile

Shadrack Maddox and Genealogist Fredonia Maddox

Alabama Confederates

Confederacy/Military Stories

Be sure to check the Military Maddox page, Civil War section and even Missouri page...for Southern Military Heros.  The fact is, Southern men have distinguished themselves in military duty ever since, so don't forget to check EACH action of the Military chapter.  There was even a Southerner reported here aboard the USS Arizona!.  If you know of another Maddox in that battle or others in this nation's long history, contact this website!

Louisiana

No major stories yet submitted

The Carolinas

SC History, Census and Tax Rolls for Maddox, Mattox, Matox, Maddocks (1737-1850)  

Mississippi

Mississippi History, Civil War Battles
No Maddox stories have yet been submitted


Texas

Texas is home to some well known lawmen.  We outline them on on the FAMOUS MADDOX page
 
 

Hardship and History of life in South

Most Southerners had little or no land and worked hard to barely survive.  Their stories are not as often told.  There is little evidence of their lives except in ancestral records.  For black Southerners, there are very few records at all, because they were kept illiterate and were not considered worthy of documentation except in wills handing them down to descendants of their masters.  The unprivileged of the South were the people who cleared and farmed their small lands, raised their children, who built the old mansions and the stone walls which still remain scattered all over the South.  And those who, as slaves, raised cotton and other crops for the well-to-do.
The issue of slavery in the early United States became a controversial one even before 1800, but shortly after that it was banned in the northern states of the new nation.  Being so agricultural, the use of slaves in the South was a key to its economy and the Southerners grew fearful as the abolition movement gained strength.  This set the stage for the great Civil War--sometimes called the War of the Lost Cause.  Before President Lincoln took office in March, 1861, South Carolina seceded and was followed by Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi..  The new president believed the nation was still one, but just a month after he took office, Southerners fired on Charleston's Fort Sumter and there became two.  Both sides quickly prepared for war.  The Southerners fought to preserve their way of life and the Northerners fought to preserve the union. (Pictured at left, a domestic slave market, like those transferring thousands yearly to the most fertile lands.)

The Civil War - disaster for the South

The South fought valiantly to defend its cause--first gaining the upper hand in a series of impressive victories. But the north had more manpower and much more industry.  So eventually the North turned the tide and on April 9, 1865, Confederate commander Robert E Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia.  The battles were all over the South, primarily, so the South bore the brunt of the destruction.
The four years of bloody fighting had a staggering effect on the nation. The North lost 360,000 soldiers, the South lost 260,000 men--all needed to build the young country.  It was terribly costly to both wealthy and not so wealthy Southerners.  In war, after all, a battlefield bullet held no regard for property rights.  Men came home weary or maimed, if at all.  Confederate soldiers served proudly and their descendants honor them today as all descendants honor those who defended their homes. General Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis as well as several generals have been considered Southern heroes, no matter the outcome.  The Confederate Battle Flag is held in high honor by many whites in the southern states.  Yet the South paid a terrible price in both lives and  property damage.  Life for Southerners of the period was never the same again.  (Pictured at right, a painting of  (Confederate General) Picketts's Charge, Battle of Gettysburg, one of the bloodiest battles and a turning point in the war in favor of the North.)
In many places, the victorious Union army deliberately burned everything in sight --including courthouses holding ancestral and property records proving ownership of the land.  Most famous was (Union General) "Sherman's March to the Sea" when his army trekked after sacking Atlanta, across Georgia, down to Savannah on the coast, up through South Carolina, and then northward into North Carolina.  Thousands of rebel soldiers who did return home, found them utterly destroyed.  Times were hard and stayed that way for a very long time.  Pictured here: an early photo of the destruction at Richmond, named the Confederate capital, after Union soldiers destroyed the city.  This link to "the Civil War" on Wikipedia will be a more liberal view of the War, not necessarily the way many white, older Southerners may still view it.

End of slavery and Reconstruction

The slaves were technically freed well before the end of the war.  Southern slaves, who actually outnumbered whites in many parts of the South, were not freed until war's end.  The period after the war in the South was called Reconstruction.  The war and the years following it were times of poverty for so many Southerners whose towns and plantations were destroyed.  If they weren't destroyed, their economies were, and so times were hard.  And it was also a time of great bitterness and division between the two sides.  Northerners came down to change things, some carrying carpetbag luggage.  (That's where the word 'carpetbaggers' originated--meaning outsiders arriving and up to no good.)   The last federal troops left the South in 1877.  Reconstruction as a political and economic policy from Washington was only partly successful.  It brought some rights for the former slaves and set up public schools, but the old social order returned to the South--an order of white supremacy which would haunt the nation and take a century to overcome.
The Ku Klux Klan emerged originally to scare blacks from voting and preventing change of the established Southern ways favoring the European white culture.  Some Southerners still maintain today the Klansmen's role behind their white sheets of anonymity was only political and relatively harmless.  But there has been enough evidence  to show that the Klan was, in fact, a terrorist organization responsible for widespread murder and violence against Negroes and it was rarely prosecuted.  It was common belief, though not documented,  that the Klan killed thousands of blacks and abolitionists over the decades.  And the local white establishment looked the other way so there was no justice to punish the wrong-doers.

True or not, many freed blacks migrated from the South to northern cities during these difficult years.  The Klan's influence has largely diminished today and the remnants of it do not hold much respect as attitudes have changed.  Much more equality for the large black population came in the late 20th century.  This came after confrontational marches by blacks, enforced voting rights, and additional federal laws were passed.  Sometimes it took Federal troops and threats to enforce the laws before real justice came.   In short, the white Southerners did not give up their privileges willingly.  (Pictured here: drawing of  two Klansmen seized by officials.)

Emergence and modernization

It could be said the South has not quite fully recovered from the Civil War, economically, or socially.   Most southern states are still poorer and less developed than the rest of the country.  Yet Atlanta, Georgia and other emerging cities have become affluent and modern, rising above the destruction left by the armies of the North so long ago.  There remain somewhat sleepy communities in the southern states, surrounded by poor farmers, both black and white.   Many Southerners are still sensitive about the divisions and economic imbalances and many still consider northern Yankees outsiders.  Even so, they have struggled to modernize and are achieving more success each decade.  Southern leaders today work hard to attract new industry to continue the modernization.  The physical differences in regions of the US are not nearly so noticeable today as they were just a generation ago.

While most of the wounds have healed, Southerners have held some of their traditions dear--a more relaxed and genteel way of life and what Southerners call 'Southern hospitality' Life is a little less frantic than other places in America and Southerners are very comfortable with that.  There remains a strong regional pride and conservatism.  It is uniqu