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The Erwin Expulsion of 1918

On May 19th, 1918 a series of tragic events led to the expulsion of the entire Black population from Erwin, Tennessee, a thriving railroad town along the North Carolina border.

In the 100 years since, the reputation of the town as an unwelcoming place for African Americans persists, as does its lack of a viable Black population.


Johnson City Press Chronicle, Sunday, June 17, 1979

Black Population of Unicoi County, Tennessee 1910

Eliza Conrich ⠇Lemore Tate ⠇Will Moore ⠇Frank Hoage ⠇Sallie B Hoage ⠇Charlie Gun ⠇Maud Gun ⠇Frank Wilson ⠇Laura Wilson ⠇Francis Wilson ⠇Edger Wilson ⠇Deona S Wilson ⠇Cleora Gills ⠇Ethel Gills ⠇Author Wilson ⠇Loritia Wilson ⠇Lee Taylor ⠇John Hawkins ⠇Frank Lawrence ⠇Ira Matrum ⠇Clarence Deadman ⠇Victory Deadman ⠇James Ceasar ⠇Ellen Ceasar ⠇Will Harris ⠇Jessie Harris ⠇Esau Carpenter ⠇Josie Carpenter ⠇John H Carpenter ⠇Mattie Walker ⠇John Patterson ⠇John Horton ⠇Fanny Deck ⠇ Haroe Colwell ⠇Will Cash ⠇Watsell Garrett ⠇ Allen Greenlee ⠇Lee Weaver ⠇Henry Hemphill ⠇Lucy Hemphill ⠇Charley Kelly ⠇Ida Kelly ⠇Zeak Vaughn ⠇Vana Vaughn ⠇John Mills ⠇Summey Hays ⠇Joe Peterson ⠇Vince Thomaston

Frank Hemphill ⠇Cicero Coldwell ⠇Jim Horton ⠇Emery Ross ⠇Maud Ross ⠇Grace Ross ⠇ Mattie Ross ⠇Loeid Ross ⠇Louise Ross ⠇Mitchell Kellogg ⠇Thomas Hunter ⠇Hubert Hardy ⠇ Will Rick ⠇ Dock Mule ⠇George Washington ⠇Tom Landon ⠇Moore Well ⠇Whisky Gilmann ⠇Maskis Bower ⠇Henry Walker ⠇Rob Press ⠇Will Mills ⠇David Jenkins ⠇Aaron Doanlit ⠇Solomon Mills ⠇Thad Carson ⠇Earnest Gamble ⠇George Carson ⠇Ham Greenlee ⠇Mary Jane Adams ⠇William Holliman ⠇Sallie Holliman ⠇Isaac Elworth ⠇Mary Elworth ⠇Susie Elworth ⠇Mrs. Caroline Ray ⠇Cornelis Ray ⠇Lucinda Ray ⠇Flech Ray ⠇Harris Ray ⠇Charlie Erwin ⠇Hannah Erwin ⠇George Erwin ⠇Edda Erwin ⠇Dalis Erwin ⠇Geneva Erwin ⠇Pearl Erwin

Rosena Erwin ⠇Hesakia Erwin ⠇Andy Willison ⠇Harriet Willison ⠇Sara Willison ⠇Luther Willison ⠇Edd Willison ⠇Cora Willison ⠇Rexter Willison ⠇Jessie Willison ⠇Emma Willison ⠇Horace Davis ⠇Mary Davis ⠇John Wall ⠇Alice W Wall ⠇Myrtle Wall ⠇Clyde Wall ⠇John Wall ⠇Willie M. Wall Gertrude Wall ⠇Charlie Wall ⠇John Turner ⠇Leria Turner ⠇Charlie Burn ⠇Lila Burn ⠇Willie Burn ⠇Emma Shade ⠇Solo Callaway ⠇Floyd H. Bay ⠇Samuel Bay ⠇Benjamin Young ⠇Susan Young ⠇Frank Young ⠇Dave Young ⠇Mary Young ⠇Lee Young


Black Population of Unicoi County, Tennessee 1920


  • Earnest W. Dickert - Married - 45 years old - born SC / parents born SC / railroad office janitor

  • Jim Mattheny - Married - 43 years old - born NC / parents born NC / camp cars cook


Suggested Books

  • Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America by Elliot Jaspin - ISBN: 978-0-465-03636-3

Other Materials

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