“The Bottoms” & Honey’s Columbus

As we consider Honey’s upbringing, please enjoy the media and information here:

  1. Honey’s parents met in the Bottoms where they sharecropped on the Wiley Bullard plantation.  Honey’s mother was part Creek.  The Creek Indians were the most populous tribe north of Mexico through the late 1800s, and had a very integral relationship with the white residents of the Columbus area for some time through the turn of the 20th century.

    Georgia sharecroppers pick cotton in 1898.
  2. When they moved to Columbus, the Bullard family lived on Talbotton Road. Eugene and his siblings attended black schools: Claflin and Twenty-Eighth Street. Claflin has been in extensive disrepair for some time, but is still on 6th avenue across from the lofts. It was the first school for former slaves in Columbus. claflin
  3. William Bullard, Eugene’s father, worked for W. C. Bradley in various capacities. W. C. Bradley shipped cotton up and down the Chattahoochee River.
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circa 1900. W.C. Bradley steamship on the Chattahoochee River.
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W. C. Bradley

4. There are many examples of violent mobs executing racially-charged “justice” in Columbus, GA at the turn of the century. The idea that William Bullard was surrounded by an angry mob after his altercation with the foreman ended in the foreman’s untimely death is not surprising.  Here is just one quick example of the way that mobs executed vengeance in Columbus, GA at that time.

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5. The C&S (Colorado & Southern) train line that Eugene mentions taking east when he runs away from home might have looked like this coach below.  This is the 1906 model, photographed in Denver, Colorado.