A "miserable creature" or "remarkable man"
Nelson, Laura Elizabeth
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This thesis examines the life of Wilkes Flagg, an enslaved blacksmith and preacher of Milledgeville, Georgia. Flagg lived as a quasi-free black throughout the antebellum period and afterword established Milledgeville’s first black church and a freedmen’s school. He achieved most of his objectives by striking a balance between assuring whites he had no intention of challenging white supremacy and reassuring African Americans that he acted in their best interest. In analyzing the particulars of Flagg’s life, this thesis will touch on broader themes in nineteenth-century Southern history including race relations, Reconstruction politics, and Lost Cause ideology.