My Black History Month: Grandpa Jerry Burgess

 February 5th

The first record I see my 3x Great Grandpa Jerry Burgess on is the Alabama Voter Registration record. The record was “created in accordance with the federal, post-Civil War Second Reconstruction Act of March 23, 1867. The act required the commanding Union officer in each military district to register all resident male citizens, 21 years and older, to vote after they had taken an oath of loyalty to the United States. The process was to be completed before September 1, 1867. The 1867 voter registration records are significant because this is one of the first government documents to record African American males living in Alabama.”(Archives Alabama) I cannot imagine how Grandpa Jerry might have felt, after not being treated or seen as a HUMAN BEING for most of his life to then go to being counted as a MAN and have his name on a state wide document. I think it is really cool to see my Grandpa Jerry’s name on this document.

Source: Alabama, U.S., Voter Registration, 1867 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

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