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Gee’s Bend was a part of Federal Government’s Resettlement Program in 1935 and a part of Roosevelts New Deal plan

GEE’S BEND, (BOYKIN), WILCOX COUNTY, ALABAMA

Gee’s Bend was originally named for Joseph Gee, an early large land owner from Halifax County, North Carolina who settled here in 1816. Gee brought 18 African American slaves with him and established a cotton plantation within the bend. Later the name was changed to Boykin.


Resettlement program were taking place all over the United States to assist displaced farmers who lost their homes or faced severe poverty. The programs were part of the Roosevelt’s New Deal plans to bring people out of poverty from the Great Depression.  In the face of Congressional criticism, in September 1937,  was folded into a new body, the Farm Security Administration (FSA), which operated until 1946.

Gee’s Bend, Wilcox County, Alabama

Gee’s Bend became part of the was part of the Federal Government’s Resettlement Program in 1935 after a report in the 1930s described the poverty in the area.

Resettlement program were taking place all over the country to assist displaced farmers who lost their homes or faced severe poverty. The programs were part of the Roosevelt’s New Deal plans to bring people out of poverty from the Great Depression.

The RA worked with nearly 200 communities throughout the country.

In 1937, the Resettlement Program purchased the old Pettway plantation and two adjacent farms in Wilcox County, divided the land, and rented it to the tenants, who were the former African American slaves at the Pettway Plantation.

Below are some photographs taken in 1937 of Arthur Rothstein from the Library of Congress which reveal the conditions residents of Gees Bend were living in before the Federal Government assisted them.

 

Young girl at Gee’s Bend – name possibly Artelia Bendolph photo taken by Arthur Rothstein 1937

Gee’s Bend carrying water

Gee's Bend 1937 carrying water

Working in garden in 1937

Women in garden

Gee’s Bend curing meat in 1937

curing meat

Gee’s Bend conducting school in the church 1937Gee's Bend conducting school in the church 1937

 

 

Gee’s Bend family 1937Gee's Bend family 1937

Gee’s Bend cabin in 1937

Gee’s Bend House in 1937

Lucy, former cook for the Pettways. Gees Bend, Alabama, 1937 Photograph taken by Arthur Rothstein

Lucy, former cook for the Pettways. Gees Bend, Alabama, 1937 Photograph taken by Arthur Rothstein

 

Gee’s Bend foreman Henry Miller lived at the Pettway’s mansion in 1937 

Home of the Pettways, occupied by African Americans in 1937 at Gees Bend, Alabama, photograph by Arthur Rothstein

John Henry Miller and family. Miller is foreman of the Pettway Plantation. Gees Bend, Alabama, photograph taken 1937 by Arthur Rothstein

John Henry Miller and family. Miller is foreman of the Pettway Plantation. Gees Bend, Alabama, photograph taken 1937 by Arthur Rothstein

Well at Gees Bend 1937

Boy hauling water

hauling water

Descendants of Pettway slaves

Cabin with mud chimney 1937

cabin with mud chimney 1937

Boy hauling water

hauling water

Cabins on the Pettway Plantation. Gees Bend, Alabama, 1937, photographs by Arthur Rothstein

Cabins on the Pettway Plantation. Gees Bend, Alabama, 1937, photographs by Arthur Rothstein

More pictures on Gee’s Bend Resettlement Program

 

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1) 

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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7 comments

  1. Juanita Bailey

    Please fix your page! Constant ads very frustrating! Unable to read article.

  2. are the above pics of Pettway plantation etc. included in the Al Footprints Exploration Vol1. or can these photos be purchased ?
    thank you

  3. Bruce Sloan

    Wilcox Co-Poorest county in ALabama–I spent time there in an alabama prison road crew-1988-oct-

  4. […] (Click to see more images, film and the story of Skyline Farms in Jackson County, Alabama and Gee’s Bend in Wilcox County, […]

  5. […] making bedspreads at Gees Bend, Alabama 1938– This was also part of the National Youth Administration Program. (Library of […]

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