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Old 02-26-2019, 12:30 AM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Feb 26th, 2019: Vets

Is it really important who and when the last soldier to survive a war finally dies?
Nope... But I find it interesting how close that man came to us here today.
Keep in mind it's really hard to pin down the absolute last one, there are challenges, but these are the current consensus.



Lemuel Cook died in 1866, the last US veteran of the American Revolution.
Hiram Cronk died in 1905, the last US veteran of the War of 1812.



Owen Thomas Edgar died in 1929, the last US veteran of the Mexican war 1846-48.
Pleasant Riggs Crump died in 1951, the last Confederate veteran of the Civil War.
Albert Henry Woolson died in 1956, the last Union veteran of the Civil War.



Nathan Cook died in 1992, the last US veteran of the Spanish-American war.
Frank Buckles died in 2011, the last US combat vet of WW I.

For the hell of it, Peter Mills died in 1972, probably the last US slave, outlived Martin Luther King.
Now there are several other names claiming that title but...
Quote:
both people he has were born in the 1840s (and there is another who claimed to be born in the 1840s who died in 1971). He's saying this doesn't smell right: the last living slave should be someone born in 1859 or 1864 and thus if they lived to be 80-100 they would die later than a comparable slave born in 1840s

This actually seems to segway into a great research question: did former slaves lie about when their young children were born (on the margins) to push their birth into the post 1865 [or 63 in say Louisiana]? Or at least did they do this in a family/folk history way? What does the data on death certificates tell us?
Quote:
Charlie Smith was invited to the launch of the Apollo 17 as a VIP guest, with newspapers reporting that a former slave was to watch a rocket ship launch, however subsequent research suggests he was 30 years younger than he claimed and that he was born well after the Emancipation Act.

There is not evidence to support the age claims of Magee, Crosby, Lee, Brown and Reed, and given the immensity of their claimed ages in comparison in lifespans that have been verified (Magee, Crosby and Reed all claim to be the oldest person ever), they should all be assumed to be longevity myths in the vein of Charlie Smith's claim unless some new evidence is found.

That leaves us with Mr Peter Mills, who claimed a reasonable age (110) and who actually has some evidence to support his age claim, 1910 and 1920 censuses have been located which support Mr Mill's claimed age.

Thus, the last living former slave that we know about is Mr Mills (who died in 1972), but note history books often cite Eliza Moore or Teen Blackburn as "the last slave". Not necessarily because Mr Mills is a less reliable claimant than them, but rather because they are more interested in former slaves who were old enough to have done slave work and have memories of doing so.
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Last edited by xoxoxoBruce; 02-26-2019 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:30 AM   #2
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:20 AM   #3
xoxoxoBruce
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It kind of gave me a jolt to discover we have an actual photograph of a veteran of the revolution.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
This actually seems to segway into a great research question: did former slaves lie about when their young children were born (on the margins) to push their birth into the post 1865 [or 63 in say Louisiana]? Or at least did they do this in a family/folk history way? What does the data on death certificates tell us?
Maybe they were only allowed to sign some form of registry after emancipation, and the "birth" date was the date of registration, no matter how old they were.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:47 PM   #5
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That's possible but that would work the opposite, making them younger not the oldest humans ever as a couple claimed.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:37 AM   #6
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It was a potential explanation (ie, a guess) for why there wasn't a contender for the last living US slave who was younger than them.
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