May 24, 2021, Savannah, Georgia – The Georgia Historical Society has announced the unveiling of a new historical marker in Richmond County recognizing Amanda America Dickson Toomer in Augusta, Georgia.
Amanda America Dickson Toomer was born on November 20, 1849, in Sparta, Georgia, through the rape of her adolescent enslaved mother, Julia, by her father, David Dickson a 41-year-old wealthy White planter. Through her father’s will, which was contested by Toomer’s White family members, she became one of the wealthiest women of her time, and supported the Augusta community through her philanthropic efforts.
Speakers for the dedication included Corey Rogers, historian at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History; Dr. Kent Anderson Leslie, author of Woman of Color, Daughter of Privilege; John Hock, Vice-President of Hock Development Group; and Elyse Butler, Historical Marker Manager at the Georgia Historical Society.
The Georgia Civil Rights Trail Initiative was established in 2015 as part of the ongoing work of the Georgia Historical Marker Program to recognize the rich diversity of our state’s past and focuses broadly on the economic, social, political, and cultural history of the Civil Rights Movement. This is the newest marker on the Trail.
“The Amanda America Dickson Toomer historical marker highlights the accomplishments of Mrs. Toomer and the trial that shaped her life,” said GHS Marker Manager Elyse Butler. “From Amanda America Dickson Toomer, the founding and impact of Mother Trinity AME Church, and the Riot of May 11-12, 1970 historical markers, the Augusta community has helped GHS grow the Georgia Civil Rights Trail to help tell a more complete story of the struggle for human and civil rights in Georgia by highlighting events and people from the period of Reconstruction to the modern movement in the late 20th century.”
The marker is located at the former home of Amanda America Dickson Toomer at 448 Telfair Street in Augusta. For further information about the Amanda America Dickson Toomer historical marker or the Georgia Civil Rights Trail Marker Program, please contact Patricia Meagher, GHS Director of Communications at 912.651.2125, ext. 153 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The marker reads as follows:
Amanda America Dickson Toomer
Amanda America Dickson Toomer was born in Hancock County in 1849, to wealthy planter David Dickson and Julia, who was enslaved by Dickson’s mother Elizabeth. Although conceived through the rape of her adolescent mother, Amanda was raised and educated in the Dickson household. Upon his death in 1885, Dickson bequeathed most of his wealth to Amanda. Contested by White relatives, the will was confirmed by an all-male White jury in Hancock County, and upheld by the Georgia Supreme Court under the 14th Amendment. After purchasing this home in 1886, Amanda became an integral member of Augusta’s Black community. Known for her philanthropy and attendance at Mother Trinity Church, Amanda died in 1893 as one of the country’s wealthiest Black citizens. She is buried in Augusta’s Cedar Grove Cemetery.
Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, The Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, Historic Augusta, Inc., and The Hock Development Company
ABOUT THE GEORGIA HISTORICAL MARKER PROGRAM
The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) administers Georgia’s historical marker program. Over the past 20 years, GHS has erected nearly 300 new historical markers across the state on a wide variety of subjects. GHS also coordinates the maintenance for more than 2,100 markers installed by the State of Georgia prior to 1998. Online mapping tools allow users to design driving routes based on historical markers, and a mobile app helps visitors locate and learn about markers nearby. Visit georgiahistory.com for more ways to use Georgia’s historical markers and experience history where it happened.
ABOUT THE GEORGIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
To learn more visit georgiahistory.com.