Rev Caesar Blackwell

Rev Caesar Blackwell

Birth
Mitylene, Montgomery County, Alabama, USA
Death 10 Oct 1845 (aged 75–76)
Montgomery County, Alabama, USA
Burial Montgomery County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 66428049 · View Source
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Although he lived and died in slavery, his ownership changed from John B. Blackwell to the Alabama Baptist Association (ABA). Caesar's early creative attempt at missions was quite impressive. The effectiveness of the slave-evangelist, Caesar, indicated by the surviving references to the high demand for his preaching and related services, is a powerful confirmation to his skill as a communicator. His itinerant ministry was widespread within the association and sometimes beyond. Despite his fame, most historical treatments of Caesar's ministry have been expressed in one or two paragraphs.

Caesar's Popularity


A Negro slave, named Caesar, a bright, smart, robust fellow was ordained to preach. His ability was so marked, and the confidence which he enjoyed was so profound, that Rev. James McLemore would frequently have Caesar attend him upon his preaching tours. He was sometimes taken by Mr. McLemore into the pulpit, and never failed of commanding the most rapt and respectful attention....

In 1821, Caesar, a servant of John Blackwell, joined the Antioch church by experience and baptism. Two years after he was licensed by the church to preach the Gospel, and in 1827, he was solemnly ordained to the ministry by a Presbytery consisting of elders Harris, Davis, McLemore and Harrod. ... After he became the property of the Association, he made his home at Rev. Jas. McLemore's, who
owned his wife and only child. He was furnished with a horse to ride--and had an extensive library of books, and as he had been taught in early life to read and write, he spent his time, when not otherwise employed, in reading and study. 'Uncle Caesar' was an excellent mechanic, and before his strength failed, he devoted a part of his time working for the neighbors, who rewarded him liberally for his services. While thus engaged with his hands, he was in the habit of having his Bible, or some other good book
before him, and occasionally reading a paragraph for study and meditation, and in this way he acquired much of that knowledge which elevated him above others of his race. As a preacher of the Gospel, 'Uncle Caesar' had few superiors in his day and generation.

Caesar's Death and Posthumous Recollections

The ABA trustees reported on "our late colored brother, Caesar." The report was referred to the Committee on Documents, which encouraged the trustees to finalize Caesar's affairs by the next year and to expend the necessary money for a tombstone. Caesar's affairs were not resolved, and the tombstone had not even been ordered. Once again the trustees were encouraged to bring the matter to closure.

When Caesar died in 1845, the ABA took note of his death and did so with profound appreciation. His trustees were authorized to sell his house and real estate in Montgomery. The proceeds were used to furnish his grave with a marble slab inscribed:
Sacred to the Memory of
REV. CAESAR BLACKWELL,
Who departed this life Oct. 10, 1845.
in the 76th year of his age.
He was a colored man, and a slave;
But he rose above his condition, and
was for 40 years a faithful and acceptable
preacher of the Gospel.
The stone is reared as a tribute of respect to his memory,by his brethren of The Alabama Baptist Association.

The marble slab today is obscured by shrubs only a few feet outside the fence that encloses the McLemore-Taylor Cemetery located in the posh neighborhood of Greystone in East Montgomery.

In remembering Caesar, one person wrote with much fondness:
When I used to see old Caesar coming down the lane to my father's house, Saturday evenings, that he might preach at the log church not far away the next day, I used to run with all my might to meet him. He would lift me from the ground and place me near the mule's wet ears and I would embrace and kiss old Caesar. I was only a child, but with the frosts of many winters on my head, whiter now than was old Caesar's then, I still love the memory and cherish it
as did my father and mother, till they, as I am, grew old and with old Caesar joined.., angels, whose melody doubtless provoked the celestial conflict of which I was dreaming.


Inscription

Sacred to the Memory of
REV. CAESAR BLACKWELL,
Who departed this life Oct. 10, 1845.
in the 76th year of his age.
He was a colored man, and a slave;
But he rose above his condition, and
was for 40 years a faithful and acceptable
preacher of the Gospel.
The stone is reared as a tribute of respect to his memory,by his brethren of The Alabama Baptist Association.


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  • Created by: SMS
  • Added: 3 Mar 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 66428049
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Caesar Blackwell (1769–10 Oct 1845), Find A Grave Memorial no. 66428049, citing McLemore Taylor Burying Ground, Montgomery County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by SMS (contributor 46618336) .