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Alfred P. Andrews Sylvester Magee Research Collection

Identifier: M513

Scope and Contents

The collection includes materials collected and produced by A. P. Andrews, in his effort to substantiate Sylvester Magee’s claim to have been an adult enslaved man that served in the Civil War. The collection includes correspondence, newspaper clippings and journal articles, research notes produced by Andrews, photographs, and reel-to-reel tapes of oral histories of Magee and some of his family members.


  • Creation: 1965-1971; 1974; 1976; 1990-1992


Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the united States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

A. P. Andrews was a retired insurance agent, amateur historian, and member of the Jackson (Miss.) Civil War Roundtable, who drew attention to Sylvester Magee’s story as the reputed last living former slave. Magee, who died in 1971, stated that he was born in 1841 in North Carolina. After he escaped the plantation in Rankin County, Mississippi, where he was enslaved, Magee claimed to have served for both the Confederate and Union Armies during the Civil War, and witnessed the siege of Vicksburg. Magee also claimed to have fathered a child at 109 years of age.


0.50 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Dr. William K. Scarborough in 2013, who received it from Mrs. A. P. (Zetna) Andrews circa 1970s. Digitized photographs in collection donated by Mr. John Corley, on behalf of his mother, Mrs. Sallie Mae Corley, in 2016. UPI photo donated by Jennifer Brannock in 2016.

Administrative Information

The Corley family retains possession of original photographs donated by Mr. John Corley and Mrs. Sallie Mae Corley.

Processing Information

Descriptions of digitized images in Folder 4 provided by donor of collection. Photos from scrapbook are numbered as they were found on scrapbook pages, from left to right, top row to bottom row. Reel-to-reel interviews digitized by USM’s Center for Oral History and Culture, via Steve Haller.

Processing Information

For more information, see contents of the Collection and the Case File

Alfred P. Andrews Sylvester Magee Research Collection
Lynn Cowles
June, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001