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  • Writer's pictureRicki King

Possibly the last slave in Iowa and in person research

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

I am currently doing a research project about Blacks in Iowa. I came across a story in the Annals of Iowa titled "Passing of a Former Slave." It is a short article about Charles Adams in The Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette miles from where he lived. I wanted to learn more about him. However, I was shocked to only find two pieces of information about him online. They were both about his death. A man can live 75 years in the same area and only have two pieces of information found about him. There were do censuses found at or using the search criteria, of Charles Adams, male, black, born in Virginia about 1845, and died in Oskaloosa, Iowa or Iowa in 1948. The search terms were switched on and off and still nothing else was found. This is a very good example of why you must research your family in person at a courthouse, archive, or anyplace that holds original records. I may someday do more research on Charles Adams but I must get back to my original research project.

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