St. Augustine Florida
George Edwards is listed in 1885 as a laborer on Bronson Street in the St. Augustine City Directory.
In 1898 a George Edwards testified for William Nateell in a pension hearing. In 1900 a George
Edwards of 113 Marine Street testified for the widow of Pablo Gray in a pension hearing.
October 21, 1934
George Edwards, Is 98 Years Old, Holds Record
Oldest Person Found in Community; Was born Slave
Is Almost Blind
Says He Belonged to Lopez Family of This City
So far as the management of the Record has been able to judge from names turned in, the oldest
person in the community is George Edwards, colored, of No. 59 Oneida Street. He says he will be
98 years old next July Fourth, and has lived here all of his life, being born in a house on Charlotte
Street. His story is that he was born a slave, in the family of Nilas Lopez, the grandfather of X.
Lopez, of this city.
When asked if he had ever seen slaves sold in the old Slave Market on the Plaza, his answer was that
he had seen them sold there and whipped too.
Edwards is almost blind, but manages to make his way around. He says that things appear as a
blurred shadow before him, but declares his mind is as keen as his eyes are dim.
The Lopez plantation, another large holding on the Southwest edge of the city, was owned by a
Spaniard. Here the number of slaves was not as great as on some of he other plantations, but the
cruelty to which they were subjected is said to have more than made up for any numerical deficiency.
One of the former slaves of the Lopez plantation is still living in St. Augustine. He is George Edwards,
one hundred years old " as near as he can figure from what they tell him". Edwards believes that he
was twelve or fourteen years old when the Civil War began. He tells of having been tied to a banister
by his master and beaten for hours with a heavy strap of leather. Tiring of his sport, Lopez would
stop, eat his lunch, smoke his pipe, and then resume the beating. While Edwards' mind is still
apparently clear enough to lend credence to his story, verification was obtained from his daughter,
who stated that the same story was told to her by the old man more than a quarter of a century ago.
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