William Edmondson; Fort Negley; Nashville
Angela Sutton is a professor over at Vanderbilt who is heading up a digital humanities project on Fort Negley and the surrounding historically Black neighborhoods. Last week, she contacted me with a weirdness in the Fort Negley records. They were showing that Orange Edmondson had died before 1865, while working on fortifying Nashville during the Civil War.
This would be quite a feat if this was the Orange Edmondson we know about — the father of famed Nashville sculptor, William Edmondson — since William wasn’t born until 1874. There were other discrepancies between what we know about William Edmondson’s family and this Orange, namely that the known Orange Edmondson was enslaved on the Felix Compton farm; this Orange Edmondson was enslaved on the white William Edmondson’s farm.