James Aaron Moore

James Aaron Moore (Lauderdale County)

State House: 1870-1871

Born: c. 1826 in Georgia
Died: 1904 in Hinds County, MS

Blacksmith and minister. Delegate to the 1868 constitutional convention. Served on the Meridian board of aldermen. Moore performed the much-publicized marriage ceremony between the white “carpetbagger” Albert T. Morgan and Carrie V. Highgate, an African American woman, in 1870. In March of 1871, he was accused of being involved with the Meridian fires and the shooting death of a Judge Bramlette, and he had to escape to Jackson.

Listed on the 1870 census in Lauderdale County with wife Mary and children, and in Hinds County in 1880. In 1900, he was in Hinds County with a second wife, Irena, and children. His will was in probate in January 1904.

“A native of Georgia, Moore organized churches in Mississippi as a Methodist Episcopal minister after the Civil War. He represented Lauderdale County in the constitutional convention of 1868 and the state House of Representatives, 1870-71, and he served on the Meridian City Council, 1869… Moore was hunted by armed whites during the Meridian riot of 1871, narrowly escaping death before fleeing to Jackson.”
(Eric Foner, Freedom’s Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders during Reconstruction, 1993)

“Moore, who led in the organization of Methodist churches in the east-central portion of the state, later was an influential state senator, and centered his power in the town of Meridian. After his elimination from politics, he set up a successful blacksmith shop in Jackson, and soon came to be known once more as ‘a good citizen.'”
(Vernon Lane Wharton, The Negro in Mississippi, 1865-1890, 1965)

Wikipedia entry on the Meridian race riot of 1871

Weekly Democrat, December 14, 1867
Vicksburg Herald, July 10, 1868
Vicksburg Herald, March 10, 1870
Weekly Mississippi Pilot, March 26, 1870
Meridian Daily Gazette, April 8, 1870
Weekly Mississippi Pilot, May 28, 1870
Weekly Mississippi Pilot, June 25, 1870
Semi-Weekly Clarion, August 5, 1870
Clarion-Ledger, October 6, 1870
Jacksonville Repub-lican, March 11, 1871
Memphis Daily Appeal, March 14, 1871
Memphis Daily Appeal, March 17, 1871
New National Era, May 11, 1871
Clarion-Ledger, June 13, 1872
Clarion-Ledger, January 9, 1873
Clarion-Ledger, February 13, 1873
Clarion-Ledger, March 6, 1873
Clarion-Ledger, March 13, 1873
Vicksburg Herald, April 3, 1873
American Citizen, March 21, 1874
Vicksburg Herald, September 11, 1874
Canton Mail, January 8, 1876
Clarion-Ledger, February 17, 1881
Times-Picayune, April 11, 1887
Vicksburg Evening Post, April 14, 1887
State Ledger, April 16, 1887
Weekly Clarion-Ledger, Dec 7, 1893
Clarion-Ledger, December 5, 1903
Will of James Aaron Moore, 1904
Times-Democrat, January 31, 1904
Winona Times, February 24, 1928