Richard Christmas

Richard Christmas (Copiah County)

State House: 1874-1875

Born: c. 1815 in Tennessee

Served on the House committee on military affairs.

A Richard Christmas (born c. 1835 in Chatham County, NC) enlisted with Company G of the 5th Regiment of the U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery in Vicksburg in 1863. Another Richard Christmas (born c. 1815 in Tennessee) was listed on the 1870 and 1880 census in Copiah County with wife Leanna and children. The latter man had been enslaved by Peachy Ridgway Taliaferro (d. 1852) and then his son-in-law, Calvit Roberts. This interview refers to both men named Richard Christmas, and it’s unclear if they were father and son or the same man with varying birth years. Based on the photograph, I think the legislator was the older man born in 1815.

In the Freedmen’s Bureau Register of Former Slaves, Richard Christmas, age 51, is shown as the foreman on Calvit Roberts’ Twin Oaks Plantation near Hazlehurst. Leanna, age 48, is listed as a cook. There is also a 19-year-old Edwin Christmas, probably their son.

Signature of Richard Christmas
Signature of Richard Christmas from an 1874 petition to Governor Ames
Civil War service record, 1863
Christmas family
Freedmen’s Bureau Register of Former Slaves, c. 1866
Petition to Governor Ames, Feb 2, 1874
Petition to Governor Ames, Feb 2, 1874