The Chubbs

Clemmie B Whatley


A Free Black Family's Journey from the Antebellum Era to the Mid-1900s How could I know that a call from my cousin, Henry, in the fall of 2015 would change the...

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A Free Black Family's Journey from the Antebellum Era to the Mid-1900s

How could I know that a call from my cousin, Henry, in the fall of 2015 would change the trajectory of my life?

It was Henry’s request that I work with ESPN on a story they planned about his son, Nick, a running back for the University of Georgia football team, that started my journey. Over the years, my 94-year-old mother had worked diligently to keep the story of the free Black Chubb family alive. If I were to take over her role as family historian, I needed to be certain of the facts.

Dr. Clemmie Whatley’s search for the truth led her to a long-held family heirloom – her grandparents’ trunk stored deep inside her mother’s closet. A cautious exploration revealed many property deeds, wills, voting and farm records, and other information but it was the unanticipated document she found deep at the bottom of the trunk that proved most enlightening: an 1857 bill of sale for the exchange of a slave lady and her son between two men. Could this be the record of the legendary daughter kidnapped into slavery then later bought back by the family?

Join Dr. Whatley on her deep discovery into the Chubb family. The Chubbs: A Free Black Family’s Journey from the Antebellum Era to the Mid-1900s provides an examination of the Chubb family through historical records and family dialogue beginning in the mid-1700s and continuing until the mid-1900s. 

Like many Black families living during the Antebellum Era (a period in the history of the Southern United States, from the late 18th century until the start of the American Civil War in 1861) through the Civil Rights Era, the Chubb family endured many obstacles as they strove for a respectful life. The pages of this book take the reader on an historical journey with the Chubb family, who, after relocating from North Carolina, eventually settled in Chubbtown, forming a self-sufficient Black community in the Floyd and Polk County area of northwest Georgia in the 1860s. Understanding the environment and the context of laws and policies became important in defining the lives of the people who lived during these periods. Throughout this book, the reader will find the context of the time used to help them better understand the conditions and frame the factors that influenced free people of color during antebellum times and after the Civil War.


The Chubbs offers the readers a rare opportunity to travel through the lives of the members of a free African American family from the 1700s to the mid-1900s. The Chubbs not only chronicles the lives of the members of this pioneering family, it also educates the reader about the social and political climate along the way. - Kenneth J. Jones, Author, The Chubbs of Chubbtown

As the official genealogist for two national hereditary organizations, I have researched the histories of over one hundred African-American families. Most have been very difficult to trace prior to the year 1865 owing to the lack of records available before the end of slavery in the United States. The Chubb family story is almost unique in that the progenitors were free men and women of color. The first person to carry the name of Chubb in America was actually a Caucasian woman whose family immigrated to Maryland from the English county of Cornwall. Her relationship with an African American indentured servant began the odyssey of a strong, determined and independent family of Americans who thrived in spite of laws and institutions designed to keep them in some sort of bondage. Chubb family members fought in the American Revolutionary War and the War Between the States. They fought for economic and educational equality. They fought in our nation's churches and on playing fields to demand their rightful places in society. Their story is one of inspiration and courage. They made no excuses. They survived and thrived. The Chubb family stands as an example for us all to follow. - John Wells. Historian, Newnan, Georgia 

Author: Clemmie Whatley
Page Count: 368
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: May 28, 2020
Imprint: Oxford Southern
Genre: History

REFERENCE / Genealogy & Heraldry
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / American / African American Studies
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / African American & Black
HISTORY / United States / State & Local / South

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