JOHN C. and JAMES H. JUDKINS

SOURCE:  FIND A GRAVE    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/210382115/john-christopher-judkins

 

There are published articles about John Christopher Judkins that have some errors. I encourage descendants to seek all available objective/official sources of information on him and determine the facts from an analysis. PLEASE let me know if you have cited source/objective data that conflicts with what you see here:

John Christopher Judkins was a son of George Judkins & Margaret Lucas (Memorials will be linked). His parents married in Surry County, Virginia, and were on the 1810 US Federal Census while living there. John was born in Surry County, Virginia.

John, his parents and siblings migrated to Alabama by way of Powellton, Hancock County, Georgia, where they are enumerated on the 1820 US Federal Census.

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SOURCE:  FIND A GRAVE    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/210382115/john-christopher-judkins

 

There are published articles about John Christopher Judkins that have some errors. I encourage descendants to seek all available objective/official sources of information on him and determine the facts from an analysis. PLEASE let me know if you have cited source/objective data that conflicts with what you see here:

John Christopher Judkins was a son of George Judkins & Margaret Lucas (Memorials will be linked). His parents married in Surry County, Virginia, and were on the 1810 US Federal Census while living there. John was born in Surry County, Virginia.

John, his parents and siblings migrated to Alabama by way of Powellton, Hancock County, Georgia, where they are enumerated on the 1820 US Federal Census.

“Dictionary of Alabama Biography” Vol III by Thomas McAdory Owen (1866-1920) published 1921 by S. J. Clarke Publishing Company [OCLC Number=1872130] has an article on John Christopher Judkins that has some information that can be fact-checked and some that cannot. There are also some errors in the article. Owen has information that matches what has been passed down through his descendants such as: George Judkins, John’s father, removed to Alabama in 1821 “and settled on lands on the Tallapoosa River, nine miles from Montgomery, where he established Judkins Ferry, which was the first on that river and has been in continuous use for a century.”

BLM GLO site lists 6 land patents for John C Judkins all dated Feb 2, 1843. The land is in Macon County, Alabama totaling 264.15 acres.

SOURCE = https://glorecords.blm.gov/results/default.aspx?searchCriteria=type=patent|st=AL|cty=|ln=Judkins|fn=John|mn=C|sp=true|sw=true|sadv=false

1850 Aug 24 John’s Uncle Henry Lucas [Margaret Lucas Judkins’ brother] deeded ~806 acres of land to John. The land was “lying near to and on the West side of Line creek.” SOURCE = Deed Book#1 (old series) p184 – Montgomery County, AL Courthouse.

After the Civil War, John C Judkins and some other Southern plantation owners decided to get a fresh start in Brazil. In Feb 1867 several Montgomery, Alabama government leaders signed a letter of support for John C. Judkins’ desire to leave Alabama to seek a residence in Brazil. Below is part of the cover letter signed by the Governor of Alabama, then the testimonial that provides wonderful information about John:

The State of Alabama, 27 Feb 1867
To all to whom these presents may come:
“Be it known that I, Robert M. Patton, Governor of the State of Alabama, do hereby certify that the Circular letter commending John C. Judkins, is signed by some of the best and most distinguished citizens of this State, and that they are such as they represent themselves to be.” . . . R. M. Patton, Govr of Alabama

“The United States of America, The State of Alabama, City of Montgomery, February 1867
To all Strangers Greeting,
Our friend Mr. John C. Judkins intending to leave his home in Alabama, to seek residence in the Empire of Brazil, we present him this paper as a testimonial of our appreciation of his merits, our best wishes for his welfare and prosperity, and of our many regrets at parting from him.
He is a man most worthy of confidence and esteem in all the relations of life; and for years has been one of the largest and most successful cotton planters in this State. He has developed the art of cultivating cotton to its highest perfection, managing and controlling the labor of a large number of slaves with a system and success which have been the admiration of all who knew him. He has repeatedly represented his County in the Legislature of the State of Alabama and resigned a position in that body to his emigration to Brazil.
We commend him most heartedly to the kind attention of all to whom these presents may come, and the best wish that we can give him is that he may find friends in his new home with hearts as kind and true as his own.
T.M. Arrington, Judge of the City Court of Montgomery
A. J. Walker, Chief Justice of Alabama
Thos. J. Judge, Associate Justice
J. H. Watts, Ex Gov of Ala.
John W. A. Sanford, Atty Gen of Ala
Geo. Goldthwaite, Judge 2nd Judicial Circuit Ala
David Campbell, Judge of Probate Montgomery County Ala”

“The Elmore Standard” Friday, September 13, 1867:
Brazil – Letters have been received from Mr. John C. Judkins, within a few days, by members of his family in this city. He has determined to settle in Brazil, and has purchased land at the head of navigation on the Rio Doce River, in the Province of Espiritu Santo, where he represents the land to be rich, the water good, and the climate salubrious. He intends calling his settlement Wetumpka and expects all Wetumpkians to settle there. [Transcribed by Linda Blankenship]

The Brazilian Plan did not take off as John C. Judkins had hoped. Also, his wife, Eliza, was never well enough to go to Brazil. John returned to Alabama before the 1870 US Federal Census.

John, Eliza and John’s brother, James Henry Judkins, all died in 1871 and are all buried in Judkins Family Cemetery in Montgomery County, Alabama. It is possible that all three Judkins died of yellow fever:

http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-3990
“Alabamians continued to experience yellow fever throughout the 1860s and into the early 1870s. Outbreaks in Mobile and Montgomery were the most frequent during that time as these two cities were major transportation routes through which outsiders brought in the disease.”

SOURCES: Objective
US Federal Census records: 1810-1840 of John C. Judkins’ parents before John was on his own. He married in 1834 and is enumerated 1850-1870.

Montgomery County, AL Courthouse records:
Will Bk 5, pp98-99 John C. Judkins’ 9 Jan 1871 WILL & 13 April 1871 Probate of his WILL.
Deed Bk 46, pp96-97 20 Nov 1879 PARTITION DEED for Eliza J. Judkins for property in Montgomery and Macon counties, AL. It was not filed for probate until Feb 14th, 1900.

Elmore County, AL Will Bk A pp46-49 Eliza Judkins’ 3 Apr 1871 WILL & 27 May 1872 Probate of her WILL

SOURCES: Personal accounts by 2 descendants:
1921 A letter written by John C. & Eliza Jane Judkins’ son James Henry Judkins (1839-1922). It was to his sister Frances Judkins Oliver (1842-1921) reminiscing about their childhood.

“Brazilian Recollections” by Lucy Judkins Durr (1865-1959)

OCLC=24860150

https://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3Abrazilian+recollections+au%3ALucy+Judkins+Durr&qt=advanced&dblist=638
NOTE: Lucy was John & Eliza Young Judkins’ granddaughter. Her compilation includes copies of John C. Judkins’ 21 Aug 1867 Passport to Brazil and the 2 Feb 27, 1867 letters transcribed above.

James H. (James Henry) Judkins 

He was born 1839 Feb. 2 in Montgomery Co., Ala., to John Christopher and Eliza Jane Young Judkins. He attended the University of Ala. and the University of Va. He fought in the Civil War and rose to the rank of captain before becoming private secretary to Gov. Thomas H. Watts, 1863-1865. Also during the Civil War, he married Mary Elizabeth Johnston on 1862 Jan. 16, at Tuskegee, Macon Co., Ala. After that conflict he emigrated to Brazil, 1867-1870; was county solicitor of Elmore Co., Ala., 1872-1874; inspector of the state penitentiary, 1874-1880; then became assistant U.S. attorney for the middle district of Ala., 1897-1901, and U.S. Marshal for the same area, 1905-1913. He owned plantations in Elmore Co. and Bullock Co., Ala. He and his wife had nine children, three of whom died in childhood. He died 1922 July 1, in Montgomery, Montgomery Co., Ala.

Mary (Mary Elizabeth Johnston) Judkins was born to Lancelot and Lucy Lumpkin Johnston III in Macon Co., Ala. She married James H. Judkins on 1862 Jan. 16. She died at the age of seventy-four, probably between 1910 and 1920.

Thomas W. (Thomas Williams) Judkins was born in 1867 to James H. and Mary E. Judkins in Wetumpka, Elmore Co., Ala. He was connected with the Durr Drug Co. for over thirty years before his death on 1933 July 12 in Montgomery.

Willulah Judkins was born 1878 Dec. 13 to James H. and Mary E. Judkins in Wetumpka, Elmore Co., Ala. She died in 1968.

Clifjames Judkins was born ca. 1872 to James H. and Mary E. Judkins in Wetumpka, Elmore Co., Ala. He married Florence Kizer in Montgomery, Ala.

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TRANSCRIPT OF ABOVE:
The Weekly Advertiser (Montgomery, Alabama,  6 Aug. 1867  Page 4

 

BRAZIL

Views of Mr. John C. Judkins.
 

The mail of yesterday publishes a long letter from Hon. J. C. Judkins which is well worthy of grave consideration.  Mr. Judkins while well pleased with the country, deems it his duty to give some sound advice to his friends in Alabama.  That portion of his letter we copy as follows:
 

From what I have seen, and from what I have gathered from others, competent to give an option, Brazil is a country where the labor of the husbandman will be amply rewarded.  The statements which “letter writers” and “book writers” make as to each productiveness, its climate, etc., etc., I have no doubt is true.  But that it is an “ El Dorado,” where money may be picked up without trouble, and where fortunes can be readily made, as some enthusiasts would have us believe, I find this far from true.  From some exaggerated statements in certain books and letters, our friends in the South have an incorrect idea of Brazil.  The Picture they paint in such glowing colors looks very fine and enticing at a distant glance, but when a closer view is had, it will be found that some truths which our people ought to know are left out of the picture.  I propose, for the truthful information of my friends---those who are dear to me---and who may be influenced by my actions, to give them some facts, which, I think, they ought to know, and a faithful portrayal of which has been made by no letter writer known to me.  In the first place, I advise my friends not to give credence to all they read in the fine penned letters, purporting to give true statements about this country.  A good many letters, I find, had their origin in Rio de Janeiro, based on a few weeks of residence in said city and the unreliable statements of a class of people here, called ”bomarados,” whose business is to go up the different streams for valuable timbers.  These people are considered by all, the lowest and the most unreliable of the natives of Brazil.  I think the facts will sustain me in saying that but few men from the South have explored seven square miles of the native forests minutely.  Their statements and description of the quality and kinds of lands of these forests are not from personal observation but from the hearsay evidence of an unreliable class of people.
 

I find gentlemen here at this time, who have been here but a few weeks, preparing letters for publication in the South, who have acknowledged to me, that they had spent only one day and a half in the country--- and most of that time in a canoe on a river.  And yet are giving full and complete (?) descriptions of localities for American settlements!  I would warn my friends to look upon these letters with distrust; for it is impossible to make the positive statements they contain with such limited acquaintance with the country.
 

I write these facts, because I think they ought to be known by our people, and not because I am disappointed or discouraged at what I have seen.  I have not found more obstacles than I anticipated, and I intend to continue to examine the country with a view of finding a home for my family.  Again I warn my friends.  Most writers give but a one-sided view of the facts.

Land can be procured here cheap enough as letter writers and authors of books tell us, and rich enough, from the government.  It can also be proemed from individuals, improved and ready for planting: but men who have capital can only look to this, and men without it will have to go to the ”jungle.”  It is to this latter class, I address this part of my letter--- All I have an idea of what the “jungle” of tropical countries is, the thickest of our swamps will not compare with it in the density of foliage.  It is so thick that you cannot see ten yards into it, and so thoroughly matted with vines and undergrowth, that without the aid of the hatchet it is impossible to move to it.  It is futile, in my opinion, to expect a large emigration of farmers and practical poor men, unless it is among the jungles of Brazil.---  To expect less than that, the poor man without means who comes here, will be woefully disappointed; and to prepare my friends, who expect to come here, for what they will certainly find, is the object of this allusion to this subject.  To expect it an easy job to clear this jungle, build a house for the family, and prepare the grounds for remunerative labor, will be but to meet with disappointments when the effort is made.  The poor man with no labor except that of his own family, with all the above-enumerated things to do, will find that he can make but support---if that—for two years, with hard labor and much privations for the first two years.  I would advise him not to come to Brazil.  But with these, the glorious results, which some letter and book writers tell of can certainly be expected from the farm cleared up and well stuck.
 

I know from personal knowledge, that the land is not cleared by the government; that no house is built by the government; and further that the government does not furnish provisions for six months.  The assertions in the books and letters that the government will do so are not true.
 

With all these facts before him, if a man unable longer to bear the tyranny of victorious mobocracy in the brave old South, shall determine to come here and bear the privations and labor above spoken of, in my opinion, after two years, he will be as well off as he ever was in the United States,---making money---contented and happy.
 

In the next place, I would advise those of my friends, who, well advised of what they must expect, and what they will certainly find when they come, determine to come anyhow, not to break up the house and home and come wildly here; but to send some male member of the family to see for himself.  The others of the family remain where they are until he returns or until a place has been prepared to receive them.  And again, I would advise my friends not to “tie on” to anyone colony; but to come independently to anyone.
 

In this connection,  I think its my duty to inform my friends of the character, a certain Rev. (?) Ballard S. Dunn, (who wrote a book on Brazil) bears not only with the government but also with everyone who knows him; and especially with those emigrants who came with him on the steamer Marmion.  The government distrusts him.  Suffice it to say, that all who know him have no confidence in his honesty or integrity.  The fact that he deceived those emigrants who trusted in him of itself, is enough to damn him in the estimation of all men.
 

I have met here a gentleman by the name of Charles Nathan, who has been of great service to our Southern emigrants  He is a gentleman of influence and means, and has endeared himself to all of our people here by his generous acts of kindness and friendship.  I know, of my personal knowledge of acts of kindness on his part that will ever endear him to all men who can appreciate friendship in a time of need.  This gentleman is trying to make a contract with the government to run a line of steamers between Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, and other South ports, the steamers to be offered and manned by Southern men.  If Mr. Nathan succeeds in effecting this project, it will be o great convenience to those of our Southern people who desire to emigrate to Brazil.
 

I see many of my Alabama friends here frequently, Col. James Porter, Mr. John Shackelford, and others of our friends are here now, looking for the best places to locate.  They are all well and generally pleased with the country.
 

Very respectfully, &.,

JNO. C. JUDKINS.
 

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