Samuel “Sam” Carter lived with his wife Lula and their three children (Jessie, Pearl, and Gib). He worked as a blacksmith and carpenter. Sam was born in South Carolina and Lula in Georgia. They were both born in the 1870s. Carter’s was the first death recorded in 1923. Witnesses agree the White man fleeing Sumner approached Carter, or his friend Aaron Carrier, for assistance. Carter assisted the man because they were both masons, a bond that was often honored even though masons were a segregated institution at the time. Lula likely returned to Georgia following the events of 1923.
The design of the Carter Homestead house is based on the Whiddon Cabin. This structure was originally located in Florida’s panhandle near Apalachicola, but was moved in 1972 to it’s current location at the Forest Capital State Museum in Perry, Florida. It remains one of the best preserved examples of Cracker architecture in the state.
Sam Carter figures prominently in the oral testimonies collected in the early 1990s as part of the State of Florida’s investigation in the destruction of Rosewood. The following pages are from an interview with Arnett T. Doctor, a direct descendant of Rosewood survivors. You can read his and other oral histories in the Data Warehouse.
Information regarding the composition of the Carter farmstead comes from census records and property deeds. An 1897 General Land Office (GLO) patent grants the land to the Carter family. Other property deeds record the transfer of the property within the family and the eventual sale of the property following 1923. Census records also provide the names of Sam Carter’s family, including the likely return of his wife to her birth state by 1930.
Unfortunately, archaeology is unable to provide information regarding this farmstead. Although the site remains visible in aerials from the 1940s (the earliest for this part of Florida), construction and road improvements contributed to the eventual destruction of any archaeological remains by the late 20th century.
This page is part of the supporting materials for Rosewood: An Interactive History. Please visit that link for more information.