Ephraim Ponder House, 1856, Thomasville

Built for Ephraim G. Ponder, a slave trader, this house originally featured a square cupola at the center of the roof. Ponder enslaved the Flipper family and one of their children, Henry Ossian Flipper (1856-1940), was the first black cadet to be admitted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, in 1877.

Detail of albumen cabinet card of Lieutenant Henry Flipper by Kennedy of Wilberforce, Ohio, circa 1877.  Courtesy U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Military Affairs. Public domain.

Flipper earned a commission as a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army. He was also the first black officer to lead the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry. He went on to serve in the Apache Wars and Victorio’s War but was troubled by rumors that led to his eventual court martial and discharge. He continued to work for the United States, as an assistant to the Secretary of the Interior in Mexico and Central America. Flipper’s family sought and received a complete pardon in 1999. It’s a nice irony that the slave trader is largely forgotten today while Mr. Flipper is honored with an annual award in his name at West Point.

Dawson Street Residential Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


4 thoughts on “Ephraim Ponder House, 1856, Thomasville

  1. Denise Warnock

    Thank You for all the photos and all the research you do. Two things that are close to my heart. I know how much time you have to put into this wonderful website. I love the pictures and I also love all the extra information you have researched about the different people and places. I know this has to be a labor of love for you.

    I thoroughly enjoyed all the information about Lt. Henry Ossian Flipper. Information I did not know. I am very impressed that you treat all people with honor and do not gloss over or try to change history. You treat Georgia with love and respect. Thank you!

  2. Cherry Smart

    I’m surprised there aren’t more comments on the historical posting….but then maybe I shouldn’t be! Mr. Brown thanks for not diluting history! Much appreciated!


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