My Contribution: I escaped slavery, and served God, country, and mankind.

My Legacy: I was the last Civil War survivor in Harrisburg, PA. I owned multiple properties and cemetery plots in Harrisburg; served in the American Legion in Harrisburg; and bequeathed my estate to my widow and her descendants. My statue is on display in an exhibit at the National Civil War Museum in Reservoir Park, Harrisburg. The Ephraim Slaughter Legion Post #733 was named after me.

My Currency Today: Adjusted for inflation, my estate of $10,000.00 in 1943 would be valued at $148,754.91 today.

Memorable Quotes: “Georgiana and Ephraim Slaughter are both admired for sacrifice and accomplishment, but also for their audacious shared vision to join forces to control their own narrative. They lived the balance of their lives with dignity and companionship, and in time left this world on their own terms and as a more compassionate place than they found it.” (Dr. Sharonn L. Williams, great grand daughter)

Full Name: Ephraim Slaughter (aka Ephraim Newsome)

Birth Date: January 17, 1846

Death Date: February 17, 1943

Place of Birth: Ahoskie, Herford County, North Carolina

Gravesite: Lincoln Cemetery, Penbrook, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

Sex: Male

Race: African American (Negro, Colored, Black)

Known Places of Residence: Ahoskie, Hertford County, NC (1860 Slave Schedule); 257 Elm Street, Ward 8, Harrisburg (1880); 903 Grand Street, Ward 5, Harrisburg, PA (1900-1930); 612 Briggs Street, Ward 6, Harrisburg (1935); 903 Capital Street, Ward 5, Harrisburg (1940)

Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Was a real estate investment mentor to peers; used personal properties to shelter family and visitors on short and long-term basis; modeled Christian and philanthropic principles as a community member and local socialite.

Family Members:

  • Spouse: M1 (16): Caroline “Carrie” Grunis (nee Grunis) – b. South Carolina 1852 – m. 1868-1935 = 67 years
  • Spouse: M2 (48): Georgianna Mitchell (nee Williams) – b. WV 1889 – m. 1937-1943 = 5 ½ years
  • Brother: David Slaughter – escaped the NC plantation and relocated to Harrisburg with Ephraim after the war – died 1892 – is buried with Carrie and Ephraim in Lincoln Cemetery family plot; Sister-in-Law: Caroline (David’s widow); Niece: Catherine (David’s daughter) – Harrisburg, PA Note: His niece Catherine married John Gaines and relocated to Blair County with only child/son.
  • Brother: Isaac Newsome – Ahoskie, NC – died in 1921 – twice married – had two children (John and Eleanor) with first wife – fourteen grandchildren, two of whom (Dora Peele, Virginia Hart) visited Ephraim and Georgiana in Harrisburg in 1937, according to a diary/journal entry.
  • No Children

Education: No formal education

Occupations: Laborer and Hotel Employee

Church Membership: Bethel AME Church – Harrisburg, PA – member from 1868-1946.

Activism: Last Civil War survivor in Harrisburg, PA; member of the David R. Stevens Post #520 of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic); Lodge #826 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF); elected to honorary VFW membership; honored guest at President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s dedication of the Peace Memorial on the Gettysburg battlefield in 1938; Marshall of several local holiday parades.

Connections to 100 Voices: Ephraim was well known as a veteran of the Civil War; church member and trustee at Bethel AME Church; assisted in securing financing to pay-off the church deed; property owner, landlord, socialite, informal financial advisor and mentor.

The template above is part of the 100 Voices of the Commonwealth Monument Project, a project of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism, sponsored by the Foundation for Enhancing Community and supported by a Council of Independent Colleges Humanities for the Public Good grant. Dr. Sharonn Williams, the great grand-daughter of Georgiana and Ephraim Slaughter, researched and wrote the template; Katie Wingert McArdle and David Pettegrew edited the content for online publication.


Image courtesy of Dr. Sharonn Williams
Photo of Ephraim Slaughter’s Diary, courtesy of Dr. Sharonn Williams
Ephraim Slaughter’s estate value at his death: $10,000, a substantial sum of money in 1943 (image courtesy of Dr. Sharonn Williams)