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Grave of Sylvester Magee.

Grave of World's Oldest Man and "Last Surviving American Slave"

Field review by the editors.

Foxworth, Mississippi

Sylvester MaGee said he was 130 years old when he died in 1971. He also said he'd been enslaved, and that he'd fought for both the Federal and Rebel sides during the Civil War (his Confederate service was involuntary).

MaGee's claims could never be verified, which perhaps explains why he was buried in an unmarked grave until 2012. That's when the county historical society rediscovered the long-dead local celebrity, and placed a one-ton granite slab over his final resting place. A tall headstone, the biggest in its small churchyard cemetery, now marks the spot. Its lengthy text includes the caveat that "few records exist to support his life's claim" but adds that "the clarity and detail with which he recounted his life's experiences would have been impossible without having experienced it first-hand."

Grave of World's Oldest Man and "Last Surviving American Slave"

Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church

Hwy 586, Foxworth, MS
In Foxworth, from the intersection of Hwys 586 and 587, drive west a half-mile on Hwy 586. On the left, set back in the trees, you'll see the white Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church. The grave is behind it, with the biggest headstone in the churchyard.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Grand Canyon of MississippiGrand Canyon of Mississippi, Foxworth, MS - 8 mi.
Last Bare-Knuckle Prize FightLast Bare-Knuckle Prize Fight, Hattiesburg, MS - 31 mi.
Big WatermelonBig Watermelon, Seminary, MS - 31 mi.
In the region:
Abita Mystery House, Abita Springs, LA - 53 mi.

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