If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, spoke those words, I’m sure he had something other than migration in mind, but this week’s theme is “king”, and this is the best connection I can find. Alfred Joseph Carr was born about 1816 in South Carolina to unknown parents. We’ll probably never know what pushed him away from South Carolina, nor what pulled him to the road. Whatever the case, he continued to feel that pull for the rest of his life.
1816 — birth, South Carolina
1835 — marriage, Habersham County, Georgia (63 miles)
1840 — US census, Cass (now Bartow) County, Georgia (124 miles)
1850 — US census, Randolph County, Alabama (107 miles)
1860 — US census, Randolph County, Alabama
1870 — US census, Pontotoc County, Mississippi (255 miles)
1875 — birth of granddaughter, Madora Belle Smith, Coryell County, Texas (672 miles)
1880 — US census, Jones County, Texas (182 miles)
In his lifetime, he had lived in 5 states and migrated a total of 1400 miles away from his birthplace. Along the way, he married, had 12 children, married off daughters, sent sons-in-law off to war in Confederate uniforms and welcomed grand-children. Its highly probable that the only reason he didn’t pack up and leave Jones County, Texas, was simply that he had gotten old. He arrived in what would become Jones County just in time to participate in the election, along with his grown sons and sons-in-law, to form the county. He was even voted in as the county’s first tax assessor. He was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Anson, Jones County’s seat, in 1887.