Historical marker to honor influential early African-American Georgia politician

One of Georgia's most influential early African-American politicians will get his own historical marker in the area that he called home.

Born free in Middlebrook, New Jersey, Tunis Campbell was an abolitionist preacher before he was sent to be the military governor of Georgia's Sea Islands.

Campbell served in numerous government roles during the Reconstruction era, advocating for equal rights despite multiple threats to his life.

In 1868, Campbell was elected state senator as part of the "Original 33" but was expelled from office because white leaders claimed the Georgia Constitution made them ineligible to hold office. He was eventually able to return to office in 1871 but lost his re-election the next year.

In the mid-1870s, Campbell was indicted on multiple false charges, convicted, and sentenced to hard labor in a Georgia prison chain gang. After his release, he left Georgia for good, and wrote a book about his experience titled "Sufferings of the Reverend T. G. Campbell and His Family in Georgia."

To honor Campbell's legacy, the Georgia Historical Society will dedicate a market on Thursday in Darien, just north of St. Simon's Island.

The marker will stand on Inverness Square at 501 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.