sylvester_magee_web.jpgFOXWORTH, Miss. (AP) — Forty years after his funeral, the tiny wooden stake that now marks the grave of Sylvester Magee of Columbia, whom many historians consider the last American slave and the oldest person who ever lived, will be replaced with a new headstone.

Marion County Historical Society member Randy Davis said that the ceremony will take place Feb. 23 at the cemetery at Pleasant Valley Methodist Church in Foxworth. Davis said the date was chosen to celebrate Black History Month.

Historical Society director Christopher Watts said records show Magee was born in North Carolina on May 29, 1841, and sold as a slave in Enterprise, Miss. Watts said Magee was present at the Vicksburg siege and was pressed into service in the Union army.

Magee died in 1971 in Foxworth.

Photo: Sylvester Magee