Augusta State University Receives the Papers of Georgia’s First Black-Owned Insurance Company

The Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance Company was the first black-owned insurance company in Georgia. Founded in 1898 in Augusta, the company issued tens of thousands of insurance policies to African Americans in several states. The company was bought by the Atlanta Life Insurance Company in 1990.

When she bought a local warehouse in Augusta, a local businesswoman discovered the early records of the Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance Company which had been stored in the building. She has now donated the vast collection of papers to Augusta State University. The documents, which filled a 53-foot trailer on an 18-wheel truck, will be preserved and made available for scholarly research. The process of archiving the collection will take more than five years to complete.