Creator: Brashear and Lawrence family.
Collection number: 3355
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Abstract: Walter Brashear (1776-1860) was a physician in Kentucky before 1822 when he moved to St. Mary Parish, La., where, after acquiring Belle Island Plantation and other landholdings in the area, he became a sugar planter and state legislator. The family of Effingham (d. 1850) and Ann Townsend Lawrence (fl. 1802-1830s) lived in Bayside, N.Y., until sons Robert (fl. 1820s-1850s), Samuel Townsend (d. 1839), Henry Effingham (1809-1876?), and Effingham, Jr. (1820?-1878) moved to New Orleans to take up merchandizing and sugar planting. Henry Effingham Lawrence married Frances Emily Brashear, daughter of Walter and Margaret Barr Brashear, in 1844. The collection is chiefly correspondence among members of the Brashear, Lawrence, and related Barr, Parker, Clay, Tilton, and Townsend families. Topics include observations while travelling in Ohio, Pennsylvania (especially Pittsburgh), and Mississippi in the 1820s and 1830s; physician Walter Brashear’s life in Lexington, Ky., in the 1820s; sugar growing, slavery, and medical care in St. Mary Parish, La.; Louisiana politics, especially in the 1840s; and various aspects of life in the Confederacy. Letters from the Lawrence brothers in New Orleans to their relatives in New York in the 1820s offer observations by Northerners of life in the South. Civil War correspondence and the diary of Henry Effingham Lawrence refer in some detail to military operations and the effects of the war in St. Mary Parish. Correspondence with the Lawrence children at the Louisiana Institute for the Deaf and the Dumb and the Blind at Baton Rouge, the Whipple School at Mystic River, Conn., and the Hellmuth Ladies School at London, Ont., concerns school, social life, and family matters in the 1860s and 1870s.
Repository: Southern Historical Collection
Collection Highlights: Letters between Marsha and Walter Brashear include references to buying slaves in 1827 (see Folder 3).
Correspondence from 1844 to 1860 between Henry Lawrence and Frances Brashear during their engagement and subsequent marriage discuss the management of plantation slaves in New Orleans (See Folders 20-30).