Chiliab Smith papers, 1814-1899.

Creator: Howe, Chiliab Smith, 1809-1875.
Collection number: 3092
View finding aid.

Abstract: Prominent members of the Howe family of Marengo County, Ala.; Okolona, Miss.; and Memphis, Tenn., included Chiliab Smith Howe (1809-1875), soldier, planter, and merchant; his wife, Julia Pickens Howe (1815-1898), daughter of U.S. congressman and Alabama governor Israel Pickens (1780- 1827); their daughters, Ellen (1839-1921), who married John Richardson (d. 1862), editor of the “Prairie News” and Confederate soldier; Laura (1841- 1927), who married J. Byrd Williams (d. 1864), merchant and Confederate soldier; and Joanna (fl. 1851-1899). The collection is chiefly family correspondence. The earliest letters are from Israel Pickens to his brother-in-law about congressional activities, his move to Alabama, and family events. Also included are a number of letters to Julia (Pickens) Howe, before and after her marriage, from Lenoir family relations at Fort Defiance and elsewhere in North Carolina, including love- letters from her husband-to-be. Between 1836 and 1838, most of the items are military papers, compiled while Chiliab Smith Howe was serving with the U.S. Army removing Cherokee Indians from North Carolina and Tennessee. The rest of the collection consists chiefly of letters among members of the Howe family. Ellen and Laura wrote while they were away attending school in Aberdeen, Miss., and at the Columbia Female Institute in Tennessee. During the Civil War, both Ellen and Laura followed their husbands to various camps in Virginia and Georgia and described their experiences, including a meeting with William C. Falkner. Both men served in the 11th and 41st Mississippi regiments and died during the war. After the war, Ellen and Laura taught school to support themselves at Lamar Female Seminary in Paris, Tex. Also included are an 1863 diary of Ellen (Howe) Richardson and materials relating to the military careers of John Richardson and J. Byrd Williams.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: In Subseries 1.1. 1814-1827, Smith writes about moving with his family and slaves to Alabama.