Quitman family papers, 1784-1978.

Creator: Quitman family.
Collection number: 616
View finding aid.

Abstract: The Quitman family of Monmouth Plantation near Natchez, Miss. Prominent family members included John A. Quitman (1799-1858), lawyer, planter, state legislator, governor, congressman, and United States Army officer; his wife, Eliza (Turner) Quitman (1810-1859); their daughter, Louisa (Quitman) Lovell Chadbourne (1826-1884); their daughter, T. Antonia (Quitman) Lovell (fl. 1820s-1900); Antonia’s husband, William Storrow Lovell (1829-1900); Antonia’s son, John Quitman Lovell (b. 1859); and Antonia’s daughter, Rose Duncan Lovell (b. 1866). Henry Turner was Eliza Quitman brother. Correspondence, financial and legal papers, writings, volumes, and pictures of the Quitman and Lovell families. John A. Quitman’s political and military activities are documented, including his participation in the state legislature, his expedition to Texas to fight in its struggle with Mexico, and his service in the Mexican War. Also documented are plantation affairs and accounts with commission merchants in New Orleans for cotton grown at Monmouth and Palmyra plantations. Included is documentation of a dispute, 1841-1843, between Henry Turner and a slave trader, Rice C. Ballard over money owed by Turner to Ballard and slaves purchased in 1836 by Turner that he claimed were in poor health and older than the trader had led him to believe. There are also materials relating to the murder of a slave in 1844. Much of the correspondence deals with family, and personal matters and there are frequent letters from the Quitmans’ relatives in Rhinebeck, N.Y., and Philadelphia, Pa., and from Eliza’s mother and brothers. There are a few Civil War letters that describe military life and the effects of the war on Natchez. After the war, most of the correspondence is between Antonia Quitman Lovell and her children, particularly John. Several of the Lovell boys attended college at the University of the South at Sewanee, Tenn. Between 1889 and 1916, most of the correspondence is directed to Rose Duncan Lovell and concerns family matters, social events, travel, and illnesses. Volumes include plantation records with slave lists, childhood diaries, and account books. Pictures are chiefly photographs of Quitman family members and their homes.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights:

Folder 5 includes a list of slaves purchased from Ballard, Franklin and Company (date unknown).

Folders 13-15 contain miscellaneous slave lists between 1837 and 1838.

Correspondence also contains accounts of a cholera epidemic among Mississippi slaves between 1848-1849 (Folders 55-61); discussion of the behavior and disappearance of Mississippi slaves during the Civil War in 1864 (Folders 112-113).

Volume 7 is a plantation book containing slave records (1833-39, 1849) in Folder 232.

There is also a October 1844 letter discussing the murder of an enslaved individual on the Quitman plantation (Folders 35-38).