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Collection Number: 00295-z

Collection Title: Guion Family Papers, 1789-1927.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size 100 items
Abstract The Guion family lived near Natchez, Miss. The collection includes correspondence, business papers, deeds, and military papers, chiefly 1795-1815, of Revolutionary War officer Isaac Guion and members of his family. Included are personal letters of Isaac Guion, Sarah Guion, George Guion, and Lewis Guion as well as correspondence of Guion with his sons in school in Tennessee and Louisiana; and a description of a naval battle on the Mississippi River during the Civil War.
Creator Guion family.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Guion Family Papers #295-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Received from George S. Guion of New Orleans, Louisiana, before 1940 and in 1941.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Issac Guion (fl. 1789-1822) originally from New York, was captain-lieutenant of Artillery of the New York Continental Line during the Revolutionary War, captain of the troops of the United States on the Mississippi between 1796 and 1798, and major of the 3rd U.S. Regiment near Natchez circa 1801. He and his wife, Sarah Guion (fl. 1815-1819), settled at Oak Hill Cottage near Natchez, Mississippi. They had at least four sons: George S., Frederick Lewis, John Issac, and Walter. George S. Guion (fl. 1815-1857), lawyer and judge of Concordia Parish, eventually married a woman named Caroline and lived in Louisiana. It is believed they had at least one son, Lewis Guion, who fought in the Civil War.

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The papers from 1789 through 1801 consist of the military papers and correspondence of Captain Issac Guion who commanded U.S. troops on the Mississippi River. Included is correspondence with other commanders and soldiers relating to military business. Some of the topics include arranging for payment of the troops, the capture of a possible deserter, and messages from other command posts. There are several morning reports of the troops under Guion's command, listing which officers and soldiers reported for duty and which were sick. There are a few 1801 letters directed to Major Issac Guion of the 3rd U.S. Regiment near Natchez, one of which reported on injuries sustained by men in Col. Strong's command in a hurricane.

From 1815 through 1822, most of the correspondence is from Issac Guion and his wife Sarah at Oak Hill Cottage near Natchez, to their sons George, Frederick, and John Issac, who were away at school. George was apparently studying law under Judge Lewis in Opelousas, Louisiana. Frederick and John Issac both attended Doctor Craighead's Academy near Nashville, Tennessee. Issac and Sarah both wrote about family news, the progress of the boys in school, and the state of the crops at home. Sarah frequently referred to religious matters and seemed concerned with the spiritual growth of her sons. In 1819, Issac wrote to Frederick about his plans to enter West Point. In 1820, he wrote to John Issac about his decision to study law. In both cases, Issac emphasized his desire that his sons make their own career decisions, so long as the profession they decided to enter was an honorable one.

There are a few letters among brothers in the 1820s. In the 1830s and 1840s, most of the correspondence is between George Guion and his wife Caroline. Also included are a few business papers that belonged to George Guion. George and Caroline apparently lived first in Vidalia and then in Thibodaux, Louisiana. George was judge in Vidalia for several years. He wrote to Caroline while away on various trips. On 22 June 1835, George wrote from on board the U.S. Boat Michigan at Grand Gulf while on a business trip. He told of the health of his brother Walter, who was with him, and talked of his anxiety to return to his family. The business papers include a request of George Guion for a loan of $5,000 from the Thibodauxville Branch of the Union Bank of Louisiana, offering his plantation and slaves as security, and an evaluation of the lands, buildings, crops, and slaves of George Guion made by the Citizens bank of Louisiana.

After 1850, the papers are scattered. In 1853 and 1856, there are a few letters about the death of Issac Guion and money owed to him by the government because of his status as a Revolutionary War veteran. A few papers relate to the Guions's involvement in the Civil War. Walter Guion wrote to his sister Bessie in 1862 about a fight between Northern land and water forces and Cotton, a Confederate gunboat. Lewis Guion, son of George Guion, was a Lieutenant in the 26th Louisiana Volunteers. A letter about a possible promotion for him and his parole certificate from 1865 are included.

Included in the papers after 1865 are a letter from Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis, from Beauvoir House to "Mr. Guion" thanking him for his tribute to her husband and recalling her relations with various members of his family. Also included is an invitation to the 16th Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans to be held at New Orleans on 25-27 April 1906. Lewis Guion was listed as chairman of the Invitation Committee and M. L. Guion's name appeared on the first page as designer.

There are also a few items that apparently belonged to Taylor Beatty, including a letter from Braxton Bragg discussing a letter he had received from Governor Moore of Alabama, the raising of troops, and a young officer whose name he did not give.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Shonra Newman, February 1991

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, December 2009

This inventory is partially based on an inventory previously compiled by a member of the Southern Historical Collection processing staff.

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