unc logo

Collection Number: 03092

Collection Title: Chiliab Smith Howe Papers, 1814-1899

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 section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1400 items)
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.
Creator Howe, Chiliab Smith, 1809-1875.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

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 Chiliab Smith Howe Papers #3092, 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 W. L. Burgher of Dallas, Texas, in 1954, 1955, 1957, and 1961. Additional items were purchased from Munroe D'Antignac of Griffin, Georgia, in June and July 1962.
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.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

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.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

The chief figures in this collection are Chiliab Smith Howe (1809-1875), his wife Julia Pickens Howe (1815-1898), and their three daughters: Ellen (1839-1921), Laura (1841-1927), and Joanna (fl. 1851-1899).

Chiliab Smith Howe was born in Massachusetts in 1809. He attended grammar schools in Massachusetts and the U.S. Military Academy, graduating as a 2nd Lt. in 1829. He was assigned to duty in North Carolina and Tennessee in connection with the relocation of the Cherokee Indians. After leaving the army in 1838, he became a planter and settled first in Marengo County, Alabama, from 1838 to 1844, and then moved to Okolona, Mississippi, from 1844 to 1866. After the Civil War, he became a merchant in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1866 to 1875.

Julia Pickens Howe was the daughter of Israel Pickens (1780-1827) and Martha Patsy Lenoir (d. 1823). She married Chiliab Smith Howe at Fort Defiance, North Carolina, in 1836. Her father, Israel Pickens, was born in what is now Cabarrus County, North Carolina, and moved to Burke County, North Carolina. He graduated from Jefferson College at Canonsburg, Penn., in 1802, and practiced law in North Carolina. He was a member of the state senate in 1809; a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina, March 1811 to March 1817; register of the Land Office of Mississippi Territory (Alabama), 1817 to 1821; and governor of Alabama, 1821 to 1825; and he filled the unfinished term of Henry Chambers in the U.S. Senate, February through November 1826. He died in 1827 and is buried near Greensboro in Hale County, Ala. Julia's mother, Martha Lenoir, was the daughter of General William Lenoir. After Martha's death in 1823, Julia was put in the care of her aunt, Eliza Mira Lenoir (1789-1835), who lived in Fort Defiance, N.C.

Ellen and Laura Howe, daughters of Julia and Chiliab, attended school in Aberdeen, Miss., and at the Columbia Female Institute in Columbia, Tenn. Laura married J. Byrd Williams (d. 1864), a merchant in Okolona, Miss. Williams enlisted in the Confederate army on 25 April 1861 in Okolona. He served as Captain of Company C, "The Prairie Rifles," 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to Colonel of the 41st Mississippi Infantry Regiment and was killed at Jonesboro, Ga. Ellen married John Richardson (d. 1862), editor of The Prairie News of Okolona. He also enlisted in the Confederate army on 25 April 1861 in Okolona, served as 2nd Lieutenant in Company C, 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, was promoted to captain, Company L, 41st Mississippi Infantry Regiment, and was killed at Corinth, Miss.

After the Civil War, both Ellen and Laura taught school to support themselves. Both of them taught at different times at the Lamar Female Seminary in Paris, Texas. Laura eventually remarried, to a Mr. Stobaugh of "Honey Grove" in Paris. Jo Howe, the youngest of the three daughters, apparently remained single.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

This collection consists chiefly of family correspondence of the Howe family. Ellen and Laura corresponded with their parents while they were away at school, and, after their marriages, when they were in Virginia and Georgia to be near their husbands in the army. After the war, they taught school and corresponded with their younger sister, Jo Howe. Julia Howe corresponded with a number of relatives in North Carolina, before and after her marriage, about family news. Chiliab wrote some love letters to Julia during their courtship and received letters from his sisters in Albany, New York, and Putnamville, Indiana.

In addition to the family correspondence, there is a group of military papers from between 1836 and 1838, when Chiliab Howe was serving in the army and involved the Cherokee removal in North Carolina and Tennessee. He also received some business correspondence, in particular from his cotton factors Walsh, Smith & Co. in Mobile, Alabama.

The earliest papers in the collection are letters from Israel Pickens, a U.S. congressman who later became governor of Alabama, to his brother-in-law, William Ballard Lenoir. Israel wrote about congressional activities and about his move to Alabama to become a planter.

There are two volumes, one a diary kept by Ellen Howe Richardson in 1863, and the other an account book, 1881, ascribed to Julia Picks Howe.

There are also clippings, letters, and other materials relating to the military careers of J. Byrd Williams and John Richardson, the husbands of Laura and Ellen. These were collected by Raynor Hubbell.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Loose Papers, 1814-1899 and Undated.

About 1350 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. 1814-1827.

11 items.

Chiefly letters from Israel Pickens to his brother-in-law, William Ballard Lenoir.

Israel wrote to William in 1815 and 1816 when he was serving in Congress in Washington about congressional affairs and family activities. In 1816, he mentioned a trip into Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee to look at lands. He decided to move to Alabama, and wrote about his plans for the move from Burke County, North Carolina, and about negotiations with the Cherokees and Chickasaws over North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia lands. Later, he wrote about his journey with his family and slaves to Alabama, where he intended to become a planter. In 1823, his wife and son died, and Israel wrote to William about his plans for the remaining three children. He sent Julia back to North Carolina to live with her Aunt Mira, but wanted to keep his two sons with him in Alabama.

Also included in this series is a letter from Martha Lenoir Pickens while on a journey to Washington, to her mother at Fort Defiance, and a letter from Israel Pickens to his wife Martha about personal affairs.

Folder 1

1814-1822 #03092, Subseries: "1.1. 1814-1827." Folder 1

Folder 2

1823-1827 #03092, Subseries: "1.1. 1814-1827." Folder 2

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. 1828-1835.

About 150 items.

Chiefly letters to Julia Pickens from her friends and family while living at Fort Defiance, North Carolina, at school in Salem, and on a trip west to Alabama. Included at the end of the series are numerous letters from Chiliab Smith Howe, her future husband.

Many of the letters are from Mira Lenoir, Julia's aunt in Fort Defiance, who took care of Julia after her mother's death. She wrote about personal matters and family activities. Other correspondents include Selina and Laura Lenoir, her cousins, who apparently lived with her in Fort Defiance. In 1830 and 1831, Julia was attending school in Salem, North Carolina, with Laura. They received numerous letters from home, and from other cousins and girl friends. In 1832, Julia was chiefly in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and, in 1833, she was in Fort Defiance.

In 1834, Julia travelled to Greensboro, Alabama, probably on a trip to visit her father. Selina and Laura wrote to her giving news of family and friends. Julia also spent some time in Mobile where she apparently met Chiliab Smith Howe and fell in love with him. In 1834 and 1835, there are many love letters from Howe to Julia and a few from Julia to Howe. The letters indicate that Julia's family opposed their marriage and wanted the couple to wait several years before going forward with it. Also included are letters from Julia's cousins and friends giving her advice on her situation and other news. There are also a couple letters to Howe from friends, one of which advised him on the Julia affair.

Towards the end of 1835, Julia's aunt, Mira Lenoir, died. Around this time Julia wrote to Howe about making definite plans for their marriage.

Folder 3

1828-1831 #03092, Subseries: "1.2. 1828-1835." Folder 3

Folder 4

1832 #03092, Subseries: "1.2. 1828-1835." Folder 4

Folder 5

1833 #03092, Subseries: "1.2. 1828-1835." Folder 5

Folder 6

Jan-July 1834 #03092, Subseries: "1.2. 1828-1835." Folder 6

Folder 7

Aug-Dec 1834 #03092, Subseries: "1.2. 1828-1835." Folder 7

Folder 8

Jan-April 1835 #03092, Subseries: "1.2. 1828-1835." Folder 8

Folder 9

May-Aug 1835 #03092, Subseries: "1.2. 1828-1835." Folder 9

Folder 10

Sept-Dec 1835 #03092, Subseries: "1.2. 1828-1835." Folder 10

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. 1836-1838.

About 250 items.

Chiefly military papers of Lieutenant Chiliab Smith Howe who was stationed at Fort Cass in Calhoun, Tennessee. Also included are a few letters to Julia Pickens Howe, whom he married at Fort Defiance in 1836.

These papers relate to the United States Army posts within Cherokee country between 1836 and 1838. Lt. Howe was stationed at Fort Cass where he was in charge of obtaining food and supplies for the whole area, and, to some extent, obtaining weapons and other equipment. His orders came chiefly from Brigadier General John E. Wool, whose Army headquarters were at Athens, Tennessee, Valley River, North Carolina, and New Echota, Georgia, successively. Howe's orders also came from General Nat Smith, Superintendent of Cherokee Removal at the Indian Agency. There are also communications to Howe from administrative offices in Washington, D.C., and from an Army subsistence depot at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and from various posts in East Tennessee, southwestern North Carolina, and north Georgia.

The papers consist of letters, orders, accounts, requisitions, receipts, reports, inventories, and quarterly returns. The letters, in addition to containing specific requests and instructions, provide accounts of the conditions in the area during 1836, 1837, and 1838, while the Cherokee Indians were being relocated under the auspices of the United States government.

The locations involved were Athens, Calhoun, Fort Hiwassee, and Red Clay Council Ground, Tennessee; Valley River, Camp Huntington, and Ross's Landing (in what was then Macon County and is now Cherokee County), North Carolina; New Echota, Georgia; and Gunter's Landing, Alabama. They also communicated with individuals in Augusta, Georgia, Knoxville, Tennessee, Washington, and Pittsburgh.

Most of the papers relate to providing supplies to various posts and moving units of troops and Indians. The correspondence between General Smith and Lieutenant Howe related to individual cases involving civil and criminal clashes between Indians and settlers, chiefly over disputed ownership or occupancy of certain cultivated fields.

A chronological listing of the items follows:

April-June 1836 Included are a paper appointing Lt. Chiliab Smith Howe Assistant Commissary of Subsistence, 4th Infantry at Calhoun, Tennessee, and communications from the Office of the Commissary General of Subsistence in Washington, D.C. Also included are papers relating to transport of supplies from Pittsburg to Nashville, and from Nashville by wagon to Fort Hiwassee in East Tennessee.
July 1836 Included are communications addressed to Lt. Chiliab Smith Howe at Fort Cass as Assistant Commissary of Subsistence and sometimes as Acting Quartermaster.
14 July 1836 Brigadier General John E. Wool wrote from Headquarters in Athens instructing Howe to have forage and provisions for three companies coming to Calhoun from Athens. Also dated 14 July is a paper relating to weapons and supplies bound for Fort Hiwassee from Pittsburg via Paducah.
16-20 July 1836 General Wood and Major M. M. Payne sent orders to Capt. Morrow, Lt. Howe, and Col. Byrd concerning arrangements for a movement of troops from Fort Cass to the mouth of the Valley River in Macon (now Cherokee) County, North Carolina. Andrew McMillan of the Bank of Knoxville wrote about arrangements for sending cash. Major M. M. Payne, Acting Adjutant General at Headquarters, East Tennessee, sent communications to Lt. Howe commanding at Fort Cass, Cherokee Agency, and also Acting Assistant Quartermaster. Also included are items relating to General Wool's check drawn on the Secretary of War for subsistence for Indians. Howe was temporarily at Headquarters at Athens.
28 July 1836 Albert S. Lenoir wrote from New Echota to Lt. Howe at Calhoun, requesting authorization to retain an interpreter to assist him. He also wrote about other developments in Indian matters and obtaining beef rations for the Indians.
30 July 1836 General Wool at Valley River, North Carolina, wrote to Howe requesting flour and saying that he was delayed because the Indians were delaying decisions.
31 July 1836 Wool wrote to Howe about supplies not received and other troubles and misunderstandings.
August 1836 Included are almost daily communications relating subsistence problems in various quarters from Col. A. R. Hunter at Camp Huntington, General Wool at Valley River, R. A. Ramsey at Ross Landing, N. Harris at Camp Payne, and A. S. Lenoir at New Echota. Also included are communications relating to local purchase of fresh beef, soap, and powder, the need for teams for transportation, and corn.
2 August 1836 A. R. Hetzel at Athens wrote to Howe at Cass, requesting that gun flints and candles be sent to General Wool.
5 August 1836 A. S. Lenoir, issuing agent at New Echota, wrote to Howe outlining needs for rations for Indians and troops at New Echota and in transit.
7 August 1836 Maj. M. M. Payne, Acting Adjutant General, wrote to Lt. Howe, who was commanding at Camp Cass but absent when Payne arrived to make inspection of facilities and inventories.
9 August 1836 General Wool wrote to Howe, instructing him to see that troops at Ross's Landing and New Echota were supplied with rations.
10 August 1836 R. A. Ramsey at Ross's Landing wrote to Howe, describing his needs and asking about procedure. McMillan at the Knoxville Bank wrote about refunding the exchange and interest fee that he had previously deducted from General Wool's War Department Account.
1 September 1836 Included is a report to Howe, at Headquarters of the Army of East Tennessee and the Cherokee Nation, at new Echota, from Lt. C. Haskins, Acting Assistant Commissary under Col. Hunter at Valley Town, North Carolina. Also included is a general order concerning troops gathering at the Council Ground at Red Clay, Tennessee, and provisions for them, and a letter from Wool to Howe giving instructions about arrangements.
2 September 1836 Thos. M. Chandler of the Q. M. Department at the Augusta Arsenal, Georgia, requested a certificate indicating that S. H. Peck supplied transportation for baggage recruits from Augusta to Fort Cass in July. Also included are several communications from General Wool at Red Clay.
20 September 1836 Spencer Jarnagin at Red Clay wrote to Lt. Howe at the Cherokee Agency, requesting permission for Robt. Hanks & Co. to sell provisions to the troops at the Agency.
October 1836 Included are orders and letters from General Wool at New Echota and at Fort Cass, to Howe, Assistant Commissary and Acting Q. M., including instructions to Howe to provide subsistence and forage for six companies (Col. Smith's and Col. Byrd's) that would arrive at Fort Cass or Calhoun on the 30th for discharge.
1 November 1836 Thos. C. Lyon, General Wool's aide-de-camp, wrote to Howe stating that troops remaining at Ross's Landing will be hutted for the winter, and Lt. Howe must supply tools, nails, and materials as needed.
12 November 1836 Included is an order to Howe to supply a small detachment at Gunter's Landing, Alabama, for three months. There are further communications about supplies from Lt. A. R. Hetzel, A. Q. M. for transportation at Fort Cass, from General Wool at Headquarters at New Echota, from N. Harris at Ross's Landing, and from others. Harris described what he had bought and could get at what prices.
21 November 1836 Included is Wool's order relating to clothing, guard duty, leaves of absence, etc.
2 December 1836 Included is Wool's request for 8000 musket ball cartridges at New Echota.
8 December 1836 John E. Wool at New Echota wrote a private letter to Howe with various instructions and told Howe about a commendation from the War Department.
10 December 1836 Included is an order concerning escorts for paymasters, their lodging and rations.
January 1837 Included is a document from Wool to Howe, requesting certain books, reporting on the situation at New Echota, and describing plans for the immediate future. Also included is a paper relating to the estate of John Walker and a paper relating to an agreement about some property between Mr. Adams and Mr. Stan.
23 January 1837 Included is a paper from Lt. Charles Haskins at New Echota requesting certain tools, flour, etc. Also included are other communications from General Wool and his subordinates, asking for various items such as cartridges, shovels, spades, axes, etc.
January 1837 This item is a personal account for general merchandise, charged to Chiliab Smith Howe by Lewis Ross.
February 1837 Chiefly papers relating to complaints by Indians against violations of their property rights according to the treaty of 1835-1836, including petitions from Indians to General Nat Smith, Superintendent of Cherokee Removal at Cherokee Agency East, Smith's reports to Lt. Howe concerning some of Howe's soldiers, Smith's requests for soldiers to enforce certain evictions and insure the peace in individual cases, Howe's orders for the defendants to appear and show cause (by what right they possessed certain properties), and requests for military men to subdue unruly characters. Most of these papers involve cases of disputed ownership of cultivated fields.
3 February 1837 An extract from army regulations concerning ammunition in camp and leaving camp without permission.
10 February 1837 An order from Wool to Howe, requesting him to come to New Echota to discuss the purchase of flour and bacon as soon as possible.
11 February 1837 Included are more items on the flour and bacon problem.
13 February 1837 Included is a complaint from the Cherokee Agency that some of Lt. Howe's men murdered an emigrant Cherokee.
18 February 1837 Included are orders to Asst. Surgeon Hitchcock, medical inspector, to inspect all the hospitals in the Cherokee country and report.
24 February 1837 Wool wrote to Howe, clarifying Dr. Hitchcock's position in the Army organization and other army matters.
March-June 1837 Included are more papers relating to Indian complaints that settlers intruded on their property. Smith requested Howe to put the proper owner in possession. Also included is steady correspondence between Smith and Howe regarding individual Indian cases, such as property disputes and miscellaneous crimes. Also included are miscellaneous requisitions, receipts, reports, ordnance Papers, and requests for subsistence.
14 and 21 March 1837 Wool wrote to Howe about rations needed for several detachments going out to collect Creek Indians scattered through the Cherokee country, and the need for hard baked bread.
27 March 1837 Wool sent Howe $8000 on account for supplies and described rounding up scattered Creeks in Cherokee territory.
3 April 1837 Included is Wool's order regarding the collection for emigration of the refugee Creeks scattered through Cherokee country, under Lt. Edward Deas, and Wool's letter to Howe in connection with supplying this expedition.
1 May 1837 Wool wrote to Howe on various matters of business, on Lt. Hoskin's illness, and on a mysterious imports of arms.
5 May 1837 Wool ordered Howe to take dispatches to Governor Dudley of North Carolina and to explain to him the state of affairs of the Cherokee people and their feelings about removal, and also to go to Salem and investigate the influx of arms that were coming from there.
27 June 1837 An office in Washington acknowledged receipt of Howe's request for relief from his job.
23 July 1837 Included is a letter commenting on Creek affairs in Florida and Alabama.
9 August 1837 Lt. W. H. Betts at the Augusta Arsenal in Georgia, wrote to Asst. Q. M. at Fort Cass about clothing and equipment being sent from Augusta to Calhoun.
September-December 1837 Included is scattered correspondence between Fort Cass and General Smith relating to individual Indian cases --complaints by and complaints against Indians handled by the Agency-- and routine ordnance and supply business.
January 1838 Lt. H. L. Scott received from Chiliab Smith Howe lists of weapons turned over at Fort Cass, evidently upon Howe's departure.
Folder 11

Jan-June 1836 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 11

Folder 12

July 1836 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 12

Folder 13

Aug 1836 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 13

Folder 14

Sept 1836 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 14

Folder 15

Oct-Dec 1836 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 15

Folder 16

Jan-10 Feb 1837 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 16

Folder 17

11-27 Feb 1837 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 17

Folder 18

March-April 1837 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 18

Folder 19

May-July 1837 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 19

Folder 20

Aug-Dec 1837 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 20

Folder 21

1838 #03092, Subseries: "1.3. 1836-1838." Folder 21

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.4. 1839-1850.

About 150 items

Chiefly correspondence from relatives and friends to Chiliab and Julia Howe.

During this time, Julia received a number of letters from her cousin Selina Lenoir at Fort Defiance, and other relatives in North Carolina, about the family members there. Julia's brother, Israel Pickens, was also in North Carolina in 1839 and 1840, attending the University of North Carolina. He wrote a few letters about college life and other activities, and his plans to study law at the College of William and Mary. There is only one letter from Julia's cousin Laura, who had married and had several children. It is dated 1843 and described Laura's family, and a severe depression she went through after the birth of one of her children.

Chiliab also received letters from his family describing their activities. His sister Jane was married and living in Putnamville, Indiana. His sister Kate apparently lived at their family home in Albany, New York, and was still a child. She wrote several times to Chiliab.

There are a few letters between Chiliab and Julia, chiefly during the period when they were moving from Alabama to Mississippi in 1844. Chiliab was still in Alabama arranging the final details of the move, while Julia was already in Prairie Mount, Chickasaw County, Mississippi. In 1847, they were living in Okolona, Mississippi, which is also in Chickasaw County.

Also included are a few letters from friends and letters about business matters. Included are several letters about the death of James Pickens who was Julia's uncle. In his will, he had left her and her daughters some slaves. There are several indentures for purchases of land made by Howe, and a few bills for merchandise he purchased.

Folder 22

1839 #03092, Subseries: "1.4. 1839-1850." Folder 22

Folder 23

1840 #03092, Subseries: "1.4. 1839-1850." Folder 23

Folder 24

1841 #03092, Subseries: "1.4. 1839-1850." Folder 24

Folder 25

1842 #03092, Subseries: "1.4. 1839-1850." Folder 25

Folder 26

1843 #03092, Subseries: "1.4. 1839-1850." Folder 26

Folder 27

1844-1846 #03092, Subseries: "1.4. 1839-1850." Folder 27

Folder 28

1847-1849 #03092, Subseries: "1.4. 1839-1850." Folder 28

Folder 29

1850 #03092, Subseries: "1.4. 1839-1850." Folder 29

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.5. 1851-1860.

About 275 items.

Chiefly correspondence of the Howe family, particularly to and from Ellen and Laura Howe who were away at school during these years. Ellen went first to a school in Aberdeen, Mississippi, that was run by the Rev. J. H. Ingraham, a friend of the family's. Later she attended the Columbia Female Institute in Tennessee. Laura also attended both schools.

The girls wrote letters to their parents describing their studies, their friends, and teachers at school. Both girls were frequently homesick and wrote about their desire to come home. Julia's and Chiliab's letters contained family news.

In December 1853, Ellen wrote about a disturbance at the Columbia Female Institute. A Mr. Weber, who taught German to Ellen and music to some of the other students, was dismissed due to his uncontrollable temper. Ellen also mentioned that he had lectured her on what she termed "pantheistic" notions and appeared to be a follower of Spinoza. The combination of these circumstances led to his dismissal.

Ellen and Laura spent the fall of 1854 and the spring of 1855 living at home. Ellen received a number of letters from school friends, particularly Sue Watts, who was still at the Columbia Female Institute. Sue wrote chiefly about their friends at school and her own activities. In 1856, Laura returned to school in Aberdeen, Mississippi.

After Laura went back to school in Aberdeen, she corresponded with her parents and her sister Ellen at home. Laura expressed some dissatisfaction with the other girls at school and with her teachers.

Ellen received letters from other friends. Rev. Ingraham, her former teacher, periodically wrote to her. She also received a few letters from other individuals who were apparently teachers or in some way connected with her schooling. A few girls, probably school friends, continued to write to her. Also included are letters from her cousin Laura Norwood in North Carolina and other North Carolina relatives.

Towards the end of the series there are a number of notes to Ellen and a few to Laura from friends in the area about social activities. Ellen was elected the Queen of the May by the Young Gentlemen of Okolona in April of 1860.

Ellen wrote pieces that were published in magazines and newspapers. In July 1860, there is a letter to Ellen from the editor of Field and Fireside accepting a review of a book by Rev. Ingraham that she wrote. The editor complimented her on her writing style.

Also included in this subseries are business papers of Chiliab Smith Howe. Beginning in 1856, many of them are letters from his cotton factors Walsh, Smith & Co. in Mobile, Alabama, advising him on the amount of cotton he had sold. Also included is scattered correspondence from his friends and from his family in the north. A few items indicate Howe's involvement in church affairs, such as a letter to Howe from John Parker responding to Howe's request that he be the preacher in Howe's area, and a confirmation certificate for Howe.

Also included are a number of letters to Julia Howe, chiefly from relatives. Her brother Andrew died in March 1854 after a long illness. His wife, Carrie, wrote a few times about his illness and her sorrow after his death. Julia's brother Israel continued to write occasionally, as did her cousin Selina Lenoir in Fort Defiance, North Carolina.

Folder 30

Jan-July 1851 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 30

Folder 31

Aug-Dec 1851 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 31

Folder 32

1852 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 32

Folder 33

Jan-Aug 1853 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 33

Folder 34

Sept-Dec 1853 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 34

Folder 35

1854 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 35

Folder 36

1855 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 36

Folder 37

1856 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 37

Folder 38

1857 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 38

Folder 39

1858 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 39

Folder 40

1859 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 40

Folder 41

Jan-June 1860 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 41

Folder 42

July-Dec 1860 #03092, Subseries: "1.5. 1851-1860." Folder 42

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.6. 1861-1867.

About 250 items.

Chiefly Howe family correspondence, particularly from Ellen and Laura describing their experiences during the Civil War.

Both Ellen and Laura got married sometime in the late 1850s or early 1860s. Ellen married John Richardson, owner of a newspaper in Okolona called the Prairie News. Laura married Byrd Williams.

There are a few letters in early 1861 from Ellen to her parents while she was on her honeymoon on the Mississippi River and in New Orleans. Both John and Byrd volunteered to serve in the Confederate army after war was declared, and there are a few letters to John Richardson from friends, praising his efforts to raise a company. Both Byrd and John were sent to Virginia, and in the summer of 1861, Ellen travelled to Winchester, Virginia, to be near her husband. She corresponded with her family at home describing military activities and her experiences living in a boarding house near the army. Ellen travelled to Culpepper and White Sulpher Springs in August. Also in August, Laura joined her sister in Virginia with her baby June.

Also included in 1861 are letters to a Mr. Weddell who worked in the newspaper business with John Richardson. Some of the items involve payment on subscriptions and other accounts for the Prairie News. Other letters were directed to him from friends who were serving in the army in Virginia. They described their experiences and gave news about camp life. Also included were a number of letters from David Richardson to his brother John. These letters make it clear that David and Weddell were remaining in Mississippi, attempting to settle John's business accounts with the Prairie News. David repeatedly advised John in his letters that he should attempt to settle all accounts as soon as possible, because the government had already passed laws protecting debtors during the war.

Also included are some letters to John and Ellen from John's sisters. In October 1861, Ellen returned to Okolona while Laura remained in Warrenton, Virginia.

In December 1861, there was an exchange of letters between Captain Byrd Williams and Captain Barksdale. They had had a fight, which apparently ended with Williams hitting Barksdale. Barksdale was demanding an apology and possibly suggesting that they fight a duel.

Early in 1862, there are a few papers belonging to Richardson involving military business, such as obtaining a disability leave for a soldier. Laura was still in Virginia. Her baby, June, died sometime in late 1861 or early 1862. She referred to this event in one of her letters. She also wrote to Ellen about meeting a famous Confederate soldier, Col. William Clarke Falkner (1825-1889), great-grandfather of William Falkner

In the spring of 1862, Byrd Williams corresponded with John Richardson about whether or not to enlist for the duration of the war. Their companies had originally volunteered for twelve months. Richardson went to Verona, Miss., and attempted to get a company together. Included are a few letters about his efforts.

Captain Richardson died sometime in June 1862. His mother and Laura Norwood wrote letters of condolence to Ellen. In July, there are several letters from Byrd Williams at camp in Tupelo, Miss., to Chiliab Smith Howe, about the possibility of Laura coming to visit him, and about transporting a barrel of flour to Howe.

In January and February 1863, the youngest daughter in the Howe family, Jo, was visiting relatives in Mississippi. She wrote about family activities. Among other events, she mentioned that her uncle Israel Pickens had been drafted by the Confederate army and was attempting to hire a replacement.

In 1863, Chiliab Smith Howe received a letter from Buffalo, N.Y., announcing the death of his mother. This is the only correspondence during these years with Howe's relatives in the north.

There are a number of letters in 1863 to Ellen from Laura Norwood, her cousin in North Carolina. Laura described the effects of the war on her family in North Carolina and her relationship with a soldier in the Confederate army.

In August, Laura went to Camp Nickajack (probably in Georgia) to be near her husband. She wrote to her family about her experiences with camp life. Laura had another baby, Jessie, whom she took with her to camp. Ellen had apparently also had a baby by this time named Julia.

There are only scattered items for 1864. Byrd Williams must have died sometime in late 1863 or 1864, but there is no indication of this in the papers.

In the years 1865 through 1867, there are scattered papers about the Howe family immediately after the war, including articles of agreement between Howe and his freedmen for labor. Also included are a few notes to Howe from the federal general in his area telling him that he must obey the laws regarding freedmen. Also included is some correspondence about the arrest of Israel Pickens.

In 1867, there are several documents relating to a life insurance policy for Julia Richardson, and a rental agreement for a sewing machine signed by Ellen Richardson.

Folder 43

Jan-May 1861 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 43

Folder 44

June-July 1861 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 44

Folder 45

Aug-Sept 1861 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 45

Folder 46

Oct-Dec 1861 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 46

Folder 47

Jan-Feb 1862 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 47

Folder 48

March-July 1862 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 48

Folder 49

Aug-Dec 1862 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 49

Folder 50

Jan-Feb 1863 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 50

Folder 51

March-Aug 1863 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 51

Folder 52

Sept-Dec 1863 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 52

Folder 53

1864-1865 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 53

Folder 54

1866-1867 #03092, Subseries: "1.6. 1861-1867." Folder 54

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.7. 1868-1899.

About 100 items.

Chiefly letters to Jo Howe, the youngest daughter in the Howe family.

After the war, both Ellen and Laura started teaching in female schools to support themselves. Laura taught first in Augusta, Georgia, and then at the Lamar Female Seminary in Paris, Texas. In 1872, Laura married Mr. Stobaugh, and Ellen began teaching at the Lamar Female Seminary. Both sisters wrote frequently to Jo, and occasionally to their mother, describing their teaching experiences and other activities. After her marriage, Laura wrote from her home, "Honey Grove," in Texas giving family news. Also included is one letter from Laura Norwood to Ellen that indicated that Laura was teaching at the Columbia Female Institute in Tennessee.

Most of the letters are addressed to Jo, care of Pickens, Wheeler, & Co. in Memphis, Tennessee, her father's business address. Jo also received a number of letters from her cousin Laura Chambers in London, Tennessee.

The final document in this series is a notice of sale of land in Texas from Ellen and Laura to Jo, dated 1899.

Folder 55

1868-1869 #03092, Subseries: "1.7. 1868-1899." Folder 55

Folder 56

1870-1871 #03092, Subseries: "1.7. 1868-1899." Folder 56

Folder 57

1872 #03092, Subseries: "1.7. 1868-1899." Folder 57

Folder 58

1873 #03092, Subseries: "1.7. 1868-1899." Folder 58

Folder 59

1874-1879 #03092, Subseries: "1.7. 1868-1899." Folder 59

Folder 60

1880-1899 #03092, Subseries: "1.7. 1868-1899." Folder 60

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.8. Undated Papers.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Volumes, 1863-1881.

2 items.

A diary kept by Ellen Howe Richardson in April and May 1863, and an account book and weather record believed to have been kept by Julia Pickens Howe in 1881.

In her diary, Ellen kept a daily record of her activities for a two month period. She also wrote about news of the war and how the neighborhood was dealing with the war and its hardships. She described her neighbors' activities and recorded her personal thoughts.

The account book kept by Julia Howe contains accounts for purchases of food. In the back of the volume is a daily weather record.

Folder 70

Volumes, 1863-1881 #03092, Series: "2. Volumes, 1863-1881." Folder 70

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Materials About the Military Careers of J. Byrd Williams, and John Richardson, 1958-1960.

About 40 items.

Included are newspapers clippings, military records, and correspondence compiled by Raynor Hubbell on the military careers of Williams and Richardson.

Folder 71

Materials About the Military Careers of J. Byrd Williams, and John Richardson, 1958-1960 #03092, Series: "3. Materials About the Military Careers of J. Byrd Williams, and John Richardson, 1958-1960." Folder 71

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Shonra Newman, April 1991

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

The Subseries 1.3 description is based on an inventory previously compiled by a member of the Southern Historical Collection staff.

Back to Top