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Collection Number: 00950

Collection Title: Jason Niles Papers, 1831-1890

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.


This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 5.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 50 items)
Abstract Diaries, scrapbooks, and other records of Niles, who practiced law for 46 years in Kosciusko, Miss., and served as a Republican U. S. representative from 1873-1875. The diaries, 34 V. (estimated 6,800 or more pages), cover Niles's early life and education in Vermont, 1831-1838; teaching school at several places in Ohio and Tennessee, 1838-1848; residence in Mississippi, 1848-1890; and numerous trips: to Canada, 1864; Ohio and North Carolina, 1871; California, 1872; and Texas, 1873. The diaries are an unusually full and articulate record of the experiences and opinions of a New Englander residing in the South. Fifteen scrapbooks, 1847-1888, of clippings, pamphlets, broadsides, and other items, contain material on Mississippi and national politics, particularly during Reconstruction, on Niles's New England literary interests, and on many other events and subjects. Also included are a diary and scrapbook, 1869- 1871, of Henry C. Niles, and a Kosciusko town school record, 1853-1854.
Creator Niles, Jason, 1814-1894.
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 Jason Niles Papers #950, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm of some volumes available.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. Swanson Niles of Kosciusko, Miss., in February 1945.
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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Jason Niles was born 19 December 1814 at Hatley, Quebec. He lived in the vicinity of Burlington, Vt., from 1831 to March 1838, attending the University of Vermont from 1834 until his graduation in 1837. He lived in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee from 1838 to 1848, teaching school. He married Harriet "Qu" McRee of Shelbyville, Tenn., on 15 August 1847.

Niles moved to Kosciusko, Miss., on 20 July 1848. Having started reading law in January, he was admitted to the bar in 1851 and practiced intermittently throughout his residence in Kosciusko. He was editor of the Kosciusko Chronicle, 1851-1853; a delegate to the state constitutional conventions of 1851, 1865, and 1868; a member of the state House of Representatives in 1870; a circuit judge in 1871 and 1872; and Republican member of the United States Congress March 1873 to March 1875 (he was defeated in the 1874 election). Niles died at Kosciusko, Miss., on 7 July 1894.

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Diaries, scrapbooks, and other records of Niles, who practiced law for 46 years in Kosciusko, Miss., and served as a Republican U. S. representative from 1873-1875. The diaries, 34 V. (estimated 6,800 or more pages), cover Niles's early life and education in Vermont, 1831-1838; teaching school at several places in Ohio and Tennessee, 1838-1848; residence in Mississippi, 1848-1890; and numerous trips: to Canada, 1864; Ohio and North Carolina, 1871; California, 1872; and Texas, 1873. The diaries are an unusually full and articulate record of the experiences and opinions of a New Englander residing in the South. Fifteen scrapbooks, 1847-1888, of clippings, pamphlets, broadsides, and other items, contain material on Mississippi and national politics, particularly during Reconstruction, on Niles's New England literary interests, and on many other events and subjects. Also included are a diary and scrapbook, 1869- 1871, of Henry C. Niles, and a Kosciusko town school record, 1853-1854.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Diaries, 1831-1890.

33 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Diaries of Jason Niles begin during his youth and college in Burlington, Vt., and continue through his teaching positions in Ohio and Tennessee, 1838-1848, and his business and political career in Kosciusko, Miss., 1848-1890. There are also accounts of trips to Canada in 1864, Ohio and New Orleans in 1871, California in 1872, and Texas in 1873.

Folder 1

Volume 1: 1831-1836, 150 pages. Diary of Niles while residing in Burlington, Vt., and environs. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 1

Folder 2

Volume 2: 1836-1838, 171 pages. Diary of Niles begun in Burlington, Vt. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 2

Folder 3

Volume 3: 1838, 170 pages. Diary of Niles begun at Haverhill, Mass., and continued at Tupper's Plains, Ohio. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 3

Folder 4

Volume 4: 1838-1839, 157 pages. Diary of Niles begun while teaching in Zanesville, Ohio. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 4

Folder 5

Volume 5: 1839, 165 pages. Diary of Niles begun while teaching in Middleton, Tenn. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 5

Folder 6

Volume 6: 1839-1841, 165 pages. Diary of Niles begun while still teaching in Middleton, Tenn. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 6

Folder 7

Volume 7: 1841, 128 pages. Diary of Niles, probably still teaching in Middleton, Tenn. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 7

Folder 8

Volume 8: 1841-1842, 139 pages. Diary of Niles begun at Athens, Ohio. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 8

Folder 9

Volume 9: 1842-1843, 130 pages. Diary of Niles begun at Tupper's Plain, Ohio. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 9

Folder 10

Volume 10: 1843-1844, 136 pages. Diary of Niles begun at Nashville, Tenn. Included is an account of a steamboat trip to Cairo. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 10

Folder 11

Volume 11: 1844-1845, 147 pages. Diary of Niles while teaching in Tennessee. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 11

Folder 12

Volume 12: 1845-1846, 291 pages. Diary of Niles while in Tennessee. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 12

Folder 13

Volume 13: 1846, 147 pages. Diary of Niles while in Tennessee. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 13

Folder 14

Volume 14: 1846-1848, 153 pages. Diary of Niles while in Tennessee and Mississippi. Another diary notes his marriage to Harriet "Qu" McRee on 15 August 1847. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 14

Folder 15

Volume 15: 1850-1861, 250 pages. Diary of Niles while practicing law in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 15

Folder 16

Volume 16: 1862-1864, 182 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 16

Folder 17

Volume 17: 1864-1865, 180 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 17

Folder 18

Volume 18: 1865-1866, 176 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 18

Folder 19

Volume 19: 1867, 1870, 50 pages. Diary of Niles, with a few entries about travels to Canada. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 19

Folder 20a

Volume 20-A: 1871, 100 pages. Diary of Niles on a trip from Kosciusko to Cincinnati and back. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 20a

Folder 20b

Volume 20-B: 1872, 1873, 100 pages. Diary of Niles on a trip through St. Louis, Texas, New Orleans, and back in 1873 and to California in 1872. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 20b

Folder 21

Volume 21: 1873-1876, 336 pages. Diary of Niles at Kosciusko, Miss., and Washington, D.C. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 21

Folder 22

Volume 22: 1876, 164 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 22

Folder 23

Volume 23: 1876-1877, 170 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 23

Folder 24

Volume 24: 1871-1878, 222 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 24

Folder 25

Volume 25: 1878-1880, 216 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 25

Folder 26

Volume 26: 1880-1881, 216 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 26

Folder 27

Volume 27: 1881-1883, 192 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 27

Folder 28

Volume 28: 1883-1884, 136 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 28

Folder 29

Volume 29: 1884-1885, 197 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 29

Folder 30

Volume 30: 1885-1886, 111 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 30

Folder 31

Volume 31: 1886-1887, 195 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 31

Folder 32

Volume 32: 1887-1889, 242 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 32

Folder 33

Volume 33: 1889-1890, 150 pages. Diary of Niles while in Mississippi. #00950, Series: "1. Diaries, 1831-1890." Folder 33

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Volumes, 1853-1870.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890.

15 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Fifteen scrapbooks of newspaper clippings belonging to Jason Niles and Henry Niles. These volumes contain clippings, pamphlets, broadsides, and ballot sheets pertaining to Republican Mississippi and national politics. There are also clippings on literary criticism with an emphasis on New England authors of the 1840s; items on American history; European political and literary affairs; celebrated murders, marriages and lynchings; and poetry, obituaries, and other clippings showing an interest in U. S. Grant, Wendell Phillips, Horace Greeley, Daniel Webster, Margaret Fuller, Emerson, Stoddard, and Blaine. Also included is material relating to Jason Niles's own political activities in Mississippi in the late 1860s.

Folder 38

Volume 38: 1847-1868, 150 pages. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings about literature, history, travel, European affairs, and poetry. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 38

Folder 39

Volume S-39: 1847-1859, 125 pages. Scrapbook with European affairs, Daniel Webster, poetry, etc. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 39

Folder 40

Volume 40: 1848-1850, 300 pages. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings about local politics and events and general and literary matters. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 40

Folder 41

Volume 41: 1849-1890, 542 pages. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings of local clippings, broadsides, and material on Jason Niles's political career (pasted over record of the thirty-sixth Congress, 1860). #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 41

Folder 42

Volume 42: 1848, 1867-1870, 125 pages. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings of obituaries, poems, and general feature articles. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 42

Folder 43

Volume 43: 1868-1872, 100 pages. Henry Niles's scrapbook of newspaper clippings about Republican politics in Mississippi, poems, and information on Horace Greeley. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 43

Folder 44

Volume 44: 1870-1872, 85 pages. Scrapbook of miscellaneous newspaper clippings. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 44

Folder 45

Volume 45: 1872, 100 pages. Scrapbook of clippings, pamphlets, and published speeches concerning the election and campaign, with U. S. Grant material. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 45

Folder 46

Volume 46: 1872-1873, 75 pages. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings about literature, history, and Washington information. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 46

Folder 47

Volume 47: 1872-1882, 300 pages. Scrapbook of Jason Niles with newspaper clippings of poetry, literary criticism, public affairs, political issues and a few murders. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 47

Folder 48

Volume 48: 1877-1882, 150 pages. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings about politics, speeches, and miscellaneous topics. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 48

Folder 49

Volume 49: 1878-1886, 425 pages. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings of obituaries, biographical material on public and literary men, marriages, murder trials, and miscellaneous items. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 49

Folder 50

Volume 50: 1879-1885, 370 pages. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 50

Folder 51

Volume 51: 1879-1883, 75 pages. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings dealing chiefly with the National Republican Convention of 1880 (pasted in a county school record of the 1860s). #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 51

Folder 52

Volume 52: 1885-1888, 370 pages. Scrapbook of obituaries and miscellaneous clippings. #00950, Series: "3. Scrapbooks, 1847-1890." Folder 52

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, May 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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