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University of Louisiana at Lafayette Edith Garland Dupré Library -- Special Collections & Archives
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Guide to Collections in the University Archives
Watson Family Papers
Collection 3
Watson Family. Papers, 1793-1930.
1 ft. (ca. 500 items)
Correspondence, financial and legal records of several families from the Port Gibson, Mississippi region. Among the themes reflected in the collection are the Presbyterian Church and its activities in Mississippi, economic pursuits especially plantation management, relations with blacks as both slaves and freedmen, and health concerns including recurring yellow fever epidemics. The major figures represented in this collection are James Smylie, Amelia Smylie Montgomery, Joseph A. Montgomery, James Cotton, James W. Watson, and Caroline Buck.

Also included are the papers of Major J. W. Watson, U. S. Army (ca. 1865-1920) who served in Indian Wars and as an Indian Agent during the 1890s and in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Following his retirement for reasons of health he returned to Cuba. He wrote about a Cuban land dispute in which he was involved and the Cuban Revolution of 1917. He also wrote some virulently anti-German pieces during World War I.

The collection was donated by Dalton Watson of Waterproof, Louisiana.
A. Family Records    
  1. Family Papers    
    a. Correspondence   1-1 through 1-18
    b. Journal   1-19
  2. Photographs   1-20
  3. Financial and Legal Records   1-21 through 1-31
  4. Miscellaneous      
    a. Churches and Schools   2-1 through 2-2
    b. Clippings   2-3 through 2-4
    c. Miscellaneous   2-5  
B. James Waterman Watson Papers      
  1. West Point   2-6  
  2. Indians and the West   2-7 through 2-10
  3. Cuba: Spanish-American War   2-11  
  4. Cuba: Retirement   2-21  
A. Family Records      
  1. Family Papers      
    a. Correspondence      
1-1 1805-1819      
    Presbyterian Church 6/7/1806; 4/29/1811; 11/22/1819  
    Business 11/22/1819      
  Person represented: James Smylie      
1-2 1820-1829        
    Smylie Family      
    Presbyterian Church      
  Person represented: James Smylie      
1-3 1830-1836        
    comments of Cherokees and nullification 7/2/1832
Oakland College 5/14/1836
Smylie Family
  Persons represented: Amelia Smylie; James Smylie  
1-4 1837-1839        
    Oakland College 12/14/1837
Presbyterian Church 6/7/1838
  Person represented: James A. Montgomery      
1-5 1840s          
    Smylie Family
1-6 1853-1859        
    yellow fever 1853
case of a slave killing 2/8/1854
state politics 10/4/1855
  Persons represented: James W. Watson; James Cotton; Joseph A. Montgomery  
1-7 1861-1865        
    letter from Henry W. Allen (ALS 1/12/1865)
changes in slavery caused by war
  Persons represented: James W. Watson; Clarissa Young; Amelia T. Montgomery  
1-8 1866-1868        
business: plantations; cotton market 5/12/1868
  Persons represented: Joseph A. Montgomery, James W. Watson; Clarissa Young  
1-9 1869          
Montgomery Family (ancestral history through early 19th century)
  Person represented: Clarissa Young      
1-10 1872-1874        
Presbyterian Church 10/23/1873
  Person represented: Joseph A. Montgomery      
1-11 1876-1877        
    Watson Family
State Republican Party 6/22/1876
Clarissa Young, died 1877
1-12 1878-1879        
    Watson Family
yellow fever 10/8/1878
1-13 1881-1887        
    Watson Family      
1-14 1893-1899        
    Watson Family
Agriculture--Washington [State] 5/9/1899
1-15 1907-1911        
    reminiscences of Julia Richardson Booth of year 1863 (ca. 1910)  
      Vicksburg Campaign      
    Watson Family Genealogy      
1-16 1915-1926        
    Watson Family genealogy
Alcorn A & M College
Port Gibson Methodist Church
  Persons represented: A. T. Montgomery; Linda Watson Montgomery; J. T. McCaleb  
1-17 1930          
    Irwin Russel
genealogy - Buck Family
1-18 n.d.          
    genealogy - Flower Family  
      See also letter of 5/23/1907      
    genealogy - Carpenter Family, fragment      
A. Family Records      
  1. Family Papers      
    b. Journal      
1-19 Journal of Caroline Buck, 1875-1879, 65 pages, typescript    
    excursion to Virginia and north, 1876
yellow fever epidemic, 1878
A. Family Records      
  2. Photographs      
1-20 Miscellaneous photographs of individuals, ca. 1870s-1920s  
    identified: Lucile MacCrellis (?) ca. 1870s; Kate Gunnis (See letter of 11/3/1873); Lucile -----, ca. 1910s; "Miss Linda Watson and Her Flock of Southdowns" (n.d.)
    remainder unidentified      
A. Family Records      
  3. Financial and Legal Records      
1-21 1793-1810        
  personal receipts; slave sale document; tax payment receipts  
    mainly records of James Smylie      
1-22 1811-1815        
    same, including certificate of baptism performed by Smylie  
1-23 1818-1822        
    receipts; doctor's bills; survey of land in Claiborne County; land deed; (DS James Monroe)
1-24 1824-1829        
    receipts and accounts  
1-25 1830-1836        
    will of Francis Murdock 6/8/1833
receipts and accounts mainly of James Cotton
1-26 1837-1848        
    receipts mainly of James Cotton; land survey
deed of land from Cotton to village of Port Gibson
1-27 1852-1858        
    receipts of James Cotton  
1-28 1858        
    receipts of James Cottn including drug bill    
1-29 1858-1860        
    receipts and accounts of James Cotton
pew rental agreement between Port Gibson Presbyterian Church and J. A. Montgomery 12/17/1860
1-30 1862-1874        
    receipts of James W. Watson and others
1 DS by John Taylor Moore
citation for delinquent taxes against estate of James Cotton 2/18/1874
1-31 1916, 1924        
    teaching certificate of Linda Watson
deed from heirs of Caroline Buck to Linda Watson Montgomery 10/27/1924
A. Family Records      
  4. Miscellaneous      
    a. Churches and Schools      
2-1 Materials on religious and education institutions 1799-1900  
    playbill for Last Judgement, 1799
constitution of Franklin Society and Franklin Academy, Jefferson County, Mississippi Territory, 1805
prospectus for The Western Monitor, 1818
includes list of subscribers headed by James Smylie
congregational report for Church of Sharon in Simpson City, 1827
prospectus for Jefferson College, Washington, Mississippi, 1829
prospectus for The Mississippi Presbyterian, 1853
prospectus for La Grange Synodical College, 1857
program for ceremony at Chamberlain-Hunt Academy, 1900
2-2 Oakland College Magazine      
    v 1, # 1, 12/1855; v 1, # 2, 7/1856; v 2, # 1, 11/1856  
A. Family Records      
  4. Miscellaneous      
    b. Clippings      
2-3 1867-1876; miscellaneous      
    includes: politics, race relations, and list of Confederate dead of Amite County
2-4 1878: Yellow fever      
A. Family Records      
  4. Miscellaneous      
    c. Miscellaneous      
2-5 Miscellaneous      
    "Piece Book" of Amelia Smylie, 5/1825
"Speech of Hon. O. P. Morton...on the Mississippi Election," 1876
election ticket, ca. 1877-1879
flyer for lecture by A. T. Montgomery on "The South," 1897
B. James Waterman Watson Papers      
  1. West Point      
2-6 Appointment (1876) and letter (1/17/1878)  
B. James Waterman Watson Papers      
  2. Indians and the West      
2-7 1881-1890        
    description of medicine dance observed in Indian Territory, 8/13/1881
report of activities during Apache War, 1890
2-8 Crow Reservation Agency, Montana, 1903, n.d.
    documents prepared in defense against case involving claims against Watson for violating penal statutes while agent on Crow Reservation, 1894-1897
2-9 Accounts of travel in Mexico, 1901      
    handwritten draft emphasizing climb of Colima Volcano
typed draft entitled "From Guadalajara to Tuxpan, Mexico," 4 pages
similar but many variations
      Mexico--Description and Travel
Colima Volcano
2-10 Photographs (7 originals, 4 copies)    
calvary officers and chief of scouts, Albert Seiber
drawing of Battle of Wounded Knee reproduced as albumin photograph
B. James Waterman Watson Papers      
  3. Cuba: Spanish-American War      
2-11 Report, re assault on San Juan Hill and recommendations for citations for bravery resulting from assault on San Juan Hill and Battle of Las Guasimas
B. James Waterman Watson Papers      
  4. Cuba: Retirement      
2-12 Correspondence and drafts of letters-to-the-editor      
    denouncing German war effort, 1913-1915  
      includes: letter from James B. Hughes about his military disciplinary case
letter to Mr. Douglass re Cuban land
letter to George W. Goethals containing reminiscences about West Point and army experiences and personal news
2-13 Correspondence, 1916      
2-14 Correspondence and anti-German writings, 1917, n.d.    
    includes: letter to Naval Consulting Board with detailed suggestions concerning war effort, 6/1917
2-15 Journal, February-May, 1917: 2 drafts      
    deals with Cuban Revolution and World War I news mainly
2-16 Same: copy 2 (partial)      
2-17 Correspondence and writings concerning Cuban land controversy, 1919-1920
2-18 Miscellaneous      
    correspondence concerning posthumous citations for Major Watson, 9/4/1924
fragments of correspondence; clippings
miscellaneous writings of J. W. Watson
poem in Spanish
Hubbard, Elbert, "How Lifted the Lid Off Hell?" n.p., 1914, anti-German booklet

Document last revised Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:16 PM

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