See also UPA microfilm: MF 5750, Series E, Reel 34

Morris- Sibley Family Papers

(Mss. 562) Inventory Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library Louisiana State University Libraries Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Reformatted 2007

Contents of Inventory

Biographical/Historical Note


Scope and Content Note


Collection Description(s)


Index Terms


Container List


Use of manuscript materials. If you wish to examine items in the manuscript group, please fill out a call slip specifying the materials you wish to see. Consult the Container List for location information needed on the call slip. Photocopying. Should you wish to request photocopies, please consult a staff member. The existing order and arrangement of unbound materials must be maintained. Publication. Readers assume full responsibility for compliance with laws regarding copyright, literary property rights, and libel. Permission to examine archival materials does not constitute permission to publish. Any publication of such materials beyond the limits of fair use requires specific prior written permission. Requests for permission to publish should be addressed in writing to the Head, Public Services, Special Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803-3300. When permission to publish is granted, two copies of the publication will be requested for the LLMVC. Proper acknowledgement of LLMVC materials must be made in any resulting writing or publications. The correct form of citation for this manuscript group is given on the summary page. Copies of scholarly publications based on research in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections are welcomed.



93 items

Geographic locations.

Shreveport, La.; Rapides Parish, La.; Matamoros, Mexico; Corinth, Miss.; Marion County, Ga.; Mebaneville, N.C.; Virginia; Tennessee; Philadelphia, Penn.

Inclusive dates.


Bulk dates.





The personal papers of the Thomas Henry Morris family of Shreveport, La. consisting chiefly of correspondence among family members. Most of the correspondence during the antebellum period is between Mrs. Thomas H. Morris and her mother, Mrs. Mary Wells Sibley.


Arranged chronologically

Restrictions on access.

If microfilm is available, photocopies must be made from microfilm.

Related collections.



Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators in accordance with U.S. copyright law.


Morris-Sibley Family Papers, Mss. 562, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).

A:2, H:3

Also available on:

Microfilm 5750, Series E, Reel 34

Biographical/Historical Note Thomas Henry Morris (b. June 21, 1828) moved from Wales to Louisiana and married Mary White Sibley (b. Nov. 28, 1832) in 1854. Mary White Sibley was born in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, to Dr. Robert Henry and Mary Wells Sibley of Mount Elon Plantation near Alexandria, Louisiana. Thomas Henry and Mary White had five children, Mary Sibley Morris (b. 1855), Sallie Claire (b. 1857), Thomas Henry (b. 1859), John Benjamin (b. 1862), and Allen Dunlap (b.1866). The sons attended Bingham School in Mebaneville, North Carolina. Scope and Content Note The personal papers of the Thomas Henry Morris family of Shreveport consist chiefly of correspondence among family members. The correspondence between Mrs. Thomas H. Morris and her mother, Mrs. Mary Wells Sibley, of Mount Elon Plantation near Alexandria, constitutes the major portion of the papers of the antebellum period. The letters include discussions of personal matters, life at Mount Elon Plantation, the sale of a slave, the execution of African Americans for the murder of "Mr. Herbert Flint's overseer," a fire in Alexandria (1856), and family and social events. Civil War correspondence includes a letter from Thomas H. Morris to his wife from Matamoros, Mexico (1865) describing a trip through South Texas, local economic conditions, and attitudes of businessmen who desired the war to continue. Letters (1861-1862) of John Benjamin, an officer of the 11th Louisiana Volunteer Regiment, to Thomas H. Morris describe army conditions, skirmishes, and battles in Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia. A letter from E. G. Adger mentions the death of one of his sons in the war and his own war wounds. Family correspondence of the post-war period includes letters from the Morris sons, Henry and John B., describing student life and conditions while they were attending Bingham School (1878-1879). The collection also contains a receipt of a bank draft and a promissory note. The collection is also available in bound transcript copies.

Collection Description A:2 Morris (Mrs. Thomas H.) Sibley (Mrs. Mary W.) Papers, 1846-(1846-1879)-1910 [BTC] 93 items 1. Letter to ―Dear Sister, from ‗M.M. Gray‘, dated Sept. 30, 1846. Concerning: Family gossip and newsincluding a good bit about the welfare of the family. 2. Letter to ―My dear White‖, from ―your mother‖ (Mrs. Mary Wells Sibley), dated Mar. 13, 1855. Concerning: A boat trip taken by Mrs. Sibley to Alexandria, news about friends in Alexandria, and messages for different members of the family. 3. Letter to ―My dear Son, from Mrs. Mary Wells Sibley, dated Mar. 23, 1855. Concerning: Also about her trip to Alexandria, and her return to the plantation and the order she found it in on her return, and news about the family. 4. Letter to ―My dear Mary‖, from ―Your Sister Elira Gilpin‖, dated Apr. 18, 1855. Concerning: Easter holiday amusements, a trip that an uncle is planning for Helena, who is apparently Mary‘s daughter or at least an adopted one for she compliments Mary on the way she has brought Helena up. 5. Letter to ―My Dear White‖, from Mrs. Mary Wells Sibley, dated May 31, 1855. Concerning: Family news and an expected trip of Pus to her Mother.

6. Letter to ―My Dear White‖, from Mrs. Mary Wells Sibley, dated June 23, 1855.

Concerning: The execution of some Negroes for murdering Mr. Herbert Flint‘s overseer, family news, and mentions the possibility of Lewis Texada running for Lt. Governor. 7. A poem addressed ―To My Wife‖ and dated Dec. 8, 1855. Quotation of first two lines: ―Dearest come home I cannot bear Thy long protracted stay So sad and lonely is my heart When thou art gone away‖ 8. Letter to ―My dear Thom‖ from ―your mother‖ (Mrs. Mary Wells Sibley), dated Apr. 4, 1856. Concerning: Family news, speaks of the approaching horse race and mentions that ―Lacompt‖ will run in the race, and speaks of the crops and flowers. 9. Letter to ―My dear Puss‖, from her mother Mrs. Mary Wells Sibley, dated May 5, 1856. Concerning: Family news, mentions her attempts to sell a slave named ―Chany‖, and as in most of her letters she mentions being lonesome. 10. Letter to ―My dear Thom‖, from ―your mother‖, dated June 23, 1856. Concerning: Mentions that Virginia and Mr. Ogden got married, and she said the following about Mr. Ogden: ―Mr. Ogden could not resist his cups the night he was married, he was quite tipsy before the marriage [s]eremony, and really drunk before the evening closed, and have been so every day since, Virginia appears to think it all right and all she cared for was to secure him.‖

11. Letter to ―My Dear Sister‖, from her brother ―M. Miles‖, dated July 9, 1856. Concerning: Family news. 12. Letter to ―My dear Mary‖, from ―E. Gilpin‖, dated July 9, 1856. Concerning: Mentions that Mary‘s brother has come to take Helena ―that she should now be with you--& her -------with her young companions,‖ and goes on to say how much she will miss Helena. 13. Letter to ―‖My dear Thom‖, from your mother M.S.‖, dated Aug. 3, 1856. Concerning: Speaks of Mary White‘s illness and of ―the terrible fire in Alexandria the whole square opposite Mr. Rashals, residence was consumedand Lecompt Sables, with nineteen fine horses….Alexandria is certainly a doomed place, visited every year by some terrible disaster‖, and other family news. 14. Letter to ―My dear Child‖ from ―your Mother‖, dated Sept. 4, 1856. Concerning: Family news, and she mentions the coming Christmas holidays when she expects to see them all. 15. Letter to ―My Dear Child‖ from ―Your Mother‖, dated Sept. 8, 1856. Concerning: Family news. 16. Letter to ―My Dear Child‖ from ―Your Mother‖, (this and the above one are both from Mary Wells Sibley) dated Sept. 21, 1856. Concerning: Family news. 17. Letter to ―My dear Sister‖ from ―M.S.‖, dated Oct. 21, 1856. Concerning: Speaks of asking ―Brother William, to name the Baby after me, and I am very anxious to know, what you call her, and other family news. 18. Letter to ―My Dear Thom‖, ―Your Mother‖, dated Nov. 21, 1856. Concerning: Speaks of Helena‘s magnificent voice, and other family news. 19. Letter to ―My Dear Child‖, from ―Your M‖, dated Jan. 14, 1857. Concerning: Family news. 20. Letter to ―My Dear Thom‖, from ―Your Mother M Sibley‖, dated July 21, 1857. Concerning: Family news, and speaks of her own bad health. Numbers 21-29 are composed of a group of 8 letters and one poem dated 1817-1856. These articles were out of place, but are of a similar nature as those letters included in numbers 1-20. 30. Receipt for a draft of $100.00 signed by W. H. Arsbonns. The receipt acknowledges a draft drawn on Carroll Hog & Co. and drawn to the order of I.W. Texada, and dated May 26, 1860. 31. Informal promise to pay $75.00. It is made out to bearer and signed by W.F. Tigner and A.B. Hughes, dated Mar. 22, 1861. 32. Letter to ―Dear Friend‖ (I.H.M.), from ―I. Benjamin‖, dated June 24, 1861. Concerning: Very interesting material on the condition of Yorktown at this time. He says, ―‘Cornwallis‘ old house is now occupied as a general Hospital containing about 200 sick. 33. Letter to ―Thomas H. Morris, Esq.‖[?], from I. Bejnamin‖, dated Mar. 22, 1862. Concerning: Details of a battle he fought in at Corinth, Mississippi, and mentions that he guesses ―we must have a force of 40 or 50000 men here. He (I. Benjamin) is a

member of ―Camp 11th Reg. 1 La. Vol. Corinth Mississippi[―].

34. No indication as to whom this letter is addressed (written on a half sheet of paper). It is signed

―I. Benjamin‖, dated May 9, 1862. Concerning: He mentions an accompanying letter which he says that he wrote on the 7th, but that seems to be missing from this collection. He describes what he calls a Skirmish near Corinth. He mentions that he is in Beauregard‘s [outfit].

35. Letter to ―Thos. H. [Har]ris, Esq.‖, from ―I. Benjamin‖, dated May 20, 1862.

Concerning: He says that he is sending this letter, enclosing some money, by Capt. Perry Bridges who has resigned and will be on his way to Shreveport in a day or two. He mentions a skirmish at Farmington, which he says is five miles from Corinth, the place where he is in camp.

36. Letter to ―Mr. Morris‖, from R.S. McAllister Post Office i[n] Buena Vista Marion Co. Georgia‖, dated June 3, 1862.

Concerning: $118 which was placed in the hands of Copes & Phelps by Morris‘s brother subject to McAllister‘s order. He says that he did not receive Morris‘s letter telling him of the money and that now the City has been taken and he doesn‘t know whether he will ever get the money or not. McAllister is evidently in Shreveport because he says he is sorry he did not get his letter ―for I was very anxious to hear from Shr[e]v[e]port‖.

37. Letter to ―Dear Mrs. Morris‖, from E. G. Adges [?] Forest Home‖, dated Feb. 23, 1864.

Concerning: He speaks of the death of his son and how much he misses him, and says, ―I hope God will yet give me grace to say—‗Not my will, but Thine be done.‘‖ I gather that he is either ill or wounded because he says, ―Remember as you did not fulfil your promise in coming up to nurse me, I claim the visit during the summer.‖

38. Letter to ―My own Darling Wife‖, from (No signature, but addressed from the

―Cosmopolitano Hotel Matamoras[?]‖, dated Feb.18, 1865. Concerning: A good cross-section of the economic and social life in this city during this period. He says that he has probably not been in the place long enough to form an opinion, ―but judging from what I have seen I can safely say[.] I would not raise a family here‖… 39. Letter to ―Mrs. White Morris‖, from ―Mrs. M.W. Morris‖ Shreveport, La., dated Mar. 12, 1865. Concerning: Just a note enclosing ―shin-plaster money‖. 40. Letter to ―Dear Mrs. Mary M.‖, from ―Wm. S. Murray‖, dated Apr. 30, 1865. Concerning: Writes very despondently about the war situation and the friends that are gone. She says, ―Your Mother will have told you of the deep gloom that hangs over us all on account of the news from Virginia.‖….The terms of Gen. Lee‘s surrender, it appears, cover the whole army of North Virginia and not those men only, under his immediate command on the day of Surrender.‖ Other comments about the terms of peace. 41. A statement of ―Sales by Carroll Koy & Co. of Three Bales Cotton,‖, dated Aug. 26, 1865.

42. Poem entitled ―Distraction in Prayer‖, dated Apr. 22, 1869.
43. Letter to ―My dear Wife‖, from ―Tho. H. Morris‖, dated July 4, 1871.

Concerning: Death of ―Col. Shiven[?]. His wife is away from home and he speaks of expecting her to return soon, and other family and local news.

44. Letters to ―My darling precious Wife‖, from Thomas H. Morris, Three letters enclosed in one envelope, respective dates are: July 5, July 7, and July 8, 1871.

Concerning: (1) Speaks of a broken engagement between Rogers and Miss Sallie and other family news.(2) More family news. (3) Mentions that ―our law suit has not been tried yet‖, and other family news.

45. A card to Mr. Morris & Family, dated 12/7/187[?].

The card reads as follows: Mrs. Caldwell At Home On Thursday Evening, Dec. 7th, 1871 At 7 o‘clock, P.M. J.E. Adger M.E. Caldwell 46. Letter to ―Dear Mrs. Morris‖, from ―E.G. Adger‖, dated Dec. 9, 1871. Concerning: Speaks of the party at Mrs. Caldwells, and reminisces a little. 47. A brief note to ―My very dear Auntie‖, from ―Niece M. Murray‖, dated Dec. 25, 1872. Concerning: Asks her aunt to ―Accept this little gift from me as a token of love;‖ 48. Letter to ―My dear little Brother‖, from ―Mary‖, dated Apr. 7, 1873. Concerning: Evidently Mary is away from home going to school, and she speaks of looking forward to next June when she will come home. 49. Two sheets of the title page of the History of Rome (B.C. 753A.D. 476) The book has the following notation in handwriting: ―This book was awarded to J.W. Texada as a prize in History by the University of the South Aug. 1876.‖ 50. Letter to ―Dear Father‖ addressed from New York, from ―Your Affectionate Son Henry‖, dated 9/24/1876. Concerning: Talks about a trip he has just made to Philadelphia. 51. Letter to ―Dear Julie‖, from ―Fathio‖, dated Oct. 29, 1877. Concerning: Local news. 52. Letter to ―Mr. T. H. Morris‖ from ―John Adger‖, dated June 22, 1878 Concerning: He writes for advice in regard to John‘s studying Latin in the Bingham School. 53. Letter to ―Dear Sister‖, from your ―Your Brother Henry‖, dated June 26, 1878. Concerning: Writes news about the Bingham School. He says. ―We are very much pleased with our new school and teachers[.] [T] There are only two boys here now besides our selves[,]‖ 54. More news about the Bingham School, Mebaneville, N.C., Two letters enclosed, but both are the same types. Both letters are from John to his sister, dated July 2, 1878. 55. Letter to ―Dear Father‖, from ―Your Son John B. Morris‖, dated July 23, 1878. Concerning: School news at Bingham School, Mebaneville, N.C. 56. Letter to ―Dear Sister‖, from ―Your Brothers‖, dated July 28, 1878. Concerning: School news. 57. Sales letter to ―Miss Mary S. Morris, Shreveport, La.‖, from ―A.T. Stewart & Co.‖, dated Aug. 23, 1878.

Concerning: Directions for purchasing some goods through correspondence or by order. 58.-64. Letters to Mr. F.H. Morris from the boys, Henry and John, and Mr. John Adger about the boy‘s work in Bingham School, Mebaneville, N.C., dated from Sept. 12, 1878-Nov. 1, 1878. 65. Letter to ―Thos. H. Morris, Esq. Shreveport‖, from ―J. S. Copes New Orleans‖, dated Nov. 12, 1878. Concerning: Speaks of the ―relentless pestilence‖ which is taking both the young and old; but he says, ―Thank God that I can say I have not lost a relative‖. 66. Letter to ―Dear Father‖, from ―Henry‖, dated Dec. 23, 1878. Concerning: Written from Raleigh where Henry is spending part of his Christmas vacationincludes a program for Christmas entertainment. 67. Letter to ―Mr. T. H. Morris‖ from John Adger, dated 12/24/1878. Concerning: Written from Bingham School and relates news about the school. 68. Letter to ―Mr. Thos. H. Morris‖, from ―J. Casson Alexa., dated Jan. 12, 1879. Concerning: A short note informing Mr. Morris that ―Mrs. Flournoy is now entirely convalescent.‖ 69. Letter to ―Dear Father‖, from ―Your Son Henry‖, dated Jan. 18, 1879. Concerning: More news about the work he is doing in Bingham School. 70. Four stamps torn from envelopes and all clipped to one envelope. One of the stamps is marked or dated 1879.

71. Letter to ―My Dear Child‖, not signed, but it appears to be the handwriting of Mary Wells Sibley, dated July 3, 1885.

Concerning: Family news.

72. Letter to ―My precious little girl‖, from ―Your loving Mother‖, dated Nov. 9, 1910.

Concerning: Mabel‘s wedding, speaks of her poor health, and other family news. 73.-75. One letter to ―My precious little Girl‖, and not signed, Another part of a letter addressed the same way, but the signature page is missing, and another part of a letter the front part of which is missing and signed ―lovingly Arntee‖[?]. All the letters seem to be the same handwriting and the same preceding letter, No. 72. They are dated: Dec. 5, Dec. 9, Dec. 13, 1910. They all concern family news. Miscellaneous, undated letters and envelopes, etc. 76.-86. Nine letters and parts of letters of no unusual contentjust local news and one broadside put out by A. T. Stewart & Co.

87-95. Fourteen miscellaneous envelopes, one card, and a stamp torn from the corner of

an envelope.

Index Terms Bingham School (Oaks, N.C.) Morris, John Benjamin, b.1862. Confederate States of America. ArmyOfficers. Correspondence. Horse racing Louisiana Shreveport. Louisiana--History--Civil War, 1861-1865. Mexico--Economic conditions--19th century. Morris, Mary White Sibley, b. 1832. Morris, Thomas Henry, b. 1828. Mount Elon Plantation (La.) Plantation overseers Louisiana. Plantation owners Louisiana. Poems. Rapides Parish (La.) Shreveport (La.) Sibley, Mary W. (Mary Wells) Slaves Louisiana. Students North Carolina. WomenLouisiana19th century.

Container List

Stack Location



Contents (with dates)




1846; 1 item


1854-1857; 23 items


1860-1865; 13 items


1869; 1 item


1871-1879; 31 items


1910; 3 items


Undated; 12 items


1939; newspaper clippings






Bound Transcript Copies

Vol. I 1846-1878

Vol. II January 18, 1879 - December 13, 1910

MF 5750, Series E

Reel 34