JOEL A. STOKES AND FAMILY PAPERS

(Mss. 685)

Inventory

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2003

Revised 2010

CONTENTS OF INVENTORY

SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE ...................................................................................... 4
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE ................................................................................................... 4
SERIES DESCRIPTIONS .............................................................................................................. 5
CROSS REFERENCES .................................................................................................................. 7
CONTAINER LIST ........................................................................................................................ 9

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SUMMARY

Size.

0.3 linear feet

Geographic locations.

Pike County, Miss.; East Feliciana Parish, La.; New Orleans, La.

Inclusive dates.

1863-1898, undated

Bulk dates.

N/A

Language.

English

Summary.

Druggist and retail liquor and tobacco dealer of Osyka, Pike County, Mississippi. Business papers consist chiefly of bills and tax receipts for Stokes' drug business. Personal papers include a Civil War letter from J. W. Courtney to his family and a series of letters from Lilly Stokes, a teacher in Osyka, to her brother J. J. Stokes.

Organization.

Arranged chronologically

Restrictions on access.

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

Related collections.

N/A

Copyright.

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

Citation.

Joel A. Stokes Family Papers, Mss. 685, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Stack location(s).

E:35

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE

Joel A. Stokes was a druggist and retail liquor and tobacco dealer of Osyka, Pike County, Mississippi.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Personal papers include a set of letters written to John J. Stokes by his sisters, Lilly and Dollie, describing activities and minor illnesses of family members, weather conditions, and social life and local news in Osyka. A number of letters from Catherine Stokes to her son, John, appear among the papers, as does a typewritten transcription of a letter from J. W. Courtney, a Confederate soldier of Oldfield, La., who explains his reasons for deserting the Confederate Army and joining the U.S. Army. Also included are a letter a from Joel A. Stokes to his son John J. Stokes, then a student in New Orleans, La., advising him to concentrate on his studies and not involve himself in the mischief surrounding the elections of 1874, as well as several addresses by George J. Woodside about women's rights in the U. S. and other topics delivered to a literary society at Centenary College.

Business papers consist of statements of accounts showing purchases of tobacco, pens, ink, medications, cologne and other items by various customers; receipts from and correspondence with wholesale druggists and other merchants in the New Orleans area; receipts for payment of state and federal taxes; and a document describing a sale of land by Joel A. Stokes and his wife, Catherine Stokes. Also included is business correspondence of John J. Stokes, Joel A. Stokes's son, with his father's creditors following his death.

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

[The collection is arranged chronologically, but like items are described in groups below. See the Container List for description reflecting physical arrangement]

Series I, Personal Papers, 1864-1894, undated

Personal papers consist of family and friendly correspondence and school papers of George Jones Woodside at Centenary College. An early personal letter is from [J.] W. Courtney at Oldfield, La., who lists his reasons for deserting the Confederate Army as the tyranny of officers, lack of food and clothing, injustice, slavery, and oppression of the poor (February 7, 1864). Also included are letters to John J. Stokes, a student in New Orleans, one from his father, Joel A. Stokes, imparting the advice, “Stay in your room of nights & have nothing to say in politics on either side, and be sure to stay in on election day…” (October 31, 1874), and one from Edward Mayes, Oxford, Miss., commenting on a list of books read in a law course (April 9, 1879). Other correspondence includes letters to Catherine L. Stokes mentioning deaths in the family (December 1886) and letters to John H. Stokes in Dallas, Texas, from family discussing local matters (1890).

A number of letters are written to John J. Stokes in Texas from family members. These discuss the cause and casualties resulting from a railroad wreck between the “Cannon Ball” and a freight train (June 25, 1891), construction of a new school house in Osyka, Miss., as well as a new principal (July 13, October 10, 1891), the large number of people leaving the community for work at the sugar farm in White Castle, Iberville Parish (October 24, 1891), and damage suffered by store owners from a fire in Osyka (December 26, 1891). Other letters mention high water at New Orleans and Manchac preventing Valley trains from running (June 20, 1892), a probable plan of the Illinois Central Railroad Co. to run a branch road from Hammond to Baton Rouge (August 13, 1892), local school matters including changes in personnel and the examination for a teacher's certificate (August-October 1892), and the capture of Eugene Bunch, train robber, at Franklinton in Washington Parish, La. (September 2, 1892). Other letters comment on fires reportedly started by African Americans replaced by “White Caps” (bulldozers), and mention a rumor that Jews in Summit, Miss., were going to Jerusalem (February 1893).

School papers include an essay by George Jones Woodside, a student at Centenary College in Jackson, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana (June 3, 1890), as well as two papers entitled, “The Victories of Peace” and “Union Debate” upholding the negative side of women's rights (undated).

Series II, Business Papers, 1863-1898, undated

Business papers consist largely of bills and receipts, including those from merchants in Lauderdale County, Miss., concerning charges for freight, drayage, storage, and commission for a sale of salt, and weights of salt sacks shipped (January-May, 1863); a bill from Mrs. O. S. McGehee, merchant of Osyka, for school books and supplies, dolls, perfume, crockery, and other

items (September 7, 1865); a medical bill to Stokes from D. Macgibbon listing fees charged for childbirth, opening abscesses, and vaccinating children (August 11, 1863); and bills to John J. Stokes from G. R. Finlay and Co. concerning the settlement of his father's accounts and shipments to him (1877-1878). Also included are statements of accounts showing purchases of tobacco, pens, ink, medications, cologne and other items by various customers (1871-1890).

Receipts for payment of state and federal taxes include those of sales taxes by Stokes (1864), of state taxes on his drug store (1864-1875), and of a retail liquor and tobacco taxes (1869, 1871-1874). Also included is a printed form of a registry with handwritten entries listing Confederate business taxes due (January 27, 1864).

A number of business letters are included from various merchants and wholesale druggists and grocers, including one letter commenting on the selling price of morphia (July 27, 1876); one discussing the sale of hydrangea pills and ointment and their curative properties (March 19, 1878); one mentioning the advance in the cost of flour and the scarcity of money because of slow cotton receipts (October 13, 1877); letters to Catherine L. Stokes, widow of Joel A. Stokes, regarding life insurance policies, stock dividends, the purchase of property (June 1877, July 1878); and a letter from W. H. Howcott, a lumber dealer in New Orleans, making an offer to quit a claim to 320 acres of contested land owned jointly by Mrs. C. L. Stokes and Mrs. Stricklin (November 27, 1891). Other business letters are written to John J. Stokes concerning the settlement of his father's accounts and shipments to him (1877-1878).

CROSS REFERENCES

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

African American agricultural laborers--Mississippi.

1893

Replacement of farm and mill laborers by “White Caps” (bulldozers) blamed for local fires. Lillie Stokes, Feb. 6.

Broadsides.

[1872]

Address to citizens of Livingston Parish from citizens of 7th and 8th Wards of Ascension Parish concerning annexation and removal of seat of justice to Port Vincent.

Bunch, Eugene Franklin, 1843-1894.

1892

Letter from Dollie Stokes, Osyka, comments on capture of Bunch, train robber, at Franklinton, Washington Parish, Sept. 2.

Centenary College of Louisiana.

1890, undated

Miscellaneous writings of George J. Woodside and unidentified student.

Commission merchants--Illinois--Chicago.

1887-1889

E. C. Reichwald and Bro., produce. Chicago. 1887-1889.

Commission merchants--Louisiana--New Orleans.

1876-1898

T. A. Hamilton and Co., 1876; Sam[uel Henderson]. 1876-1878; Hartwell and Chambers, wholesale grocers. 1876; G. R. Finlay and Co., wholesale druggists. 1876-1877; Finlay and Thompson, wholesale druggists. 1878; H. T. Cottam and Co. 1888; W. B. Thompson and Co. 1898.

Commission merchants--Missouri--Saint Louis.

1889-1890

P. M. Kiely and Co., St. Louis. 1889; E. T. Hollister, produce. St. Louis. 1890.

Drugstores--Mississippi--Osyka.

1866-1878

State tax receipts on drug store, drug bills, and comments on account, shipments, and selling price on morphia by G. R. Finlay and Co. and Finlay and Thompson, patent medicines recommended include Lyman Brown's hydrangea pills and ointment, Thayer pills, and Hall's hair remover.

General stores--Mississippi--Osyka.

1865

Bill for school books and supplies, shot, dolls, perfume, crockery, and other items, Sept. 7.

Medical fees--Mississippi--Pike County.

1863

Charges for childbirth, opening abscess, and vaccinating children. D. Macgibbon: Aug. 11.

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

Military deserters--Confederate States of America.

1864

Reasons listed include tyranny of officers, lack of food and clothes, injustice, slavery and oppression of the poor. J. W. Courtney, Feb. 7.

Pharmacists--Mississippi--Osyka.

1863-1878

Business papers, chiefly bills and tax receipts, for drug firm and retail liquor and tobacco dealer, 1863-1878.

Railroads--Mississippi--Osyka.

1891-1893

Comments on cause and casualties from collision of “Cannon Ball” and freight train, June 25, 1891, and collision of 2 freight trains, Feb. 6, 1893; no Valley trains because of the high water at New Orleans and Manchac. June 20, 1892.

Salt--Mississippi.

1863

Charges for freight, drayage, storage, selling price, commission paid, and appointment of agent in Pike County, Feb. 13 and May 5.

Schools--Mississippi--Osyka.

1865, 1891-1892, undated

Bills for school books. Sept. 7, 1865, undated; comments on new school house, faculty, class instruction, employment, certification, and pay of teachers. 1891-1892.

Taxation--Confederate States of America.

1864

Printed registry form with handwritten entries showing business tax. Jan. 27, Pike County; receipts for payment of general and specific taxes and tax on sales. Jan. 27 and May 27. 38th Mississippi District.

Taxation--Mississippi--Osyka.

1869-1874

Receipts and notices concerning levy on retail dealer of liquor and tobacco.

Teachers--Mississippi--Osyka.

1891-1894

School teacher's personal letters comment on new school house, faculty, class instruction, employment, certification, and pay of teachers, and discuss local news and family matters. 1891-1894.

Women's rights--United States.

Undated

Papers of George J. Woodside, student at Centenary College, titled “The Victories of Peace” and “Union Debate,” upholding negative side of women's rights.

CONTAINER LIST

Stack

Location

Box

Folder(s)

Contents (with dates)

E:35

1

1

1863-1869

2

1871-1876

3

1877-1879

4

1886-1890

5

1891

6

1892

7

1893-1898

8

Undated

9

Undated

10

Empty envelopes, 1888-1889