BRADLEY (JAMES E.) FAMILY PAPERS

(Mss. 1259)

Inventory

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2003

Revised 2011

CONTENTS OF INVENTORY

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

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SUMMARY

Size.

25 items, includes 2 v. (on 1 microfilm reel)

Geographic locations.

St. Landry Parish, La.; Tangipahoa Parish, La.; Iberville Parish, La.; New Orleans, La.; Pike County, Miss.; Oregon

Inclusive dates.

1862-1884

Bulk dates.

1862-1865

Language.

English.

Summary.

Papers and diary of an itinerant minister in Louisiana and Mississippi during the Civil War.

Restrictions on access.

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.

James E. Bradley Family Papers, Mss. 1259, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).

Mss.MF:B

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE

Reverend James E. Bradley, a native Kentuckian, was an itinerant minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oregon.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Civil War diary (1862-1865) and personal papers (1863-1865, 1883-1884) of Reverend James Bradley pertain principally to his work (in St. Landry and present-day Tangipahoa parishes, Louisiana, and Pike County, Mississippi) organizing and conducting religious services and related work, including spiritual guidance and comfort; soliciting money and supplies; and aiding sick, destitute, and wounded civilians and soldiers. Most of his work was among groups in an area overrun by Federal troops and by bands of local terrorists known as Jayhawkers. Frequent and detailed descriptions of raids by the Jayhawkers constitute an excellent source of information on this time period in the Attakapas area. Entries also reflect the tragedy and suffering of the non-combatants. Bradley's personal papers are primarily newspaper clippings, memoranda, and a letter (1864) comparing the treatment of a Confederate officer with that of a soldier. A notebook (ca. 1913) of memoirs by Bradley's daughter, Mrs. Susie Bradley Mandell, gives supplementary information on the lives of her parents.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Papers, 1863-1884

Personal papers include a copy of a letter from James E. Bradley to the Commanding General at Opelousas concerning the conduct of Federal troops (1863), a copy of a letter from Anna Bradley to General Taylor concerning her pass to Opelousas (1864), and a copy of a letter from James Bradley to V. C. Clark concerning the payment of Methodist ministers (1864). Newspaper clippings pertain to the “Thanksgiving Proclamation” issued by Jefferson Davis (1863), the appointment of preachers at the Louisiana Conference in Homer, La. (1863), the escape of Gen. John H. Morgan from the Ohio Penitentiary (1863), clothing for Confederate soldiers (1864), the Confederate States War Tax (1864), an appeal to men of Opelousas for protection against Federal troops and African Americans (1864), articles by Bradley describing the Sierra Nevada Range, the Pitt River, and the Sacramento Valley (1876), and his trip between Bastrop and Monroe en route to the Louisiana Conference in New Orleans (1884).

Diary, 1862-1865

The diary of James Earl Bradley commences on October 1, 1862, at which date he mentions plans to leave New Orleans and records a conversation with the Reverend D. C. Chubbuck, a Federal chaplain, regarding General Butler's treatment of ministers who refuse to take the oath of allegiance. On October 2, Bradley and friends, Stone and James Parker, leave New Orleans on the steamer Iberville. Bradley describes the trip 90 miles up the Mississippi River dodging Federal gunboats and mentions activities of the Federal troops. He describes his travels through the swamps to Ponchatoula, La., where he arrived on October 5 to find “soldiers and refugees mingled in a most unmilitary confusion.” The following day, Bradley reached Summit, Mississippi.

From October 6-November 27, 1862, Bradley describes his religious work and social activities in Pike County and Tangipahoa Parish. He names people he meets, mentions the Mississippi and Louisiana Conferences, and refers frequently to his future wife, Annie Rodriguez. His entries contain reports concerning the battles at Corinth and Vicksburg in Mississippi and Perryville in Kentucky, the passing of troops to Port Hudson, possible battles to occur at Holly Springs, Miss., and Mobile, Ala., and the arrival of Federal troops at Natchitoches, Donaldsonville, and Pass Manchac, La. Bradley states that the citizens of Arcola, La., are mostly refugees from New Orleans and Mobile.

Between July 7, 1863, and December 26, 1864, Bradley served as minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Opelousas, La., and discusses religious services held in the neighboring communities of Washington, Bayou Boeuf, Grand Coteau, Big Cane, and Plaquemine Brulee. He records his religious work with slave congregations, and lists contributions of both the white and African American groups. Frequent entries are made in the diary concerning the “quarterage” system and meetings of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Bradley records the values of gifts received and mentions the annual Methodist Conferences at Homer, La., (1863) and Minden, La. (1864).

Bradley also describes the coming of the Federal troops, the battle of Opelousas (1863), the arrival of troops in the town, their later return and plunder, the reaction of African Americans to the Federal troops, the activities of the Jayhawkers and the Home Guards, and the departure of many of citizens for Texas and elsewhere. He mentions the Confederate hospital at Opelousas, relief activities for Confederate soldiers and their families, the movement of Confederate soldiers, the value and bonding of Confederate money, the conscription of free African Americans, the Confederate tax, and the publication of two Confederate Army papers by Brother Harp and Brother Linfield. He mentions holding Confederate prayer meetings and observing a “National Fast” and Thanksgiving as proclaimed by Jefferson Davis.

Bradley describes his arrest by General Grover for possessing letters containing contraband information concerning an underground railroad and his subsequent release (November 1863). He also describes his trip to meet his bride in Plaquemine and mentions the helpfulness of Edward J. Gay at his plantation in Iberville Parish (December 1863). He refers to “hard times,” mentioning the cost of food and clothing, and comments on his various occupations in making shoes and building coffins. He enters his expenditures for food, clothing, the purchase of leather, and an occasional tool.

He also includes reports and rumors concerning the surrender of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the defeat of Grant's army at Jackson, Miss., the encounter of General Banks and General Taylor, the movement of Federal troops above Franklin, the battle at Sabine Pass, the battle at Morganza, the attack at Vermilionville, the burning of Nashville and Alexandria, and the battles at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill.

In January 1865, Bradley assumed his new duties as minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, La. From this date until the close of his diary (March 27, 1865), Bradley discusses his church work and the kindness of his congregation. During this period, Bradley conducts peace prayer meetings and mentions having observed the day of fasting and prayer as announced by Jefferson Davis.

Notebook, undated

The notebook of Susie Bradley Mandell contains a brief account of the family ancestry and the memoirs of her life as the daughter of an itinerant minister and the wife of Thomas Mandell. The notebook mentions the names of family friends, places of residence of her parents and self, and refers to the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. It includes a brief description of the return trip made by the Bradley family from Oregon to Louisiana (ca. 1876).

CROSS REFERENCES

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

African Americans--Louisiana--Saint Landry Parish.

1864

Entry, Aug. 16, in diary concerning conscription of,; newspaper clipping regarding protection against,

Bradley, James E. (James Earl)

1863-1864

Native Kentuckian, an itinerant minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oregon. Entries in diary, personal papers, and notebook regarding the Methodist Episcopal Church, Jayhawkers, Federal occupation, skirmishes, Home Guard, Confederate Army, African Americans, and living conditions.

Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1818-1893.

1862

Notations in diary:

Oct. 1, re: ministers refusing to take the oath of Allegiance;

Oct. 19, re: exchange of prisoners;

Oct. 27, re: demands of British consul in Havana;

Clippings.

1863-1864, 1876, 1884

Newspaper clipping, 1863, concerning Thanksgiving proclamation by Jefferson Davis; 3 clippings, 1864, regarding clothing for Confederate soldiers, etc,

Gay, Edward J. (Edward James), 1878-1952.

1863

Mentions the helpfulness of Edward J. Gay, Dec. 3.

Iberville (Steamer)

1862

Notation, Oct. 3, in diary concerning trip on.

Louisiana--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate.

1862-1865

Entries in diary concerning the activities of the Home Guard in Iberville and St. Landry parishes; letter, July 12, regarding treatment of Confederate soldiers; entries, Apr. 25 and Aug. 23, in diary concerning relief for soldiers and their families.

Methodist preaching--Louisiana.

1862

Entries in diary concerning work of the Methodist Episcopal Church in,

Plantations--Louisiana--

Saint Landry Parish.

1864

Entry, Feb. 29, in diary concerning the effect of Jayhawkers on,

Slaves--Louisiana.

1863-1864

Entries in diary regarding the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church with; entry, Nov. 5, 1864 in diary mentioning, and Jayhawkers.

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

Taxation--Confederate States of America.

1864

Newspaper clipping concerning war tax,

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Civilian relief.

1864

Organized relief society for soldiers and their families, Apr. 25

Voyages and travels.

1862

Notations in diary concerning trip from New Orleans to Pike County, Miss., (Oct. 2-6, 1862); and trip from Oregon to Louisiana (ca. 1876)

CONTAINER LIST

Stack

Location

Reel(s)

Contents (with dates)

Mss.MF:B

Reel 1

Papers and diaries (1862-1884)