(Mss. 1843)


Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2003

Revised 2011


SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE ...................................................................................... 4
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE ................................................................................................... 4
COLLECTION DESCRIPTION .................................................................................................... 5
INDEX TERMS ............................................................................................................................ 10
CONTAINER LIST ...................................................................................................................... 11

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91 items and 8 manuscript volumes on 1 microfilm reel

Geographic locations.

Jefferson County, Madison County, Mississippi; Evangeline Parish, Vernon Parish, Louisiana

Inclusive dates.

1799, 1822-1919, undated

Bulk dates.





Blacksmith and planter of Jefferson and Madison counties, Mississippi. Papers include diaries, memoranda, daybooks, and a record book, documenting plantation management, social life, and blacksmith fees. Rabb family genealogical information is in the record book. Constantine Rabb's papers (1851-1905) include letters, tax receipts, and other items reflecting his work as a planter and general merchant.


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.


Nicholas Rabb and Family Papers, Mss. 1843, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).



Nicholas Rabb was a blacksmith and planter of Jefferson and Madison counties, Mississippi. He and his first wife, Letitia, had six children; he and Nancy M. Minter, his second wife, had one child. Rabb's oldest son, Constantine, was a planter and general merchant of Madison County, Mississippi, and Evangeline and Vernon parishes, Louisiana. Constantine leased P. B. Hoy's plantation near Canton, Mississippi, during the 1870s.


The papers consist of diaries (1850-1855) and memoranda (1836-1857), daybooks (1836-1919, intermittently), a record book (1799-1843), and various other papers (1822-1867). The diaries and memos discuss the operation and management of a plantation in Madison County, daily weather conditions, family matters, church activities, and social life and customs in the vicinity. Fees charged for blacksmith services are recorded in the daybooks. Rabb family genealogical information is available in the record book. Land records, letters, a free African American woman's labor agreement, currency, bills and statements of accounts for blacksmith work and merchandise purchased, and tax receipts comprise the loose papers. The antebellum paper currency was issued by several Mississippi towns and businesses. Constantine Rabb's papers (1851-1905) include letters, tax receipts, bills, and other items reflecting his work as a planter and general merchant, and daybook entries. A property deed issued to Nancy M. Minter in 1841, an 1897 map by the Pacific Improvement Company of lands owned in Acadia and St. Landry parishes, and daybook entries for 1918-1919 concerning the weather, loans, and the sale of merchandise comprise additional Rabb family records.





3 items:

Nicholas Rabb, blacksmith in Jefferson County, Miss., poll tax receipt signed by Robert Turner (1822);

Slave bill of sale from Cage and Cantrell (1828);

Inventory of A. Pate’s property on Homochitto River, Jefferson County, sold to James Snodgrass and Rabb (Nov. 2, 1829).


8 items:

2 items of Ananias Pate and Sarah Pate, Jefferson County, deeds concerning land sale to Snodgrass and Rabb (Feb. 1, 1830);

Matthew Bolls, of Claiborne County, transfer of title to land in Jefferson County to Rabb and Snodgrass (July 28, 1832);

Accounts of James Snodgrass due Nicholas Rabb for blacksmith services (1834-1836)

Memorandum of payments made or received by Rabb (1836);

Promissory note favoring Rabb signed by Mary A. Leek (1839).


13 items:

Documents concerning title and purchase of land by Nicholas Rabb in Madison County from William D. Chambers and Malinda Chambers (Feb. and Apr. 1840; Jan. and Mar. 1845);

Nancy M. Minter, wife of N. Rabb, executrix of B. W. M. Minter estate, deed to land in Sharon, Madison County, containing restriction governing sale of liquor, gambling and vice, violation of which to cause said property to revert to Trustees of male and female colleges of Sharon (May 3, 1841);

J. A. Rabb, Jefferson County, letters to brother Nicholas Rabb, in Madison County, comment on favorable outlook of cotton and corn crops, death of James H. Watson, and mention July 4th celebration at college and near Cane Ridge (July 1, 1842); comments on medical treatment given slave for chills and fever, return to church of Mary Anthony, states Baptist Association meets in early Oct. (dated Sept. 26, 1842);

Documents concerning sale of land in Jefferson County by Matthew A. and Mary [?] to Rabb and Snodgrass (Feb. 16, 1844 and Oct. 30, 1844);

Deed concerning land sale in Jefferson County by Rabb to John J. Griffing (Jan. 4, 1845);

Deed transferring title to land in Sharon, Madison County, from estate of Asa Watkins to G. M. Rodgers (Jan. 5, 1846);

N. Rabb daybook entries concerning expenses incurred for postage, travel to Jackson, Miss., purchase of drugs and miscellaneous items, and parsonage subscription (1846);

Kinsman and Elizabeth Devine land sale, in Madison County, to Mary Wyatt (Sept. 1, 1848)




16 items:

Constantine Rabb, Madison County, receipted bill from Scot and McKee for hats, needles, oil (Feb. 12, 1851);

Bills from N. B. Whitehead for russets, dry and green hides, shoes and deer skins (Oct. 25, 1851; Dec. 20, 1852; Feb. 1, 1855);

Receipted bill from Magruder and Baldwin for sheeting, lumber (Jan. 30, 1854);

Documents concerning land sale to James Branch (Dec. 22, 1855; Jan. 9, 1856);

Statement signed by J. R. Watson concerning condition of lumber hauled by Dr. S. D. Muse from C. N. Rabb (Jan. 30, 1857);

Nicholas Rabb, Madison County, purchase of land in Madison County from N. B. and Mary Whitehead (Oct. 12, 1852);

Statements of account with James T. Bledsoe, Madison County, for purchase of drugs, notions, coats, shoes, seeds, nails, tobacco, and other items (Sept. 23 and Dec. 21, 1852; Jan. 1 and June 20, 1855; Apr. 1, 1857);

Document concerning sale of land in Jefferson County by Rabb and Snodgrass to Newman (June 13, 1852);

James Bledsoe statement of account with Coatesband Company for purchase of lumber (Sept. 18, 1856)


6 items:

Constantine Rabb, Madison County, security bond and receipt for payment in advance on cotton (Apr. 2 and 21, 1862);

Nicholas Rabb, Madison County, Confederate assessment against agricultural products showing tax in kind (Oct. 24, 1864 and Jan. 13, 1865);

Tax receipt showing amount for soldiers’ tax and agricultural tax (Feb. 15, 1865);

J. N. Richards, Madison County, statement of costs in court case of Nancy M. M. Rabb v. Nicholas Rabb (Jan. 9, 1865)


Agreement concerning employment of freedwomen on Nash Place, Madison County, by N. Rabb and C. N. Rabb (Mar. 10, 1866);

Documents concerning Nicholas Rabb: receipts for sale of cotton, tax receipts on cotton, collection of promissory note, and legal documents concerning sale of land in Madison County to George W. and Marg Beall (Jan. 16, 19, Mar. 20, May 8, Aug. 1 and 29, 1866; Sept. 19, 1867);

Documents concerning Constantine Rabb, Madison County: tax receipt on bale of cotton (Feb. 10, 1866); receipted bills for purchase of commodities in Canton, (Apr. 16, May 4, and Nov. 3, 1866).


8 items:

Luckett and Rousseau, Canton, deed of trust issued Mary V. Rabb and C. N. Rabb (May 14, 1870);

Receipted bill for dry goods and groceries furnished C. N. Rabb (Jan. 11, 1871);

Documents concerning lease of P. B. Hoy plantation near Canton by C. N. Rabb (July 2, 1870; Mar. 27, 1872; Mar. 10, 1874);



T. C. Nisbet, iron works, Macon, Georgia, letter to C. N. Rabb and folder discussing cotton press (Nov. 4, 1872);

Certificate, Vernon Parish, authorizing C. N. Rabb to vote. (Rabb, born 1824, in Mississippi; resident of Vernon Parish since 1874). (Sept. 25, 1876)


6 items:

J. E. Hawkins, medical doctor, Bayou Chicot, receipted bill for services issued C. N. Rabb (Mar. 31, 1883);

M. S. and C. G. Gilmore, Canton, Madison County, friendly letters to C. N. Rabb and Mary Rabb relating local happenings (July 23, 1890 and June 25, 1898);

M. R. earnest, general merchant, Lecompte, Rapides Parish, bill to Mary Rabb for groceries (Ju__, 1897);

Map showing lands of Pacific Improvement Co. in Acadia and St. Landry Parishes (Oct. 1897);

David H. Wilson, Louisville, Kentucky, form letter advertising common sense ear drums (Nov. 5, 1898)


1 item:

L. T. Leach, medical doctor, Dallas, Texas, form letter to C. N. Rabb, Cheneyville, Rapides Parish, advertising Dr. D. M. Bye’s cancure cure (Oct. 20)


5 items:

Nicholas Rabb inventory of taxable property; solution of algebraic problems;

Documents of C. N. Rabb consisting of statements of account from Mayson and Landers, Canton, and A. L. Couch and Co., and broadsheet advertising T. C. Nisbet’s cotton and hay press.


12 items: Currency

Currency issued by Mississippi towns including Vicksburg for 50¢ in 1837, 25¢ and $1 in 1838; Manchester for 50¢ in 1837; Natchez for $1 in 1838; Canton for 12½¢ in 1838;

Mississippi Shipping Company, Natchez, currency issued 1859 for “11 bits” or 25¢.

Citizen’s Bank, Canton, Madison County, currency of 25¢, undated;

Confederate currency issued by state of Louisiana at Shreveport in 1863 for $5; Confederate States of America currency issued in 1864 at Richmond for $1, $5, and $10

Manuscript Volumes


Volume 1, Daybook

Daybook entries (1836-1840) of Nicholas Rabb, blacksmith, for services rendered William Coleman, John E. Hall, James Watson, George Leighton, William Griffing, David C. Griffing, James Snodgrass, and others.

Daybook entries (1875-1888) of sales by C. N. Rabb, general merchant, of Vernon Parish and later of Bayou Chicot, Evangeline Parish. Entry (1866) concerns



plantation expenditures.

The volume also contains a few entries for 1918-1919 concerning weather, loans, and sales.


Volume 2, Diary

a. Diary. 1850-1851

b. Memorandum. 1836, 1844, 1857

Plantation diary of Nicholas Rabb containing entries (Nov. 1, 1850 through Mar. 15, 1851) describing day to day changes in weather; relating farm activities concerning planting and harvesting of crops;


Volume 3, Diary

Plantation diary entries (Mar. 16 through Aug. 6) of Nicholas Rabb commenting on daily weather conditions, planting and harvesting of crops; mentioning attendance at church services, fishing and hunting; mentioning unfavorable treatment by wife, town council election, high water, and log rolling, and visits with friends.


Volume 4, Diary

a. Diary. 1852-1853

b. Memorandum. 1853-1855

Plantation diary entries (Oct. 1, 1852 through Sept. 30, 1853) of Nicholas Rabb commenting on daily weather conditions, attendance at church services, planting and harvesting of crops, grafting of trees, local happenings, activity of women and hands, and scarcity of water.

Entry (Oct. 3, 1852) comments on good preaching by President Thornton; entries concerning colleges at Sharon, Madison County, comment (Oct. 4, 1852) on the opening of the male college with 60 in attendance, mention (Apr. 17, 1853) class at both colleges, and discuss (July 28, 1853) examination for ladies.

Entries (Feb. 21 and 24, and Mar. 16, 19, 22, and 25, 1853) concern the planting, pruning, and grafting of fruit trees.

Entry (Feb. 21, 1853) concerns preparation of church for observance of Washington’s birthday; entry (July 5, 1853) states everyone gone to “P. R. Academy” to celebrate July 4.

Entries (May 4 and 5, 1853) concerns Rabb’s writing articles of agreement for the Sons of Temperance.

Memorandum book entries concern trip to Jefferson and trip to Arkansas and money paid to C. N. Rabb and others.




Volume 5, Diary

Plantation diary entries (Oct. 1, 1853 through Aug. 31, 1854) of Nicholas Rabb commenting on daily weather conditions, attendance at church services led frequently by [Joseph A.] Montgomery and Thornton, jury service at Canton, health of slaves and personal health, local happenings, and family difficulties.

Entry (Oct. 24, 1853) mentions letter from A. D. Rabb; entry (Dec. 9, 1853) mentions trip to swamp for dogwood and cherry tree bark [medical treatment]; entry (Jan. 5, 1854) mentions trip to Sharon for medicine pills, laudanum, cherry pectoral and Indian expectorant for plantation; entry (June 7, 1854) mentions writing epitaph for Martha.


Volume 6, Diary

Plantation diary of Nicholas Rabb containing entries commenting on activities of hands and members of the family, local happenings, attendance at camp and church services, scarcity of water for stock, weather conditions, and planting of fruit trees.

Entry (Oct. 6, 1865) mentions organization of church at school house with Brother Bell appointed leader; entry (Dec. 26, 1854) mentions candy pull on Christmas given by Asa and Carrie; entry (Feb. 1, 1855) mentions return of cotton sale amounting to $431.15; entry (July 4) mentions temperance revival at Sharon resulted in 10 new members; entries (Oct. 22, 1854 and June 13, 1855) mentions preaching by Montgomery.


Volume 7, Diary

a. Daybook. 1855-1856

b. Diary. 1855

Plantation diary of Nicholas Rabb containing entries commenting on occupation of plantation hands, activities of members of family, weather conditions, attendance at public examination, crops, and attendance at church services.

Daybook entries (1855-1856) concern current expenditures of Rabb for such items as clothing, drugs, seed, stamps, quarterage, hardware, medicine, and an account of J. T. Bledsoe with Rabb for corn, meal, and lard.

1799, 1829-1843

Volume 8, Record Book

Entries in record book furnish genealogical information concerning members of the Nicholas Rabb family.



Cotton farmers--Mississippi.



General stores--Louisiana.

General stores--Mississippi.

Land titles--Mississippi--Registration and transfer.



Money--Confederate States of America.

Paper money--Mississippi.

Rabb, Constantine N., b. 1824.

Rabb, Nicholas, b. 1799.





Contents (with dates)



Nicholas Rabb and Family Papers (1799, 1822-1919, undated)