DEWEES (JOHN AND FAMILY) PAPERS

(Mss. 3089)

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
LIST OF SERIES ............................................................................................................................ 5
SERIES DESCRIPTIONS .............................................................................................................. 6
CROSS REFERENCES .................................................................................................................. 8
CONTAINER LIST ...................................................................................................................... 10

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SUMMARY

Size.

593 items and 4 manuscript volumes

Geographic locations.

Eunice, Louisiana; near Charleston, South Carolina

Inclusive dates.

1785-1954, undated

Bulk dates.

1827-1915

Language.

English

Summary.

Planter of Charleston, South Carolina, and later of Eunice, Louisiana. Papers include correspondence; land and slave sale documents; tax receipts; stocks and bonds; court decisions; wills; deeds; estate and property settlements; and photographs.

Organization.

Series I, Correspondence, 1817-1959, undated

Series II, Business and legal papers, 1785-1908, undated

Series III, Printed items and graphic materials, 1852-1954, undated

Series IV, Artifacts, undated

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.

John Dewees Family Papers, Mss. 3089, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).

W:47; M:22; OS:D

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE

Family of planters and slaveholders near Charleston, South Carolina, and later Eunice, Louisiana.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Collection consists mostly of correspondence, legal and business papers, concerning the Dewees and related Postell, Gadsden, Lyman and Colock families. Pre-Civil War and Reconstruction materials contain land and slave sale documents, tax receipts, stocks and bonds, court decisions, wills, deeds, estate settlements, marriage certificates and property settlements.

Manuscript volumes include a photograph album and memory book with photographs and newspaper clippings; and 185 loose photographs, some identified, most of them portraits of family members (1851-ca. 1920). There are also religious items and ephemera.

LIST OF SERIES

Series I, Correspondence, 1817-1959, undated

Series II, Business and Legal Papers, 1785-1908, undated

Series III, Printed Items and Graphic Materials, 1852-1954, undated

Series IV, Artifacts, undated

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Series I, Correspondence, 1817-1959, undated

One of the earliest letters in the collection, written to John DeWees from Jane D. Wright in South Carolina, discusses relations with slaves (September 8, 1859). Also included is a letter pertaining to the tax assessment of a slave (April 19, 1860), and two letters mentioning poor economic conditions in Louisiana and South Carolina (1866, 1869). Joseph DeWees writes to the Second Presbyterian Church in Charleston explaining his reasons for declining higher church office (February 20, 1876). Memorials of Joseph DeWees from Holy Trinity Church (May 15, 1883) are also included, as well as a number of children’s letters (1908-1909) and letters pertaining to genealogy (1860-1959).

Series II, Business and Legal Papers, 1785-1908, undated

Business and legal papers consist of bills, promissory notes, accounts, receipts, and a number of documents pertaining to slaves. These include a paper outlining the division of real estate and slaves among family members (January 1827), a note of sale price and commission for a slave named Lucy, a washer and ironer (December 1838), and documents relating to a marriage settlement of real estate and slaves in Charleston (May 1843). Also included is a petition of an estate administrator to sell a slave and her four children at public auction (September 7, 1843), a bill of sale for slaves from the estate of John Harleston (January 24, 1850), the will of Sarah Postell of Charleston bequeathing slaves and other property (May 15, 1851), the mortgage of nine slaves between James Copes and John DeWees (1873), and bills of sale for slaves (1852, 1859).

Other legal papers include a bond between Charles G. Branford and the German Friendly Society of Charleston (March 20, 1857) and a statement of account on the bond (February 1, 1860). Legal papers pertaining to the estate of John DeWees are included as well as the wills of Jane Gadsden (February 19, 1877), Elizabeth DeWees (1880), Joseph DeWees (April 16, 1883), Hannah Eason (December 10, 1902), and William DeWees (December 12, 1902). A number of property sales in New Orleans are also included (1887-1901) as well as mortgages and conveyances of land and buildings in South Carolina (1785, 1832-1852) and a deed of partition of land among the DeWees family (July 25, 1881). Tax receipts from St. Philip’s and St. Michael’s Parishes in South Carolina (1864-1894) as well as from the city and county of Charleston and the state of South Carolina (1895-1907) are also found in the collection.

Finally, two volumes include a measurement notebook (July 22, 1846-June 17, 1860, undated) containing mathematical rules and equations, and lists of various measurements, and an account notebook (January-February, 1868).

Series III, Printed items and graphic materials, 1852-1954, undated

Printed items include frontpieces to the Book of Common Prayer (1846) and the Hymnal According to the Use of the Protestant Episcopal Church (1887), prayer cards (1879-1954), a booklet from the Americanization Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars entitled Woodrow Wilson, Franklin K. Lane, Theodore Roosevelt on Americanism (undated), as well as programs for commencement at Eunice High School (undated) and Rice Institute in Houston, Texas (1937).

Newspaper clippings pertain to Eunice High School, LSU athlete Dana Jenkins, and local church and family news (1883-1946).

Also included are a number of photographs of street scenes, fields, and homes in South Carolina and Louisiana, as well as many portraits of family members and unidentified persons (1861-1915, undated) in addition to two manuscript volumes. Volumes include a Reta White photograph album, Eunice, La., (1912-1916, undated) containing photographs of Eunice High School, students, sporting events, social activities, and a photograph portraying the aftermath of a storm (p. 46) as well as a Lois Dwight Lyman Memory Book, Eunice, La., (1914-1919, undated) containing photographs of Eunice High School faculty and students, sporting events such as the Lafayette Rally, graduation dresses, LSU campus, War Relics Train, men in military uniforms, as well as ribbons, report cards, programs, tickets, newspaper clippings, and dance cards.

Series IV, Artifacts, undated

The collection also contains a ribbon with an Easter cross and a small American flag.

CROSS REFERENCES

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

Photographers.

Ca. 1861-1930s

South Carolina; Charleston: Dowling; Quinby & Co.; Leidloff Studio; Clarke’s Studio; George L. Cook; Columbia: W. A. Reckling.

Louisiana; Franklin: Harding; New Orleans: E. Simon; Sanderson.

Georgia; Savannah: Launey and Goebel; Atlanta: Anglin and Randall.

Iowa; Creston: J. A. Reynolds.

Missouri; Lexington: T. D. Sanders.

Texas; Houston: Gray Studio; Tyler: Nicks.

Charleston (S.C.)--History.

1785; 1850s-1908

Business, legal, and land documents

Eunice (La.)--History.

1912-1919, undated

Photographs of Eunice High School students and faculty in Reta White photo album and Lois Lyman Commencement Memory Book.

Baptist Female College.

1890-1891

Baptist Female College, Lexington, Mo., Aimee Dewees report cards (eight)

Fayetteville (N.C.)

1887

Description of the Fair, letter, by H. Chamberlain to Emma, Nov. 15.

College athletes--Louisiana--Baton Rouge.

1916

Newspaper clippings of LSU athlete champion sprinter Dana Jenkins, native of Eunice.

Medical fees--South Carolina.

1861, 1863

Doctor’s bill from F. Peyse Porcher, Feb. 16, 1861; from F. Peyse Porcher and William T. Wragg, Feb. 18, May 21, 1863.

German Friendly Society (Charleston, S.C.)

1857, 1860

Bonds between Charles G. Brandford and the Society.

Inventories.

1827

List showing division of real estate and slaves among family members, Jan. 15.

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)--Louisiana.

1866

Letter commenting on bad economic conditions in Abbeville, Mar. 1, 1866;

Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)--South Carolina.

1869

Letter from Dr. Joseph Dewees to chemist G. W. Aimar, Charleston, stating his inability to pay for supplies until patients’ crops come in; Nov. 1, 1869.

Rice University.

1937

Commencement program, Rice Institute.

Slave bills of sale--South Carolina.

1839-1859

Note of sale price and commission for Lucy, a washer and ironer, Dec. 13, 1839;

3 documents relating to marriage settlement or real estate and slaves, Charleston, 1843;

Petition of estate administrator to sell a slave and her 4 children at public auction, Sept. 7, 1843;

Sale of slaves account sheet, 1844.

Bill of sale for slaves from estate of late John Harleston, Jan. 24, 1850;

Bill of release and sale of slave, 1852;

Mortgage of 9 slaves, Sept. 22, 1858;

Bill of sale for 2 slaves, Dec. 5, 1859.

Slavery--South Carolina.

1859-1860

Letter from Jane D. Wright to John Dewees pertaining to relations with slaves; Sept. 8, 1859;

Letter (Beaufords Bridge, S.C.) from W. B. Williams to Mrs. J. P. Wright on tax assessment of slave; Apr. 19, 1860.

Successions.

1851

Copy of last will and testament of Mrs. Sarah Postell, May 10 (15).

CONTAINER LIST

Stack

Location

Box

Folder(s)

Contents (with dates)

W:47

1

1-3

Series I, Correspondence, 1817-1959, undated

W:47

1

4-10

Series II, Business and Legal Papers, 1785-1908, undated Business and legal documents (1827-1908, undated)

11-12

Tax Receipts (1864-1904, undated)

OS:D

--

16-17

Mortgages, conveyances, deed of partition, wills of Elizabeth DeWees, Hannah Eason, and William DeWees (1785-1902)

M:22

3

--

Volume 1, Measurement notebook, July 22, 1846-June 17, 1860, undated

3

--

Volume 2, Account notebook, January-February, 1868

Series III, Printed items and graphic materials, 1852-1954, undated

M:22

3

13

Printed items (1852-1954, undated)

14

Newspaper clippings (1883-1946, undated)

M:22

2

--

Photographs (undated)

3

15

Envelopes and photograph backings (1893, 1894, undated)

--

--

Volume 3, Reta White Photograph Album, Eunice, La., 1912-1916, undated

--

--

Volume 4, Lois Dwight Lyman Memory Book, Eunice, La., 1914-1919, undated

Series IV, Artifacts, undated

M:22

3

18

Display Items (undated)