Matthew F. K. McDaniel
Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections
Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library
Louisiana State University Libraries
Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University
Contents of inventory
Size 65 items
Geographic Louisiana, Georgia, Ohio, Massachusetts, Alaska
Bulk Dates 1860-1866
Summary Family correspondence of the Kent and Amacker families of St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes, La., including financial records and miscellaneous items. Bulk of correspondence written or received by the Kent Family during the Civil War.
Related collections Amos Kent Family Papers, Mss. 199, 724, 1101
Obadiah Pearson Amacker Family Papers, Mss. 1604
Citation Kent-Amacker Family Papers, Mss. 4185, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Stack location 1:55
Amos Kent, born in Chester, New Hampshire, was the son of Amos and Abigail Atherton Kent. He moved to Louisiana at the age of 17 and established a mercantile business in Baton Rouge. The business dissolved during the 1836 depression, so Kent relocated to a farm in St. Helena Parish. He married Susan Fluker in 1839; they had 12 children. In 1852 the Kent family moved to Greensburg where Amos filled an appointment as Registrar of the Land Office. Following completion of the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad through St. Helena Parish, he moved to the northeastern section of the parish where he operated a sawmill in the virgin, yellow pine forest. This section became part of Tangipahoa Parish (formed in 1869), the railroad became the Illinois Central, and in 1888 Kent assisted some Northern promoters in laying out a town on the cut-over pine land. This town was named Kentwood in his honor. Kent served eight years in the Louisiana legislature. He built a stately home at Oak Hill, near Cool Creek.
Amos Kent’s daughter, Abigail Means Kent, married Obadiah Pearson Amacker in 1863. Amacker graduated from the University of Virginia and studied law in New Orleans. During the Civil War, he served as Lieutenant Colonel of the 3rd Regiment Louisiana Cavalry and was captured at Port Hudson, La., and imprisoned at Johnson Island, Ohio. Following the war, Amacker practiced law in Greensburg. Several of Amos Kent’s sons enlisted in the Confederate Army, including James Fluker Kent, who was also captured and imprisoned at Johnson Island, and John Reid Kent and foster-son Johnathan Freiler, who both served in New Orleans’s Washington Artillery.
Family correspondence of the Kent and Amacker families of St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes, including financial records and miscellaneous items. Bulk of correspondence by the Kent Family during the Civil War relates to military operations in southeastern Louisiana, family participation in campaigns in Georgia, and the imprisonment of James Fluker Kent at Johnson Island, Ohio. Correspondents also include members of the Kent family from Boston, Massachusetts. Letters written before, during, and after the war also briefly describe news and events of local and familial interest, including: the construction of the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad, yellow fever outbreaks, social engagements in New Orleans, local and family education, business at Amos Kent’s lumber and brick yards, O. P. Amacker’s legal practice, the postwar presence of Federal soldiers, agricultural production, and sickness and death among family and friends. A later letter pertains to Amos Kent Amacker’s apparent venture to operate a shipping vessel on the Iditarod River in Alaska during the 1909 gold rush.
II. Financial papers
I. Correspondence, 1853-1910, n.d. (Folders 1-5)
Bulk of correspondence produced or received by the Kent family during the Civil War. Majority of letters describe life in the vicinity of Tangipahoa, La., during the war and the Kent family’s military participation. Correspondence during this period includes: criticism of Gen. Braxton Bragg’s (C.S.A.) operations in Louisiana; James Fluker Kent’s imprisonment at Johnson Island, Ohio, and his description of the 16th Louisiana Infantry Regiment’s casualties during the Battle of Chickamauga (Ga.) and their encampment afterward; and Amos Kent’s foster son Joseph Freiler’s descriptions of actions during the Atlanta Campaign, including operations at Dalton and Jonesboro, Ga. Letters written from Louisiana during the war also describe increasing inflation, the Kent’s timber and brick enterprise, and agricultural production.
Letters written or received by the Kent and Amacker families before and after the Civil War pertain to a variety of domestic, regional, and national affairs. Letters briefly describe events and concerns such as the construction of the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad, sicknesses within the family and community, educational improvement for both the family and region, the Kent’s timber and brick industry and family concerns over the ownership thereof, agricultural production, and A. K. Amacker’s business venture in Iditarod, Alaska.
II. Financial papers, 1871-1910 (Folder 6)
Financial papers include a receipt from the Summit (Miss.) Drug Store, canceled checks drawn on the Kentwood (La.) Bank by Abby M. Amacker, a statement of O. P. Amacker’s account at the Natalbany Lumber Company, Hammond, La., and receipts of purchases made by O. P. Amacker and Abby M. Amacker at the Amos Kent Lumber and Brick Company, Kentwood, La.
III. Miscellaneous, 1871-1888, n.d. (Folder 7)
Miscellaneous items include: a pass for O. P. Amacker to travel on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railroad; tickets for Amos K. Amacker to attend lectures in the Law Department of the University of Louisiana; a newspaper clipping and poem recounting the “Charge of the Louisiana Brigade, July 28th, 1864”; pencil sketches of “Uncle Spalding’s House” and a horse; two songs or poems entitled “Wait for the Wagon” and “Little Old Woman”; and a recipe for making potato yeast.
(The number indicates the series in which materials about the topic may be found.)
Alaska—Gold discoveries—History—20th century
Amacker, Abigail Means Kent, 1841-1910
Amacker, Obadiah Pearson, 1838-1910
Atlanta Campaign, 1864
Confederate States of America. Army. Louisiana Infantry Regiment, 16th.
Confederate States of America. Army. Washington Artillery Battalion (New Orleans, La.)
Kent, Amos, 1811-1906
Kent, George, 1846-1883
Kent, James Fluker, 1843-1886
Kent, John Reid, 1844-1905
Kent’s Mill and Brick Yard
Johnson Island (Ohio)
Louisiana—Social life and customs
New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad
New Orleans—Social life and customs—19th century
St. Helena Parish (La.)—History
Tangipahoa Parish (La.)—History