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Plantations of David Hunt
Woodlawn Plantation belonged to David Hunt (born 10/22/1779 at Hunterdon
County, New Jersey; died 5/18/1861 at Woodlawn Plantation). This plantation was
his primary residence. His second wife was Ann Ferguson (born 4/22/1797 on
Oakley Grove Plantation in Adams County, died 11/8/1874 at Woodlawn Plantation).
Upon his father's death, David came to Natchez from New Jersey when he was 22 to work for his Uncle Abijah Hunt, a prosperous Natchez merchant. David lived like a monk and saved nearly all he earned to invest in land. He purchased land along Coles Creek in Jefferson County and built the house at Woodlawn Plantation.
Just before the war of 1812, David's Uncle Abijah was killed in a duel by George Poindexter, a rising Mississippi politician. David inherited some of his Uncle Abijah's estate, and bought out the other heirs. He held onto the property (several stores around Natchez) and sold later at a heavy profit. He invested all this money in land as well.
He eventually owned 25 plantations. His Jefferson County plantations were clustered mostly between Rodney Mississippi and the Mississippi River. They included: Ashland, Black Creek, Buena Vista, Calvitron, Fatlands, Huntley, Oakwood, Southside & Brick Quarters, Waverly and Woodlawn.
He also owned Hole-In-The-Wall Plantation (3,500 acres near the levee) in Concordia Parish LA; Argyle Plantation in Tensas Parish, LA; and the adjoining plantations of Homewood (several thousand acres) and Landsdowne(600 acres) in Adams County (he gave them to two of his daughters). Other plantations he owned were: Fatherland, Arcola, Georgiana, Wilderness, Belle Ella, Fairview, Servis Island, Oak Burn, and Givin Place.
David Hunt was the largest benefactor to Oakland College, now Alcorn State University. He gave about $175,000 to the College. David Hunt was possibly the richest man in Mississippi at the time of his largest gifts to Oakland College. After the Civil War, the state purchased the College and named it Alcorn State University. The money from the sale was used to open Chamberlain/Hunt Academy.
David Hunt along with other members such as Dr. Rush Nutt funded the Rodney Presbyterian Church. It was sold to the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1966 and is occasionally open for tours.
contributed by: Andy McMillion