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Jefferson County, Mississippi – News from the 1800’s

by Sue Burns Moore


Alexandria Advertiser (Alexandria, VA), Feb. 26, 1807

“Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Greenville, Miss. Ter. under date of 26th of January last. ‘Our territory has been in commotion from some time past, in consequence of A. Burr’s arrival.  After raising and marching the militia, a committee was appointed to go and examine col. Burr’s boats.  They found 30 or 40 rifles and muskets, 3 or 4 pounds of powder, 200 barrels of pork, several trunks of books, and some other small matters.  Burr has given security to stand his trial at our next circuit court, and peace and tranquility is restored to the territory. I believe the people here are warmly attached to the general government.”


Merrimac Intelligencer (Haverhill, Mass.) Nov. 3, 1810

“DIED in Mississippi Terr., Samuel Frye, Esq. of Gibson Port, killed in a duel (first fire) by Daniel Beasley, Esq. of Greenville.”


New York Gazette (New York) Oct. 7, 1813

“More of the Awful Massacre – Nashville, Sept. 14 – An express arrived on Sunday last to his excellency governor Blount from Fort Stephens, bringing certain information of the dreadful slaughter of several hundred of our fellow citizens by the Creek Indians, headed, as some have imagined, by Spanish and British officers.  On the 30th of August, about 750 savages attacked Fort Mims, a stockaded fort about 18 miles above Fort Stoddart and 35 below Fort Stephens, defended by about 175 fighting men, in which there were 120 or 130 women and children.  They made a desperate assault; with axes they cut away the pickets, and at the same time fired the blockhouse.  The assailed defended themselves very gallantly; but as soon as one Indian fell, another took his station and axe.  After an opening was effected, they rushed in and butchered the whites without mercy.  Maj. (Daniel) Beasley (Jefferson Co. Miss), of the 12 months’ men, fell as they entered the opening.  Mr. Mims and a number of the women and children were burnt to death in the blockhouse.  Every soul of the whites perished except 8, and of the Indians shot, 200 were killed.  On the Thursday following, an attack was made on Fort Sinquefield that proved unsuccessful – about 10 Indians were killed. A number of families were butchered on Bassett’s Creek.  The inhabitants of the Mobile country have abandoned their dwellings and retreated to the forts.  Gen. Claiborne is in the country with about 300 twelve months’ men, and the other troops in the different forts amount to about 1200 men.  Aid is solicited from our state.”


The Repertory (Boston, Mass.), Oct. 21, 1820

“DIED in Greenville (Miss.) Mr. Samuel Rich, son of Mr. David Rich, formerly of Charlton, aged 39.”


Independent Chronicle and Boston Patriot (Boston, Mass.) May 28, 1823

“DIED in Jefferson County, Miss. 18th ult. in the 40th year of his age, the Hon. William B. Shields, U. S. Judge for the Mississippi District.”


Farmers’ Cabinet (Amherst, NH), Oct. 31, 1834

“The town of Rodney, Miss. has suffered severely by the most violent storm ever known in the country.  On the first of October, says the Southern Telegraph, it commenced about 10 o’clock A. M. and continued till half past 12 P. M.  During that short period, the streams which run immediately at the foot of the hills, became so full that many of the houses on either side of the way, were covered with water on the first floor, in the depth of one and a half to two feet.  One frame house was taken from its foundation and carried off, and more or less damage done to all the property situated within reach of this impetuous and restless current. We have not yet learned the damage sustained by cotton Planters, but it must be very great.

“The large buildings, bordering on the canal at Rochester, and occupied by the Messers. Smiths, were destroyed by fire on the 20th inst., the lost estimated at $30,000, on which there was an insurance of 140, 000.”


The Liberator, (Boston, Mass.)Feb. 27, 1836
“The Southern Telegraph contains an article, dated Rodney, Miss. Jan. 15, noticing another instance of summary punishment, which occurred at Fayette, on the night of the previous Saturday. It appears that a man named Spinney, was confined in the jail for the murder of a Mr. McGowan. His trial which was brought up at the previous term of the Circuit Court was postponed on account of some informality in the indictment, in consequence of which he was remanded to prison to await his trial at the next session of the court. But the process of the law was too slow for the citizens of Fayette, and they resolved to anticipate the verdict of justice. Accordingly, they went en masse, and having been refused the keys by the keeper, they broke their way into the jail with sledge-hammers— seized the unfortunate wretch, and hung him instanter.

“As an excuse for the outrage, it is alleged that Spinney had been heard to say, that if an opportunity was ever given him, he would with undying revenge follow up all who had been instrumental in his conviction. The miserable man may have been trebly guilty— he may have forfeited his life to the offended laws; but then by these laws alone should he have been punished.”


Connecticut Courier (Hartford, Conn.), Aug. 29, 1836

“From the Rodney (Miss.) Telegraph – Fatal Affair.  We have just been informed that a fatal rencontre took place on Saturday last, between Mr. Elias Barnes and Lewis Watson, both residents of this vicinity in which the former was killed.  Mr. Watson, it appears, acted entirely on the defensive, and was forced to kill his antagonist in order to preserve his own life.”


Barre Gazette (Barre, Mass.) Oct. 7, 1836

“Another Victim – A young man, the only representative of a highly respectable family was killed on Saturday last in Jefferson, County, Miss. by a harmless youth on whom the wretched inebriate was making a mortal assault.  The facts are briefly these: - The young man who has fallen, began in February to give signs of mania potu.  On the 22nd of February he took a license out of marriage, embracing the name of a young lady residing near him.  He asked a clergyman to officiate on the next Wednesday at his marriage, and also invited a numerous wedding company.  At a Ball, the same evening, in the midst of a large assemblage, he read aloud, mounted on a table, his marriage license.  From this public proclamation, the lady received the first intelligence about the contemplated wedding, which had been arranged by the manic lover.  On the day appointed by him for solemnizing the rites of matrimony, he proceeded, despite the efforts of his friends, and at the risk of one individual’s life, who endeavored to prevent him, to the residence of his imagined betrothed.  By kind means, however, he was persuaded to return home and was soon under the care of a physician who succeeded in restoring him to temporary soundness of intellect.  On the 2nd of June the object of his maniacal devotion was led to the altar by the young man who has been forced, in self-defense to destroy the maniac’s life.  At the time of the marriage, and ever since, he had been under the influence of the mania induced by the recurrence of the pherenzying bowl, uttering threats against the life of the young man who has killed him.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) Jan. 27, 1837

“MARRIED on Thursday evening last, at Fayette, Jefferson county, by the Rev. William Montgomery, Andrew Marschalk, Jr. of Alexandria, La., eldest son of Col. Andrew Marschalk, to Miss Susannah – daughter of Mrs. M’Cown of Fayette, formerly of Dublin, Ireland.”


Mississippi Free Trader (Natchez, Miss.) May 12, 1837

‘The Fire in Rodney – The (Rodney) Telegraph of May 2nd gives the particulars of the late fire in that place, which is supposed to be the work of an incendiary.  The cotton sheds and their contents of Messers. James & Bayly, and Compton, Ricks, & Co. were destroyed, together with the property of others lost more than 13,000 dollars. The following were among the largest sufferers:

George B. Dent    50 bales cotton, $2600

Samuel Bolton     38 bales of cotton, $1600

William ----         31 bales of cotton,  $1400

Jeremiah Torry     26 bales of cotton, $ 1100

Est. W. -----         13 bales of cotton $

John Durker          14 bales of cotton $

Richard Valentine 17 bales of cotton $

J. B. Coleman        1400 bushels cotton seed, 6 bags salt, 5 beds, 3 barrels mackerel  $50”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Daily Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) June 7, 1838

“The Commercial Bank at Rodney – Capital $800, 000, Thomas Freeland, President and John J. Goodin, cashier.”


Natchez Daily Courier (Natchez, Miss.) Aug. 19, 1838.

The Visit of the Natchez – “The departure of our Steam Ship on a visit to our sister towns was an ennobling spectacle….” (This is a lengthy article telling of all of the ports the Natchez made on her maiden voyage. Captain Story, military companies commanded by Gen. Quitman, and high ranking city officials were on board as the “Old Saratoga” cannon on the bluff was fired in salute as they embarked.   Citizens of Warren, Claiborne and Jefferson counties all along her route turned out to cheer and greet her.)  “As the Natchez passed proudly beyond the various settlements on the Mississippi, she called forth the admiring gaze of the inhabitants who all took as much interest as ourselves in the elegant craft, straining their eyes as she darted from their view, and thinking doubtless, as well as those who have said so before,, that this was indeed a new era in steam navigation.   We pass over the first few hours and imagine ourselves in sight of our spirited neighbors of the town of Rodney.  The cannon on the good ship announces our approach; a spreading volume of grey smoke rising from one of the hills that encircle that handsome town betokens our welcome.  As we approach nearer, the citizens are seen lining the front of the town. In due time, the Natchez is moored at Rodney; all on board are soon on shore, and the military companies parade in handsome style through the town.   The respects of Mayor and Selectmen and the other bodies are tendered to the Corporation, and the citizens of Rodney which are warmly responded to, and heartily returned by the proper Officers of that town.  The visitors partake of the hospitalities of the inhabitants and amidst an universal co-mingling of good feelings and mutual congratulations, we again proceed on board.  The citizens of Rodney are ranged along the shore; their huzzas for The Natchez are loud and re-echoed through the air, whilst the voice of the musketry on board the ship, ascends and mingles with their salutes and proclaims a union of sentiment, - of enterprise, - of prosperity. – The greetings are over, the deep waters are again put in commotion, and the curve of the river ends the enlivening spectacle.”


Natchez Daily Courier (Natchez, Miss.) Apr. 26, 1839

“Persons having past notes of the Commercial Bank of Rodney, are requested to exchange them at the bank for others.  Reason – the villains are altering them to larger amounts.”


Natchez Daily Courier (Natchez, Miss.) Dec. 6, 1839

“List of Post Offices and Postmasters - Jefferson County

Fayette -   Charles T. Miles

Malcom -   Malcom Gilchrist

Rodney -   Woodford Wood

Church Hill -  Jos. W. Thompson”

The Liberator (Boston, Mass.) June 12, 1840
“The Supreme Court of Mississippi, decided at their late session in favor of the validity of the wills of Capt. Ross (Jefferson co.) and his daughter, Mrs. Road, by which upwards of 300 slaves are directed to be sent to Liberia, and a large amount of property left to defray the expenses of their removal and settlement in the Colony. The last New Orleans papers say that many plantations in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Grand Gulf, and above those places, are already partially under water, and much damage has been done to the crops.”



Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Daily Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) May 31, 1843

“Brief Sketches of the Natchez Bar by a Juror.  ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY is a native of this country, and one of a numerous and respectable family.  He began studying law with Thomas B. Reed, and has been at the bar eighteen years.  His professional education was completed at Transylvania University, and he commenced his legal career, as Justice of the Peace, in the town of Rodney.  Thought now surrounded by the comforts of life, the results alone of his lucrative practice, in his youthful days, he followed the plough, and subsequently acted in the capacity of a clerk of a mercantile house….He was appointed by the Executive, Judge of the Circuit Court, under the old constitution, and his nomination confirmed by the Legislature. As a member of the Supreme Court, his opinions exhibit much learning and are still high authority.  For several years he resided at Rodney. In 1836 he removed to this place, and since that time has been constantly engaged in the duties of his profession….His observations on men and things are striking, but often paradoxical, especially his views of -----, but no matter if he be an ultra whig.  He is dignified in his deportment, yet social and accessible to all, particularly the junior members of the bar, to whom he is ever kind and courteous.  He possesses all the fine qualities that constitute a gentleman.  He is about forty years of age, with large, portly figure, handsome face, blue eyes, long black hair, and uniformly neat and tasteful in his dress.”


Daily Atlas (Boston, Mass.) Aug. 10, 1843

“DIED at Amherst, 5th inst. Thomas D. Freeland, of Rodney, Miss., a member of the Junior Class of Amherst College.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Daily Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) Aug. 11, 1843

“New Cotton.  We understand that the steamer Gen. Harrison, Capt. Elliott, brought to this port yesterday, six bales of new cotton, which was shipped at Rodney, Miss. and raised by Mr. Nutt of Jefferson County in that state. – from New Orleans Tropic, 5th inst.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) Sept. 20, 1843

“DIED, in Fayette, Jefferson county, on the 6th inst., Washington S. Burch.  Same place on the 9th inst., William Morley.  Recently at St. Louis, G. Earl Martin, Esq. of Jefferson county, Miss. At the residence of Samuel Laughman, in Jefferson county, on the 6th inst. Miss Margaret Crayton.  At Rodney on the 27th August, Mary, daughter of Dr. James Andrews.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) Nov. 4, 1843

“MARRIED near Fayette, on 29th ult., by the Rev. J. G. Jones, H. M. Youngblood, Esq., Editor of the Southern Watch Tower, to Miss Rebecca M. Armstrong.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) Feb. 24, 1844

“MARRIED on the evening of the 20th instant, by the Rev. Dr. Chamberlain, at the residence of Thomas H. Stuart, Esq.. in the county of Jefferson, Mr. William Harper to Miss Ann T., daughter of the late Walker Sanders, Esq., of Fayette county, Kentucky.  And on the evening of the 21st, by the Rev. Zebulon Butler, at the residence of Mrs. Leonly Stuart, in the county of Jefferson, Mr. John Humphreys, of the county of Claiborne, to Miss Sarah A. G. , daughter of the late James Stuart, Esq. of Jefferson.  If, in addition to the above unions, those of youth, beauty, fortune and station in society, can give assurance of earthly happiness, these parties have it.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) Nov. 16, 1844

“Good Shooting Spoiled – One of our Whig friends at Church Hill anticipating a great victory over the democrats at that precinct had sent to Rodney and borrowed ‘Young Saratoga’ to have a salute fired of one gun for every vote majority obtained, but when the votes were counted, the democrats had a four majority.  This disappointed our friend in his calculations, and ‘Young Saratoga’ remains hid in the woods near by, with her cartridges and demijohn of ‘old Monongahela’ untouched.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) July 1, 1845

“For the Democratic Convention – The Edna leaves our landing on Saturday Morning at 7 o’clock for Vicksburg.  Delegates to the convention will do well to avail themselves of this fact.  She passes Rodney and Grand Gulf during the day on Saturday when those from Jefferson and Claiborne can get on board.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) Mar. 17, 1846

“MARRIED on the 12th inst. at the residence of Mrs. Truly in Fayette, Jefferson county, by the Rev’d B. M. Drake, Dr. B. F. Fox to Miss Sarah Ann Truly, all of that place.  On the evening of the 10th inst. at the Planters Hotel in Fayette, Jefferson county, by the Hon. B. Duncan, Mr. Thomas Devenport to Miss Laura Caroline Hall.”


The Pittsfield Sun (Pittsfield, Mass.)  Dec. 3, 1846

“ A brutal murder was committed in Jefferson county, Miss. on the 12th ulto. of which the following particulars are given:  The parties were John Catlin, the deceased, Abel Kelly, Abraham Kelly, Jesse H. Martin, and William Clawson.  It appears that Catlin was courting a sister of the Kellys.  The match was broken off by her friends.  She wrote him a letter making an appointment to meet him at a certain place on the evening of the 8th instant.  She did not come, and he, suspecting that all was not right, went and silently reconnoitered the house of Kelly where he overheard a plot to murder him on Wednesday following. – Catlin then returned to the residence of Squire Davis, where he was making a kiln of brick, and prepared a kind of breastwork of cord wood, and procured some arms for his defense.  In this situation, things remained until Friday following, when the two Kellys, Martin, Clawson and another Youngman, rode up to the brickyard, unexpectedly to Catlin, and while he was engaged in giving some directions to the hands, and wheeling their horses, Martin fired on him.  The shot struck Catlin in the neck, severing an artery; Catlin then turned and ran to his breastwork; caught up a rifle and shot Martin, the ball striking him on the left cheek, shattered his jaw bone, and passed directly through and lodged in the back of his neck.  The others, then fled, but by this time Catlin had become so weak from the loss of blood, that he fell; whereupon, they returned, and Abel Kelly shot him several times, it is said, even after life was extinct. – Clawson has been arrested and is now in jail.  Martin died on the 17th inst.  The Kellys have not yet been apprehended. The elder Mrs. Kelly is now under arrest, for aiding and abetting the murders.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) Dec. 15, 1846

“DIED at his residence, six miles south of this place, on Monday morning, Mr. John I. Stampley, long a resident of this county, and well known to most of the citizens.  Mr. Stampley was a member of Thomas Hinds lodge No. 58, and has left a numerous band of brethren to deplore his fall – surrounded by an extensive circle of relations and friends, he died at a good old age, as a neighbor, Brother, father, Friend, we know of few men who would be missed more than he will. – Fayette Watch Tower, 9th inst.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.)  Apr. 13, 1847

“MARRIED in Jefferson county, on the 11th inst., by Rev’d. William Montgomery, Dr. A. L. Green of Fayette county, Ten. to Miss Virginia Dudley of the former place.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.)  Mar. 14, 1849



On Wednesday evening, 7th inst., at Plainville, Yazoo county, by the Rev. William Carey Crane, Mr. George R. Snodgrass, second son of James Snodgrass, Esq. of Jefferson county, to Miss Mary F. Gartly, eldest daughter of Col. William Gartly.


At Araby, the residence of Haller Nutt, Esq., in Madison Parish, La., on Thursday, 22nd of February, by the Rev. J. C. Allen, John T. Clarke, Esq. of St. Joseph, formerly of Fayette, Jefferson county, Miss. to Miss Margaret Nutt.


On Tuesday the 6th inst., at the residence of Harris Hill, Esq., two miles from Fayette,  by the Rev. J. G. Jones, Mr. William Stewart to Miss Martha J. Mayberry, all of Jefferson County.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) July 18, 1849

“DIED in Fayette, on Friday evening last, Charles P. Moffitt, printer, formerly of Copiah county.”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.)  Dec. 19, 1849

“DIED in this city on Saturday evening the 15th inst., after a short illness, Mrs. Mary Williams. (Formerly Mrs. Mary Guy), late of Jefferson county, Miss., aged sixty-four years – leaving a large circle of friends and relatives to mourn her loss.  For nearly fifty years the deceased had been an exemplary member of the Baptist Church.”


The Hinds County Gazette (Raymond, Miss.)  Feb. 22, 1850

“DIED on Saturday, 26th January, 1850, at the residence of her brother James M. Watson, near Oakland College, Mrs. Martha T. Tullis, wife of E. J. Tullis of Hinds county, and daughter of the late James H. Watson of this county.  She was much beloved by all who knew her.  She will be long lamented by a large circle of relatives and friends, in this state and Louisiana. She was in her 37th year. - Fayette Watch Tower”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) March 9, 1850

“The Jefferson Gazette – This is the appropriate title of a new paper recently established in Rodney, Jefferson county, Mississippi, published by Andrew Marschalk, editor and proprietor.  We have watched the course of this lively and interesting sheet through its three first numbers, and regard it as an able exponent and advocate of southern sentiment and feelings on the great questions which now agitate our country.  Marschalk has quite an ancestral fame to sustain – as his honored father, Colonel Andrew Marschalk, was also the ‘father of the Mississippi Press’ – having established the first newspaper in this territory long before we were admitted into the family of states.  The Colonel was a brave and noble officer in the army of General Wayne and bore two commissions in the line, signed by George Washington.  Marschalk, the younger, was bred in his deceased father’s printing office, and is no stranger to his calling. ‘In the son the father lives.’”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) July 3, 1850

Burial in Fayette – “ ‘On Friday last,’ writes our excellent friend, Dr. B. F. Fox, of Fayette, ‘ our town was still, and the tolling of the bell and the roll of muffled drums alone were heard.  We buried the mortal remains of WILLIAM H. COMPTON, ESQ.  He was a member of the Masonic and Old-Fellows’ fraternities in Rodney.  By his own request, he was buried at the Fayette church-yard – having died at Vicksburg, returning from Cooper’s Wells, where he had been for a time.  He foresaw and made arrangements for his funeral, wishing to be buried by the lodges to which he belonged, who religiously attended to his wishes, although his body was demanded by some of his relatives.’”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) Apr. 16, 1851

“Unfortunate Affray – We learn from the Jefferson Gazette, published at Rodney, that an unfortunate affray took place in that neighborhood between William Lewis, Tennessee, and Patrick Nolan, a gin-wright, which resulted in the death of the former.  John Barleycorn the principal actor; the weapon used to assist John Barleycorn was a mortising chisel.  Nolan received several severe wounds; he was examined before Justice Marshall and acquitted, there being no evidence but his own statement.”


The Natchez Courier (Natchez, Miss.) Aug. 24, 1852

Fire at Rodney – “We learn that Sunday morning last, about 1 o’clock, a fire broke out in the kitchen of the Hotel at Rodney, and rapidly spread through the town, consuming almost every house and store.  The saw-mill of the Messers. Weldon was several times on fire, but was fortunately saved without much damage.  We also understand that the store of Messers. Drake & Griffin was saved.”


The Natchez Courier (Natchez, Miss.) Aug. 31, 1852

“The Great Fire at Rodney, Miss. – The citizens of Jefferson and Claiborne counties have held a meeting since the late fire at Rodney, and through their regularly appointed Committees have made full report of the losses by the conflagration of the 22nd August.  At this meeting, Dr. C. B. New acted as chairman, and James Stewart, Esq. as Secretary.  The committee to ascertain the total loss reported as follows:


Drake & Griffing   $3500                                  George V. Paul   $1200

L. H. Drake   $1500                                         John J. Griffing   $800

G. F. Barkhaw & Co.  $2000                           Meisner & Bulsing   $800

Robert Miller   $6000                                       C. Summer   $2000

Samuel Levy   $8000                                        Levi C. Harris   $900

M. Winkler     $500                                          Jacob Ohmer   $2000

Urbain Leger   $6600                                       G. Schunzel     $1000

J. S. Dohan      $6000                                      Mrs. Brazelton  $1200

J. H. Barkhaw  $500                                        S. R. Morrison   $500

G. H. Wilcox   $400                                         James and F. Gaskins  $300

Broughton & Murdock  $ 5000                        Mr. Langer  $100

John Watt     $5000                                          W. H. Broughton  $500                                   

R, B. Milliken, assigned, $ 1000                       James M. Boyd  $150                                     

James Payne  $500                                           C. H. Foreman   $250

Wing W. Kincheloe $1200                               Richard H. Foreman  $150

Andrew Marschalk   $1000                              James Strong  $100

Telegraph Co.  $300                                        W. G. Williams  $500

F. B. Harwood & Co. $2000                           W. R. Johnston   $300

E. S. Barry  $2000                                           R. A. New $50

                                                                        Mrs. Neale  $150

Total - $65,250


The Fayette Watch-Tower, from which paper we obtain the above information, publishes the following named committee, appointed by the meeting to procure subscription for the immediate relief of their fellow citizens, viz.  Messrs. John Murdock, George F. Hunt, J. G. Neely, Thomas Freeland, G. G. Noland, S. H. Coleman, W. R. Dent, T. W. Beck, N. Frisby.”


The Mississippian (Jackson, Miss.) Mar. 4, 1859

“The Lost and Injured on the Princess – The Picayune of yesterday publishes the following amended list of the unfortunate sufferers of the terrible steamboat explosion:

(list includes many and among these several Jefferson Co. residents)

Of those known to have been on board, but are now missing : Son of Blount Stewart of Fayette, Miss. (himself, wife, son and servant, safe) 

two brothers, Marks, Fayette, Miss.

Those very dangerously scalded, and in fact, for whom it is feared there is little hope:

Hail Wilcox, Rodney, Miss.

Have legs broken, and otherwise hurt, but not supposedly dangerously:

F. Davenport, Fayette, Miss.; his wife safe”


The Hinds County Gazette (Raymond, Miss.) Nov. 16, 1859

“FOR FRESH LANDS! – As usual at this season of the year, there is almost a continuous line of wagons passing through our town, all bound for the river crossings at Rodney and Natchez. The wagons, for the most part, are filled with negroes, thus indicating that the men of property and means, becoming weary of the exhausted lands of Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, are rushing for the fresh and untrodden lands of Louisiana and Texas.”


Daily Mission (Jackson , Miss.) Dec. 17, 1859

“Mississippi Legislature – Dec. 13.  Mr. Ellett introduced a bill to authorize the building of a jail in the town of Rodney and for other purposes.  Passed.”


Semi-weekly Mississippian (Jackson, Miss.) Aug. 21, 1860

“Embezzlement – We learn from the Natchez Free Trader that John F. McVoys, late Postmaster at Rodney, Miss. and Joseph McVoys, his deputy, have been committed by U. S. Commissioner Mellen for trial to the U. S. Circuit Court at Jackson, in November next, on the charge of embezzlement.”


The Weekly Mississippian (Jackson, Miss.) Dec. 4, 1861

“Four transport steamers passed Rodney on the way up the river, in the early part of this week.  They were loaded down with troops, horses and some artillery.  This was, no doubt, Col. John Scott’s mounted regiment of volunteers from the sea coast parishes of Louisiana.  This magnificent regiment, representing a vast amount of plantation wealth of

several Parishes, has armed, equipped, and mounted itself at the expense of $500, 000 and up to the time of its departure had been no charge to either the State of Louisiana or the Confederacy.  The regiment numbers nearly one thousand men of the most daring and dauntless of Louisiana’s sons.”


The Daily Mississippian (Jackson, Miss.) June 18, 1862

“From the Vicksburg Whig – Correspondence between Gen. Lovell and the Federal Commander -
A flag of truce went down to the enemy on Sunday afternoon with a communication from Gen. Lovell in reply to one recently sent to the authorities of Rodney.  Below will be found the correspondence.

The edict of this despicable Nichols shows the policy of these miserable followers of Lincoln in his true colors, and rivals in outrageous infamy the manifesto of the celebrated bloody Condeil pronounced against the Netherland provinces during the reign of Phillip II of Spain.  Alva wrote his own history in blood, and these sordid and base villains wish to follow in his footsteps by murdering unoffending women and children.  The indignant censure of the civilized world was the eulogy of the one – may the felon’s death be the cenotaph of the other:

                                                                                                U. S. Streamer Winona

                                                                                                Off Rodney, June 5, 1862

To the Authorities of the Town of Rodney:

You are doubtless aware that the town of Grand Gulf was fired upon a short time since by some of the vessels of the United States Government as punishment for permitting a battery to fire upon some of our transport steamers while passing down. 

I deem it my duty to inform you that should any battery or artillery fire upon any of our vessels while passing up or down from or near the town of Rodney, the punishment for the offense will be visited upon the town.  We are not here to war upon unarmed or peaceable persons and we would deprecate any event compelling us to fire upon the property of inoffensive people.

                                    Very Respectfully, your ob’t s’vt (signed) ED T. NICHOLS

                                                                        Lieut. Com’dg and Senior Officer Present


                                                                        CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA

                                                                        Headquarters Department No. 1

                                                                        Jackson, Miss.  June 8, 1862

To Commanding Officer, U. S. Navy

Mississippi River , below Vicksburg

SIR – I have the honor to enclose a copy of a letter received by the Mayor of Rodney, notifying him in substance that if the vessels of the U. S. Navy are fired upon by our troops from or near the town, vengeance will be taken upon the women and children, or, as the writer is pleased to term it, ‘punishment for the offense will be visited upon unarmed or peaceable persons.’

When two nations are at war, it has been customary among civilized people ‘to punish the

offense’  of an attack by the armed forces of one upon the other, by a combat with the attacking party.

If such an attack be made from the town the assaulting party is not entitled to, and so far as our troops are concerned, does not claim any immunity for the presence of women and children: what we do claim, however, and insist upon is, that whenever your vessels or transports are fired into by our troops; they shall not hasten to the nearest collection of the ‘unarmed and peaceable’ women and children and wreak their vengeance upon them as was done lately at Grand Gulf by the U. S. vessels in retaliation for an attack with which the town had nothing more to do than the city of St. Louis.

My batteries are located at such places upon the river as are deemed best suited for the desired purposes and without reference or connection with the people of the towns.  Should the site happen to fall within a village, you, of course, are at liberty to return the fire; should it be in the vicinity of one, however, the usages of civilized warfare do not justify its destruction unless demanded by the necessities of attack or defense.

I cannot bring myself to believe that the barbarous and cowardly policy indicated in the enclosed letter will meet with the approval of any officer of rank or standing in the United States Navy.  I have therefore thought proper to transmit it to you under a flag of truce, with the confident expectation that you will direct those under your command, to confine their offensive operations as far as possible to our troops; and forbid the wanton destruction of defenseless towns, filled with unoffending non-combatants, unless required by imperious military necessity.

The practice of slaying women and children as an act of retaliation, has, happily, fallen into disuse in this country with the disappearance of the Indian tribes, and I trust it will not be revived by the officers of the United States Navy, but that the demolition and plunder of the unoffending little village of Grand Gulf may be permitted to stand alone and without parallel upon the record.

                        I am , sir, very respectfully,

                                                                                                Your obd’t serv’t.

                                                                                    M. Lovell, Maj. Gen., Comdt.”



The Daily Southern Crisis (Jackson, Miss.) Feb. 28, 1863

“The second gunboat, passing here last Saturday evening, stopped at Mr. Sim’s place, a few miles above here, destroyed all the boats, killed a beef, stole all the poultry and forced off two negro men.  When near Rodney, the Yankees came very near capturing our friend Archy Pope, who, crossing in a flat, did some tall rowing to the astonishment of two Texans, who happened to be with him.  It is said that Mr. Pope, who had in his pocket the written evidence of his appointment as superintendent of the Tensas negroes working on the Vicksburg fortifications, concluded not to be caught like Reid Saunders, but preferred to follow the example of Alexander Dumas’ three musketeers, consequently destroyed the papers by swallowing them.  The Yankees succeeded in capturing the boat, but our friend Archy got safely away; they couldn’t catch him, and if they had, no paper found on him would have made them any wiser.  If the government is in need of a safe person to carry dispatches, Archy Pope is the man, for he would certainly eat them rather than allow them to fall into the hands of the enemy. – St. Joseph (La.) Gazette”


Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.)  March 27, 1863

“MARRIED at Oakland Cottage, the residence of the bride’s father, Thursday morning, the 26th inst., by Rev. Dr. Watkins, S. M. Angel, M. D., of Fayette, formerly of New Orleans, to Miss Laura O. Newcomb. We wish the young pair a long, happy and prosperous life.  Never may the hand of adversity be laid upon them; never may they taste of sorrow’s cup – but may their path through life be so guarded and guided, as to lead them to the bright world where Angels only dwell.”


The Daily Mississippian (Jackson, Miss.) May 1, 1863

“Military Items – A dispatch to headquarters yesterday from Grand Gulf, states that Co. Wirt Adams has met the Yankee Cavalry raid near Fayette, and driven them towards Brookhaven.  Parties who arrived at Hazlehurst, last evening, from below, report the enemy at Brookhaven, in force, at 7 o’clock. It is also said that the telegraph station at Brookhaven has been destroyed.  About half-past 10 0’clock Wednesday, about 100 mounted men, well-armed, started from Natchez to join Col. Adams.  Col. Adams telegraphs Lieut. Gen. Pemberton, from Fayette, under date of the 29th , inst. as follows:

‘Fayette, April 29 – Three of my companies from Natchez, marching to join me, met and engaged the enemy’s cavalry force last evening twenty miles from this, making forced march of twenty miles from Port Gibson, with two companies and two mountain pieces.  I passed the enemy’s flank last night, and formed a junction with the three companies directly in the enemies’ front, intending to engage his this morning at 8 o’clock, when I found he had marched rapidly in the direction of Brookhaven.  Think it his intention to reach the river at Rodney or Natchez, I marched my command to this point; where I have been joined by five companies.  I shall now march to interrupt his movement towards Baton Rouge.   Wirt Adams, Colonel, Comm’g.’”


The Natchez Weekly Courier (Natchez, Miss.)  May 6, 1863

“From Port Gibson and Vicinity – From Mr. William Stead, just from Oakland College, we learn that the Federals landed at Bruinsburg on Thursday.  They took the large and fine residence of Mrs. Daniels, on the bluff, as their officers’ headquarters.  From this point, a strong picket was sent out at the cross-roads near Bethel Church.  Inside this picket, they secured all the provisions they could find, and arrested two Professors at Oakland College, and Thomas Freeland, Esq.  The fight was going on when Mr. Stead left Friday morning, three or four miles from Port Gibson.  He informs us that the Federals have in the neighborhood of some two hundred cavalry, and that two of their boats were at Rodney and quite a number of their men were prowling about the town.

He also says, the officers seized Mrs. Daniel’s carriage and horses, and visited the neighboring places, informing those on the places that if they deserted their homes, the buildings would be burnt.   Mr. Stead could give no account of the progress of the battle; but the impression was that they sought the reduction of Grand Gulf.”


The Natchez Weekly Courier (Natchez, Miss.)  June 3, 1863

“Later from Vicksburg – Fayette, May 29, ….Mr. John Broughton of Rodney, just from Wirt Adams’ cavalry, says Gen. Johnston is marching with 40,000 men.  He crossed the Big Black at Vernon, this side of Yazoo City, and is constantly receiving reinforcements.  It is also reported , and generally believed, in Jackson, that Grant’s army has fallen back, and is retreating toward the Yazoo River.  It is reported that Gen. Grant is mortally wounded.  Two deserters also report at Rodney, that Gen. Lawler (Yankee) was killed.  The deserters say it is a perfect slaughter pen at Vicksburg.  That they have to make the men drunk to make them charge the breastworks.”


Natchez Weekly Courier (Natchez, Miss.)  June 3, 1863

“MARRIED at the residence of Mr. Howell Hinds, near Fayette, Miss., on Monday evening, May 25th, by the Very Rev. M. F. Grignon, V. G. Capt. G. M. Fogg of Nashville, Tenn. to Miss Mary Laps of Jefferson county, Miss.  May their lives be full of sunny years, and may the frequent appearance of a small Fogg have a tendency to increase and brighten, rather than to diminish or cloud the happiness of married life.”


The Charleston Mercury (Charleston, S. C.) June 8, 1863

“THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG - A dispatch from Rodney to the Natchez Courier states, on the authority of a paroled prisoner, that the enemy dead were five to one of ours on the battle field of Baker’s Creek. At Big Black bridge our loss was ten, the enemy four hundred. The enemy had taken, in all the operations, 5000 prisoners, of which 1600 were captured after crossing Big Black.”


The Natchez Weekly Courier (Natchez, Miss.)  June 18, 1863

“Gunboat Movements – On Tuesday evening the Federal gunboats were engaged in another hot, but bloodless, naval engagement between this place and Rodney.  The number of skiffs and flats destroyed by them in this last engagement, we have not learned.  In this dignified business, the navy of the greatest nation on the planet, seems to have its hands full.  Doubtless, they will make their appearance at our landing this morning, in search of the poor fisherman’s boats.  And it may be our lot to witness the third brilliant engagement in front of the City of the Bluffs.”


The Natchez Daily Courier (Natchez, Miss.)  June 18, 1863

“The Yanks Moving – By private letter from the operator at Rodney to a gentleman in this city, that section of the country , including Port Gibson, has been rid of the last Lincoln – poop,  Their quarters were evidently getting too warm for them.  By the skill of the Confederates, may they never return, - except to inhospitable graves.  Amen!”


The Natchez Daily Courier (Natchez, Miss.)  June 26, 1863

“The Raid in Jefferson County – A Yankee boat landed at Rodney, Tuesday, at 11 o’clock; a cavalry force, not exceeding forty – well mounted and armed – proceeded to the interior by obscure roads – passing about two miles north of Fayette.  At Dr. Hardin’s they took a Mr. Dun, and carried him with them seven or eight miles.  At Mrs. Samuel Scott’s, they took a negro boy to pilot them, declaring that if he took them to Fayette they would kill him.  Two miles above Fayette they cut the telegraph wire, and turning towards Port Gibson, proceeded about one mile, and then by a circuitous route reached the Union Church road, three miles east of Fayette.  Proceeding in that direction, they halted at Mrs. W. Scott’s about nine o’clock at night and fed.  After a delay of an hour and a half, they took up their line of march in the direction of Union Church.  Soon after leaving Mr. Scott’s, the negro boy made his escape and returned home.  On the road they met a Mr. Baldridge, and after breaking his gun, they took him with them.  They disturbed no property.  They inquired of several negroes, if they had seen any Yankee troops.”


The Charleston Mercury (Charleston, S. C.) June 8, 1863

“THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG -A dispatch from Rodney to the Natchez Courier states, on the authority of a paroled prisoner, that the enemy dead were five to one of ours on the battle field of Baker’s Creek. At Big Black bridge our loss was ten, the enemy four hundred. The enemy had taken, in all the operations, 5000 prisoners, of which 1600 were captured after crossing Big Black.”



The New York Herald (New York) July 15, 1864

“THE SITUATION -Our despatches from Memphis are to the 9th inst.  An expedition left Vicksburg on the 1st instant, commanded by General Slocum. They destroyed the railroad bridge across the Pearl river on the 5th and sent in thirty prisoners. The cavalry expedition which left Memphis July 4 had arrived at Vicksburg, and would reinforce Slocum. This expedition had previously been destined to go up the White river. Another force had been operating out from Rodney, Miss., scouting the country in that vicinity. They had engaged in many skirmishes, in all of which they were victorious. The rebel accounts state that a fight occurred with our forces at Jackson, Miss., on the 6th inst., and that the Union troops were compelled to evacuate the place after a severe struggle the next day, and retired along the road to Clinton.”


The New York Herald (New York) Oct. 7, 1864

“THE SITUATION - We have New Orleans dates to the 29th ultimo by the steamship North America, which arrived here yesterday. There are no recent military movements of interest in the Department of the Gulf to notice. The rebel Trans-Mississippi army was
said to be concentrating near Rodney, for the purpose of endeavoring to get on the east side of the Mississippi river.”


The New York Herald (New York) Feb. 27, 1865

“No military operations of importance in the Department of the Gulf since previous advices are reported. A small band of rebels had been dispersed in the vicinity of Rodney, Miss.,by a detachment of national troops.”



The Hinds County Gazette (Raymond, Miss.) Mar. 27, 1872

“A negro constable named Adley of Rodney, Miss., while in search of a negro thief, the other day, got his horse mired down in a creek bottom.  The constable went to a neighboring negro cabin to obtain assistance, when the occupant of the house, fearful that he was to be arrested, refused to admit the officer.  To quiet his apprehension, the constable thrust his pistol through the crack under the door, when the terrified negro, inside, chopped off Adley’s hand, near the wrist.”


The New Mississippian (Jackson, Miss.) Oct. 17, 1882

“A PANTHER in Jefferson county caught, carried off, and devoured a little Senegambian last week.  It is his second victim.”


Milwaukee Sentinel (Milwaukee, Wis.) Mar. 26, 1884

“The Calamity’s Extent-  Dispatches received here today from Louisiana state that the Mississippi has broken over most of the levees, and that government aid is necessary to prevent people and stock from starving.  Rep. King received among others, the following telegram:

‘Wind and Water – Rodney, Miss. – Mar. 25

Tensas Parish is entirely inundated. Rations will be required for 20,000 destitute people, and feed for stock is necessary.  The emergency is very great, and immediate relief is necessary. This dispatch was sent from Rodney because the overflow destroyed the telegraph in Louisiana.’”


Daily Picayune (New Orleans, La.) Sept. 30, 1894

“MARRIED – on Tuesday, September 23, 1894, at 7 P. M. mass at St. Stephens Church by Rev. Chas. Remillion, C. M. Elizabeth Mary Arndt of Rodney, Miss. to Jos. J. Bruck of New Orleans.”


Daily Picayune (New Orleans, La.) Oct. 7, 1894

“HYMENEAL – Three wedding at Vicksburg (special to the Picayune)

A few days after the above ceremony (of June 3), the marriage of Miss Victoria New, of Rodney, Miss. to Mr. Louis Cox, was solemnized at the same church (Holy Trinity).  Both are members of prominent families in this state.”


Daily Picayune (New Orleans, La.) Aug. 9, 1896

“DIED on Sat., August 1, 1896, at 5 o’clock A. M. in Rodney, Miss.,  Nicholas Thies, aged 26 years and 9 months, a native of New Orleans, and a resident of Carrolton, 7th district.”


Daily Picayune (New Orleans, La.) Aug. 28, 1898

“DIED – on Saturday August 27, 1898, at 1 A. M. John A. Watkins, aged 80 years, 8 months and 24 days, a native of Rodney, Miss.  Funeral  private.  Internment in Washington Cemetery, No. 1 this Sunday evening at 3:30 o’clock from the late residence  at 2013 Annunciation District, near St. Andrew.”


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