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Z 2205.000 S
SHAW FAMILY PAPERS

1846-1929

Biography/History:

Watson-Thompson Family

William H. Watson was born in Mississippi on April 27, 1827. He was the son of John Rutledge and Margaret E. Mikell Watson of Copiah County. Watson and his siblings, including Caroline, Evaline, Margaret Ann, and Thaddeus, resided with their parents on a plantation in Copiah County. William H. Watson married Melissa Rembert, and the couple had three children: John, Lula (b. April 8, 1863), and William. Melissa Rembert Watson died on June 11, 1865, and was interred on the Watson plantation. Watson subsequently remarried, and he and his second wife, Mary, had at least five more children: Joseph, Margaret, Marvin, Simms, and Sydney. William H. Watson died on December 26, 1902, and was interred on the Watson plantation.

Margaret Ann Watson, elder sister of William H. Watson, married John Harvey Thompson on March 10, 1842. The couple resided in Copiah County where they had eight children, including Julia (b. April 1, 1843), twins Laura and Robert Harvey (b. August 25, 1847), and Margaret.

Shaw Family

Albert Shaw was born in Mississippi on September 17, 1828. He was the son of Thompson B. and Mary Shaw. Albert Shaw married Almarinda (Rennie) Kinnison on February 11, 1852. The couple settled in Jefferson County, Mississippi, where they had a son, Clarence N. (b. November 17, 1857), and engaged in farming. Albert Shaw died on January 27, 1864, and was interred at Union Church Cemetery in Jefferson County.

Clarence N. Shaw married Lula Watson, daughter of William H. and Melissa Watson of Copiah County, Mississippi, around 1883. The couple settled in Norfield, Lincoln County, Mississippi, where Shaw was employed in a sawmill. The Shaws had four children, including Clarence (b. January 1884), Edna (b. April 1886), and Albert (b. September 1899). The family had moved to Brookhaven, Lincoln County, by 1920. Lula Watson Shaw died on December 31, 1936. Clarence N. Shaw died on May 26, 1937. Both were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookhaven.

Scope and Content:

This collection contains the correspondence of the Shaw and Watson-Thompson families of Copiah, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties in Mississippi, as well as an unidentified trip log.

The Shaw family correspondence consists of three letters written by Albert Shaw and a letter written by his wife, Almarinda (Rennie) Kinnison Shaw, dating between 1862 and 1865. All four letters were addressed to Mary (Mrs. Thompson B.) Shaw of Fayette, Jefferson County. The Albert Shaw letters were apparently written from his home in Copiah County in 1862 and 1863. Topics include war news, specifically the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and the battles of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Fredericksburg, Virginia. Shaw also mentions being at troop camp in Brookhaven, Lincoln County, possibly as a member of a home guard or state militia unit, and purchasing staple goods such as molasses, salt, and sugar. Shaw also discusses recent acts passed by the Mississippi legislature. In an 1865 letter to her mother-in-law, Almarinda (Rennie) Shaw reveals her frustrations with Federal troops who intruded on her property, the provost marshal, and sharecroppers. Shaw also writes of her loneliness following the death of her husband and thanks her mother-in-law for items she had sent.

The Watson-Thompson family correspondence consists of a letter and an accompanying note. William Harvey Watson wrote the 1846 letter to his sister, Margaret Ann Watson Thompson of Copiah County, Mississippi, while he was attending an unidentified college in La Grange, Kentucky, possibly Masonic University. In the letter, Watson comments on mutual acquaintances and describes student life and college classes. Robert Harvey Thompson of Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, wrote the 1923 note to his first cousin, Maggie A. Bodker, also of Jackson, identifying the correspondents.

The 1917 trip log was kept by an unidentified person, possibly a Boadwee family member who was related to the Shaws. The log documents the itinerary of a group traveling from Brookhaven, Lincoln County, to Chicago, Illinois. The writer identifies the towns where the group stopped for gas or to rest and the hotels in which they stayed. The writer also notes road conditions and some of the places the group visited such as Mary Mock Plantation in Tunica County, Mississippi.

Series Identification:

  1. Correspondence (Shaw Family). 1862-1929. 1 folder.

    Box 1, folder 1

  2. Correspondence (Thompson Family). 1846-1923. 1 folder.

    Box 1, folder 2

  3. Trip Log. 1917. 1 folder.

    Box 1, folder 3

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