Development of a new garden feature is underway at the Manship House Museum. AmeriCorps team Delta 5, MDAH volunteers, and garden specialist Michael Gentry prepared the walkways and beds for an heirloom vegetable garden this past fall. The garden has now been planted with varieties of vegetables and flowers popular in the nineteenth century. This first planting will serve as a test garden to learn what will grow best in the new garden.
Minnie was the second youngest child of Charles Henry and Adaline Manship. Vicksburg (Minnie) Manship was born June 8, 1862, one of two daughters born during the Civil War. In 1884, Minnie married William Lewis Phelps in a morning ceremony held at the Manship House. They had two children, Lee Manship Phelps, and Dudley Gordon Phelps. By 1900, Minnie was widowed, and moved back to the Manship House with her two sons. The 1900 census lists Minnie as a 38 year old widow, occupation dressmaker. Minnie learned Braille, and was employed at the School for the Blind as a Braille teacher. She was widely known for her beaten biscuits and would take orders for them.
Sometimes referred to as “Laddie,” Adaline (Addie) Manship was the oldest surviving daughter. Born February 15, 1849, Addie played the piano, sang in the choir, and played a reed organ at Galloway Methodist Church. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Addie was 12 years old with five younger siblings and two older brothers who were away at war. Years later, Addie recounted the family’s experience during the Civil War. She recalled that Confederate trenches ran along the north side of the house, and toward the northwest there was a three gun battery concealed in cotton bales. General Loring’s troops occupied the trenches about the city to the south. They knew Sherman was coming, and fled to the swamp to safety. After the seige, the family returned home and found Union soldiers attempting to set fire to the house since it had been Confederate headquarters for General John Adams. Mrs. Manship defied them, and the soldiers finally gave up. The 1900 census lists Addie as 49 years old, occupation dress maker. Addie and her sister Kate never married, and lived in the Manship House throughout their lives.
Catherine (Kate) Manship was born December 1, 1850, and died in 1935. She was named for Charles Henry Manship’s sister Catherine Manship Whitby, who was also called “Kate.” Kate played the piano and sang in the choir at Galloway Methodist Church. In 1874, Kate was the only child who traveled to Europe with her parents to visit family friend James Smith. Kate and her older sister Addie never married, and lived in the Manship House throughout their lives. After the deaths of her parents, sisters Addie, Kate and Minnie continued to live in the Manship House, where they were occupied as dressmakers.
AmeriCorps continues to provide assistance at the Manship House Museum. Thanks to the efforts of five AmeriCorps members, the Visitors Center ramp and porches have been painted. The members also created a brick pathway through the new garden area. The pathway was constructed from broken bricks, and will provide improved access to the garden. The work completed by AmeriCorps will help the site prepare for re-opening.
Adaline Manship’s life was one of service, caring for her children and family circle. She would have been responsible for the household sewing, and purchasing goods for her home and family. During the Civil War, Adaline Manship was a member of the Ladies Sewing Society for Confederate Soldiers, whose purpose was to furnish clothing and other supplies to the soldiers. They fitted out men with uniforms, and provided them with knitted cotton socks and other items of clothing. In a letter from family friend John McAdam, Scotland, to Charles Henry Manship in 1875, McAdam relates his memory of “cheery Mrs. Manship’s quaint descriptions of your makeshifts for food and clothing,” her accounts of the family’s condition during the Civil War, the difficulties obtaining food and clothing for her family, and sending the children to school in old bagging with “Cincinnati Flour” printed on them.
In 1867, a good supply of groceries could be purchased for $29.97. Sugar cost fifteen cents a pound, coffee was thirty cents a pound, a keg of lard could be purchased for $7.35, mackerel was $3.00, two hams weighing over twenty-two pounds cost $4.12, and two gallons of molasses cost $2.00.
Spring is in the air at the Manship House. Wisteria, native azalea, and red buckeyes are only a few of the old plant varieties in bloom on the Manship House grounds.
After the Civil War, Charles Henry Manship Jr. went as far north as the river would carry him, settling in St. Paul, Minnesota. He found employment at the St. Paul Gas and Light Company, and married Mary Etta Friend in 1870. Charles Henry Jr. sent this photograph of a waterfall in Minnesota to his family in Jackson around 1870.
Manship sisters Minnie, Addie, Kate, and Annie posed on the side porch of the Manship House for their photograph, circa 1917. At that time, Addie, Kate and Minnie were all living in the Manship House. Minnie had been widowed, and returned home to live with her two sons around 1900. Annie Manship married Alfred Galloway in 1889, and lived nearby. A service flag can be seen in the background, hanging on the house. Service flags let others know that a family member was serving in the armed forces. The number of stars indicated the number of of family members in service.