2012 marks the 200th birthday of Charles Henry Manship, born July 31, 1812, in Talbot County, Maryland. Trained in Baltimore as a decorative painter, Manship arrived in the young city of Jackson in 1836, only fifteen years after the new capital city had been laid out. He soon found work as a skilled artisan on the state house, state penitentiary, and governor’s mansion. Manship opened a shop where he advertised a full line of paints and fine wallpaper as well as his skills as a painter, marbler, grainer, and paperhanger. In 1838, Charles Henry Manship married Adaline Daley, and over the next twenty-six years, the couple would have fifteen children, ten of whom lived to adulthood. Twenty years after their marriage, with seven children under the age of fifteen, the Manships built their Gothic Revival style home on the outskirts of town. For the next 118 years, four generations of the Manship family occupied the house until its acquisition by the state in 1975. Late in life, Charles Henry Manship wrote several accounts to record the significant events of his life for his children.
The following is a transcription of another account written by Manship, dated December 8th, 1891:
Record of C. H. Manship, Sr.
Was born July 31st in the year 1812 in Talbot County, State of Maryland. My father died in my 10th year, leaving me senior male member of the family. The older boys of the family being off at business, the chore of the farm dissolved on me and with my mother’s council managed for a year or two, when we moved to Baltimore where I went to school a few years and in my 14th year was apprenticed to a Mr. Needles with whom I learned the trade of ornamental painter, Hanover St. Baltimore, MD.
After learning my trade I opened a shop and engaged in business as House & Sign Painter. Continuing in business up to November 1835 when I broke up and sailed for New Orleans. Remained there a short time in the employ of a Frenchman by the name of Rusiau, who kept his shop on Canal Street.
While with him painted a sign on the Old Customs House, which stood about center-foot on Canal Street.
Leaving N. O. went to Natchez, Miss. spent Christmas over there and moved up to Vicksburg, where I worked with Burk & Crowder at my business till 1st of Feby. 1836.
Jackson offering some attraction made the trip on foot in company with a man by the name of Robinson reaching Jackson Feby. 9th at sunset. Spent my first night with Mr. Selah Judd an old citizen living where Judge Brame now lives. Prospected a day or two. On the 2nd day Mr. Jas. Smith called on me and a life-long friendship resulted. I mourn his death as a Brother. Our relations of confidence and friendship never having been disturbed while he lived and the same may be said of our families.
On the 12th of December, 1838 my wife and self were married. 15 children have been born to us. Ten of whom are still living. On the 12th of Dec. 1888 we celebrated our 50th anniversary, a golden wedding, having all our children with us, in addition to which were the 28 grandchildren, – none of whom is deformed in mind or person.
Jan. 1st 1838 was elected alderman and for many years afterwards, followed by 3 years as city clerk. Was elected by the Legislation, as one of the Trustees of the Insane Asylum and served as one of the building commissions to the completion of that magnificent building.
I held commission as inspector of the Penitentiary for about 17 years and held a commission as Trustee of the Blind Institute for about 16 years being President of the Board and chairman of the Building Committee in the construction of that splendid structure. Also, managed the paving and grading of the grounds of same.
Was mayor of the city of Jackson for two terms – 1862-1863.
Was appointed by President Jeff. Davis as Postmaster of Jackson, holding that position for 2 years and until driven out by Yankee Bayonets.
Was made a Mason in Pearl Lodge No. 23 in 1837 and a contributing member for over 50 years. Was made an Honorary member with a Life membership and Diploma.
I am the last of grown men at date of my advent in Jackson. I am the only living man of the organization of our Fire Department, am the only member of my family. Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters, all, I trust, in a happier clime.
I have held commission for one or another Public Trust for City, State, or Confederate States, for about 50 years. At least, from all Democratic Governors, from Governor McNutt down to this writing and have no knowledge of a charge against me for failure to discharge all duties requested under each and all. And I hope I have not served in vain.
If I have a regret it is that I have not done better, and that, when the Struggle of Life is over that I shall meet family and friends in a brighter & better clime.
Dec. 8th, 1891
C. H. Manship (MDAH collection, Z1129)