Charles Henry Manship was born in Maryland, where he was apprenticed to a chair-maker and trained as an ornamental painter. Attracted to Jackson in the 1830s by opportunities in the building trades, Manship found work as a skilled artisan on the statehouse, 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 1857 he built his Gothic Revival “cottage villa” on the outskirts of town. The furnishings were comfortable, but not pretentious and reflected the taste of the period. Although most of the furnishings were commercially produced, a few pieces were made by Manship. Trained by a chair-maker and ornamental painter, Manship possessed the skills to build and grain furniture. Attributed to Charles Henry Manship, this simple Empire style wardrobe was made of wood native to the area and grained to imitate fine mahogany. It was used to store clothing and other items.