(Mss. 783)


Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2003

Revised 2010


SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE ...................................................................................... 4
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE ................................................................................................... 4
COLLECTION DESCRIPTION .................................................................................................... 5
CROSS REFERENCES .................................................................................................................. 9
CONTAINER LIST ...................................................................................................................... 14

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243 items and 8 volumes

Geographic locations.

Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas

Inclusive dates.

[1787]-1926, undated

Bulk dates.





Attorney in Natchez and resident of Cottage Home Plantation, Mississippi. Collection includes a land claim by the city of Natchez, documents related to Reed's law career, personal letters, genealogies, newspaper clippings, notes on Natchez history, and a bank book.

Restrictions on access.

If microfilm is available, photocopies must be made from microfilm.

Related collections.



Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators in accordance with U.S. copyright law.


Thomas Reed Papers, Mss. 783, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).

A:12, OS:R


Thomas Reed, born in Pennsylvania, worked as an attorney in Natchez, Mississippi, and resided at Cottage Home Plantation. His father, Thomas Reed (d. 1825), moved his family to Mississippi in 1820 and intended to found a cotton ginning business. After his death in 1825, his sons, Thomas and James P. began a merchandising business in Natchez. Both brothers left merchandising to study law; James P. moved to San Antonio, Texas, and worked as a druggist; Thomas remained in Natchez to practice law. Thomas Reed was a Major in the Confederate Army.

After his first wife, Lavinia W. West, died in 1851, he married Mary Jane Forman. One of his sons, Richard Forman Reed (b. 1861), became a Mississippi State Senator in 1911. The family was apparently not related to Thomas B. Reed (d. 1829), a United States Senator from Mississippi.


Papers include a claim by the city of Natchez for 30 acres of land; copies of three letters regarding Reed (1825); a sketch of the floor of the United States Senate with names of state senators (1836); certificates allowing Reed to practice law (1840). Also included are papers of the Agricultural Society of the County of Adams (1845); a muster roll of officers and enlisted men of the Jefferson Artillery, the 1st Regiment of Mississippi Volunteers (1865); Reed's discharge from military service; and his oath of amnesty.

Most personal letters are from members of the Reed family. Several letters (1849-1864) are written by James B. Reed from San Antonio, Texas and concern secession and the Civil War. One of the letters comments on the dangers of travel through Comanche Indian territory in Texas. A letter by John A. Quitman, a captain of the Natchez Fencibles, remarks on his nomination to Congress and his return to public life (1855). Letters discuss the preparation of biographies of Quitman and Colonel Cate West. Correspondence of Richard F. Reed chiefly concerns the genealogy of the Reed family. The collection includes several genealogies of the Reed family; maps; newspaper clippings; items related to the political career of Richard F. Reed; poems; and notes on Natchez history including the history of a military unit, the Natchez Fencibles. Manuscript volumes include a notebook concerning "Blackstone's Commentary" (1839) and a bank book of Britton & Koontz of Natchez with cash entries for the Hard Bargain Plantation (1882-1894).


Stack Location



Contents and dates




[1785-1827], 1836-1849

16 items: Legal documents (some transcribed copies) including a land survey, details of a case concerning a land dispute; contains obituaries written by Reed and an article concerning the lives of unmarried women; also contains articles on local culture and politics;


[1785-1827], 1836-1849

9 items: Documents concerning various groups and events in Natchez, including the Odd Fellow's Hall, religious writings, a memo book, the history of a military unit formed in Natchez, and a letter to Reed from a friend explaining his inability to visit for a summer;


1851-1861, 1864-1865

18 items: Letters to Thomas from his brother, James, discussing a previous visit and lack of affection for Natchez, the outbreak of the Civil War, and old friends, also letters from others and to Reed's mother from Reed; other letters concern the role of Reed's father in the War of 1812, desire for information regarding Reed's family; a copy of the oath of allegiance made by Reed to the United States at the close of the Civil War; and a certificate given to Reed by the Odd Fellows


1851-1861, 1864-1865

22 items: Letters discussing the deaths of friends, shipments of cotton, the heirs of Reed's grandfather-in-law, Reed's and his children's health, meetings of groups to which Reed belongs, also a letter from Robert Cunningham to his father discussing family related business, and other letters; a roll of the officers and enlisted men of the Jefferson Artillery; a certificate regarding Reed's oath to the United States; Thomas Reed's discharge papers; and two empty envelopes;



10 items: Letters to and from Reed regarding meetings of organizations, the incorporation of a church, family health, and an individual struck by lightning; a history of the Patterson family; an appointment naming Reed as Commissioner of the Court of Natchez, Mississippi; papers discussing the history of the Natchez Fencibles; and a document concerning the history of a church in Fayette;



8 items: Envelope bearing name of Reed's firm; list of elders and preachers of Natchez churches; biographical sketch of John A. Galbreath; letter

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Contents and dates

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thanking Reed for an obituary, with copy of obituary; and a certificate proclaiming Reed a Commissioner in Chancery of Adams County;





4 items: 2 genealogies of the Reed family; a blank letter; and 2 letters from Reed to his cousin;

[All references to the name Reed from this point forward are to Richard Reed, unless noted]



20 items: Letters regarding the history of the Reed family sent by cousins of Richard Reed, a legal matter concerning inheritance; envelopes addressed to Reed;



10 items: Letters regarding Reed's ancestry; envelopes addressed to Reed; and a letter from J. Scott Hunter describing his life at a military base of the Mississippi Volunteers



18 items: a document noting receipt of goods for the Benoist Clothing Co.; letters concerning the history of Natchez; letters from R. Jas. Walsh, in Ireland, concerning financial matters and an inheritance; a ticket for admission to the U. S. S. Mississippi; a telegraph informing Reed of his scheduled voyage aboard the ―Lusitania‖ (1911); postcards to Reed; a letter to Reed, regarding his desire to run for Congress; a paper on Mississippi politics by Catherine C. Reed; a letter to Reed detailing the family of the writer; letters from Reed inquiring about the family history of correspondences; a letter thanking Reed for a sketch of Natchez County; a document concerning the Supreme Court of Mississippi's regards towards Reed and his retirement from the bench; and an obituary of Thomas Reed;



21 items: Envelopes; letters concerning family history, of Reed's house, of Natchez, and of Andrew Jackson; also concerning family visits; articles concerning the gift of a gavel to an agricultural school; materials regarding a contest to write a poem, ―Bonny Kate,‖ about the wife of the first governor of Tennessee; document noting the receipt of a book, Natchez, The Historic City of the Bluffs, from Richard Reed; and a letter concerning the death of George Reed;





10 items: Notes concerning the Natchez Riflemen and the Natchez Guard; a biographical sketch of Marshal Gaines, who helped defend Natchez from Mexican fighters; a picture of Richard Reed; a sheet of hymns; a decorative blotter; a letter concerning Reed's death from an illness; a friendly letter to Reed informing him of news;



8 items: Postcard featuring the Chalmette National Monument; a letter to a Mrs. Cooper regarding her new home; and documents concerning the history and present events of Natchez;



10 items: A reminiscence of the history of Mexico; a paper discussing great historical achievements; a letter and accompanying envelope; a history of Duncan Memorial Park; a list of inscriptions from monuments in the park; a paper regarding the change in names of Fort Rosalie near Natchez; a letter from Reed's brother James;


1872-1908, undated

31 items: Newspaper ClippingsHistorical

Copies of newspaper clippings concerning a wide variety of historical topics, including the articles on Civil War and the Reconstruction, Louisiana and Mississippi life, and biographical sketches of noted individuals;



Newspaper ClippingsRichard F. Reed

Articles concerning the life of Richard F. Reed; primarily of articles regarding his appointment in the Supreme Court of Mississippi and the cases Reed presided over;



Newspaper Clippings

Articles concerning the establishment and destruction by fire of the Elizabeth Female College;



Newspaper ClippingsPoems

Newspaper clippings containing poetry from various individuals;

1915-1925, undated


Printed Volumes:

1 copy of Illinois Central Magazine;




Pamphlet, ―Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History;‖

Pamphlet concerning athletic events at a celebration at the Duncan Memorial Park and an article about the park written by Reed;

Program of the 33rd Annual Reunion of Civil War veterans from Mississippi organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, also includes a history of Natchez written by Richard F. Reed;

Complaint filed in the suit of The State of Louisiana v. the State of Mississippi;

Pamphlet containing the history of the Natchez Pilgrimage;



Family Papers: Genealogical documents and other materials concerning the history of the Reed family;



8 items: Empty Envelopes



2 items: Photographs

Unidentified photographs of landscape scenes;


1839, 1882-1894

Manuscript volumes:

1 bank book, 1882-1894, containing accounts with C. L. Holden;

1 notebook, 1839;




Description of relevant documents



Abolitionist postmaster in San Antonio now replaced, but may have destroyed correspondence of secessionists. James Reed: Oct. 15

Adams County (Miss.)--History.


Copy of Governor Sargent's proclamation establishing Adams County

Agricultural Society of the County of Adams.


Premiums awarded for specimens in geology, ―mechanicks,‖ paintings, and other fields exhibited at Court House. Oct. 31

Allegiance--United States.


Amnesty oath of Thomas Reed, lawyer and planter, age 48, of Jefferson County, Mississippi, containing his physical description. June 2

Banks and banking--Mississippi.


Britton and Koontz account with C. L. Holden mentions cash paid out by E. J. Guion, in 1889, on Hard Bargain Plantation (Bank Book 1)

Brewer, Earl, 1869-1942.


Governor of Mississippi, mentions inability to advise Richard F. Reed on running for Congress. 1 letter by, April 20;

Clippings regarding Governor Brewer's appointment of Reed to Mississippi Supreme Court;

Byrnes, Katie Ogden.


Editor, ―The First Natchez Pilgrimage or Natchez in 1789-90,‖ from Forman's Journey Down the Ohio, and Mississippi in 1789-1790;

Cazneau, William.


Texas general, Corpus Christi to Paso del Norte, interpreter's descriptionman of energy, capacity, and integrity, associated with several capitalists in New Orleans; and comment on dangerous journey ahead through Comanche territory. James Reed, July 15;

Claiborne, F. L.


Describes death of son, Robert, by lightning. 1 letter by, August 8.

Claiborne, J. F. H.

1857, 1860, 1882

Historian of Mississippi, comments on personal interest in ―old times,‖ publication of biography of General Quitman, and next ―enterprise‖ the life of George



Description of relevant documents

Poindexter and his contemporaries, Shieldsboro, 1857, and June 4, 1860.

Friendly letter mentioning return of old letters, property claim, and memorandum regarding the Bluff of Natchez. ―Dunbarton.‖ February 18, 1882

Cottage Home Plantation (Miss.)


Residence of Thomas Reed, Jefferson County, December 6;

Díaz, Porfirio, 1830-1915.


Typewritten manuscript copies of account of meeting by ―CWM‖ include comment on Diaz's flight from Brownsville;

Dicks, Finley A.


Clipping gives biographical information on New Orleans wholesale druggist;

Duncan Memorial Park.

1888, 1920, undated

Natchez, document (copy) traces title of property purchased by Dr. John Pischezec as formerly part of Duncan's ―Auburn.‖ December 11, 1888;

Typewritten copy of Richard F. Reed's article, ―Duncan Memorial Park,‖ and inscription of Confederate Monument, undated;

Program for ―Big Celebration‖ under auspices of Natchez Firemen and Park Commissioners, July 5, 1920;

Elizabeth Female Academy.


Clipping comments on first college empowered to bestow degrees on women, Washington, Miss. March 13;

Fort Duncan (Tex.)


Steward comments on personal duties and inadequacy of surgeons at Confederate hospital to serve as medical purveyor or storekeeper because duties involve knowledge of druggist. James Reed: March 20

Fruit--Diseases and pests--Mississippi.


―A Theory About the Peach Blight,‖ May 20;

Galbreath, John A., 1813-1884.


Confederate captain, biographical information mentions membership in Presbyterian Church, Charley Clark Rifles, later Company ―A,‖ 12th Mississippi, and Masonic affiliation. George W. McMurchy letter: October 3;

Harrison, W. H.


U. S. Presidential candidate, printed words of campaign song, ―The Hero of Fort Meigs,‖ by J. H. Watts to be sung by the Green Mountain Boys at Pine Ridge Log



Description of relevant documents


Heiskell, S. G.

1922, undated

Lawyer, author, Knoxville, Tenn., correspondence, pamphlet, and clipping pertaining to Heiskell's 3 volume work, Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History. October 12 and 22, 1922, undated;

Broadside advertising prize for best poem on ―Bonny Kate,‖ wife of first governor of Tennessee, and clipping announcing winner of contest, August 5 and September 17, 1922;

Independent Order of Odd Fellows.


1856, undated

Organization of Natchez Lodge #28 by Thomas Reed. August 6, 1847;

Form of dedication for Odd Fellows Hall. Ca. 1848;

Thomas Reed's participation in statewide activities, August 30, 1848; October 3, 1856; Memorandum Book, 1847;

Jefferson County (Miss.)--History.


Copy of Governor Sargent's proclamation establishing Pickering (later Jefferson) County

McMurran, John T.


Mississippi lawyer, clipping of obituary by Thomas Reed published in the Natchez Courier.

Methodist Episcopal Church.

1848, 1876, 1884, 1917-1918

Notes, articles, and letters furnish information on church's history, ca. 1848, September 1 and 6, 1884, and October 27, 1918;

Jefferson Street Methodist Church resolution on death of Thomas J. Reed, May 27, 1917;

Mexican War, 1846-1848.

1847, undated

List of contributors to fund for ―proper reception‖ of regiment (1st Regiment, Mississippi Volunteers) upon its return. Natchez, June 19, 1847

Message to disbanded volunteers following insult by United States Secretary of War and court martial of General Gaines, undated

Mexico--Economic conditions.

[1825], 1851, undated

Employment and death of Thomas Reed, Cosamalwapa. L. Debbins, [1825];

Difficulties with local authorities in Saltillo, Mexico, and general insecurity of Americans force businessman to close operations and move to Texas, James Reed, February 10, 1851;



Description of relevant documents

Mississippi--Politics and government.


Catherine C. Reed's theme titled ―The Political Conditions in Mississippi,‖ November 5.

Natchez (Miss.)--History.

[1799], [1805], 1841-1925

Correspondence, copies of documents, manuscript and printed writings, and programs of lawyer and jurist refer to prominent citizens, early history, civilian military units, organizations including Odd Fellows and United Confederate Veterans, Methodist Episcopal Church, establishment of Duncan Memorial Park, participation of Mississippi Volunteers in Mexican War, Confederate States Army and Spanish American War;



Printed poem by Brother I. H. Macmichael titled ―an Ode;‖ Printed words of ―Thanksgiving Hymn‖ sung to the tune of ―Coronation;‖

Quitman, John Anthony, 1798-1858.


Remarks, on his return to public life, nomination for Congress, and his opponent, Colonel Hillyer of the Natchez Courier. 1 letter by, August 24

Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)--Louisiana.

1874, 1915

Concerning the Battle of Liberty Place, clipping from The (New York) Observer titled, ―The New Orleans Revolution,‖ September 24, 1874;

Clipping of Grace King's ―The Battle of New Orleans,‖ Part 2, from the Companion, January 14, 1915;

Reed, Richard F. (Richard Forman), b. 1861.

[1799, 1805], 188-1926, undated

Lawyer, state senator, judge, writer of Natchez; Friendly letters, copies of documents, published and manuscript writings, and clippings relate to Natchez history, [1799], [1805], 1888-1925, undated;

Papers concern election as state senator, 1911;

Candidacy in Congressional election, 1912, undated;

Appointment to and retirement from Mississippi Supreme Court, 1912, 1915, undated;

Brief filed in United States Supreme Court for case of ―The State of Louisiana, Complainant, vs. The State of Mississippi,‖ 1925;

Family letters;

Reed, Thomas, 1817-1891.


Lawyer, planter of Jefferson County, Miss., law notebook, 1839, and certification to practice law, April 21, 1839 and September 1, 1840;

Papers reflect interest in local history including civilian military units, membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, Odd Fellows, participation in Mexican War,



Description of relevant documents

Confederate service in Jefferson Artillery;

Appointment as commissioner of United States Circuit Court, Southern District of Mississippi, November 11, 1882, and commissioner in Chancery Court, July 11, 1888;

Secession--Southern States.


New government will be formed peacefully and there will be no fighting according to impression by Mr. Hicks. Thomas Reed letter, Jackson, Miss.: January 25

Southern Commercial Congress.


Selection of Natchez as place of meeting urged by Richard Reed, December 1;

Spanish-American War, 1898.


Letterhead lists officers of Co. H, 2nd Regiment Mississippi Volunteers; comments mention organization of Sunday School with Colonel Montgomery at head, 50 professed conversions, military duties, drill, and march ―in review.‖ Scott Hunter: July 12.

Texas--Description and travel.

1849, 1861, 1864

Hardships endured with General Cazneau; disappointment with country; and Confederate soldier's comments on medical appointments and personal duties in hospital, James Reed letters: July 15, 1849, October 15, 1861, and March 20, 1864;

United Confederate Veterans. Mississippi Division.


Souvenir program of the 33rd reunion contains Richard F. Reed's Article, ―Natchez, the Historical City of the Bluffs.‖ June 12-14;

United States. Congress. Senate.


Sketch showing desks occupied by members including Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, S. Prentiss, J. C. Calhoun, W. R. King, A. Porter

Wailes, Benjamin L. C.


Colonel and geologist of Adams County, Miss., comments on Thomas Reed's preparation of biography of Colonel Cate West for meeting of Historical Society of Mississippi at Jackson. 2 letters by: March 5 and October 24

West Feliciana Rail Road Company.


W. E. Colladay's article, ―The West Feliciana Railroad Now Part of the Y and MVRR.‖ Illinois Central Magazine, vol. 3, no. 12, June;






Contents (with dates)




[1785]-1927, undated



Newspaper clippings (1872-1925); Printed volumes (1915-1925); Family records [1721-1917]; Photographs (undated); Manuscript volumes (1839, 1882-1894)



Will of Rev. James Cook (1883);

Election certificates of Richard F. Reed (1911);

SMS of Confederate Veterans Program (1923);

Vanderbilt University Buildings;

Drawing of Senate Chamber layout (1830);

Thomas Reed militia commission (1849);

Map of Cooks tours in England, Scotland, and Ireland (undated);

Map of Adams County by C. W. Babbitt (undated)


Newspapers (1915-1918, 1921-1925)