PEIRCE-HARALSON-RUMBLE FAMILY PAPERS
Abigail L. Dixon
CONTENTS OF INVENTORY
Named after her paternal grandmother Frances Temple Cordis (1776-1815), Frances Temple Peirce was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1826. Her father, Constantius Peirce (1801-ca. 1839), was a descendant of a locally prominent Bostonian family. Her mother, Mary Steer (1800-1837) was a resident of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, and was related by the marriage of her aunt, Katherine Lintot (1770-1844), to the Minors, who owned plantations in both Louisiana and Mississippi. Frances Temple Peirce was one of six children born to the Peirces. Her siblings included Laura, Hamilton McRee (1824-1866), Granville M. (b. 1827), Mary Steer (b. 1830), and Sarah Rowell (b. 1832).
Upon her mother’s death, Frances Temple Peirce and her sisters were sent to live with Dr. Denny and his family. The Dennys were probably relatives of Frances’ mother. They lived in Natchez, Mississippi, and it was here that Frances received her education.
In 1856, Frances Temple Peirce married Bertrand Haralson, Sr. (1823-ca. 1875) in East Baton Rouge Parish. Bertrand, son of Archibald Haralson (1792-1839) and Therese Lodoiska Augustine Pont-Brieullet, was born to a well known political family in West Feliciana Parish. Following in his father’s footsteps, Bertrand became a lawyer/politician and served as parish recorder (1847-1856). While living in Baton Rouge, he worked as register for the State Land Office until at least 1859. Bertrand and Frances Haralson had five children: Archy (who died as a child), Frances (b. 1857), Zuleika (b. 1858), Bertrand, Jr. (1859-1920), and Mary (b. 1864). Documents in the collection indicate that as of 1869, the family had relocated to West Feliciana Parish where Bertrand Haralson, Sr. later served as parish judge (1873-1874). He died in 1875.
In 1888, Mary Haralson, Bertrand and Frances’ youngest daughter, married Wilson Rumble (b. 1866) in Bayou Sara, Louisiana. Wilson Rumble was a grocer and cotton factor in business with Theodore Wensel. The couple settled in Natchez, Mississippi.
The next year, Bertrand Haralson, Jr. married Jennie Percy Wicher (b. 1864). Bertrand and Jennie lived in St. Francisville and had seven children: Wilson Rumble (b. 1888), Frances Bertrand (b. 1892), Mary Collins (b. 1894), Maud Mary (b. 1895), Percy Whicher (1890-1895), Rosa Dashielle (1901-1921), and Thomas Butler (1903). Although listed as a farmer in West Feliciana Parish in the 1900 census, Bertrand Haralson, Jr. also became a politician like his father. In 1892, he was appointed West Feliciana Parish assessor, and in 1901, he acted as the chairman of the Parish Democratic Executive Committee. He also served as an elected assessor (1896-1900, 1908-1920). He held this title until his death in 1920 whereupon he was succeeded by his son Frances Bertrand Haralson.
Frances Temple Peirce Haralson lived in St. Francisville with her son, Bertrand Jr., and his family from 1888-ca. 1891. She then went to Natchez, Mississippi and stayed with her son-in-law and daughter, Wilson and Mary Rumble, until at least 1901.
Correspondence, legal papers, miscellaneous items, and genealogical materials covering the period 1809-1931 document the lives of members of the Peirce, Haralson, and Rumble families. The largest series of the collection consists of correspondence, primarily letters written to and from Frances Temple Peirce Haralson throughout her life, discussing news of family and friends in Natchez, Mississippi and West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Love letters between Wilson Rumble and Mary Haralson pertain to their pending marriage and expectations. Information is also included concerning Wilson’s business, as well as social activities and economic conditions in Natchez. Legal papers relate chiefly to Bertrand Haralson, Sr. while a resident of Baton Rouge and West Feliciana Parish. The miscellaneous series includes items collected by or about members of the Peirce/Haralson families. Genealogical materials document the histories of the Blake, Cary, Curwen, Gardner, Lintot, Nolan, Pickering, and Wallop families. Also included in this series are printed items used to compile genealogical information.
See Related Online Exhibit: New From Old Natchez for images and more information on the Peirce, Haralson, and Rumble families.
I. Correspondence, 1821-1925, n.d. (box 1)
II. Legal papers, 1809, 1842-1869 (box 2, oversize folder 1)
III. Miscellaneous items, 1820, 1860, 1880, n.d. (box 2)
IV. Genealogical materials, ca. 1920-1931 (box 2)
I. Correspondence, 1821-1925, n.d. (45 items)
Correspondence of the Peirce, Haralson, and Rumble families relate to their lives in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi. A few early letters (1821-1828) written by Samuel Steer, Frances Temple Peirce’s uncle, are addressed to his maternal aunt, Katherine Lintot Minor of Concord Plantation near Natchez. They discuss family news and pending visits and voyages to relatives. Another early letter (1835) from Herndon Haralson to his son Jonathan, Archibald Haralson’s brother, also gives news of the family, particularly concerning the lives of Jonathan’s siblings. Also included are an undated letter and note, one of which is written in French, from Bertrand Haralson to his grandmother.
Early correspondence (1837-1888) relating to Frances Temple Peirce Haralson consists mainly of letters from various family members including Constantius Peirce and Rebecca Minor. These letters document Frances’ stay in Natchez following her mother’s death and her engagement and marriage to Bertrand Haralson, Sr. Letters also offer gossipy accounts of social events and news of family members residing in Natchez, Mississippi. Topics discussed include family marriages, sickness, and domestic life.
Correspondence between Mary Haralson and Wilson Rumble, ranging in date from 1887-1888, primarily document their courtship, including a pre-marital quarrel. In addition to the couple’s pending marriage and wedding gifts, letters also offer information concerning social life, their impressions of and interactions with African-Americans, and an 1888 fire in Natchez.
Later correspondence (1890-1901) is comprised mostly of letters written by Frances Temple Peirce Haralson to her children. The topics discussed in the letters revolve predominantly around family news; particularly noteworthy is a letter of solace to Bertrand Jr. and Jennie Haralson concerning the death of their son, Percy, in 1895. In an undated letter to her daughter, Mary, Frances recounts a St. Francisville town fight that broke out between two local families and eventually resulted in bloodshed.
II. Legal papers, 1809, 1842-1869 (7 items)
Legal papers pertain mostly to Bertrand Haralson, Sr. and consist of certificates, letters, statements of sale, and official notices. Items relate to lands granted, sold, and confiscated. Other documents issued by the State of Louisiana document Bertrand Haralson Sr.’s professional certification and military appointment .
III. Miscellaneous items, 1820, 1860, 1880, n.d. (5 items)
Miscellaneous items consist mostly of printed materials pertaining to the Peirce family and include a death notice (1860), newspaper clipping, and biography (1880). Also included is a photograph of Frances Temple Peirce’s paternal aunts (1820).
IV. Genealogical materials, ca. 1920-1931 (14 items)
Genealogical materials include typed notes and excerpts
copied from various sources such as genealogical dictionaries, family bibles, obituaries,
and marriage certificates. Materials document family lineage and include
narratives for the Blake, Cary, Curwen, Gardner, Lintot, Nolan, Pickering, and
Wallop families. Some, if not all, of
the items have been copied and annotated by Agnes Carpenter. Also included in
this series is a catalogue of genealogies from Goodspeed’s Book Shop and a
booklet on The Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America, both of
which were probably used to compile genealogical information.
(Materials about the persons, places, or things listed may be found in the series indicated by their respective numbers thereunder.)
Arney, Dekia Peirce.
Bayou Sara (La.)—Social life and customs—19th century.
Blanchard, Marcia Peirce.
I, III, IV
Concord Plantation (Miss.)
Domestic relations—Louisiana—19th century.
Domestic relations—Mississippi—19th century.
Goodspeed's Book Shop (Boston, Mass.)
Hall, Mary Peirce.
Haralson, Archibald, 1792-1839.
Haralson, Bertrand, Jr. (referred to as “Bat”), 1859-1920.
Haralson, Bertrand, Sr., 1823-ca. 1875.
I, II, IV
Haralson, Herndon, b. 1758.
Haralson, Jennie Percy Whicher, b. 1864.
Haralson, Frances Temple Peirce, b. 1826.
I, II, III, IV
Holland, Laura Peirce.
Land tenure—Louisiana—Baton Rouge.
Land tenure—Louisiana—West Feliciana Parish.
Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
Minor, Katherine Lintot, 1770-1844.
Minor, Rebecca A. Gustine, 1813-1887.
Natchez (Miss.)—Economic conditions—19th century.
Natchez (Miss.)—History—19th century.
I, III, IV
Natchez (Miss.)—Social life and customs-19th century.
Peirce, Constantius, 1801-ca. 1839.
Peirce, Henry Augustus, b. 1808.
Rumble, Mary Haralson, b. 1864.
Rumble, Wilson, b. 1866.
State governments--Officials and employees.
Steer, Samuel, b. 1795.
West, Ann Peirce.
Series I. Correspondence
Series II. Legal papers
Series III. Miscellaneous items
Series IV. Genealogical materials