New from Old Natchez - the Collections

Lemuel P. Conner Family Papers, 1846-1913 and 1935
Addition of 597 items and 7 manuscript volumes

Lemuel Parker Conner (1827-1891) was born in Natchez and attended Yale University. He studied law under John T. McMurran of Natchez. In 1848, he married Elizabeth Francis (Fanny) Turner; the couple had ten children. He served as a lieutenant colonel under General Braxton Bragg during the Civil War. After the war, he managed Killarney and Rifle Point plantations in Concordia Parish, La.

In the 1880s, he resumed practicing law in Vidalia and St. Joseph, La., and opened a firm with his son, Lemuel P. Conner, Jr. (1861-1943), who had graduated from Louisiana State University in 1882. The younger Conner married Mary Macrery Britton in 1888, and they had four children. They lived at Clover Nook in Natchez, and Conner continued to practice law in the area. In 1927, he was elected to the office of City Clerk in Natchez, and he served in that position until his retirement in 1941.

The Lemuel P. Conner Family Papers comprise family and business correspondence, legal and business papers, plantation records, printed items, manuscript volumes, and photographs. Items relate to family, social, and economic life; plantation operation and cotton culture; slavery and labor problems; and politics of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The accretion includes a scrapbook kept by Mary Macrery Britton Conner (ca. 1898-1903) that includes photographs of former family slaves and their descendants, African-American baptisms, and newspaper clippings relating to African-Americans. One ledger is filled with newspaper clippings relating to New Orleans and Natchez from the 1870s to the 1880s, including Natchez city [financial?] statements, 1863-1888, articles on elections, sexton's reports, and separately printed broadsides of Natchez city financial statements. Three additional ledgers contain accounts of the Bank of the United States in Natchez (1841-1858) and of the Commercial and Railroad Bank of Natchez (1842-1860) and an inventory (ca. 1935?) of Clover Nook. Lemuel P. Conner, Jr.'s notebooks for his chemistry and history classes at Louisiana State University (1881) are also present. Photographic prints and negatives show Conner family members and residences, as well as some Natchez scenes.

Notes on the images: Pages from Mary Macrery Britton Conner's scrapbook.

1. Photographs of “Mammy, ” Mandy, and an unidentified former slave of the related Chotard family, at Elgin. The notation indicates that Mandy's grandparents came from Nashville over the Natchez Trace with “Grandma and Grandpa McCrery” in 1805.

2. Photographs of former slaves of the MacCrerys and their descendants Louisa, “the Ayres nurse”; Russ; Old “All Right”; and “La Belle” Talton, ca. 1905-1906. [unclear]

3. Scenes at Cedar Grove Plantation and a baptism. Cedar Grove had been the home of the Sharp family and is located on Kingston Road, just southeast of Natchez.

4. Baptisms in the Mississippi River under the hill at Natchez, ca. 1913, and at Dixie Pond.

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