Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Semmes, Paul Jones (1815-1863) [Memorandum book]

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00715.03 Author/Creator: Semmes, Paul Jones (1815-1863) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph manuscript signed Date: 26 June - 2 August 1852 Pagination: 34 p. ; 15 x 20 cm.

Summary of Content: Signed and dated on front cover by Semmes, 26 June 1852. Concerns a trip to Arkansas to buy a plantation and slaves. Records that he left to go to Memphis on 28 June 1852. Keeps an account of his finances. Makes notes on land for sale and pertinent details such as the county, crops, etc. On page two he writes, "Look at the negroes bought by Fawlks." He later writes, "Mr. Morey engages to buy negroes for me at $10 per head...all acclimated & good negroes accustomed to making cotton…" On 2 August 1852 he details what he is looking for in a property, land that will not flood and that is near to the Military and Plank Road. Sheep on paperboards. Graphite and ink. With loose receipt dated 25 July 1852.

People: Semmes, Paul Jones, 1815-1863

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: African American HistoryFinanceLand TransactionAgriculture and Animal HusbandryTravelSlaverySlave SaleCottonConfederate General or LeaderEnslaved people

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources