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English, John G. (fl. 1827-1869) [Mississippi cotton plantation diary and journal]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05496 Author/Creator: English, John G. (fl. 1827-1869) Place Written: Aberdeen, Mississippi Type: Autograph manuscript signed Date: circa 1850-1855 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Signed in inner front cover in August 1850, where English notes that his father, James English, moved from Kingsport, Tennessee to Madison County, Alabama in 1818. Records that James took him, and left his sister in Salem, North Carolina, and his brother in college at Granville, Tennessee. In the first two pages, English recalls his youth: a trip to New Orleans in 1827, working for John W. Lane of Livingston, Alabama, and managing a large warehouse for Robert King of Knoxville, Tennessee in 1833. Records events, such as the purchase of slaves in 1835 and a business trip to New York in May 1836. Contains many pages listing the names of slaves and the amounts of cotton picked (English notes that women and children work as "part of the men"). Cotton ledgers are interspersed with yearly journal entries noting crops (corn, white peas, timber, Irish potatoes, pumpkins, beans), weather, managment of farm animals, etc. Records the marriage of Celestia and Thornton 31 March 1852, "by the Rd David Sims with unusual solemnity & good behavior of all." Notes a vaccination 26 March 1853 and the deaths of acquaintances. Contains a discussion of economics in England pertaining to agriculture in the pages of 1855. Also notes "Governor candidates speaking" in 1855 near the entry for 18 August. Page number is estimated. Tremendous in detail. Accompanied by a pencil note written on a scrap and apparently signed by English, previously contained within the pages of 1854. Refer to related items GLC05460 (English's presidential pardon) and GLC05497 (a post-war plantation diary and journal).

People: English, John G., fl. 1827-1869.

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: Slave Life, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Slavery, African American History, Cotton, Slave Sale, Women's History, Children and Family, Diet and nutrition, Religion, Marriage, Health and Medical, Death, Economics, Global History and Civics, Foreign Affairs

Sub Era: Slavery & Anti-slavery The Crisis of the 1850's