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|Size||1 volume (145 pages)|
|Abstract||James Fontaine Maury was the son of James Hervey Maury (1796- 1874) and Lucinda Smith Maury (1804-1884) of Port Gibson, Miss. He lived there and at Nitta Tola Plantation, about two miles from Port Gibson, Claiborne County, Miss. The collection is a diary, 1 January-26 May 1861, containing brief entries mentioning weather, health, church attendance, friends, guests, family and neighborhood news, visiting at Lucknow Plantation, reading, walking and horseback riding around Nitta Tola, short trips by steamship and railroad, conveying relatives and friends between Nitta Tola, Grand Gulf, and Port Gibson, and Mississippi's political and military preparations for the Civil War.|
|Creator||Maury, James Fontaine, 1842-1875.|
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James Fontaine Maury was born in Port Gibson, Claiborne County, Miss., 1 July 1842; he died 22 April 1875. His parents, James Hervey Maury (1796-1874) and Lucinda Smith Maury (1804-884), who married on 29 May 1822, owned and operated the 750-acre Nitta Tola Plantation, which was located about two miles from Port Gibson, Miss., and included as many as 57 slaves between 1856 and 1863, when it was devastated by Union troops during the Vicksburg Campaign. James Hervey Maury also owned a home and worked in a law office in Port Gibson.
James Fontaine Maury was living at Nitta Tola during most of the period covered by his diary. Subsequently, he married his first cousin, Elizabeth Owen, the daughter of Frank Owen. Lucknow Plantation, which adjoined Nitta Tola, was owned by Benjamin Grubb Humphreys (1808-1882) and Mildred Maury Humphreys (fl.1839-1851) prior to the Civil War. Members of the Maury family frequently visited and stayed overnight at Lucknow.
For additional information, see P.L. Rainwater, ed., "The Autobiography of James H. Maury," The Journal of Mississippi History V (April 1943): 87-102. This article includes a biographical sketch of James H. Maury and Maury family genealogical data.Back to Top
James Fontaine Maury's diary, dated 1 January to 26 May 1861, consists of brief entries that mention the weather; his health; attendance at church; socializing with friends and guests; family and neighborhood news; visiting Lucknow plantation; reading books and newspapers; walking and horseback riding around Nitta Tola Plantation; short trips by steamship and railroad; conveying relatives and friends between Nitta Tola, Grand Gulf, and Port Gibson; and Mississippi's political and military preparations for the Civil War.
Entries of interest include: members of the Maury family spending an evening with Confederate general Earl Van Dorn (1820-1863) on 4 March 1861; attending church service at Brashear Academy on 26 April 1861; the wedding on 7 May 1861 of R. B. Maury and June S. Ellete; the "Claiborne Guards," a volunteer company (entries of 18 and 20 April 1861); and Maury's friend John Coleman leaving to join the "Fairview Rifles," another volunteer company (entries of 25 and 26 May 1861). At the beginning of the diary are emblems of Delta Psi Fraternity; one is dated 1860. Maury may have attended the University of Mississippi at Oxford.Back to Top
Processed by: Erik D. France, April 1991
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