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|Abstract||Members of the Richardson and Farrar families of St. Joseph, Tensas Parish, La., included Henry B. Richardson (b. 1837?), surveyor, engineer, and Confederate general staff officer; Anna Farrar Richardson (fl. 1860-1876); Anna Mary Girault Farrar (fl. 1860-1876); Edgar Howard Farrar (1849-1922); and Jane Kempe (fl. 1860-1876), maternal relative. Richardson family materials chiefly relate to Henry B. Richardson and include his correspondence with his parents in New England about his surveying work in East Carroll and Tensas parishes, La., in 1861; the coming of the Civil War; and his participation in the war as a staff officer and as a prisoner of war at Johnson's Island, Ohio, 1864-1865. There is also an 1872 letter from Jubal A. Early, under whom Richardson served in the war, about the presidential campaign of that year. Topics discussed in Farrar family correspondence include social life; the coming of the Civil War (but not the war itself); the education of several Farrar boys at the Magruder School at Baton Rouge, La., and at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville; and two post-war vists by Jefferson and Varina Howell Davis.|
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Judge Thomas Prince Farrar (fl. 1860) and Anna Mary Girault Farrar (fl. 1860-1876) of St. Joseph, Tensas Parish, La., had at least three children: Anna (Nannie or Nanny) Farrar (fl. 1860-1876), another daughter, and Edgar Howard (Ned) Farrar (1849-1922). Another person mentioned in family correspondence, Tom Farrar (fl. 1860-1876), was either a son or nephew. These four children were sent to boarding school in the 1860s. The name of the girls' school is unknown, but the boys attended Magruder's School in Baton Rouge, La. Edgar Howard Farrar attended the University of Virginia at Charlottesville from 1868 until his graduation in 1871. Tom Farrar entered the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, Va., in the summer of 1871. A grandmother, Jane Kempe, is also mentioned in family correspondence. She was apparently a friend of Varina Howell Davis (1826-1906), Jefferson Davis's wife.
Henry B. Richardson (b. 1836?), a native of Maine, was the son of a minister, Henry Richardson (fl. 1861-1865). He relocated to Louisiana before the Civil War, probably in the late 1850s. As of 1860, he was surveying plantations in East Carroll and Tensas parishes. In 1861, he joined the 6th Louisiana Infantry Regiment and took part in the Virginia campaigns from Mannassas in 1861 to Gettysburg in 1863. He served on the staffs of generals Richard Taylor, Richard Ewell, Alexander Lawton, and Jubal Early. He was promoted to lieutenant and captain (Engineer Bureau) in 1862. Richardson was wounded at the Battle of Antietam, 17 September 1862, and at Gettysburg, 2 July 1863, where he was left on the field and captured. He was then sent as a prisoner of war to Johnson's Island, Ohio. After the war, he lived in St. Joseph, La., and married Anna Farrar. Their niece, Mary Farrar, daughter of Edgar Howard Farrar (1849-1922) married Joseph Goldberger (See #1641 JOSEPH GOLDBERGER PAPERS).Back to Top
The collection is divided into two parts. The first consists of Farrar family correspondence from 1860 to 1876, and the second consists of materials, chiefly correspondence, of or about Henry B. Richardson. The Farrar correspondence discusses family matters, social life, education, the coming of the Civil War (but not the war itself), two visits by Varina and Jefferson Davis after the war, the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, and society in Lexington, Va. The Henry B. Richardson materials mention surveying Louisiana plantations in 1861; the coming of the Civil War; and Richardson's health as a prisoner of war at Johnson's Island, Ohio. Other Richardson material includes a letter from his aunt in New York, who was sympathetic to the South; an anonymous note warning Richardson not to attempt an escape to New York; a letter to his parents describing his future wife, Anna Farrar; a letter from Jubal A. Early (1816-1894) about the 1872 presidential election and "the cause"; and a 1935 newspaper transcription of a lengthy 1865 letter from Richardson to his parents, in which he defended the Confederacy.Back to Top
For the year 1860, there are four letters of Anna Mary Girault Farrar at St. Joseph, Tensas Parish, La., to her daughters in boarding school. They mention social conditions in the area, family matters, school, and the coming of the Civil War.
Correspondence during the years 1868 to 1876 mentions social and family life around St. Joseph, La.; the Magruder School at Baton Rouge, La.; Edgar Howard Farrar's train journey to, and first impressions of, the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1868; visits by Varina and Jefferson Davis to Natchez, Miss., and vicinity; visits to Lexington, Va.; and a boat race on Lake St. Joseph, La., in 1876.
For the year 1861, there are two letters from Richardson at Bellaggio, near Lake Providence, East Carroll Parish, La., and St. Joseph, Tensas Parish, La., to his parents in Goshen, Sullivan County, N.H., describing his surveying work on plantations and in the woods, and feelings in the South, including his own, about the impending Civil War.
There are two 1864 letters from Richardson as prisoner of war at Johnson's Island, Ohio, to his parents, reassuring them of his health. A note from M. B. Rhodes at Baltimore, Ohio, to Richardson at Johnson's island, with an attached newpaper inquiry by "Avenel" of Liberty, Va., into the health and whereabouts of Richardson, offers to send a response. A letter from "Aunt Mary" at New York, 28 November 1864, notes her intention of sending him $25, and her sympathy for the South. An anonymous letter, undated but probably from 1864, warns Richardson not to attempt an escape from prison to New York. In a letter dated 5 March 1865 (but probably 1866), Richardson writes to his parents about Anna Farrar, his future wife; his work as levee enginer; and about social conditions in general. There is a voter registration certificate, Parish of Tensas, La., signed by Richardson on 20 October 1868. There is a telegram from St. Louis, Mo., dated 28 September 1871, stating: "You have a fine boy. Mrs. [R?] and the young man are doing well." A letter from Jubal A. Early at Lynchburg, Va., 7 September 1872, discusses the 1872 presidential campaigns of Horace Greeley and Ulysses Simpson Grant, writings about the Civil War, and "fidelity to the cause." There is also a photocopy of a transcription in The Tensas Gazette (St. Joseph, La.), 25 October 1935, of a letter from Henry B. Richardson at Johnson's Island, Ohio, 8 March 1865, to his parents wherein he described his strong feelings about the Civil War, the North and South, and his Confederate war service.
Processed by: Erik D. France, October 1990
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