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|Mary E. Bateman lived at Argyle Plantation near Greenville, Washington County, Miss., with her cousin, Margaret Tiedeman Campbell. Her sister was Lavinia Bateman Ball; Lavinia's husband was Dr. Spencer Ball. The collection includes the diary that Mary E. Bateman kept during 1856, in which she described her social life and visits by members of the Carter, Haile, Smith, Scott, Alexander, Mosby, Sutton, Courtney, Gregory, and Randolph families. She also wrote about her daily activities and chores, including nursing sick members of the family, riding skiffs on the river, and reading books. There are occasional references to Bishop William Mercer Green, slaves, overseers, flooding of the Mississippi River, and riverboat traffic.
|Bateman, Mary E.
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Processed by: Shonra Newman,
Encoded by: Eben Lehman, March 2006
Revisions by: Nancy Kaiser, August 2020Back to Top
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Mary Bateman (fl. 1856) and her sisters Emily and Lavinia (Vene) (fl. 1856) were orphans who lived with their cousin Margaret Tiedeman Campbell (fl. 1856) and her husband William Reynolds Campbell at Argyle Plantation, Washington County, Mississippi. Lavinia married Dr. Spencer Ball (fl. 1856) and was the mother of Harry Ball. Emily apparently died of malaria, and Mary did not marry.
Argyle Plantation was adjacent to Blanton Plantation and Woodstock on Carter's Point, Carter and Randolph family plantations.
(From "Washington County Historical Society, Organized 1910, Reorganized 1977, Programs of 1977," by the Washington County Historical Society, Greenville, Miss: The Society, circa 1977, pp. 86 87.)Back to Top
Diary of Mary E. Bateman kept during 1856, in which she described her social life and visits by members of the Carter, Haile, Smith, Scott, Alexander, Mosby, Sutton, Courtney, Gregory, and Randolph families. She also wrote about her daily activities and chores, including nursing sick members of the family, riding skiffs on the river, and reading books. There are occasional references to Bishop William Mercer Green, slaves, overseers, flooding of the Mississippi River, and riverboat traffic.Back to Top
This collection consists of the diary of Mary E. Bateman of Argyle near Greenville, Washington County, Miss., kept between 1 February and 13 September 1856.
Mary and her sisters Lavinia (Vene) and Emily lived with "Cousin Margaret" and her children at Argyle. The diary contains a description of their daily life including numerous references to neighborhood social life. Some of the families in the area that are mentioned frequently are the Carters, Hailes, Smiths, Scotts, Alexanders, Mosbys, Suttons, Courtneys, Gregorys, and Randolphs. In addition to paying long visits and dining with each other, the families sometimes went on outings together. They lived fairly close to the Mississippi River, and went boating in skiffs and fished. There are references to flooding from the river and having to repair the levees. Mary occasionally mentioned boats coming up the river. In April, she described one of these boats as a "daguerreotype boat" that stayed at their landing for several days while members of the family had deguerreotypes made.
Mary wrote about her health and the health of members of the family. She described the books she read and her household activities and chores she did.
Mary lived near Greenville and near the Bolivar County line in Washington County, Miss., and neighbors and members of her family travelled to both Greenville and Bolivar County for shopping and other activities.
When Mary began the diary, her sister Lavinia (Vene) was living at Argyle with her husband, Dr. Ball. They moved out in April of that year. Also living at Argyle was Miss Hartland, who ran a school. There are references to Miss Hartland giving music lessons to young girls in the neighborhood and to her keeping school. Her exact position and relationship to the family is not known.
Mary occasionally mentioned slaves who ran errands for her. She also referred to overseers on the plantation, including a Mr. Dunn who left the plantation early in 1856. She mentioned that several overseers came to inquire about possible employment at Argyle.
The family was friendly with Bishop William Mercer Green, and he visited Argyle. Mary noted that she corresponded with him and that he sent her catechisms and other books.