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|Size||1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 26 items)|
|Abstract||The collection includes diaries of Beatty while serving as judge advocate of the Department of Tennessee, Confederate States of America, and nine volumes, 1883-1917 passim, while a sugar planter, lawyer, and judge in Thibodaux, La.; diary, 1843, of Beatty's mother, recording daily life in Thibodaux and trips to New Orleans; and one volume containing records of land entries in Kentucky in 1780 and memoranda, 1824-1849, of Walker Reid (born 1783) of Kentucky, concerning family history and his religious experiences.|
|Creator||Beatty, Taylor, b. 1837.|
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The chief figure in these papers is Taylor Beatty (born 1837), son of Charlotte Beatty (1810-1847). He was a Confederate veteran, lawyer, and judge, and spent most of his life in Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. He married Fannie Pugh (fl. 1883-1917) and had four children: Kate (fl. 1880s), Charlton (born 1869), Charlotte (born 1883), and Taylor (fl. 1891-1917). He owned Dixie and Vivian Plantations.
His mother, Charlotte Beatty, also lived in Thibodaux. She was the daughter of Walker Reid (born 1783), who moved to Kentucky in 1804 and settled in the town of Washington in Mason County. It appears that he moved to Kentucky from Virginia.Back to Top
This collection consists of chiefly of diaries of Taylor Beatty that document his activities during the Civil War. Also documented are the years 1883 through 1917 when he was a sugar planter in Louisiana and a lawyer who attended court in Houma, Napoleanville, Thibodaux, and New Orleans.
Also included are 18th-century land grants, a volume that belonged to Walker Reid containing Kentucky land entries and genealogical information, and a diary kept by Charlotte Beatty in 1843 documenting her daily activities.Back to Top
Several land grants and bills of sale for land executed in the 1700s, and a typewritten sketch of Thomas Pugh.
This volume (Volume 1) is made up of two separate elements, each beginning at an outside cover and working toward the middle of the volume. A typed transcription is in Volume 13, Series 5.
The first part consists of surveys of land made in 1780. This land presumably was in Kentucky, since many parcels border on the Licking River. It is possible that these records were copied from another source.
The second part of the volume consists of memoranda of Walker Reid, who was born 19 February 1783 and came to Kentucky in 1804. He settled in the town of Washington in Mason County. He appears to have been the father of Charlotte Beatty. The memoranda consist chiefly of family history and genealogy, with personal notes about members of the family. The first notes were made in 1824, and Reid added to the book at intervals: 1838, 1841, 1842, 1846, 1847, and 1849. Members of the main families included lived in Kentucky and/or the northern counties of Virginia, such as Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William. These families are Belt, Berkly, Blincoe, Botts, Gaines, Newman, Reid, Ward, and Wigginton. Also included are a catalogue of Reid's library, listing books and prices, and spiritual reflections that he wrote in 1842, 1847, and 1849.
Pocket diary (Volume 2) of Charlotte Beatty, mother of Taylor Beatty, who apparently lived in or quite near Thibodaux, Louisiana. A typed transcription is in Volume 13, Series 5. It contains entries for the year 1843, and poetry and memoranda on the fly-leaves in front and in back, including instructions for treating hydrophobia.
The entries cover daily activities connected with Beatty's home, garden, and children, visits with neighbors and guests, and occasional trips to New Orleans. She mentioned a trip she made on the boat "Fuselier" on 17 June, returning from New Orleans. She also mentioned hearing Bishop Polk at church.
Ten volumes of a diary kept by Taylor Beatty. The first volume (Volume 3) covers the years 1861-1865. Beatty served during most of the Civil War under General Braxton Bragg, to whom he paid frequent visits and who was instrumental in obtaining promotions for him. On 12 January 1863, General Bragg offered him a position, which he accepted, in the office of the Inspector General. On 3 February, he was appointed judge of the Military Court of Lieutenant General Hardee's Corps. During the rest of the war Beatty served on this court, trying various cases including some courts martial. He also took part in a number of battles, which he noted or described in his diary, including Santa Rosa Island, Florida, October 1861; Shiloh, April 1862; Murfreesboro, Tennessee, December 1862; Chicamauga, Georgia, September 1863; Resaca, Georgia, May 1864; and Franklin, Tennessee, November 1864. He described daily camp life, including visits by fellow officers, riding out to pickets, carrying orders, etc. He wrote in his diary about the progress of the war on other fronts, rumors that he heard, and the eventual surrender of Lee and Johnston.
Each of the other nine volumes of the diary is devoted to one year: 1883, 1884, 1885, 1891, 1895, 1897, 1899, 1916, and 1917. There are only a few entries some years.
In 1883 (Volume 4), Beatty was living in Thibodaux and was married to Fannie Pugh. He had two children, Kate and Charlton, and his third child, Charlotte Fannie, was born on 26 January. He noted the weather and wrote about his daily activities. He spent a great deal of time driving or riding around to various plantations he owned and supervising the planting of crops. The chief crops were sugar cane and corn. He owned two plantations, one called Dixie and the other Vivian. He also made frequent trips to Madewood, which appears to have belonged to his mother-in-law, Mrs. Pugh, and also trips to Foly Plantation, which he was managing as part of an estate. He was a lawyer and a judge and mentioned attending court in Houma and Napoleonville, and trying various cases.
In February 1883, the family made a trip to New Orleans. Beatty took his children to the theater several times to see various shows. Later that spring he recorded the problems they had with flooding in the region. In March, a heavy rain opened up a large crevasse at the head of a canal in Thibodaux.
In January 1884 (Volume 5), Taylor was appointed one of a committee to represent sugar planters of Louisiana and made a trip to Washington. In February, the family went to New Orleans, and he again took the children to a number of shows at the theater. There was heavy flooding in his area in the spring of 1884. Many crevasses opened up in the bayous. Beatty installed elevators at his plantations to drain off some of the excess water.
Beatty mentioned a few political events in 1884. On 22 April, he noted election results in his parish. He had apparently run for an office and won, but did not state what the office was. Beatty may have been a Republican, since he made a few references, on 26 April, 7 June, and 11 October, that suggest that he supported the Republican presidential candidate.
In September 1884, Beatty took his son, Charlton, to school at Kenmore in Virginia. This was apparently near Charlottesville, and, while on this trip, he visited the University of Virginia which he had attended as a young man.
His mother-in-law died on 11 April 1885 (Volume 6) and from this point on there are fewer references to Madewood. He mentioned possible financial trouble in New Orleans during this year, and, in September 1885, he left his bank, Conger & Kelly, because they had allowed a draft of his to go to protest.
By 1891 (Volume 7), Beatty had a second son, Taylor Junior. His older son, Charlton, telegrammed on 30 June that he had graduated in law and returned to Louisiana a few days later. In September, Taylor mentioned attending several pro-lottery meetings.
In December 1895 (Volume 8), Taylor travelled to Washington, D.C., on some type of legal business. He mentioned that he was in court and "on floor of House all day." He took his daughter, Charlotte, with him and the two of them looked at the sights. In January 1897 (Volume 9), he again travelled to Washington, this time taking his son, Taylor, with him. He was to argue a case before the Committee on Elections. Later that year, his old army friend, General J. E. Slaughter, visited him.
In February 1899 (Volume 10), there was severely cold weather in his region. All the bayous were full of ice, and one could walk across them. In July 1899, he mentioned that electric lights had been installed in town, and that it was a big improvement.
After 1899, there is a gap of sixteen years before the next volume (Volume 11), which is for the year 1916. Most of the entries in this volume deal with Beatty's law practice. He only mentioned plantations and crops occasionally. He attended court at Houma, Napoleonville, Thibodaux, and New Orleans, trying various cases. The Beatty family owned an automobile by this time, which Beatty used for some of his journeys. On 27 May, he argued a case that dealt with the oyster laws in the Supreme Court in New Orleans.
Beatty occasionally mentioned the war in Europe and troubles in Mexico. On 25 June, he was asked to speak at a "patriotic" meeting to organize a company for the proposed Mexican War. He was undecided over whether or not to speak because it would mean "sending our young men out under incompetent officers."
The final volume (Volume 12) is for the year 1917. In January, Taylor was again in New Orleans arguing a case about the oyster laws. His son, Taylor, left for the army in May. The diary continues through December. What happened to the Beatty family after this time is not clear.
Typed transcriptions of all the volumes in this collection.
Microfilm copies of volumes 3 through 12. Volumes 1 and 2 were microfilmed in 1991 as part of the University Publications of America project.
Processed by: Shonra Newman, December 1990
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008Back to Top