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Collection Number: 00054

Collection Title: Taylor Beattie Papers, 1780-1917

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.

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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 26 items)
Abstract The collection includes diaries of Beattie 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 Beattie'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 Beattie, Taylor, 1837-1920.
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
Retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Taylor Beattie Papers #54, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of Southern women and their families in the 19th century, Series A.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Taylor Beattie of Thibodaux, La., in April 1941.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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Processed by: Shonra Newman, December 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

The chief figure in these papers is Taylor Beattie (born 1837), son of Charlotte Beattie (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 Beattie, 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.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

This collection consists of chiefly of diaries of Taylor Beattie 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 Beattie in 1843 documenting her daily activities.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Land Grants and Other Loose Papers, 1733/1834 and undated.

7 items.

Several land grants and bills of sale for land executed in the 1700s, and a typewritten sketch of Thomas Pugh.

Folder 1


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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Walker Reid Volume, 1780-1849.

1 item.

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 Beattie. 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.

Folder 2

Volume 1, 1780-1849

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Diary of Charlotte Beattie, 1843.

1 item.

Pocket diary (Volume 2) of Charlotte Beattie, mother of Taylor Beattie, 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 Beattie'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.

Folder 3

Volume 2, 1843

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Diaries of Taylor Beattie, 1861-1917.

10 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Ten volumes of a diary kept by Taylor Beattie. The first volume (Volume 3) covers the years 1861-1865. Beattie 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 Beattie 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), Beattie 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. Beattie 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. Beattie installed elevators at his plantations to drain off some of the excess water.

Beattie 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. Beattie 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, Beattie 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), Beattie 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 Beattie's law practice. He only mentioned plantations and crops occasionally. He attended court at Houma, Napoleonville, Thibodaux, and New Orleans, trying various cases. The Beattie family owned an automobile by this time, which Beattie 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.

Beattie 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 Beattie family after this time is not clear.

Folder 4

Volume 3, 1861-1865

Folder 5

Volume 4, 1883

Folder 6

Volume 5, 1884

Folder 7

Volume 6, 1885

Folder 8

Volume 7, 1891

Folder 9

Volume 8, 1895

Folder 10

Volume 9, 1897

Folder 11

Volume 10, 1899

Folder 12

Volume 11, 1916

Folder 13

Volume 12, 1917

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Typed Transcriptions of Series 2, 3, and 4.

3 items.

Typed transcriptions of all the volumes in this collection.

Folder 14

Volume 13. Transcriptions of Volumes 1, 2, and 12

Folder 15

Volume 14. Transcriptions of Volumes 3 and 4

Folder 16

Volume 15. Transcriptions of Volumes 5-11

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Microfilm.

3 items.

Microfilm copies of volumes 3 through 12. Volumes 1 and 2 were microfilmed in 1991 as part of the University Publications of America project.

Reel M-54/1-2



Positive and negative copies of Volume 3.

Reel M-54/3

Negative copy of volumes 4-12.

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