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|Abstract||Hardware merchant and banker of New Orleans and Confederate veteran. Military and business papers of John G. Devereux, and correspondence and financial and legal papers of Stephen and J. C. Van Winkle. An account book and other volumes from Wexford and Dublin, Ireland, appear to belong to John Devereux's father, John Devereux (fl. 1822), merchant and shipper. J. G. Devereux's Civil War records relate chiefly to the Siege of Vicksburg and consist of military correspondence, including letters from Ulysses S. Grant; muster rolls; items relating to Confederate prisoners; a list of slaves used as laborers; and other items. Business papers relate chiefly to Devereux's banking career. Stephen Van Wickle was sheriff of Pointe Coupee Parish, La., circa 1819-1835. He was also business and legal agent for Valerien Ledoux (died 1853), a Pointe Coupee sugar planter. In 1835 J. C. Van Wickle, a sugar planter and possibly Stephen's son, took over the position of sheriff as well as the management of the Ledoux estate. Financial and legal materials of the Van Wickles comprise sheriff's plantation, personal, and merchant accounts, and include account books, deeds, warrants, judgments and court orders. An 1842 bill of sale for slaves and a list of slaves are included. Miscellaneous items of interest are a transcription of a speech by Louisiana governor Henry W. Allen, 1863; a ledger of a cotton press and cotton press association, presumably in Pointe Coupee parish, 1880-1883; and a biographical sketch of Confederate chief of engineers Martin Luther Smith.|
|Creator||Devereux, John G., fl. 1856-1890.|
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.
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John G. Devereux (fl. 1856-1890) was a merchant and banker of New Orleans and a Confederate veteran. He may have been the son of John Devereux (fl. 1822), a Dublin merchant and shipper. Between at least 1856 and 1859, the younger Devereux operated a hardware business in New Orleans, supplying local planters, businesses, and institutions with metalwork, tools, and plumbing supplies. With the outbreak of war, Devereux entered the Louisiana Artillery and assumed the rank of lieutenant. Upon his promotion to major, he became assistant adjutant general to Major General Martin Luther Smith (1819-1866), commander of the Confederate 3rd Brigade. After the war, Devereux served as cashier of the Southern Bank and as administrator of the Charity Hospital of New Orleans. One document shows that he served as executor of the estate of Thomas Jefferson Cooley in 1887. He married Sarah P. Chilton (died 1870) in 1867.
Stephen Van Wickle was sheriff of Point Coupee Parish, Louisiana, from around 1819 until 1835. He also served as a business and legal agent for Valerien Ledoux (died 1853), a Point Coupee sugar planter. In 1835 J. C. Van Wickle, possibly Stephen's son, took over the position of sheriff, as well as the management of the Ledoux estate. Evidence suggests that he was also himself a sugar planter.Back to Top
Despite being named for John G. Devereux, the collection documents little of his personal, business, or military life. The correspondence in Series 1 offers only a slight glimpse into his activities. In addition, although Devereux, as assistant adjutant general, preserved a number of military records (see Series 4), none of these relates to his own service. Series 2 contains only two items related to Devereux: a bill for his wife's funeral and a final account sheet for an estate he administered in 1887. Series 3 contains only an account book for Devereux's New Orleans hardware business. Relevant items appearing in Series 5 include clippings Devereux kept on banking and a broadside of a paper he prepared on banking. None of the clippings relate directly to Devereux.
Better documented in the papers are the activities of Stephen and J. C. Van Wickle. The extensive account books and papers they kept while filling the office of sheriff of Point Coupee Parish (Series 3) provide an excellent opportunity for examining the tax and legal structure of the parish. They also offer a good source of information on land and financial disputes on the Louisiana frontier. Plantation accounts kept by J. C. Van Wickle, both for himself and Valerien Ledoux, offer insight into sugar planting and financial relationships in Point Coupee Parish.
The collection also contains materials useful for the study of the import-export trade in Ireland (see Subseries 3.2) and Civil War history (Series 4). Military records provide valuable information on the capitulation of Vicksburg in 1863.Back to Top
Scattered correspondence relating mostly to legal affairs handled by Stephen and J. C. Van Wickle in the capacity of sheriff of Point Coupee Parish and as managers of the estate of Valerien Ledoux. One later letter pertains to John Devereux's position as administrator of Charity Hospital.
One letter, dated 18 November 1791, was written by Seven Powell in Richmond to his wife Sally concerning applications for divorce being considered at the "session." Powell noted that all but one of the applicants were male and pondered why this might be so. Powell's relationship to other persons appearing in the collection and the identity of the session are unclear.
Three letters dated 1827, 1829, and 1833, were written by Ebenezer Cooley, a member of the Louisiana senate, to his son and lawyer, Thomas Jefferson Cooley. The letters discuss the elder Cooley's legal and financial affairs. The 1827 and 1833 letters refer to a dispute over the ownership of a farm to which Cooley claimed he held title. Several items appear in Subseries 2.1 concerning this case. In the 1829 letter, Cooley authorized his son to hire out his slaves and collect the money for their labor. Topics Cooley addressed included the treatment of slaves, the inappropriateness of a woman's handling the hiring out of slaves, and the effects of climate on health.
Five items appear for the decade of the 1840s. A letter of 14 August 1841 from John M. Chilton in Vicksburg to William H. Day in Smithfield, Isle of Wight City, Virginia, offers sympathy upon the death of Day's wife, Phoebe. Chilton also discussed the unwillingness of someone named William, probably a relative, to let his daughter Ellen visit with her grandmother and uncles because he wished to keep her away from their influence. Other letters for the 1840s pertain to business affairs. A brief note dated 11 September 1842 from F. F. Hook to J. C. Van Wickle in Point Coupee discusses business and family matters. Three letters, dated 13 and 20 February and 1 April 1848, are from sugar factor Gerard S. Ferrier in New Orleans to Valerien Ledoux in Point Coupee. The letters acknowledge receipt of sugar shipments from Ledoux and discuss its sale.
Two letters are addressed to John Devereux. One, dated 3 July 1888, is an application for the position of House Surgeon at Charity Hospital by Ernest Laplace, a student of Louis Pasteur. Laplace discussed his medical education, experience, and publications in detail. The second letter, dated 13 December 1890, is from Senator R. L. Gibson and acknowledges receipt of a telegram Devereux sent him concerning financial legislation before the Senate.
An undated item is a letter from Walter Turnbee to J. C. Van Wickle in Point Coupee pertaining to the settlement of Charles Haig Woods's account with Van Wickle.
Sheriff's records, miscellaneous legal papers related to the conduct of the office of sheriff, and plantation and personal accounts. Accounts belong mostly to Valerien Ledoux.
Chiefly legal papers related to the activities of Stephen Van Wickle and J. C. Van Wickle in their respective tenures as sheriff of Point Coupee Parish, Stephen from around 1819 to 1835 and J. C. from 1835 to at least 1839. Items include deeds, arrest warrants, writs of seizure, court petitions, and court orders. A significant number of papers appear for cases involving land and financial disputes. Of note are Ebenezer Cooley vs. Henry Seymour, Myford McDougall vs. John Cooke, Valery Perrault vs. Benjamin Poydras, and Charles Morgan vs. James Sharpe. Parish tax records include lists of residents submitting jury certificates in payment of their taxes, lists of errors in tax rolls, and lists of delinquent tax payers. An additional item of note is an account of monies received by the Board of Public Works from the 5 Percent Fund of the federal government created under an act of 1811. This document lists expenditures between 1833 and 1841 for bridges, levees, and other improvements at Thompson's Creek, Donaldsonville, Point Coupee, and Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana, and for a survey of the Livingstone Railroad.
Plantation and personal papers consist mostly of Valerien Ledoux's accounts with shippers, dry goods and hardware merchants, clothiers, and grocers. Included are bills of lading for sugar and molasses shipments, bills and receipts for merchandise, and tax receipts.
Several items belong to various members of the Van Wickle family, including a deed of 1 November 1817 transferring land in Allegany County, New York, from Evert and Jacob Van Wickle et al. to William Huxley, a list dated 7 October 1819 of land sales made by an agent in New Jersey for Jacob Van Wickle, and two receipts for passage and freight on the Steamer Bayou Sara belonging to Stephen Van Wickle. Other items of interest are a sheet, dated 11 January 1817, listing Joseph LaDew's accounts with Andrew Skillman; a slave bill of sale dated 23 September 1842; and a certificate, dated 18 April 1844, apparently certifying that a piece of wood was genuinely from the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.
Items appearing for the postwar period are J. C. Van Wickle's account for 1865 with blacksmith Joseph H. Bloodgood, final accounts, dated 1887, for the estate of Thomas Jefferson Cooley, a bill, dated 1870, for the funeral expenses of J. G. Devereux's wife, and an undated receipt for cloth for Madame B. Ledoux.
Plantation, sheriff, personal, and mercantile accounts belonging to Stephen and J. C. Van Wickle, John G. Devereux, and Valerien Ledoux, all of which appear to derive from Point Coupee Parish. Most of J. C. Van Wickle's account books are confusing and disorganized, and it is often unclear to whom account entries belong. Volumes are arranged chronologically by the last date appearing in them.
Volume S-2 and Volume 4 contain accounts for the sheriff of Point Coupee Parish. Volume S-2 is a 262-page sheriff's fee book, 1819-1870, listing Stephen Van Wickle's office accounts for the years 1819 to 1832. Enclosures to the volume include sheriff's accounts, 1820-1839, copies of court orders, and a list of jury certificates in payment of taxes for 1828. An item of note is a clipping, 1 October 1827, concerning the legality of a free black man, Francois Caissergues, manumitting a slave woman and three children. Also appearing in the enclosures are personal and plantation accounts, mostly with sugar factors, kept by J. C. Van Wickle, 1848-1870.
Volume 4 holds sheriff's accounts for Stephen Van Wickle, 1832-1835, and other accounts. A notice of a sheriff's sale resulting from the case of R. R. Barrow vs. Samuel John Carr and several personal receipts for Stephen Van Wickle appear as enclosures. The bulk of the 70 page volume consists of personal, household, and plantation accounts of J. C. Van Wickle, 1846-1871, and Van Wickle's accounts with Madame A. Ledoux, 1850-1874. Of interest in the plantation accounts is a list of slaves purchased and the amounts paid for them.
Three volumes strictly related to plantations appear. Volume 1 is a 16- page memorandum book, 1841-1845, containing accounts and notes on cotton picking and shipping for two plantations owned by Valerien Ledoux, and a list of items sold in 1841 belonging to the estate of Jean Pierre Ledoux. Volume 5 is a 40 page account book, 1849-1883, containing records of sugar and molasses produced and shipped by Valerien Ledoux (accounts kept in French by Ledoux, 1849 and 1852, and assorted later accounts, chiefly 1854-1869, kept by J. C. Van Wickle). Volume 3, 41 pages, is an account book, 1847-1871, containing mostly accounts of the Ledoux family. Accounts for 1847-1849 were kept by Valerien Ledoux and are in French. Accounts for the Ledoux estate, 1850-1854, kept by J. C. Van Wickle also appear, as well as plantation and personal accounts, 1854-1856 and 1870-1871, for Van Wickle.
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Three items belonging to John Devereux--a merchant's account book (Volume 6), a mathematics exercise book (Volume 7), and a book of accounting notes (Volume 8)--appear for 1822. The account book is a compilation of separate accounts, sewn together, kept by Devereux in Wexford and Dublin, Ireland. Both the original and a microfilm copy of this volume are available. Accounts are for merchandise sent and received from abroad in small lots. The accounting notebook and exercise book were also kept by Devereux in Dublin.
Two additional items are a 310-page account book, 1 December 1856-31 August 1859, kept by John G. Devereux for his New Orleans hardware business (Volume S-9), and an 1880-1883 ledger (Volume S-10) apparently kept by J. C. Van Wickle, presumably in Point Coupee, for a cotton press and cotton press association, which is stamped "Canal St. Press" on its spine.
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Military correspondence, muster rolls, orders, reports, rosters, and miscellaneous items chiefly relating to the Confederate Army's 3rd Brigade, Major General Martin Luther Smith, commander.
Correspondence of Major General Martin Luther Smith and Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton focusing on the fate of Confederate prisoners after the capitulation of Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1863. Of note are two communications from Ulysses S. Grant concerning the paroling of the sick and wounded and the administering of the oath of allegiance to Confederate deserters. Several letters also appear concerning the exchange of captured officers, including one from Confederate Secretary of War James A. Seddons. Other items discuss routine detailing of soldiers, the appointment of G. N. Smith as brigade surgeon, and the relationship Martin Luther Smith had with the men in his brigade.
Muster rolls appear for 3rd Brigade regiments stationed at Camp Moore, Louisiana, between 28 April and 6 May 1862. Included are the 3rd Regiment of the Mississippi Volunteers, the Thomas Battalion, the Regiment of Confederate Guards, the Sumter Regiment, the C. S. Light Battery, the Brookhaven Artillery, the 25th, 26th, and 28th Regiments of the Louisiana Volunteers, and the Seven Stars Artillery. A muster roll for 3 July 1863 also appears for Martin Luther Smith's division of the Army of the West stationed at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
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Orders consist mostly of special orders, issued by Martin Luther Smith and general orders issued by the Confederate States War Department. Reports include a handwritten copy (marked "duplicate") of the "Official Report of Brig. Gen. M. L. Smith upon the Attack and Defences of the City of Vicksburg" and the "Official Report" of Brigadier General W. E. Baldwin on "Operations before and during the Siege of Vicksburg, May 5th to July 4th/63," submitted to Major J. G. Devereux. Other reports were submitted to Martin Luther Smith by inferior officers and concern transportation and supplies, the health and condition of soldiers, troop operations, and reports of men killed, wounded, and missing in action. The majority of the reports pertain to the battle of Vicksburg.
Rosters include a list of the officers of the 3rd Regiment of Mississippi Volunteers (1862), of the 25th Regiment of Louisiana Volunteers (also referred to as deClouet's Regiment), and of the Sumter Regiment. Miscellaneous items consist mostly of lists of provisions received and returned and soldiers' discharges. Of note are a "List of Negroes working on the fortifications at Fort Pemberton" appearing for 6 May 1863 and a provision return form for "Negroes employed in moving ammunition and guns from Greenwood to Wenona," dated 29 May 1863. Also of interest is a list of flag signals used by the 3rd Brigade in the field.
Clippings, covering mostly banking legislation, with a few additional items. Of interest among the dated clippings are a graduation address given by A. B. Longstreet at South Carolina College at Columbia in March 1859 and a eulogy published upon the death of Judah Touro, millionaire merchant (15 July 1869). Undated clippings include a eulogy of the Right Reverend Archbishop Blanc of Louisiana, a sketch entitled "Early Settlement of Attakapas," a letter to the Commercial Bulletin concerning a tobacco trade tariff proposed by the Confederate Congress, and an address (conclusion only) appearing in the Great Western entitled, "An Address to the Slave Holding States."
Four handwritten items consist of an 1863 address delivered by Governor Henry W. Allen to the white citizens of New Orleans, a biographical sketch of Martin Luther Smith, a poem, and a fictional sketch (fragment only). Printed items are an 1867 advertisement for an engraving of Stonewall Jackson and an 1890 broadside of a paper entitled "An Elastic Currency," read by John G. Devereux before the Board of Managers of the New Orleans Clearing House.
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Processed by: Jill D. Snider, October 1990
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, December 2009Back to Top