Collection Number: 02234

Collection Title: Maunsel White Papers, 1802-1912

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Size 1.25 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 110 items)
Abstract Maunsel White was a New Orleans commission merchant and Plaquemines Parish, La., planter. His son, Maunsell White, Jr. (fl. 1835-1883), was also a merchant and planter. Chiefly correspondence (some on microfilm only) about growing and marketing cotton, sugar, and other crops, mostly 1842-1850, and a set of plantation journals, 1852-1883, documenting the operation of the Whites' plantations, Deer Range and Junior Place. Also included are one letter from and one letter to Andrew Jackson; a letter from Zachary Taylor; letters from Maunsell White to his son while the latter was attending the University of Virginia, 1850-1851; a memoranda book of expenses and business transactions in New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia, 1802-1804; and two autograph books, one of which is from Saint Joseph's College in Louisiana, circa 1846, and the other from the University of Virginia, 1850-1851.
Creator White, Maunsel, 1783-1863
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not available for immediate or same day access. Please contact Research and Instructional Service staff at to discuss options for consulting these materials.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is 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 Maunsel White Papers #2234, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. Thomas H. Anderson, San Francisco, Cal., in 1940, and Carl White, Tulsa, Okla., in 1953. Addition of August 1991 received from Stephen E. Wedding (Acc. 91123).
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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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

Maunsel White (1783-1863) was born near Limerick, Ireland, and orphaned at age six. He came to America at the age of thirteen. White settled in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, and became a New Orleans commission merchant and planter, operating Deer Range Plantation until his death in 1863. White and his wife (whose name is unknown) had four children: Maunsell White, Jr., Clara White (Mrs. Carl) Kohn, Mrs. Cuthbert Bullitt, and Mrs. Hu. Kennedy.

Maunsell White, Jr., attended Mandeville College in Mandeville, Louisiana, a school in Baton Rouge, and the University of Virginia, the latter in 1850-1851. He was appointed as a cadet in the U.S. Army, and then carried on management of Deer Range Plantation until 1876. Maunsell White, Jr., married Bettie Bradford in 1855; in 1858 he purchased Velasco Plantation, renaming it "Junior Place." The five children of Bettie and Maunsell White, Jr., include Maunsell White, III (1856-1912), Carl White, Nancy White (Mrs. Thomas) Anderson, David White, and Lucy White. Maunsell White, III, became a noted metallurgist and mining engineer.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

This collection consists largely of the business correspondence and plantation records of Maunsel White and his son, Maunsell White, Jr.; documentation of their business interests is particularly strong from 1840 to 1875. Both Maunsel White and Maunsell White, Jr., used either a single or a double "l" when writing "Maunsell," making identification of some material difficult. It appears that the father was usually Maunsel and the son Maunsell. There is very little information regarding the Whites' family or personal lives.

Volumes pertain chiefly to the operation of the Deer Range Plantation. Eight memorandum books and daily journals of Maunsell White and Maunsell White, Jr., document business interests, particularly those concerning the Deer Range Plantation, as well as other mercantile and agricultural activities. Some contain records of slave activity and care. Scattered throughout volumes are brief travel accounts, records of family births, and references to family and social activities. Other volumes include an autograph book belonging to Maunsell White, Jr., while he was at the University of Virginia, and a poetic autograph book addressed to one, Edward Miles at Saint Joseph's College in Louisiana.

Forty six letters, 1805-1860, comprise a separate microfilm only series. These letters deal chiefly with Maunsell White's business affairs, economic conditions, current events, and political appointments. Included are a copy of letter from Maunsell White to Andrew Jackson and a letter from Zachary Taylor to White. Letters from Maunsell White to his son, while the latter attended the University of Virginia, contain advice and admonitions regarding proper behavior and attitudes, as well as family, business, and plantation news.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Business Correspondence and Other Papers, 1806-1912 and undated.

49 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

One folder of loose items, consisting chiefly of letters relating to business activities of Maunsel White and Maunsell White, Jr., and a letter book of Maunsel White, 1845-1850. See also Series 3, consisting of microfilm of additional correspondence.

Topics of the loose letters include the prices of cotton and flour, freight rates, mortgages on Deer Range and other plantations, loans, and the sale of land. Also included are a letter, 24 January 1844, about Maunsel White's family history, a series of letters from Lyman D. Stickney in 1860, a program from the 1879 commencement ceremony of the Stevens Institute of Technology, listing Maunsell White, III, as a graduate, and obituaries and letters regarding the latter's death in 1912. Of note is a letter, 28 February 1842, from Andrew Jackson to Maunsel White in New Orleans, introducing his adopted son A. Jackson, Jr., making inquiry about business matters connected with the raising and marketing of cotton, commenting on economic conditions in the South, and inviting White to visit him. For White's reply, see Series 3. An undated letter from a joint committee of the legislature of Louisiana concerns fines imposed on General Andrew Jackson by D. W. Hall.

The letter book contains copies of letters written by Maunsel White at New Orleans and Deer Range Plantation. Letters in it relate primarily to the trade of cotton, sugar, molasses and corn, the purchase of machinery and building materials for White's plantation, and other business concerns. Other items include letters from White to his overseer, letters apparently relating to the construction of the Louisiana State House, and letters about the appointment of Maunsell White, Jr., as a cadet in the U.S. Army in 1850.

Folder 1

Loose papers, 1806-1912 and undated. #02234, Series: "1. Business Correspondence and Other Papers, 1806-1912 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

Volume 1: Maunsel White's Letter Book, 1845-1850 #02234, Series: "1. Business Correspondence and Other Papers, 1806-1912 and undated." Folder 2

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Plantation Records, Memorandum Book, and Autograph Books, 1802-1883.

10 items.

Journals, memorandum books, and other volumes pertaining to the operation of two sugar plantations owned by Maunsel White and Maunsell White, Jr., as well as a memorandum book, 1802 1804, in which Maunsel White detailed his expenses while in New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia, and two autograph books, circa 1850.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Plantation Journals, 1852-1883.

7 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 3

Volume 2: 1852-1870, 133 pp. #02234, Subseries: "2.1. Plantation Journals, 1852-1883." Folder 3

Deer Range Plantation record in three sections: (1) 1852-1855 farm journal kept by Maunsell White, Jr., containing records of work done, shipments sent, clothes distributed and other slave records, crops raised, and an account of White's trip to Petersburg, Washington, New York, England, Ireland, and Paris; (2) 1857-1858 farm journal, as above, noting June 1858 purchase of "Junior Place," formerly Velasco Plantation; and (3) entries (read from back), including a list of slave children and their mothers, an 1852-1853 corn crop summary, an 1863 list of clothes delivered to slaves on Deer Range, a detailed farm journal, comprising over half of the volume, kept by Maunsell White, Jr., of agricultural activities and weather at Deer Range from 13 September 1863 to 19 September 1870, and entries of a more personal nature, including a description of White's feelings after the death of his father in 1863. See Series 3 for an earlier Deer Range book on microfilm.

Folder 4

Volume 3: 7 February 1856-7 February 1857, 80 pp. #02234, Subseries: "2.1. Plantation Journals, 1852-1883." Folder 4

"Maunsel White's Memorandum Book," a farm journal containing records of work, shipments, household activities, weather and river level, family health, and notations of other plantation events.

Folder 5

Volume 4: 25 March 1858-25 March 1859, 88 pp. #02234, Subseries: "2.1. Plantation Journals, 1852-1883." Folder 5

"Deer Range Memorandums," kept by Maunsell White, Jr., containing records of plantation activity as above. Also included are family births, dinner guests, and an account of a trip to New Orleans.

Folder 6

Volume 5: 17 February 1859-29 May 1861, 60 pp. #02234, Subseries: "2.1. Plantation Journals, 1852-1883." Folder 6

"Daily Journal of Maunsell White, Jr." Plantation journal, probably of Junior Place, as there appears to be little or no duplication of the records of Deer Range, containing records of agricultural activity. Also included are records of developments in the personal, family, and social life of Maunsell White, Jr.

Folder 7

Volume 6: 17 May 1860-10 May 1861, 94 pp. #02234, Subseries: "2.1. Plantation Journals, 1852-1883." Folder 7

Deer Range memorandums, kept by Maunsell White, Jr., containing records of plantation activity, as above. Also included is a separate record of sheep raised on the plantation.

Folder 8

Volume 7: 1861-1864; 1871-1876, 86 pp. #02234, Subseries: "2.1. Plantation Journals, 1852-1883." Folder 8

"Daily Journal," kept by Maunsell White, Jr., containing records of agricultural activity, as well as developments in his personal, family and social life. This volume includes a separate record of cattle raised on the plantation. Gaps appear in the chronological record; entries for 1863, 1864 and 1876 are slight.

Folder 9

Volume 8: 1876-1883, 72 pp. #02234, Subseries: "2.1. Plantation Journals, 1852-1883." Folder 9

"Daily Journal," kept by Maunsell White, Jr., for Junior Place, containing records of agricultural and household activities. Records after 1878 are scattered.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Memorandum Book and Autograph Books, 1802-1850s.

3 items.
Folder 10

Volume 9: Journal and [memo.?] daybook, of Maunsel White, New Orleans, 1802-1804, 63 pp. #02234, Subseries: "2.2. Memorandum Book and Autograph Books, 1802-1850s." Folder 10

A detailed record of White's personal cash expenditures in New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia; loans; some mercantile business transactions; a list of letters received; and other entries. White's death notice, 1863, is pasted to the first page.

Folder 11

Volume 10: Autograph book of Maunsell White, Jr., 1850-1851, 77 pp. #02234, Subseries: "2.2. Memorandum Book and Autograph Books, 1802-1850s." Folder 11

Entries, many with messages to White, were made by fellow students while White was attending the University of Virginia. Lithographs of several faculty members are included.

Folder 12

Volume 11: Poetic autograph book, circa 1846?, 42 pp. #02234, Subseries: "2.2. Memorandum Book and Autograph Books, 1802-1850s." Folder 12

Poems, apparently from female admirers, addressed to an Edward Miles, upon his departure from Saint Joseph's College in Louisiana. Most pseudonyms are accompanied by authors' names, in another hand.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Microfilm.

2 reels.
Reel M-2234/1

Forty six business and personal letters of Maunsel White and Maunsell White, Jr. #02234, Series: "3. Microfilm." Reel M-2234/1

After this film was produced at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1940, the original manuscripts that appear on it were returned to their owner, Mrs. Thomas H. Anderson of San Francisco; the location of these originals was unknown to the staff of the Southern Historical Collection in 1990. Topics of letters on the film include cotton shipments, economic conditions, crop predictions, family and local health and sickness, and other plantation affairs. Of note among this correspondence is a copy of a letter from White to Andrew Jackson in response to Jackson's letter of February 1842 (see Series 1), in which White discussed business conditions, banks, Jackson's business with White, and an invitation to the Hermitage. Also of interest is a letter from Zachary Taylor in Monterrey, Mexico, regarding Louisiana news, crops, and business. The majority of the microfilmed letters are from Maunsel White to Maunsell White, Jr., written chiefly while the latter was away at school, first at Mandeville College in Mandeville, Louisiana, later in Baton Rouge, and finally at the University of Virginia. The earliest of these letters mainly contain fatherly advice. Later letters, from the 1850s and 1860s, are chiefly concerned with the business matters into which Maunsel White was initiating his son, both in connection with the plantation and with New Orleans business affairs. Letters written while Maunsel White was on a trip to Red Sweet Springs, Virginia, to restore his health contain specific directions, advice, and inquiries. Other letters report on plantation affairs: the progress of crops, livestock, health and disease, storms and harmful weather conditions, general plantation news, news of business in New Orleans, and general topics. Of special interest is a letter of 13 June 1847 in which Maunsel White described the reception of returning Mexican war heroes in New Orleans.

Reel M-2234/2

Plantation records and account book, 1833-1843 (addition of August 1991, Acc. 91123). #02234, Series: "3. Microfilm." Reel M-2234/2

Original was lent for microfilming in 1991 and returned to the donor. Information in the description below was supplied by William K. Scarborough of the University of Southern Mississippi, who examined the original. This book relates to the Deer Range sugar plantation in Plaquemines Parish, La., and supplements the records of this plantation that are already in the collection, covering what appears to have been its first decade of ownership by White, who continued to reside in New Orleans during this period. The book is quite disorganized, but some assistance is provided by a table of contents that covers the first 90 pages. Most of the entries are by overseer A. B. Stoddbard, who was paid at the rate of $1,000 per annum and who died in the summer of 1843. The only entries made by White appear to be those during rolling season, 1839-1840, when he made periodic visits to the plantation between 11 October 1839 and 27 January 1840. The book confirms evidence already available in the collection that White was a particularly benevolent slaveowner, emphasizing rewards and incentives rather than punishment in slave management. The volume contains a series of accounts with slaves that show that White paid his hands for Sunday work and extra assignments, such as digging stumps. In addition to the usual items of clothing, White also provided a number of mosquito nets, sheets, and socks. Clothing distribution records, 1835-1837, reveal that White expended large sums of money e.g., $670.00 in October 1836 to clothe 80 slaves. The lists show the cost of each item distributed as well as the totals for both male and female slaves. In addition to clothing distribution lists and accounts with both slaves and white functionaries, there are also lists of Deer Range slaves, segregated by sex and listed by name and, occasionally, by occupation; a record of slave marriages, 1837-1842; stock inventories, sugar production, 1834-1839; a record of agricultural experiments and instructions for planting cane, 1835; and a list of furnishings at Deer Range, 10 December 1836. The book reveals that the slave population at Deer Range increased from 54 in April 1833 to 125 in April 1840, and that sugar production rose from 76 hogsheads in 1834 to about 455 hosgheads in 1839.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Pictures, undated.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Marla Miller and Roslyn Holdzkom, January 1992

Encoded by: Joseph Nicholson, February 2006

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