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|Abstract||The James McNeill Papers consist of letters written between 1846 and 1866 by James McNeill in Lauderdale and Kemper counties, Mississippi. The letters reveal that James McNeill was a Democrat, a slaveowner, and invested in several businesses, including lumber, cotton and corn crops, and buying and selling land in Mississippi and North Carolina. McNeill also wrote about family matters, settlers enacting vigilante justice against Mexicans in San Antonio, Tex., and the futility of the Civil War. There are transcriptions of the letters and background biographical information about McNeill family members.|
|Creator||McNeill, James, 1811-1878|
|Curatorial Unit||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.|
Processed by: Nancy Kaiser, March 2016
Encoded by: Nancy Kaiser, March 2016Back to Top
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James McNeill was born 26 August 1811 near Hope Mills, Cumberland County, N.C., the oldest of Margaret Black and Daniel McNeill's five children. He married Rebecca Ann Newberry on 20 February 1834 and with her had eight children. James and Rebecca McNeill moved from North Carolina to Mississippi in 1836 or 1837. The 1840, 1850, and 1860 censuses show him living in Lauderdale County, Miss. At the end of 1859, he moved to Fort Stephens in Kemper County, Miss., but by 1860 he was back in Lauderdale County. He served as justice of the peace around 1840 in Mississippi. He was guardian of several children while he lived in Mississippi and he owned six slaves as of 1860. He and Rebecca bought and sold lots of land in the Lauderdale area before they left for Texas in 1866. The 1870 census shows him living in Burnham, Ellis County, Tex. He ran a ferry on the Trinity River at Trinidad, Tex. He died 8 November 1878 and is buried in Texas.Back to Top
The James McNeill Papers consist of ten letters written between 1846 and 1866 by James McNeill in Lauderdale and Kemper counties, Miss., to his sister, Ann Peterson McNeill McMillan (1816-1898), and to Ann's husband, William MacMillan (1802-1893), in Cumberland County, N.C. The letters reveal that James McNeill was a Democrat, a slaveowner, and invested in several businesses. He built and operated a lumber mill, planted some cotton and corn crops, and bought and sold land in Mississippi and North Carolina. McNeill also wrote about family matters, the disposition of his father's estate, settlers enacting vigilante justice against Mexicans in San Antonio, Tex., the futility of the Civil War, wartime prices for food and livestock, and his distress over the separation of the family for a move to Texas. He occasionally quoted Robert Burns and complained of crippling pain in his writing hand. There are transcriptions of the letters and background biographical information about McNeill family members.Back to Top
Photocopies and transcriptions of original letters.
Family tree, list of original letters, biographical information on James McNeill, Daniel McNeill, Malcolm McNeill, Archibald McNeill.