Henry Watson papers, 1765-1938

Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Henry Watson papers 1765-1938

Collection #RL.01351 | 5 Linear Feet (14 boxes; 18 volumes); 5,641 Items

Henry Watson, Jr. (1810-1891) was a plantation owner, enslaver, and lawyer of Greensboro, Alabama. Collection includes letters, diaries, business correspondence, and papers (chiefly 1828-1869) relating to Watson's career in law, his planting activities, his accumulation of property (including enslaved persons), establishment of the Planter's Insurance Company, farming conditions in antebellum Alabama, politics in Alabama before the Civil War, activities of the Watson family, the migration of Watson's family and relatives to various places in the West, secession in Alabama, Watson's removal to Germany during the Civil War, his return to the U.S. after the war, and his postwar career in Connecticut and Alabama. Also includes correspondence with his partner, John Erwin, a Whig leader; land grants to Edwin Peck signed by Martin Van Buren; letters from Confederate soldiers imprisoned at Johnson's Island, Ohio; letters from Henry Bernard; and early letters from Elisha Stanley describing Pittsburgh, Pa., Cincinnati, Ohio, and Kentucky, the mercantile business during the War of 1812, the martial spirit and activities of the Kentuckians during the War of 1812, and the disastrous effects of peace on mercantile pursuits. Also in the collection are letters and papers of John Watson (d. 1824), including fragments, complete literary manuscripts, and papers relating to the settlement of his estate; and letters and diaries of Henry Watson's brother, Sereno.

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