Guide to the Liberty C. Abbott family papers
MSS.1

Summary Information

Repository
Mississippi State University Libraries
Title
Liberty C. Abbott family papers
ID
MSS.1
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1883-1926
Date [inclusive]
1859-1930
Extent
5.75 Cubic feet : 7 record cartons; 1 VMP folder; 1 SMO folder; 1 OS folder; 1 VMCP envelope; 13 OSL items.
Language
English

Preferred Citation

Liberty C. Abbott family papers, Special Collections Department, Mississippi State University Libraries.

Return to Table of Contents »


Biographical Information

Liberty Constantine Abbott was born in Busti, Chautauqua County, New York on December 6, 1836. His father was Harry Abbott (1800-1877), a merchant and farmer, and his mother was Louisa Bostwick Abbott (1810-1865). Liberty had four brothers—Alexander Franklin (1829-1905), Rollin Vespasian (1840-1889), Francis Marion (1844-1908), and Eugene Augustus (b. 1855)—and four sisters—Emeline Cecelia (1830-1885), Louisa M. (1832-1862), Charlotte Lucinda (b. 1836), and Emmogene Augusta (1847-1852). In 1864 he married Maria Traver Reed (1830-1912), who had divorced her first husband, Tembroeck Reed, in 1859 and already had a son Nate A. Reed. Liberty and Maria Abbott had one child, Birdie Traver Abbott Jones Gearhart (1869-1946).

Liberty Abbott clerked in Warren, Pennsylvania, and then went to work in the family hotel. In July 1861, Abbott enlisted in E Company, Fifth Regiment, New York Volunteer Cavalry as a private and mustered out as a major in August 1865. Abbott received an appointment to the Internal Revenue service in 1869 and was stationed in Holly Springs, Mississippi. In 1872 he was appointed to the post of superintendent of schools in Marshall County. On July 10, 1874, he was appointed chancery judge for the Ninth District of Mississippi but left that post in 1876. In 1888 he was appointed alderman of the town of Howard. After stepping down as chancery judge in 1876, Abbott went into partnership with his sister Charlotte’s husband, Myron Waters, to run Clifton Plantation in Holmes County, Mississippi. At the time of his death Abbott owned the plantation. Abbott was involved in the Masons, was a Knight Templar of the Twenty-first Degree, and was a member of the Knights of Pythias. Liberty Abbott died in Howard on August 9, 1894.

Francis Marion Abbott was born on January 28, 1844, in New York. He married Gertrude E. Henry (b. 1840) in 1870, and had one child, Mabel H. Abbott (b. 1879?). F. Marion Abbott was educated at Warren Union School in Pennsylvania. Abbott served in the Union Army during the Civil War and was discharged in 1865 as a major. That same year he moved to Aberdeen, Mississippi, and in 1866 he moved onto a plantation in part of Chickasaw, later Clay, County. From 1870 until 1874 Abbott served in the Mississippi legislature as a Republican senator. He founded Abbott, Mississippi, in 1878. He served as president of the Birmingham, Selma and New Orleans Railroad. Abbott bought and reorganized the Selma, Alabama, streetcar line and served as president and general manager until his death in September 1908.

Birdie Traver Abbott Jones Gearhart was born on November 21, 1869, at her father’s Clifton Plantation. She married Peyton Tabb Jones (1854-1901) on April 30, 1896, and had a son, Peyton Abbott “Buddy” Jones (1897-1975). She married her second husband, Frank P. Gearhart (1869-1931) on February 24, 1903, at Clifton Plantation. Frank Gearhart managed a timber firm pioneering in the Quiver River area of Leflore County in the early 1900s. They had two children: Frances Gearhart (b. 1905) and Traver Gearhart (1907-1984). Birdie Gearhart died on May 22, 1946.

Sources:

The Liberty C. Abbott family papers.

Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi. (1891). 2 vols. Chicago: Goodspeed. vol.1. pp.277-278; vol.2. p.33, 204.

Bostwick, Henry Anthon. (1901). Genealogy of the Bostwick Family: The Descendants of Arthur Bostwick of Stratford, Conn. Hudson, N.Y.: Bryan Printing Co. pp.490-491.

Brieger, James F. (1997). Hometown Mississippi. Jackson, Miss.: Town Square Books, p.96.

Dunbar, Rowland. (1935). Courts, Judges and Lawyers of Mississippi, 1798-1935. Jackson, Miss.: Hederman. p.249.

McNees, L.L. (1955). Cemetery Records: Holmes County, Mississippi. pp.77-78.

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Contents

The Liberty C. Abbott family papers contain the records of the Abbott family, including a large amount of correspondence, much of it with family and friends but there are political and business letters also. In addition, there are records of Liberty Abbott’s business activities, including Clifton Plantation, Abbott and Howard, Holmes County, as well as Thompson and McClure of Schlater, Leflore County. There are also some legal documents, diaries, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, advertisements, and photographs.

The papers are divided into six series. The first is the Correspondence series. This includes letters to and from Liberty and Maria Abbott, their daughter Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart, and Liberty’s brother, F. Marion Abbott. The correspondence is primarily with family and friends but also includes letters to Liberty Abbott with political content from Blanche K. Bruce and James Hill among others.

The second group of materials, the Business Records series, contains correspondence, receipts, advertisements and other materials related to the business activities of Liberty Abbott until his death in 1894, and of his wife, daughter and brother thereafter. The series also includes receipts and other materials related to Clifton Plantation, and day books and ledgers from Abbott and Howard. There are eight financial record books from the timber firm of Thompson and McClure, Schlater, Leflore County.

The third series, Legal Documents, comprises documents related to Liberty and Maria Abbott and Clifton Plantation. These include Maria’s divorce decree, Liberty and Maria’s marriage certificate, and Liberty’s will, commission as a cavalry officer and his appointments as judge and alderman. The Clifton Plantation documents include eight deeds of trust.

The fourth series, Diaries, includes the diaries and related materials of Liberty Abbott and his father, Harry Abbott.

The fifth group is the Newspaper Clippings series and consists of clippings about Liberty Abbott and his family and friends in Mississippi, Pennsylvania and New York. There are also a number of clippings of poems, unusual events, and advice on farming and domestic activities including recipes.

The last group of materials is the Miscellaneous series. It includes family memorabilia such as cards, programs, announcements and notes. There are also some publications, including a book of poetry, an 1864 ‘phreno-chart’ of Liberty Abbott, and number of souvenir booklets from the 1893 and 1904 World Expositions. In addition, there are Liberty Abbott fraternal organization materials such as death notices and account statements, a railroad timetable and telephone tariff book, and various advertisements and solicitations from mail-order companies. The series contains some photographs of the Abbott family, including an ambrotype that may be an early picture of Liberty Abbott and an Abbott tombstone.

Return to Table of Contents »


Arrangement

Series 1. Correspondence - Boxes 1-4; Visual Materials: Photographs Box 6

Series 2. Business records - Box 4-6; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 1; Oversize Manuscripts Box 2; Oversize Ledgers Boxes 1-5

Series 3. Legal documents - Box 6; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 1

Series 4. Diaries - Box 6

Series 5. Newspaper clippings - Box 6; Oversize Manuscripts Box 2

Series 6. Miscellaneous - Box 6-7; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 1; Oversize Manuscripts Box 2; Visual Materials: Photographs Box 6; Visual Materials: Cased Photographs Box 1

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

Mississippi State University Libraries 

P.O. Box 5408
Mississippi State, MS, 39762
662-325-7679
sp_coll@library.msstate.edu

Publication date: June 2008

Access Restrictions

Open to all researchers.

Use Restrictions

Any requests for permission to publish, quote, or reproduce materials from this collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian for Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Mississippi State University as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Donor

Frank Abbott Jones, March 1958.

Processing Information

Newspaper clippings were disposed of after being copied on to acid-free paper. Duplicate items, envelopes, unused stationery, folders and a piece of metal chain were disposed of.

Return to Table of Contents »


Related Materials

Related Archival Materials

Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson:

Z 0974.000. Clifton Plantation Account Book, 1870-1899 and undated. Includes business and personal materials. (Microfilm 36102)

Secretary of State. Register of Commissions, 1865-1869. p.411 (Microfilm 2329)

Secretary of State. Register of Commissions, 1871-1874. p.9, 15 (Microfilm 1542)

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Abbott and Howard (Holmes County, Miss.).
  • Mississippi State College for Women.
  • Republican Party (Miss.).
  • Thompson and McClure (Schlater, Miss.) .
  • United States. Army. New York Cavalry Regiment, 5th (1861-1886).

Family Name(s)

  • Abbott family.
  • Reed family.
  • Traver family.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Frewsburg (N.Y.)
  • Holmes County (Miss.)
  • Howard (Miss.)
  • Jamestown (N.Y.)
  • Leflore County (Miss.)
  • Manchester (Ala.)
  • Warren (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Abbott, F. Marion, 1844-1908.
  • Abbott, Gertrude, b. 1840.
  • Abbott, Harry, 1800-1877.
  • Abbott, Liberty C., 1836-1894--Photographs.
  • Abbott, Liberty C., 1836-1894.
  • Abbott, Maria, 1830-1912.
  • Bruce, Blanche Kelso, 1841-1898.
  • Gearhart, Birdie, 1869-1946--Photographs.
  • Gearhart, Birdie, 1869-1946.
  • Gearhart, Frances, b. 1905.
  • Gearhart, Frank, 1869-1931.
  • Gearhart, Traver, 1907-1984.
  • Hill, James
  • Jones, Peyton Abbott, 1897-1975.
  • Jones, Peyton Tabb, 1854-1901.
  • Martin, Tella E.
  • Traver, Elizabeth.
  • Traver, Margaret.
  • Vinton, Dorothy.
  • Waters, Charlotte, b. 1836.
  • Waters, Myron, b. 1817?

Subject(s)

  • Advertising.
  • Business records.
  • Clifton Plantation.
  • Coal mines and mining--Alabama--Photographs.
  • Education--Mississippi.
  • Family life--Mississippi.
  • Freemasonry.
  • Insurance policies.
  • Judges.
  • Lumber industry.
  • Politics and government--1865-1950
  • Sepulchral monuments--Photographs.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

Series 1. Correspondence. 

 Box 1. Folder 1. Political letters to Liberty C. Abbott, 1876-1897. 

 Box 1. Folder 2. To Liberty C. Abbott from F. Marion Abbott, 1879-1894. 

 Box 1. Folder 3. To Liberty C. Abbott from Myron and Charlotte L. Waters, 1879, 1883-1884. 

 Box 1. Folder 4. To Liberty C. Abbott from miscellaneous persons, 1879, 1883-1884. 

 Box 1. Folder 5. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Liberty C. Abbott, 1873-1879. 

 Box 1. Folder 6. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Birdie Abbott Jones: 1895-1897. 

 Box 1. Folder 7. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Birdie Abbott Jones: 1898, 1900, 1901 and undated. 

 Box 1. Folder 8. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart: 1901-1903, includes letter from Frank P. Gearhart. 

 Box 1. Folder 9. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart: 1904-1905 July 23. 

 Box 1. Folder 10. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart, 1905 August 23-1909 and undated. 

 Box 1. Folder 11. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Frank P. Gearhart, 1903-1908. 

 Box 2. Folder 12. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Nate A. Reed, 1894-1906. 

 Box 2. Folder 13. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Myra Reed, 1896-1908. 

 Box 2. Folder 14. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from F. Marion Abbott: 1879, 1894-1895 December 4. 

 Box 2. Folder 15. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from F. Marion Abbott: 1895 December 7-1896. 

 Box 2. Folder 16. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from F. Marion Abbott: 1897-1907 and undated. 

 Box 2. Folder 17. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Gertrude E. Abbott: 1896-1906 July 3. 

 Box 2. Folder 18. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Gertrude E. Abbott: 1906 July 22-1910. 

 Box 2. Folder 19. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Charlotte L. Waters, 1897-1910. 

 Box 2. Folder 20. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Nell ?, 1894-1902. 

 Box 2. Folder 21. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Charles Traver, 1895-1899. 

 Box 2. Folder 22. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Tella E. Martin: 1895-1903 September 21. 

 Box 3. Folder 23. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Tella E. Martin: 1903 October 7-1906 June 19. 

 Box 3. Folder 24. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Tella E. Martin: 1906 August 18-1907. 

 Box 3. Folder 25. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from Tella E. Martin: 1908-1910. 

 Box 3. Folder 26. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from James and Bessie Traver, 1897-1909. 

 Box 3. Folder 27. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from miscellaneous persons: 1881-1910. 

 Box 3. Folder 28. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from miscellaneous persons: 1883-1911. 

 VMP 6. Photographs: Liberty C. Abbott, undated; unidentified woman (Maria T. Abbott?), undated. 

 Box 3. Folder 29. To Maria T. Abbott and Birdie Abbott from miscellaneous persons: 1894-1908. 

 Box 3. Folder 30. To Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart from Liberty C. And Maria T. Abbott, 1880-1884. 

 Box 3. Folder 31. To Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart from Libba?, 1904-1926. 

 Box 3. Folder 32. To Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart from Peyton Tabb Jones, 1895, 1900. 

 Box 3. Folder 33. To Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart from Frank P. Gearhart, 1906-1918. 

 VMP 6. Postcard: Frank P. Gearhart (?) and unidentified man on small pony cart, 1916. 

 Box 3. Folder 34. To Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart from Dorothy Vinton, 1892, 1902-1909. 

 Box 3. Folder 35a. To Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart from miscellaneous persons, 1885-1925. 

 Box 3. Folder 35b. To Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart from miscellaneous persons, 1894-1926. 

 VMP 6. Photograph: Elizabeth Traver; Margaret Traver with unidentified friend, circa 1923. 

 Box 4. Folder 36. To Frank P. and Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart from Peyton Abbott Jones, Traver and Frances Gearhart, 1922-1930. 

 VMP 6.  Photograph: Coal mine in Manchester, Ala. (Saragossa Mining Company), 1922. 

 Box 4. Folder 37. To Frank P. Gearhart from miscellaneous persons, 1908-1922. 

 Box 4. Folder 38. To F. Marion Abbott from Liberty C. and Maria T. Abbott, 1892-1899 and undated. 

 Box 4. Folder 39. To Peyton Abbott Jones from miscellaneous persons, 1897-1910. 

 Box 4. Folder 40. To Myron Waters from Liberty C. Abbott, 1894. 

 Box 4. Folder 41.  Miscellaneous, 1874-1927 and undated. 

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 2. Business records. 

Liberty C. Abbott: Miscellaneous correspondence, receipts, advertisements and other materials: 

 Box 4. Folder 42. 1874-1883 May 15. 

 SMO 1.  New Orleans Price Current Semi-Weekly Market Report, 1883 March 14, 1883 March 17, 1883 April 14; Cash drawing broadsides, 1883 May 15, June 15; Invoice, 1883. 

 Box 4. Folder 43. 1883 May 22-December 17. 

 SMO 1.  New Orleans Price Current Semi-Weekly Market Report, 1883 May 23, 1883 May 26, 1883 October 10. 

 Box 4. Folder 44. 1884. 

 Box 4. Folder 45. 1888-1892 December 24. 

 SMO 1.  Deed of Trust, 1892. 

 Box 4. Folder 46. 1892, December 27-1894. 

 Box 4. Folder 47. Undated. 

 Box 5. Folder 48.  Liberty C. Abbott: Miscellaneous advertisements and solicitations, undated. 

 OS 2.  'Life of Napoleon Bonaparte', Century Magazine, 1895. 

 Box 5. Folder 49. Liberty C. Abbott: Life insurance, 1873-1894. 

 SMO 1.  Insurance policy, 1888. 

 OS 2.  Insurance policy, 1889. 

 Box 5. Folder 50. Liberty C. Abbott: Day books, 1881-1895. 

 Box 5. Folder 51. Maria T. Abbott: miscellaneous correspondence, receipts, advertisements and other materials, 1894-1912. 

 Box 5. Folder 52. Birdie Abbott Jones Gearhart: miscellaneous correspondence, receipts, advertisements and other materials, 1895-1931 and undated. 

 Box 5. Folder 53. F. Marion Abbott: correspondence, receipts, and other materials, 1894-1900. 

Clifton Plantation, Holmes County, Mississippi: Receipts and other materials: 

 Box 5. Folder 54. 1873-1875. 

 Box 5. Folder 55.  1876-1898 and undated. 

 SMO 1.  Accounts, 1876-1893. 

 Box 5. Folder 56. Tax receipts, 1894-1912; miscellaneous checks, 1889-1901. 

Abbott and Howard, Holmes County, Mississippi: 

 OSL 1. Day books: 1882-1884. 

 OSL 1. Day books: 1884-1887. 

 OSL 2. Day books: 1887-1892. 

 OSL 2.  Ledger, 1882-1892. 

 Box 5. Folder 57. Ledger material, undated. 

 OSL 3. Petty cash book, 1891-1893. 

Thompson and McClure, Schlater, Mississippi: 

 OSL 5. Cash book, 1903-1905. 

 OSL 3. Invoice book, 1905-1907. 

 OSL 3. Ledgers: 1902-1903. 

 OSL 5. Ledgers: 1905-1907. 

 Box 6. Folder 58. Ledger materials, 1906. 

 OSL 4. Payroll and shipment books: 1904. 

 OSL 4. Payroll and shipment books: 1905-1906. 

 OSL 4. Record book, 1903-1904. 

 OSL 4. Time book, 1903-1907. 

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 3. Legal documents. 

 Box 6. Folder 59. Clifton Plantation, 1874-1875, 1891. 

 SMO 1. Cavalry officer commission, 1863; Judgeship appointment, 1874; Alderman appointment, 1888. 

 Box 6. Folder 60. Liberty C. and Maria T. Abbott, 1859-1909. 

 SMO 1. Deeds of trust, 1875 (7), 1885. 

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 4. Diaries. 

 Box 6. Folder 61. Harry Abbott, 1874, 1875. 

 Box 6. Folder 62. Liberty C. Abbott: 1867. 

 Box 6. Folder 63. Liberty C. Abbott: Diary materials, 1867, 1883. 

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 5. Newspaper clippings. 

 Box 6. Folder 64. Abbott family: 1869-1910. 

 OS 2.  Abbott family: "Chancellor Abbott", 1875. 

 OS 2. Abbott family: "Impeachment Trial of Adelbert Ames...(continued)", 1876 March 23. 

 Box 6. Folder 65. Abbott family: 1874-1908 and undated. 

 Box 6. Folder 66. Miscellaneous, 1876-1900 and undated. 

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 6. Miscellaneous. 

 Box 6. Folder 67. Memorabilia: Abbott Family, undated. 

 Box 6. Folder 68. Memorabilia: Books, 1864, 1865. 

 Box 6. Folder 69. Memorabilia: World's Exposition, 1893, 1904. 

 Box 7. Folder 70. Fraternal organizations: Liberty C. Abbott materials, 1880-1893. 

 Box 7. Folder 71. General, 1895, 1910, 1919 and undated. 

 OS 2. Gearhart house floor plan, 1918. 

 Box 7. Folder 72. Solicitations and advertisements: Undated. 

 Box 7. Folder 73. Solicitations and advertisements: 1894 and undated. 

 SMO 1. Solicitation, 1894. 

 Box 7. Folder 74. Photographs: Photocopies of unidentified photographs. 

 VMCP 1. Photographs: Unidentified ambrotype (Liberty C. Abbott?), undated. 

 VMP 6. Photographs: Abbott family and related, undated. 

Return to Table of Contents »