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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the John Horry Dent Papers MSS.0430

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Author:

Finding aid prepared by Martha Bace

Publication:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266
205.348.0500
archives@ua.edu

November 2008

Creation:

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-02-27T14:58-0600

Language Usage:

English

Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

John Horry Dent Papers

Unit ID:

MSS.0430

Repository:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Quantity:

0.4 Linear feet (3 ledgers, 18 letters, 4 typescript reports)

Dates:

1840-1891

Abstract:

There are four typescript documents in the folder also: (1) Commodore John Herbert Dent, U.S. Navy, 1782--1823; (2) Charles I. Graves in Egypt (1875--1878); (3) Cape Guardafui by Lt. Col. Graves (the proceedings of the meeting of October 1880); and (4) Report of Lt. Col. Graves, 4th July 1878. The Plantation Book (or Farm Journal v.1) was written by John Horry Dent from January 1840 through December 1842 to record actual expenditures and incomes from his estate and to provide information for his future endeavors. There are also many expositional writings, including letters to his overseer. This volume covers his early years in Barbour County, Alabama. The Farm Journal (v. 13) was written between April 1882 and February 1884. This journal is less expositional and more factual, giving crop and weather information along with short anecdotes about events at home in Cave Springs, Georgia. The copybook mainly deals with the workings of his properties in Alabama and Georgia from 1863 to 1875, but includes some expositional writings as well. The miscellaneous letters, written from 1852 to 1891 by John H. Dent, are mainly to family members. There are four typescript documents in the folder also: (1) Commodore John Herbert Dent, U.S. Navy, 1782--1823; (2) Charles I. Graves in Egypt (1875--1878); (3) Cape Guardafui by Lt. Col. Graves (the proceedings of the meeting of October 1880); and (4) Report of Lt. Col. Graves, 4th July 1878.

creator

Dent, John Horry, 1815-1892

Sources

Mathis, Ray. John Horry Dent: South Carolina Aristocrat on the Alabama Frontier. (Tuscaloosa, AL : published for the Historic Chattahoochee Commission by the University of Alabama Press, 1979.)

My Southern Family: John Horry Dent. An Ancestry.com community. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mysouthernfamily/myff/d0074/g0000054.html (accessed 7 May 2008)

RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: Neilson Genealogy: John Horry (namd changed from Jonah) DENT. RootsWeb, An Ancestry.com Community. http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:1114466&id=I53941317 (accessed 8 May 2008)

Preferred Citation:

John Horry Dent Papers, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Mr. M. B. Wellborn, 1945

Biographical/Historical note

Jonah Horry Dent was born on 5 August 1815 in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of John Herbert Dent and Elizabeth Anne Horry Dent. Dent grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and spent summers with his family on a plantation in Colleton County, South Carolina. When he was still a young child, his name was changed from "Jonah" to "John" when an older brother, named John, died, leaving little Jonah as the oldest living son. He was known as John Horry Dent the rest of his life.

Dent married Mary Elizabeth Morrison in 1835 and moved to Barbour County, Alabama, in 1836. He purchased 360 acres of land on Cowikee Creek, paying $15 an acre, and named the new plantation "Good Hope." He and Elizabeth had seven children: Robert Morrison Dent (1836-1837); Emma Julia (Minna) Dent (1838-1919); John Horry Dent, Jr. (1840-1864); Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie) Dent (1842-1870); John Herbert Dent (b. 1845); Anne Horry Dent (1847-1889); Charles Baring Dent (b. 1849); Sarah Lining Dent (1851-1866); Kate Constance Dent (1853-1919).

Dent amassed a good fortune but lost most of it after the Civil War when slavery was abolished and his slaves became freemen. After his wife's death in 1853, he married Fanny A. Whipple in 1854. Together they had six more children: Fannie Whipple Dent (1856-1892); George Columbus Dent (1858-1879); Lucy Gertrude Dent (b. 1861); Helen Almira Dent (1865-1872); Carrie Mae Dent (1868-1910); and an infant daughter (b. 1875).

In 1866 sold his properties in Barbour County and moved to Cave Springs, Floyd County, Georgia. Following the death of his second wife, Fanny, in 1875, he married Elizabeth Anne Dowd in 1876.

Dent kept detailed records about his crops and properties until very late in life. He died in Cave Springs on 17 May 1892.

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains three ledgers (a plantation book, a farm journal, and a letter copybook) and a folder of miscellaneous letters written by John Horry Dent of Eufaula, Barbour County, Alabama, and Cave Springs, Floyd County, Georgia, from January 1840 to November 1891.

There are four typescript documents in the folder also: (1) Commodore John Herbert Dent, U.S. Navy, 1782--1823; (2) Charles I. Graves in Egypt (1875--1878); (3) Cape Guardafui by Lt. Col. Graves (the proceedings of the meeting of October 1880); and (4) Report of Lt. Col. Graves, 4 July 1878.

Access Restrictions:

None

Usage Restrictions:

None

Related Archival Materials note

John Horry Dent Jr. Letters, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library John and Mary Wellborn Cochran Diaries, Letterbook, and Photographs, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library

Source(s)

Alabama (localbroad)

Barbour County (Ala.) (lcsh)

Business and Labor (localbroad)

Cave Spring (Ga.) (lcsh)

Daily Life and Family (localbroad)

Farmers--Correspondence (lcsh)

Farming and Agriculture (localbroad)

Journals (accounts) (aat)

Ledgers (account books) (aat)

Letter books (aat)

Letters (correspondence) (aat)

Plantation life (lcsh)

Plantations--Alabama (lcsh)

Miscellaneous Letters, 1852-1891 Box 0430.0001 Folder 1

Letter from John Dent to Minna Dent, September 30, 1852 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44936

Letter from Alexander Stephens, Crawfordville, Georgia, to O. H. Lee, Augusta, Georgia, October 22, 1853 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44937

Letter from John Dent to Sir, November 31, 1860 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44938

Letter from John Dent to M. B. Wellborn, January 14, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44939

Letter from John Dent to Minna Wellborn, April 20, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44940

Letter from John Dent, Eufaula, Alabama, to M. B. Wellborn, Houston, Texas, March 28, 1866 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44941

Letter from John Dent to Mack Wellborn, July 3, 1866 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44942

Letter from John Dent to Minna Wellborn, September 5, 1866 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44943

Letter from John Dent to Minna Wellborn, September 20, 1866 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44944

Letter from John Dent to Annie Dent, March 1868 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44945

Letter from John Dent to Minna Wellborn, June 7, 1872 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44946

Letter from John Dent to Minna Wellborn, April 19, 1874 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44947

Letter from John Dent to Mack Wellborn, Eufaula, Alabama, February 27, 1873 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44948

Letter from John Dent to Mack Wellborn, August 16, 1873 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44949

Letter from John Dent to Minna Wellborn, January 6, 1882 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44950

Letter from John Dent to Minna Wellborn, March 13, 1888 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44951

Letter from John Dent, Cave Springs, Georgia, to Minna Wellborn, Montgomery, Alabama, October 29, 1888 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44952

Letter from John Dent, Cave Springs, Georgia, to Minna Wellborn, Montgomery, Alabama, November 1, 1891 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44953

Navel records of Commodore John Herbert Dent, 1782-1823 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44954

Plantation Book, v. 1, 1840-1842 Box 0430.0001 Folder 2

Plantation Book, volume 1, John Horry Dent, 1840-1842 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44955

Letter Copybook, 1863-1875 Box 0430.0001 Folder 3

Letterbook, John Horry Dent, 1863-1875 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44956

Farm Journal, v. 13, 1882-1884 Box 0430.0001 Folder 4

Farm Journal, John Horry Dent, 1882-1884 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/44957