1869 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A YOUNG MAN STRUGGLING TO SUCCEED IN POST CIVIL WAR RECONSTRUCTION MISSISSIPPI

By: JAMES L. COUSAR

Price: $6,855.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is an original, significant post-Civil War manuscript relic handwritten in 1869 through 1878 by James L. Cousar of Abbeville Mississippi. Cousar was growing cotton, and running a small farming operation on his own. Even a casual read of his diary entries give a sense to the struggles to keep his operation afloat. Cousar leads a rough life at times and seems quite depressed. He was likely a veteran of the War and we note a poem related to the war tucked in the journal. The diary is very well filled with approx 100 double folio sized sheets in a journal measuring 12 x 6 inches. Cousar fill's the entire sheet and cover boards. The diary is at times in three distinct parts one an account of his cotton business, a record of weather, and regular diary entries. Places mentioned include Shiloh, Summersville, Liberty, and Cypress Creek. Cousar's writings range from one liners to short paragraphs but it is the content that makes this diary significant; almost all entries mention cotton; how much, and fast he can get it bailed; mentions going to preaching, deaths, elections, hunting game, local life, one entry mentions a possible war due to elections and how lucky the community is that they did not have an artillery duel in the streets. This references Republicans that were on the ballot during reconstruction; several entries mention paying 'Negroes' most likely former slaves to help on his farm picking cotton. Readers should prepare for 'period talk' being derogatory remarks in the text. He mentions issues with planting plowing, and maintaining cotton. In 1878 he has some sort if major crisis and some entries are very personal. Here are some snippets: Nov 12 1876 At Shiloh warm cloudy took a bale of cotton to Alice to Anderson's Picked 125 & weighted 33.3 lbs cotton for Dr Call. 1872 Left Sammersville on the seven this morning and landed at Moscow at 8 am left mine junction 10 left at 2 pm arrived at Abbivile at four walked out and caught up with Mr. Alexander and drove his wagon to Mr. H. Took supper and went to John W and stayed all night. H. got home this morning warm and clear pulled a little cotton I am not well went to Pa's this evening. Went to Shailoh to preaching Mr . Pressley will be gone for some time. I am still sick, hot looks dry.Cooler and clear raining south hoeing cotton January 1st 1872 I stayed with Mr. Bell last night he died this morning just after I left.Went to Liberty 1872 Raining at a distance I was at Pa's last night from there to Shailoh church. Mr. C. Varnarely was elected without war or an artillery fight. Very hot raining at a distance to today its still too wet looks like it will never get dry enough until it burns up. Hot enough to kill a thick sculled nigger. Raining off I was busy grieveing- my cotton the finishing took a while it is just getting dry enough to plow good. Alex with me last night we went to see the picture man Pierce he does very good work I took dinner with Alex today. It is getting hot again would like to see a shower of rain again I don't think cotton is very good. Sept 20, 1872 Sanders store to get money to pay my cotton pickers got ten dollars it won't last long. I will haul out 800 ponds tonight. Oh how I wish I could pick. Pretty warm again the infernal negroes are about to pick all my cotton out and money too. Will be rather light we will be able to carry our money in out pocket next year without others knowing. Clear and cool I will have out about 2300 pounds tonight. I have not picked any yet, but think I will be able to pick next week. Sept,22 1872 Warmer and clear thundering north this evening Anderson's hauling out cotton for me this evening hot and clear raining west I picked about 25 lbs of cotton this morning. Sept23, 1872 Clear and hot raining showers at a distance I was at Mr. Craig's last night went from there to Shiloh. Sept 24, 1872 Clear raining west pretty hot I picked 65 pounds of cotton today. March 7, 1873 Went to hear Mr CN, preach at liberty saw several ugly girls and a few long nosed men. Looks like rain but still very hot and scattering of clouds flying above plowed today broke out cotton mills till diner than plowed my corn patches wind very high. March 7, 1874 Went to liberty to hear Mr. Davis Went to Shiloh saw Capt.- Spence's wife. Jan 18th, 1874 Hot with light dashes of rain I have been trying to collect money on land but did not get much took dinner at Woodwards. At home this morning went over the river on a hunt this evening walked a long ways for two squirrels cloudy light dashes of rain warm hot and hazy not doing a thing went to Coffey's this evening I and Calvin Chaning took snuffer with Alex Mc. than Calbrio came home with me. Jan 5, 1878 I feel bad today and have felt it for several day. The snow has been on the ground for three days. I have the notion to leave some days, but I hardly know what to do for I have seen so much trouble trying to get my business straight that I am becoming tired out living on this part of the world. Oh if I had a good home where I thought I would ? To stay I would be content to remain there for life. But I am tired living where people do not want me, I have lost faith in almost everything and everyone that I need in this world. In addition to the diary there is an intriguing small sheet with family genealogy written in pencil, a partial newspaper from Kentucky and a few receipts. The condition of the journal is rough it's hard to believe it survived this long. The binding is holding on, but is very fragile. The paper is brittle and tears easily, sheets show tears, stains, several are lose, one was even taped together. Several sheets were removed at some point in the past. Extreme care is needed when turning the pages of the diary. Needless to say there are 100 double sided sheets every one of which is filled with content.

Title: 1869 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A YOUNG MAN STRUGGLING TO SUCCEED IN POST CIVIL WAR RECONSTRUCTION MISSISSIPPI

Author Name: JAMES L. COUSAR

Categories: 19th Century Diary, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: ABBEVILLE MISSISSIPPI, 1869

Book Condition: Fair

Type: Manuscript

Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall

Seller ID: 0002601

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF; JAMES L. COUSAR, ABBEVILLE MISSISSIPPI, COTTON FARMING, SHILOH, SUMMERSVILLE, LIBERTY, CYPRESS CREEK, RECONSTRUCTION ERA, NEGROES, CIVIL WAR ERA, SAMMERSVILLE, FREEMEN, FREED SLAVES, POST ANTE BELLUM, DEEP SOUTH, SOUTHERN STATES, SLAVE STATES, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL