Friday, August 25, 2006

Monmouth Plantation Timeline

1799 John Quitman is born September 1, in Rhinebeck, New York.

1820 Quitman arrives in Natchez on December 3. Four years later, he marries Eliza Turner.

1830 U.S. Census records John Quitman’s ownership of six enslaved people.

1833 Cholera claims Quitman’s infant sons, John and Edward. An enslaved woman at Monmouth named Aunt Dicey is put into service as nursemaid to Eliza and John Quitman’s children.

1834 Quitman purchases fifteen slaves. A house slave at Monmouth named Harry Nichols is put into service as personal valet to John Quitman.

1836 Harry Nichols travels with Quitman to Texas. Quitman, along with the Fencibles, (a Quitman organized militia group), participates in Texas independence from Mexico.

1840 U. S. Census records John Quitman’s ownership of 160 enslaved people. Tornado sweeps though Natchez, killing hundreds.

1842 John and Eliza’s family grows to seven children. Aunt Dicey is "banished" to Springfield Plantation by Eliza for “misbehaving”.

1846 John Quitman serves as a victorious general in the war with Mexico; he is assisted by "faithful" Harry Nichols. Quitman procures a daguerreotype of Harry.

1850 John Quitman becomes Governor of Mississippi. A Monmouth house slave named Belle Vessels assists at the "White House of Mississippi”.

1856 Aunt Dicey returns to Monmouth. Viola Vessels, a Monmouth house slave, is bridesmaid at the wedding of an enslaved couple at neighboring Melrose, a suburban estate owned by Quitman’s law partner, John McMurran. Viola is married the following year to Marcellus Brannick, a house slave at Melrose.

1858 John A. Quitman dies at Monmouth on July 17. His wife Eliza Turner Quitman, dies at Monmouth one year later. Daughters Annie Rosalie, J. Antonia, and Louisa marry and remain at Monmouth.

1861 The state of Mississippi secedes from the Union. The Quitman daughters see their husbands off to war. Monmouth slaves are asking, "how's master?".

1862 Natchez surrenders to the Union Army. Monmouth slaves begin to run off, including house slaves Charles Vessels, Richard Austin, and Isaac, all of whom join the Union Army.

1863 Monmouth is occupied by Union soldiers (both black and white) whereupon extensive looting occurs. Harry Nichols joins the Union Army, then returns to Monmouth “demanding wages”. Quitman daughters begin paying wages to eight former house slaves. Aunt Dicey and Old Sarah are compensated with food, clothing, and tobacco in their old age.

1865 The only staff left at Monmouth is “Fred and his family along with Harry and his wife”. To supplement their income, Quitman daughters sell off some of their household possessions to formerly enslaved African Americans.

1875 A Lease/Lien agreement is signed with John Williams, giving the Quitman daughters a claim to all cotton grown on Monmouth as security for rent due from Williams.

1887 John Quitman’s granddaughters, Eva C. Lovell and Alice Lovell, move back to Natchez and take up residence at Monmouth. Viola Vessels Brannick’s daughters, Corinne and Hester, childhood companions to Eva, return to Monmouth as paid staff.

1902 Belle Vessels, a former house slave to Governor Quitman at the “White House of Mississippi”, lives at the edge of Monmouth where she and her husband rent Monmouth land for crops. One year later Quitman’s daughter, Annie Rosalie Quitman Duncan, sells a half-acre portion of Monmouth to Viola Brannick (a widow) for the sum of $200.

1912 Corrine Scott, an African-American woman who grew up at Monmouth, purchases from Rose Duncan one-half acre of Monmouth property as "her residence for the sum of $100". Former house slave, Charles Vessels also purchases a portion of Monmouth property. 1914 Annie Rosalie Quitman Duncan, the last surviving child of John and Eliza Quitman, dies at Monmouth, leaving Monmouth to her nieces, Eva Lovell and Alice Lovell. Descendants of Monmouth enslaved, Corinne Scott, Tom Tolles, Viola Brannick, and Kitty Austin, are listed as beneficiaries in "Aunt Rose’s" will. 1924 Monmouth passes from the hands of Quitman descendents when it is sold to Annie Gwen. Corrina (Corinne) Scott sells her portion of Monmouth to Mamie Davis for $500.

1978 Ron and Lani Riches purchase, and restore Monmouth.

The owners of Monmouth Plantation would like to sincerely thank Cynthia Parker for her time and efforts in putting this detailed timeline together. For more hisorical information on Monmouth visit our website @

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