The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
Alphabetical List of All Collections | Collections Listed By Subject
Collection Title: Thompson (Lou E.) / Attala County Records
Collection Number: M193
Dates: 1860-1886, 1944
Volume: .20 cu.ft.
Restrictions: Container of photocopies will normally be used by researchers. Special permission from the curator is required to examine the original ledger.
Lou (Lula) E. Thompson, born June 3, 1847, lived in Attala County, Mississippi, during the period covered by her diary, January 1, 1868 through December 31, 1874. Her place of residence within the county changed in 1870 from Phoenix Mills to Koscuisko where her uncle, John C. Lucas, was sheriff of the county in 1867 and where her father, Joe M. Thompson, apparently succeeded Lucas in that position.
Both the Lucas and Thompson families came to Mississippi from Georgia. John C. Lucas is listed in the 1860 Mississippi Census as a farmer and sheriff originally from Georgia, and Miss Thompson's personal papers include a note that Joseph M. Thompson was born in Georgia. Two of Miss Thompson's uncles, Henry B. Thompson and M. H. Thompson, are listed as members of the 6th Georgia Regiment during the Civil War.
No information is available on Miss Thompson's marriage, although she is called "Aunt Lou Riley" in later additions to her papers. She died November 22, 1933.
This collection includes the personal diary of Lou (Lula) E. Thompson, her miscellaneous personal papers, and various Attala County, Mississippi, court and tax records.
Miss Thompson's diary, covering the period January 1, 1867, through December 31, 1874, contains daily and weekly recordings concerning her everyday life as daughter in the Thompson household, residing with her mother, father, and brother in Attala County, Mississippi. The entries prior to 1870 where made while she lived in Phoenix Mills, and the entries thereafter were made while she lived in Kosciusko.
The Phoenix Mills entries include mention of family names and notations of community events such as "protracted" church meetings and county fairs, as well as notations of marriages, births and deaths in the community. Personal comments focus on her beaux and her stint as a community school teacher. Included are names of community churches and some descriptive passages concerning a traveling circus.
The Kosciusko entries focus on everyday life as well, but Miss Thompson's concerns shift slightly in reaction to what she terms "town life." She mentions dissatisfaction with her new home but continues her church and community activities as well as her family duties. Included in this section are lengthy and detailed descriptions of trips to New Orleans, Louisiana, in April 1872 and Georgia in 1873.
After Miss Thompson's diary ended in 1874, she added reminiscences of later trips entitled "My Second Trip to Vicksburg" dated 1875 and "Our Trip to Columbus to Hear 'Sam Jones' Preach," dated 1886.
The Attala County records portion of this collection date from 1860 through 1871, with several other entries dated 1875, but the bulk of the material is for the period 1866 through 1871. They include Attala County court records of judgements awarded in civil cases, records of attempts to recover property for the purpose of making court ordered restitutions, receipts of forced land sales and probate court executions, court correspondence between attorneys and county officials. Also included is a set of records entitled "Executions From the High Court of Errors and Appeals," and one entitled "Taxes Unpaid for Fiscal Year of 1871."
Among other papers in the collection is a list of steamboats traveling the Mississippi River in 1866, a listing of Lucas family members with birth dates, a listing of Thompson family members, and a letter dated 1944 and addressed to Lt. Joe A. Thompson.
This collection would be useful to those interested in accounts of daily life of the period, as well as those attempting to verify the residence of particular families and the locations of settlements within Attala County. The county court records contain much information concerning judgements of the court complete with names, dates and amounts. Miss Thompson's travel accounts are a good source of information about travel conditions of the day as well as giving the reader a contemporary tourist's view of the locations visited.
Box 1: Original bound volume containing the diary and ledger.
Box 2: Photocopied version of the diary and ledger