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Collection Title: Whitfield (James) Letter

Collection Number: M66

Dates: October 19, 1838

Volume: 1 Letter

Provenance: Unknown.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

James Whitfield was born in Elbert County, Georgia, on December 15, 1791, and moved to Columbus, Mississippi, when it was a small village. Whitfield was a planter and merchant in Columbus when he was first elected in 1842 as a representative in the Mississippi legislature. He served in the lower house until 1851 when he was elected to the Senate. On November 24, 1851, he was elected President of the Senate. It was during this time that the state constitution had ended officials' terms when the elections were complete. Since no executive officials were to be inaugurated until January, Whitfield served not only as President of the Senate but also as Governor "ad interim" from November 24, 1851, to January 10, 1852, when Henry Foote was inaugurated.

Whitfield was elected as a state representative again in 1858. During the 1850's he became president of the Columbus Banking and Insurance Company, an institution which, during the Civil War, was able to maintain its credit and, at the close of the War, to redeem its circulation. Whitfield died June 25, 1875, in Columbus and is buried there.

Scope and Content:

A letter from James Whitfield to W.H. (Henry) Buchannon of Columbus, Mississippi. The letter was written in New York on October 19, 1838, concerning a buying trip Whitfield was conducting for his mercantile business. The letter discusses prices, vendors, and the date of shipment. Whitfield also wrote about debt collections and the differences between river banking institutions and interior banking institutions.


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Revised: November 9, 2004