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Collection Title: Carter-Fancher Collection

Collection Number: M305

Dates: 1845-1889

Volume: 11 items

Provenance: Donated by Mr. George Butler on May 10, 1989.

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:

The Carter and Fancher families both originated in Tennessee. From 1830, the Fanchers began arriving in Mississippi, having settled in Alabama ten years before. Meanwhile, the first Carters arrived in Mississippi prior to 1820. The two families are connected by the marriage of John A. Carter and Susan Fancher.

John A. Carter was born in 1851 in Tennessee and moved to Noxubee County, Mississippi, with his family sometime during the 1860s. Carter married Susan Fancher in Mashulaville, Noxubee County, Mississippi, on December 30, 1874. Six years later, the couple had moved to Hood County, Texas, where they reared at least five children. Susan Fancher Carter (b. August 24, 1854) was the daughter of James P. and Harriet Fancher who had moved to Mississippi from Alabama, with other members of the family, sometime in the 1850s. Many members of the Fancher family arrived in Mississippi and settled in Noxubee or Attala Counties. Little information is available concerning the activities of John and Susan Carter, but records indicate that Susan Fancher Carter died on December 28, 1940, and is buried in Mashulaville, Mississippi.

Scope and Content:

This collection contains four land deeds and nine items of correspondence written and received by various members of the Carter and Fancher families of Mashulaville, Noxubee County, Mississippi. All of the items are handwritten and dated between 1845 and 1889. Three items in the collection are undated.

The collection is divided into two folders -- one containing land deeds and legal documents, and the other, correspondence. All of the items in the collection have been deacidified and encapsulated as preservation measures. Several items are in poor condition, rendering some sections of the correspondence extremely difficult to read.

The four land deeds are dated between 1845 and 1889. All of the deeds involve the sale of various tracts of land in Noxubee County, Mississippi, to John Fancher. The first deed, dated January 24, 1845, is signed by S.M. Goode of Kemper County, Mississippi, and indicates a sale of land to John Fancher for the sum of $400. The land represents a total area of 80 acres in Noxubee County. In the deed, Goode and his wife, Louisiana, relinquish all rights to the land in favor of Fancher. The document is handwritten and is witnessed by Willis Sanders and W.B. Pettus, and signed by William Powe, Justice of the Peace for Kemper County. The signature of Louisiana Goode also appears on the document.

The second deed, dated May 10, 1852, is a handwritten receipt/deed prepared by W.A. Pratt, indicating the payment of $701.65 for parcels of land bought by John Fancher. The document bears the signature of W.A. Pratt, but the location of the land is not known. The third deed, dated January 24, 1853, is a deed/decree relating to the sale of some land belonging to the estate of David Buck. Filed in Macon, Mississippi, the deed specifies that the land can only be sold after public notices have advertized the proposed sale for a total of forty days. The document is handwritten and is signed by Jesse H. and David J. Buck, administrators of the late David Buck's estate. John Fancher is listed on the document as buyer of the land, which is located in Noxubee County, Mississippi. The document is also signed by C.L. Bonner (?), the County Clerk of Noxubee County.

The final deed, dated December 13, 1889, records the sale of land in Noxubee County, between John W., A.H., and James P. Fancher. The document is handwritten and is signed by J.W. Fancher and A.H. Fancher. The signature of S.N. Carter also appears on the document.

Correspondence in the collection is dated between 1883 and 1886 and includes six handwritten letters, three partial letters, and two envelopes. Two of the letters, addressed to M.E. Fancher of Mashulaville, were written by Maurice Delmar from various locations in Texas and New Mexico. Dated October 24, 1883, and March 17, 1884, the two Delmar letters offer a wealth of information concerning life in Texas in the late nineteenth century. Both letters contain colorful and lively descriptions of activities in San Antonio and the frontier towns of Texas and New Mexico. From the letters, Delmar appears to have been a wanderer and an adventurer whose correspondence wonderfully depicts the images and landscapes associated with the Old West. For example, the letter dated October 24, 1883, describes in colorful detail Delmar's activities while staying in San Antonio, including the saloons, the whiskey, the women, and the hustle and bustle of the town. Delmar continues the letter by describing an interesting incident in which he encountered a Mexican caballero while wandering the mountains and landscapes of New Mexico. The three partial letters in the collection (one dated March 27, 1886 and two undated) were also written by Delmar. In one of the undated fragments, he mentions the capture of Geronimo and his braves in the Sierra Madre. Included in the collection is a handwritten transcription of pages five through eight of the letter dated March 17, 1884.

The recurrent theme of the four remaining letters in the collection is the apparent marital difficulties of "M.C" and "Suzy". It appears that M.C. has left Suzy, and that two children, Marcus and Jane, are involved. In the first, dated June 7, 1886, the salutation is "Dear Uncle". The letter was written from Aden, Mississippi, and is signed by S.F. Shepperd. The writer discusses crops and the weather, and exhorts "Uncle" not to "steal Marcus from Suzy". The second letter, dated June 22, 1886, was written from Wichita Falls, Texas and is addressed to Suzy. The writer discusses his living arrangements, the good Texas land, and his apparent infidelity. In addition, he informs Suzy that he is sending her five hundred dollars. The third letter is undated, and was written by Mary Poole to her brother. The primary subjects of the letter are "Marcus" and "Susie", particularly Marcus' education. The fourth letter is also undated, and begins "Dear Son". The letter is signed "Your Mother until death, S.N. Carter". Mrs. Carter's letter is filled with concern for her son's welfare since the apparent breakup of his marriage. On the back of the letter, the recipient (M.C.) has written notes to "Suzy" and "Jane" (whom he addresses as "Prasious Litle Darling".

The final items in the collection are two undated envelopes addressed to Mrs. S.N. Carter of Mashulaville, Mississippi.

This collection is of note to researchers in at least two areas. First, the letters from Maurice Delmar offer colorful details concerning life in the Old West. Secondly, the land deeds offer insights into legal transactions in Mississippi during the late nineteenth century.


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