University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Barnes-Willis Family Papers, 1783-1840.

Descriptive Summary

Creator Barnes-Willis Family
Title Barnes-Willis Family Papers,
Dates: 1783-1840.
Abstract Materials document the family affairs and business activities of Abram Barnes, his brothers-in-law William and John B. Willis and other family members from 1783-1840.
Accession No. 85-311, OCLC 37038868
Extent 1 ft., 11 in.
Language English.
Repository Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Abram Barnes (1785-1830) was a bank director in Port Gibson, Mississippi, married to Ann Maria Willis (1791-1827). Brothers-in-law William (d. ca. 1821) and John B. Willis were a sheriff of Vidalia, Louisiana, and a merchant/attorney in Port Gibson and Washington, Mississippi, respectively.

Scope and Contents

Materials document the family affairs and business activities of Abram Barnes, his brothers-in-law William and John B. Willis and other family members. The papers record Barnes's business activity with various merchants and individuals, as well as his role as estate administrator for Elias Barnes (1759-1807), Edmund Burton (d. 1830), William Willis, Joseph Moore, and Edward Fort Barnes. Willis family papers involve relatives in South Carolina and plans to move to Mississippi. School copy books of Barnes's daughter Ann (1818-1892) and manuscripts of plays by Thomas Willis and Jefferies H. Moore are included. Barnes's correspondence includes his purchase of slaves and dealings with New Orleans cotton factors Wilkins and Linton, family affairs, travel, property transactions, and estate administration. Papers of John B. Willis include business correspondence with his partner, Thomas J. H. Richey, concerning purchases of slaves, cotton, and supplies; debt collection; and military matters. William Willis's correspondence includes letters from his brothers John B., Thomas A., and Daniel and from business associates, relating to slaves, military matters, lumber and cotton. Probate records include receipts and records of the administration of the estates of Abram Barnes's father Elias Barnes's (1759-1807) and others. Some estate records are found in William Willis's ledger of public sheriff's auctions. Financial records document John B. Willis and Richey's business activities and include receipts, account statements and merchandise orders. Legal records relate to William Willis's activities as sheriff of Concordia Parish, Louisiana, and include court records.

This collection forms part of the Natchez Trace Collection.



Organized into six series by type of material: Correspondence, Probate and estate records, Ledger, Financial records, Legal records, Other documents. Subseries are by names, arranged alphabetically. Final arrangement is chronological.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Barnes, Abram.
Willis, John B.
Willis, William.
Barnes Family.
Willis Family.
Cotton trade--Louisiana.
Cotton trade--Mississippi.
Lumber trade--Mississippi.
Other Authors
Bisland, Alexander.
Richey, Thomas J. H.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Barnes-Willis Family Papers, 1783-1840, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Collection



2E529 Correspondence:
Abram Barnes, 1811-1830
2E530 John B. Willis, 1808-1814 and undated
William Willis, 1811-1819 and undated
Other family members, 1792-1832 and undated
Probate and estate records, 1788-1840
Ledger of William Willis and Abram Barnes, 1811-1830
2E531 Financial records:
Abram Barnes, 1816-1830
2E532 Abram Barnes, 1811-1830
Bisland and Richey, 1807-1809 and undated
John B. Willis, 1806-1814 and undated
Richey and Willis, 1807-1814 and undated
William Willis, 1812-1816
2E533 William Willis, 1816-1821
Other Family Members, 1783-1827
Legal records, 1809-1831
2E635 Ledger
2.325/V32 Oversize materials