University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the William A. Buckner Papers



Descriptive Summary

Creator Buckner, William Aylett
Title William A. Buckner Papers
Dates: 1775-1869
Abstract Papers of William Aylett Buckner, attorney, cotton planter, and slaveholding entrepreneur in Natchez, Mississippi. Collection documents the business and legal interests of one of the major slaveholding enterprises in the American South.
Extent 11 in.
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

William Aylett Buckner was an attorney, cotton planter, and cotton commission merchant who owned the “Airlie” house in Natchez, Mississippi. He and his business partner John Hunsicker owned the Choctaw Plantation in Tensas Parish, Louisiana, in the nineteenth century.


Scope and Contents

Papers of William Aylett Buckner, attorney, cotton planter, and slaveholding entrepreneur in Natchez, Mississippi. The plantation records from the Buckner Papers cover all aspects of plantation business and life and are especially strong in documenting the institution of slavery, as well as the cotton trade made possible by slave labor. Papers document Buckner and other prominent slaveholding families in the Natchez area, such as the families of Frederick Stanton, John Hunsicker, Alexander K. Farrar, David Hunt, Levin R. Marshall, and others.

Of particular note, the collection documents the business partnership between Buckner and Hunsicker, with slave records, cotton sales, receipts for steamboat shipping, and papers relating to the Choctaw Plantation. Also includes correspondence with Buckner’s law clients, banking and financial records (including the Panic of 1837), plantation maps, receipts, and records of Buckner’s “Airlie” home. The wide array of slave-related documents includes slave inventories, medical records, runaway slave documents, and bills of sale. Family correspondence included in the papers makes reference to slave life, as well.

Among the many remarkable documents in the Buckner Papers are a group of records documenting the business practice of mortgaging slaves—with the mortgages being held by NewYork banks—and a group records documenting the region between New Orleans and Memphis, with an emphasis on the antebellum era.


Related Material

See also the Natchez Trace Small Manuscript Collections


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William A. Buckner Papers, 1775-1869, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

William A. Buckner Papers

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3J451 Family letter to Mrs. Jane Ferguson from sister, July 28, 1826
Receipt for wages of a sailor aboard the slave ship "Royal Charlotte," 1775
Slave mortgage document, 1841
Letter from Hunsicker to Butler discussing crops, slaves, and health, 1857
Bill of sale for the slave Ann and her child by James Stockman to Buckner and Hunsicker, 1840
Bill of sale for slaves Diner, Steven, Dick, and Elizer by William K. Colling to Thomas McCorgo, 1839
Bill of sale for slave Amy by John Hunsicker to Buckner and Hunsicker, 1850
Bill of sale for slaves Burrell, Emeline, Caroline, and Kit (aka Christopher) sold to Buckner and Hunsicker, 1840
Lot No. 1, slave sale
Slave bill of sale, 1840
Slave bill of sale, six slaves, 1840
Slave bill of sale, 1853
Slave documents and plantation map
Correspondence re. Unhealthy slave girl Maria, 1822
Documents re. Runaway slaves
Miscellaneous bills, notes, etc.
Bills for the medical treatment of slaves
Ballard, Franklin, and Company
Account records of Stanton and Buckner, 1852-1853
Account records of Stanton, Buckner, and Newman, 1854-1855
Account records of Buckner, Stanton, and Newman, 1855-1856
Receipt issued to John Hunsicker for capture of slave, 1845
Account records of Stanton, Buckner, and Newman, 1859-1861
Bills and receipts for work done on Choctaw Plantation, 1842-1860
Business partners expenses, 1840s-1850s
Checks drawn on W.A. Britton and Company for expenses at Choctaw Plantation, 1849-1855
Steamboat waybills, 1841-1853
Tax receipts for taxes paid on land and slaves, as well as levee tax, 1848-1856
Plantation financial records, 1840s-1850s
Cotton sales, 1842-1860
Correspondence to Buckner
Bills, merchants’ receipts
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3J452 Receipts
Receipt to Buckner for barrels of corn and cash credit, 1848
Mortgage and notes for Choctaw Plantation, 1847
Early Mississippi will
Contract between Buckner and Hunsicker regarding Choctaw Plantation, 1858
Bill to Buckner from David Hunt, 1836-1837
Agricultural Bank of Mississippi, 1837-1838
Bank documents from the Panic of 1837 era
Business correspondence to Buckner, and to Buckner and Stewart
New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad
Business correspondence re. Cotton sales in New Orleans
Rifle Point Plantation
Legal papers
Financial records
New Orleans Gas Light and Banking Company, 1835-1836
Mississippi and Alabama Railroad Company, 1837-1838
Union Bank of Louisiana, 1837-1838
Planters Bank of Mississippi
Bank of the United States in New Orleans
Commercial Bank of Natchez
Bank of the State of Mississippi
Correspondence re. Cuba, 1842
Financial records
Jane Ferguson subgroup:
Receipt issued to slave boy George, 1841
Financial records
Various materials re. Choctaw Plantation, etc.
Bank of the United States at Natchez
Financial and court records
Financial records
Commercial Bank of Rodney, Mississippi, 1837
Letter: Stedman and Company to Buckner, written aboard the steamboat "Aurora" regarding saw mill, plantation ginhouse, yellow fever, 1858
George L. Locker subgroup
Slave bill of sale
Financial records
List of slaves at “Locust-land Plantation”
Letter to D.J. Seaton re. Threat of lawsuit unless debt is paid or slaves given up, 1836
U.S. Circuit Court, Southern District, 1841
Invoices for materials sold by druggist W.H. Fox to Buckner and Hunsicker, 1840-1860
Invoices for materials sold by druggist P.H. McGraw to Buckner, 1850-1860
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3T4 Photograph: Ambrotype of unidentified Buckner youth, Airlie home, Natchez, Mississippi