This collection chiefly contains the correspondence of
the family of lawyer and Texas state senator Eldred J. Simkins (1838-1903). Subjects
discussed include the California Gold Rush and life in Mariposa County, Calif., during the
1850s and 1870s; the Civil War in Charleston, South Carolina, from a confederate soldier's
point of view; life in South Carolina and Florida after the Civil War; and life in Austin
and Corsicana, Texas, during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Eldred J. Simkins (1838-1903) was born October 13, 1838, in the Edgefield District of South
Carolina. In 1843, his parents, Eldred Simkins and Pattie (Bythewood) Simkins, moved their
family (which included children William Stewart and Pattie) to Monticello, Florida. Soon
after the move, both parents died and the children returned to the Beaufort District of
South Carolina where they were raised by their maternal grandparents, Sarah (Fickling)
Bythewood and Benjamin Russell Bythewood. Among the other residents of the Bythewood's
Beaufort plantation household were Anne Maria (Bythewood) Trescot, a married daughter, and
her two children, Eliza Josephine Trescot and E. Bocquet Trescot. Anne Maria Trescot's
physician husband, Edward Henry Trescot (probably the brother of William Henry Trescot,
diplomat and historian) went to California in 1849 to search for gold and never returned to
Approximately 475 pieces in 10 boxes
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