Rush and Haller Nutt Papers: Finding Aid mssNU

Brooke M. Black
The Huntington Library
February 2022
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Business Number: (626) 405-2191

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: Rush and Haller Nutt papers
Identifier/Call Number: mssNU
Physical Description: 10.3 Linear Feet (9 boxes and 1 oversize folder)
Date (inclusive): 1805-1933
Date (bulk): 1817-1862
Abstract: Papers belonging to American physicians, scientists, and planters, Dr. Rush Nutt and his son Dr. Haller Nutt.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Rush and Haller Nutt papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from James E. Smalldon, 1964 and 1971.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Rush Nutt, planter, physician, enslaver, and scientist of Jefferson County, Mississippi. A native of Virginia, he studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania under Dr. Benjamin Rush. (He changed his first name from Rushworth to Rush in honor of his teacher.) In 1805, he moved West, settling on a large plantation, Laurel Hill, near Rodney, Mississippi. He taught and practiced medicine and was one of the founders of the Agricultural and Mechanical College in Alcorn, Mississippi. Dr. Nutt was particularly interested in scientific principles and methods of agriculture. He was known for the development of a new brand of cottonseed. He was married to Eliza Ker, daughter of Judge David Ker. His son, Dr. Haller Nutt (1816-1865), was also a planter, physician, enslaver, and scientist. Having received his medical degree at the University of Louisville, joined his father in the management of the plantations. Together with his father, he also worked in the improvement of the cotton gin, use of various fertilizers, and selection of cottonseed. He inherited his father's plantations in Tensas Parish, Louisiana, and Laurel Hill, and later purchased several other plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana. In 1840, he married Julia Augusta Williams of Ashburn in Natchez, Mississippi. He served as justice of the peace and the president of the Police Jury in Tensas Parish, Louisiana. In 1860, he began the construction of his mansion Longwood in Natchez, an octagonal building designed by the Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan. Also in 1860, Dr. Haller Nutt's listed property included over 800 enslaved people. A Union sympathizer, Dr. Nutt suffered losses during the American Civil War. After his death, his widow filed a lawsuit against the Federal government to recover some of the damages.

Scope and Contents

Personal, professional, and business correspondence and papers of Dr. Rush Nutt and Dr. Haller Nutt. Included are materials dealing with cotton cultivation and trade, plantation management, enslaved people, medicine, the construction of the Longwood House, the Civil War, religious life, and scientific interests.

Processing Information

Processed by Huntington Library staff. In 2022, Brooke M. Black created a finding aid.


Arranged chronologically.


Individual call numbers included in the collection: mssNU 1-365, mssHM 36702-36724.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Agriculturists -- Louisiana -- Archives
Agriculturists -- Mississippi -- Archives
Cotton growing -- Southern States -- History -- Sources
Cotton manufacture -- Southern States -- History -- Sources
Cotton trade -- Southern States -- History -- Sources
Octagonal houses -- Mississippi -- Natchez
Physicians -- Louisiana -- Archives
Physicians -- Mississippi -- Sources
Plantation owners -- Louisiana -- Archives
Plantation owners -- Mississippi -- Archives
Slaveholders -- Louisiana -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
Slaveholders -- Mississippi -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
Slaves -- Louisiana -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
Slaves -- Mississippi -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
Louisiana -- History -- 1803-1865 -- Sources
Mississippi -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
Natchez (Miss.) -- History -- Sources
Family papers -- Louisiana -- 19th century
Family papers -- Mississippi -- 19th century
Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 19th century
Personal papers -- Louisiana -- 19th century
Personal papers -- Mississippi -- 19th century
Professional papers -- Louisiana -- 19th century
Professional papers -- Mississippi -- 19th century
Nutt, Haller, 1816-1864
Nutt, Rush, 1781-1837
Sloan, Samuel, 1815-1884

Box 1


Box 2


Box 3


Box 4


Box 5


Box 6


Box 7

1861-1922, lists of enslaved people, miscellaneous

Box 8

Rush Nutt manuscripts, Haller Nutt's will, Haller Nutt estate approximately 1809-1869

Box 9

Nutt papers HM 36702-36724 1829-1872

Folder Oversize 1

Mississippi Courts. Adams County Probate Court. Copies of court records re: conveyance of "Longwood" NU 211 (1-3) 1850

Scope and Contents

Three copies for Haller Nutt.