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Guide to the William Pinckney Montgomery / Locust Plantation Collection
Wyles Mss 9  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William Pinckney Montgomery / Locust Plantation Collection,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1822-1883
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1830s-1860s)
    Collection Number: Wyles Mss 9
    Creator: Montgomery, William Pinckney
    Extent: .2 linear feet (1 half-size document box)
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, California 93106-9010
    Physical Location: Del Sur
    Abstract: 1834-1870. Includes bills, receipts, indentures, yearly cotton sales records of Montgomery, a planter and plantation owner in Washington County, Mississippi, who declared bankruptcy in 1869. .4 linear feet (1 box).
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    William Pinckney Montgomery / Locust Plantation Collection. Wyles Mss 9. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information



    William Pinckney Montgomery was born on November 27, 1799 in South Carolina, and arrived in southwest Mississippi with his parents sometime in the 1820s. In 1831, he married Catherine Cameron and started a family. They moved north to an area known as "Batchelor's Bend" on the Mississippi River, in Washington County. Then, in 1838, Montgomery and his business partner, Augustus McAllister, purchased a tract of land which they named Locust Plantation, and went into the cotton business.
    W.P. Montgomery proved to be a shrewd businessman, and within a few years he was able to buy out McAllister's share and become a gentleman planter. He began building a permanent plantation home in 1846. However, two years later, his wife Catherine died just weeks after giving birth to their youngest son. With five children having survived infancy, Montgomery went on to see that they were well educated. His eldest son, William Eugene Montgomery, married the daughter of a prominent politician and future governor. Daniel Cameron Montgomery became a well-respected physician. Even his daughter, Katie, attended the prestigious Nashville Female Academy. In 1850, Montgomery married again, to the much younger Evelyn Bacon, though all of her children died young.
    The Civil War proved disastrous for Montgomery, as it did for most Southern planters. In early 1865, for example, he was informed that nearly two thousand pounds of his cotton had been seized and burned by the Confederate Army to keep it from falling into enemy hands. At the war's end, the South's economy was a shambles, and the once wealthy Montgomery was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1868. Tragedy had struck again on a more personal level as well: although his three oldest sons fought for the Confederacy, it was his only daughter who died, in 1863, shortly after marrying Montgomery's attorney, W.L. Nugent. Having seen his life's work undone, William Pinckney Montgomery died on October 4, 1876.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains correspondence, documents (mainly land transactions), financial records (including cotton sales records), and other items relating to the family of William Pinckney Montgomery, owner of Locust Plantation in Washington County, Mississippi. Although incomplete, it provides an intimate portrayal of the fortunes of a southern plantation before, during, and after the Civil War.