The Civil War Governors of Mississippi Project's 50,000 Civil War-era letters to governors will be available online to read

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  • 50,000 Civil War-era letters collected from ordinary citizens.
  • Letters to be made available to public as part of Civil War Governors of Mississippi Project.
  • Only other project of this kind in U.S. is in Kentucky.
When you want to let a state politician know what you're thinking, you might pick up the phone or shoot off an email. But during the Civil War-era, the only way to get your point across was through a letter.

Now a new state project has collected 50,000 Civil War-era letters from ordinary citizens who wrote to their Mississippi governors from the period of 1859-1882. They range from personal appeals to requests for weapons to expressions of opinion. The topics can reveal much about the writers and what was happening in the state at the time.

Here are a few:

  • A November 1859 letter from an anonymous abolitionist warning of a large slave uprising near Vicksburg.
  • A story about an assault and battery that ended with the victim asleep.
  • A December 1859 request from a Quitman citizen for a cannon for his village.
  • A fiery November 1859 opinion piece on the state of North-South relations.
  • A December 1859 appeal for clemency for someone who had stolen a watch.
  • How can I see these Civil War letters?
    These are just some of the letters written to Mississippi Gov. John Pettus (1859-1863) in the era leading up to the Civil War that have been documented and put on a website, for the public to view.

    Eventually, all 50,000 letters to governors from Pettus to Marshall Stone (1876-1882) will be available for public research as part of the Civil War Governors of Mississippi Project.

    "We're able to cover 1859 all the way through the Civil War through reconstruction into the New South," said Susannah Ural, director of the project and a University of Southern Mississippi history professor. "You've got Mississippi thinking about...
  • REST OF ARTICLE:https://www.hattiesburgamerican.com...overnors-project-history-research/3298762002/
 

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Cavalry Charger

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I am becoming quite of fan of Professor Ural and am delighted this project is being carried out. Letters of ordinary people can tell us so much about the era and what was on people's minds. I especially like this comment from the article:

"Everybody and their mother wrote the governor," she said. "They just weren't intimidated by it."
 

Championhilz

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I'm actually working on this project - I personally worked on the letters of Governors John J. Pettus, Charles Clark, and William L. Sharkey. I had to read each letter and then put all the pertinent information into an excel spreadsheet. The letters sent to John J. Pettus alone consisted of over 4,500 pieces of correspondence - it took me about a year and a half to go through it all, and I had a blast doing it - there is some amazing material in that correspondence, as it covers such a wide range of topics from people both rich and poor.
 

Cavalry Charger

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I'm actually working on this project - I personally worked on the letters of Governors John J. Pettus, Charles Clark, and William L. Sharkey. I had to read each letter and then put all the pertinent information into an excel spreadsheet. The letters sent to John J. Pettus alone consisted of over 4,500 pieces of correspondence - it took me about a year and a half to go through it all, and I had a blast doing it - there is some amazing material in that correspondence, as it covers such a wide range of topics from people both rich and poor.
Marvellous and congratulations on such an awesome effort! Really, thanks.
 



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