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Blakeley Plantation

Page history last edited by Ryan Whitley 11 years ago

Blakeley Plantation

 

OVERVIEW

 

Location

Located in Warren County, Mississippi ten miles north of Vicksburg.

 

Date Constructed/Founded

c1840 - was establisted earlier when the area was still Adams County. Became Blakeley after 1840.

 

Associated Surnames

Blake, Downs, Ferguson, Conner, Savage

 

Historical Notes

Benson Heighe Blake moved to Mississippi in 1834 according to information on his application for a pardon after the Civil War. He married Caroline Downs Ferguson widow of Thomas Ferguson and owner of the property that became Blakeley Plantation. Blake inherited the property from Caroline after her death in 1849. 

 

Blake married Mary Savage Conner daughter of Henry LeGrand Conner and Susan Evelina Baker in 1852 at Berkeley Plantation in Adams County, Mississippi. In 1862, Blake took the majority of his slaves, stores, and silver when the Union Army approached Vicksburg. He went to Demopolis, Alabama where he stayed until moving to a place sixteen miles south of Albany, Georgia.  Most of the slaves returned to Blakeley Plantation with Blake after the Civil War.  

 

Associated Slave Workplaces

Berkeley Plantation, Adams County, Mississippi

Davis Plantation, Warren County, Mississippi

Gaskins Plantation, Warren County, Mississippi

Redwood Plantation, Warren County, Mississippi

 

Associated Free Persons

 

  • Benson Heighe Blake – owner
  • Caroline Downs Ferguson Blake – first wife
  • Mary Savage Conner – second wife
  • Ann Gaillard Savage – mother-in-law
  • Louisa Russell Conner - sister-in-law

 

 

Associated Enslaved Persons

  •      Isabella Edwards (b. Blakeley, MS 1855, d. 1920)

 

Research Leads and Plantation Records

Benson Heighe Blake Memoirs

Memoirs of Louisa Russell Conner - she was there ~ 1858-60, Fall 1861-63, Spring 1864-August, April-sum 1865

 

 

Miscellaneous Information

The area of Blakeley Plantation was part of Adams County, Mississippi when it was established by Thomas Ferguson.  Thomas Ferguson inherited the land from his father William Ferguson.  Thomas's mother, Phoeby Davis, was the sister of Fielding Davis Jr. who owned Altop Plantation, Wilkinson County, Mississippi.  Fileding Davis Jr. married Lucinda Newman and their daughter Rosa Davis married Charles Balfour of Vernon Plantation, madison County, Mississippi.  The land where Thomas ferguson's plantation was located became part of Warren County when Warren County was created in 1809. Blake named it Blakeley after he married Ferguson's widow and, later, inherited the property.

 

Benson Heighe Blake's sister-in-law, Louisa Russell Conner, sister of his second wife, Mary Savage Conner, came to Blakeley Plantation and lived there after the outbreak of the Civil War. Louisa had inherited Berkeley Plantation, Adams County, Mississippi from her parents Henry Legrand Conner and Susan

Evelina Baker.

 

Excerpts From Memoirs of Louisa Russell Conner

Mammy Jane – Mary/Puss’s nurse – her husband was Ned, no children

                        Mathilda – LRC’s maid

                        Ned/Daddy – “accomplished” dining room servant

                        Lucy – washwoman

            p. 11 – Col. Benson Blake took some slaves to southwest GA near Albany May 1862

p. 21 – Blake returned Fall 1865 with “such of the negroes as wished to come home”

 

of special interest to me is pp. 16-17 about the contraband school, apparently about

1862:  “[The Yankee] army was followed by hundreds of negroes and they formed these contrabands as they were called into camps or corrals.  One of these corrals was on each of Mr. Blake’s plantations the one at Blakely being probably the largest as the accomodations [sic] were greater.  There were seventeen hundred in this corral stored away in the quarters, in tents and in the gin to which they built two stories....  Very soon Yankee school teachers or ‘Marms’ as they were called arrived and took up their quarters in the corral to teach the negroes.  The whole field presented a singular appearance dotted with camps, etc. and standing out in the sun and rain were carriages of various kinds which were brought there by the Yankees or negroes.”

 

 

Excerpts From MDAH subject file, prepared by WPA in March 1941

8 miles north of Vicksburg, formed 1842, on Yazoo and MS Valley Railroad, on US 61

            1941 had Warren County Heading Mill, Kings Stave Mill

            white children go to Redwood to school, Negro children go to Kings School, 3 teachers

            There was a Negro Church that was burned not long ago

            Some negro graveyards on Blakely Plantation

            Col. Benson Blake, founder of Blakely which in the past comprised Section 15.  He

served in the War Between the States in which he obtained his commission.

Blakely plantation home was built by Col. Benson Blake around an earlier house from Sassafras logs.  In 1873 a body of a man who had been buried in lime in the cellar was exhumed.  Later the skeleton of a horse was dug up on a point of land near the house.  The horse had been buried with the saddle on.  Investigation showed that this old house had been one of Murrell’s hangouts.  The house is of classic southern architecture with several interesting variations.  The Blake family have in their possession some of the oldest papers in the State of Mississippi.  The colonel and lieutenant colonel’s commissions granted by George III of England in 1758 and 1766.

Indian Mounds are in the vicinity of Blakely near Kings.  Some excavations have been made and pottery, arrow heads and some human bones have [been] found.

At one time there was a large cotton gin on Blakely Plantation but it has been dismantled and move[d] to some other locality.

Blakely Plantation consists of some six thousand acres with 1500 acres improved.  One of the richest on Yazoo River.  Has negro population of five hundred and one white.  Home situated on high ridge and can be seen from Highway 61.  Although there are two mills in Blakely, they are right on the border of Kings and the employees live there.  In high water some of the land is subject to overflow.  Cotton and corn are the principal crops grown.

 

 

Warren County Deeds

This is a list of slaves and goods transferred between Benson Blake and Daniel Brickell.

Z-17, 18          January 6, 1855                       Benson Blake mortgaged to Daniel W. Brickell

of Yazoo County for $21,000

                                                            Wilson & Brecy[?] & their children Jeff, Amelia, Gilbert

                                                            Malinda and her children Maria, Bob

                                                            Manuel & Lavinia & their children Patsy, Essy

                                                            Carter & Ellen and their child Mary

                                                            Masedonia & children John, Dennis, Sarah

                                                            George & Rozelle

                                                            Rachel and her children Natchez, Julien

                                                            Anderson

                                                            Sarah

                                                            Jenny

                                                            Dolly

                                                            Ellen

                                                            Gamble and her child Ned

 

                                                    -- plus these “now on his Gaskin’s place on the Yazoo River”:

                                                            Adam and Caroline

                                                            Louis

                                                            Jess & Big

                                                            Lucinda

                                                            Sally

                                                            Harriett & Roberta [?]

                                                            Little Charlotte & Rachell

                                                            Jack and Eliza

                                                            Stephen and July Ann

                                                            Smith

                                                            Little Mary

                                                            Harry and Amy

                                                            Lucy

                                                            Minerva

                                                            Little Gilbert

                                                            Malinda

                                                            Edward

                                                            Mary

                                                            Margarett

                                                            Fanny

                                                            Primas

                                                            Tennessee

                                                            Little Jo

                                                            Charity

                                                            Henry

                                                            Pat and Emily

                                                            Emanuel and Mahala

 

Z-456              February 23, 1855                   Benson Blake sold to John P. Cato

                                                            land in Township17, Range 4 East lying south of the

                                                            Milldale road

 

AA-273, 274   October 13, 1857                    Benson and Mary S. Blake mortgaged to

                                                                        Stephen Duncan of Adams County for $57,099.18

                                                            land on the Yazoo River about 7 miles from the City of

                                                            Vicksburg where Blakes reside and called Blakely, being

                                                            the NW4 Sec. 8, E2 and NW4 Sec. 7, fractional Sec 15 &

                                                            fractional Sec. 28, fractional Sec. 14, fractional Sec. 20 and

                                                            Sec. 19, all in T17, R 4 East, total 2,7059 acres, and also

                                                            Henry

                                                            Hester

                                                            Elick

                                                            Priscilla

                                                            Ann

                                                            Phil

                                                            Warner

                                                            Mary D

                                                            Mecane [?]

                                                            Lucinda

                                                            Jemima [?]

                                                            Becky

                                                            John Nutt

                                                            Lucy

                                                            William

                                                            Martha

                                                            Charles

                                                            Tarry

                                                            Leroy

                                                            Sophy

                                                            Laughlin

                                                            Jane

                                                            Washington

                                                            Cynthia

                                                            Mary

                                                            Carry

                                                            Washington

                                                            George

                                                            John Davis

                                                            Lucy

                                                            Little Fess/Tess

                                                            Mary

                                                            Field

                                                            Josh

                                                            Little Henry

                                                            Big Bob

                                                            Charley

                                                            Little Bob

                                                            Noah

                                                            George

                                                            Fanny

                                                            Amanda

                                                            Struther

                                                            Margaret

                                                            Patsy

                                                            John

                                                            Lewis

                                                            Gilbert

                                                            Richard

                                                            Joe

                                                            Lydia

                                                            William

                                                            Cynthia

                                                            Jim

                                                            Emanuel

                                                            Eveline

                                                            Eliza

                                                            Mary

                                                            Julia Turner

                                                            Short Minerva

                                                            Nancy

                                                            Anna L

                                                            Sarah L.

                                                            Leah

                                                            Susan

                                                            Josephine

                                                            Maria & child

                                                            Sarah

                                                            Mortimer

                                                            Anderson

                                                            George W.

                                                            Dick

                                                            Warren

                                                            William F or T

                                                            Francis

                                                            Minns  [see Louisa’s memoirs]

                                                            Dudly

                                                            George

                                                            Sam

                                                            Horace

                                                            Alexander

                                                            Andrew

                                                            Ben

                                                            Henrietta

                                                            Parmelia

                                                            Joanna

                                                            Marie or Maxie

                                                            Sophia

                                                            Patsy

                                                            Anna

                                                            Phillis

                                                            Emma

                                                            Fanny

                                                            Emeline & child

                                                            Martin

                                                            Rose & child

                                                            Julia & her three children

 

AA-559           January 10, 1857                     Colin B. and Laura L. Buckner of Vicksburg sold

                                                                        to Benson Blake for $11,000

                                                            Martin about 50

                                                            Moses about 28

                                                            Jasper about 15

                                                            Parmelia about 30

                                                            Julia about 23 and her three children

                                                                        Edgar about 5

                                                                        Minerva about 3

                                                                        Lavinia 6 months

                                                            Rose about 36 and her 2 children

                                                                        Andrew 4

                                                                        Eliza 6 months

                                                            Emeline 36 and her three children

                                                                        Anna 14

                                                                        Solomon 5

                                                                        Salisbury 3

                                                            Fatima 40

 

AA-590           July 1, 1858                             Benson and Mary S. Blake mortgaged to

                                                                        E. D. Baker of Adams County

                                                            land on the Yazoo River about 8 miles from Vicksburg

                                                            called “Gaskin,” being Lot No. 1, Sec. 6; 2/3 of Lots 2, 3,

                                                            and 4, Section 6; 2/3 of Sec. 16; fract. Sec 5; Lots 1 & 2,

Sec. 17; 2/3 of Lots 4 & 5, Sec. 17; lots 1 & 8, Sec. 30;

lots 2, 3 & 4, Section 29, all of Lot 3, Sec. 17; Lots 3 & 6,

Sec. 18; Lots 3 & 7, Sec. 30, except about 90 acres lying on the south side of Chickasaw Bayou, sold to W. Lake; also

2/3 of SW4 Sec. 27, all in T17, R4 East – 1,807 acres; also

Bill

Stephen

Primos

Emanuel

John

Ward

Henry

Pat

Dick

Adam

Little Joe

Morgan

                                                  Big Bob

Lewis

Beverly

Sam Davis

Carter B.

Anderson B.

Emanuel B.

George

Little Gilbert

Jefferson

Ned                 [see LRC]

Moses

Jasper

Smith

Jackson

George

Tom

Lewis

Henry Baker

Harry

Jack

Essy

Dennis

John

Billy White

Long Jess

Martain [?]

Edwin

Gilbert

Fredrick

Westly                                     (Could be Ryan Whitley's 3rd Great Grandfather, Wesley Whitley)

Solomon

Andrew

Edgar

Lit Smith

Caroline

Charlott

Big Lucinda

July Anne

Lit Mary

Long Mariah

                                                  Minerva

                                                  Mary

Margaret

Fanny

Tennessee

Charity

Annie

Emily

Charlotte

Minor

Elsy                                         [Alse??] 

Halsy/Haley [?]

Mahaily

Hester

Malinda & baby

Y [app. Yellow] Ellen

Ellen G.

Rosett

Patsey

Julia Ragan

Rose

Emeline

Jinny

Mariah

Francis

Sall.

Lit Rachael

Julia

Amelia

Malinda

Becky

Lavinia

Harriet

Amy

Eliza

Minerva

Mary B. Rhorberson [?]

Louisa C.

Issabella                                (Could be Ryan Whitley's 3rd Great Grandfather Isabella Edwards)

Hester

Allice

                                                  Missouri

 

 

BB-136           February 19, 1859                   James B. Robinson of Terrebone Parish, LA

                                                                        sold to Benson Blake all Robinson’s interest in

                                                                        “Blakely plantation and the negroes and other

                                                                        personal property on the same” and more

                                                                        particularly described in a deed from Alfred C.

                                                                        Downs and wife to Robinson as trustee for

                                                                        Caroline M. Blake, now deceased but then the wife of Benson Blake dated April 5, 1841 and recorded in Book 2, pages 197-200 in Probate Clerk’s office, being the same real and personal property conveyed to A. C. Downs about the same time by Andrew Haynes, Caroline M. Blake and Benson Blake, executors of Thomas Furguson, deceased, and the same as given to Benson Blake by the said Caroline M. Blake in her last will and testament now on record in the Probate Clerk’s office.  Attested in New Orleans 2/19/1859 by William Shannon, Commissioner of Deeds for Mississippi.

 

BB-699-701    July 14, 1860                           Benson and Mary S. Blake mortgage to Stephen

                                                                        Duncan of Adams County

 

                                                            plantation on Yazoo River about 7 miles from Vicksburg, adjoining Gaskins ... containing 2,034 acres, also

 Bill

Stephen

Primus

Emmanuel

John Ward

Henry Pat

Dick

Adam

Lit. Joe

Morgain

Big Bob

Lewis

Beverly

Sam Davis

Carter

Anderson B.

Emanuel B.

                                                  Lit. Gilbert

                                                  Jefferson

Ned B.

Moses

Jasper

Smith

Jackson

George M.

Tom

Elleck

Harry

Jack

Essy

Dennis

John

Lg Jess

Martin

Edwin

Gilbert B.[?]

Fredrick

Westly                                     (Possibly Ryan Whitley's 3rd Great Grandfather, Wesley Whitley)

Soloman

Edgar

Lit. Smith

Caroline

Charlotte,

Lg Lucinda

July Anne & baby

Lit. Mary

Lg Minerva

Mary

Margaret

Fanny

Charity

Anne

Emily

Charlotte

Miner

Elsy & baby

Hester

Susanah

Georganna

Mahaily

                                                  Lit Hester

Malinda B.

Yellow Ellen & baby

Ellen Gamble

Rosett

Patsy B.

Rose

R. Emeline

Mariah B.

Francis

Sall

Lit Rachell

Julia

Amelia

Malinda

Becky & child

Missouri

Louisa C.

Happiness

                                                    91 total –

                                                    now on Gaskins and Redwood plantations adjoining

 

DD-149, 150               1866                            Recorded in deed book from a Chancery Court

case brought by Mary S. Blake by William T. Martin, Complainant, vs. Benson Blake, adjudicated by Jacob I. Yerger, Judge of the 3rd Judicial District sitting in Chancery in Warren County

refers to property acquired by Benson Blake belonging to his wife “in her own right” from estates of her father, mother, brother and other relations, including plantation on Yazoo River called Redwood Place containing about 1,200 acres in Township 17 of Range 4 East, Sections 27 and 7 valued at $10 an acre and other wild uncultivated & swamp lands west of the Yazoo River containing 2,355 acres valued at about $2 per acre 

 

In a book indexing Warren County Probate cases, I found the following, which case files may be on microfilm at MDAH:

#   818                         Solomon C. Whitley

# 1058                         White Whatley

# 1065                         Benjamin Wheatley

# 1233                         Caroline M. Blake                   Benson Blake, executor

# 2536                         Tillman Whatley

# 2537                         Greenbury Whatley

# 2557                         D. W. Whatley

# 2684                         William M. Whatley

# 2789                         Benson Blake                          Mary S. Blake, executor

# 3771                         Mary S. Blake

 

References

Warren County, MS Deeds

Research By Jan Hillegas - Jackson, MS Spring 2011 (djackson921@wmconnect.com)

 

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