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Nehemiah Denton Papers

Identifier: MSS-1602

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains letters to and from Denton regarding business matters, as well as various documents and maps relating to his business in Mobile. Agricola Wilkins, acting as Denton's agent, wrote a significant portion of the letters, which describe both Wilkins's and Denton's business endeavors in Mobile. After Wilkins left Mobile in 1840, other individuals assumed the role of agent for Denton and continued the correspondence regarding his Mobile property. In addition to shedding light on Denton's business affairs in Mobile, the letters in this collection provide lively and detailed descriptions of life in Mobile in the 1830s and 1840s, when the cotton market dominated the city's financial landscape. Letters also include descriptions of yellow fever outbreaks and destructive fires in Mobile, a steamboat journey from Mobile to Wetumpka, Alabama, and frontier life in Pontotoc, Mississippi. The collection is divided into four series: Outgoing Correspondence, Incoming Correspondence, Other Correspondence, and Miscellaneous Documents.


  • 1831 - 1844

Biographical/Historical note

Nehemiah Denton was an early nineteenth century New York City resident with business interests in Mobile, Alabama. Denton's nephew, Agricola Wilkins, lived in Mobile and owned a dry goods store. Wilkins served as Denton's agent in Mobile from about 1837 until 1840 when he left Mobile after suffering from yellow fever. After that date various agents worked for Denton and corresponded with him. Denton died in December 1844.


0.4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Correspondence and other business materials of this Brooklyn, New York, resident with business interests in Mobile, Alabama. Aside from extensive business correspondence, it includes detailed descriptions of Mobile's antebellum social life, and accounts of yellow fever epidemics and fires.


Gift of Warren H. Smith, 1953

Processed by

Donnelly Lancaster, 2003
Guide to the Nehemiah Denton Papers
J.L. Callies
April 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266