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William Y. Gholson Legal Account Books

Identifier: MSS-4130

Scope and Contents

The collection contains two pocket ledgers listing cases and clients from Memphis, to Mobile, to New Orleans. Most of the entries are dated and have dollar amounts regarding settlements and fees.


  • 1839-1842


Biographical / Historical

William Yates Gholson, son of United States Congressman Thomas and Ann Yates Gholson, was born December 25, 1807, in Southampton County, Virginia. He graduated from Princeton University and its law school in 1825. He married Anne Jane Taylor in 1827. The couple had two children, Samuel Creed and Martha Anne Jane. After Anne died in 1831, he moved to Mississippi, where he set up his practice. In 1839, he married Elvira Wright; the couple had two more children, Virginia Elizabeth and William Yates Jr. In 1844, he helped found the University of Mississippi and was one of the original member of its board of trustees.

According to a few sources, he had strong anti-slavery views and was concerned about a possible slave uprising. One source states that he sold all his Southern property – including his slaves – and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1844, while another states that he freed his slaves before moving to Ohio.

In Ohio, he formed a law practice with James P. Holcombe and Salmon P. Chase, and was elected Judge of the Superior Court in that city in 1854. In 1859, he was nominated by the State Republican Convention for the State Supreme Court, and defeated Democrat Henry C. Whitman. Due to a resignation immediately after the election, he was appointed to fill the term in November of that year. He resigned his seat late in 1863, and was replaced by Horace Wilder. He returned to Cincinnati, resumed law practice, and authored several books about legal topics.

Gholson died on September 21, 1870, in Cincinnati.


0.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Two pocket ledgers listing the cases and clients from Memphis, to Mobile, to New Orleans, of this Pontotoc, Mississippi, lawyer, from 1839-1842


purchased from Ben Katz, 2015


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Processed by

Martha Bace, 2015
Guide to the William Y. Gholson Legal Account Books
July 2015
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266