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James Lockhart Goodloe letterbook

Identifier: W-0089

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of one letterbook, containing handwritten copies of James Lockhart Goodloe's memoir and a small collection of letters, all dated 1876. Although the diary is written on copying paper, making some of the pages difficult to read, most of the entries (written in ink, with some penciled edits) are legible.

Goodloe's memoir begins on page 29 and ends on page 443. Divided into 113 chapters, the detailed narrative describes his childhood on his father's plantation, his experiences as a college student at the University of Mississippi and his travels in Andalusia. The narrative ends abruptly, concluding with a description of a duel fought in Andalusia. Although Goodloe notes in several locations that he intends to publish his memoir, there is no evidence of publication.

The memoir contains a number of notable passages, including particularly interesting observations on slavery, religion, morality, and honor. In a passage beginning on page 81, Goodloe describes a religious revival where Kizzy, a slave owned by the Goodloe family, testified. "Her final appeal brought down the house, stirring up the sinners, young and old, as if a nest of hornets had oozed up through the floor!," he recalled, and noted that Kizzy became a respected religious leader, leading both male and female congregants.

In addition to his discussion of slave life on his parent's plantation, Goodloe also writes several interesting passages discussing courtship and his observations on religion and honor.


  • 1876


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

The son of planter David Short Goodloe Jr. and Anne Ireland Winter, James Lockhart Goodloe was born on September 3, 1840, in Madison County, Mississippi. Goodloe's father was a successful planter; in 1850, census records show that his land was valued at over $9,000. Census records also indicate that the family owned approximately 40 slaves.

Goodloe attended college at the University of Mississippi, where he studied law, earning his B.A. in 1860 and studied law until classes were suspended because of the war. University and fraternity catalogs list Goodloe as a member of the Delta Psi fraternity.

On December 3, 1867, he married Georgianna Brinkley; the couple had three daughters named Muriel Nelson, Isla Marian, and Minnie Nelson. According to the 1900 census lists Goodloe and his family as residents of Shelby, Tennessee, where he worked as a lawyer. Goodloe died sometime after 1910, when he is last listed in census records.


0.15 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Contains one letterbook, which includes the autobiography of James Lockhart Goodloe, a Tennessee lawyer.

Physical Location

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama


Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010


Title on Spine: Autobiography and Letters of James Lockhart Goodloe Mobile; 1876.

Processed by

Haley Aaron, 2013



Guide to the James Lockhart Goodloe letterbook
November 2013
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