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Isaiah Garrett Business Records

Identifier: MSS-4231

Content Description

Isaiah Garrett’s business ledger documents the activity of an antebellum lawyer and plantation owner in the American South. The ledger contains entries on 326 pages, in which both Garrett’s legal practice and his plantation are covered. The entries detailing his legal practice include a wide range of services, settlements, defenses, and appearances before the state district and supreme courts. The entries pertaining to his plantation contain evidence of income, expenses, and activities at Lindwood. There are a number of references to enslaved persons in his entries, and a brief manuscript that identifies twelve enslaved persons by name.


  • 1838 - 1861

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

Isaiah Garrett (1812-1874) was a lawyer, politician, and plantation owner in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. Garrett was born in Franklin, Tennessee, raised in Missouri, and attended West Point, graduating in 1833. Almost immediately, he resigned his commission due to poor eyesight, and moved to Louisiana to practice law. Garrett received his license to practice from the Supreme Court in 1835, and entered a partnership with Judge E. K. Willson. Garrett's reputation grew as he served as district attorney and a member of the state constitutional convention in 1845. Garrett married Narcissa Grayson in 1836, and the couple raised five children. Sometime in the early 1850s, Garrett established his plantation, “Lindwood,” on the Ouachita River south of Monroe, Louisiana. By 1857, Garrett stopped practicing law in order to concentrate on running Lindwood, but had to move himself and his family to Monroe during the first year of the Civil War. Garrett served as cooperationist member of the secession convention in 1861. After the war, Garrett resumed practicing law, opting to sell his plantation. He died in 1874.


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Language of Materials



A business ledger belonging to Isaiah Garrett (1812-1874)--a lawyer, politician, and plantation owner in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. The ledger contains entries on 326 pages, in which both Mr. Garrett’s legal practice and his plantation are covered.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Isaiah Garrett Business ledger was acquired by The University of Alabama in 2017.

Related Materials

Isaiah Garrett and Family Papers, Mss. 656, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Lousiana.

Franklin Garrett Papers #5696-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Archive: Sketches of Life on an Ante-Bellum Louisiana Plantation (Dobkin Collection Item 4658315), Dobkin Collection, Glenn Horowitz Bookseller.

Processing Information

Processed by Jessica Rayman, 2018 August.
Guide to the Isaiah Garrett Business Ledger
Jessica Rayman
October 2018
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