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About this collection

The Beckwiths, as depicted in this collection, were people who were adventurous, well-educated, confident in their own worth - and endowed with an extraordinary measure of good sense and comprehension of their circumstances.  The family is replete, in every generation, with colorful and remarkable people - from Sir Jennings Beckwith, who “delighted in joining the Indians in excursions to their hunting grounds” - to his nephew, Hugh Mercer Beckwith, who went to New Mexico and became involved in the Lincoln County War - to Elizabeth Buchanan Beckwith, the daughter of his nephew, Dr. Jonathan Beckwith, who was able to hold on to her Lauderdale County plantations through the Civil War and changing social and economic conditions.

The Beckwiths were all talented writers, and kept in frequent touch with one another, exchanging news and information on family connections and current political situations. Their letters confirm their reputation for being sometimes affectionate and often irate. We are fortunate to have this record of their thoughts, actions, and adventures, as we can follow the history of our country and our region through their comments on conditions and events of each important era.

 
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