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John A. Watkins papers

Identifier: LaRC-633

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of several manuscripts of works by John A. Watkins as well as other material written by other authors. There is a bound volume of his biography of the Choctaw chief, Pushmataha, as well as reference notes on Pushmataha and on the folklore and customs of the Choctaw people. In addition, there are Watkins' recollections of Jefferson County, Mississippi, as well as a biography of William Weatherford, a distinguished Creek Indian warrior who was involved in the Tragedy of Fort Mims, Alabama. There are also notes on nineteenth century Mississippi River boats, as well as a considerable amount of correspondence, including an 1844 letter from William John Duane.


  • 1813-1887


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. No known restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyrights is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

Colonel John A. Watkins, son of Asa and Sarah McDonald Watkins, was born December 3, 1808 in Jefferson County, Mississippi Territory. After attaining his majority, he moved into the town of Rodney, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, and soon became one of the most prominent men of the community. He often came into contact with the Choctaw Indians in the area, and he thus became very interested in their culture, resulting in a series of articles that were published in the American Antiquarian. In 1832, Colonel Watkins married Caroline Elizabeth Campbell. After her death in 1848, he moved to New Orleans where he held a prominent social and official position, serving for many years as councilman and as State and City assessor. The New Orleans City Directories states that he lived at 486 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. He died in 1898.


1.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged by topic as follows: Pushmataha and Choctaw Nation folklore and customs material, Creek Nation material, steamboat notes, correspondence, and manuscript by Blocker.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Howard Memorial Library. Date acquired: 11/30/1941.

Processing Information

Collection processed in 1988 by HB and ML.

LAC Group
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Tulane University Special Collections Repository

Jones Hall Room 202
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans 70118 US