Jonas M. Tebbetts Collection

MC 1553

Special Collections Department
University of Arkansas Libraries

365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701-4002
Phone: 479-575-8444

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD by Todd E. Lewis, 2011.

Finding aid is written in English.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Tebbetts, Jonas M., 1820-1913
Jonas M. Tebbetts Collection
Inclusive Dates
Bulk Dates
MC 1553
1 linear foot (2 boxes containing 30 volumes)
Materials are in English.
Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

Restrictions Apply: Due to the fragility of the items patrons are encouraged to use extra caution when handling items.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17)

Acquisition Information

The Jonas M. Tebbetts Collection was donated to the Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries on June 21, 2004, by Charles M. Kester of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Processing Information

Processed by Todd E. Lewis; completed in August 2011.

Preferred Form of Citation

Jonas M. Tebbetts Collections (MC 1533), Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.

See Special Collections Citation Guide for more detailed information on how to cite specific documents from the collection.

Biographical Note

Jonas March Tebbetts was born on January 5, 1820, in Rochester, New Hampshire, to what his daughter Marian characterized as "a New England low tariff family." He was educated at Philips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. Afterwards he lived an adventurous life that included work as a traveling salesman for Doddridge's Family Expositor, touring New England, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky; an appointment at age seventeen as an instructor of English literature, ancient history, and Greek and Latin languages at Western University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and working on a steamboat which sailed a circuit on the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers. By 1840 he had settled in Van Buren, Van Buren County, Arkansas, where he established a law practice that specialized in attending to the needs of Cherokee, Choctaw, and Creek Indians living in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to the west.

In Van Buren he was elected to the position of judge. Affiliating with the Democratic Party, in 1844 he was elected to the position of prosecuting attorney of the Seventh Circuit Court of Arkansas, which resulted in him traveling outside of Van Buren County. While in Washington County he met Matilda Winlock, a Kentuckian and student at Fayetteville Female Seminary. They were married in 1847, and their union produced several sons and daughters. Following the wedding the couple took up residence in Fayetteville. Their famous house was built ca. 1853-1854, later receiving the name "Headquarters House" because of its use as headquarters by Union forces occupying Fayetteville in 1863. More recently (1967) the house was tended over by the Washington County Historical Societyand made into the Headquarters House Museum.

In 1850-1851 Tebbetts served as a representative from Washington County to the Arkansas state General Assembly in Little Rock, and afterwards the legislature appointed him attorney for the branch of the State Bank in Fayetteville. A Unionist who found slavery abhorrent, in March 1862 he was arrested by Confederate General Ben McCulloch following a brief occupation of Fayetteville by Union troops. Sent to Fort Smith to await hanging, charges against Tebbetts were dropped following McCulloch's death during the Battle of Pea Ridge, resulting in his freedom. Continued harassment by Confederate soldiers and an alleged plot against his life led Tebbetts to flee Fayetteville, and he spent the remainder of the war in Union territory in Missouri. After the war he and his family located to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, where he again practiced law. Following his wife's death in 1892, he eventually moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to live with his daughter Lillian and her husband John H. Galey, a petroleum wildcatter who had claims in Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Texas. Tebbetts died at the Galeys' house on January 16, 1913, at the age of 94. He was buried in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains three types of materials: a folder of family and secondary writings concerning Jonas Tebbetts, his family, and the Tebbetts Collection; thirty volumes of diaries, memo books, expense and account books, and other miscellaneous notebooks, written by Jonas M. Tebbetts. The volumes span the period 1847-1905.

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged with the folder of family and secondary writings first, and the thirty volumes second, divided over two boxes. The volumes are broken down into three groups: the diaries and memo books under the title "Jonas Tebbetts Diaries;" the account and expense books labeled "Jonas Tebbetts Account Books;" and a third group with individual titles. The diaries and account books are arranged chronologically, while the third group of notebooks are arranged alphabetically. Finding aid titles do not necessarily correspond to handwritten titles on the volumes, but rather accurately reflect the contents of each volume.

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection.

Box 1

Box 1 Folder 1

Jonas M. Tebbetts Family Materials, 1953-2011

Box 1 Folder 2

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, 1836-1837, December 1849-August 1852 (2)

Box 1 Folder 3

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, April 1850-1852

Box 1 Folder 4

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, 1851-1855

Box 1 Folder 5

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, 1857-1859

Box 1 Folder 6

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, 1860-1862

Box 1 Folder 7

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, 1864

Box 1 Folder 8

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, June 27, 1865-August 14, 1865

Box 1 Folder 9

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, July 1867-June 1868

Box 1 Folder 10

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, June 1868-May 1875

Box 1 Folder 11

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, 1871

Box 1 Folder 12

Jonas M. Tebbetts Diary, April 1874-January 1875

Box 1 Folder 13

Jonas M. Tebbetts Harrodsburg, Kentucky, Diary, 1875-1905

Box 2 Folder 1

Attorney for Arkansas State Bank Account Book, 1847-1850

Box 2 Folder 2

Jonas M. Tebbetts Account Book, October 1848-January 1850

Box 2 Folder 3

Jonas M. Tebbetts Account Book, November 1848

Box 2 Folder 4

California Trip Account Book, 1850

Box 2 Folder 5

Jonas M. Tebbetts Account Book, January-August 1851, July 1857, December 1887

Box 2 Folder 6

Jonas M. Tebbetts Account Book, 1852-1853

Box 2 Folder 7

Jonas M. Tebbetts Account Book, December 1857-June 1858

Box 2 Folder 8

Jonas M. Tebbetts Account Book, 1860-1861, 1866

Box 2 Folder 9

Jonas M. Tebbetts Account Book, 1862-1863

Box 2 Folder 10

Allen Claflin and Jonas M. Tebbetts Account Book, January-April 1863

Box 2 Folder 11

Marian W. Tebbetts Account Book, 1863-1865

Box 2 Folder 12

Jonas M. Tebbetts's Account with Exchange National Bank (Columbia, Missouri) Book, June-November 1868

Box 2 Folder 13

Jonas M. Tebbetts Washington, D.C., Account Book, September 1869-1871

Box 2 Folder 14

Jonas M. Tebbetts Account Book, April 1871-September 1873

Box 2 Folder 15

Bank Information Book, 1849

Box 2 Folder 16

Circuit Court Prosecuting Attorney Book, 1847

Box 2 Folder 17

"List of Pardons obtained by me for rebels" Book, 1866

Box 2 Folder 18

Lists of Names by County Book, 1853


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