Wayne Co, Mississippi

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Ellen Pack
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Footnotes - Early Times in Wayne County

1.  Jesse Montgomery Wilkins was born near Winchester, Wayne county, Miss., Nov. 8, 1875.  His father died in 1878, leaving the subject of this sketch and an infant sister under the joint care of their mother and of their uncle, Mr. Thos. Bryant.  In September, 1896, he entered Mississippi College, at Clinton, Miss., which institution he attended only one session.  In the summer of 1899 he was nominated over a number of old and influential citizens to represent his county in the State legislature.  in the election which followed, he received a large majority of votes over his Republican opponent.  During the winter of 1899 he married a Miss Mills, of Buckatunna, Miss., at which place he now resides.  Mr. Wilkins is an active member of the Mississippi Historical Society.  He has written a few articles for the local press. - Editor

2.  Col. Claiborne incorrectly states (Mississippi as a Province, Territory and State, p. 336-37) that these forts were built after the massacre at Fort. Mimms.  On this subject see also Halbert and Ball's The Creek War of 1813.

3.  The writer is indebted to a sister of Gov. John J. McRae, Mrs. Catherine L. Hemsted, of Mobile, Ala., for the facts relating to the history of this prominent family.  The following extract from her letter contains some interesting facts relative to the early life of Gov. McRae:
     "Like all Scotchmen, he (her father, John McRae) was a firm believer in educating his children, and always kept them at the best schools the county afforded, or had a tutor at home.  In Winchester the school being too far for the little boys to go alone, he paid the tuition of a young lad to go with them, the three little boys being all mounted on the same horse, wile the lad walked beside.  After moving to Pascagola, he kept a tutor for a while, then boarded his children in a French family on the east side for two years, where they went to school to a Mr. Frederick, a most accomplished gentleman and a splendid teacher.  He had been an officer in Napoleon's army.  His school was very celebrated at that time.  Later my brothers, Malcom and John, went to Miami University at Oxford, near Cincinnati, Ohio.  Dr. Bishop was the president at that time.  Brother John was always so amiable, courteous and kind he was loved by all who knew him.  He was a great favorite of Dr. Bishop.  I remember a little incident about which they used to chaff him, calling him the 'bright particular star.'  It seemed when the roll was called, the president asked the birth State of each boy.  Brother John was the only one from North Carolina.  His answer caused some mirth among the other students, North Carolina being for some reason looked down upon in that part of the country at that time.  He was standing near Dr. Bishop who placed his hand upon his shoulder and said, 'Yes, and a bright particular star he is.'  I thin he graduated before he was nineteen.  He ten went to Pearlington, Miss., where he studied law under Judge Prey, who was then writing a code of Mississippi.  While there, he fell in love with and married a widow, a Mrs. McGuire.  He was not twenty-one and she was thirty-two.  They were married in October, 1835.  In 1836 he was appointed to read the code compiled by Judge Pray before the legislature in Jackson.  After that he was engaged with Mr. Tyler, brother of President Tyler, in moving Indians from Mississippi to the Indian Territory.  He was also deeply interested in getting the Mobile and Ohio Railroad  built, going all along the line from Mobile to Cairo making speeches to get the people interested in it..........He was first elected to the State legislature, and was made Speaker of the House.  Later he was elected to Congress and was also later appointed to the U. S. Senate.  He was governor four years.  Then went back to Congress and went out with the Confederate Senate in which he remained until the surrender.......After the death of his mother and wife under the stress of business misfortune his health failed and he went into a rapid decline.  His great desire was to meet once again his beloved brother, Colin J., who had been several years in Europe as financial agent for the Confederacy, but after the war went to Belize, British Honduras, C. A.  In May 1868, I sailed with him from New Orleans to Belize.  We had a very rough voyage.  He was very ill and so prostrated that he was just able to recognize his brother, was too weak to have any conversation with him.  He died on the 31st day of May, 1868, and is buried in Belize beside his brother, who died in 1876.