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John Y. Young family papers

Identifier: SC-Mss. Coll. 111

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of digital facsimile printouts of correspondence to and from members of the Dr. John Y. Young family.

Series 1: John Smith Young correspondence, 1853-1855. This series consists of letters written by John Smith Young to his siblings and parents. During this time, Young was a student at Centenary College of Louisiana. Many letters contain details about life at Centenary, his personal views on religion, and news of family members, especially his cousin Annie Eliza Young Boatner who lives nearby. Young’s letters include descriptions of Centenary student life and activities, for example: details about classmates and roomates including a “womanless wedding” ceremony (1853 March 27), taking music lessons and participating in the college band (1853 April 16), the annual Junior Exhibition (1854 March 12, 1855 March 16), commencement week (1854 June 18, 1854 August 2), the Union Literary Society (1853 April 16), the Lafayette Society that conducted meetings in French (1855 March 16), teaching in the preparatory department (1854 October 29, 1855 April 13), and the construction of the college’s Centre Building (1855 March 16). His letters also include details about Centenary presidents: Richard Henderson Rivers (1853 December 11, 1854 February 5), Benjamin Michael Drake (1854 August 2), and John Copeland Miller (1854 March 12, 1855 March 16). The letters feature a description of Jackson (1853 March 27) and mention health in the community (1854 October 29, 1855 April 13). Young describes attending the annual meeting of the Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South on Centenary’s campus (1854 November 19).

Series 2: Henry Coleman Thweatt correspondence, 1848-1868. This series consists of letters written by Henry Coleman Thweatt to members of the Young family. The majority of the letters were written to Dr. John Y. Young and include aspects of Thweatt's religious beliefs. They also cover the following topics: condolences about the death of Fanny Young (1848 April 9); Thweatt possibly transferring from a teaching position at Jackson Institute in Tennessee to be superintendent of the male department at the Washington Male and Female Seminary in Washington, Arkansas (1848 May 20); being a minister and the challenges of writing sermons (1852 February 9); Thweatt’s work at Mansfield Female College, the institution’s upcoming commencement, and his possible retirement (1860 June 18); lamenting the death of Thweatt family members (1868 June 6); and Dr. Young’s cancer and a possible cure (1868 June 6, 1868 June 28). Also included is a letter written to Edwin Young by Thweatt and his coworkers at Washington Male and Female Seminary offering Edwin a job (1850 July 29). A letter written to John Smith Young mentions that Thweatt is traveling to Mansfield, Louisiana, after a long absence and recounts news he has heard about the Young family; this includes Dr. John Y. Young hiring freedmen for farmwork (1867 January 8).

Series 3: Howard Nimmons McTyeire correspondence, 1855. This letter was written by Howard Nimmons McTyeire, Methodist Bishop and editor of the New Orleans Christian Advocate newspaper, to Dr. John Y. Young. The letter discusses the obituary of Dr. Young’s son, Edwin.


  • 1848 - 1868


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Physical rights are retained by the Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. John Y. Young (1793-1868) and Eliza Henry Jones Young (1807-1882) moved from North Carolina to Tennessee in 1836, then to Arkansas in the late 1840s. Dr. Young was a physician and plantation owner. The Young family children included Norborne Young (1825-1883), Caroline S. Young (circa 1827-1847), William Henry Young (1830-1892), Edwin Young (circa 1832-1854), John Smith Young (1834-1916), Eliza Henry Young Fauntleroy (1846-1911), Fanny Young (died 1848), Ellen Young White (1849-1928), and Annie Mildred Young Power (1852-1936).

John Smith Young enrolled at Centenary College of Louisiana in 1852 and graduated in 1855. He subsequently worked as a school teacher, then became a lawyer. He served in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Young practiced law in Homer, Louisiana, and served in the United States House of Representatives for Louisiana’s fifth district from 1878 to 1879. In 1881, he moved to Shreveport, where he continued to work as a lawyer. He also served as sheriff of Caddo Parish from 1892 to 1900. Young was married to Frances Rhoda Hodges Young (1848–1891), then Mattie Hamilton Young (1845-1922).


0.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Arranged in three series: 1. John Smith Young correspondence (1853-1855), 2. Henry Coleman Thweatt correspondence (1848-1868), 3. Howard Nimmons McTyeire correspondence (1855).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection donated by Samuel Staples Lewis in 2021.

Existence and Location of Originals

Original letters in the possession of Samuel Staples Lewis, DeRidder, Louisiana.

Related Materials

John Smith Young report card, Cent. Misc. Mss. 142. Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Finding Aid to the John Y. Young family papers
Chris Brown and Jo Bennett
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections Repository

2911 Centenary Blvd.
Shreveport LA 71104 US
(318) 869-5462