Contents and Arrangement

Letter from William Phelps of Nitta Yuma Plantation to His Cousin, 1866 June 26

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Content Description

This letter is likely written by Ohio-based lawyer William Phelps, to a cousin. Phelps gave up his practice in Ohio and moved to Nitta Yuma Plantation in Mississippi, which was owned by his brother, Alonzo Jefferson Phelps, to help his brother run the plantation by exploiting the situation of formerly enslaved African American laborers. In the letter, Phelps notes that his job includes working laborers for ten to twelve hours a day.

Content Warning

This letter contains anti-Black racial slurs.


Arranged alphabetically by the name of the creator, with unattributed materials at the end.

Collection History


Purchased from PBA Galleries in October 2022 (AM-2024-006).


The collection is open and will continue to grow.


No material was separated during processing.

Processing Information

These materials were processed and described by Megan Bardis in July 2023, incorporating some description from the dealer.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Letter from William Phelps of Nitta Yuma Plantation to His Cousin; General Manuscripts Miscellaneous Collection, C0140, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Box B-002038