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M.E. Wright Claim for Reparations

 Unprocessed Collection
Identifier: AM20-073

Form of Material

Claim to the U.S. Commissioners of Claims, plus two letters of support, 1871.


  • 1871

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the united States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

The Southern Claims Commission (SCC) was an organization of the executive branch of the United States government from 1871 to 1880, created under President Ulysses S. Grant. Its purpose was to allow Union sympathizers who had lived in the Southern states during the American Civil War, 1861–1865, to apply for reimbursements for property losses due to U.S. Army confiscations during the war.

Southerners from 12 states (West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas) filed claims with the Southern Claims Commission from 1871 to 1873 if they:

• were loyal to the United States during the Civil War

• had supplies officially taken by or furnished to the U.S. Army in the war

Southern Loyalists (those who were Union sympathizers) made 22,298 claims. Only 32 percent of the claims (7,092) were approved for payment. The claimants used the testimony of their neighbors as evidence of their U.S. loyalty and property losses. The applications of claimants (successful or not), testimony, and the SCC papers provide excellent historical background information about Southern life during the Civil War.

Although only a few people per county qualified for a settlement, the application papers of the Southern Claims Commission typically include questions mentioning hundreds of their neighbors. Neighbors of all races, and classes were questioned and discussed in SCC records, potentially including:

• personal descriptions, and accounts of events during the war

• military records of claimants, or their relatives

• letters, diaries, and family Bible records

• wills, property inventories, and probate records


3 Items : oversized 302A.B1.A4

Language of Materials



Purchased With: Culpepper funds

Date of Receipt: March 2020

M.E. Wright Claim for Reparations
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001