Rebecca (Carnes) Rowan Collection, 1855-1872, 1976

Descriptive Summary

Rebecca (Carnes) Rowan Collection, 1855-1872, 1976
Rowan, Rebecca (Carnes)
1/2 box, 3 folders, 50 items.
Finding Aid Author
Archives Staff
Western Kentucky University

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Rebecca B. Carnes, the daughter of Peter A. and Mary Eden (Briscoe) Carnes, was born in 1813 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Carnes families were early Maryland settlers and were relatively prosperous. Rebecca was endowed with beauty and possessed a gracious manner, both of which she retained throughout her lifetime. In 1835, she married John Rowan, Jr., of Bardstown, Kentucky. They lived on a Mississippi plantation for a short period of time, then moved to Federal Hill near Bardstown where they resided thereafter.
An accident at Federal Hill claimed the life of John on August 14, 1855. At age forty-two, Rebecca found herself a widow with ten children to rear and a large farm to manage. For several years she struggled to maintain her household on a very limited income. Her father-in-law's estate, of which she and her children were heirs, was not settled completely until 1903. The problems caused by such long litigation created many hardships for Rebecca and her children, but better times appeared in the 1870s. Rebecca died at Federal Hill on November 16, 1897, leaving five surviving children.
Scope and Content
The collection is comprised chiefly of Rebecca's letters (originals and photocopies of typescripts of all letters), dating from 1855 to 1872 (37 items), which were written to attorney William P. Boone of Louisville, Kentucky. Boone was married to Eliza Rowan (Harney) Boone, a granddaughter of Judge and Mrs. Rowan, who reared her.
There are six letters (photocopies of typescripts only), written to Rebecca by her eldest son william, while he was serving in the Confederate army from 1861 to 1865.
The collection also contains three photographs of May and Rebecca Rowan, and a news release and photographs of the donor and associates, 1976.

Contents of the Collection

Rowan, Rebecca (Carnes), 1813-1897. 1855-1872, 1976. 50 items.

  • Box 1

Letters to William P. Boone and photographs. 1855-1872. 41 items.

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Photocopies of typescripts of letters of W. P. Boone and of letters from her son, William (6). 1855-1872. 44 items.

  • Box 1, folder 2
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News release letter and photographs of donor of letters (Mrs. Clowes) and associates. 1976. 3 items.

  • Box 1, folder 3
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