Hole In The Wall Plantation

Submitted by FHMaster on Fri, 12/30/2016 - 19:32

The plantation was probably begun by Elijah Smith during the time that he was a business partner with Abijah Hunt (1800 - 1811).  Abijah and Elijah had the firm of Hunt and Smith, which was a cotton brokerage that also ran five general stores and several public cotton gins.  They had several cotton plantations as well.

 

Abijah died in 1811.  Abijah's nephew David Hunt inherited a lot of his Uncle Abijah's interest in the Hunt and Smith firm.  He bought out all the other heirs and partners to become sole owner of Hunt and Smith.  He apparently bought or inherited several plantations that were shown as belonging to Abijah's partners - Elijah Smith and William G. Forman.

 

By 1821 a man (Edmond Shenak) renting some of David Hunt's land on Lake Concordia wrote him concerning the rent. This land was surely a part of this plantation because it is probably the only one Hunt owned on Lake Concordia. A link to the letter and others is at: http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/exhibits/natchez/collections/hunt/index.html

 

  • The plantation was 3,500 acres.
  • The owners did not live on the plantation.  Thus, thwre was only a simple house for the manager and his family to live in.
  • Cotton was the cash crop and corn would have been grown to feed the people and livestock.  This was a very valuable plantation in the MS River Delta.  It would have occasionally flooded, but this was good because it deposited rich silt onto the land keeping the soil highly productive year after year.
  • The plantation had a MS River boat landing, known as Hole-in-the-Wall Landing, before the MS River caused too much land/islands, etc. to be built up on the river side of the levee in front of the plantation.
  • After the Civil War, there was a Hole-in-the-Wall store where the share croppers could buy supplies.
  • Hole-in-the-Wall Plantation is mentioned in Mark Twain's book Life on the Mississippi .  It is mentioned because it marked an area of the MS River that had tricky river currents for boat captains to deal with.

 

David Hunt (d. 1861) and his wife Ann Ferguson - absentee owners;  They owned this plantation from about 1811 to about 1867.  David Hunt came to MS from NJ in 1801 to work for his Uncle Abijah (a rich merchant and plantation owner) and to profit from slavery.  He quickly started Woodlawn Plantation MS .  Although he was doing well before his Uncle's death, after his Uncle's 1811 death he became seriously rich.  His inheritance from his Uncle caused him to acquire several plantations.  David may have gotten Hole in the Wall Plantation somehow from his Uncle's estate.  David bought out Abijah's other partners (such as Elijah Smith) and heirs in the Hunt and Smith firm to get sole ownership of the firm.  He may have bought Hole in the Wall at this time.  An 1808 marriage to Mary Calvit caused David to inherit the Thomas Calvit estate in about 1820, which included at least three plantations.  His 1816 marriage to Ann Ferguson (a grandaughter of rich planter Robert Dunbar) caused him to acquire three or four more plantations.  He eventually built up a plantation empire of 25 plantations with about 1,200 slaves and was one of only 35 millionaires in the U.S. at the time - possibly the 7th richest in the U.S.  The David and Ann Hunt estate was divided in 1867.  Hole in the Wall Plantation went to their daughter Elizabeth.

 

 

State
Founded
Prior to 1811
Status
Unknown
Address
Maxwell Road. The only thing separating it from the MS River was Maxwell Road and the levee. The map coordinates for the plantation were T9N-R1E (Township 9 North, Range 1 East), in some or all of sec. one through 24.