Robert Campbell Cummings

b. circa 3 June 1820, d. 21 July 1892

Robert Campbell Cummings, c1820-1892
portrait by François Bernard, New Orleans, 1850s
  • Robert Campbell Cummings was born circa 3 June 1820 in Virginia.
  • Beginning 4 July 1849, a notice appeared in The Times-Picayune that the co-parthership existing in New Orleans under the firm of Cummings & Spyker had announced its dissolution by mutual consent, to be continued by R. C. Cummings and J. D. Stewart under the style of Cummings, Stewart & Co. And on 29 March 1850, an advertisement for Cummings, Stewart & Co. appeared in the Daily Alabama Journal.
  • On Saturday, 7 September 1850, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Wrote Cummings Stewart & Co., E. Allen, Solon Mitchell & W. Breazeal about mistake in cloth."
  • The following appeared on 25 October 1854 in The Daily South Carolinian: (Arrivals at Hotels, Oct. 24, 1854) United States Hotel . . . Miss S. A. Pickett, Louisiana, R. C. Cummings, Louisiana.
  • He married Sarah Allen Pickett, daughter of James Belton Pickett and Paulina de Graffenried, on 19 December 1854 in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, at the residence of Sallie's step-father J. B. Gilmer, with the Rev. J. F. Ford officiating.
  • The following appeared on 1 January 1855 in The Times-Picayune: [Married] On Tuesday, 19th ult, at the residence of Col. J. B. Gilmer, by the Rev. J. F. Ford, Mr. Robert C. Cummings, of New Orleans to Miss Sallie A. Pickett, of Bossier parish, La.
  • Robert Campbell Cummings became a widower at the 7 June 1855 death of his wife Sarah Allen Pickett. Following Sallie's death, her mother Paulina de Graffenried Pickett gave Robert Chalk Level plantation in Bossier Parish.
  • Robert Campbell Cummings appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1860 in Bellevue PO, Bossier Parish, Louisiana. Also in the household was overseer W. A. Smith. In the 1860 Slave Schedule in Bossier Parish, R. C. Cummings was listed with 111 slaves, 22 of whom were age 10 or younger, and 24 slave houses.
  • He was a planter, according to the 1860 census.
  • Green Wood recorded: "1861, January 22nd, Sent $5 New Orleans Money to R. C. Cummings &c to buy a Plantation record (registered)."
  • On 7 October 1864, Mary Jane LeGrand wrote to Rush Brevard Wood:
         Danville, Texas
    My Darling Son:
         I have been feeling quite uneasy about you. We heard you were sick from eating fruit. Do my dear child take care of yourself and you must feel no hesitancy in going to Mr. Spyker's if you should get sick or wounded. Your Pa has written to Mr. Spyker concerning you. They are most excellent people. You will feel perfectly at home there, and no doubt he would take pleasure in having the son of his old friend with him. Should you get back to Louisiana, Mr. Cummings Post Office is Collinsburg.
         Well my child, I have your clothes all ready, I believe all you sent for. I put your gloves both pair in your coat pockets. Mrs. Preston Spiller knit the woolen gloves for you. Your Pa bought the other pair.
         Rush, I did not make the coat as you directed. I intended making a short one too, but did not have time. I have had three attacks of chills and fever since Felix came home. That is why I did not have time for making the other coat. Am just up now from the last attack. I hope what I send will please you. The coat is a very good one. The outside is not as stout as I would have liked. That part of it your Grandma gave you. I made everything myself except the knitting. The socks, Mrs. Wynne knit one pair, and your sister one pair. I will tell you right here, Mrs. Wynne and her family all send much love to you. Miss Ella is looking very pretty. I tried to get her to knit you a pair of socks. She was too much afraid of being teased.
          Miss Sarah has made Jack and yourself each a hat and your Grandma sends each of you a pair of over socks for which you must thank them when you write.
         You liked to have been too late for blankets, just did have time to weave in some on the negro cloth. They are not as heavy as I would wish. It is the best I could do for the time. I intend to weave some as soon as I can and keep some on hand. Your Pa went to get you some tobacco. Mr. Pankey’s Ned has the best of any one else. He asked $2.00 in specie. Your Pa did not get any, of course he said that was entirely too much for his pile. He has gone to get some from your Grandpa’s negroes. Daniel has twisted up some to send you. Your Pa says it is not good. I will mark it so you can tell it.
         Your Pa and I have concluded to send you specie. The confederate money is so worthless. He has made arrangements with Mr. George to get $15.00. The way Mr. George rates it is $6.00. The way it is rated in Houston is $9.00. I hope that will answer your purpose. You must take good care of it.
         Rush, when you write, tell me who all your officers are, from Brigadier Gen. down. I am so glad to see you are writing often. Do continue to do so. I am always so anxious to hear. Give my love to Jack. Tell him if he should get sick he must call on Mr. Spyker. I forgot to mention it when I was speaking of it.
         Your Pa could not get the leather for but one pair of boots. He got the leather from Mr. Wynne. You will find some adhesive plaster. It will be good to put on a cut place. I send you the soap, tho it is not so good. Also a cake of suet and a bundle of rags.
         Rush, let me caution you about using too much tobacco. I hear it is making so many people sick. It made Eason have spasms. He has quit it entirely.
         From your letter to Eliza, I see you are tired of the service. I know it must be very trying to one as young as yourself particularly. I expect it goes as hard with me as it does with you, for I assure you I think of you often, often. You must cheer up and keep in good spirits. You have it to do and must make the best of it. One thing I am proud of in you, you do not aspire to office, or fame. You are fighting for your country’s sake alone. I heard you say that when you was at home last. So many are expecting an early peace. God grant that it may come. The children all join in love to brother Rush. I expect Fanny will want to write. Good bye. May the blessings of God rest upon you now and forever is the prayer of your loving Mother.
         [Signed] M. J. Wood.
  • On 3 December 1864, Green Mark Wood wrote to Rush Brevard Wood:
         Danville, Texas
    My Dear Son:
         I returned home day before yesterday after an absence of three weeks in the Reserve Corps. All were well when I arrived. Campbell was taken sick yesterday and your mother has chills every two or three weeks. The school is out and Solomon will be home today.
         We caught a good many deserters and conscripts in the Big Thicket. We get very little news now. We have not heard a word from you since Jack Williamson's letter just after the arrival of Capt. Raney Fisher. Old Lincoln is elected and the war will probably go on for years to come. So you may make up your mind to remain in the service for years to come. I regret it on account of my children. I shall not be able to give them an education. And I fear should it end you will not feel like going to school.
         I am looking for Mr. Cummings out here. He and his mother-in-law and brother-in-law are going to move out with all their negroes some 700 [sic] to get out of the way of the Yankees.
         I am expecting to send this by Mr. Nathan Burke. I am very hopeful about the final result of the war but very many are desponding.
         Your Uncle Campbell was well when we heard from him last. He had not been assigned to duty as yet. The Yankees captured his horse crossing the Mississippi, and he has not been able to get another. I hope you take good care of your horse. No news worth mentioning. Your mother and all the children send to you and Jack Williamson much love. We were disappointed in not getting a letter by the wagon when it returned. I can think of no more to write.
         Your father, Green M. Wood.
  • The following appeared on 15 August 1865 in The New Orleans Times: Messrs. R. C. Cummings & Co., announce through their card in another column, that they have resumed the cotton factorage and commission business at No. 38 Factor's Row, Perdido street. We are much gratified to include their names in our extended commercial list, and commend the fact of their resumption to the interests of our agricultural readers throughout the south.
  • On 30 December 1865, a notice appeared in The Times-Picayune that on the 21st of December, the firm of R. C. Cummmings was dissolved by mutual consent, succeeded by the business Cummings, Brown & Co, principals David H. Cummings and James G. Brown. Notice of Cummings, Brown & Co. as successors to R. C. Cummings & Co. appeared in the Baton Rouge Tri-Weekly Advocate beginning about 4 September 1867.
  • Amongst twenty bankruptcy notices published 18 February 1869 in The New Orleans Tribune appears one issued 7 January 1869 "against the estates of Jas. G. Brown, as surviving partner of the late firm of Cummings, Brown & Co., and R. C. Cummings and Jas. G. Brown, individually and as members of the firm of R. C. Cummings & Co., of New Orleans. . ."
  • Robert Campbell Cummings appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1870 in Shreveport PO, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Also in the household were farmer W. F. Strother (age 28) and Swedish carpenter C. Schofelt (30.)
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1870 census.
  • Robert Campbell Cummings appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Other members of the household included Fairman Preston Cummings and Robert Carter Cummings. Tennessee-born nephews Robert and Preston Cummings were farming with their uncle.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1880 census.
  • The following appeared on 10 February 1892 in The Daily Picayune: Colonel R. C. Cummings, of Caddo parish, years ago a partner in the firm of Cummings, Brown & Co., prominent commission merchants of New Orleans, arrived Monday night by the steamer John D. Scully, on a visit to friends and relatives.
  • Robert Campbell Cummings died on 21 July 1892 in Caddo Parish, Louisiana.
  • He was buried at Cottage Grove Cemetery in Benton, Bossier Parish, Louisiana.
  • The following appeared on 21 January 1893 in The Daily Picayune: (Civil District Court, Successions) The successions of Peter Llulla and Robert C. Cummings have been opened.
  • Research Note: L. P. Spyker's wife Sarah Gilmer was a sister of R. C. Cummings' mother-in-law Paulina de Graffenreid's second husband James Blair Gilmer.
  • Last Edited: 25 Aug 2015

Family: Sarah Allen Pickett b. circa 19 June 1837, d. 7 June 1855